The evangelical lost cause is alive and well in Chino Hills, California

Evangelical pro-Trumpers were roundly defeated in November. They hitched their hope–both politically and ethically–to one of the most corrupt and immoral presidents in American history. Most of Trump’s diehard evangelical supporters believe that evil forces stole the election. preventing four more years of a God-appointed president who was born to restore America to Christian greatness. Trump lost the election, but his cause was just. Over the next months and years, such a belief will be disseminated through what I have called a lost cause evangelical infrastructure.

As it is now shaping up, Eric Metaxas and Charlie Kirk will use their platforms as the most prominent evangelical defenders of the lost cause. Former Minnesota congresswoman and GOP presidential candidate Michelle Bachmann will educate young men and women in the evangelical lost cause from her new position as dean of the Robertson School of Government at Regent University. The Falkirk Center at Liberty University will be an institutional home for this movement as it continues to provide a platform for pro-Trump evangelicals Metaxas, Kirk, Jenna Ellis, Sebastian Gorka, and others. On the Independent Network Charismatic front, “prophets” such as Lance Wallnau will continue to use their large social media presence to rally the faithful in a Trump-inspired Christian populism.

And dozens and dozens of evangelical churches will continue to host lost cause events like the one we saw earlier this week at Calvary Chapel-Chino Hills with Jack Hibbs and Kirk. Watch:

Let’s remember that this event took place in an evangelical megachurch. Listen to the cheering evangelicals in the audience as Kirk spins the election results and thanks the congregation for “doing the right thing” at the ballot box. If you want to get a picture of what Trump’s presidency has unveiled, it is all on display here. Hibbs has an open Bible on his lap as he and Kirk talk about Christians winning back the culture for Christ. Trump is gone, but the conversation is still all about the pursuit of political power.

Both Kirk and Hibbs continue to suggest, through Kirk’s “funny” joke about hand-gestures, that Democrats stole the election from Trump. Like other lost cause movements, these evangelicals believe that Trump’s agenda for America was righteous and just.

Kirk claims that every one of “the left’s” policies “run contrary to God’s laws and God’s nature.” Hibbs agrees. The crowd cheers. Those in attendance are obviously happy that their pastor has allowed a political rally to break-out in the Calvary Chapel sanctuary. Both Kirk and Hibbs sit back and grin with satisfaction.

Hibbs, trying and failing to show he is some kind of historian or political philosopher, claims that “the Bible is the birthplace of the Constitution, one feeds the other and one defends the other.” I wrote about these kinds of Christian nationalist claims extensively in chapters 9 and 10 of Was America Founded as a Christian Nation?: A Historical Introduction.

At around the 18:00 mark, Hibbs implies that those churches that have not stayed open during COVID-19 or failed to “stand” with Trump during the election will “not get a chance to stand again” in 2021. Notice how Hibbs connects the ability of the church to “stand” with those in political power. He then moves into evangelical fearmongering mode by suggesting that the “powers-that-be” want to shut down churches and are “sharpening their swords as we speak. He adds:

If you [are a church] that didn’t make the cross over into the new year standing, I don’t know if you are going to get a chance to stand again…I want to put a cry out to churches: you really need to open-up now because there is a high probability that you may never be granted the freedom to do that from the government again, and if you are waiting for permission from the government to open-up again I don’t think it is going to come from this administration.

Kirk then attacks my new friend, Christian rapper Lecrae. He says that Lecrae “should never be allowed to perform at another church after he supported Rafael Warnock” in the January 5, 2021 Georgia Senate runoff. He adds: “Lecrae wanted to be loved and accepted by the Democrat power establishment instead of standing-up for truth.” Again, Hibbs’s white middle class audience cheers.

Kirk then calls for a “battleship Christianity” that will fight to save American culture. A twenty-something loudmouth with no pastoral experience or formal education has the audacity to lecture pastors about how to run their churches, read their Bibles, and engage in public life. Kirk says that if a church does not preach politics, its congregants cannot trust it’s pastor’s teachings on other matters. This reminds me of the early 1740s when Presbyterian evangelical Gilbert Tennent barnstormed around the colonies preaching a sermon titled “The Danger of an Unconverted Ministry.” Tennent told Christians to leave their churches if their pastors had not experienced the new birth. A few years later, he wrote a series of pamphlets apologizing for his role in dividing the Christian churches in the colonies. One of them was titled The Danger of Spiritual Pride Represented.

At this point, the event is the equivalent of a full-blown Trump rally as Kirk makes a direct connection between Hibbs’s willingness to preach pro-Trump politics and the numerical growth of Calvary Chapel-Chino Hill. For the record, I have no doubt that Calvary Chapel-Chino Hill is growing because Hibbs uses his platform to preach politics. I also can’t think of a better window into the current state of American evangelicalism.

And it was only a matter of time before Godwin’s Law kicked-in. Like the New England Federalists of the early 19th-century who believed Thomas Jefferson was coming to close their churches and confiscate their Bibles, Kirk says that Biden’s government will soon be coming to do the same thing. Hibbs responds to Kirk’s claim: “He’s just speaking history. It’s exactly what Hitler…did.” The level of fear-mongering and conspiratorial rhetoric reaches its height as Hibbs starts comparing the Biden administration to the Nazis and Soviets.

At the end of the talk, Hibbs says that he expects the Holy Spirit to bring a revival to America like it has never seen before. After listening to his conversation with Kirk, it is unclear whether this will be a revival that will transform people spiritually or a “revival” that will drive the Democratic Party from power and restore America to its supposed Christian roots. As I asked this summer, “if a spiritual revival leads to more Christian Trumpism, it is really a spiritual revival? Or is it something else?”

Finally, Kirk announces a new program he is starting at Turning Point USA to help rally churches to become more like Jack Hibbs and Calvary Chapel-Chino.

Hibbs ends the night in prayer, sending a message to his congregation that God was pleased with everything that was said at this event.

Joe Biden is the 46th President of the United States

It’s official. The Trump presidency is over. The Biden presidency is here. Here are a few thoughts, with the help of my Twitter feed, on today’s inauguration ceremony:

I began the day with a reminder. It’s been a long four years chronicling Trump and the evangelical response to his presidency. Thanks for joining me on the journey:

There were some snow flurries today in Washington D.C. Perhaps Minnesota Senator Klobuchar, who was one of the major organizers of the ceremony, brought the flurries with her:

Did you notice Biden’s massive Bible?

Bernie seemed to be enjoying himself:

So was Biden’s Secretary of Treasury nominee Janet Yellen:

Lady Gaga was amazing. Since I tweeted this I have learned that the bird on her outfit was actually a dove carrying a olive branch.

The first Latina swears-in the first female, African American, and South Asian-American vice president:

My friend Scott Hancock tweeted seconds after Harris was sworn-in:

Biden was inaugurated at 11:48 AM EST. Twelve minutes too early:

Echoes of Langston Hughes:

What a difference four years make:

This was telling:

Biden comes into office after four years of lies:

Biden quoted St. Augustine:

Presidential historian Jon Meacham, who helped to write Biden’s speech, has been using this Augustine quote for several years:

“For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.” This has a ring of Reagan’s “morning in America“:

Biden asked for a moment of silent prayer for COVID-19 victims:

Apparently this is not the first prayer in a presidential inaugural address.

Here is Eisenhower in 1953:

What shall be our legacy?

What will our children say?

Let them say of me I was one who believed

In sharing the blessings

I received

Let me know in my hear

tWhen my days are through

America

America

I gave my best to you

Hope over fear. I’ve heard that before:

A general take on Biden’s speech:

Poet Amanda Gordon stole the show:

Then Missouri senator Roy Blunt came back on stage:

Inauguration days are days for civil religion:

I finished it this afternoon. Also got in that nap:

Biden was ready to go on day 1:

The last night of Trump court evangelicalism

Southern Baptist leader Richard Land once boasted that evangelicals had “unprecedented access” to the Donald Trump presidency. I hope he and the rest of the evangelicals enjoyed it.

The court evangelicals got their Supreme Court justices and some executive orders on religious liberty that will be quickly overturned by Joe Biden. They taught their followers to privilege a politics of fear over a politics of hope, a politics of power over a politics of humility, and a politics of nostalgia over a politics informed by good American history. In exchange, they will be forever connected to a president who demonized his enemies, lied incessantly, engaged in endless acts of narcissism, separated immigrant children from families, got impeached twice, enlisted foreign officials to help his re-election campaign, said there were good people on “both sides” during a white supremacy invasion of Charlottesville, refused to contribute to an orderly transition of power, incited an insurrection on the U.S. Capitol, tried to end the Affordable Care Act, promoted conspiracy theories about election fraud and raised money on them, ignored racial injustice in the wake of George Floyd’s death, alienated our global allies and made us a laughingstock in the world, benefited financially from the office of president, failed to lead the country through the worst pandemic in American history, and pardoned criminals.

