Cyber Monday at The Way of Improvement Leads Home

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The Way of Improvement Leads Home offers content to the general public that we believe is essential for our life as citizens in a democracy. We are just trying to do out part, and we could use your help.

As more and more of you are checking-in during this critical election year, I want to remind everyone that if you like what we do here–both in terms of the daily blogging and the podcast–please consider supporting our work.

Click here to become a patron.

We have some big changes in the works for 2021. I can’t say anything yet, but it’s going to be huuuuge! 🙂 Stay tuned.

We are also recording new podcast episodes. In this season we have heard from Lorri Glover on Eliza Lucas Pinckney, Peter Manseau on the Jefferson Bible, Paul Harvey on Howard Thurman, and Elisabeth Lasch-Quinn on the “art of living.” And we are only beginning!

And yes, mugs and signed books are still available for patrons!

Did I mention you can click here to become a patron? You can be a patron for as low as $1 a month!

And for our loyal patrons: THANK YOU for your ongoing support!

Sunday night odds and ends

A few things online that caught my attention this week:

The Trump presidency as a civics lesson

Sam Sackeroff reviews David Bromwich, Writing Politics: An Anthology

Michael Gerson on “moral journalism

Amy Greenberg reviews David Brown, The Last American Aristocrat: The Brilliant Life and Improbable Education of Henry Adams

Pilgrims and buckles

What happened to the Drudge Report?

Trump’s presidency as a reaction to Barack Obama

Thomas Morton’s neo-pagan experiment in the “city upon a hill”

Taverns and early American politics

The migrations of the American South, 1780-2020

Presidential transitions

Bon-Ton department store

The last American baseball glove manufacturer

“There is no monolithic humanities

An 18th-century family sues for freedom

Has America outgrown the Pilgrims?

Episode 77: The Art of Living

How shall we live? Where do we find the resources for living well? In this episode, historian Elisabeth Lasch-Quinn examines the reappearance of ancient philosophical thought in contemporary American culture. She argues that we need to take back philosophy as part of our everyday lives as a means for piecing together a coherent moral framework for democratic life. Her recent book is Ars Vitae: The Fate of Inwardness and the Return of the Ancient Arts of Living.

Listen at:

Apple Podcasts

Stitcher

iHeartRadio

Spotify

Podbean

Podchaser

And other podcatchers!

If you like what you hear, or perhaps you are new to the work of The Way of Improvement Leads Home blog, please consider supporting our work.

Click here to become a patron.

We have some big changes in the works for 2021. I can’t say anything yet, but it’s going to be huuuuge!  Stay tuned.

And yes, mugs and signed books are still available for patrons!

Did I mention you can click here to become a patron?

And for our loyal patrons: THANK YOU for your ongoing support!

Small Business Saturday at The Way of Improvement Leads Home

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is patreon.jpg

The Way of Improvement Leads Home is not really a small business, but we do offer services to the general public that we believe are essential for our life as citizens in a democracy.

As more and more of you are checking-in during this critical election year, I want to remind everyone that if you like what we do here–both in terms of the daily blogging and the podcast–please consider supporting our work.

Click here to become a patron.

We have some big changes in the works for 2021. I can’t say anything yet, but it’s going to be huuuuge! 🙂 Stay tuned.

We are also recording new podcast episodes. In this season we have heard from Lorri Glover on Eliza Lucas Pinckney, Peter Manseau on the Jefferson Bible, Paul Harvey on Howard Thurman, and Elisabeth Lasch-Quinn on the “art of living.” And we are only beginning!

And yes, mugs and signed books are still available for patrons!

Did I mention you can click here to become a patron? You can be a patron for as low as $1 a month!

And for our loyal patrons: THANK YOU for your ongoing support!

Commonplace Book #193

Cornel West, delineating the principal intellectual and existential sources that shaped [Martin Luther] King, aptly cites four, in order of importance: prophetic black church Christianity, prophetic liberal Christianity, prophetic Gandhian nonviolence, and prophetic American civil religion. King heard the gospel and committed himself to it in the only institution owned by black Americans. His training in liberal Christianity provided intellectual and social ethical ballast for his religious faith. His commitment to Gandhian resistance provided a method for his racial justice activism and an extra-Gandhian language for the way of nonviolence. His believe in U.S. American ideals of democracy, freedom, and equality enabled him to call the nation to fulfill these ideals. West rightly says that King embodied “the best of American Christendom” by synthesizing these sources.

Gary Dorrien, Breaking White Supremacy: Martin Luther King Jr. and the Black Social Gospel, 21-22.

