aside A Tawdry Tale As To How Evangelicals Treat One Of Their Own With Dissenting Views

HATMAKER

Evangelical Christians, especially white evangelical Christians, were a major source of support for Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential election cycle, when 4 out of 5 white evangelicals voted for him. And these voters continue to be a key part of his base as well as for other political figures facing alarming allegations about their personal conduct, as in the case the Alabama GOP Senate candidate Judge Roy Moore who was an alleged pedophile based on credible reporting.

In both cases, supporters used similar arguments – that the alleged or actual personal conduct of these men, no matter how distasteful,  was less important than their avowed support for causes important to them such as curtailing legal abortion or opposing same-sex marriage or confirming conservative judges.

I have been contending that the mostly White Evangelicals support for issues like abortion have been weaponized and in fact, are not based on principle. Their actions, their fruit prove that they are pro-birth only. And they don’t even do this well. For example, the USA suffers the highest percentages of infant mortality rates in comparison to all the other developed countries. This is because poor Mothers do not have the same level of pre-natal and post-natal medical care in the USA that is available in other developed countries around the world.

What concerns me is that these so called Christians who define themselves as Evangelicals are leading others down a trail that has nothing to do with God. They have not really reckoned with the climate President Trump has created in our country which is counter to numerous long held Christian tenets such as NOT turning a blind eye to the actions of racists, NOT denying the science of climate change and thereby delaying/ hindering the implementation of solutions to mitigate for the inevitable negative consequences. As a result, the well-being of our nation is at risk.

These Evangelicals act like a more like a cult than a church. The following tale details their lack of Christian decency to one of their own who dares to disagree with the direction they are taking.

Here’s the rest of the story…

On December 17, 2017, Tiffany Stanley of Politico Magazine penned the following report, “This Evangelical Leader Denounced Trump. Then the Death Threats Started.” (Jen Hatmaker is one of the most popular religious figures in America—and she is paying a steep price for speaking out for what she believes.)

“Last fall, Jen Hatmaker, a popular evangelical author and speaker, started getting death threats. Readers mailed back her books to her home address, but not before some burned the pages or tore them into shreds. LifeWay Christian Stores, the behemoth retailer of the Southern Baptist Convention, pulled her titles off the shelves. Hatmaker was devastated. Up until that point, she had been a wildly influential and welcome presence in the evangelical world, a Christian author whose writings made the New York Times best-seller list and whose home renovation got its own HGTV series. But then 2016 happened, and, well, of course everything changed.”

“During the campaign, as other white evangelicals coalesced around the Republican nominee, Hatmaker effectively joined the coterie of “Never Trump” evangelicals, telling her more than half a million Facebook followers that Donald Trump made her “sad and horrified and despondent.” After the “Access Hollywood” tape leaked and prominent evangelical men came to Trump’s defense, she tweeted: “We will not forget. Nor will we forget the Christian leaders that betrayed their sisters in Christ for power.” Then, in an interview with Religion News Service columnist Jonathan Merritt, she made what was a stunning admission for her evangelical community: She said she supported same-sex relationships.”

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“There was more. Two weeks after her bombshell interview, Trump won. And Hatmaker’s community—at least 80 percent of the white evangelicals in America—had helped put him in office. “What’s been really painful and disorienting for me is to realize how far away from my evangelical family I am,” she told me in an interview before her Dallas event. “I thought we had a lot more common ground.” The fissures within Christianity became trenches, with men and women like Hatmaker, as well as Christians of color, left on the losing side. Hatmaker’s career was on the line, but so was her very sense of self, and the essence of her life and work—most importantly, her faith.”

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“This year I became painfully aware of the machine, the Christian Machine,” she wrote in April on her blog. It was Good Friday, a somber day for Christians to observe the crucifixion of Jesus. Hatmaker wrote that she understood now the machine’s “systems and alliances and coded language and brand protection,” not as the insider she had long been, but “from the outside where I was no longer welcome.” During the election season, she added, the “Christian Machine malfunctioned.” It laid bare the civil war within her Christian community.”

“Even the Southern Baptist Convention’s Russell Moore, who leads that denomination’s public policy arm and was perhaps the most famous Never Trump evangelical, was forced to go on a kind of apology tour after the election in order to keep his job.”

“Hatmaker, meanwhile, has not backed down. She has kept talking to her followers, many of them white and generally conservative Christian women, about supporting gun control, Black Lives Matter and refugees. At a time when the white evangelical share of the American electorate is on the decline, Hatmaker is out with a best-selling book, a top-rated podcast and a speaking tour that’s selling out.”

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“Whether that influence stands a chance at countering the white evangelical alliance with Trump, or translates to political activism at all, remains to be seen. Hatmaker’s name is not well known in Washington circles. Women like her do not crown primary picks in Iowa or direct money to super PACs. But they can, and she does, have much larger grass-roots followings than many religious right leaders.”

