Wednesday, December 20, 2017

What Happened To Jesus' Message In The Age Of Trump?

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Tuesday, author and former evangelical Christian right leader, Frank Schaeffer, blew the whistle on the game of footsie being played by the neo-fascist movement and their religionist endeavors. He predicted dire consequences for everyone involved. "You can bet on this," he wrote: "60 percent-plus of Americans will exit the Trump era convinced that conservative Christianity is just white identity politics. They will be right. The white evangelical and conservative Roman Catholic alliance is comprised of the walking dead."
Trump is setting up a generational schism that will contribute to evangelical and conservative Roman Catholic Christianity’s final American crisis. This crisis began when science proved to anyone with a brain that whole swaths of fundamentalist faith are plain stupid. Nevertheless Christianity for a time almost survived its denial of reality because in their daily lives Christians behaved in rational ways.

No more. These folks didn’t stop at just believing in Noah’s Ark in church but also elected Donald Trump! American Christianity will not survive this marriage to the Trumped Republican Party’s moral and political fall.

When Social Security is cut, Medicaid destroyed, the poor dying as healthcare is removed, our waterways fouled, consumer protection obliterated, and Nazi marchers in the ascendant-- Americans will remember who to thank.

Thanks to Trump, Old, White, Misinformed, Bigot are the first words that come to mind when people under 35 hear the word Evangelical.

The association between white conservative Roman Catholic Christians, white evangelicals and Trump-- who is so proudly un-Christian in word and deed-- is undoing the religious right’s future. In evangelicals’ and conservative Roman Catholic’s muddled brains Trump is defending unborn children and Americans endangered by Islam. In reality Trump has destroyed their brand forever by really only defending himself and his utterly corrupt family’s financial interests. He’s doing this even at the expense of America’s governmental agencies that Trump supposedly leads such as the FBI. He’s attacking our own bulwark of democracy and governance as an act of pre-emptive self-preservation because the Mueller Russia probe closes in. And his evangelical and conservative Roman Catholic storm troopers are echoing Trump’s lies for him.

Christians deny the heart of their gospel when they’re seen to excuse lies, rationalize incompetence and impose double standards. In the Trump era evangelicals and conservative Roman Catholics have offered themselves as exhibit #1 in the secular case for rejecting all Christians as toxic, hypocritical and downright dumb.

White evangelical Christians and conservative Roman Catholics have defended, rationalized and excused Trump’s-- and even Roy Moore’s-- conduct they’d never, ever have condoned in a Democrat. But according to their own theology, there are not two standards of morality depending on judicial appointments for those who claim to have “The Truth.”

Is Trump doing God’s work? Not so much even by conservative Christian standards. Aside from appointing “pro-life” justices, Trump is extremely unpopular with most because he’s enabling a billionaire’s agenda widely hated by everyone outside the GOP leadership, especially by millennials. How has even the white “pro-life” American Jesus wound up helping to make the Koch brothers richer at the expense of poor children?

This betrayal of Christian faith for politics didn’t start with Trump. Where were scandalized white evangelicals when their very own evangelical George W. Bush left Iraqi Christians to face jihadi violence? Of about one million Christians, some 900,000 were ethnically cleansed most of them while US troops still occupied Iraq.

As they do now with Trump evangelicals proved then with Bush that the slavish partisan politics of the GOP drove them, not loyalty to their faith let alone to their fellow Christians. Was it because those particular “brothers and sisters in Christ” were brown that their deaths, rapes and exodus left white evangelicals unmoved? I think it was.

Where Christian leaders like my late father Francis Schaeffer demanded honesty, white evangelical and Roman Catholic Trump supporters rationalize lies. Where Christians like C.S. Lewis once sought evidence of ideological consistency, white evangelical and Roman Catholic Trump supporters proudly glory in Roy Moore-like biblical/political incoherence.

