David Barton: If someone calls you a homophobe, just call them “a heterophobe.” (And other news from the world of evangelical Trumpism)

Yesterday the Senate voted 55-45 to move forward with Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial. The vote put an end to Kentucky senator Rand Paul’s constitutional objection to the trial. Most GOP senators supported Rand’s motion to kill the trial, but Mitt Romney, Ben Sasse, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, and Pat Toomey broke with the rest of their party and voted to go forward with it. Mitch McConnell, the Senate Republican leader, sided with Paul.

The fact that only 55 senators voted to go forward with the trial (contra Paul’s motion) suggests that it will be difficult to get the 67 senators needed to convict Trump. The trial will begin on Feburary 9, 2021.

Let’s check-in some well-known evangelical Trump supporters. They no longer have access to the court, but they are still in Trump’s corner.

Christian Broadcasting Network journalist David Brody, who calls out other journalists for sharing their opinions on social media, apparently has opinions of his own:

The Independent Network Charismatic (INC) community is still trying to figure out how so many of their prophets got the 2020 election wrong. Mario Murillo believes that the “true prophets” coupled “the promise of Trump’s victory with a call for the church to repent. “False prophets,” he says, “spoke as if we were entitled to an automatic victory.” Here is more from Murillo:

…God ordered the American Church to rally around Trump. The true remnant struck the ground, but many others did not. Some misguided voices diluted the church’s ability to run with the prophetic promise.

‘Woke’ voices, such as Beth Moore and Jim Wallis, notably made it their mission to insult and demean both Trump and his voters. At no time did they offer any sort of meaningful alternative to God’s provision for America.

Nevertheless, we struck the enemy three times, and we actually did win the election. Trump won by a landslide. But we did not get the full victory that would have come if the fraud had been exposed and overturned. That victory was in God’s original plan, but the American Church’s response was simply too little, too late.

We could have taken more authority over demonic power. We needed the lukewarm to repent. That is why we saw the Supreme Court collapse, and why Mike Pence and other Republican leaders chose to save their own political careers, rather than save the nation.

On January 6th, a demonic blanket of evil fell over Washington as Antifa, and BLM protestors posing as Trump supporters, along with a few misguided rightwing extremists, allowed the march to walk into a trap, release great tragedy, and handed the enemy an excuse to try and destroy Trump permanently.

That plus the lethal combination of ‘woke’ Christians, false prophets, and assorted cowards, combined to weaken the enforcement of the true prophecy that Trump would remain in the White House. Instead, we have a puppet and a Jezebel spirit lurking in the people’s house.

Read the entire blog post here. INC prophet Lance Wallnau shared Murillo’s piece and offered similar thoughts of his own.

Meanwhile, Twitter permanently banned Mike “My Pillow Guy” Lindell from its platform. Here is Lindell on Fox News defending himself:

David Barton offers some advice for how his followers should fight the culture war. For the record, I don’t know of anybody in the LGBTQ community who opposes heterosexuals for being heterosexual.

Richard Land is singing the praises of the 1776 Commission Report and actually equates it to scripture. (Deuteronomy 6):

Here is more from Land on the deeply problematic 1776 Commission Report:

Land should stick to running his conservative seminary. He has absolutely no clue about how to do history.

Ralph Reed weighs-in on the impeachment trial. One might think he would welcome the trial since it will distract Congress from moving on Biden’s agenda. Nope:

We could have used more of this nuance from 2015-January 19, 2021:

Well, so much for nuance:

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Free speech! Free speech! The court evangelicals process the events of the last week.

It’s been a very ugly week in America. By this time next week, Donald Trump may be the only United States president to have been impeached twice. We are getting more and more disturbing images and videos from Wednesday’s invasion of the U.S. Capitol. Here is one of the latest:

On Parler and Facebook, Eric Metaxas shared an article suggesting that the insurrectionists were not Trump supporters, but members of Antifa.

Metaxas is a fellow at Liberty University’s Falkirk Center. The center’s Twitter feed is rallying the troops:

What, does the Falkirk Center mean by the “power of the Gospel?” Is the tweet below a reference to the transforming power of the good news of Jesus Christ or the power of Trumpism? Is the Falkirk Center asking followers to plant seeds of faith or seeds of Christian nationalism?

Such “absolute standards” led evangelicals to Donald Trump:

Thousands of Trump supporters invaded the U.S. Capitol and court evangelical journalist David Brody and David Barton crony Rick Green are playing the moral equivalency card. “But what about the Democrats!?” Sorry David Brody, the Democrats did not storm the seat of American government.