Far too many evangelicals became Trump’s useful idiots.

Just for the record, my lists of court evangelicals includes: Franklin Graham, James Robison, James Dobson, Jentezen Franklin, Jack Graham, Chris Hedges, Alveda King, Paula White, Greg Laurie, John Hagee, Tony “Mulligan” Perkins, Gary Bauer, Johnnie Moore, Ralph Reed, Robert Jeffress, Jack Hibbs, Eric Metaxas, Jim Garlow, Guillermo Maldano, Tom Mullins, Alberto Delgado, David Barton (honorary “historian”), Harry Jackson (deceased), Jay Strack, Luke Barnett, Richard Land, Samuel Rodriguez, David Brody (honorary court evangelical journalist), Charlie Kirk, Lance Wallnau, Jenna Ellis, and Jerry Falwell Jr., and Mike Evans. I am sure that there are more, but these are the men and women who I have been covering for the last four years.

So let’s see how the court evangelicals are finishing-up their term:

Yesterday, You Tube removed Eric Metaxas’s interview with Mike “My Pillow Guy” Lindell. Today he reminds his audience that Kohl’s and Bed, Bath and Beyond have removed Lindell’s products from their stores. Metaxas tells his listeners not to shop at these big box stores and is outraged that these companies are “canceling” Lindell, a man who is just “trying to do what is right.”

Metaxas goes down swinging. He starts his show today by saying, “tomorrow morning people are getting prepared for the inauguration of someone that millions of Americans don’t think actually won the election.” He compares our current moment to the evils of communism in the former Soviet Union and Cuba and the horrors of the Holocaust. He suggests that Fox News is now parroting the “party line,” which he defines as both the Mitch McConnell “party line” and the Chinese communist “party line.” He implies that his beliefs about election fraud come from Independent Network Charismatic prophets such as Dutch Sheets.

Metaxas laments the fact that “old family friends” recently e-mailed him to tell him that they can no longer remain friends with him. He asks his listeners to pray for him so that God would protect him from the “wicked cancel culture” of the Democratic Party, which he compares to Hitler and the Nazis. In the process, he plugs his new memoir at least three times.

Metaxas then says that he punched a protester in Washington D.C. last summer “in self-defense.” And he claims that he was being metaphorical when he said he would fight the election results “until the last drop of blood.” From now on, Metaxas tells his audience, he “will be more careful about how he speaks” because people on the Left twist his words. Actually, Metaxas needs to be more careful about how he speaks because there are many Trump supporters who take him seriously and literally.

Tonight Metaxas is speaking at Liberty University. It is a Falkirk Center-sponsored event called Courageous Pastors. I do not see any masks in this picture:

For a little more than a year, the Falkirk Center at Liberty University, founded by the former Liberty president Jerry Falwell Jr. and Trump wonder-boy Charlie Kirk, has become the center of pro-Trump evangelicalism. Apparently, they now have a magazine (booklet?) with short culture-war pieces written by Metaxas, Jenna Ellis, John MacArthur, and others Falkirk Center “fellows.” They are calling it a “journal.” In an article titled “Why I’m Proud to Keep My Business in America,” entrepreneur and Falkirk fellow Erika Frantzve writes:

God is sovereign, and even though things right now aren’t necessarily good, God will work all things together for good for “those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” As an entrepreneur, I know there is an opportunity to be found in the middle of adversity. The “Made in the USA” label is the new quality standard. It is not a compromise–it is an investment in our citizens, our freedoms, and our country’s future.

What?

And I am still trying to figure out this line from Falkirk Center fellow and Trump lawyer Jenna Ellis in a piece titled “Why is Truth?: Standing for Truth in a Relative Culture”:

Why is truth? Why does truth exist? Logically, truth is self-existent. Any other conclusion is self-defeating. If it can be said with absolute certainty that truth is relative, then such reasoning has logically defeated itself. Biblically, truth is self-existent because it is God’s nature and character.

Between November 3 and January 6 Jenna Ellis fought to disenfranchise millions of Black voters. Today she retweets Sarah Huckabee Sanders on racism:

Jack Hibbs is hosting Charlie Kirk at his church. Hibbs is also joining the boycott of Bed, Bath, and Beyond and Kohl’s after these big box stores dumped the My Pillow Guy.

Johnnie Moore got his embassy. I guess the court evangelicals are now one step closer to the Second Coming.

And if I am not mistaken, Moore removed the phrase “modern day Dietrich Bonheoffer” from his biography! Only regular readers of this series over the last four years will understand why I pointed this out. This blog is making an impact! 🙂

Gary “think of the children” Bauer believes the guardsmen in Washington D.C. are there to “shut down” free speech. Here is what he wrote today on Facebook:

The incursion into the Capitol Building two weeks ago was awful. It was wrong. The people responsible not only smeared all those who came to Washington to demonstrate peacefully, but they empowered the left to cast aspersions on all 75 million Americans who voted for Donald Trump and Mike Pence.But I also don’t like what I am seeing in the nation’s capital today. While every inauguration is a high security event, at least 25,000 troops have been deployed to Washington, D.C., with the explanation being the fear of violence. But what they have effectively done is to shut down free speech and the right of assembly. Washington, D.C., looks like an occupied war zone. Entire blocks of the capital have been locked down and closed off. Just two areas, limited to 100 people, have been designated as “First Amendment zones,” an Orwellian term if there ever was one.

Perkins is still talking about Russian collusion. He can’t stop fighting the culture war.

Franklin Graham is calling for peace:

The court evangelicals love Martin Luther King Jr. (and other stuff)

Donald Trump is getting out of town on Wednesday morning. The coward is escaping to Mar-a-Lago before Joe Biden is inaugurated the 46th President of the United States at noon. News outlets are reporting that Trump will drop dozens and dozens of additional pardons before he leaves.

As Trump loses power, so do the evangelicals who have supported him and made regular visits to the White House for photo-ops, prayer, and “advising.” For the last four years we have called them court evangelicals. Let’s see what some of them have been saying today, Martin Luther King Jr. Day:

Eric Metaxas has nothing to say about MLK Day, but he continues to deny that what happened at the U.S. Capitol on January 6 was an insurrection. Even after watching The New Yorker video he still believes that those involved in the riots were not Trump supporters. Metaxas is worth millions, but that does not stop him from using his platform to complain that he is losing money from the cancellation of speaking engagements. Of course there are millions of Americans out of work due to COVID-19. They are on food lines and wondering how to pay the rent.

On Friday, Mike Lindell, aka “My Pillow Guy,” visited the White House in a last ditch hope to save the 2020 presidential election. Today Metaxas had him on his show. Metaxas asks Lindell if he has evidence of election fraud. Lindell says he has legitimate evidence that China, Iraq, and Iran were involved in undermining the election. Metaxas claims that the real problem is that Americans don’t respect truth and virtue. Yes, you read that correctly–a diehard Trump supporter is complaining about America’s lack of truth and virtue. The rest of the video is Metaxas boilerplate stuff on “cultural Marxism, “cancel culture,” and “American naivety.” Lindell says that two big box stores will no longer sell his pillows. He believes that the communists are attacking our country. Metaxas agrees. Maybe his next book will be a biography of Joseph McCarthy. In the time it took me to write this post, YouTube removed the video.

Metaxas is also pushing his new memoir. Here he is on Facebook:

I am THRILLED my new memoir, titled FISH OUT OF WATER: A Search for the Meaning of Life, has been given a starred review by Booklist, who called it “A profoundly moving memoir”! UNTIL FEB. 2nd, you can get a SIGNED copy for $25. Take advantage. An unsigned copy is $32.95 at Amazon. It’s the story of my life — literally — and is by turns wistful and funny, and ALL TRUE — and would make a great gift for someone NOT on the same page as many of us here, either politically or theologically. Which is why I wrote it.