David Brooks on the GOP’s detachment from reality

Here is today’s column:

In a recent Monmouth University survey, 77 percent of Trump backers said Joe Biden had won the presidential election because of fraud. Many of these same people think climate change is not real. Many of these same people believe they don’t need to listen to scientific experts on how to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

We live in a country in epistemological crisis, in which much of the Republican Party has become detached from reality. Moreover, this is not just an American problem. All around the world, rising right-wing populist parties are floating on oceans of misinformation and falsehood. What is going on?

Many people point to the internet — the way it funnels people into information silos, the way it abets the spread of misinformation. I mostly reject this view. Why would the internet have corrupted Republicans so much more than Democrats, the global right more than the global left?

Read the rest here.

What happened to the Trump youth vote? Is court evangelical and Liberty University spokesperson Charlie Kirk to blame?

As Gabby Orr at Politico writes, “Nobody involved in Donald Trump’s reelection thought the president would win the youth vote in 2020. But they didn’t think it would be this bad.” Orr interviewed more than 20 people from the Trump campaign. Here is a taste of her piece:

Others faulted the Trump campaign, accusing the president’s top aides of “outsourcing” his youth outreach program to Turning Point Action, the political action arm of the conservative campus group Turning Point USA.

Led by its 26-year-old founder, Charlie Kirk, the group oversaw myriad door-knocking and grassroots get-out-the-vote efforts this cycle, in addition to working with top White House aides like senior adviser Jared Kushner to plan events that put the president and his surrogates in front of young audiences. People involved with Kirk’s operation claimed his “herculean” efforts to boost Trump’s reelection were done without input or resources from the Trump campaign — much to their chagrin in the months leading up to the Nov. 3 election.

But two Trump campaign aides who have worked closely with Kirk said the campaign had its own youth outreach efforts that went beyond voters who are still in college. These aides described Turning Point’s messaging as too sycophantic to bring in young voters who might align more closely with conservatism but remain apprehensive about Trump himself. Kirk was afforded a primetime speaking slot at the Republican National Convention in August and has a close relationship with the president and some of his adult children.

“It’s a mistake to think that groups operating on college campuses alone are going to reach young voters outside of college,” said one of the aides.

Another Trump ally described Turning Point Action as ill-equipped to handle youth outreach for a major party presidential campaign “because it’s a relatively new organization without deeper community ties.”

People close to Kirk rejected these claims, suggesting the young activist and his group did what they could to help the president, and accused the Trump campaign and Republican National Committee of lacking the organizational skills and resources needed to reach broad swaths of young voters in the critical 2020 battlegrounds.

Read the entire piece here.

The court evangelicals and the 5 stages of grief

There are five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.

Today it appears that Donald Trump has entered the second stage:

It appears that the court evangelicals are all at different stages in the grieving process. Let’s check in on them:

Jenna Ellis, a member of Trump’s legal team and a spokesperson for Liberty University’s Falkirk Center, sends Thanksgiving wishes:

Charlie Kirk, the founder of Liberty University’s Falkirk Center, is evangelizing. Anyone who reads his Twitter feed will be led to believe that giving “your life to Christ” and embracing Trumpism are the same thing.

Two “civil wars”:

Wallnau sees the sham hearing at Gettysburg as “turning point.” He suggests that anyone who denies widespread election fraud is speaking-out against God’s prophet. I find it interesting that God only speaks through Donald Trump and the Republican Party. 🙂 If you are looking for a nice example of 7 Mountain Dominionism watch his recent video. Wallnau even finds something in the Bible about Fox News.

Here are a few of the 9.4K comments on Wallnau’s video. (All of them include original spelling):

TRUMP WILL SERVE 4 MORE YEARS AND MANY CORRUPT WILL GO TO JAIL!!! WE WILL WITNESS THE BEST OF THE NEXT 4 YRS WERE TRUMP WILL BE MORE RADICAL AGAIN CORRUPTION BECAUSE HE HAS NOTHING TO LOOSE!!! All of us americans must stand together if we don’t our freedom will be lost forever.

Do not be complacent..call your state legislators to fully disclose this corruption, especially in these key states, Wisconsin., Mich.Nevada, Arizona, PA., GA. God is Truth and must prevail.🙏

I seriously believe Trump won EVERY STATE. ALLLLLL of them.

–(Response to the above comment): Except California.. Gotta be realistic.. CA is the new Sodam & Gomorrah.

It is time for intercessors to come boldly into our father throne room. We need to pray and intercede for our nation and President Trump.