Brody, the star newsman at the Christrian Broadcasting Network, believes that Trump has “united the country.” You can’t make this stuff up:

David Barton, the GOP activist who uses the past to promote his political agenda, retweeted Kentucky representative Thomas Massie. Barton and Massie believe that Twitter’s decision to ban Trump was the most “dystopian” thing that happened this week.

Jack Hibbs believes Twitter’s decision to ban Donald Trump is a violation of the First Amendment. Last night he wrote: “If it seems like the first amendment and the Constitution has been abolished it’s probably because it has. The Church is next.” Not really. Twitter is private company. They can ban anyone they want to ban. Also, Twitter has no power to “abolish” the Church.

Hibbs was in Washington D.C. on the day of the insurrection. Why would an evangelical pastor from California be in Washington D.C. on January 6? How is showing-up at a pro-Trump rally part of Hibbs’s pastoral vocation? He believes that the insurrectionists were members of Antifa. He claims that the rioters at the Capitol on Wednesday were “of the same spirit” as the British who invaded Washington in the War of 1812. Both groups, Hibbs says, want to “destroy our Judeo-Christian nation.”

Finally, Hibbs says that “freedom is always purchased with blood…liberty and freedom is a bloody work…Jesus went to the cross and bled for our freedom from sin.” He then compares Jesus’s death to the “blood and sacrifice” of people who died to create the United States and broke rank with” a tyrannical government. Earlier in his little speech, Hibbs extolled the evangelical pastors who promoted liberty from their pulpits during the American Revolution. These pastors mixed American liberty and Christian liberty and, in the process, manipulated the teachings of the Bible to advance their political agenda. I wrote about this extensively in Was America Founded as a Christian Nation?: A Historical Introduction. Hibbs is doing the exact same thing here. Finally, Hibbs reminds his followers that he embraces a dispensationalist, pre-millennial, pre-tribulational eschatology.

Jim Garlow, another court evangelical who appeared on this television show with Hibbs, said that Hibbs has “brilliant insights.” Garlow compared the insurrectionists with the civil rights movement. Watch here.

Robert Jeffress says that when the insurrectionists stormed the U.S. Capitol they were committing a “sin against God.” He calls for peace and unity, but says nothing about the fact that he provided cover for Trump during his entire presidency. Jeffress never uttered a negative word about the man. He is one of the many evangelicals responsible for what happened at the Capitol this week.

Many court evangelicals want to move beyond Trump’s assault on American democracy. They prefer to attack a private tech company:

Tony Perkins, who has built his entire career scaring evangelicals into believing that liberals are taking away their “rights,” tweets a quote from Peter Marshall:

John Hagee believes that the insurrection on Wednesday marks the “advent of the New World Order”:

A lot happened over Christmas break. How did the court evangelicals respond?

Earlier today, I wrote about some of the highlights of the last ten days. I mentioned the Nashville bombing, Trump’s handling of end of the year legislation, the president’s continued attempts at overturning the 2020 president election, and the support he is now receiving from at least twelve U.S. senators. Read that post here. It provides the necessary context for this post.

So what have the court evangelicals had to say since our last update on December 24, 2020?

The Falkirk Center at Liberty University, ground zero for evangelical conspiracy theories about the 2020 presidential election, is getting heat from the Liberty student body. As of December 30, 400 Liberty students and recent graduates have signed a petition calling for the university to close the Falkirk Center. The petition states: “We are also concerned that the Falkirk Center has become a gateway for many wolves in sheep’s clothing–people who claim Christ’s name because it is convenient for their personal or political gain.” It specifically calls out Falkirk “fellows” Eric Metaxas, Allie Beth Stuckey, Sebastian Gorka, Jenna Ellis, Ryan Helfenbein, and co-founder Charlie Kirk.

The petition is similar to what I wrote about the Falkirk Center in a Religion News Service piece on September 9, 2020.

The Falkirk Center’s social media feeds did not address the petition. They continued to double-down on abortion, church closings due to COVID-19, and “socialism.” Perhaps this tweet was meant as a subtle response to the petition:

Charlie Kirk, the founder of the Liberty University Falkirk Center, did not mention the student petition, but defended Trump’s veto of the Defense Authorization Act on the grounds that it would rename military bases named after Confederate leaders:

Kirk believes that Josh Hawley’s decision to object to the Electoral College votes is a sign of courage:

He is also attacking Georgia secretary of state Brad Raffensberger for his refusal to “find votes” for Trump:

And yes, he still believes that the Democrats stole the election:

Liberty University Falkirk Center fellow and Trump lawyer Jenna Ellis was still claiming that election fraud is real:

According to Ellis, those who claim Trump lies are engaging in some kind of leftist philosophy about the definition of words:

The election was rigged and everyone who loves the Constitution knows it:

Don’t concede. Never concede:

Jenna is working for the Lord:

All she has done is part of the sovereign will of God:

And in good “Christian” form she is bragging about advancing her career as she trashes someone else’s career:

But at least she will keep speaking truth and reminding everyone that she is trending on Twitter:

Are Liberty University Falkirk Center fellows allowed to drink beer?

