Opinion

As evangelicals win with Trump, little ‘good news’ is left in the religiou …

Republican Senate candidate Josh Hawley is guided to the podium to speak by President Trump during a rally at the Show Me Center on Nov. 5, 2018, in Cape Girardeau, Mo. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

(RNS) — The story of the 2018 midterms for me came not on Election Day but at a Republican campaign rally in Missouri Monday night (Nov. 5), when President Trump’s speech was interrupted by medics tending to a supporter who had collapsed. Bystanders launched into “Amazing Grace,” and soon a wide swath of the crowd was solemnly singing what is easily the most recognizable and well-loved hymn in English-speaking Christianity.

The camera, though, stayed on Trump, who was forced to stop speaking. I leaned in, studying the president as he wandered awkwardly around the stage, pointing to the singing crowd like the showman he is. I watched his lips for a glimpse of Trump in song. Then I realized: He could not join in singing because he does not know the words to the hymn.

This campaign-trail vignette illustrates the great irony of evangelical Trumpism. Supporters tolerate and even cheer his white-nationalist appeals, and they ignore the rampant corruption and criminality in his administration, while rarely taking account of how his appeals to fear and division trample the grace found in the gospel.

According to exit polls, about 75 percent of white evangelicals voted Republican in 2018.

This is down five to six points from 2016, and the shift is significant. But it hardly represents an evangelical rebuke of Trump, whose bombast, race-baiting and frequent lies should alarm people who value character and integrity.

Even though their share of the population has dropped from 20 percent in 2012 to 15 percent today, white evangelicals are voting in large enough numbers that their share of the electorate remains steady, at about a quarter of voters.

This means white evangelicals are becoming even more motivated to vote, though they are not coming out to rebuke Trumpism. Indeed, their overrepresentation in the electorate may indicate that they are activated by the president.

Meanwhile, professed Christian politicians, such as Missouri’s Sen.-elect Josh Hawley, owe their high office to the president’s support even as they squander their own integrity and evangelical bona fides by refusing to distance themselves from his obnoxious and egregiously un-Christian behavior.

In any sane, normal world, evangelicals like Hawley and his voters would be appalled by Trumpism. Yet in 2018 they embrace him without consequence, because what little institutional or elite evangelical resistance to Trump that existed in 2016 has almost completely evaporated. With the passage of time, even principled white evangelicals have lost their appetite for resisting Trumpism.

President Trump arrives to speak at a campaign rally at Bojangles’ Coliseum on Oct. 26, 2018, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

White evangelical Trump skepticism has collapsed. While a vocal minority of evangelical faith leaders once spoke out firmly against a politician whose life embodies so many unacceptable attitudes and behaviors, those voices have now gone silent.

Trumpism is now business as usual for white evangelicalism, and white evangelical politics are inseparable from Trump’s.

This is a dangerous equation for the religious right, which once justified its alignment with the GOP by saying it could dictate social policy because of the votes it could marshal at election time. But now conservative Christians depend on Trump, not the other way around. Democrats may control the House, but the Republican caucus is even more dominated by Trump disciples as many decent GOP members retired or lost their re-election bids.

Across Capitol Hill, the Senate is now another Trump property. The president believes, with good reason, that the new crop of Republican senators owes its election to his strong support. Even the evangelical senators who occasionally challenge the president’s worst excesses (though always through speeches, never their votes) look as weak and irrelevant as ever.

The word “evangelical” comes from the Greek New Testament. It means “good news,” in reference to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Evangelicals at their best are a religious revival movement, not a voting bloc. True Christians would never abide the race-baiting, lying, dehumanizing rhetoric that Trump spews daily.

The “good news” for Trump is that they just don’t care.

(Jacob Lupfer, a frequent commentator on religion and politics, is a writer and consultant in Baltimore. The views expressed in this commentary do not necessarily represent those of Religion News Service.)

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Jacob Lupfer

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  • So we should now hate Trump because he didn’t know the words to Amazing Grace.?
    Even though Trump’s Christianity can be questioned, does this not show how odious the liberals are that the evangelical Christian would rather support Trump than them?
    The references to white Christian evangelicals sounds a little racist to me.

  • Should have hated him a while ago. If you had any kind of morals, ethics and respect for the American democratic way of government.

    Being a Canadian, you wouldn’t understand that.*
    .
    .
    .
    .
    *The last part. Plenty of Canadians have morals and ethics.

  • “Should have hated him a while ago. If you had any kind of morals, ethics and respect for the American democratic way of government. Being a Canadian, you wouldn’t understand that.*”
    That would mean that you had enough morals to judge my comment spud. Go help someone to have an abortion.
    “Being a Canadian, you wouldn’t understand that.* I’m not Canadian, but what I’ve seen from what I live in, Canada falls short on morals and ethics.” They believe in murdering babies also.

  • Yep, get them out of the womb so they can be cast aside as unrepentant sinners. Right?
    It’s rather difficult to induce fear and shame a fetus.

  • Who said they would choose to be unrepentant sinners, Navy? Just because you made that choice doesn’t mean everyone else who was saved from a murdering mother will. You advocate murder, yet ridicule the One who came to give us life.

  • “By June [1933], German Protestant leaders were united in their praise of the Nazi regime. ‘Christ has come to us through Adolph Hitler,’ one minister gushed. ‘Through his power, his honesty, his faith and his idealism … the Redeemer has found us, [and] we know the Savior today has come. Passion and vigor, a brash and cocksure manliness, a Führer whose countenance radiated these virtues — a nation was smitten. It felt good to be a German again.”

    “By the end of 1933, more than 90 percent of the student body of the Berlin theology department had joined the National Socialist Party.”

    ~ Charles Marsh, Strange Glory: A Life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer (NY: Knopf, 2014), pp. 176, 165.

  • Everyone does. You apparently think you have a monopoly on moral judgment of others. I can’t even see signs you understand morals let alone apply them to others.