The world is about to see a full blown miracle. This country will be brought back form the brink of darkness

LANCE WALLNAU IS AWESOME TEXAS PROPHET AND HE IS SPOT ON EVERY TIME IN JESUS NAME

YES AND AMEN!!! THEY HAVE MOCKED GOD ALTOGETHER!! CAUSE BOOMERANG CURSES TO COME UOON THEM…AMEN!!

I am really scares Just listening Biden today ! The most progressive agenda ever

We are mighty warriors ready for war!!! God is our leader we have been called for such a time as this! Do not fall asleep for your watch!!!

Court evangelical journalist David Brody writes on Parler: “Seems to me that all of the abuse, threats and hate that @jennaellisesq is receiving is because she’s a conservative Christian woman digging for truth and leftists just can’t handle that.”

Here is another one of the Christian Broadcasting Network journalist’s posts on Parler: “Shame on the national media! They always talk about seeking truth. What a bunch of liars. The Trump campaign is trying to seek the truth and there’s plenty of evidence to investigate and yet the media just blows it all off. SHAMEFUL!”

Jack Hibbs is no longer watching Fox News:

Hibbs also retweeted Sean Hannity tweeting Trump’s outburst from earlier today:

Hibbs still believes the results from California will be overturned:

Jim Garlow has a Ph.D in historical theology from Drew University. Today he posted the following meme and wrote, “Wanna know why you can’t stay in the basement for months on end–yet have confidence u can ‘win.’ Whoever said ‘cheaters never.’ #DRETT (Democrats ruin everything they touch). A student in an 8th-grade civics class knows that elections are decided by votes, not counties.

Eric Metaxas interviews John Zmirak of James Robison’s website The Stream. They play fast and lose with American history and suggest that the Democrats in the South who instituted Jim Crow are the same Democrats today. Any first-year history major would see through these “arguments.” This is so irresponsible. Both Metaxas and Zmirak continue to grossly manipulate the past to promote their election fraud conspiracy theory. And Metaxas says that we should “fight to the death” to overturn this election just like Dietrich Bonhoeffer fought the Nazis.

Robert Jeffress has been pretty quiet of late, but he still loves Trump”

This could be a relevant message:

Interesting:

Does apply to elections?:

Franklin Graham has Michael Flynn‘s back:

What should we make of today’s Supreme Court decision on religious liberty in New York?

Today the Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 decision that the state of New York cannot limit attendance in houses of worship.

Here is NPR:

Gorsuch filed an unusually acerbic concurring opinion, blasting not only Governor Cuomo but also Chief Justice Roberts for his earlier opinion in the California and Nevada cases.

Referring to the more lax rules for New York retailers, Gorsuch opined that “at least according to Governor Cuomo, it may be unsafe to go to church, but it is always fine to pick up another bottle of wine, shop for a new bike, or spend the afternoon exploring your distal points and meridians,” a reference to acupuncture being unregulated.

And when it came to Roberts, Gorsuch spent several pages accusing him of “rewriting history” in his dissenting opinion on Wednesday and his earlier opinions in the California and Nevada cases.

“In the end,” said Gorsuch, while Roberts and the other dissenters may wish to “stay out of the way” and let state officials and experts deal with the crisis of a pandemic, “we may not shelter in place where the Constitution is under attack.” There is, he wrote, “no world in which the Constitution tolerates color-coded executive edicts that reopen liquor stores and bike shops but shutter churches, synagogues, and mosques.”

Roberts replied with a slap-down of his own. Quoting from Gorsuch’s acid dismissal of the dissenters’ views, the Chief Justice said he did not regard his dissenting colleagues with such venom: “They simply view the matter differently after careful study and reflecting their best efforts to fulfill their responsibility under the Constitution.”

As to Gorsuch’s concurrence, which, as Roberts put it, “takes aim at my [earlier] concurring opinion,” Gorsuch had engaged in such overkill that he spent “three pages” criticizing one sentence.

And “what did that sentence say?” asked Roberts. “Only that our Constitution principally entrusts the safety and health of the people to the politically accountable officials of the states to guard and protect.”

Those words, said Roberts, “should be uncontroversial, and the [Gorsuch] concurrence must reach beyond the words themselves to find the target it is looking for.”

Read the entire piece here.

Several conservative evangelicals see this as a major victory for religious liberty and the church. For example, here is the Trump-voting president of the Evangelical Theological Society:

Not surprising. Mohler, at heart, is a culture warrior. (Although it is interesting to see him defending Catholicism. I guess even false religions have a right to religious liberty).

I am coming late to this today because I am eating turkey and hanging out with the family. So I will just post some tweets from people who seem to understand what this is really about.