Another Liberty University Falkirk Center fellow, Eric Metaxas, continued to claim that “the election was stolen.” He describes the 2020 election as the equivalent of “stabbing Lady Liberty in the throat,” “murdering Uncle Sam,” and “desecrating all the young men who died for liberty over the centuries.” Metaxas believes that if Joe Biden gets inaugurated on January 20, 2021 it will be a “miracle.” Biden, Metaxas says, “was involved in one of the most wicked, treasonous acts in the history of the greatest nation in the world.” Watch here (after the five minute mark).

In other court evangelical news:

Self-proclaimed prophet Lance Wallnau is worried that Biden and Harris will “rule” America:

It is all a spiritual battle for “rulership on earth”:

On Wallnau’s Facebook page he says that we are “in the spiritual fight of our lifetime” and we are entering a week that will “change America.” His source is Trump election fraud lawyer Sidney Powell. He believes that any member of Congress up for election in 2022 should be protesting the Electoral College results on January 6. Christians must “enlarge their presence” to make sure Trump stays in office.

Court evangelical journalist David Brody believes journalism is dead.

But apparently good journalism continues to live at the Christian Broadcasting Network. This is some hard-hitting stuff from Brody:

And this:

This next tweet may be true. But it says more about evangelicals than Trump:

Brody gives a signal boost to violence on January 6:

Brody retweeted Dinesh D’Souza:

Pastor Jack Hibbs is retweeting the president:

Hibbs is also going on Newsmax in support of Trump. Just another court evangelical doing his part.

Jim Garlow’s prayer meetings for election integrity are continuing into the new year. Last week he was marching around the Georgia capital with a few followers, including Messianic Jews with shofars.

Garlow also engaged in a Twitter debate over who is the “adult” in the Senate:

Robert Jeffress continued to remain quiet on election fraud. He is back to his usual talking points about the Democrat “administration of death.” There is an interesting and ironic part of this interview in which Jeffress criticizes liberal Protestants for getting too political.

Gary Bauer is doing what Trump court evangelicals do:

Eric Metaxas and Charlie Kirk talk “voter fraud” (and other court evangelical news)

Over fifteen million cases and 292,000 deaths.

COVID-19 continues to rage in the United States. Meanwhile, Donald Trump continues to give meaning to the phrase “lame duck president.” He is concentrating on last ditch efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election.

On Wednesday, Trump and seventeen GOP states filed a motion to join a lawsuit brought to the Supreme Court by controversial Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. The suit would invalidate 2020 election ballots in Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. If the Supreme Court decides to hear the case (a very long shot), Trump wants Ted Cruz to argue it. Cruz has apparently agreed to do it. Things have certainly changed in four years.

By the way, evangelical Nebraska GOP senator Ben Sasse thinks Paxton is looking for a pardon from Trump.

Now that the context is set, let’s see what the court evangelicals are saying:

Greg Locke of Global Vision Bible Church says the pandemic is “fake” and he will not take a vaccine. When asked to define a “pandemic,” Locke said “COVID is not it.”

Eric Metaxas’s Christmas Show is back again this year:

Liberty University Falkirk Center fellows Metaxas and Charlie Kirk got together yesterday:

Metaxas says that “God acts in history” and he has acted on the side of Trump. He believes that only “mature” Christians understand this. In other words, if you are a serious (“mature”) Christian, you will know that Trump won the election. Metaxas, of course, is one of those mature Christians. He also says that since he “knows” Trump won the election it doesn’t really matter what we can prove in court. Anyone who disagrees is not only “arrogant,” but is working on behalf of evil and spitting “on the grave of George Washington.” (The “arrogance” of Metaxas’s claim to know the mind of God is astounding. He claims that God told him and some friends whom he trusts that Trump will have a second term).

Metaxas seems to believe he is Dietrich Bonhoeffer and all those who reject this conspiracy theory are the Germans who stood-by and watched Hitler rise to power. At one point, Kirk asks Metaxas what he thinks will happen with the election fraud cases currently in the courts and Metaxas says he is “too ignorant of the details to answer that question in any substantive way.” Unbelievable.

This stuff goes on for 40 minutes. At one point Metaxas says he believes that God will intervene on behalf of Trump, the criminals will go to jail, and the country will heal. Kirk, on the other hand, says he is preparing for war no matter what happens with the election results.

