This is not a Saturday Night Live skit.
David Garrow, the Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer of Martin Luther King Jr., will drop a bombshell tomorrow (Thursday) when Standpoint magazine will publish an article, based on memos that discuss FBI tapes, that paints the Civil Rights icon in a very unflattering light. Here is what Garrow claims:
- FBI documents from the 1960s allege Martin Luther King Jr. had affairs with 40 women and stood by as a friend raped a woman, a new report said.
- An article by the King biographer David Garrow set to be released on Thursday in Standpoint magazine will detail the FBI memos, London’s The Times reported.
- Garrow said the memos say King engaged in orgies, solicited prostitutes, and “looked on and laughed” as a pastor he knew raped a woman.
- The memos were part of a huge US National Archives data dump in early 2019.
- The FBI secretly recorded King in a years long effort to discredit him. The tapes themselves remain under seal in the US National Archives. And Garrow’s article was rejected by more prominent news outlets. So the story carries many unanswered questions about the accuracy of the FBI material.
- The King Center, which chronicles King’s life, has not yet commented on the allegations.
Learn more here. Let’s see how this unfolds tomorrow as Civil Rights historians respond to Garrow’s article.
In the meantime, Laura Ingraham and the Fox News crowd are all over this story. I am guessing they could not find a legitimate historian of King or the Civil Rights movement to comment on Garrow’s article so, as Fox News is prone to do, they turned to conservative pundit Dinesh D’Souza. Watch:
D’Souza seems to be basking in all of this. By the way, who are all of these progressive historians who “hate” and “do not want to teach” Frederick Douglass, Ida Wells, and Harriett Tubman? I don’t consider myself a “progressive historian,” but I certainly consider myself a critic of D’Souza. I have been teaching Douglass every semester for two decades. David Blight of Yale just won the Pulitzer Prize for his biography of Douglass. Douglass’s Narrative remains a fixture on history syllabi across the country. I am sure scholars of Wells and Tubman can weigh-in as well.
And D’Souza continues to think the Republican Party has not changed on issues related to the plight of African Americans and race since the Civil War. I wrote about this here, but I will defer to Princeton’s Kevin Kruse.
I spent part of the weekend reading the Mueller Report. Nothing I have written below is new if you have been following the news coverage of the report or read it for yourself, but I thought I would use this space to jot down some of my notes as I processed it.
- The Russians interfered in the 2016 presidential campaign against Hillary Clinton and in favor of Donald Trump. In other words, it is possible that Donald Trump won in 2016 because of Russian help (Vol. 1:1). Future historians should put an asterisk next to Trump’s victory in 2016. We may never know how the Russians helped Trump, but they clearly interfered.
- There are “numerous links” between the Russian interference in the U.S. election and the Trump presidential campaign (Vol 1:1).
- The Trump campaign did not conspire or coordinate with the Russian government in its election interference activities (“collusion” is not a legal term), but it certainly came close.
- The Russian Facebook campaign played to American fears. These Russian-authored social media accounts and ads were promoted through retweets and responses to tweets by Sean Hannity, Roger Stone, Kellyanne Conway, Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump, and Michael Flynn. (Vol I: 26-27). In other words, these people helped make the Russian interference effective. (Of course none of these people knew they were retweeting and promoting the work of Russians).
- The report presents the Trump campaign as chaotic and disorganized. Several members of the campaign were working with Russia to help Trump get elected. Some lied about it and got caught. Others seemed to just get lucky that they did not do anything reaching the level of criminality. Those who told the American people that there were no links between the Trump campaign and Russia included Paul Manafort, Donald Trump Jr., Kellyanne Conway, Mike Pence, and Sarah Huckabee Sanders, and Trump himself. (Thanks to Lawfare Blog for identifying these names and providing links).
- It seems like most Trump supporters stopped reading the report after Volume 1.
- Mueller says up-front that he respected the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) and agreed not to indict a sitting President. Yet he also says his office uncovered “potentially obstructive acts related to the Special Counsel’s investigation itself.” (Vol. 2:1)
- Mueller reminds the readers that “a President does not have immunity after he leaves office.” Why would he put that in the report if he did not think a legitimate case of obstruction could be made against Trump? (Vol 2:1). Perhaps the answer comes on p. 2:2: “if we had confidence after a thorough investigation of the facts that the President clearly did not commit obstruction of justice, we would so state. Based on the facts and the applicable legal standards, however, we are unable to reach that judgment. The evidence we obtained about the President’s actions and intent presents difficult issues that prevent us from conclusively determining that no criminal conduct occurred. Accordingly, while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.” In other words, Mueller may have found evidence of a possible indictment for obstruction, but could not bring an indictment because of the OLC guidance. As several scholars have shown, including historians Julian Zelizer and Yoni Appelbaum, this is Mueller’s way of suggesting that it is the job of Congress to handle such behavior. (Also 2:156-182).