A church is not a bike shop or a wine story. Sorry Neil Gorsuch:

Scott Coley nails it:

This is what Christian thinking looks like on this matter. (As opposed to First Amendment thinking):

Sotomayor’s decision seems Christian to me:

David Dark is right. But at least Trump delivered on the Supreme Court for Al Mohler.

UPDATE (November 27, 2020 at 12:06PM): John Inazu, a Washington University law professor and author of Confident Pluralism, has weighed-in on the case at Ed Stetezer’s blog at Christianity Today.

The forgotten virtue of gratitude

Our annual Thanksgiving tradition here at The Way of Improvement Leads Home.   I wrote this Inside Higher Ed piece on gratitude in November 2008.  –JF

It was a typical 1970s weekday evening. The sky was growing dark and I, an elementary school student, was sitting at the kitchen table of a modest North Jersey cape cod putting the finishing touches on the day’s homework. The back door opened — a telltale sign that my father was home from work. As he did every day, Dad stopped in the laundry room to take off his muddied work boots. As usual, he was tired. He could have been covered with any number of substances, from dirt to paint to dried spackle. His hands were rough and gnarled. I kissed him hello, he went to the bathroom to “wash up,” and my family sat down to eat dinner.

I always knew how hard my father worked each day in his job as a general contractor. When I got older I spent summers working with him. I learned the virtues of this kind of working class life, but I also experienced the drudgery that came with laying concrete footings or loading a dumpster with refuse. I worked enough with my father to know that I did not want to do this for the rest of my life. Though he never told me so, I am sure that Dad probably didn’t want that for me, either.

I eventually became only the second person in my extended family to receive a college degree. I went on to earn a Ph.D. (a “post-hole digger” to my relatives) in history and settled into an academic life. As I enter my post-tenure years, I am grateful for what I learned from my upbringing and for the academic vocation I now pursue. My gratitude inevitably stems from my life story. The lives that my parents and brothers (one is a general contractor and the other is a plumber) lead are daily reminders of my roots.

It is not easy being a college professor from a working-class family. Over the years I have had to explain the geographic mobility that comes with an academic life. I have had to invent creative ways to make my research understandable to aunts and uncles. My parents read my scholarly articles, but rarely finish them. My father is amazed that some semesters I go into the office only three days a week. As I write this I am coming off of my first sabbatical from teaching. My family never quite fathomed what I possibly did with so much time off. (My father made sense of it all by offering to help me remodel my home office, for which I am thankful!) “You have the life,” my brother tells me. How can I disagree with him?

Gratitude is a virtue that is hard to find in the modern academy, even at Thanksgiving time. In my field of American history, Thanksgiving provides an opportunity to set the record straight, usually in op-ed pieces, about what really happened in autumn 1621. (I know because I have done it myself!). Granted, as public intellectuals we do have a responsibility to debunk the popular myths that often pass for history, but I wonder why we can’t also use the holiday, as contrived and invented and nostalgic and misunderstood as it is, to stop and be grateful for the academic lives we get to lead.

Thanksgiving is as good a time as any to do this. We get a Thursday off from work to take a few moments to reflect on our lives. And since so many academics despise the shopping orgy known as “Black Friday,” the day following Thanksgiving presents a wonderful opportunity to not only reject consumer self-gratification, but practice a virtue that requires us to forget ourselves.

I am not sure why we are such an unthankful bunch. When we stop and think about it we enjoy a very good life. I can reference the usual perks of the job — summer vacation, the freedom to make one’s own schedule, a relatively small amount of teaching (even those with the dreaded 4-4 load are in the classroom less than the normal high school teacher). Though we complain about students, we often fail to remember that our teaching, when we do it well, makes a contribution to society that usually extends far beyond the dozens of people who have read our recent monograph. And speaking of scholarship, academics get paid to spend a good portion of their time devoted to the world of ideas. No gnarled hands here.

Inside Higher Ed recently reported that seventy-eight percent of all American professors express “overall job satisfaction.” Yet we remain cranky. As Immanuel Kant put it, “ingratitude is the essence of vileness.” I cannot tell you how many times I have wandered into a colleague’s office to whine about all the work my college expects of me.

Most college and university professors live in a constant state of discontentment, looking for the fast track to a better job and making excuses as to why they have not landed one yet. Academia can be a cutthroat and shallow place to spend one’s life. We are too often judged by what is written on our conference name badges. We say things about people behind their backs that we would never say to their faces. We become masters of self-promotion. To exhibit gratefulness in this kind of a world is countercultural.

