People of faith have a choice to make

In America’s Gilded Age, slaveholder religion went national, blessing an alliance between industrial capital and white nationalism. “One Nation Under God” promised to save America from the “immorality” of the New Deal, Communism and the Civil Rights movement. Writing in the 19th century, when slaveholder religion was still taking root in white Americans’ consciousness, Frederick Douglass said, “Between the Christianity of the slaveholder and the Christianity of Christ, I see the widest possible difference.” People of faith have a choice to make.

Source: Why Evangelicals Support Trump, Despite His Immorality | Time

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Neither Trump’s vitriol nor the corporate liberals and multicultural elite challenges the exploitation and oppression of immigrants and migrant workers

It is absolutely vital to denounce the brutal legacy of colonialist plunder that set the capitalist system in motion over 500 years ago. Neither Trump’s explicitly racist vitriol nor the paternalistic “pro-immigrant” discourse of corporate liberals and the multicultural elite challenges the structures allowing for the exploitation and oppression of immigrants and migrant workers. [Capitalists’] ability to earn a profit is literally dependent on an endless supply of highly racialized and deportable bodies. A structural crisis of the global capitalist system reduces human beings to the commodities they either produce, consume, or — in the case of their labor power — are forced to sell. The systematic repression of racialized surplus populations is clearly an attempt to keep a lid on growing discontent among the most socially marginalized, who come to serve as scapegoats for the system’s growing instability. Moral pleas and strident denunciations of xenophobia and hate that are not simultaneously buttressed by an anti-capitalist critique practically invite co-optation by the multicultural corporate elite.

Source: Why Corporate Democrats Do Not Support Immigrant Justice | Alternet

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Politicians funded by the NRA telling us nothing could have been done to prevent this, we call BS

“To every politician who is taking donations from the NRA, shame on you. This isn’t just a mental health issue. He wouldn’t have harmed that many students with a knife. Politicians who sit in their gilded House and Senate seats funded by the NRA telling us nothing could have ever been done to prevent this. We call BS. They say that tougher gun laws do not decrease gun violence. We call BS. They say a good guy with a gun stops a bad guy with a gun. We call BS. They say guns are just tools like knives and are as dangerous as cars. We call BS. They say that no laws could have been able to prevent the hundreds of senseless tragedies that have occurred. We call BS.”—Emma Gonzalez

Emma Gonzalez is a student at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

Source: Florida high school shooting survivor to Trump: “Shame on you.” – Vox

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Trump gave those credulous enough to believe him false hope

None of his assurances can be counted upon. His talent is bluffing, not delivering results. The president who disingenuously promised to end carnage isn’t going to deliver elsewhere either. He won’t end the opiate crisis. He isn’t going to rebuild the country’s infrastructure. He makes lots of promises that he cannot possibly keep. Often, he’s not even trying.

Source: Trump’s American Carnage – The Atlantic

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What matters is that more and more people are seeing Trump for what he is, not that some core group of people refuses to do so

The evidence is stronger than ever that Trump’s remaining supporters are never coming back. Most of the people who love Trump are exulting in making liberals angry, and they are not going to be convinced to change their minds. The people who peddle the idea that rural whites are all in Trump’s corner are wrong. Those voters are not insulted by coastal condescension but by the attempts to reduce them to stereotypes who do not — and can never — know any better. What matters is that more and more people are seeing Trump for what he is, not that some core group of people refuses to do so.

Source: Did Roseanne Vote Trump? And Can the Dems Win Her Support?

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Falwell’s family legacy and public platform allow him to perpetuate the illusion that he speaks for all evangelicals

Falwell, like many members of the old-guard evangelical right, have made the idea that Christian ethics should permeate government a central element of their lobbying work. While Jesus may have encouraged his followers to pay their taxes, “turn the other cheek” was also a mandate. Falwell is revealing that there’s more nationalism than Christianity in his Christian nationalism. Falwell’s family legacy, as well as his public platform, allows him to perpetuate the illusion that he is speaking for all evangelicals. Jesus was ultimately crucified by Roman authorities as a threat to the state on the understanding that his message was radical, subversive, and, yes, dangerous to the imperial status quo.