  • I advocate self determination. You foment authoritarian theocracy, something I served to prevent. Christians advocate murder in every state that maintains prisoners on death row.

  • The “good news” for Trump supporters is that they just don’t care what Jacob Lupfer thinks.

  • None of the following is of “little ‘good news’” at all, however. It’s all “‘good news’ for Trump”, ‘yo!

    (1) “US midterm elections: Democrats disappointed at lack of ‘blue wave'”, The Straits Times, November 7, 2018.

    (2) “Democrats won the House, but Trump won the election: For the most part, when voters had to decide, the angry left was rejected and Trump was rewarded”, Washington Post, November 7, 2018.

    (3) “US midterms: Florida fails to deliver swing to Democrats”, The Times, November 7, 2018.

    (4) “SENATE: Republicans to EXPAND their majority as red state Democrats Joe Donnelly, Heidi Heitkamp and Claire McCaskill ALL fall, Bill Nelson looks doomed in Florida and Ted Cruz hangs on in Texas”, Daily Mail, November 7, 2018.

  • “The student body of the Berlin theology department” comprised of Libs & Progs – not born-again Christians!

    Timely reminder there, my f(r)iend!

    BWAHAHA

  • “Almost alone among his Protestant clergy friends, Bonhoeffer grasped that Hitler could not be reasoned with, bargained with, or ‘educated’.”

    ~ Diane Reynolds, The Doubled Life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer: Women, Sexuality, and Nazi Germany (Eugene, OR: Cascade Books, 2016), p. 84.

  • Holding the Senate was the critical issue.

    Two years more of Maxine Waters and Nancy Pelosi is like shelling the beach before the next presidential election.

  • That is a rose colored glasses approach. Dems didn’t achieve all to which they aspired, but strides forward were made. Reclaiming control of the House can’t be interpreted as “did badly.” Controlling the House means that they can alleviate much of the silliness of the last two years.

  • “The embrace of Donald Trump in 2016 by most white evangelicals was just the latest sign either of the bankruptcy of evangelicals or the meaningless of the category. To the extent there is a real thing called American evangelicalism, it is deeply damaged by now. I wrote this in my journal not long ago: It is hard to imagine how any single religious community could so often be so consistently wrong. One would think that they would get an issue right even occasionally and by accident.

    To the extent that the whole (white) evangelicalism thing was just a rebranding of Protestant fundamentalism and never a real thing at all, the rebranding has now failed.”

    David P. Gushee, Still Christian: Following Jesus Out of American Evangelicalism (Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2017), p. 146.

  • I would take a look at the geographic distribution of the “strides forward”.

    https://www.realclearpolitics.com/elections/live_results/2018/house/

    1 in Arizona, 1 in California, 1 in Colorado, 2 in Florida, 2 in Illinois, 2 in Iowa, 1 in Kansas, 2 in Michigan, 2 in Minnesota, 3 in New Jersey, 2 in New York, 1 in Oklahoma, 4 in Pennsylvania, 1 in South Carolina, 2 in Texas, 3 in Virginia. All of them were in districts known as liberal, and in some races a remarkably weak Republican candidate.

    2/3 of the races went to the party then holding that district.

    In the more important Senate races, the Republicans got 3 more seats, thus precluding another Kavanaugh performance, and the Democrats reelected Bob Menendez.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bob_Menendez#2015_federal_indictment_on_corruption_charges

    Since not much got done in the House up to this point thanks to ongoing obstructions and circuses, all will happen is that the American public will get angrier at the logjam, and Nancy Pelosi and Maxine Waters will do what they have always done …. get votes for Republicans.

  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_P._Gushee#Controversy

    “As a Christian ethicist, Gushee has periodically been out spoken about current controversial societal topics. His positions on such issues as climate change, torture, and LGBT rights have often put him into conflict with his traditional evangelical constituency. For example, In 2015, Russell Moore, also a well known Evangelical ethicist, implied that Gushee was not a true Evangelical because of his change of belief supporting LGBT civil rights. Gushee, however, nevertheless describes himself as a ‘progressive evangelical.’ ”

    His assessment of the evangelicals reflects his basic hatred of evangelicalism.

  • While it is an RNS mantra that the election was all about the evangelicals, the evidence seems to point to a different conclusion.

  • The Trump-Haters wanted a Big Blue Tsunami this week. Oh how they wanted it sooo badly.

    But they got a tiny Crawdad Creek Ripple instead. That’s where Lupfer’s rant is likely coming from.

  • Perhaps the evangelicals recognize that we are no longer in a sane and normal world. The last act is the book of Revelation, it is the last time, the last day. Does anything look sane and normal in the the last act? Exit polls probably don’t work the same, in the last day.

  • White evangelicals do not vote for Trump because they are evangelicals. They vote for Trump because they are white and the Democrats imposed a black president on them.

  • And perhaps the Evangelicals are just resisting the sane and normal. Do I understand you correctly to be excusing church people’s approval of Trumpism in America because they (per you) believe “the world is in the tribulation”, that insane and abnormal is an okey-dokey norm in a Revelation scenario?

  • We need to understand that religions, including Christianity, are whatever people say they are in times and places. We need to understand that Islam, for instance, is ISIS and Boko Haram wherever ISIS and Boko Haram control territory. It your American churches say Christianity is Trumpism and vice versa, guess what? They are.

    Don’t like that? Don’t agree with that? Better call some higher quality preachers. Or, take it upon yourself to BE a higher-quality preacher.

  • The Left is so decidedly anti-Christian, anti-business, anti-law and order, anti-freedom, anti-American, it cannot make a case for evangelicals or other people of faith. For the 1000th time, let me say: evangelicals support Trump because of his policies, not his style, and they are disgusted and appalled by the vile and hateful words, tactics and policies of the Trump haters. Trump tries to enforce border security and is called the worst kinds of names, along with his supporters, because the law requires children be separated from parents who are being held in custody. Trump haters are irrational, destructive, contemptuous of Christians and against their beliefs. So to have these haters condemn supposed evangelical inconsistencies is not unexpected, given their unhinged perspective, and is merely tiresome.