The practice of gratitude may not change our professional guilds, but it will certainly relieve us of our narcissism long enough to realize that all of us are dependent people. Our scholarship rests upon the work of those scholars that we hope to expand upon or dismantle. Our careers are made by the generosity of article and book referees, grant reviewers, search committees, and tenure committees. We can all name teachers and mentors who took the time to encourage us, offer advice, and write us letters. Gratitude may even do wonders for our mental health. Studies have shown that grateful people are usually less stressed, anxious, and depressed.

This Thanksgiving take some time to express gratitude. In a recent study the Harvard University sociologist Neil Gross concluded that more college and university professors believe in God than most academics ever realized. If this is true, then for some of us gratitude might come in the form of a prayer. For others it may be a handwritten note of appreciation to a senior scholar whom we normally contact only when we need a letter of recommendation. Or, as the semester closes, it might be a kind word to a student whose academic performance and earnest pursuit of the subject at hand has enriched our classroom or our intellectual life. Or perhaps a word of thanks to the secretary or assistant who makes our academic life a whole lot easier.

As the German theologian and Christian martyr Dietrich Bonhoeffer explained, “gratitude changes the pangs of memory into a tranquil joy.”

Some court evangelicals are still keep pushing the voter fraud narrative. Others are angry with Obama.

It is Thanksgiving. Yesterday Donald Trump’s legal team was in Gettysburg for an election fraud hearing. GOP state legislators hosted the event. The day included testimonies from Pennsylvanians who claimed to have witnessed voter fraud on November 3 and in the days following. Donald Trump called-in to the event. He said the 2020 election was “rigged” and claimed that he “won easily.” During the phone call he repeated false claim after false claim and conspiracy theory after conspiracy theory. He also invited these legislators to drive down to Washington to hang out with him.

Trump also issued his 2020 Thanksgiving Day proclamation. Despite Center for Disease Control recommendations, Trump told Americans to “gather” on Thanksgiving: “I encourage all Americans to gather, in homes and places of worship, to offer a prayer of thanks to God for our many blessings.” The proclamation also thanks “first responders, medical professionals, essential workers, [and] neighbors.” In other words, Trump is telling Americans to gather together and spread COVID and let the health care workers deal with it.

Court evangelicals are still complaining about things.

Jenna Ellis, a member of Trump’s legal team and a spokesperson for Liberty University’s Falkirk Center, reminds us that Pennsylvania state senator Doug Mastriano quoted Galatians 6:9 at the end of today’s hearing. (Earlier in the day he quoted John 8:36):

Ellis and Giuliani may really believe they are winning:

Ellis is an evangelical Christian and former professor at Colorado Christian University:

Charlie Kirk is Jenna Ellis’s colleague at the Liberty University’s Falkirk Center and a regular weekend speaker at pro-Trump evangelical megachurches:

Eric Metaxas has a radio show, but he is also a spokesperson for Liberty University’s Falkirk Center. Today he is pushing a providential view of American history and his book If You Can Keep It. (I wrote a multiple part review of this problematic book, but if you want the shorter version click here).

Metaxas is also claiming that “people are going to jail” for engaging in supposed election fraud. His online following is growing largely because he is one of the few evangelicals with a platform who is still pushing these election fraud conspiracy theories. Metaxas is still involved with the Jim Garlow “election integrity” prayer meetings where a guy with a red, white, and blue shofar plays “Taps” and “Amazing Grace.

Facebook barred Metaxas today for violating the site’s “community standards.” Apparently he thanked “My Pillow” guy Mike Lindell for bailing-out Kenosha shooter Kyle Rittenhouse.

Lance Wallnau is ready for the fight:

Yesterday Barack Obama made a factual statement about why so many Hispanic evangelicals voted for Trump. Obama’s comments were more analysis than condemnation and what is he says here is most likely true. Listen (second tweet in the thread):

Here is how Fox News twisted this statement:

Court evangelical Jim Garlow is also spinning this as some kind of Obama attack on Hispanic evangelicals. Here is what Garlow wrote today at his Facebook page:

Obama slamming Latino evangelicals for their views of pro-life and gay (so called) “marriage.” In other words, they are clinging to “life” and “marriage,” in much the same way we were accused by him of “clinging to our God and guns.” Disgusting comments. Trashing Hispanic God-lovers!

I am confused by this. Wouldn’t court evangelicals be happy that Hispanics are supporting Trump because of his views on abortion? How does this Obama statement “trash” Hispanic evangelicals? Doesn’t Garlow’s criticism here imply that Trump’s treatment of Hispanics at the border is correct? This is how these court evangelicals fire-up their evangelical Christian followers. This is not about logic, it’s about attacking Obama. Here are just a few of the comments Garlow received in response to the aforementioned Facebook post:

–Clearly a racist statement on Obama’s part as well as a blatant lie attributing to Trump the cages for illegal immigrants. Those cages were put there by the Obama/Biden administration.

