aside Would You Believe That Christian Democrats And Republicans Pray To The Same God?

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PALESTINIAN CHRISTIANSI

In today’s world you would never guess that both Christian Democrats and Republicans are supposed to be praying to the same God. Even Christian immigrants, refugees, those of color and of the LGBT communities are supposed to be praying to the same God, reading the same bible and following the same rules. Yet why do some of these Christian brothers and sisters choose to demonized those who pray to the same God but who have different political worldviews? Do they believe that God doesn’t love all of his creation equally?

Around 50,000 Palestinian Christians make up around two percent of the predominantly Muslim population of the West Bank and east Jerusalem.

Here’s the rest of the story… 

On March 31, 2018, Amy Sullivan of the New York Times penned the following report, Democrats Are Christians, Too”

Excerpts:

“Now that Stormy Daniels has confirmed on national television that Donald Trump initiated sex with her just months after his third wife gave birth to their child, at least half the country is asking: Surely this is a porn star too far for white evangelical Christians, right?”

“Wrong.”

“As we celebrate Easter Sunday, nearly 18 months after Mr. Trump won the presidency with about 80 percent of the white evangelical vote, surveys show him retaining nearly all of that support. In contrast, white evangelicals re-elected George W. Bush in 2004 with 78 percent of their votes, but by May 2006 their approval had slid to 55 percent. And that was after Mr. Bush had delivered, in late 2005 and early 2006, the Supreme Court appointments of both John Roberts and Samuel Alito.”

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Korean Christians Comfort New York Jews

“The resilient support for Mr. Trump is hard to square with a constituency best known for trumpeting “family values” and proclaiming the nation’s moral decline. It also belies the idea that a record-high percentage of white evangelicals voted for Mr. Trump in 2016 simply because they could not bring themselves to cast ballots for Hillary Clinton.”

“You could open a publishing press devoted to the theological and sociological explanations for this phenomenon — from the unlikely belief that Mr. Trump found Jesus on the campaign trail to the idea that his presidency is all part of God’s plan to the role persecution narratives and Christian nationalism play in the evangelical worldview.”

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“But the ultimate answer may be the simplest. Mr. Trump owes his continued high standing among white evangelicals to the fact that nearly 40 years after the Moral Majority’s founding, the partisan meld is complete. Decades of fear-mongering about Democrats and religious liberals have worked. Eighty percent of white evangelicals would vote against Jesus Christ himself if he ran as a Democrat.”

“The messages that have steadily cemented white evangelicals within both the Republican Party and the churches that marry traditionalist theology with Republican politics are so ingrained that even those conservatives who lament the current state of American evangelicalism can’t help reinforcing them.”

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“Take the conservative columnist Michael Gerson: In a recent story for The Atlantic, he wrote a heartfelt lament for the evangelicalism of his youth. He damned the evangelical leaders surrounding Mr. Trump as “blinded by political tribalism and hatred for their political opponents” and bemoaned that “little remains of a distinctly Christian public witness.”

Mr. Gerson opposed Mr. Trump during the 2016 campaign, calling him a “deeply and defiantly ignorant” man who suffers from “serious moral impairment.” Yet while Mr. Gerson and many of his fellow Never Trumpers — like the Southern Baptist Russell Moore — believed Mr. Trump to be dangerously unqualified, they could not bring themselves to the obvious conclusion to vote for Mrs. Clinton.

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“Mr. Gerson and other conservative evangelicals — Erick Erickson, Jerry Falwell Jr. — continue to malign Christian progressives as no-good-Social-Gospel-loving-but-otherwise-unbelieving secularists among whom no real Christians could safeguard their soul.”

“These critiques have grown more frequent over the past few years as the religious left became savvier and figures like the Rev. William Barber attracted national attention for his Moral Mondays campaign in NC (a weekly social justice protest in Raleigh).”

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“Generations of white evangelicals have been conditioned to see evangelicalism as so synonymous with Republican politics that the idea of a non-Republican political option for religious voters simply does not exist. Rather than contemplate this possibility and grapple with it, Mr. Erickson, Mr. Gerson and others simply disparage and deny it — while also condemning political tribalism.”

“Many conservative evangelicals would say the problem with progressives isn’t just a matter of doubting their religiosity — it’s that Democrats are wrong on policy, and those progressives who claim to be religious are blinkered if they support Democrats. Mr. Falwell, a Trump supporter, took to Twitter last fall to counter the idea that Christians should factor concern for the poor into their political decisions.”