  • Self-proclaimed “Progressive Evangelicals” like “David Gushee … have already long ago negotiated away … basic pieces of orthodoxy, so the controversies that we typically have, with say a David Gushee … are not, first and foremost, controversies over the interpretation of particular texts. They’re controversies over an understanding and inspiration of Scripture … a debate over a very foundational, fundamental issue of what does it mean to believe the Bible and to follow the authority of Scripture.”
    – Russell Moore, Christian Post, September 2, 2015.

  • The churches make claims about what they are and reality is often not what they claim. Denominations don’t split over cold coffee and stale donuts.

    An estimated 5 billion Bibles have een sold and it is likely that there have not been two people interpret it 100% the same. Of course, no one has interpreted 100% of it, and which translation is the real one. The 1560 Trumpism Bible is a good read.

  • No wonder Grandpa named you alwayspuzzled

    Nothing more PatHetic (that was his 2nd choice) than being alwayspuzzled

    There is of course

    But Grandpa never met Spuddie

  • Jacob built two altars on his way back to God of Bethel.

    The first altar (a temple) he called El-Elohe-Israel (like God of Israel) on his plot on the front (East side) of the city of Shechem (coded salem – Jerusalem).

    After the slaying of the Prince of Shechem (as Jesus) by Simeon and Levi (the chief priests and scribes) He left his possession with fear and wrath for his life and his house.

    And he will finally return to the God of Bethel. He built an altar there called El-Bethel (God of the house of God). It will no longer be tribe-centered God or race-centered God but the God who declared ““Truly, truly, I tell you, you will see heaven open and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”

  • “The ‘blue wave’ turned out to be a ‘blue ripple’.”
    – Seth Meyers, Late Night, November 6-7, 2018.

  • I’m not sure what your point was. That House Republicans represent more square miles of the US than Democrats? True. However, House Democrats represent more of the population than the Republicans and that’s why they now control the House with 28 more seats.

    The accusations against Sen. Menendez resulted in a mistrial because of a hung jury of his peers. The Dept of Justice dropped the weak case.

    Didn’t the Republican House repeal Obama Care 70+ times? They kept having self-induced orgasms over that fiasco.

  • There’s no such thing as “white evangelicals”, because that’s a very recent phenomenon. But Evangelicals have been around long before that phenomenon and way before you were even baptized with milk into an Ashram. See? Even that latter part there is fake news. Any imbecile can fall for it.

  • “Authoritarian theocracy [is] something [you] served to prevent”?!

    You can’t even serve a tennis ball or a ping pong ball!

  • That is a fascinating response, confirming my suspicions. Denominations have a persistent habit of splitting and arguing with each other because they really don’t know what they are doing? Nah, they are just returning to older fundamentals, noting that Machiavelli really did precede KJV by several decades. The 1560 Trumpism Bible was in between. Of course! It all makes sense now.

  • One of the important things I’ve learned recently about evangelicals is that there are “mainstream” evangelicals, who do seem to be true to the ideas they profess, and what we might call “extremist” evangelicals, who ARE hypocrites and racists and liars and so on.

    An evangelical academic named (?John?) Fea has written about this stuff in a recently-published book called “Believe Me”.

    It’;s also important to distinguish between WHITE evangelicals and BLACK evangelicals; the 2 groups behave very differently in some respects, e.g. voting.

    I am an agnostic and strong critic of religion-in-general, and “extremist” evangelicals in particular, but I believe it’s important to understand this distinction.

    A minor note about a statement in this article: The author wrote “According to exit polls, about 75 percent of white evangelicals voted Republican in 2018.” The more accurate statement is “…75% of white evangelicals WHO VOTED, voted Republican….”

    And a minor but I think important note about the president not singing: it is *probably* correct that he does not know the words (after all, the only thing he believes in is making money), but for author Lupfer to conclude that he does not know the words is just plain wrong–unless, of course, the author has some exceptionally deep knowledge of Pres. Pants-on-Fire that the rest of the world does not know.

  • So, what qualifications are on your DD-214? Oh, wait, do you possess one at all?
    Go play with your toy balls little one.

  • I served to protect self determination AND to protect ALL the innocent from the twisted perversions of clergy and clerics. You have blood on your hands, the blood of those cultures you crushed in pursuit of power.
    WHAT have you done for the millions beyond the womb who are languishing and dying as the wards of all 50 states and all US territories?

  • It was no Democratic sweep, provides the basis for a Republican-controlled nomination process for Justice Ginsburg’s replacement sans the Kavanaugh-Thomas nonsense, and simply provides the basis for the Democrats in the House to go centrist and show their mettle – unlikely – or sputter and make people sorry they voted for Democrats – more likely. In that case nothing will be accomplished in the House for the next two years.

  • That accusation has been rather thoroughly debunked by post-election research.

    But if you only know one tune, you can only play that one.

  • Character Counts. It isn’t what religion a person follows or whether they follow any, the ONLY thing that matters in this world and whatever if anything comes after are our day to day words and actions. These expose the core of our being, our soul, our spirit, the nature of who we are as a human being to the world. AND people’s Bibles and other sacred texts–the Upanishads, the Tao teh Ching, the I Ching, The Analects of Confucius, the writings of American Indian Spiritual Leaders, the writings of great Theologians and Philosophers and of our worlds Great Thinkers from Hemingway to Tolstoy.

    It is all about how we treat other people, especially those that are different from us because it is easy to treat those that are just like us as we wish to be treated but much harder to treat those that reject our beliefs and values as they deserve to be treated–respectfully, honestly, fairly.