–Liberals can’t stand anyone who believes God has given us direction on true right and wrong. This gets in the way of their playing ‘god’ and determining their own relativistic morals.

–I have NO respect or honor for that filth. Sorry he deserves nothing.

–I pray for our country- Obama is a Muslim that is only about elevating his evil agenda.

–Obama is a piece of crap. There, I said it and I mean it.

–The most corrupt President in USA 🇺🇸 history / never a friend to us / most of us (Latinos vote for Trump)

I imagine that the people who wrote these comments are also some of the people who are tuning in each night to Garlow’s regular prayer meetings for “election integrity.”

By the way, Jack Graham is also mad about this:

Not sure if John Hagee is talking about election fraud or COVID restrictions here. Probably both:

Who is Doug Mastriano, the Pennsylvania state senator leading today’s hearing on voter fraud?

As I type, members of the Pennsylvania legislature are hearing testimony from Rudy Giuliani and those who supposedly witnessed election fraud on November 3.

The event is hosted by state senator Doug Mastriano. He represents Pennsylvania’s 33rd district. He is an Army veteran and a graduate of evangelical Eastern University in the Philadelphia area. He has a Ph.D from the University of New Brunswick in Canada and has taught at the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. He published his dissertation as Alvin York: A New Biography of the Hero of the Argonne.

Mastriano is also an evangelical Christian and Trump supporter. In his opening speech at today’s hearing, he quoted John 8:36 and claimed that Pennsylvania Democrats were trying, through election fraud, to take away the freedom of the citizens of the commonwealth. He also connected Jesus’s victory over sin at “Calvary” to Trump’s “victory” in the 2020 election.

Here are a couple of “highlights” from his short career in the Pennsylvania legislature:

The church leaders attacked in this Facebook video responded here.

He has a Ph.D in history, but he believes that “history is under assault” when monuments are attacked.

UPDATE: (November 27, 2020 at 11:32AM): Mastriano posted his opening speech from this “hearing”:

Also, Twitter suspended his account:

Your daily coverage of the court evangelicals still in denial

As we enter the final days of Trump, let’s see how his evangelical water-carriers are doing:

Jenna Ellis loves Donald Trump. It seems like she is hoping Trump takes her with him after he leaves office. If Trump’s presidency is just a big episode of “The Apprentice,” Ellis is one of the candidates vying for a place of employment in the Trump Inc. Perhaps she can be the new Amarosa. If this happens, will she need to quit her position as a spokesperson for Liberty University’s Falkirk Center?

This is not really something to brag about:

Liberty University’s Falkirk Center founder Charlie Kirk has never met a pro-Trump conspiracy theory he didn’t like:

Lance Wallnau is ready to fight a spiritual battle (and sell some books). From his Facebook page:

We are facing a different kind of American storm, an ideologic storm empowered by hell and intent on redefining who we are as a nation. Our internal divisions are increasingly fed and inflamed by foreign governments, such as the EU, globalists, and China. Under the clever disguise of noble-sounding causes, well-funded activist organizations spread confusion and feed societal fragmentation as they lay siege to our minds, our cities, and our nation’s soul. They will not stop until all the political and judicial levers of power are in their hands.Don’t go into the battle of spiritual warfare without being properly equipped. Let me walk you through the Bible and what’s happening in America right now. Request your copy of God’s Chaos Code at GodsChaosCode.com

Court evangelical journalist David Brody is interviewing Diamond and Silk:

And he is taking a shot at Wolf Blitzer:

And he mocks John Kerry, Al Gore, and climate change:

Eric Metaxas is not giving up:

Today on his show Eric Metaxas has a tech-guy from Denver telling a story about how “a security genius at the Dominion Voting Machines who promised Antifa members a Trump loss.” Every say Metaxas solidifies his reputation as a full-blown conspiracy theorist. It is also disgusting to watch him spiritualize the voter fraud conspiracy.

One of Trump’s most vocal court evangelicals, Robert Jeffress, has not said a thing about the election in weeks.

Marco Rubio prepares for 2024

Today Joe Biden introduced his national security team, including Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

Florida senator Marco Rubio is not happy with Biden’s picks:

Interesting. I’ll take “strong resumes” and “polite & orderly caretakers” any day of the week. Rubio’s appeal to the “decline” of America and “American greatness,” coupled with his disdain for the Ivy League, is his way of throwing a little red meat to Trump followers GOP voters.