Meanwhile, on Twitter, Kirk suggests that recent leaks about the prosecution of Hunter Biden came from the Kamala Harris camp. Kirk never met a conspiracy theory he didn’t like–all in the name of Jesus.

Kirk, the founder of Liberty University’s Falkirk Center, continues the “election fraud” fight:

A woman believes that Jenna Ellis, Trump lawyer and Liberty University Falkirk Center fellow, is “sharing the word of God.” A part of me feels sorry for Ellis. She is a young lawyer with very little experience who the Trump is using because so few experienced lawyers are willing to touch these election fraud cases. Ambition is a powerful temptation.

Ellis quotes Robert Gagnon on “holiness”:

And this:

The Falkirk Center, the new center of evangelical Trumpism in America, just celebrated its one-year anniversary by telling people concerned about COVID-19 that they are “wasting their lives in fear of death.” Wait, doesn’t Liberty University have COVID restrictions? Don’t let Liberty University control its students’ lives! 🙂

Lance Wallnau says millions of Christians–a Christian populist movement–is “taking on the devil” and stopping Satan from gaining control of America. The Texas case is all part of God’s plan. God works in mysterious ways. Wallnau’s video has 277K views and 20k comments.

Journalism is dead, except at the Christian Broadcasting Network:

Court evangelical journalist David Brody’s claim about the death of journalism is rich in light of the fact that he is getting his understanding of constitutional republicanism from Lara Trump:

The speaker list for the December 12 “Jericho March” in Washington D.C. includes: Michelle Bachmann, Michael Flynn, Mike “My Pillow Guy” Lindell, Eric Metaxas, Abby Johnson, Cindy Jacobs, Fr Frank Pavone, Kelly Kullberg, and Dennis Prager.

Johnnie Moore is praying for health care workers, but he says nothing about the president who seems to be ignoring COVID-19 and his fellow evangelicals who oppose masks and social distancing. Is this what a “modern day Dietrich Bonhoeffer” would do?

Tony Perkins is on board with this crazy Texas lawsuit. He can’t “wrap his head” around how people are ignoring all the election fraud. Perkins should take it up with state legislatures (GOP and Democratic) and the Supreme Court (with three Trump appointees). His guest, Louisiana Congressman Mike Johnson, thinks that the Court will take this case. Perkins says he “trusts” Johnson’s judgement. Johnson knows this case has no chance. He is blatantly lying to Perkins. If he is not lying, he is delusional.

Actually, John Hagee, history does not repeat itself and prophecies of a Trump victory in the 2020 election will not come true:

Franklin Graham is pushing the voter fraud narrative:

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:

The court evangelicals are now linked to yet another “national embarrassment”

Trump and his crack legal team are still claiming election fraud. On Saturday, U.S. District Court Judge Matthew Brann wrote, “One might expect that when seeking a startling outcome, a plaintiff would come formidably armed with compelling legal arguments and factual proof of rampant corruption…that’s not what happened.” Brann dismissed the case with prejudice. This means that the Trump campaign cannot resubmit the case. Pennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey called Brann “a longtime conservative Republican whom I know to be a fair and unbiased jurist.”

Trump adviser and former New Jersey governor Chris Christie called Trump’s legal team, which includes Rudy Giuliani, Sidney Powell, and former Colorado Christian University professor and current Liberty University spokesperson Jenna Ellis, a “national embarrassment.

Trump still refuses to admit defeat and is not cooperating with Joe Biden on a peaceful transition of power. Most sitting GOP members of Congress are unwilling to admit that Trump lost the election and refuse to call Joe Biden “president-elect.” A national embarrassment indeed.

The court evangelicals are another group of Trump supporters clinging to hopes of an election reversal. While a few of Trump’s evangelical advisers have gone silent, a few are still praying for a miracle. Let’s check in on them:

Jack Graham is still not sure “truth” and “transparency” has prevailed:

Interesting:

I think we all understand Paula:

Eric Metaxas is still holding “election integrity” prayer meetings. He held one last night. James Dobson was involved. So is Jim Garlow:

Metaxas is also promoting this Newsmax video. On Parler, Metaxas promoted a video in which Alan Dershowitz predicts Trump will win the aforementioned Pennsylvania case.

A tweeter mocked Biden’s stutter. Court evangelical journalist David Brody of the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) retweeted him:

Liberty University spokesperson Charlie Kirk is still fighting the “good” fight:

Lance Wallnau:

Liberty University’s Falkirk Center believes we are in a spiritual battle:

Jonathan Falwell’s says if Liberty ever “goes liberal” he will “light the match” that burns the school to the ground.

Some early court evangelical responses to the Joe Biden victory

Most of the court evangelicals are pretty silent today. They may be wondering if Trump will ever invite them back to the court. I am sure they are lamenting their loss of power.