The Falkirk Center at Liberty University is appropriating Martin Luther King Jr. today:

In this tweet, the Falkirk Center at Liberty University, the center of pro-Trump evangelicalism, is appropriating Martin Luther King. Jr. to talk about “character”:

Jenna Ellis, a fellow at the Falkirk Center at Liberty University, is no longer working for Trump:

Lance Wallnau believes that people who embrace the “progressive jihad” of “race, gender, and sex” are a satanic force trying to undermine America. Too many evangelical Christians are buying into this “jihad.” As a result, Wallnau believes, they “are not showing up for the spiritual battle of their lifetime.” The reason Trump lost, Wallnau says, is because the church did not stand with him when the going got tough. Wallnau still believes that Trump has the “anointing of Cyrus upon him” and encourages his followers to join the “war” against the Democrats so that evangelicals can reclaim America in 2022. He also says that “Q” is not a real prophet. He adds that Q is “80% accurate and 20% nut zone.”

Here are some of the sixteen thousand comments on the aforementioned Wallnau Facebook video:

  • “It’s not over for Trump…God is doing something.”
  • “Please don’t call [Harris] VP…she is not.”
  • “Yes. President Trump is still President and yes he will have a second term another 4 years. God’s will and prophesized (sic). If you go against God that is the worse (sic) thing you can ever do. God bless America. God bless President Trump.”
  • “I would feel more comfortable about what you are saying if you didn’t show your book 3 or 4 times a video. I believe and trust you until you push the book.”
  • “I am soooo confused! I have been listening to prophets since Nov. 4 and President Trump was suppose (sic) to remain in office, serve his second term! What has happened?!!!”
  • “We need an earth quake here on the day Biden try (sic) to take over our country our America! AMEN

Court evangelical journalist David Brody wants to put an asterisk next to Joe Biden’s name:

Robert Jeffress preached a sermon on Sunday titled “How Should Christians Respond to President Biden.” He warned his congregation about “increasing persecution” against Christians. The Biden administration, he added, might “restrain our ability” to preach God’s word “without consequence.” Read more here. Watch the service here.

I wonder what Martin Luther King Jr. would say about Tony Perkins’s ardent defense of Donald Trump during these past four years:

Here is Paula White using King to tweet about justice:

Franklin Graham remembers MLK’s relationship with his father. What he doesn’t say is that many white evangelicals did not like the fact that Graham let this “liberal” preacher join him on the platform. Would Franklin Graham allow Martin Luther King Jr. to join him in one of his crusades today? I have no doubt that Franklin would answer “yes” to this question, but his answer would reveal his failure to truly understand King’s message.

Conservative website “American Thinker” retracts articles on Dominion software’s role in supposed “election fraud.”

On November 16, 2020, court evangelical Eric Metaxas shared a story from the conservative website “American Thinker” on his Facebook page. The story was titled “The Dominion software story keeps getting worse.” The piece claimed that Dominion software “churned out impossible pro-Biden results in the wee hours of November 4 in Democratic-run states following a Trump wave.” The Dominion story was an important piece of Donald Trump’s “election fraud” claims and was propagated by Michael Flynn’s lawyer Sidney Powell.

Yesterday we learned that “American Thinker” has retracted all of their Dominion software conspiracy theory posts:

American Thinker and contributors Andrea Widburg, R.D. Wedge, Brian Tomlinson, and Peggy Ryan have published pieces on www.AmericanThinker.com that falsely accuse US Dominion Inc., Dominion Voting Systems, Inc., and Dominion Voting Systems Corporation (collectively “Dominion”) of conspiring to steal the November 2020 election from Donald Trump. These pieces rely on discredited sources who have peddled debunked theories about Dominion’s supposed ties to Venezuela, fraud on Dominion’s machines that resulted in massive vote switching or weighted votes, and other claims falsely stating that there is credible evidence that Dominion acted fraudulently.

These statements are completely false and have no basis in fact. Industry experts and public officials alike have confirmed that Dominion conducted itself appropriately and that there is simply no evidence to support these claims.

It was wrong for us to publish these false statements. We apologize to Dominion for all of the harm this caused them and their employees. We also apologize to our readers for abandoning 9 journalistic principles and misrepresenting Dominion’s track record and its limited role in tabulating votes for the November 2020 election. We regret this grave error. 

But let’s get back to Metaxas. After he shared the false Dominion story, his Facebook followers responded with enthusiasm. Here are few of their comments:

  • “I believe that we need to pray not only that fraud will be exposed but that it also will be repudiated and cancelled, i.e., nullified.”
  • “The name says it all. They are guaranteeing that they get dominion over Americans, knowing that they have to cheat do it.”
  • “I am dumbfounded that every American is not outraged about this.”
  • “This explains everything…because its so vast, so easily done, and how the pattern of votes all seemed to reverse themselves in unison after the close of the election centers…it’s all the more tragic the media across the board has so resolutely put on blinders.”
  • “I’m in the UK and I think the media blackout of this is intentional and orchestrated.”

These followers believe the Democrats stole the 2020 election, a belief built on debunked conspiracy theories that Metaxas and others have spread.

This is why we teach history students to read critically, evaluate sources, and consider bias.

James Dobson on Biden’s election: “America and Western Civilization will never be the same.” (And other court evangelical news)

As I write, Washington D.C. is an armed camp. 25,000 National Guard members are ready to defend the U.S. Capitol during Joe Biden’s inauguration ceremony on January 20.

Meanwhile, people are still dying of COVID-19. Incoming President Joe Biden is doing his best to deal with the pandemic and its effects while outgoing twice-impeached president is holed-up in the White House meeting with MyPillow guy Mike Lindell.

How are the court evangelicals responding?

Eric Metaxas is tweeting about martial law:

Ayanna Pressley has alopecia. But that doesn’t stop Eric from doing this:

The other night Eric Metaxas talked about those willing to die for conspiracy theories as courageous martyrs for Christ. He also shared this.

Not specifically court evangelical news, but one Trump evangelical apologized.

Yesterday a Liberty University graduate published a piece at The Bulwark that called the Falkirk Center a “slime factory.”

Apparently the Falkirk Center believes that American companies are “the left.” So much for free enterprise. Businesses can refuse to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple, but they do not have the right to silence conspiracy theorists?

Charlie Kirk forgets about the time the MyPillow guy bailed out Kyle Rittenhouse:

Lance Wallnau tells his followers that impeachment is really about the elites screwing the working class. The elites currently control the “seven mountains” (as in Seven Mountain Dominionism), but the Christian working class will overthrow them. Wallnau claims that in 2014 the late “prophet” Kim Clement prophesied the words “impeach, impeach.” The interpretation? Trump would be impeached twice by elites in both political parties and the people would rise up in a “new kind of war.” According to Wallnau, this all has something to do with China and COVID-19. It also has something to do with a Jezebel-spirited “witch” in the White House.

Court evangelical David Brody talks with “presidential historian” Doug Wead about Trump’s legacy. Wead expounded a conspiracy theory about Hillary Clinton trying to get control of the Catholic Church. He also claims that Amazon is no longer selling the books of “distinguished” theologians. Wead says that “two impeachments will only get historians to notice all of Trump’s great accomplishments.” I beg to differ. I think two impeachments will get historians and millions of school children to notice that Trump was the only president to be impeached twice. 🙂 Wead calls for national unity. He says Biden doesn’t care about national unity because he called U.S. Capitol insurrections “terrorists.” Seriously, you can’t make this stuff up!:

I am not sure what is happening, but something is going on with Samuel Rodriguez and Twitter:

On Facebook, Jim Garlow calls attention to Trump’s “accomplishments” and still manages to get in a shot at the tech corporations who are persecuting him. He writes: “Never has a modern President accomplished so much (and been hated for doing so much good). If you want to see this before others (those who are re-writing history) remove it, you need to copy it now.” (He links to this article).

Here is Garlow on Facebook on January 13:

What happened today? 1. Highest number of Covid deaths in the US ever. Horrific. But Congress obviously had more important (and nefarious) things to do than to care about the American people. 2. And… 232 “Benedict Arnold” traitors of the US Constitution killed our precious Constitution this day, defying it’s very meaning … and – filled with hatred unlike anything we have ever seen – they are trying their best to destroy Donald Trump and the more than 74,000,000 people who voted for him. What a disgrace. Other than that, not much happened today.