    And it is about how we treat other living things–plants, animals and our planet. Practitioners of Eastern Religions have long viewed our planet as a living organism, and they promote it’s treatment accordingly–with respect, care, and nurturing. Westerners never seem to have gotten this message–they treat our planet as something unworthy of respect, they defile it daily, plunder its resources for their own personal gain and pollute its air and water and ground with their waste.

    AND it is about how we treat ourselves. There are two things that are priceless, they can’t be bought for any amount of money, you don’t win them as a prize, they can’t be given to you by someone else, you have to earn them. Once earned they can never be stolen from you, you can’t misplace them, you can however throw them away as worthless and once discarded/thrown away you may never get them back. These two things are HONOR and INTEGRITY.

    Trump supporters whether Christian Evangelicals or White Supremacists or simple Conservatives have thrown both away.

  • And the other side does???

    I’m NO Trump Supporter………………………………but I know many men and women who voted for Trump NOT as a vote for Trump; but for a vote against Progressive Marxism — or Cultural Marxism.

  • Religion is more of an identity than any attempt to gain spiritual wisdom. White Evangelicals put their “identity” above New Testament exhortations. Instead theyt focus on God’s apparent approval of the conquest by his chosen people over others, even to the point of commnding genocide. They also selectively read Leviticus. turning a blind eye to the Biblical injunction to kill adulterers. That would be a big problem for many of therir pastors.

  • Yep, around for as long time inckluding family picnics to watch the lynchings and burnings of black people in the 20th century.

  • How do these Biblical prophetic exhortations to the governors of Israerl apply to the issues of health care, support for poor children, the US Justice system and the school to prison pipeline, single mothers, minimum wages?

    “Ah! Those who enact unjust statutes,
    who write oppressive decrees,
    Depriving the needy of judgment,
    robbing my people’s poor of justice,
    Making widows their plunder,
    and orphans their prey!”.

    “You did not strengthen the weak nor heal the sick nor bind up the injured. … but
    ruled them harshly and brutally.”

    “Judge with true justice, and show kindness and compassion toward each other. Do not oppress the widow or the orphan, the resident
    alien or the poor.”

    “Woe to him who builds his house on wrongdoing,
    his roof-chambers on injustice;
    Who works his neighbors without pay,
    and gives them no wages.”

    “on your fast day you carry out your own pursuits,/ and drive all your
    laborers.”

    “releasing those bound unjustly,
    untying the thongs of the yoke;
    Setting free the oppressed,
    breaking off every yoke…
    sharing your bread with the hungry,
    bringing the afflicted and the homeless into your house.”

    “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
    because he has anointed me
    to bring glad tidings to the poor.
    He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives
    and recovery of sight to the blind,
    to let the oppressed go free.”

  • I have no problem with evangelicals supporting Trump for policy reasons. What I find ridiculous is the high number of them who insist that Trump is a good and devout Christian despite the mountain of evidence to the contrary. It makes them look foolish and hypocritical and, in the long run, it can only hurt evangelicalism.

    There’s nothing wrong with admitting that you support someone despite disapproving of them. Pragmatism is not a sin.

  • You boast about your military service, and then accuse ME of having blood on my hands? Talk about a lack of self awareness!

    I crushed no cultures “in pursuit of power”, dearie. I have no blood on my hands.

    If you served in the US military, you are complicit in hundreds of thousands of deaths – often of women and children – in countless endless wars pursued for often false and specious reasons. Not something to boast about!

    And if you also support the slaughter of innocent children in the womb, then you have even MORE blood on you hands!

    And you accuse me of having blood on my hands? HAH!

  • Re: “So we should now hate Trump because he didn’t know the words to Amazing Grace.?” 

    Please cite where the OP stated the Groper-in-Chief must be “hated” because of that. I’ve gone over this article and don’t see it. 

    Re: “Even though Trump’s Christianity can be questioned, does this not show how odious the liberals are that the evangelical Christian would rather support Trump than them?” 

    You’re concerned about what you call liberals’ “odiousness,” but turn a blind eye toward your GiC’s own? Really!? Is that what your Jesus told you to do? I’m pretty sure he left orders to the contrary

    Re: “The references to white Christian evangelicals sounds a little racist to me.” 

    Yes I’m sure you see it that way. More’s the pity. 

  • See; I love how you write 5,000 words of love, understanding, diversity, peacefulness and inclusion of others – and then end it with “those that are not like Susan Humphreys” are evil and/or bad.
    You expose yourself as a partisan, a hypocrite and one who is intellectually dishonest.

  • “When ministers of the Confessing Church met on June 11, 1938, for their final disputation on “the Jewish question,” Bonhoeffer was depressed to learn that the majority had taken the oath of allegiance to Hitler: 60 percent in Rhineland, 70 percent in Brandenburg, 78 percent in Saxony, 80 percent in Pomerania, 82 percent in Silesia, 89 percent in Grenzmark. …

    Bonhoeffer had worried since 1933 that the Confessing Church was more concerned with ecclesial purity — which is to say, its own organizational autonomy — than with Hitler’s world-scale epochal ambitions. On Jewish suffering and persecution, it would remain hopelessly, infuriatingly silent, if not indifferent.”

    ~ Charles Marsh, Strange Glory: A Life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer (NY: Knopf, 2014), p. 271.

    “Almost alone among his Protestant clergy friends, Bonhoeffer grasped that Hitler could not be reasoned with, bargained with, or ‘educated’”

    ~ Diane Reynolds, The Doubled Life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer: Women, Sexuality, and Nazi Germany (Eugene, OR: Cascade Books, 2016), p. 84.

    But why let scholarship get in the way of your preconceived ideas and your belief that you can dispense with reading a book by someone you decide “hates” evangelicals because he or she calls for the churches to extend compassion to minority groups? So much easier not to read, not to know, and not to think — though in my experience, that seldom stops some people from exhibiting their ignorance through a spate of loud verbal diarrhea.