Eric Metaxas blocked me on Twitter years ago, but Brent Epling captured this tweet:

Metaxas can make a lot of money and garners a lot of attention by merely staying within the bubble of Trumpism. He’s no longer interested in the project of engaging w/ anyone outside this bubble. I think he WAS interested in this project at one point, but no more. Why engage a broader public when playing to the base alone brings earthly rewards?

Metaxas and Paula White are hoping and praying for another 1948:

I’m not sure what Paula White means by this tweet, but it is interesting:

Court evangelical Tony Perkins retweeted Alt-right Breitbart News. He is right about “hit lists,” but that is not what is happening here. I think he really believes that Democrats are going to try to “eradicate” Trump supporters. Yes, the fearmongering continues.

Franklin Graham calls for unity:

James Robison’s 15-minute video captures the entire court evangelical phenomenon I have written-about in the past four years.

Even if court evangelical journalist Brody is right about CNN, this doesn’t explain Fox News:

Brody has a “serious question”:

Jenna Ellis, a spokesperson for Liberty University’s Falkirk Center, tweeted this last night after Biden’s short speech. Liberty University recently canceled evangelical pastor John Piper, but they allow this. Christian politics at its “best.”

The Liberty University Falkirk Center is going all-in on the fraud narrative:

Friday morning court evangelical check-in

Jack Graham sends a subtle pro-Trump message using Psalm 68:

And this:

Not sure what this means, but I think it has something to do with the election:

The part about Biden getting few evangelical votes than Hillary Clinton odes not match-up with some of the best research available right now. Johnnie Moore sees what he wants to see:

David Brody of the Christian Broadcasting Network is all in on the fraud narrative:

Jenna Ellis, a court evangelical lawyer and spokesperson for Liberty University’s Falkirk Center, is invoking Old Testament verses about “battles”:

Tony Perkins is focusing on Congress.

Eric Metaxas is sharing this Mike Huckabee video titled “The Art of the Steal”:

Hers is what Metaxas tweeted last night. He clearly believes that the Democrats planned a coup.

@ericmetaxas TWEET There are so many witnesses to voter fraud it’s now clear the Dems planned this. But who did that planning? When Trump is finally reelected– & he will be –he must see these traitors punished to the fullest extent of the law. Anything less is itself treasonous. God help America.

David Barton and his Wallbuilders gang is fraud and corruption.

Lance Wallnau prophesied election fraud.

As November approaches, Trump releases his “greatest” hits album

Trump Tulsa

The coronavirus is spiking again. The country is in the midst of what might be an unprecedented conversation about race. And polls show that Donald Trump is trailing Joe Biden by a considerable margin.

Trump is desperate. If he loses in November, he will limp back to New York as arguably the worst president in United States history.  His growing sense of hopelessness and despair is leading him to double-down on the issues that got him elected in 2016. It’s like a Trump greatest hits album.

It’s going to be a really bad album, but a lot of people will buy it between now and November.

Monday night court evangelical roundup

Court evangelical prayer in Miami

What have Trump’s evangelicals been saying since yesterday’s update?

A spokesperson for Liberty University’s Falkirk Center thinks someone is trying to cancel Christianity. Not sure how that is possible. It’s kind of like “removing God” from public schools.

Al Mohler will vote for Trump“because the alternative is increasingly unthinkable.”

Eric Metaxas had English conservative journalist Peter Hitchens on the show to condemn England’s response to the coronavirus, but Metaxas just wanted to talk about Black Lives Matter. He tried to put words in Hitchens’s mouth, but Hitchens wouldn’t let him do it. Hitchens said he is opposed to Brexit and rejects the populism of Trump’s friend Boris Johnson. Metaxas got on his hobby-horse about how the American Left is influenced by “cultural Marxism,” but Hitchens, a true conservative, rebuked him for his use of this phrase and essentially told Metaxas that  he doesn’t know what he is talking about. Metaxas squirmed. Finally, Hitchens said that Trump is “ludicrous” and mentioned how John Bolton’s book will expose Trump’s incompetence. At one point, Metaxas compared Trump to Winston Churchill and Hitchens came just short of laughing at the suggestion. Metaxas didn’t seem to know what to do with all of this and was probably wondering why he booked Hitchens, a writer who does not fit very well with the pro-Trump propaganda machine that is the Eric Metaxas Show.

Here is Trump wonder-boy, evangelical Charlie Kirk:

Wait, now I’m confused. I thought Trump WANTED us to talk more about his rally:

Gary Bauer had some things to say about Trump’s Tulsa rally on Saturday night:

Here is Bauer at his Facebook page:

The left tried everything it could to prevent Americans from gathering together to hear a speech from our president. The protesters pulling down statues and marching in four-lane highways say they are protected by the Constitution. Yet those same people tried to prevent the president from giving a speech.