- Volume 2:3-7 reads like Mueller’s case for impeachment:
- Trump lied about contacts with Russia
- Trump tried to intimidate former FBI Director James Comey to end the investigation into Michael Flynn’s ties with the Russian government. According to Mueller, there is “substantial evidence” to support Comey’s side of this story. Trump denied that he asked everyone in the room to leave so he could pressure Comey to drop the investigation. He lied about this.
- Trump tried to get Jeff Sessions and several other members of the federal government to bring an end to the ongoing Russia investigation. How is this not obstruction?
- Trump fired FBI director James Comey and tried to make it look like he was fired for incompetence unrelated to the Russia probe. We now know that Comey was indeed fired because Trump did not like the Russia probe, despite the fact that the FBI director insisted that Trump was not under investigation.
- Trump tried to get White House attorney Don McGahn to remove Mueller as Special Counsel. McGahn told Trump that such a request was “silly” and “not real.” He would not do it. Trump then told McGahn to deny press reports confirming that the president ordered him to have the Special Counsel removed. (2:114)
- Trump tried to get Corey Lewandowski to tell Attorney General Jeff Sessions to publicly declare that the Mueller investigation was “very unfair” to him. Trump also wanted the probe limited to future election interference, rather than focus on the Russian election interference in 2016. Lewandowski asked White House aid Rick Dearborn to get the message to Sessions. Dearborn never delivered it. This is one of many examples of Trump’s staff protecting an out-of-control and incompetent president motivated by his own narcissism, self-image, and personal vendettas.
- Trump edited Donald Trump Jr.’s statement about a June 9, 2016 meeting at Trump Tower with a Russian lawyer who claimed to have dirt on Hillary Clinton to make it appear that the meeting was about adoption. He and his personal lawyer then lied about the fact that he did this.
- Trump pressured Jeff Sessions, on more than one occasion, to unrecuse himself from heading the Mueller investigation because he thought Sessions might fire Mueller.
- After Flynn began cooperating with the Special Counsel, Trump tried to get Michael Flynn to give him a “heads up” about any “information that implicates the president”
- Trump tried to manipulate Trump Organization executive Michael Cohen’s testimony before the Special Counsel. (2:138, 146)
- On pages 2:9-12, Mueller lays out the five kinds of obstruction of justice under the heading “The Legal Framework of Obstruction of Justice.” Wow! It seems like Trump violated all five of these forms of obstruction.
The Bottom Line:
Donald Trump is a liar who clearly obstructed justice. He has forced others to lie to the American people on his behalf. Some, like Sarah Huckabee Sanders, a self-professed evangelical Christian, lied for the president on multiple occasions. (That is a lot of slips of the tongue). Others refused to lie for him. The Mueller report reveals that Trump’s presidency lacks a moral center. He should be impeached.
And what about the court evangelicals and all of those other white evangelicals who still support Trump? They will double down in their support for the president. He is God’s chosen instrument and his evangelical supporters will invoke biblical examples of how God’s anointed instruments will always suffer persecution. They will claim that the Mueller Report is biased (except, of course, the parts that say there was no collusion). They will continue to stoke the “witch hunt” metaphor. They will continue to take their marching orders from Fox News and claim that the report proves that Trump did not commit a crime. They will argue that the country should simply move forward as if nothing happened. They will ignore the parts of the report that show Trump’s immorality and lies. Court evangelicalism blinds one to the truth. For example:
Americans must demand that “no collusion, no obstruction” means NO MORE HARASSMENT of President @realDonaldTrump!
— Dr. Robert Jeffress (@robertjeffress) April 18, 2019
The attacks on @PressSec Sarah Sanders are disgraceful and pure politics. She does an outstanding job as WH Press Secretary and is a woman of character & integrity.
— Ralph Reed (@ralphreed) April 19, 2019
— Franklin Graham (@Franklin_Graham) April 18, 2019
Now @POTUS’ enemies will comb through this giant haystack of information to try to find one chaff that they could use against him. We’ve already wasted 2 years & millions of dollars. Let’s pray for our president, for this country, & that we can move on. #MuellerReport 2/2
— Franklin Graham (@Franklin_Graham) April 18, 2019
I can’t imagine what Comey, McCabe, Brennan and all those deep state operators are thinking today. They tried to take down President Trump and failed. Now it is likely that a day of reckoning will come for their abuse of power.#MuellerReport #MuellerThursday #MAGA2020 #Barr
— Gary L Bauer (@GaryLBauer) April 18, 2019
AG Barr was masterful in his press conf. The lie of Russian collusion and obstruction of justice has been completely refuted. But the left won’t stop. They are addicted to the lie.#MullerReport #BarrPressConference #Barr #MAGA
— Gary L Bauer (@GaryLBauer) April 18, 2019
— Pastor Mark Burns (@pastormarkburns) April 18, 2019
What did we get for our $35 million? Naught. Nada. Goose egg. Zero. We’ve seen everything Mueller’s got, and there’s still nothing | Mike Huckabee https://t.co/NPK758FoJd
— Gov. Mike Huckabee (@GovMikeHuckabee) April 22, 2019
What document are these guys reading? It can’t be the Mueller report. 🙂
But perhaps a few pro-Trump evangelicals will see the light and finally realize, like Billy Graham eventually did with Richard Nixon, that Trump is not worthy of their support
If Pew Research is correct, Donald Trump is more popular among white evangelicals who regularly attend church and less popular among those who do not. I tried to explain this in a piece at today’s Washington Post “Made by History” column. Here is a taste:
Many white evangelical churchgoers now see the fight to overturn Roe v. Wade as equivalent to their call to share the Gospel with unbelievers. They subscribe to the message that the only way to live out evangelical faith in public is to vote for the candidates who will most effectively execute the 40-year-old Christian right playbook.
