aside Discussion Of Republicans’ Base Of Evangelical Christians

The following data is based on a 2015 Pew Poll Research Survey: Religion in America: U.S. Religious Data, Demographics and Statistics …/http://www.pewforum.org/religious-landscape-study

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ANOTHER VIEW | STEVE SACK, MINNEAPOLIS STAR TRIBUNE

As of 2016, the US population equaled about 323 million peoples and 25% of this number would equal about 81 million who could be described as Evangelical Christians. According to the same Pew Poll Survey, 76% of the 81 million peoples are White. This means that at least an estimated 60 million peoples in the USA are White Evangelicals.

This is important to know because it helps to explain the republican President Donald Trumps establishing policy that even surprised the Pentagon, which is the ban against allowing transgender peoples from being able to serve in the military. This policy is a direct attempt to shore up the president’s base which is championed by none other than his Vice President, Mike Pence. Policy is being developed to please a political savvy minority even if it is counter to what the US Military wants and/ or what most of us want for this country.

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What has been confounding me, is that with rare exceptions, White Evangelical Christians have been mum on the president’s attempts to equate the violent actions of White supremacists, White nationalists, neo-Nazis. KKK members and others with those who opposed them at White nationalist rally held in Charlottesville, VA. over the weekend of August 22, 2017.

Image result for Paula White by Filosofa
PAULA WHITE

I promise you/ those who call themselves decent, that there is no way, God (for believers) condones the sin of racism. Just as one is morally complicit if one observes someone being beaten without taking the step of at least informing law enforcement, if Evangelicals continue to remain silent on this issue, they are complicit with condoning the sin of racism. Their claim to value the gift of life has no moral credibility.

There has been one Evangelical pastor out of 25 who have been advising the president, who has resigned in protest and one other pastor who has publicly condemned the hate groups. The following is an example of one of these pastors who has been silent as per a fellow blogger, Jill Dennison:

Idiot Of The Week — Paula White | Filosofa’s Word   https://jilldennison.com/2017/08/24/idiot-of-the-week-paula-white

For the record,  I am a fan of  Evangelical Pastors  like Joyce Meyers, T.D. Jakes and Rick Warren.

 Here’s the rest of the story…

In the May 2017 Atlantic Magazine edition , Molly Whorten penned the following report, “A Match Made in Heaven.”

Excerpts:

“Trump’s signature swagger makes many Christians wince, but it has deterred few white evangelicals. Eighty-one percent of those who voted last year (2016) cast their ballot for him.

“That figure has become one of the most discussed statistics of the 2016 election. How could so many conservative Christians have voted for a thrice-married casino mogul who has bragged about assaulting women and rarely goes to church? Some commentators have speculated that perhaps these voters weren’t all that “evangelical” to begin with. “Many cultural Christians who never go to church identify as ‘evangelical’ or ‘born-again,’ ” suggested one conservative Christian blogger. A writer in The Nation emphasized evangelicals’ concern about future nominations to the Supreme Court: “If you can rally voters around abortion, few other issues matter.” Other observers credited plain old party loyalty or wondered whether this election proved that religion doesn’t matter very much anymore. So many voters seemed motivated by economic and racial grievances and resentment of Washington elites, not faith.”

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“At the end of The Evangelicals, her nearly 700-page history of white evangelical Americans from colonial times to the present, Frances FitzGerald settles on the last of these assessments. “The simplest explanation was that those evangelicals who voted for Trump had affinities with the Tea Party,” she writes. They seemed to care more about shrinking the government, creating jobs, and deporting illegal immigrants than about enforcing Christian morals. “The Trump victory had shown,” she goes on, “that the Christian right had lost its power.” Yet FitzGerald’s careful account offers grist for a much richer exploration of evangelicals’ affinity with Trump.”