We were told that Trump walking to a church represented a threat to the Constitution because protesters were blocking the way. Those same people went into the courts to block the president’s speech. They also blocked entrances to the stadium where he spoke. They harassed attendees when they left.

The Constitution is under siege, my friends, but from the radical left, not President Trump.

David Brody of the Christian Broadcasting Network interviewed Trump. It will air tomorrow (Tuesday) at 11:00am. Here is a taste:

David Brody: I want to ask you, on the evangelical front. I’ve asked Sarah Sanders, Mike Pompeo, they all give me the same answer I say, was President Trump put in office for such a time as this. Did God put President Trump in office for such a time as this? I never asked you that question. What do you think?

President Trump: Well, I don’t know what they said. 

David Brody: They said yes. 

President Trump: Okay. Because I have, Ben Carson said the same thing. You know, Ben Carson came to me because he ran a very effective campaign. And he did a good job. He really did. You know, he came in one of the top people. And he said to me, you know, you’re gonna win. I said, Ben, I’m running against you. What are you telling me? He said you’re going to win because God put you here for this occasion. I said, What a lovely thing to say. That was the first one that I heard from Ben Carson. And it was during the campaign, I was running against him, and he was saying, I’m gonna win. He’s a very high-quality guy. He’s done a great job in the administration.

David Brody: Do you buy that?

President Trump: I almost don’t even want to think about it. Because you know what, all I’m gonna do is, I hope it’s true. All I’m going to do is I’m going to do my best. And part of what I’m doing my best one is for the religious community beyond evangelical, evangelicals a very big part is very important to me. You know, we have great support. I was so honored when Franklin Graham said that his father voted for me. And that was something that Billy Graham has never announced, who he was voting for. But Franklin Graham said his father voted for me. He went public with it. As you know, to me that was a big moment because I have such respect for Franklin and for the family and Billy Graham is really great. Like when he said that his father, his last vote was for me and his father never announced who was voting for, would never talk about it. Now I think I have great I think I have great support. There’s a lot of hidden support. People in our country that don’t riot, don’t protest, that don’t you know, they work hard. They never had a voice into like, meaning over the last long period of time. We call them the Forgotten men and women, they would have forgotten. They were very successful. They were, they do a great job. They’re smart, they have everything, but they were forgotten by the politicians. They showed up in 16. I think they’re going to show up in larger numbers in 20. 

Is this true for First Baptist-Dallas?:

Or in other words, vote for Trump:

Until next time.

A Late Saturday Night Check-In on the Court Evangelicals

Trump court evangelicals

What have Trump’s evangelicals been saying since yesterday’s update?

Court evangelical Eric Metaxas is talking about “reverse racism” and claims that the protesters are not “thinking rationally.” He interviews Bob Woodson, an African-American conservative critic of the 1619 Project. Metaxas is so furious about reverse racism at The New York Times that he has canceled his subscription. He then makes the case that the spirit behind the George Floyd protests are “unChristian” because Christians believe in forgiveness. If I understand him correctly, he thinks we should forgive the police for killing Charles Floyd and forgive people for being racist, and then we can all “celebrate.” He then refers to “systemic” and “institutional” racism as an invented term straight out of Orwell’s 1984.

Watch:

Jenetzen Franklin is at a candlelight vigil in Gainesville for racist injustice.

Paula White-Cain is not saying much about what is happening in the world right now. Instead, she is rejecting the historic Christian belief that we are born sinful:

Gary Bauer wants churches to open. He tags Donald Trump and Federalist writer Mollie Hemingway:

Johnnie Moore,the guy who calls himself a “modern-day Dietrich Bonhoeffer,is letting everyone know that he is listening to a Black pastors and a lot of them are his friends:

As the protest rages in the city of Louisville, here is what Al Mohler is tweeting:

Earlier today, David Brody of the Christian Broadcasting Network retweeted the president:

Here is Robert Jeffress:

In principle, I agree with Jeffress. But this is really hard to take coming from a guy who supports a president who foments hate, division, and racial strife. A changed heart should lead one to speak on behalf of justice for the oppressed–and not just the unborn.

Thoughts on Mike Pompeo and Queen Esther

Here is Mike Pompeo talking with the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN):

Sarah Pulliam Bailey gets us up to speed at The Washington Post.  Read here piece here.

Here are some really random thoughts about Pompeo’s remarks:

The fact that CBN asked Pompeo to compare Trump to Queen Esther in interesting in and of itself.  Let’s be clear:  Pompeo was responding to a question, not offering-up his religious views on Middle East foreign policy in an unsolicited fashion.