  • “The Republican Party, because of President Trump, has become the party of white identity. Echoing the president of the United States, many GOP candidates decided that demonizing others — liberals, immigrants, the media, and others — is their best strategy for winning, and they have done so without a moral blink of the eye. But Trump’s strategy of exploiting racial fears and lies while demonizing immigrants as key to projecting a nativist, white nationalism would be politically impotent without the support of white evangelicals. …

    The rest of the white Christian world, according to this data [i.e., PRRI’s 2018 American Values Survey], has not done much better. Election returns tonight, one way or another, won’t change this. Like in the era when Bonhoeffer lived and was executed, the integrity of Christian faith in the public square is at stake. With him, Christians must ask, ‘Who is Jesus Christ for us today?'”

    ~ Wes Granberg-Michaelson, “The Most Disheartening Survey of Voters,” https://sojo.net/articles/most-disheartening-survey-voters.

  • You certainly have picked the sources that support your mantra that the evangelicals and Trump approximate the Christians and Hitler.

    Here’s an example of how to exit logical thought processes and process in the “I know who I hate” mode:

    http://bilgrimage.blogspot.com/2018/02/for-religion-news-service-jacob-lupfer.html

    Yes, Dietrich Bonhoeffer was an important opponent of the Nazi attempt to take over the Christian churches. No, the attempt did not succeed and many pastor, ministers, and priests were executed.

    No, Trump is not Hitler.

    No, the evangelicals are not taking an oath of allegiance to Trump.

  • More interesting is that when it is pointed out to her, she emits “grow up” and other odd noises.

    Yes, she does like to adopt the “enlightened” pose, the high road pose, and the diversity/inclusion pose – right up to the point where she lets you know who she hates and why they’re worthless.

  • The phrase “…. to protect ALL the innocent from the twisted perversions of clergy and clerics ….” is interesting.

    Did you serve in the Soviet Navy?

  • Thanks for providing instructions about “picking sources” that confirm one’s notions of what did or did not happen historically. I’ll keep your admonitions in mind since you have great expertise in this field.

  • It does not take long reading you to notice you have a long hate list and a short like list.

    Historically Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a German pastor, theologian, anti-Nazi, and a founding member of the Confessing Church. His vocal opposition to Hitler’s euthanasia program and genocidal persecution of the Jews led to his arrest in April 1943, imprisonment at Tegel prison, transfer to a concentration camp, trial for a plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler, and execution April 9, 1945.

    In my opinion your attempt to use him for your petty political views and grievances is despicable.

    Again historically the “national” church, Deutsche Evangelische Kirche, of the Nazis was a total failure. Most German Christians left it, but the Confessing Church was so stressed by arrests, executions, and internal bickering it fared no better. The Nazis finally gave up trying to co-opt Christianity and instead expressed contempt toward it.

  • I’ll give you 48 hours to verify with at least 2 historical proofs that those people enjoying “family picnics … watch[ing] the lynchings and burnings of black people”, identified themselves and were identified by others back then as “white evangelicals”. Ready, get set, GO!

  • ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW:

    “White evangelicalism is the tribe I was born into, and nurtured me [and] I’ve valued [the] fellowship”!
    – Wes Granberg-Michaelson

  • rock -Christians still make errors – there is only One who is perfect.
    Secondly, what is normally being thrown around about Trump were from before he became a Christian – things already forgiven.
    The number of things complained about him sounds like desperation on the part of the liberals.

  • read their material and complaints about Trump. It’s sad/humorous to see what’s next and they never fail to find something new, Have they gotten back to his highschool years yet?

  • I never claimed the standard for being a Christian is perfection, but, nonetheless, by one’s fruits one is known. The point is that one who takes their Christian walk seriously makes a good faith effort to be charitable toward others. I don’t judge Trump but I certainly don’t see any evidence that his purported Christianity is anything more than lip service.

    By the way, I’m not a liberal. It’s not only liberals who are disappointed by the coarse and unkind behavior of this president and believe he should be held accountable for it.

  • From what I have heard about Trump, his position has been “america first” How is that anti-
    Christian

  • I think you understand that I’m not talking about his policy positions but his demeanor and how he treats people. And please don’t twist what I said. I never claimed Trump was anti-Christian. If anything, I suggested that his public behavior is often unchristian. That’s not the same thing.

  • Evangelicals have lost all credibility. If you say you are evangelical, everyone who is not in your clique assumes you have a pointy white hat at home. Only a racist or a millionaire would support trump. The 6% reduction in evangelical support is primarily among the more educated.

  • “Biblical prophetic exhortations to the governors of Israel apply to [Ancient Israel’s own] issues of health care, support for poor children, the [Ancient Israel’s own] Justice system and the school to [Ancient Israel’s own] prison pipeline [sic], single mothers, minimum wages”.

    Only if these “Biblical prophetic exhortations” were Messianic, then they apply to Jewish & Gentile Christians and their congregations.

    You asked out of ignorance because you don’t know your bible.

  • Tervuren 6 months ago: “I have read the Bible cover to cover. This is why I am an Atheist.”

    HpO: I have read Atheism cover to cover. But that’s not why I am a born-from-above, fired-up and die-hard follower of THE Christ Jesus of the gospels, epistles and revelation.

  • You need to get out more. Read more. Think more. I was not contemptuous of Christians until you sold your souls to trump, the most ant-moral president ever. Now i do mock so-called christians who support trump. I assume you are as racist as he is. And he has been openly racist since the 80s. So yes, I assume you have a pointy white hat at home if you support trump. We all do.

  • By liberals, I assume you mean people who want to help other people. By the way, that is from Bonhoffer, and he was not talking about faculty, he was talking about the average German.

  • Yep, you are a racist. You are on the wrong side of morality, and the wrong side of history. I hope you do not have kids to infect with your hate.

  • You don’t know “(?John?) Fea”?!

