Tag Archives: evangelical Christians

How does POTUS appeal to religious voters?

David Cay Johnston won a Pulitzer Prize some years ago. He considers himself to be a student of Donald J. Trump, having covered him for 30 years.

He sat down for an interview with Salon magazine. Much of his interview has been posted online. I want to break out a few segments of it in the days ahead. Today, I want to post some comments he made about the president’s baffling appeal among Christians.

Johnston told Salon the following:

I think it is very important for religious Americans to know that Donald Trump says that his personal philosophy of life is revenge. He has called anyone who turns the other cheek — which is a fundamental teaching of Christ in the Sermon on the Mount — a fool, an idiot or a schmuck. Trump is a man who says things that are absolutely contrary to the teachings of the New Testament. He also denigrates Christians. Yet you see all of these ministers endorsing him.

This lies at the heart of one of the most bizarre aspects of the “base” that continues to hang tightly onto the president.

Yes, I get that he possesses enormous power to appoint judges who will rule from the bench favorably in the eyes of evangelical voters.

Yet they continue to give him a pass on some of his own many personal failings. The serial philandering. The sexual assault to which he has admitted. The hideous mocking of people with disabilities.

He has acknowledged as well that he’s never sought forgiveness. As Johnston noted in his remarks to Salon:

I’ve followed Donald for 30 years. I don’t see any evidence that he has changed, and he certainly hasn’t repented, which is a fundamental Christian obligation.

Someone will have to explain to me in detail how this liar continues to enjoy the support among those who profess their own deep religious convictions.

***

Here is the rest of the Salon interview.

Where is defense of POTUS’s character, integrity?

I won’t take credit for this inquiry, but I’ll share it here just because it’s worth sharing.

Matthew Dowd, a veteran Republican political operative, posed an provocative question this morning on ABC News’s “This Week,” when he asked why Donald J. Trump’s supporters are not defending the president’s integrity or his character.

The president’s defense is centering on vilifying those who are opposing him. Donald Trump’s political base, comprising his most ardent supporters, isn’t rushing to defend him on the basis of his moral standing, his integrity.

The Stormy Daniels story is swirling. The Russia probe continues to gain steam. The Trump team keeps changing its story. The White House press operation cannot speak clearly and candidly about any of this because the president keeps changing the narrative.

Dowd’s question also seems to presuppose the terrible notion that if no one is defending the president’s character that we’ve become numb to the idea that our president is a scoundrel.

Think of that for a moment. The Rev. Franklin Graham, a leader in the evangelical Christian movement — and a Trump supporter — seemingly throws up his hands and tells us voters “knew what they were getting” when they elected Trump president.

We are ready to settle for this? Really?

Frightening.

Satan 2 rocket? Aimed at U.S.?

I cannot possibly be the only American who sees this item as one filled with curious coincidence.

The Russians have just launched a new generation intercontinental ballistic missile. They have named it — get ready for it — Satan 2.

That’s right. The Russians have named a missile after the Devil himself!

What does the president of the United States, Donald John Trump, say about it? Not a thing that I’ve heard. Why should he say something critical of this demonstration? Oh, let’s see. He courts the American evangelical Christian voters who comprise a big part of his political base.

Aren’t those voters vehemently, fervently opposed to anything referring to Satan? Sure they are! Hey, so am I!

I don’t know about you, but I would consider a Russian missile — which that government well might be aiming at U.S. targets — to be prime grist for intense criticism.

What’s more, the Russians have invoked the name of all that is evil.

Are they intending to use it potentially for evil purposes?

It’s fair to ask. Isn’t it?

Christians face troubling dilemma with POTUS

Leave it to the granddaughter of one of America’s great spiritual leaders to finally — finally! — put some perspective on one of the nation’s strangest political alliances.

Jerushah Armfield, whose grandfather is none other than the Rev. Billy Graham, said this on CNN: “In order to forgive somebody, that individual needs to repent and apologize. And I don’t think America has seen that from our President in any scenario.”

Why “forgive” in this case? Because the president of the United States uttered some despicable language when referring certain nations of the world. He called nations in Africa and Haiti “sh**hole countries,” a comment that has drawn international scorn.

Armfield, though, isn’t so alarmed that Donald Trump used that language, but is perplexed at how he dehumanized millions of people. And yet so many evangelical Christian leaders are willing to give the president a pass on that conduct. Why? Because they support his policies.