On the same day, Garlow said this about the ten Republicans who voted to impeach Trump: “Remember the story of the 10 wimps who went into the Promised Land but they had no courage? “Well – they now have competition.” (He then lists their names). Here are some of his follower’s comments:

  • “They just flushed their career down the drain.”
  • “Every single one of them need to be aggressively primaried”
  • “Hope they enjoy their shortened career.”
  • “They betrayed our president”
  • “Just pray we have an election in 2020”
  • “Backstabbers”

Garlow also shared this post on Facebook from a “friend”:

Today is a day that will live in infamy. One of the greatest Presidents of all time, probably top 10 and certainly the greatest since Reagan, was for the second time the victim of a purely petty, partisan, pathetic, vindicate and groundless impeachment. That Trump has endured 4 years of illegal investigations, spying, lying and corruption and then had the election stolen in the most blatant and obvious fashion and HE is attacked for the VERY things they have done for the last 5 years! It is truly breathtaking and history will show that Trump was correct and that the Left, the Media, and the pathetic spineless RINO’s are the most shameful group of corrupt cowards ever to stain the floors of our Capitol. These are the 10 Republican lawmakers who supported the move to impeach Trump for incitement of insurrection”

Again, this post drew some interesting comments, including:

  • “Disgraceful and utterly absurd. The evil in the hearts of men is actually beyond my comprehension in this current day.”
  • “Well, they are soon going to regret their act of treason. They need to repent quickly.”
  • “Definitely top 10 and I would say top 5!! Republicans who voted to impeach, NOTED.”
  • “I hope every single one of them is voted out. They are nothing better than traitors”
  • “Shame forever”
  • “Not just spineless. Traitorous.”

Robert Jeffress had a run-in with Illinois GOP congressman Adam Kinzinger. In a now deleted tweet, Kinginger wrote: “I believe there’s a huge burden now on pastors and clergy who openly spread the conspiracies of a stolen election, like @robertjeffress @beholdIsrael @FranklinGraham among many others, to admit their mistakes and lead their flocks out of darkness to truth.” Jeffress claimed he never said the election was “stolen.” (This is true. Although he came close). Jeffress, always ready to turn the other cheek, responded:

And Kinzinger’s response:

Jeffress’s exchange with the congressman seems to have re-empowered him. He was back on the Lou Dobbs show on FOX News last night to defend Trump’s legacy. Jeffress doesn’t regret a thing about his support of Trump and calls the twice-impeached, insurrection-inciting leader the greatest president in his lifetime. He talks about an “axis of evil” that tried to take Trump down and tells Dobbs to keep exposing the “darkness” and “lies” that are “sure to come” in the Biden administration.

Ralph Reed just can’t seem to let go. Trump lost. Loeffler lost. Perdue lost. This is a pretty risky thing to say in light of January 6, 2021. Does Reed really think that Biden’s inaugural will not be “marred by violent protests?”

Like Jim Garlow, Gary Bauer also turned to Facebook to call out the ten House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump. Here are some of the comments from his followers after he shared this Washington Examiner article:

  • “Remember that next Election Day; oh, I forgot–there will never be a fair election again.”
  • “They are so blind and deaf, they are Democrats in wolfs clothing, I call for them to be removed/recalled and even kicked out of the GOP”
  • “praying for their hearts and eyes to be lifted up to Jesus to bring healing and deliverance from deception and unbelief…”
  • “Satan worked on their emotions and won. Their hearts were hardened.”
  • “Wicked doesn’t even describe what they have done and will continue to do. The evil devils in the demonkkkrat (sic) party along with their friends the liberal activists in the media have no qualms about using and abusing some one else for power.”

A moderate Democrat and devout Roman Catholic will be inaugurated President of the United States on January 20, 2021 and James Dobson believes that “America and Western Civilization will never be the same.” Here is a taste of his monthly newsletter:

The Left has now achieved ultimate power in the White House, in the House of Representatives, and in the Senate. Consequently, as I warned in December, there will be no checks and balances within our system of government. The most radical ideas promoted by President Joe Biden and his majority party will be enacted. We can infer from what they have told us that the years ahead will bring more regulation, less freedom, more taxation, less religious liberty, more socialism, less democracy, more funds for abortion, less support for the sanctity of human life, less funding for the military, more illegal immigration, more restrictions on speech, less patriotism, more wasteful spending, less support for families, more regulations on business, more appeasement of China, Iran, Russia, and North Korea, less support for the electoral college, trillions more dollars for climate nonsense, more LGBTQ propaganda, less moral compunction, more governmental corruption, less oversight of elections, more “cancel culture,” fewer police officers, more gun control, and less government of the people, by the people and for the people. We can also anticipate quick passage of the horrendous “Equality Act.” You might want to keep track of these items as they occur. This is just the beginning.

America and Western civilization will never be the same, because it is not possible to back up on a freeway. Once radical changes are implemented, they will become ensconced in law and culture. I am most concerned about what all this means for the next generation. Children are extremely vulnerable to leftist curricula in the public schools. Specifically, I am worried about parental rights and the legality of home schooling. It is the only protection for kids.

In conclusion, I will let you interpret this Franklin Graham tweet:

The International Bonhoeffer Society calls for Trump’s removal

While court evangelical Eric Metaxas is invoking Dietrich Bonhoeffer to “stop the steal,” the real Bonhoeffer scholars are calling for the removal of Donald Trump from office. Here is the official statement by the executive board of the International Bonhoeffer Society:

January 11th, 2021

In light of the domestic terrorist attack on the Capitol and Congress of the United States of America, fueled and facilitated by white supremacy, invigorated by false narratives about what was a free and fair election, and incited by President Trump himself, the Executive Board of the International Bonhoeffer Society – English Language Section calls for the immediate removal of Donald Trump from office by the invocation of the 25th Amendment or impeachment.

In February of 2017, the IBS-ELS Board of Directors expressed our grave concerns about the rise of hateful and divisive rhetoric, violence, and distrust that came in the wake of Donald Trump’s election (February 2017 Statement). In January of 2020, we leaned into Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s legacy to see the world from the perspective of those who suffer, and expressed our concerns about threats the Trump administration posed to the most vulnerable among us, including people of color, members of the LGBTQ community, religious minorities, immigrants, and the poor. We called for “ending Donald Trump’s presidency” (January 2020 Statement). In both statements, we offered theological and ethical insight from Bonhoeffer on discerning responsible actions in times of crisis. The threat posed to American democracy by this insurrection amplifies the need for immediate action.

On the day of the baptism of his godson, in May of 1944, Bonhoeffer speaks into a context much like our own, where the dominant church, consumed by the pursuit of its own power and preservation, has not only tolerated but supported authoritarian leadership. Bonhoeffer argues that given this troubling reality, Christians have lost their ability to proclaim a life-giving word to the world. Because “the words we used before must lose their power … we can be Christians today in only two ways, through prayer and in doing justice among human beings.” We call on Christians to band together with all persons of conscience and all institutions dedicated to truth and justice to fight for the preservation of democracy and seek justice for all human beings by holding accountable the leaders who have threatened American democratic foundations.

Jennifer M. McBride, President IBS-ELS
Lori Brandt Hale, Vice President IBS-ELS
Gaylon Barker, Treasurer IBS-ELS
John Matthews, Secretary IBS-ELS
Christian Collins Winn, Board Member
Michael DeJonge, Board Member
Stephen R. Haynes, Board Member
Matthew K. Jones, Board Member
David Krause, Board Member
Michael Mawson, Board Member
Keith Clements, Emeritus Board Member
Clifford J. Green, Emeritus Board Member
Barry Harvey, Emeritus Board Member
Michael Lukens, Emeritus Board Member

Let’s pray that on January 21, 2021 conservative evangelical extremists don’t act on Eric Metaxas’s prayer for martyrdom

This is very disturbing. It comes from a pro-Trump prayer meeting organized by court evangelical Jim Garlow. Thanks to Right Wing Watch for capturing it on video.

I am not one to criticize people’s prayers, but what Metaxas does here deserves some interpretation.

I am not sure what to call a prayer to God premised upon the belief in a false conspiracy theory.

  • The Metaxas’s introduction to the prayer, and the prayer itself, is filled with words of victimization. Metaxas complains about losing his Twitter feed and getting criticized by The New York Times. Is losing one’s social media accounts for promoting a false conspiracy theory the mark of religious persecution? Metaxas speaks like he is now part of an underground evangelical congregation in Stalin’s Russia. He says that he and the other Trump evangelicals are experiencing “oppression.”
  • Metaxas reaffirms his belief that it was probably Antifa who invaded the U.S. capitol last week. He says that liberals have “seized on” the insurrection “in the same way the Nazis seized on the Reichstag fire to use it as a way to demonize their political opponents, an incredibly wicked thing.”
  • Metaxas reaffirms his belief that the 2020 presidential election was stolen. He repeats several debunked stories.
  • Metaxas really believes that when he prays against the Democrats and the Left he is praying against satanic evil.
  • I’ve written this before, but I believe Metaxas is under the delusion that he is the Dietrich Bonhoeffer of this generation. (By the way, that makes two court evangelicals who believe this. The other is Johnnie Moore). At one point he prays that God would help his fellow evangelicals to have “the courage” of Bonhoeffer and the early Christian martyrs who “went to their deaths singing hymns.” I will be praying tonight that some crazy pro-Trump evangelicals do not show-up at the inauguration with hymn books to “courageously” die in order to help God answer Metaxas’s prayer.
  • Metaxas prays for a miracle to take place between now and January 20. He doesn’t specifically mention the nature of the miracle, but everyone watching this prayer meeting knows he is praying for a second Trump term.