“Fitzgerald begins with the great revivals of the early 18th century, which brought forth evangelicalism as we know it today, more or less. The emphasis on the literal truth of the Bible, the focus on the born-again experience, and the swarm of entrepreneurial evangelists whom no Old World church hierarchy could control—the basics of evangelical culture were in place 300 years ago.”

“She follows this story through the rise of the Christian right in the 1970s and ’80s, and evangelicals’ role in politics today. Synthesizing a wide range of scholarship, FitzGerald offers no major argument of her own, but she reveals long-standing patterns in evangelical politics and leadership. Her overview, in tandem with an array of more pointed books on the subject, suggests that evangelical support for Trump is not a deviation at all—not a sign of hypocrisy or declining influence. On the contrary, that 81 percent figure makes perfect sense.”Image result for cartoons of evangelicals trump

American evangelicalism was born in a revolutionary era.

Late in her book, as FitzGerald recounts evangelical activists’ embrace of the Tea Party movement during the Obama years, she deems the alliance “unlikely,” at least “from a historical perspective.” In fact, the partnership between white Protestants and libertarians dates back at least to the American Revolution. In the 18th century, evangelical Christians had plenty of company among their fellow colonists in decrying the king’s abuse of power. But evangelical preachers fused their commitment to freedom from “civil tyranny” with a demand for the spiritual freedom to decide, without political coercion, to accept Christ. “There is not a single instance in history in which civil liberty was lost and religious liberty preserved entire,” preached John Witherspoon, a Presbyterian minister with evangelical sympathies who signed the Declaration of Independence. “If therefore we yield up our temporal property, we at the same time deliver the conscience into bondage.”

 “Evangelicals in the early republic nurtured a deep suspicion of an encroaching federal government, and many were happy to collaborate with heterodox politicians who felt the same way. Thomas Jefferson may have taken a razor to his personal copy of the Gospels, excising the tales of miracles, but he had friends among the Baptists, who supported his campaign to enshrine religious freedom into law. Trump is not the first politically useful infidel to find allies in the evangelical world.”

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“The point is that American evangelical religion was born in a revolutionary state. This founding moment of rebellion against big government left evangelicals keenly aware of the fragility of personal liberty—and the capacity of centralized power to snuff it out. Over time, the conservative evangelical vision of spiritual liberty fused with free-market ideology. Recent research has called attention to the collaborative efforts of capitalists and evangelical ministers to convince Americans that the free market is sacred. In the late 19th century, Darren E. Grem notes in The Blessings of Business (2016), businessmen recruited evangelical organizations to help them pacify a restive labor force. “Either these people are to be evangelized, or the leaven of communism and infidelity will assume such enormous proportions that it will break out in a reign of terror such as this country has never known,” warned the evangelist Dwight L. Moody in 1886.”

“The labor unrest of the turn of the 20th century, the Great Depression, and the New Deal hardly appear in FitzGerald’s book, but those decades of economic disaster and reform are crucial to explaining conservative white evangelical politics through the rest of the century, as well as the embrace of Trump. By the time the Roosevelt administration began to transform the federal government’s relationship to American capitalism, millions of Catholic, Jewish, and Eastern European immigrants had settled in the United States. Large numbers of African Americans began migrating north and agitating for civil rights. Many white evangelicals feared they were losing control over the nation’s culture. By redistributing wealth to the poor—including so many foreign-born arrivals and African Americans—the New Deal threatened to undermine that authority even further. Opposition to Soviet Russia provided a perfect rallying cry: The country represented the godless, totalitarian end toward which the New Deal might lead.”

Related image“In One Nation Under God (2015), Kevin M. Kruse probes the alliance between leading industrialists and the Los Angeles preacher James W. Fifield Jr. In 1935, Fifield co-founded an organization called Spiritual Mobilization to battle the New Deal’s “encroachment upon our American freedoms.” His propaganda campaign, funded by donations from tycoons like the tire magnate Harvey Firestone and J. Howard Pew Jr. of Sun Oil, dazzled Americans with radio spots and Independence Day media blitzes celebrating “freedom under God.” Mailings encouraged ministers to warn their flocks of the “anti-Christian and anti-American trends toward pagan stateism in America.”