Doesn’t scripture repeatedly condemn the exact kind of moral compromises that white evangelical and conservative Roman Catholics make every day to keep supporting Trump say, even after he endorses a pedophile? Don’t they believe those scriptures like this one anymore: “A [leader] then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behavior” (1 Timothy 3:2).

Apparently not. They believe in Ayn Rand, power and money if you judge by actions rather than words.

If Franklin Graham, Jerry Falwell Jr and Dr. Dobson or the leaders among the conservative Catholic American bishops were actual Christian leaders not far right white supremacists these days here’s what they’d say: “There’s nothing more dangerous to the church than a lack of faith shown when we rationalize Trump’s bad acts out of a misguided and faithless sense of political necessity.”

And that is what they are not saying. Like Sherlock Holmes’ case he solved based on the fact that a dog did not bark, the Conservative Roman Catholic and white evangelical leadership’s silence speaks volumes. It is the silence of spiritual death. And no resurrection awaits this crucifixion.

R.I.P. Jesus.
Frank has been traveling around the country filming progressive candidates who he wants to help win seats in Congress. The most recent one was a clip he shot in Orange County for Kia Hamadanchy, one of the 2 progressive candidates taking on Trump rubber-stamp Mimi Walters. Take a look:

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5 Comments:

At 3:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Trump is setting up a generational schism that will contribute to evangelical and conservative Roman Catholic Christianity’s final American crisis."

Would that this were true! Braindead religion is the real zombie apocalypse. The more their followers are shown to be wrong, the more they will refuse to acknowledge their error. These are the people Obama rightly described as clinging to their guns and religion.

 
At 3:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Correct, 3:28. And this has been true for no less than 2000 years (christian history).

you see, the word of god (jesus or whomever) has always been interpreted/transcribed by human beings. These human beings have often been the MOST flawed beings ever. They often have exaggerated hatreds, biases and ALWAYS have delusions of importance and grandeur. Sometimes, as in America since reconstruction, they are simply opportunists seeking to profit and/or foment their own hatreds.

The beauty of religion, from the perspective of the self-described clergy, is that the followers of religion are ... how to say it... FUCKING MORONS!

Thus you can have corrupt lothario popes demanding tithes, organizing these morons into armies to ethnically cleanse Jerusalem; imams convincing dipshits to kill themselves and take innocents with them; and americans to accept jesus into their hearts as their hearts hate everyone who doesn't look like the Nordic picture of jesus (from Palestine) and make war on everyone on earth who lives on land above oil.
Trump has nothing to do with this except that his adopted party has assimilated the dumbest morons in the history of humanity (American Christians) and he is playing them all like Isaac Perlman plays his Stradivarius.

Jesus' (imaginary) message is the same it's always been. Hate, war, greed, murder, lust, hate, greed, genocide, greed, hate... all in his name. It must be true because it's all in his book dictated to ... well, dozens of transcribers, and it's been thusly interpreted for 2000 years by his chosen and blessed (sometimes infallible) clergy.

right?

 
At 5:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

3:53

It's been correct for 2000 years because the last true Christian died on the cross. Saul of Tarsus so corrupted the message into one of dominant power over the followers that it ceased being the philosophy of Yeshua the Nazarene.

Remember - Saul was himself a warrior. Warriors only change when they are defeated and enslaved.

 
At 5:27 PM, Anonymous Hone said...

Frank is a courageous and honest man with astonishing insights into the extremely religious and their political lives. He has a deep understanding and perspective that I could never have, given that I was brought up an atheist. Some of their beliefs are beyond belief.

 
At 9:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

5:05, a perfect example of a human with profound flaws "interpreting" scripture and polluting it with his own biases and hatreds.

There have been many in the interim; popes who arbitrarily redact; imperfect translations and so on... Why do you think it was only published (hand-copied) in greek and latin for so many centuries? So only clergy could even read it. Didn't want the unwashed to read it for themselves.

This leaves aside the very real questions of whether such beings and events truly happened... but even if they did, the "stories", as gooned as they've become over the millennia, certainly have no relation to truth any more.

 

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