Source: Evangelical Jerry Falwell Jr. defends Trump: Jesus “never told Caesar how to run Rome” – Vox

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Christian nationalism, a belief supported by Dominion theology, wants an American Christian theocracy

Christian nationalism is the false belief that America is a Christian nation, a belief supported by Dominion theology. It is a radical right wing movement composed of Christian extremists that want to rewrite American history, and replace the secular values upon which this nation was founded with a Christian theocracy.

Source: Trump Promotes Christian Nationalism At National Prayer Breakfast

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Trump’s rhetoric matters: His defenders either revel in his outbursts or say they don’t matter

Trump’s rhetoric matters. Our public debate is polluted when President Trump denigrates the FBI as “corrupt” or suggests that all immigrants are MS-13 murderers. Trump and his crass team demean the offices they hold. Worse, they lower the standard of discourse. Trump’s defenders either revel in his outbursts or say that they do not matter.

Source: Trump’s rhetoric matters – The Washington Post

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Trump’s comments honoring Martin Luther King Jr. “added insult to injury”

“His own comments expose him. They were elitist and blatantly racist.” Trump’s comments honoring civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. “added insult to injury.”

A.R. Bernard is a black pastor of a 40,000-member church in New York City. He resigned from the evangelical council in August 2017 after Trump blamed “both sides” for deadly violence in Charlottesville.

Source: Some evangelical leaders continue to back Trump after his ‘shithole’ comments – The Washington Post

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Trump-speak allows open discussion of problems usually only spoken about behind closed doors

Trump’s “open source” thoughts are unprecedented in any modern politician. Trump, by breaking from the “offend no one” style of political discourse, still appeals to those Americans who share beliefs with him that are largely overlooked by the incumbent political class that the president is dismantling. His takeover of the Republican Party was a hostile one that paid lip service to most of the party’s ideological dogma. What Trump is about is remaking the American body politic. Trump-speak is a key component of that overhaul, because it allows for the open discussion of the many problems America and the world is facing but are usually only spoken about in whispers behind closed doors.

Source: How Donald Trump is retooling politics for the 21st century

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$700 billion for what? Military expenditures provide no benefit

Many left-liberal groups ignore the Pentagon’s swollen budget even as it devours resources that could be put to much better use. Sadly, a bipartisan majority in Congress gave [Trump] all he asked for [and] then some. Beyond spending sufficient to provide reasonable defense, military expenditures provide no benefit; they fail utterly to improve our quality of life. The growth in so-called “Islamist terror groups” was largely blowback — the result of and reaction to U.S. intervention in the region. The citizenry would be far better off if our nation abandoned the role of global hegemon, led the world into multilateral disarmament negotiations and redirected billions into investments in our people and infrastructure.—Mark Haim

Mark Haim is a longtime advocate for peace, justice, sustainability and climate action. He serves as director of Mid-Missouri Peaceworks, a grassroots activist group.

Source: $700 Billion For What? | The Indypendent

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Why evangelicals should rethink the Trump gospel

The choice is stark, unsettling and serious: between what Christians call the “Great Commission” and President’s Trump’s call to “Make America Great Again” (MAGA). The Great Commission is racially and radically inclusive, while MAGA, as a matter of rhetoric and reality, is racially exclusive and divisive. Jesus praised a foreigner, an ethnic outcast, and religiously unpopular “good Samaritan” as an example of great compassion.—Cornell Brooks

Source: Why evangelicals should rethink the Trump gospel (opinion) – CNN

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There are Christians who are concerned that criticism will cause Trump to dump their issues

Trump and his core supporters see any criticism as betrayal. When the president is thin-skinned and lacks core convictions, there are Christians who are concerned that criticism will cause Trump to dump their issues. An enormous number of Christians — especially Christians in politics — suffer from a lack of faith [and] view the Left as presenting an existential threat to Christian faith. Trump has done a remarkable job at convincing conservative Christians that he’s the lesser evil compared to his enemies in the media and on the radical Left so they’ll find ways to rationalize their support for Trump.