Franklin Graham “shames” the ten Republicans who voted to impeach Trump

Evangelicalism is an activist faith. Historically, evangelicals have preached a life-changing gospel. They have done amazing acts of service and justice in the world. We can’t ignore these things. Evangelicals have been a source of good.

At the same time, as Mark Noll reminded us in his 1994 book The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind, evangelicals are a largely anti-intellectual bunch. This anti-intellectualism results in, among other things, a shallow Christian politics that leads them into the hands of populist leaders like Donald Trump.

If you want an illustration of all this, just look at Franklin Graham’s twitter feed today:

So far so good. A lot of good ministry and service here. This is what evangelicals do best.

And then, about thirty minutes ago, Graham drops this beauty:

It is worth noting that Graham is shaming at least three fellow evangelicals.

Meanwhile, Jenna Ellis of Liberty University’s Falkirk Center is asking Wheaton College writer Ed Stetzer a question:

I would offer some answers to Ellis here.

Notice how Ellis defines evangelical Christianity. How could Stetzer possibly think evangelicals sold out to Trump, Ellis believes, when Trump is pro-life, loves America, and believes in limited government? Again, Ellis’s tweet speaks volumes about the current state of conservative evangelicalism. I don’t know what church Ellis attends, but there is nothing in the Bible about American liberty or American patriotism.

Donald Trump just got impeached for the second time. How are the court evangelicals handling it?

The days of the Trump court evangelicals are ending. Right now the big question is whether their king will make it to January 20. The House of Representatives impeached Donald Trump today. Ten members of Trump’s own party voted to impeach him, making this the most bipartisan impeachment in U.S. history. We are now waiting to see how the Senate will respond.

The court evangelicals do not usually respond to current events in real time, but there a few things to report.

The Twitter feed at the Falkirk Center at Liberty University is saying nothing about the impeachment or the insurrection. The feed is filled with tweets about free speech.

Jenna Ellis believes conservative principles are founded on God’s word. (I assume she believes “liberal” principles are not). The verses she quotes in tweet below are all about paying “evil” with “evil.” So apparently she believes that the impeachment of Donald Trump was a form of evil. Ellis wants you to think she is taking the high road here, but she is really manipulating scripture to take yet another shot at her enemies. I don’t expect to see tweets of love toward Joe Biden anytime soon.

Blessed are those who lose their Twitter and Facebook feeds for promoting conspiracy theories:

Richard Land is preaching moral equivalence:

Jim Garlow is still holding his “election integrity” prayer meetings:

Today on his Facebook page, Garlow wrote: “The House of Representatives vote. Despicable.”

Robert Jeffress is gearing-up for Sunday morning:

What does White mean by this tweet?:

Interesting:

Actually, forgiveness, redemption, and restoration begins with taking a hard look at the mistakes of the past:

Franklin Graham endorsed Mike Pence’s use of scripture last night:

Franklin Graham asks, “Where does this hate [in America] come from?” (And other court evangelical news).

Eric Metaxas, radio host and fellow at Liberty University’s Falkirk Center, is encouraging everyone to trust God in midst of this intense period of persecution for the church. The persecution, he claims, is coming from Marxists who removed him from Twitter for twelve hours yesterday. He quotes Patrick Henry famous phrase, “give me liberty or give me death.” The difference between Henry and Metaxas is that Henry was responding to facts and Metaxas is responding to a conspiracy theory about the supposed stealing of the 2020 presidential election. He is still expecting God to perform a miracle that will allow Trump to stay in office and restore all social media accounts. Finally, Metaxas says not to “demonize” people. This is rich coming from a guy who has has used his platform to demonize Democrats for four years, even calling them Satanic. When he demonizes others he quickly says that he was “joking” about it. Watch:

One of Metaxas’s guests today was former Minnesota congresswoman Michelle Bachmann. She was apparently in the U.S. Capitol as part of a “prayer force” when the insurrection took place on January 6, 2021. She was there to pray that Congress would not certify the 2020 Electoral College votes. Both Metaxas and Bachmann once again suggest that very few of the insurrections were part of the “happy” and “joyous” Trump supporters in Washington that day. Bachmann describes the entire riot as “identity theft.” The Left, by spreading this narrative of the violent Trump supporter, is stealing Trump’s identity as a great leader. What happened during the 2020 election, Bachmann believes, was a political coup–a takeover of a legitimate government. She is 100% sure that the Democrats stole the election. Metaxas and Bachmann are preparing for persecution.

Metaxas and Bachmann say that evangelicals who criticize them for their views on election fraud are “conforming” to the world. Neither of them present any evidence of election fraud. Metaxas just has a feeling about it based on the way Biden behaved in the weeks before the election.

Watch:

Bottom line: The Trump presidency may not make it to January 20. Metaxas and Bachmann are going down with it. Metaxas is positioning himself as the evangelical voice of Trump’s lost cause. Bachmann is doing the same thing from her new post at Pat Roberston’s Regent University.

The Falkirk Center at Liberty University is also talking about free speech. White evangelicals are in full victimization mode.

Believe it or not, Falkirk Center (Liberty University) founder Charlie Kirk did not tweet today. Did he get banned?

Kirk is now calling for unity. Over the last four years Charlie Kirk has been one of the most divisive people in the United States. As David Blight taught me years ago through his book Race and Reunion, calls for unity often ignore the unjust things that happened in the immediate past. They tend to paper over injustice. Historians will hold Kirk and his rhetoric partly responsible for the first attack on the U.S. Capitol in American history. These commentators on Majority Report are absolutely correct:

Samuel Rodriguez says repentance begins with him:

On Sunday, Rodriguez called the evangelical church to repentance for making “the person who occupies the White House more important than the one who occupies our hearts.”

Court evangelical journalist David Brody says that the insurrectionists did not represent “#MAGA Nation”:

A quick word about this tweet. As I argued earlier today, I don’t think those who stormed the U.S. Capitol represent American evangelicals (Brody’s primary audience). Nor do they represent all Trump voters. But they certainly represent the kind of people who attend rallies and scream “Make America Great Again.” I would like Brody to explain the difference between these people and the people he calls #MAGA Nation.”

I am still wondering what evangelicals did before Twitter and Facebook. At a time when they should be mourning the near collapse of American democracy and reflecting on how their view of Christian politics led to the enabling of Donald Trump, they are playing the victim. This is par for the course. Here is court evangelical Richard “unprecedented access” Land complaining about free speech.

Jack Hibbs, in an apparent act of protest, has left Twitter. He is fleeing persecution by retreating to his personal web page.

Robert Jeffress has no clue that he empowered this twice-impeached president. History, however, will remember.

You can’t make this stuff up. Franklin Graham asks “Where does this hate come from?”

Court evangelicalism “was not harmless”

Here is Bonnie Kristian at Christianity Today:

The madness in Washington last week was not created ex nihilo. It is the due result of five years of humoring deception, of falsely believing that truth could be brought about by lies. It is what happens when you embrace a president who is dishonest in the little things, and the big things, and just about everything. It is what happens when you “call evil good and good evil” for the sake of political convenience or power (Isa. 5:20). It is what happens when warnings about the importance of character are ignored. It is what happens when those who cautioned their fellow evangelicals against backing Trump—because he has lived a very public life of gaudy rapacity, vainglory, cruelty, dishonesty, and lust—are attacked and dismissed as “liberals” or accused of insufficient care for the unborn.

Read the entire piece here.

Evangelicals and the January 6 insurrection

New York Times religion reporters Elizabeth Dias and Ruth Graham just published a piece on evangelicals and the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol last Wednesday.

Here is a taste:

Lindsay French, 40, an evangelical Christian from Texas, flew to Washington after she had received what she called a “burning bush” sign from God to participate following her pastor urging congregants to “stop the steal.”

“We are fighting good versus evil, dark versus light,” she said, declaring that she was rising up like Queen Esther, the biblical heroine who saved her people from death.

“We are tired of being made out to be these horrible people,” she said, acknowledging there was some violence but insisting on the falsehood that Antifa was behind it.

