Today’s Court Evangelical Update

Trump-Bachmann-Pence-religious-right

Maybe we should make this a daily thing. The court evangelicals are still using their platforms to defend the president.

Robert Jeffress, who earlier today compared Trump’s photo-op at St. John’s church to the myth of George Washington kneeling in prayer at Valley Forge, will be doubling-down on his defense of Trump:

Gary Bauer is extolling Trump as a great unifier:

Bauer also issued a statement on his Facebook page:

…As the president was delivering these remarks, law enforcement officials from multiple agencies were moving unruly crowds back from the line they had formed on the other side of Lafayette Park. A curfew supposedly began at 7:00 PM.

At the end of his remarks the president said, “I am taking no questions. I am now going to a very sacred place.” President Trump then walked across the street from the White House grounds to St. John’s Church, which was attacked during the weekend rioting.

The president was joined by top administration officials, including Attorney General William Barr, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and Chief of Staff Mark Meadows. Trump stood outside the church and held up a Bible. They are already mocking it at CNN and MSNBC.

But President Trump knows what millions of Americans have forgotten or have never been taught. When our founders went to Constitution Hall, the main idea that they put in our founding documents came from the Torah (the Old Testament) and the New Testament.

That is where they found the idea that liberty comes from the God of Abraham. That is where they found that we are all brothers and sisters made in the image of God. And because we are made in the image of God, we have dignity, value and worth.

That is what the president asserted in a dramatic 35 minutes. This not only magnifies the historic choice facing the country in the years ahead, it magnifies the stark choice that is before us in literally five months.

In my view, the next five months will determine whether we will be the last generation in America that is truly free.

Ralph Reed is retweeting a post from an anti-abortion group comparing Trump’s photo-op with Bill Clinton holding a Bible while actually attending church. (I have no idea what this has to do with abortion):

Reed has also issued a statement:

I applaud President Donald J. Trump for visiting St. John’s Episcopal Church, the “church of presidents,” this week after rioters attempted to burn down what is one of the most sacred ecclesiastical spaces in our country.

By visiting St. John’s, President Trump delivered two important messages. First, our streets and cities will not be given over to the rioters, criminals, and domestic terrorists who have hijacked the peaceful protests over the tragic death of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis. Such violence—especially when directed at churches—dishonors Mr. Floyd’s memory and is contrary to everything Martin Luther King preached and the civil rights movement taught about nonviolent resistance to evil. Second, Trump’s visit to St. John’s made clear that while addressing real grievances about discrimination and enacting sound public policy such as criminal justice reform are needed, the real answer to what ails America is the repentance, forgiveness, and redemption that can be found in faith in Christ.
Some of President Trump’s critics seem more upset about him holding a Bible at a church than they were about the vandals who nearly burned it to the ground. The vast majority of Christians are grateful that the President made clear that we need more faith in America, not less, and we cannot allow the destruction of churches or other houses of worship.

Tony Perkins just interviewed Albert Mohler as part of Mohler’s tour for his new book. Perkins argues that protests in the streets are directly related to the decline of Christianity in Western Civilization. He may be correct. This is a sign that white Christianity may be losing its hold on the West. As I have argued, Christianity has done a lot of good things for Western Civilization. It has provided ideas such as freedom that have led to the end of slavery. It has also contributed to a lot of bad things. The West has failed to address systemic racism. One would think that the president of a Southern Baptist seminary like Mohler would know this better than most people. He apparently does not.

Mohler has the audacity to claim that people protesting the indignity shown to George Floyd do not understand the real meaning of human dignity. He makes it sound as if all the protesters are secular or atheists and all those who oppose the protests believe in human dignity. I know Mohler doesn’t believe this, but he is bound by the politics of his denomination and his political party (he is a Trump supporter) to perform this kind of spin. Mohler makes no bones about his loyalty to the GOP and Trump at the end of the interview.

Not all evangelicals are the same. My evangelical church is really taking systemic racism seriously. Here is Joel Gordon, an elder in the church. Here is Scott Hancock, an African-American history professor at Gettysburg College.