    “John [Fea] identifies Christianity with morality. Not good. Christianity does point out sin through the moral law. But Christianity actually provides a remedy. Without the remedy, Jesus and the atonement, the moral law is just one big pain in the neck (for the lost, at least). A policy that enacts something that seems like Christian morality is not itself Christian without also including the gospel. … John … is willing apparently to regard mere morality as Christian. That means taking to the lost all the imperatives to be righteous without any way to do so. Christian morality, without the gospel, scares the bejeebers out of me (and I don’t think I’m lost), which is another reason for being wary of seeming self-righteous. Who can stand in that great day by appealing to Christian morality? What good is Christianity for America if it doesn’t lead to faith in Christ?”

    Source: D.G. Hart, “What Kind of Christian is John Fea?”, Old Life, August 16, 2017.

  • You were already a Nihilist before Election 2016.

    “Tervuren 6 months ago … I have read the Bible cover to cover. This is why I am an Atheist.”

    Hillary lost, Trump won, but that isn’t why [you despair as] an Atheist.”

    You despair because you are an Atheist.
    But I don’t care, nor do God & Jesus. Nobody does.

  • “Racism is evil and those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and other hate groups. Those who spread violence in the name of bigotry strike at the very core of America. To anyone who acted criminally in … racist violence, you will be held fully accountable. Justice will be delivered.​ … As a candidate I promised to restore law and order to our country, and our federal law enforcement agencies are following through on that pledge. We will spare no resource in fighting so that every American child can grow up free from violence and fear. We will defend and protect the sacred rights of all Americans and we will work together so that every citizen in this blessed land is free to follow their dreams, in their hearts, and to express the love and joy in our souls.”
    – US President Donald Trump, August 14, 2017.

  • I demand citation for this claim:

    “Evangelicals … [in] high number … insist that Trump is a good and devout Christian”.

    48 hours, that’s all you’re getting from me. GO.

  • Trump is no racist because to him: “Racism is evil and those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and other hate groups. Those who spread violence in the name of bigotry strike at the very core of America. To anyone who acted criminally in … racist violence, you will be held fully accountable. Justice will be delivered.​ … As a candidate I promised to restore law and order to our country, and our federal law enforcement agencies are following through on that pledge. We will spare no resource in fighting so that every American child can grow up free from violence and fear. We will defend and protect the sacred rights of all Americans and we will work together so that every citizen in this blessed land is free to follow their dreams, in their hearts, and to express the love and joy in our souls.”
    – US President Donald Trump, August 14, 2017.

  • Wanna know what my 2 atheist mentors have said about Lame Pop Atheists like you?

    “In a move as useful as it was overdue (a few people have tried this, but to my knowledge none nearly as successfully), [Stephen LeDrew in The Evolution of Atheism] demolishes one of the most widely held myths that atheists have about themselves, namely, the belief that atheism is simply a matter of not believing in any gods. Atheism is in fact ‘a complex term with an even more complex history’ and ‘cannot be reduced to one single all-encompassing definition.’ [CJ Werleman in The New Atheist Threat: The Dangerous Rise of Secular Extremists] remarks that ‘on its own,’ atheism ‘is a non-positive assertion.’ Unbelief, however, is rarely ‘on its own.’ As LeDrew points out, with the rise of evolutionary theory, atheism ‘moved from simple negation of religious beliefs to an affirmation of liberalism, scientific rationality, and the legitimacy of the institutions and methodology of modern science—and thus from religious criticism to a complete ideological system.’ Atheism, then, is ‘a form of belief—rather than a lack of belief—shaped by its socio-historical context’ and ‘inextricably bound up with’ a plethora of principles that emerged from the Enlightenment.”

    Source: David Hoelscher, “New Atheism, Worse Than You Think”, CounterPunch, January 29, 2016.

  • So you have an alleged quotation from a liar and a racist. Big whoop. As I teach kids, actions speak louder than words. Trump has been a public racist since 1989. if you voted for him, you are a racist. Regardless of what trump’s speechwriters say. By the way hate crimes are way up since his election.

  • When Jesus said to love your neighbour as yourself, do you think he was referring to your American neighbour?

  • JUST THIS.

    “Racism is evil and those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and other hate groups. Those who spread violence in the name of bigotry strike at the very core of America. To anyone who acted criminally in … racist violence, you will be held fully accountable. Justice will be delivered.​ … As a candidate I promised to restore law and order to our country, and our federal law enforcement agencies are following through on that pledge. We will spare no resource in fighting so that every American child can grow up free from violence and fear. We will defend and protect the sacred rights of all Americans and we will work together so that every citizen in this blessed land is free to follow their dreams, in their hearts, and to express the love and joy in our souls.”
    – US President Donald Trump, August 14, 2017.

  • Close to half of all voters approve of Trump’s performance as president, according to CNN’s own exit polls published this week. If you’re convinced that half of the electorate are “racists,” then you have learned exactly nothing from 2016.

  • “Alleged” – though recorded verbatim in these citations? What sort of a Despairing, Aimless, Lonely & Lame Pop Atheist are you anyway?

    (1) White House, Statements & Releases, Statement by President Trump, Issued on: August 14, 2017, Diplomatic Room, 12:38 P.M. EDT.

    (2) “Trump denounces white supremacists, ‘racist’ violence”, CNBC, August 14, 2017.

    (3) “President Trump: ‘Racism is evil…'”, C-SPAN, YouTube, August 14, 2017.

    (4) “Trump Condemns Hate Groups, Calls Racism ‘Evil’ Days After Charlottesville Violence”, NBC News, August 14, 2017.

    (5) “‘Racism is evil,’ Trump says, condemning ‘white supremacists’ and hate groups”, Washington Post, August 14, 2017.

    (6) “Donald Trump Condemns Charlottesville White Supremacy”, Time, August 14, 2017.

  • A “rockchalkwombat … [is capable of] making an observation”?! Is Hillary Clinton the U.S. President?!

    BWAHAHA.