CBN has a long history of trying to connect biblical prophecy to developments in the Middle East.  The people at CBN believe, along with millions of other evangelicals, that God still has a special place in His plan for the nation of Israel.  The establishment of the state of Israel will be a sign that Jesus Christ’s return is coming.  This theology is often described as dispensationalism.  Those at CBN understand their mission in terms of 1 Chronicles 12:32.  In this Old Testament passage, David builds an army at Hebron to overthrow King Saul.  It says that “the men from Issachar” were men “who understood the times and knew what Israel should do….”  Today CBN wants to “understand the times” so that it can help evangelicals win the culture war and shape foreign policy.

Pompeo’s answer reveals that he also believes God still has a plan for Israel.  His answer makes it clear that he favors a pro-Israel foreign policy partially for dispensational or “end times” reasons.  It does not surprise me that he would see Iran as Haman and Esther as Trump.  What is most telling is that Pompeo is not running for office (like Trump) and thus does not have to appeal to evangelicals to shore-up an electoral base for 2020.   Unlike Trump, he seems to really believe this stuff.

One illustration of the evangelical love of Israel comes from Peter Lillback, the President of Westminster Theological Seminary, an evangelical Reformed seminary in the Philadelphia area. In 2011, Lillback wrote an entire book arguing that George Washington was a supporter of Israel.  Here is one of his arguments: “If there had been no George Washington, there would have been no American Independence.  If there had been no American Independence there would have been no United States.  If there had been no United States, there would have no super-power to support the existence of Israel.  If there has been no super-power to support Israel, there would be no Israel.”  He then concludes that George Washington was part of God’s plan for “the destiny of Israel.”

Trump has also been compared to King Cyrus. Some evangelicals make this comparison metaphorically—Trump is a pagan ruler who set the evangelical church free from the captivity of the Obama administration much in the same way that Cyrus, a pagan ruler, set the Israelites free from Babylonian bondage.  Others apply the Cyrus example to Israel.  Mike Evans, a Christian Zionist, has said that God used Trump to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem much in the same way God used Cyrus to advance biblical prophecy as related to a future for Israel.  I wrote extensively about this in Believe Me: The Evangelical Road to Donald Trump.

It is worth noting that Harry Truman was also hailed as a King Cyrus after the state of Israel was established in 1948.

Back in 2012, Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu gave Barack Obama a copy of the Book of Esther.  It was a clear message that Obama, according to Netanyahu, was NOT acting as an Esther in his support of Iran over Israel.

Many evangelicals compared Sarah Palin to Queen Esther when she was John McCain’s vice-presidential candidate in 2008.  (She would save Christian America from the threat of an Obama administration and secularism.

Abraham Lincoln was compared to Queen Esther for freeing the slaves.  (He was also compared to Moses).

And that brings my random thought to an end.  🙂

Jeff Sessions Defends His Use of Romans 13

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Context: I have commented on Sessions’ use of Romans 13 in several posts here at The Way of Improvement Leads Home.  I also contributed to Washington Post and New York Times stories on this.

Recently Session talked with David Brody at Christian Broadcasting Network.  Here is a taste:

WASHINGTON – Attorney General Jeff Sessions addressed some of the criticism he and the White House have received in recent weeks regarding the administration’s immigration policy in an exclusive interview Thursday with CBN News.

Sessions was personally criticized when he quoted scripture to justify separating families at the southern border, something CBN’s David Brody asked him about.

“I don’t think it was an extreme position that I took,” said Sessions. “I directed it not to say that religion requires these laws on immigration. I just simply said to my Christian friends, ‘You know, the United States has laws and I believe that Paul was clear in Romans that we should try to follow the laws of government of which we are a part.'”

Sessions alluded to the Bible again when he discussed the morality of immigration law.

“I believe, strongly, that it is moral, decent and just for a nation to have a lawful system of immigration,” Sessions said. “I’m not aware of a single nation in the world that doesn’t have some sort of rules about who can enter and who cannot enter. I believe there is biblical support for that, too.”

Sessions told Brody that all of the criticism has not gone unfelt, especially the criticism coming from his Christian brothers and sisters.

Read the rest here.

David Brody: Trump’s Journalist

Brody FileI just finished reading Elizabeth Dias’s New York Times piece on Christian Broadcasting Network journalist David Brody.  The evangelical journalist and the co-author of The Faith of Donald J. Trump: A Spiritual Biography has had some intimate access to the White House.

Here is a taste of Dias’s piece:

“The access has been phenomenal,” Brody said later in an interview. “I’m very appreciative to God for allowing it.”