“It never ceases to amaze me how leftist Christians twist the words of Jesus,” Mr. Falwell wrote. Jesus never told “Caesar how to run Rome and never said to care for the least of these by voting to tax your neighbor to help the poor.”

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Even widely respected evangelical leaders have spent the past few decades insisting that a correct reading of the Bible requires Christians to reject homosexuality, and especially gay marriage. In August 2017, a group of 150 prominent evangelicals released the “Nashville Statement,” a document that condemned (among other things) Christians who support L.B.G.T.Q. issues. “Such approval,” they asserted, “constitutes an essential departure from Christian faithfulness and witness.” Their calculation is very simple: If you support gay rights and affirm the idea of gay Christians, then you aren’t really Christian.

The biggest stumbling block for conservative evangelicals is the scarlet abortion “A” that Democrats wear for their support of abortion rights. Conservative evangelical preachers inveigh against “pro-abortion” forces throughout the country, and the columns of Mr. Gerson and his conservative peers are littered with the rhetorical labeling of Democrats and progressives as “pro-abortion.”

Anti-abortion demonstrators march toward the state Capitol for the Texas Rally for Life on Saturday.
GABRIEL C. PÉREZ / KUT

“But no one is pro-abortion. The crucial difference is not between those who view abortion as good and those who don’t, but between vastly different approaches to reducing abortion rates. One party maintains the fiction that overturning Roe v. Wade will end abortion; the other promotes policies that have actually reduced the abortion rate to its lowest level since 1972. (That more Americans don’t know about this accomplishment has much to do with the fact that national Democrats don’t recognize “pro-abortion” as a slur and have steadfastly refused to take credit for this.)”

“Back in the real world, President Barack Obama and his aide Joshua DuBois created a tradition of hosting Christian leaders from across the ideological spectrum for Easter breakfast. At these gatherings, which took place during seven of the eight years of his presidency, Mr. Obama spoke about the nature of his faith in the most explicitly Christian terms publicly used by any president.”

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“At the 2015 breakfast in the East Room, which featured music by Amy Grant, as close as evangelicals come to royalty, Mr. Obama spoke aboutthe daily challenges of faith. “Today we celebrate the magnificent glory of our risen Savior,” he said. “I pray that I will live up to his example. I fall short. Every day I try to do better.”

“Conservative evangelicals were unmoved. One year later, a Public Policy Polling survey  found that only 13 percent of Trump supporters believed Mr. Obama was a Christian. They won’t have a chance to hear Mr. Trump himself speak about faith and the resurrection this Easter season.”

18 comments

  1. Jill, Reverend Billy Graham lamented after being burned by Nixon, that religious leaders need to stay out of politics. This was also a point of David Brooks’ when he spoke about how disappointed he was that evangelicals have looked the other way with this President. Like Gerson, Brooks is also a conservative writer who early on commented the lack of character and morality in the now President.

    Even if you set aside his affairs and sexual assaults, the incumbent should not be accused as a person of character with his daily lying, demeaning and denigration of others to feed his outsized ego. Just a quick look, he screwed Americans with his reneging on paying insurers subsidies under the ACA, he screwed Americans by signing within two hours of his inauguration an order that overturned a schedule decrease in homeowner mortgage insurance premiums, and he passed a tax law that significantly increases debt and helps wealthy people. He signs an order to eliminate DACA which could hurt 800,000 Amercans. And the list goes on. Keith

    • Dear Keith,

      When I talk to Evangelicals, they really do believe that if they vote for a democrat that they are voting against their core beliefs. You can’t easily dissuade them by using logic.

      My son, I and my daughter have talked hours about this. When people truly feel strongly about something, they will not be moved.

      Because republicans need the Evangelicals to continue to be solidly in the republican camp, this is why you see policy decisions being made that cater to them, the usage of all the wedge issues, the portrayal of democratic leaders as evil, etc.

      I keep saying, look at their fruit, The president deciding to end DACA is NOT a loving, generous act, but it is an act which is mean-spirited, made out of anger. His fruit stinks and so do the fruit of too many Evangelicals who support this action.

      Hugs, Gronda

  2. There’s so much I could say about this, but regarding the abortion part, I find it odd that the “stumbling block” for some is abortion. For students of history, it was a conservative court–the Berger court–that ruled on Roe v. Wade. Harry Blackmun, who wrote the majority decision, was a Republican and a Nixon appointee.

    • Dear Brendan Birth,

      This is a disclaimer. I speak only for myself.

