Bernie Sanders, Nazi flags, and the Importance of Integrity

A Nazi flag flown at a recent Bernie Sanders rally. It's not what you think.

Think about the last time you said something or did something that turned out to be wrong. What happened next – did you double-down (tribalism)? Or did you retract and apologize (integrity)?

I witnessed this tension in the past week when Hananya Naftali, an IDF veteran and lover of Israel, tweeted a misleading photo:

At first glance, confirmation bias kicked in: I’m no fan of Bernie Sanders; contra Bernie, I’m pro-life, pro-Israel, and pro-Biblical values. Additionally, Hananya is an ardent defender of Israel and believer in Messiah.  Normally I’d have just ♥’d that tweet and moved on.

But, I dug into the story, and it turns out it’s misleading.

Yes, a Nazi flag was flown by an attendee at a Bernie Sanders rally. But it was flown by a troll, someone who hated Bernie. Video emerged of the Sanders crowd booing the Nazi, who then was removed from the stadium while shouting racial slurs.

Hananya’s tweet was misleading. I replied back in what has become my most popular tweet of the year (ha!):

(Having dozens of communists ♥ that tweet was…a jarring experience. 😆)

Sadly, Hananya didn’t delete that Tweet. Which is a shame, because it reflects poorly on him and the pro-Israel, pro-Biblical values he stands for.

I see this same misplaced allegiance often.

In the recent Israeli elections, candidates and their supporters demonized the other side with untruths.

With the US elections coming up, we’re witnessing the same among candidates and their supporters: allegiance not to truth and integrity, but to a brand of politics.

Even now news organizations, journalists, and TV personalities are using the virus outbreak to demonize the candidate and political party they don't like. "If only we had a left-wing government", "If only we had universal healthcare", etc. (This despite the virus afflicting both left-wing and right-wing nations, with and without government-provided healthcare.)

Let it be a lesson for us as Yeshua’s disciples: allegiance to integrity and truth is priority. When we make mistakes, don’t double-down. Admit, retract, apologize, and move on.

A poem of sorrow

Sea of Galilee

Kinneret, the Sea of Galilee. After visiting Aaron’s grave, I traveled to the Sea of Galilee and snapped this photo.

The dead do not live on in our memories
Who would be satisfied
Their existence reduced
To a passing thought
A fleeting memory?

The dead were not summoned for need by God
If Almighty should have want
Of anything at all
He is neither All
Nor Mighty

The dead are not by God called home
Even a wicked father
Does not bereave siblings
With tragedy and violent suffering
To summon the one

The dead do not become as stardust
Will the dust give praise to You, Lord?
"To dust you shall return"
Is the cause, not consolation
Of my grief

The dead do not float with cherubim above
For our essence is beyond mere disembodied soul
Flesh and bones we were fashioned
Our true form
Earth is where the Divine settled us
Our true home
In resurrection both restored

There is nothing good in death
No reason
No comprehensible meaning
Even should there be
It would not console me
Because it would not return the dead to me

There is no consolation but this:
"I will swallow up death forever
And wipe away every tear from their eyes"
Until then I will grieve for my brother
Bitterly taken in youth
A beautiful branch broken
Violently ripped from the tree
He is gone and not coming home
And only our tears remain

My brother passed away today

Aaron with his 3 daughters, photo taken just a few months ago

My little brother Aaron passed away today.

I hoped he could pull through and wake up from the coma. We knew it was a possibility that he would not.

I don’t understand why he died. It was our desire, our hope, our will for him to live. But in all our praying, we said God’s will be done.

Aaron’s heart was always in Israel, even when he was a little kid. I’m glad he was able to live and thrive in Israel for the last decade of his life. After many missteps, Aaron was getting his life in order this last year. I believe the Lord ministered to Aaron while he was in this coma these last several months. I am glad his suffering is over. He will be buried where his heart always was.

I’m grateful for the 30 years of Aaron’s life, even if it is too short. Yeshua said, “I am the resurrection and the life.” May the Lord in His mercy raise Aaron on that day. ❤