Source: Understanding Conservative Christian Silence on Donald Trump’s Porngate | National Review

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Donald Trump has never shown much interest in understanding inequality

To say that “Americans are dreamers too” only makes sense under a misunderstanding of what DREAMers are actually asking for or under the zero-sum logic of status anxiety, in which any attention paid to a marginalized group must inherently mean that some other group must be losing ground. Donald Trump has never shown much interest in understanding this sort of inequality. Trump’s America is either a bootstrapper’s utopia where everyone has equal status and opportunity or the battered but rallying land of the “forgotten men and women” who have been threatened by foreign criminals and abandoned by cultural elites.

Source: State of the Union 2018: Trump’s biggest insult to immigrants – Vox

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Billy Graham’s granddaughter, Jerushah Armfield, says Donald Trump needs to clean up his act

I just don’t want [President Trump] to be held up as the poster boy for Christian evangelicals because he doesn’t represent most of us. I understand a lot of evangelicals supporting him because of his policies. I’d love to see a Christian leader come out and say that they support Trump for his policies, but that his behavior disgusts them, and he needs to clean up his act. I would love to just hear one of them say that. If they support his policies, they also feel like they have to stay hush(ed) on his behavior and I just feel that it’s sending the wrong message to the world about what Christianity is and what Evangelicals are, or I guess, have become. — Jerushah Armfield

Jerushah Armfield is an evangelical writer, the granddaughter of the iconic evangelist Billy Graham, and Franklin Graham’s niece. Follow her on Twitter at https://twitter.com/jerushahruth.

Source: Billy Graham’s granddaughter: Donald Trump needs to apologize – CNN

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Idiot Wind: Stephen Strang’s “God and Donald Trump” Aims to Justify Christian Support

Unlike the alt-right, which is pretty forthright about its ideals, most high-profile Trump supporters, Christian or otherwise, are not intellectually honest. If they were, we’d see a book explaining what’s really behind all this cynical piety: that they want a white man in the White House, that they want conservative Christian values to be codified into law, that they want to hang onto their cash, and that everybody else can go to hell. Perhaps literally. — Gordon Haber

Gordon Haber writes about religion, money and culture. Follow him on Twitter @gordonhaber.

Source: Idiot Wind: Stephen Strang’s “God and Donald Trump” Aims to Justify Christian Support | Religion Dispatches

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Every word that a president utters projects American values around the world

When a figure in power reflexively calls any press that doesn’t suit him “fake news,” it is that person who should be the figure of suspicion, not the press. Mr. President, every word that a president utters projects American values around the world. — Senator, Jeff Flake (Jan 2018)

Source: Read Sen. Jeff Flake’s speech criticizing Trump – CNNPolitics

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All people are capable of many good and beautiful things

The religious right understand themselves to be in an epic battle against what they call “humanism,” that liberals have too positive a view of human nature. I don’t think the Bible requires us to adopt a nihilistic, anti-humanist view of human nature. Sin is very real and very imprisoning to humanity. And yet, people are capable of many good and beautiful things, even people who have never “accepted Jesus as their personal Lord and savior.” — Morgan Guyton

Morgan Guyton is director of the NOLA Wesley Foundation, which is the United Methodist campus ministry at Tulane and Loyola University in New Orleans, LA. He is also a United Methodist pastor, blogger, and author of dozens of articles featured in Red Letter Christians, Huffington Post Religion, Think Christian, Ministry Matters, and others.

Source: If Donald Trump wins, I will blame toxic Christianity and here’s why

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For early church fathers like St. Basil, “friendship with the world” meant attachment to wealth, power, and other worldly idols

James 4:4 says, “Friendship with the world is enmity with God.” For early church fathers like St. Basil, “friendship with the world” meant attachment to wealth, power, and other worldly idols that get in the way of our connection with God. But for many white evangelicals today, being addicted to wealth and power is not a problem as long as you don’t associate with liberals. Whenever anything good or beautiful or true happens, God is at work no matter whose human agency God is using to accomplish his work. — Morgan Guyton

Morgan Guyton is director of the NOLA Wesley Foundation, which is the United Methodist campus ministry at Tulane and Loyola University in New Orleans, LA. He is also a United Methodist pastor, blogger, and author of dozens of articles featured in Red Letter Christians, Huffington Post Religion, Think Christian, Ministry Matters, and others.

Source: If Donald Trump wins, I will blame toxic Christianity and here’s why

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