Armfield went on: “I understand a lot of evangelicals supporting him because of his policies,” she said. “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.”

His behavior hasn’t “disgusted” leaders, such as Armfield’s uncle, the Rev. Franklin Graham, Billy Graham’s son and one of Trump’s key evangelical supporters.

Tony Perkins, head of the Family Research Council, has said Trump deserves a “mulligan,” that his comments — and his admitted deeds — aren’t enough to repulse people of faith.

Armfield said more: “My president doesn’t have to be a Christian … I just don’t want him to be held up as the poster boy for Christian evangelicals because he doesn’t represent most of us.”

Yet, the president continues to bask in the support thrown his way by leaders of a movement who — I am utterly certain — wouldn’t tolerate a fraction of the hideous behavior from a politician whose policies they oppose.

Weird.

Trump doesn’t deserve a ‘mulligan’

This discussion, captured on this YouTube video, tells me plenty about the amazing blind spot that evangelical Christian leaders have with regard to Donald John Trump.

They are willing to give the president a “mulligan” over allegations that he fooled around with a porn star back in 2006, not long after his third wife, Melania, gave birth to the couple’s son.

As former Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele, said, “Shut the hell up.” Those evangelicals who have preached to us on who we should love, how to live, how to behave and who have excoriated politicians for misbehavior now want to look the other way when the president of the United States fights off allegations that he messed around with a porn queen?

Such blatant, bald-faced hypocrisy!

‘Civil war’ if Trump is impeached? Oh … please!

Jim Bakker is flapping his yap once again.

The convicted felon/TV preacher is declaring that evangelical Christians would launch a second “civil war” if Donald Trump is impeached by the U.S. House of Representatives.

I won’t spend a lot of energy commenting on this clown’s comment, given his seedy past. Bakker, though, does command something of an audience around the country. No, it doesn’t include yours truly.

His threat of a civil war does bring to mind one of the most nagging questions I have about the presidency of Donald Trump. How in the name of all that is holy do evangelical Christians manage to stand behind this guy?

I have seen zero evidence in Trump’s life prior to becoming a politician of any commitment to spiritual matters. I am unaware — as are most of us, I’m quite certain — of any stated devotion to the teachings of Jesus Christ. Nor am I aware of any financial commitments he has made to any sort of Christian mission or ministry; and I am quite certain that if Trump had made such a financial commitment he would be more than happy and willing to boast about it.

Now we have a TV preacher with some celebrity status — a guy who served prison time for fraud and conspiracy, and who quit his PTL ministry after a young woman accused him of raping her — telling us of a threat of “civil war” if the president is impeached?

Arrrgghh!

Trump and evangelicals: strangest union of all

Donald J. Trump has just selected Jerry Falwell Jr. to lead a task force aimed at overhauling public education policy.

The president of the United States has linked arms with the head of a leading faith-based university; Falwell also is the son of the late televangelist who used his pulpit to attack President and Mrs. Bill Clinton throughout the president’s two terms in office.

This appointment brings to mind a curiosity I’ve harbored ever since Trump entered political life, which is when he announced his candidacy for president in June 2015.

Falwell joins Trump team

My question of the moment is this: How does this man, Trump, continue to win the support of many within the Christian evangelical movement?

Falwell Jr. has called Trump a “dream come true” for evangelicals. He just cannot say enough gushy things about the president, who delivered his first commencement speech at Liberty University, the school that Falwell’s father founded.

If you think about it, though, the relationship strains credulity to the max.

Trump has not been known as a major contributor to religious causes; he hasn’t been associated with faith-based charities; his whole life has been filled with glitz and glamor, chiefly through his association with and ownership of beauty pageants; he is married to his third wife and has boasted publicly about his infidelity involving his first two marriages; Trump also has boasted about how he can grab women by the p**** because his celebrity status allows him to do it.

But he’s tough on Muslims, vows to destroy the Islamic State, wants to impose a travel ban on refugees coming here from Muslim-majority nations. Maybe that’s why Falwell and many within the evangelical community are smitten by the president.

I concede that political alliances can take form among groups or individuals one might not imagine banding together. This one, though, baffles me greatly.

The president’s history is full of episodes that would seem to send devoutly religious voters scurrying for someone more, um, to their liking.

Go figure. I cannot fathom it.