      There has been so much effort to push certain values/ wedge issues by republican leaders which work to keep a certain religious faction (Evangelicals) as a reliable voting block for republicans.

      These White Evangelicals have come to believe that they are committing a horrible wrong by voting for a democratic candidate who is not against abortions. Then if that democratic candidate believes in climate change science, or is for allowing transgender individuals to serve in the military, or is not against same sex marriage…Evangelicals feel as if they are voting against their core beliefs when they don’t vote for the republican ticket. Remember that wedge issue about how liberals have been waging a war on Christmas.

      For me, it means that they must think that the democrats are praying to a different God. Most peoples I know do not endorse abortions but they are against legislation. In the real world, I lived at a time when abortions were illegal. I know for a fact that women who were so desperate to end a pregnancy figured out a way to do so but they risked their lives in the process. I am for doing everything possible to prevent unwanted pregnancies and for providing safety net programs to give a women more options. Educating young peoples is the best way to reduce unwanted pregnancies/ abortions but in many instances these same Evangelicals try to block this.

      It frustrates me that the USA has been #1 in infant mortality rates for years when compared to other developed countries by far because US poor Moms do not have the same quality/ regular pre-natal and post natal medical care like poor Moms in the other developed countries. The states that declined Medicaid Expansion that would provide for this care are the republican led states.

      I am pro-life but I am against legislation to ban abortions. I am no longer a republican. I pray directly to my God for direction.

      We are all sinners. When I look to a Christian, I want to see someone showing the fruit of this life-style, which is life with an abundance of peace but real as we all have to deal with ups and downs; a person with a loving generous nature; humble; forgiving; patient, etc.

      When I see folks not decrying racism, fomenting hate, discord, etc., these religious types may call themselves Christians but their fruit stinks.

      Hugs, Gronda

      • Yes, I do think that there are certain wedge issues at-play here.

        As a practicing Catholic, it’s equally bad on the Catholic side too. Some (not all, but some) factions of the Catholic Church have tried to push the idea that you have to vote Republican because they are against abortions. Never mind the fact that, on most other issues (immigration, treatment of the poor, health care, etc.), Catholic theology is miles away from the Republican Party. The difference between the Republican Party and the Catechism of the Catholic Church (basically the book on Catholic theology) speaks for itself.

        What does this mean for the same God/different God discussion we’ve been having? I personally think that it means that all of us still pray to the same God, but that some of us have a badly skewed vision of who God is (a two-issue God who mostly focuses on abortion and same-sex marriage), but hey, I could be wrong.

        For the record, I completely agree with your position on abortion. I feel the same way. Pro-life with regards to abortion means everything you said. But, of course, we’d be labeled by some as pro-choice.

        Finally, have you read Galatians 5? If so, I think all of this speaks quite well to what you say about various fruits, both good and bad.

  3. Not meaning to get deep here, but Jesus said when praying to ask in his name. Spiritually, name means “nature” or characteristics. The Bible shows us in various places how God changed the names of individuals to match the mission he gave to them or how they were going to be changed inwardly. Parents named children according to some characteristic or physical attribute.

    When believers pray contrary to the nature and ways of Christ, a verbal expression of concluding the prayer in his name doesn’t mean he will do it. He cannot answer prayer that is contrary to his nature. For that reason, my opinion on the titled question of this post is “no”. Not all believers pray to the same God.

    • Good point Xena, some but not all dems and repubs fail to recognize god’s loving spirit in each other, so they divide their faith politically. Lest we forget, abrahamic/ judeo-christian religions recognized and practice monotheism, hence one god. One GOD by definition means the same GOD for everyone. Sadly, political affiliation has misdirected people’s ability to reason, lose empathy and compassion for others. Our current president has not been a unifying force for all Americans, and cater mostly to his conservative base.

      Gronda, from your previous Easter post, I agree with Rev. Billy Graham’s decision to separate politics from religion.

      • 1EarthUnited,
        Re:

        “One GOD by definition means the same GOD for everyone.”

        I beg to differ. 1Corinthians 8:5-6 tells us that there are many gods and many lords, but only one true God and one true Lord, Jesus Christ. Jesus says in Matthew 24:24 that many false christs shall arise.

        This doesn’t mean that I judge anyone who does not believe as I do. The path I follow is mine. I mind my own business spiritually because Jesus told me to follow and keep my eyes on him.