While Trump attacks major news organizations and suggests revoking media credentials for outlets he deems “Fake News,” Brody and his network enjoy a closeness to the White House that is foreign to most reporters. In return, Trump gets a direct line to his most supportive voters, the conservative evangelicals who make up CBN’s core audience. Their allegiance is critical to his success; more than 80 percent of white evangelicals who went to the polls in 2016 voted for Trump.

The Christian Broadcasting Network has become an important outlet for the president. Brody interviewed Trump eight times during the campaign. A week after the inauguration, he scored a landmark interview in which Trump called the media “the opposition party.” White House surrogates routinely appear on Brody’s program, and Brody himself has been a guest both on Fox News and on programs on other networks like “Meet the Press.”

“What you are seeing in the White House is base-tending,” said Kathleen Hall Jamieson, co-founder of FactCheck.org and a professor of communication at the University of Pennsylvania.

Viewers of Christian media, she added, are often presented with more favorable information about Trump than they would find in the mainstream media. “It is agenda control,” Jamieson said.

Read the entire piece here.

Brody knows his audience and, of course, is perfectly free to report the kind of news that the viewers of CBN want to hear.  But I wonder if Brody is ever bothered by having such access to the White House.  It would seem that a journalist’s integrity can be corrupted pretty quickly when one gets such access.

Wheaton Consultation Organizer Says Meeting Was Not Anti-Trump

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Last week the Christian Broadcasting Network reported that several people walked out of a meeting of evangelical leaders at Wheaton College because of its “crazy Trump-bashing.”

One of the organizers of the meeting, Darrell Bock (Dallas Theological Seminary), rejects CBN’s report.  Here is a taste of a recent piece at The Christian Post:

While Bock detests the notion that the meeting was an “anti-Trump” conference, some speakers and presenters at the conference expressed their dismay with the president and with today’s American evangelicalism.

Journalist Katelyn Beaty, who live-tweeted the first day of the conference, quoted Alexander as saying: “How could white Christians mourn the deaths of the Charleston Nine but politically support a presidential candidate who appeals to the ideology held by the Charleston murderer?”

According to Beaty, Chicago pastor Charlie Dates stated during the meeting that “American evangelicalism has not been able to separate itself from the perks of white supremacy.”

“We are discussing all that from a variety of angles,” Bock said when asked about the tweets. “What tweets are snapshots. A quote by itself without a context doesn’t actually help you understand what is going into that remark and that concern. You are getting small snippets of the whole thing into which not only were the points made, the points were responded to.”

“I think what the meeting shows is that there are still a whole array of conversations with people in the group and some with people outside of the group and not necessarily represented in the group that we very much want to have and seek to pursue,” he added.

Read the entire piece here.

Trump Has Given More Interviews to the Christian Broadcasting Network Than to CNN, ABC or NBC

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Trump shakes hands with Pat Robertson, founder of the Christian Broadcasting Network

Ruth Graham has a great piece at Politico Magazine on the love affair between Donald Trump and Christian broadcasting.  Here is a taste:

When “Huckabee” made its debut on TBN last fall, it immediately became the network’s highest-rated show, with more than a million viewers for a typical episode. Unlike every other show the network has produced, it is overtly political and squarely focused on current events. It has a variety component, with musical guests and comedians, and Huckabee occasionally breaks out his own bass guitar on stage. But in its six months on the air, Huckabee has also interviewed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Trump-defending Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, anti-abortion activist Serrin Foster and former Senator Joe Lieberman. The very first guest on his very first show, last October, was President Trump.

A generation ago—even a few years ago—this would have been unthinkable. Christian TV was largely the province of preachers, musicians, faith healers and a series of televangelism scandals. Politicians were leery of getting too close. To establishment evangelicals, not to mention the rest of America, Christian TV was hokey at best, and disreputable at worst.

But in the past two years, largely out of view of the coastal media and the Washington establishment, a transformation has taken place. As Christian networks have become more comfortable with politics, the Trump administration has turned them into a new pipeline for its message. Trump has forged a particularly tight marriage of convenience with Pat Robertson’s Christian Broadcasting Network, which since early in the 2016 campaign has offered consistent friendly coverage and been granted remarkable access in return. Trump personally has appeared 11 times on CBN since his campaign began; in 2017 alone, he gave more interviews to CBN than to CNN, ABC or CBS. Trump’s Cabinet members, staffers and surrogates also appear regularly. TBN has embraced politics more gingerly—it is still not a news-gathering organization—but Trump has made inroads there, too, starting with his kickoff interview on “Huckabee.”

Read the entire piece here.

Donald Trump, a politician, is now shaping the agenda of conservative evangelical television.  Another example of how politics and culture influence and shape the character American evangelicalism.  Trump should be getting credit as an unofficial producer for these shows.