And this:

Oren Orr, 31, an arborist from Robbinsville, N.C., where he goes to Santeetlah Baptist Church, rented a car to drive to Washington. He carried his American flag right up below the officers on the bleachers, and his wife had a Christian flag. Mr. Trump could be the last president to believe in Jesus, he said. (Mr. Biden speaks often about his lifelong Catholic faith, and unlike Mr. Trump, attends church services frequently.)

Mr. Orr said he brought a baton and a Taser to Washington but did not get them out. “I know the Lord has my back no matter what happens,” he said.

Are Lindsay French and Oren Orr representative of American evangelicals? No. Most white evangelicals voted for Donald Trump in 2016 and 2020 not because they liked him, but because Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden were pro-choice and posed a threat to religious liberty. Most of them are horrified by what happened at the U.S. Capitol last week, but few of them see any connection between their vote in 2016 and the events of January 6. At the same time, many also believe the Democrats stole the election. Hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of evangelicals embrace the views of people like Lance Wallnau, Eric Metaxas, Charlie Kirk, and the rest of the Liberty University Falkirk Center and court evangelical crowd.

Here is Dias and Graham again:

In a Facebook video shot in Washington on Monday night, Tennessee pastor Greg Locke referred to himself as part of the “black robe regiment,” a reference to American clergy who were active in the American Revolution. At a rally the next night, Mr. Locke preached to a crowd of Trump supporters in Freedom Plaza, predicting “not just a Great Awakening, but the greatest awakening that we have ever seen.”

There is a lot going on in this excerpt. We have written about Locke’s “black robe regiment” before. This reference to eighteenth-century patriotic clergy got traction during the Tea Party movement that emerged in the early Obama administration. It also draws upon QAnon conspiracy theories that predict a national and religious revival is coming to America.

Most evangelical pastors are not like Lindsay French’s pastor or Greg Locke. They do not preach politics from the pulpit (even though many of them voted Trump in 2016 and 2020), they do not encourage their congregations to “stop the steal,” and they do not invoke the Black Robe Brigade in their sermons. I have communicated with dozens and dozens of evangelical pastors over the last month or so. Most of them never mentioned Trump’s name (or Joe Biden’s name) in official church settings. (Nor did they condemn Trump or Biden). Most of them are striving to steer their divided congregations toward some form of Christian unity as they try to figure out how to respond to the power that Fox News (and now Newsmax and One America) and social media have over their congregations. They wonder if their congregations will come out of the COVID-19 pandemic in tact. Many of them are trying to educate their congregations about race. Whether you are sympathetic or not to the struggles that these pastors are facing, they are an important part of the larger story of evangelicals in the age of Trump.

The best histories of evangelicals in the Trump era will tell a complex and complicated narrative.

Roughly 81% of white evangelicals voted for Trump in both elections. History will show that they enabled this president. I stand by every word I wrote in Believe Me.

But history will also show that evangelical support for Trump took on different levels of commitment. Some followed him deeper into the abyss than others. It is important for future historians to capture this nuance and avoid the media’s efforts to paint evangelicals with broad brushes.

Today the court evangelicals are under intense religious persecution. Why? Because they might be kicked-off Twitter and Facebook.

There is a good chance that by the end of the week Donald Trump will be the first president in United States history to be impeached twice.

Once again, I am reminded of Billy Graham biographer Grant Wacker’s words about Graham’s relationship with Richard Nixon at the end of Watergate:

The details of the low-level crime and high-level mendacity that led to Nixon’s impeachment and forced his resignation in August 1974 have been rehearsed many times and need not detain us.  The crucial point is that Graham continued to defend Nixon long after most Americans smelled a rat.  When the first hint of something amiss came to light in 1972, Graham dismissed it as pettifogery.  He pointed out that illicit undercover behavior was no stranger to the White House.  Through 1972 Graham allowed that the Watergate events themselves were troubling but insisted that Nixon had nothing to do with them.  As late as December he privately assured Nixon of his personal affection and “complete confidence in your personal integrity./”  Graham maintained that posture through January 1974.

So what have the court evangelicals been saying since our last roundup?

As we noted last night, Eric Metaxas claims he does not have blood on his hands, but he still seems to be clinging to his weapon:

Here is Metaxas earlier tonight on his Facebook page:

OK, what’s the CRAZIEST conspiracy you’ve heard lately? I’ll start: The American voters elected Joe Biden to the presidency. Of course it’s embarrassing to admit, but I know people totally CONVINCED it happened, despite the obvious lunacy of it & all the evidence to the contrary.

Metaxas is also trusting God to save him from this Satanic conspiracy. Again, on Facebook:

When the left is THIS desperate, be sure their end is nigh. They have pushed their narrative as far as it can go & many have been blinded to anything else. BUT GOD IS ABLE TO DELIVER. This is a spiritual battle. God alone can deliver from this Satanic conspiracy. He will do it.

And more attacks from Metaxas on the purveyors of evil who do not believe the election was stolen (and a Hitler reference for good measure):

The idea that the left (and some lost souls on the right) are trying to demonize everyone who supports Trump as violent insurrectionists TELLS YOU EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW. All liars cast their lost with the father of lies. Please make a note of it. FYI, Hitler did this.

How are things going with Metaxas’s colleagues at Liberty University’s Falkirk Center?

Jack Graham is concerned about his grandchildren. I am also concerned about my grandchildren. As an evangelical Christian, I do not want my children to grow up in a world where evangelicals empower someone like Donald Trump.

At a time when Liberty University’s Falkirk Center should be thinking again about the fruits of their culture-war approach to Christianity, they have decided instead to double-down with “courage” and “boldness.”

Charlie Kirk, the co-founder of the Falkirk Center at Liberty University, may be partially responsible for what happened on January 6. He apparently deleted this January 4 tweet in the wake of the insurrection:

Lance Wallnau, who believes the insurrectionists were members of Antifa (and not Trump supporters), does not like Twitter’s decision to remove Trump:

When Metaxas writes on Facebook he gets a few hundred views, maybe a couple thousand on a good day. Wallnau gets a quarter million views and more the 10,000 comments on an average day. In the video linked in the last sentence he essentially tells his followers that he may have to go into hiding because the social media companies are after him.

Court evangelical journalist David Brody is interviewing Alan Dershowitz. (Who is the “Senator Tom Cruise guy?”). Dershowitz believes the House of Representatives’ attempt to impeach Trump is unconstitutional:

Brody, the guy who has been lobbying softballs to the court evangelicals and their friends for four years, is criticizing CNN:

Hey Samuel Rodriguez—were your children “watching” the last four years of the Trump presidency?

More and more evangelicals are telling their followers how to stay in touch with them because they are suffering persecution at the hands of social media companies. Jack Hibbs is one of them. Here is Hibbs today on his FB page:

DEAR ONLINE FAMILY: we will be posting and streaming today’s messages (all three services) but we are now aware that we may soon not be on FACEBOOK or YOUTUBE due to the fact that we preach the truth and that we are relevant (to relevant apparently) as a church. KEEP YOUR EYES ON JESUS. we will inform you to the best of our ability as to where we are going to preserve the going forth of His word from Calvary Chino Hills.

One of Hibbs’s followers wrote in response: “They will never be able to stop the word of God, men and the Devil have tried for centuries to no avail the word of God will live forever! God bless you Pastor Jack!”

Robert Jeffress is on Fox News talking about healing. He is the last person who should be talking about this right now. He empowered and enabled the president who, in turn, empowered the insurrectionists. Robert Jeffress is not above this. But at least he believes that Biden is the president-elect. Watch:

Here is James Robison talking about how Satan is trying silence him. One wonders what how he got his message out before Twitter and Facebook.

Eric Metaxas says he does not have “blood on his hands” and a call for Simon & Schuster to remove his foreword to Bonhoeffer’s *Cost of Discipleship*

Eric Metaxas, the evangelical author, radio host, and “fellow” at Liberty University’s Falkirk Center, has been one of the most outspoken defenders of the belief that Joe Biden and Democrats rigged the 2020 presidential election. We have covered him extensively over the last several years.

This is what Metaxas tweeted today:

He also wrote this on Parler:

Nero demonized Christians as the ones who burned Rome down. Hitler demonized Jews as the real reason for Germany’s woes. Dems are demonizing Trump supporters because we dare to object to the monstrous theft of a presidential election. And bc we love liberty & our country & God.