  • Sorry, this just sounds like the kind of drivel I’ve read literally for DECADES from a certain type of evangelical.

    I’ve read several pieces Fea has written, in various places, and I;m almost finished with his book, and it makes great sense to me.

    I notice that you did not address any of the points I made, e.g. the difference between the take-away of WHITE evangelicals and BLACK evangelicals.

  • Why are you bothering with this? Tump’s entire appeal has been racism. That is why you support him. Remember he came down the escalator and announced his candidacy with a racist tirade. Last couple of weeks he put out ads so racist even fox would not play them. So just stop pretending. As we teach in class, “actions speak louder than words”.

  • Jesus was a socialist – common good, love thy neighbor, feeding the poor, dressing the clothesless, providing shelter to the homeless. Please tell me how the Democrats don’t support these and Republicans do.

  • trump supporters are bad Parker. You can’t consider yourself a “good” person when you aide a person like Trump. Character Counts even yours! Have you ever stopped to think about what you show us with your comments?

  • I gave you a couple of reasons already. Character counts–your words and actions show us what is on the inside of you, the health and state of your character your soul, who you are as a human being. Trump supporters show us that their character is seriously flawed with their hate speech, and spreading of lies and misinformation. Good people don’t demonize innocents and they don’t lie.

    Support of Trump aids Trump with his efforts to dismantle policies that have protected the environment–that protect all of us, policies that have provided a social safety net for families and children that are down on their luck and need a helping hand to get back on their feet, policies that have regulated the financial sector–that protect all of us to name a few.

    Support for Trumps shows a disdain for Truth, for common civility and decency.

  • Oh, OK. I didn’t think that you had, but thought that I should check and not assume. I am still waiting for more conservatives to stand up to him.

  • I agree…………….

    He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.” Matthew 15:24

    James ONLY wrote to Israelites!

    James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes scattered among the nations: Greetings.

    Jesus was a National Socialist — for Adamites only.

  • It is in the fine print; but you can hear it from the mainstream media DAILY!
    “There is no place in modern Europe for ethnically pure states.”
    Wesley Clark, U.S. Army General

    Can we imagine how the national media would scream bloody murder if Clark had said, “There is no place in African for ethnically pure states.”

    ?????!!!!!!!

  • I think of myself as more of a moderate than a conservative. I try to decide each issue on its own merits. The fact that I consistently get crap from both liberals and conservatives tells me I’m probably doing something right. 😊

    The thing about the 2016 election is that I live in a deeply entrenched red state and it was a foregone conclusion that Trump was going to win here. Since I didn’t like either of the two major party nominees, I chose to use my vote as a protest vote. But if I thought it would have mattered, I would have voted for Clinton just to keep Trump out of office.

  • A mindless drone? You can’t make an argument against what I have to say so you decide to call me names? That certainly shows us alot about your character patrick.

    One other thing I want to point out. The health, wealth, safety and stability of any country depends upon the foundation upon which it is built. That foundation is made up of the people of the nation and that foundation is dependent upon the basic sense of decency and civility those people show towards their neighbors and people in their wider communities, and towards strangers in their midst–both immigrants and visitors to our shores. This foundation has been eroding for a very long time. One might say that it was never that solid in the beginning with the attitudes shown towards American Indians and black slaves, then towards all the different waves of immigrants that settled here.

    Under Trump some main foundation stones have been removed that were filling the cracks in our foundation and those cracks have widened to the point that our foundation is now in two separate and very disconnected parts. A nation on such a shaky foundation cannot stand.

  • Your antipathy toward Christians and hatred of Trump put you squarely in the simple minded camp of the Left. Disagree with someone: call them racist. Do not debate issues, call them racist. Do not distinguish between people, just call them racist. Ignorance thinks 2016 was a year of despair when the lights went out all over Obamaland, and it has a keyboard.

  • Even though reported by CNBC, C-SPAN, NBC News, Washington Post & Time, US President Donald Trump’s speech on August 14, 2017 was still “an alleged quotation”, you said! And you “teach in class”?!

  • Slow User Manual for Mockery reads:

    Is Hillary Clinton the U.S. President?!

    No.

    Well, then, it’s also no to the question, Is a “rockchalkwombat … [capable of] making an observation”?!

    Altogether now. Ready, get set … BWAHAHA.

  • Actually, yes, we do. “Progressive Marxism” is an oxymoron. “Cultural Marxism” is a right-wing imaginary bogeyman. Turn off the Faux News; it’s eating your brain.

  • Your Lying Eyes! For you………….turn off the TalmudVision altogether. I don’t watch Tv for information. Sadly……….you do.

  • Jesus also taught that Christians are to take care of Christians first – Galatians 6:10 So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.

  • You can hope, but then you would still be wrong. You are essentially saying that I hate trump because he is rich and that makes me rich.

  • Sorry, I wasn’t trying to twist your words…..
    I’ll give you an example. There are people who come onto this blog to teach others how to be right with Christ – several of us. Now, by the comments made, one would assume we were traversing what Christ taught, when in essence, we are doing exactly what He taught. I hope you get the gist of it. You say tomato I say tomato.

  • “rockchalkwombat a day ago … If I thought it would have mattered, I would have voted for Clinton just to keep Trump out of office.”

    I SAW THAT.

  • By these, your own words, you qualify. For even though reported by CNBC, C-SPAN, NBC News, Washington Post & Time, US President Donald Trump’s speech on August 14, 2017 was still “an alleged quotation”, you said! And you “teach in class”?!

    Here, un-dumb yourself with this free “class” lesson from me. Sit down & listen up!

    According to Oxford University Dictionary, “alleged [means] said, without proof, to have taken place or to have a specified illegal or undesirable quality.”

  • So Christians should take care of their Palestinian Christian neighbours in preference to their Israeli Jewish ones then?

  • I truly do not know mcarans. I had a pastor who helped the Jewish first every year but cannot find the scripture that he used. If I find it, I’ll let you know.

