Gerson: “For many years, leaders of the religious right exactly conformed Christian social teaching to the contours of Fox News…”

Bannon Voters Valye

Michael Gerson continues to bring the fire.  He starts his October 16, 2017 Washington Post column with this line: “At the Family Research Council’s recent Values Voter Summit, the religious right effectively declared its conversion to Trumpism.”

He continues:

The president was received as a hero. Stephen K. Bannon and Sebastian Gorka — both fired from the White House, in part, for their extremism — set the tone and agenda. “There is a time and season for everything,” said Bannon. “And right now, it’s a season for war against a GOP establishment.”

A time to live and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to uproot. A time to mourn and a time to embrace angry ethnonationalism and racial demagoguery. Yes, a time to mourn.

There is no group in the United States less attached to its own ideals or more eager for its own exploitation than religious conservatives. Forget Augustine and Aquinas, Wilberforce and Shaftesbury. For many years, leaders of the religious right exactly conformed Christian social teaching to the contours of Fox News evening programming. Now, according to Bannon, “economic nationalism” is the “centerpiece of value voters.” I had thought the centerpiece was a vision of human dignity rooted in faith. But never mind. Evidently the Christian approach to social justice is miraculously identical to 1930s Republican protectionism, isolationism and nativism.

Do religious right leaders have any clue how foolish they appear? Rather than confidently and persistently representing a set of distinctive beliefs, they pant and beg to be a part of someone else’s movement. In this case, it is a movement that takes advantage of racial and ethnic divisions and dehumanizes Muslims, migrants and refugees. A movement that has cultivated ties to alt-right leaders and flirted with white identity politics. A movement that will eventually soil and discredit all who are associated with it.

Read the entire column here.

I took the weekend off, so I did not get a chance to see much of the display of court evangelicalism known as the “Voters Value Summit,” but I hope to get caught up soon.

One thought on “Gerson: “For many years, leaders of the religious right exactly conformed Christian social teaching to the contours of Fox News…”

  1. I see at least three things at work which threatens the white Christian community. First, the election of a black man to the presidency; second, the Black Lives Matter campaign; and third, the legalization of same-sex marriage.

    These three things sent a shockwave through the white Christian community. It shocked them enough that they retreated to a self-preservation position. Religious tenets were no longer that important to them – survival became their primary concern. And, what they needed was a strong leader to protect them.

    So they chose Trump as their leader. They knew that Trump was not and never had been a Christian, but they struck a bargain with him. The relationship is a quid pro quo relationship – they would support him if he gave them the tools to regain their supremacy.

    Robert P. Jones wrote in his book “The End of White Christian America,” that demographically white Christian Americans are on the decline. Whether Trump can save them from their demise is not clearly indicated in my crystal ball. However, I believe that we are headed for some very rocky times in the near future.

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