“Fifield and his allies did not succeed in dismantling the New Deal. But by the 1950s, Billy Graham was rallying huge crowds with his dark predictions about the communist menace, an ideology “masterminded by Satan,” he said in 1957. “Graham sometimes invoked Communism as part of an end times prophecy,” FitzGerald writes, “and at other times as part of a jeremiad in which Americans had a choice to make.” In blending their movement’s libertarian inclinations with anticommunist hysteria and anxieties about cultural change, these evangelical leaders helped catalyze the most powerful ideology in modern American politics: Christian free-market mania. Evangelicals in other countries, such as Canada, worked alongside secular Social Democrats to build a generous social safety net. In the United States, conservative white Protestants ensured that the welfare state remained anemic.”Image result for cartoons of evangelicals trump

Trump’s authoritarian machismo is in step with a long evangelical tradition of pastor-overlords.

“At the same time, conservative white evangelicals have a long record of being highly pragmatic, rather than purist, in their libertarianism. Throughout American history, they have been more than happy to use the tools of the federal government to protect their own authority and advance a moral agenda—as they did, for example, during the campaign for Prohibition. This selective libertarianism continues to thrive. Trump’s promises to “drain the swamp” resonate with deeply rooted suspicion of big government, but conservative evangelicals applaud his more intrusive proposals as well. Today, many on the religious right find themselves on the losing side of global capitalism, and they don’t want anyone messing with their Social Security or Medicare.” 

“”Trump’s threats to curb free trade and punish journalists may make real libertarians apoplectic. And his initial executive order restricting immigration from seven majority-Muslim countries outraged some prominent evangelical organizations and leaders who lamented the order’s unbiblical abandonment of refugees. But other influential evangelicals, such as Billy Graham’s son Franklin, support Trump’s policy. The president’s isolationist approach plays well among Americans who believe that the time has come to restore the capitalist order as God intended it to be: with native-born white Americans on top.”

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“In any case, ideology is not the sole bond between conservative evangelicals and Donald Trump. His dictator-lite charisma is essential to his appeal. To the majority of Americans, Trump has all the allure of the boorish boss who takes too many liberties at the staff Christmas party. But his authoritarian machismo is right in step with a long evangelical tradition of pastor-overlords who anoint themselves with the power to make their own rules—and, in the event of their own occasional moral lapses, assure their followers that God always forgives.”

“Other forms of Christianity, like Roman Catholicism and many strains of liberal Protestantism, feature formidable Church structures: diocesan councils and synods, hierarchies and protocols that help keep rogues and would-be autocrats in line. In the evangelical world, these institutions are generally much less powerful—or nonexistent. FitzGerald chronicles the imperial ambitions of ministers like the Midwestern fundamentalist William Bell Riley and Jerry Falwell, a prime mover behind the Moral Majority. “Those who had built up their own churches or Bible schools,” she writes,“were rulers of their own fiefdoms.”

“Down through the decades, more than a few of these figures, FitzGerald observes, have squelched dissent or scandal with little concern for the opinion of denominational bureaucrats. In a tradition that has always prized “soul liberty” and spiritual autonomy, American evangelicals have sometimes shown a strong preference for leaders who demand unquestioning obedience—and who, like Trump, consider disagreement a form of disloyalty.”

“Nowhere is this tendency more obvious than in the evangelical subculture that nurtured Donald Trump himself: the prosperity gospel. When Trump was a child, his family attended Marble Collegiate Church in New York City, pastored by Norman Vincent Peale, a celebrity minister whose influence radiated throughout evangelical circles and beyond. He was one of the most famous proponents of a spiritual style sometimes called the “Health and Wealth” gospel or “Name It and Claim It” faith.”