As for the reference to “Ivy League schools”:

Donald Trump: University of Pennsylvania undegraduate

Mike Pompeo (Trump’s Secretary of State): Harvard Law

Steve Mnuchin (Trump’s Secretary of the Treasury): Yale undergraduate

Bill Barr (Trump’s Attorney General): Columbia undergraduate

Wilbur Ross (Trump’s Secretary of Commerce): Yale undergraduate; Harvard MBA

Alex Azar (Trump’s Secretary of Health and Human Services: Dartmouth undergraduate; Yale Law School

Ben Carson (Trump’s Secretary of Housing and Urban Development): Yale undergraduate

Elaine Chao (Trump’s Secretary of Transportation): Harvard MBA

When “someone trying to attack American democracy heads to Gettysburg searching for a dramatic victory…”

Twitter is reporting that Donald Trump and Rudy Giuliani will be in Gettysburg later today.

Here is more from Jeremy Diamond of CNN.

Nothing I can say here can top Yoni Appelbaum’s tweet:

Or Paul’ Harvey’s tweet:

UPDATE (11:22 EST): Now it looks like Trump will not be attending.

“Give it up. You have Trump derangement syndrome. Start writing about something else.”

I often get asked something like this: “Why do you waste your time writing about Trump’s court evangelicals?” Or angrier people say this to me: “Give it up. You have Trump derangement syndrome. Start writing about something else.” I get several e-mails a week from people who feel the need to tell me these things.

These are fair questions/observations. I, of course, am no Trump fan. I think he is bad for the nation and the church. My book Believe Me covers this and my blog serves as a form of anti-Trump criticism.

But what I do here is also related to my calling as an American historian. Historians serve society in many ways. Sometimes we write new interpretations of well-known events. At other times we shed light on characters whose stories have yet to be told. Occasionally historians write magisterial accounts of the past that change the way we think about the world. And, of course, we teach people about the past and how to think historically.

And every now and then historians serve society by documenting, curating, and describing what happened in the past so that we have a record upon which future historians–maybe even this historian–can build. This dimension of the historian’s vocation is needed more than ever in the age of Trump.

As Harvard historian Jill Lepore wrote recently in a Washington Post op-ed:

In the aftermath of the Trump administration…the need for a full and accurate historical record will be especially great. There is every reason to fear that the administration will destroy the evidence of its malfeasance and incompetence, especially its abuses of human rights, its violations of the Constitution, and its handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

Does Lepore’s concern apply to the story of evangelicals in the age of Trump? I doubt any Trump evangelicals are destroying documents, but one day people will need to remember what evangelicals did and said between 2015 and 2020.

I hope my blog might serve as a record for future historians writing about evangelicalism during the Trump ascendency. Sometimes it is good to have this stuff all in one place. For example, when I wrote The Bible Cause: A History of the American Bible Society I benefited immensely from mid-20th-century church historian Kenneth Scott Latourette‘s notes on his unfinished history of the American Bible Society.

I hope people will read my court evangelical posts as both a form of criticism and a kind of public notetaking. Maybe one day someone will find my posts helpful as they try to make sense of the Trump presidency.

I love being a historian. Throughout my career I have tried to practice my vocation in as many ways as possible: teaching, writing monographs, writing trade books, writing textbooks, blogging, tweeting, working with teachers, YouTube videos, podcasting, public speaking, reviewing, and consulting. And right now the historian’s call to document, curate, and describe (with perhaps a little criticism thrown-in for good measure 🙂 ) feels right.

Some news from the Trump campaign

Here are some things the Trump campaign is telling its followers via e-mail. These were sent in the last 24 hours. (Source: My email junk box).

This e-mail was titled “‘Trump Announces Groundbreaking Rules to Lower Prescription Drug Prices’–Breitbart News”:

Despite the Radical Left’s efforts to TAKE ME DOWN, I will NEVER stop fighting for YOU.

The work my Administration is doing right now is UNPRECEDENTED.

  • The stock market is up BIG.
  • The Coronavirus Vaccine is almost complete.
  • AND, I have SLASHED prescription drug prices.

Incredible. No President has accomplished anywhere close to what I have in their first term, which is even more reason to step up and DEFEND THE ELECTION!

I’m calling on YOU to stand with me and help secure FOUR MORE YEARS. You’ve never let me down before, and I know you won’t start now.

This e-mail was titled “Trump Pence Make America Great Again”:

I need you. 

The Left will try to STEAL this Election! I’m calling on YOU to step up & FIGHT BACK. Your support is critical right now. We must protect the integrity of this Election. 

Can I count on you?
Please contribute $5 IMMEDIATELY to the Official Election Defense Fund and to increase your impact by 1000%. >>

This e-mail came from those responsible for the “Georgia Recount Fund”:

The recount results in Georgia were BOGUS.