On December 9, 2020, Metaxas appeared on Charlie Kirk’s podcast. Kirk is a fellow court evangelical and colleague at Liberty University’s Falkirk Center. During that show Metaxas said, in the context of supposed election fraud, that “we need to fight to the death, to the last drop of blood” to preserve Trump’s apparent victory in the 2020 election. You can watch that conversation here.

On January 6 in Washington D.C., pro-Trump rioters invaded the United States Capitol building. Who is responsible for this insurrection? I see four levels of complicity:

  1. Of course the men and women who stormed the U.S. Capitol deserve blame and should be arrested. Many of them already have.
  2. Donald Trump deserves blame. He incited the mob and the mob was fighting for him. He should either resign or be removed from office immediately. This cannot happen fast enough.
  3. Those Trump-supporters with platforms who are pushing this election fraud narrative deserve blame. I place Metaxas in this category, along with Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley, Newsmax, One America News, and a bunch of other folks, including many evangelical leaders.
  4. Those who voted for Donald Trump in 2016 and 2020 are complicit. You helped him get into office despite all the warnings. Of special note here are all those who refused to criticize Trump during his presidency. This includes many evangelicals.

Recently, Simon & Schuster re-issued an edition of Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Cost of Discipleship. Someone at the venerable publishing house asked Eric Metaxas to write the foreword. As some of you know, Metaxas wrote a popular biography of Bonhoeffer that was widely panned by Bonhoeffer scholars.

Bonhoeffer scholar Stephen Haynes is the author of The Battle for Bonhoeffer: Debating Discipleship in the Age of Trump. Haynes’s piece “An Open Letter to Christians Who Love Bonhoeffer but (Still) Support Trump” serves as the postscript to that book. Here is a taste:

Your embrace of Trump is eerily reminiscent of German Christians’ attachment to Hitler in the early 1930s. I make this point not to convince you that Trump is Hitler but to remind you of the troubling ways Christians have compromised themselves in endorsing political movements in which they perceived the hand of God. I developed a scholarly interest in the churches’ role during the Nazi era in part so I could help ensure that Christians would never repeat the mistakes they made under Hitler. Similarly, Dietrich Bonhoeffer is one of my heroes in part because he was able to resist the wave of Hitler worship that swept up many German Protestants.

Being familiar with this history, I have been struck by how reminiscent many of your responses to Trump are of the way Christians in Germany embraced a strong leader they were convinced would restore the country’s moral order. Despite all the evidence to the contrary, many Christians in Germany let themselves be persuaded that Hitler was a deeply pious man, placed in power by God through a graceful act of intervention in German history. Hitler encouraged these ideas not by claiming any allegiance to Christ but by employing vague religious language, promising a return to the “good old days,” and posing for photographs as he left church, prayed, and entertained ecclesiastical leaders.

Here are a few examples of how Protestant Christian leaders in Germany spoke about God’s role in Hitler’s accession to power:

• “With National Socialism an epoch in German history has begun that is at least as decisive for the German people, as for example the epoch of Martin Luther.”
• “No one could welcome January 30, 1933 more profoundly or more joyfully than the German Christian leadership.”
• “Adolf Hitler, with his faith in Germany, as the instrument of our God became the framer of German destiny and the liberator of our people from their spiritual misery and division.”
• “[Hitler is] the best man imaginable, a man shaped in a mold made of unity, piety, energy and strength of character.”
• “[Hitler], the most German man, is also the most faithful, a believing Christian. We know that he begins and ends the course of his day with prayer, that he has found in the Gospel the deepest source of his strength.”
• “If the German who truly believed in Jesus could find the Spirit of the kingdom of God anywhere, he could find it in Adolf Hitler’s movement.”
• “In the pitch-black night of Christian church history, Hitler became like a wonderful transparency for our time, a window through which light fell upon the history of Christianity.”
• “[God has granted us an] hour of grace . . . through Adolf Hitler.”
• “God has once again raised his voice in a singular individual.”

Compare these statements with those made in recent months by American charismatic and evangelical leaders


• “God raised up . . . Donald Trump” (Michelle Bachman).
• “God has righteously chosen [Trump] to affect the way that this nation goes forward” (Chuck Pierce).
• “Donald Trump represents a supernatural answer to prayer” (James Robison).
• “God had raised up [Trump] for such a time as this” (Stephen Strang).
• “Donald Trump actively seeks God’s guidance in his life” (James Dobson).
• Trump’s victory “showed clear evidence of ‘the hand of God’ on the election” (Franklin Graham).
• “[Trump is] a bold man, a strong man, and an obedient man” (Kenneth Copeland).
• “I see this as a last-minute reprieve for America, and the Church” (Rodney Howard-Browne).
• “[Trump] does look like he’s the last hope” (Phyllis Schlafly).
• “God was raising up Donald Trump as He did the Persian king Cyrus the Great” (Lance Wallnau).
• “[Trump is] a man of faith . . . truly committed to making America great again through principles that honor God rather than defy Him” (Stephen Strang).
• “In the midst of . . . despair, came November the 8th, 2016. It was on that day . . . that God declared that the people, not the pollsters, were gonna choose the next president of the United States. And they chose Donald Trump” (Robert Jeffress).
• “We thank God every day that He gave us a leader like President Trump” (Robert Jeffress).14

How is Trump able to convince these Christian leaders that he is worthy of their support? Mostly by paying attention to them, inviting them to Trump Tower, and indulging their need to be listened to in an increasingly post-Christian culture. It is truly remarkable that they have been taken in by Trump’s vague and barely comprehensible statements about his “faith,” such as “I’ve always been spiritual,” “belief is very important,” and “I’m going to do a great job for religion.” Honestly, Hitler was better at pretending to be a Christian.

Metaxas thinks he is following Bonhoeffer’s example by challenging the results of the 2020 election. He believes that Democrats are the Nazis and he and his fellow conspiracy theorists are the resistance.

But there is another angle to this story. Last week Simon & Schuster canceled the book contract of Missouri senator Josh Hawley after he objected to the results of 2020 Electoral College. In a public statement, Simon & Schuster said:

“As a publisher it will always be our mission to amplify a variety of voices and viewpoints: At the same time we take seriously our larger public responsibility as citizens, and cannot support Senator Hawley after his role in what became a dangerous threat.”

Eric Metaxas may actually have more influence over rank and file Americans than Josh Hawley.

Let’s hope Simon & Schuster does the right thing here.

One final note. The Amazon page for the Metaxas edition of Cost of Discipleship says the edition with the Metaxas foreword was published in 2012. The Simon & Schuster page lists the publishing date as 1995. The 1995 listing cannot be the Metaxas edition because he did not write his Bonhoeffer biography until 2010. So I’m confused. Did Metaxas write the introduction to Cost of Discipleship in 2012, or did he write it more recently? Either way, I think it is time to remove his foreword.

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”:

Antifa! Antifa! The court evangelicals prepare for spiritual warfare against Biden and the Democrats

We are learning more and more about the mob that invaded the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. They were Trump-supporters, extreme Christian nationalists, QAnon believers, militia groups, and other assorted thugs. Mo Brooks, a Republican representative from Alabama, still believes that Antifa was behind the insurrection:

On Wednesday, Trump spoke to his followers. He said that he loved them and called them “special.” Watch:

Last night, Trump read another statement:

This is Trump conceding the election without officially conceding the election.

It is worth mentioning again that Trump cannot give a speech without lying. He did not “immediately employ the national guard.” In fact, he initially resisted the idea. There is nothing in this speech about the fact that Trump created this mob or that he is ultimately responsible for what happened. On Wednesday, he was sending his love to the insurrectionists and calling them “special.” Last night he wanted to throw them in jail.

Does anyone believe anything Trump said in this video? Does he really care about national healing and reconciliation? He released this second video because he is scared. His advisers and cabinet members are resigning. The House and Senate are calling for either the 25th Amendment or another impeachment. And what did he mean when he said “our incredible journey is only just beginning?” Maybe it has yet something to do with this:

Let’s check-in again on the court evangelicals:

Eric Metaxas had self-professed prophet Lance Wallnau on his radio program. He starts the conversation by asking Wallnau if “the prophets got it wrong.” I listened several times to Wallnau answer this question and I have no idea what he is talking about. I think he is just making it all up. Wallnau, speaking with apparent prophetic authority, says that the insurrectionists were Antifa members. Metaxas agrees. He calls the insurrection a “Marxist coup. Metaxas also floats the idea that Muriel Bowser, the mayor of Washington D.C., was behind the rioting. Finally, Wallnau says that he and Metaxas are part of a Christian populist movement led by Donald Trump. Trump, he says, “is not finished.” He describes this “movement” as “righteous.”