        Religion is the basis for political affiliations when people want the government to pass laws that control others. This is demonstrated in America’s Civil War regarding the legalization of slavery. Those were so-called Christians supporting slavery and treating human beings as property. It was also Christians who helped slaves escape and supported equality. It was Christians who supported Jim Crow laws claiming that the Bible taught segregation, and it was Christians and Jews who challenged those laws.

        Today, the platform has moved to abortion, gay rights. They are people who have choice. They are not gay, Yet, they cast their votes based on those issues. Meet them in church or a gathering and they will say that unless you agree with them you’re a “false Christian”. If I had a dime for each time I’ve been called a “heretic” I could probably purchase a private island.

        • 1EarthUnited, you are welcomed, although I have little faith in humanity. I do have hope, however. My path in spirituality has changed from believing to knowing. Knowing humans on the other hand, is unpredictable. I just had a woman today disregard what I said to her, and even after I said that exercising self-defense does not mean killing, she still continued trying to persuade me to get a gun for self-defense. She works for a health system named “Mercy”, so go figure. 🙂

        • “She works for a health system named “Mercy”, so go figure.”
          LOL, oh the irony! If a pen is mightier than the sword, than faith and love is surely more powerful than any mortal weapon. You can tell your friend that no gun can save her, but an open heart and mind, love and compassion for her fellow human beings will! That’s why Jesus saves! 🙂

        • 1EarthUnited,
          She’s not a friend, but a person who works the front desk at the doctor’s office.

          It reminds me of a line from the movie “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” when his dad told those threatening him with death, “My soul is prepared. What about yours?”

    • Dear Xena,

      I kind of agree and disagree. I was a bit confused by your concept. I do get it that that those who call themselves Christian believe that when they pray, they are praying to the God that they read about in the Bible. But this God will not act contrary to his nature. He is a God who is Love. If Christians who pray to this God of the Bible but act out of hate and fear, they are using the “name of God” in vain. They shouldn’t ask God to act contrary to his nature.

      Hugs, Gronda

      • Gronda,
        I love your articulation of what I shared. You explained it perfectly although I would not have used “the God of the Bible.” The Jews during the time that Jesus ministered on Earth, as well as thereafter, (such as Paul when he was a Pharisee), worshiped the God of Abraham,Isaac and Jacob. Yet, Jesus said to them that they did not know his Father because if they did, they would know him (Jesus). John 8:43-45 tells us that Jesus told those believers that their father was the devil. Believers of that time read the scrolls which we refer to today as the Old Testament. Evil man transforms God into their own image of using evil. Therefore, they are not worshiping nor praying to the same God as Jesus’ Father.

      • Gronda, I believe Xena’s point is those who commit atrocities in the name of the Lord are not true believers, they are misguided by a false god/ doctrine etc and motivated by something other than spiritual. The politics of religion brings upon the downfall of man. The nature of politics is divisive, the pure love of Jesus/ God is unifying and holy.

        When in doubt, I also ask myself, what would Jesus do in this situation? Will my actions bring about a positive or negative outcome? Am i reacting from past conditioning, or responding reasonably from heart and mind?

        • 1EarthUnited,
          Re:

          “Gronda, I believe Xena’s point is those who commit atrocities in the name of the Lord are not true believers, they are misguided by a false god/ doctrine etc and motivated by something other than spiritual.”

          Yes, that’s a good way of saying it. The Jews of old assumed that the Messiah would come as a political person. “King of the Jews” was considered a direct rebellion against the Roman government. On a holiday where people recognize WHAT Jesus died for, we tend to forget WHY he was arrested in the first place. Politics got him arrested. Still today, there are religious folk using politics to get the laws they want that have no relevance on their own lives, but seek to control and punish others.

  4. “Still today, there are religious folk using politics to get the laws they want that have no relevance on their own lives, but seek to control and punish others.”

    Very well stated, I couldn’t agree more. These type of ppl are the most difficult to reason with, b/c their heart and mind are closed, they only see from a very narrow selfish perspective and not the whole picture that God sees.

    That’s why the Jewish priest or Rabbi can never accept Jesus Christ. He’s a direct challenge to their religious authority, Jesus is/ was/ forever will be a true rebel of the establishment, religious and political. Even today, the forbidden chapter of the Tanakh (old testament), Isaiah 53 has been deliberately rejected and stricken from study by Jewish scholars and priests. Isaiah prophesied “the suffering savior”, coming of the Messiah.

    Interesting b/c of politics the Jews of old rejected Jesus, even to this very day while forever waiting for the future King who may never come. Let’s pray they don’t consider “King Donnie” their messy-anic lord and savior. 🙂

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