  • I did some research and came up with the following:
    Zechariah 12:3
    New International Version
    On that day, when all the nations of the earth are gathered against her, I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock for all the nations. All who try to move it will injure themselves.

    Benson Commentary
    Zechariah 12:3. I will make Jerusalem a burdensome stone — Jerusalem is here compared to a stone of great weight, which, being too heavy for those who attempted to lift it up, or remove it, falls back upon them and crushes them to pieces. St. Jerome, in a note on the place, speaks of an exercise, which, he says, was common in Palestine, and throughout all Judea, in his days, in which the young men, who were ambitious to show their strength, used to lift up stones of enormous weight, as high as they could, some to their knees, others to their navel, their shoulders, and even their heads; and some placed them on the top of their heads, with their hands erect and joined together. In this exercise, it is evident, they must have been in great danger of the stone’s falling upon them and bruising them, or even crushing them to pieces. Mr. Lowth, who quotes this passage from Jerome, remarks that, to the same sense, Christ saith, Matthew 21:44, On whomsoever this stone shall fall, it will grind him to powder. All that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces — All that undertake to contend with Jerusalem shall be either destroyed or greatly injured, as men will have their flesh torn or bruised that let a heavy stone fall upon them. Though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it — It is obvious, that by all, here is meant only many people, as it is expressed Ezekiel 38:6; Ezekiel 38:9; Ezekiel 38:15, Thou, and many people with thee.”

    What priority would you put on people defying Israel?

  • If you were to take your view to the logical conclusion, you would prioritise Jews over American Christians. Rather than giving an offering at your church, it would make more sense to give it to a synagogue.

    I am doubtful that this is the message Jesus brings to us. From Galatians 3:
    “25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer subject to a disciplinarian, 26 for in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith. 27 As many of you as were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.”

    Let’s say it was not the Israelis occupying Palestine, but the Chinese. Then I think many would be supportive of those defying the occupying force. Should we look back at the Americans who defied the British to gain independence as wrong? I think this is simplistic reasoning. There are extremists on both sides – Palestinians who think Israel should not exist and Orthodox Jews who want to take all land currently populated by Palestinians. Finding a solution involves patience and diplomacy like solving the Northern Ireland problem where Protestant and Catholic groups were in conflict rather than demonising one side or the other.

  • That reference is in relation to salvation and how we are all one in Christ
    My question is, if you are fighting against God’s people, are you really a Christian. I doubt seriously that He would put that in any heart these days, as He did in the past

  • All they care about is their deep, seething, unfathomable hatred towards the LGBT community and their burning desire to enforce patriarchy. They will support Trump to their death as long as Trump keeps pandering to their hate.

  • The god of the evangelicals is tiny and impotent. Their “god” and their hypocritical, power-hungry, ends justify ANY means tactics drove me away from ministry long ago. What insignificant “god” needs liars and cheats to win? Theirs. So very pitiful.

  • People of God is a description that in the Old Testament or Hebrew Bible applies to the Israelites and that the New Testament applies to Christians.

  • It is not worth debating. I have tried. Trumpsters simply have one standard of right and wrong, and everyone else has another.

  • I grew up in the evangelical movement – churches, youth groups, missions trips and parochial schools. I even graduated Dallas Theological Seminary with a master degree in New Testament. Thirteen years ago, however, I departed the evangelical church and never returned. Advanced graduate work at progressive institutions deconstructed the bible for me, the war on terror turned me off to evangelical politics and a severe mental illness revealed another world to me. Over the next decade I ignored the evangelicals, only checking in on their politics occasionally with my family. But when I discovered that white evangelicals voted for trump at a rate of 81% and continued to back him even after the migrant family separations – I thought “how could you!” I’ve done a lot of retrospection recently, re-examining most of my life. As the shock has worn off I have concluded that the writing was on the wall decades ago. Christian nationalism was preached from the pulpits of my church, and jingoism held as much importance as Jesus did. I belonged to a community that longed for certainty and predictability, and thus power and privilege, but a nation that was becoming increasingly pluralistic scared the white evangelicals. Their culture was already sequestered from reality with its insider music, literature and experts, and so little contrarian information could enter. Donald Trump the political opportunist exploited their fear and insular worldview, and here we are today. Although I do not worship Jesus as the son of God anymore, I do join the Jesus of history in imagining a more egalitarian world, and the whole ordeal has taught me this: perhaps when we liberate Jesus from our certainty, then Jesus is free to liberate those whom our certainty has imprisoned.

  • Would be interesting to see how many on each side: “Trumpsters” side and Haters side. Bet there are a lot in neither camp. Sayonara.

  • First……………..Socialism is FORCING me to help you.

    “Charity” is not forced.

    Were the 1st Century Christians (Adamites) Socialists? NO…………but they did understand “Charity”.

  • “…My pastors preached Christian nationalism ….”

    I have a very similar experience as you. However…………………..I do not recall any Pastor that I knew preaching ‘nationalism’. I come from the Calvary Chapel movement. 100’s of pastors all teaching the second biggest lie — All Races come from ONE homogenous couple.

    It was a badge of honor to show up on Sunday morning with a new adopted child from the third world. Evangelical Christianity is HARDLY nationalistic. Quite the opposite!

  • NOT AT ALL “THE OPPOSITE”, actually, since August 14, 2017:

    (1) “Deputy President steps in, puts SA farmers at ease after Trump’s land expropriation comments”, news24, August 23, 2018.

    (2) “Malema’s stern warning to Trump: Stay out of SA’s land affairs”, IOL (Independent Online, South Africa), August 23, 2018.

    (3) “Even if called racist, Trump makes life better for black Americans”, The Eagle-Tribune, August 10, 2018.

    (4) “Trump is not a racist, he is a great man: NFL legend Herschel Walker”, Fox News, February 2, 2018.

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