It’s all about the signatures on the envelopes, which they DID NOT verify during the “recount.” Why are the Democrats fighting so hard to hide them?

In our latest effort to PROTECT the integrity of this Election, we have filed a petition for a recount in Georgia. We are focused on ensuring that every aspect of Georgia State Law and the U.S. Constitution is followed so that EVERY LEGAL VOTE is counted.

This recount was a SHAM and everyone knows it. President Trump will not rest until we are delivered a FAIR and TRANSPARENT recount in Georgia. Our legal team is fighting day and night to ensure this happens. All we need now is YOUR support.

Please contribute $5 IMMEDIATELY to the Georgia Recount Fund and DEMAND an HONEST recount. >>

Trump’s people are not happy that I have not been giving him money:

Did you see the President’s email?

We pulled the records of his most LOYAL supporters – the ones who have been there for him no matter what. Unfortunately, your donor record showed up in the BOTTOM 1% of all Trump Supporters.

President Trump REALLY needs you right now. Why haven’t you stepped up?

The truth is, we are pacing BEHIND our Election Defense Fund Goal. If we don’t do something quick, we risk LOSING America to BIG GOVERNMENT SOCIALISTS.

If every supporter took action and contributed TODAY, we’d be back on track and would have what it takes to SAVE AMERICA from Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.

Trump’s daughter-in-law Lara Trump also contacted me today:

I’ve never seen anything like this before.

Right now, as you read this email, millions of Americans across the Nation are coming together to show their support for OUR President and his FIGHT to DEFEND the Election.

It’s clear the American People stand with President Trump – no matter what the Fake News media says – and it’s up to us to take action and SAVE AMERICA from the Left.

It is time for EVERY PATRIOT, like YOU, to step up and DEMAND that every single LEGAL vote is counted. We cannot allow the Democrats to undermine the Election and try to STEAL the White House.

The President has legal teams in each critical state that are working around the clock to ensure a fair and transparent Election. All he needs now is YOU.

Trump’s son Eric Trump also e-mailed:

Make no mistake, Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, and their allies in the Fake News media are trying to steal this Election. Why else would they fight so hard against signature verification on the ballots? CHECK THE BALLOTS!

Biden couldn’t get 10 people to a rally and went days without leaving his house, while my father received 11 MILLION more votes THIS YEAR than he did in 2016. We need to make sure every legal vote is counted and that’s why your support is so critical.

The truth is, we’re pacing behind our Election Defense Fund goal. We need all hands on deck if we’re going to FIGHT BACK AND WIN, which is why I’m reaching out to ask for your help.

Trump reminded me about the stock market:

Despite the Left’s attempts to undermine this Election, I will NEVER stop fighting for YOU.

My Administration is achieving things no one thought possible – the stock market is up BIG, the coronavirus vaccine is underway and will be completed safely very soon.

We are accomplishing so much, which is even more reason to step up and DEFEND THE ELECTION! We cannot let the Democrats STEAL this Election from your all-time favorite President. They’ll DESTROY everything we’ve worked so hard for. 

I’m calling on YOU to FIGHT BACK. We need to bolster our critical Election Defense Fund if we’re going to keep going. We can’t do this without you.

And the “fake news”:

The Fake News media is NEGLECTING to report serious evidence of voting irregularities, but we, the American People, will not be intimidated.

As usual, the LYING, BIASED media would rather help the Left succeed at all costs instead of doing their jobs as JOURNALISTS to tell the FACTS. It’s pathetic.

President Trump can’t fight them off alone. He needs his STRONGEST allies, like YOU, to step up and break through the Fake News filter.

We are going to prove that President Trump won by a landslide and we are going to reclaim the United States of America for the People who voted for freedom.

We will see what I get in my mailbox tomorrow.

David Corn of Mother Jones has also been getting e-mail.

Paul Ryan: “the election is over”

The former Speaker of the House and vice-presidential nominee (2012) is the latest Republican to tell the Trump administration that it is time to move on. Here is a taste of Bill Glauber’s reporting at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

Former House Speaker Paul Ryan said Tuesday that it’s time to move on to “an orderly transfer of power” to President-elect Joe Biden’s administration.

Ryan’s comments were made Tuesday during Bank of America’s virtual European Credit Conference and reported by POLITICO.

So, the election is over,” Ryan said. “The outcome is certain, and I really think the orderly transfer of power — that is one of the most uniquely fundamental American components of our political system.”

Ryan, the Republican from Janesville who represented the 1st Congressional District for 20 years, noted the important move Monday by the General Services Administration to formally begin the transition.

Read the rest here.