Metaxas also talked to Charlie Kirk, the co-founder of Liberty University’s Falkirk Center. Kirk admits that Biden will be the next president. He says that a “lot of people were misled” to believe that Trump was actually going to win. Metaxas admits that he was one of those people, but Kirk lets him off the hook. Then they start talking about the possibility of a God-sized miracle that will get Trump into office.

Kirk, “constitutional scholar” that he is, criticizes Mike Pence for doing his constitutional duty on Wednesday night. He said that Pence did not act with “courage or clarity” when he agreed to certify the votes of the Electoral College.

Watch:

Court evangelical journalist David Brody on “smart analysis”:

Brody plays the moral equivalency card:

David Brody is a sly one:

Pastor Darrell Scott says he spoke to Trump. MAGA forever!

David and Tim Barton of Wallbuilders believe that Antifa was behind the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

Richard Land rejects the violence at the U.S. capitol, but he says nothing about his role in empowering Trump and, by extension, those who stormed Congress. Remember, it was Land who bragged about having “unprecedented access” to the White House during Trump’s presidency.

Jack Hibbs is talking with fellow court evangelical Tony Perkins about the “spiritual battle” for the U.S. capitol. Perkins says that when Trump was elected in 2016 he felt a demonic presence in Washington D.C. trying to stop the inauguration. The women’s march, according to Perkins, was part of this evil presence.

Ralph Reed praises Mike Pence:

Interesting:

Trump has two weeks. I think it’s a little late for advice:

Franklin Graham–yes Franklin Graham–wants us to stop the finger-pointing:

I wonder if Franklin will listen to Cindy T:

An insurrection occurred at the U.S. capitol today. What are the court evangelicals saying?

We all know what happened today. I wrote about it earlier tonight in a post titled: “What happened today is a fitting ending to the worst presidential administration in American history.”

The court evangelicals, a group of pro-Trump evangelicals who regularly visited the White House during the Trump presidency for the purpose of flattering him, “advising” him, and getting their picture taken, are partly responsible for today’s insurrection.

Let’s see what they are saying (and not saying) today:

Conservative anti-Trumper Rod Dreher wants court evangelical Eric Metaxas to “own” what happened today:

Tonight, Metaxas joined other court evangelicals in a “prayer meeting.” According to Bob Smietana’s reporting at Religion News Service, the participants prayed for a miracle. Michelle Bachmann said that the mob who invaded the U.S. Capitol today were “paid rabble-rousers.” “Don’t think for a minute,” Bachmann said, “that these were nasty, naughty, ridiculous, hillbilly Trump people.” Metaxas then prayed: “We need to wake up to the tactics of the enemy who will do anything to win, because there are no values but power.” Bachmann and Metaxas continue to see this as a spiritual battle.

Earlier today, Metaxas tweeted: “There is no doubt the election was fraudulent. That is the same today as yesterday. There is no doubt Antifa infiltrated the protesters today and planned this. This is political theater and anyone who buys it is a sucker. Fight for justice and Pray for justice. God bless America!”

This is why people thinks Metaxas has lost his mind. He claims, with no evidence, that Antifa was behind today’s riot.

Jenna Ellis of the Liberty University Falkirk Center has decided to stake her future on Trumpism:

She is also upset with Mike Pence’s decision to carry-out his constitutional responsibility:

The Metaxas claim that the rioters today were part of Antifa appears to be a popular court evangelical response:

Lance Wallnau:

The Liberty University Falkirk Center is calling for prayer. Will the Falkirk Center season of prayer be focused on repentance? After all, the Falkirk Center’s primary mission is to promote division in the country. The Falkirk Center also seem to think the Trump era has not damaged the proclamation of the gospel. Here’s the tweet:

Court evangelical journalist David Brody thinks Mike Pence got a raw deal:

Brody is also retweeting Kayleigh McEnany on the Georgia election:

The other day Brody said that “journalism is dead.” And today he retweeted the president:

Most court evangelicals are condemning the violence:

I am glad that these court evangelicals condemned the violence, but there words could not ring more hollow. There is no recognition that these men and women empowered Donald Trump or encouraged their followers to vote for him. These court evangelicals spent four years praising Trump as the greatest Christian president in American history. They used their platforms and influence to support the president who triggered the insurrection in Washington D.C. today. Now they pray for peace, unity and the preservation of the American republic. But there is no moral or intellectual equivalency here. One side believes in facts, evidence, science, the rule of law, and the Constitution. The other side believes in conspiracy theories, lies, an unhinged president, and an absolute certainty in their knowledge of the will of God. These two sides cannot be reconciled. What are Franklin Graham, Metaxas, and the Falkirk Center praying for?

Only Mohler, the guy who convinced thousands and thousands of Southern Baptists that it was OK to vote for Trump in 2020, said the president is responsible for what happened today.

It would be best if these court evangelicals (and Mohler) just kept quiet. Or better yet, they could admit their complicity in the insurrection and political terrorism that occurred in Washington D.C. today and repent.

Who will be first?

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:

We are back from break. What happened?

Vacation is over. What did I miss? Here is a small taste of what has happened in American politics over the last ten days:

  • A bomb exploded in Nashville on Christmas morning. We are learning more every day about the suicide bomber. Fortunately, no one other than the bomber himself was killed. As far as I know, Trump did not comment publicly on the bombing. He played golf.
  • Trump refused to sign the Consolidated Appropriation Act. It included $900 billion for COVID-19 relief, including a $600 check for Americans making under $75,000 a year. Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin negotiated the bill on the president’s behalf while Trump was busy trying to overturn the 2020 presidential election. Trump’s major problem with the bill was the $600 dollar COVID relief check for individual Americans. Trump wanted to give Americans $2000.
  • Trump eventually signed the Consolidated Appropriation Act on December 27. Because he signed it one week late, many Americans did not receive unemployment compensation during the final week of 2021. Why didn’t Trump sign it? It is hard to tell. But he was probably upset with Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell for declaring that Joe Biden won the 2020 presidential election. While Trump held his personal grudge, millions of Americans went without federal help during the Christmas holiday. The president played golf.
  • Meanwhile, Democrats and some Republicans supported Trump’s claim to raise the sum of the relief checks to $2000. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, Georgia GOP Senators fighting for their political lives in tomorrow’s Georgia run-off, supported the president. But McConnell did his best to make sure that the American people would only get $600
  • Just before we went on break, Trump vetoed the Defense Authorization Act. This bill, which is the standard act to fund the military, had bipartisan support. In fact, this bill has passed with bipartisan support since 1961. Trump vetoed the bill because it included provisions for renaming military bases named after Confederate leaders. He also claimed it protected social media companies. On December 28, the House of Representatives overturned Trump’s veto by a vote of veto 322-87. On January 1, 2021, the Senate overturned the veto 81-13. It was the first time in the Trump presidency that Congress overturned one of his vetoes.
  • On the same day the Senate overturned Trump’s veto on the Defense Authorization Act, Missouri Senator Josh Hawley said that he would object to the 2020 Electoral College vote when the Senate meets to certify it on Wednesday. Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse, upon hearing about Hawley’s stunt, called it a “dangerous ploy” and added: “Let’s be clear here: We have a bunch of ambitious politicians who think there’s a quick way to tap into the president’s populist base without doing any real, long-term damage.” The next day, GOP senators Marcia Blackburn (TN), Mike Braun (IN), Ted Cruz (TX), Steve Daines (MT) Ron Johnson (WI), John Kennedy (LA), and James Lankford (OK) said they would join Hawley. So did Senators-Elect Bill Hagerty (TN), Cynthia Lummis (WY), Roger Marshall (KS), and Tommy Tuberville (AL). Cruz’s office issued a press release. Let’s be clear. This protest will not change the election results. Both houses of Congress will certify the votes of the Electoral College and Joe Biden will be inaugurated President of the United States on January 20, 2021. It will now just take a few additional hours. Read Peter Wehner’s recent article at The Atlantic if you want to understand what is really going on here.
  • If my calculations are correct, 22,715 people died of COVID-19 since my last blog post.
  • Yesterday, January 3, 2021, The Washington Post released part of a phone call between Trump and Brad Raffensberger, Georgia’s GOP secretary of state. The President urged Raffensberger to “find” 11,780 Trump votes in Georgia. Trump threatened Raffensberger by telling him that if he did not find the votes he might face “criminal” charges. Here is a clip from their one hour conversation:

Listen to the entire phone call here.

So what have Trump’s court evangelicals had to say over the holiday break? I will cover that in my next post, which will appear later this morning. Stay tuned.