Related image“Praying for a new car or a promotion may sound “shockingly materialistic,” FitzGerald writes. But for believers, prosperity theology means that the material world has “a miraculous, God-filled quality.” Its basic tenets appear throughout the Bible—the notion that God answers prayers, rewards believers with worldly blessings, and punishes those who don’t keep the faith. And then, like most heresies, it pushes such orthodox teaching to an extreme. Imagine that your desired reality is true, Peale urged believers. His handy slogan: “Prayerize, picturize, actualize.” Peale, the dean of “the power of positive thinking,” would have understood Trump’s penchant for inventing his preferred reality.

“God never goes back on his word. According to many prosperity-gospel preachers, if you don’t get that new job you prayed for, then you didn’t pray sincerely enough, live righteously enough—or give generously enough to your church. The Florida mega-church pastor Paula White, who is frequently called the president’s “spiritual adviser” (and, like him, is on her third marriage), encourages her followers to donate generously to her ministry, and to expect financial returns. “When you give the ‘firstfruits of your increase,’ as the Word says, your ‘barns will be filled with plenty and your vats will OVERFLOW,’ ” her website promises.”

“The president who specialized in ludicrous promises has continued that magical thinking now that he’s in office, as he vows to create “25 million new jobs” and insists that he can replace Obamacare with “a much better health-care plan at much less money.”

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“Throughout the 2016 campaign, historians suggested a range of analogies to explain Trump’s growing popularity. Did his momentum resemble the rise of fascism in 1930s Germany? Do his despotic tendencies and sensitive ego remind us of Napoleon? Maybe Henry VIII? Distant echoes are always tantalizing. The truth is that Trump’s victory—especially his popularity among conservative white evangelicals—has sources closer to home. His ascendancy was certainly galvanized by a 21st-century whirl of social media and global economic discontent. But in the end, Trump won over evangelicals—and won the election—because he exploited beliefs and fears with origins deep in America’s past.”

11 comments

  1. Gronda, as an imperfect Christian with many faults, I am troubled by so many good hearted people who hold this man high esteem. As you note, not only has he not lived a life which follows Jesus’ teachings, but he goes out of his way to simply say no rules, even God’s, apply to me. A man with the largest of egos, a man who has groped and bragged on groping women, a man who has committed multiple affairs, a man who lies far more than he tells the truth even about the smallest of things, a man who often refuses to pay hard workers, a man who averages 1 1/2 lawsuits per week of his career, and a man who insults people, and a man who not only condones violence, he incites it.

    If I were a child, I would have many questions for my parents. Keith

    • Dear Keith,

      I am normally of the thinking that people should be free to practice their faith in peace. The exception to this thinking comes when their actions and/ or inactions are causing real harm to the public at large. Being silent on the subject of racism falls into this category. they need to be called out for this. Their silence is not acceptable.

      Hugs, Gronda

      • Agreed. 24 out of 25 ministers saying little about his comments that gave air cover to white supremacist is inexcusable. How about – “we do not condone the bigotry and hatred of groups like white supremacists and neo-Nazis.” Whether they referenced the President or not, it would have made a statement. Keith

  2. Trump may have exploited beliefs and fears with origins deep in America’s past. But the last 7 months should have made it obvious to even the most ardent lover of Trump that the fears have not come to pass. Were the evangelists able to back away from their previous thoughts and admit they might have been wrong, they would see that the fears he presented for today have not manifested either.
    It takes a degree of courage to admit you’re wrong but now is the time to recognise that the choice of Trump has not brought about any National benefits. It has in fact decreased America in the eyes of other nations, it has proved that he is unable to fulfill any of the promises he made about making America Great again, it has proved that he couldn’t provide a viable alternative to Obamacare and indeed he was happy to try and push through a package that would have been damaging to the poor of America, and he knew it.
    Evangelists cannot carry on dismissing Trump’s lies and treating him as a great man who justly occupies his position. He is a petty little man who doesn’t think the rules of life apply to him as they do to the rest of us.
    xxx Huge Hugs xxx

    • Dear David Prosser,

      The majority of Evangelical Christians who continue to support DDT after his giving cover to racists, need to be exposed for their condoning of racism by their silence. They need to shamed for their stance.