“In a faith tradition that often limits leadership opportunities for women, Hatmaker has built a brand outside denominational boundaries. For her supporters, it means she is free to speak her mind, and to speak up for a Christian constituency that finds itself at odds with the politically minded evangelical leaders welcomed at the White House.”

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“For me,” Hatmaker says, “it’s not as base as, ‘I’m just going to keep being political for the sake of it,’ so much as it is that all of this policy, all of this rhetoric, all of this leadership, it affects real live human people. That, for me, is where I am no longer comfortable remaining silent.”

Link to story:  This Evangelical Leader Denounced Trump. Then the Death Threats…

This blog was updated on 12/27/17.

15 comments

    • Dear Suzanne,

      It has taken a lot of courage for her to stand up to what she calls, “The Christian Machine.” She has lost lots of income while suffering by un-Christian behaviors by her supposedly Christian brothers and sisters.

      These Evangelicals act more like a cult church where the joiners have to believe the same things/ their dogmas, frequently man-made like climate change is a hoax or they will be ostracized.

      Hugs, Gronda

  1. It seems for some Evangelicals it’s OK to have a dissenting opinion as long as it’s ours. They should hang their heads in shame at what/who they chose to support but to display different morals in their churches.

    • Dear David Prosser,

      I couldn’t agree more.

      These Evangelical preachers who openly support the likes of President Trump are leading their followers down a path that has nothing to do with God.

      They are doing tremendous harm.

      Hugs, Gronda

  2. Gronda, stating the obvious, I am pretty certain an acceptable answer to WWJD is not “a death threat” on someone who disagrees with your position. To be frank, if I was going to sell my soul to the devil, doing so for Donald Trump, would not be a good path to follow.

    This author is on the side of the Angels. The death threateners cannot lay such claim. Keith

    • Dear Keith,

      You are saying words that ring true. Peoples who issue death threats to fellow Christians are not acting on the side of Angels. They are acting on the side of evil and their fruit stinks.

      I can’t remember where it says this in the bible, but it is in there somewhere, that you can tell phony followers of God by observing their fruit.

      Hugs, Gronda

      • Gronda, this gets back to my friend’s comment about “cafeteria Christians.” They choose the parts of the bible to support their position. African-Americans were condemned during Jim Crow in this manner.

        This why bigotry from the pulpit is one of my pet peeves. We need our spiritual leaders to be moral. Keith

  3. This behaviour on the part of the evangelical “Christian” community exemplifies the very reason that I have zero use for their brand of religion. I see their religion as defined by arrogance, hypocrisy and bigotry. Thumbs up to Ms. Hatmaker for having the courage to stand by what she believes in, rather than giving in to the moral depravity of the white supremacist evangelicals.
    Hugs!!!

    • Dear Jill,

      What you say is right on!

      Observing these folks brand of Christianity, I’m sure that they have many would be believers running for the exit doors. They do not follow their Leader’s teachings in any way. As a matter of fact, He preached against these guys, the fraudsters, the money changers, the hypocrites, those who neglect the poor, etc.

      In the bible, He says even the evil spirits believe in God. There is more that is expected than just being a believer.

      There is a very popular passage, Matthew 25:35-40New International Version (NIV):

      For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

      “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

      “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

      Hugs, Gronda

  4. Excellent post, Gronda! Thank you for shining a light on Jen Hatmaker’s story. I have been completely baffled by the Christian Right’s blind following of Donald Trump whose words and actions couldn’t be further from the teachings of Jesus Christ.

  5. Dear JanetSM,

    In the past, I have been hesitant to be critical as to how folks practiced their faith.

    But in this case I have had it. These supposed Evangelicals Christians have been pushing the culture wars,like, “there is a war on Christmas” which is a total trumped up myth.

    I used to think their pro-life stance was based on principle but I have figured out that they have weaponized this issue for political purposes. They are pro- birth, but any compassion for helping people during their journey through life disappears if it costs them monies.

    There is a reason that the USA suffers the highest percentages of infant mortality rates when compared to all the other developed countries. Poor Mothers do not have the same level of pre-natal and post-natal medical care in the USA like other developed countries around the world.

    They are a bunch of phonies where 80% helped the likes of Mr. Trump to become US president despite him behaving like a Russian asset; him giving voice to his racist tendencies. They backed a man who was caught on tape bragging about his ability to sexually assault women with impunity; who had women coming forward to tell stories as to how he mistreated them and who lies constantly. And then they justify their backing of an alleged pedophile for elected office.

    They have lost any credibility regarding their claims for being an arbiter of morality.

    Hugs, Gronda

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