      They will not see the light on their own accord. They have sold their souls for thirty pieces of silver.

      Hugs, Gronda

  3. Good post, Gronda … and thanks for the mention! I still struggle trying to understand how people who call themselves “Christians” can be okay with Trump, his mouth, his history, and his actions. The single-issue abortion platform contributed, as did many other things, I suppose, but … to me, any of those “Evangelical Christians” still supporting Trump qualify as the biggest hypocrites of the century.
    Hugs!!!

    • Dear Jill,

      Most Christians do not support DDT. A majority of Evangelical Christians do. I’m of the thinking that these prosperity pastors do not represent the teachings of their leader, Jesus Christ who was a practicing Jew who looked middle eastern and who chose to live a life of simplicity. He was NOT preaching on how to get rich but rather, how to be of service to others. .

      These are the same ones who have been opposing the consensus science of “climate change.” Why? Because they are for sale for their 30 pieces of silver.

      Hugs, Gronda

      • Yes, you hit that nail squarely on the head. They have lost the basic premise of Christianity and instead are focused on how much money and power they can amass. They forgot humanitarian vales altogether when they decided that the rest of the country should look just like them. I have no use for such people … none at all.

        Hugs!!!

  4. Be the belief system political, religious, philosophical there will always be a section of its adherents who will bend and warp the basic beliefs to suit their prejudices, fears or ignorance.
    I have seen this in my Catholic Faith, I have witnessed it on the Left of British politics.
    Then comes along a charlatan and egotist to tap into this.
    And this is when Denial kicks in and there will be folk will say anything no matter how contradictory or hypocritical rather then admit they are wrong.

    • Dear Roger,

      What irks me is that I and so many others (majority of Americans) are having our lives turned upside down because DDT feels the need to cater to his base which, includes these Evangelicals (a minority). While I support them in their liberty to pursue their faith unencumbered, I draw the line when they want to impose their faith outside of their community.When the president recently reinstated a ban against transgenders serving in the military, he was catering to his Evangelical base. The US military was not asking for this.

      Hugs, Gronda

      • Hello Gronda.
        Two problems with democracy:
        1. It is rare for an overwhelming majority of the voting public to place a party or person in power. Thus normally a minority wins. (Hence the argument for the Compulsory Vote- but that’s another issue for another time).
        2. Thus moving from ‘1’, it can always be argued that any action taken by the successful party or person is ‘not in my name’, or will disadvantage a portion of the population.
        These are the basic risks of Democracy. The Balance being that the population should take their right to vote seriously and act if they feel they as not being represented or if they feel disadvantaged.
        Where the true danger arises is when the incumbent or party panders to its populist and vocal base and thus inflating its profile by melodramatic gestures, without making any attempt to convince the majority. In this situation neither partner are caring about the principals of Democracy and ultimately can be classed as non-democratic having hi-jacked the system.
        There is ample evidence this is currently happening in the USA. Thus it becomes the duty of each and every citizen who feels aggrieved, disadvantaged, or threatened to take up the cause of removing or at least making unworkable the attempts by the administration and its small supporter base to control the nation. Although this must be done by constitutional means otherwise a mirror image of the administration’s power base is created and chances of reconciliation grow slim.
        The word ‘duty’ cannot be emphasised too strongly as Democracy must be defended at all times. It has many flaws but all the alternatives are worse (Which is always a paradox for me, as emotionally I favour a hard-left and somewhat authoritarian style of government-‘sure you can protest but we won’t listen’). History teaches us this, over and over again.
        Let this present freak of the democratic process be a warning to future generations that politics is to be taken seriously and with much maturity.
        Take care Gronda.

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