The movement’s message is so strong that even when pastors oppose the politicization of their religion, the message is not likely to persuade congregants. Indeed, many white evangelical pastors do not preach politics from their pulpit. Some speak boldly against the idolatrous propensity of their congregations to seek political saviors.
But these pastors cannot control the messaging their flocks imbibe after they leave church on Sunday. And a massive Christian right messaging machine targets these Americans with precision. Ministries and nonprofit organizations, driven by conservative political agendas, bombard the mailboxes, inboxes and social media feeds of ordinary evangelicals. Many of these organizations appeal to long-standing evangelical fears about cultural decline or provide selective historical evidence that the United States was founded as, and continues to be, a “Christian nation,” even though this never was true.
Evangelicals filter what they hear during weekly sermons through Fox News and conservative talk radio, producing an approach to political engagement that looks more like the Republican Party than the Kingdom of God.
None of this is new. People in the pews (or in the case of evangelical megachurches, the chairs), have always been selective in how they apply their pastor’s sermons in everyday life. Evangelical Christians, from the Puritans to the present, have always mixed traditional Christian teachings with more non-Christian sources as they cultivate their religious lives. Today, however, cable television and social media expose white evangelicals to ideas that come from outside the church but that claim to be driven by Christianity at an unprecedented rate.
Read the entire piece here.
Watch court evangelical Robert Jeffress yesterday on Fox News:
The most revealing part of this interview comes at about the 1:48 mark when Jeffress says, “If what I hear at church is no better than what I hear on CNN or the Rotary Club, then why bother?”
I agree with Jeffress here, but he seems completely clueless about the fact that the same thing applies to Fox News.
Over at VOX, Tara Isabella Burton tackles this issue. She wonders why so many evangelical leaders reject anti-immigration rhetoric and so many of their followers embrace it.
Here is a taste:
From his dismissal of “shithole countries” to his attempts to institute a “Muslim travel ban,” from his incendiary rhetoric about Mexican immigrants being rapists and criminals, to his latest attempts to prevent the Honduran migrants to seeking asylum, Trump’s approach to borders has been one of nativism and insularity by protecting (his idea of white) America at the expense of everyone else. And, by and large, white evangelicals on the ground have followed suit — even when some in evangelical leadership is advocating for more nuanced policy positions.
The reasons for this discrepancy are complicated. They include a white evangelical population that gets its moral sense as much from conservative media as it does from scripture. There’s also a more general conflation of white evangelicalism with the GOP party agenda, which has been intensifying since the days of the Moral Majority in the 1980s.
As Jenny Yang, vice president for advocacy and policy for World Relief, the humanitarian wing of the National Association for Evangelicals, told Vox, white evangelicals’ views on immigration are more likely to be shaped “not from their local church or their pastor, but actually from the news media. … This has become an issue of the church being discipled by the media more than the Bible or the local pastor in terms of their views on immigration.”
Ed Stetzer, a Christian author and commentator who leads the Billy Graham Center at Wheaton College, agreed. “White evangelicals are more shaped on this issue by Republican views,” he told Vox. “They’re being discipled by their cable news network of choice and by their social media feeds.” He pointed out that, while white evangelicals are more likely than other religious voting blocs to express conservative views on immigration, they don’t necessarily do so at greater rates than nonwhite evangelical Republicans.
In other words, the political views of white evangelicals may say far more about their party affiliation than it does about their theological identity. In the Trump era, in particular, white evangelical Christianity and nativist political isolation have become particularly intertwined. Trump, his administration, and its allies have used the language of Christian nationalism to shore up their political base.
Read the entire piece here. Sadly, it appears that Fox News-style fear-mongering easily sways many white evangelicals. Or at least this is what I argued in Believe Me: The Evangelical Road to Donald Trump.
I am told that a version of this ad recently ran on Fox News:
The Way of Improvement Leads Home blog intern Devon Hearn is back in the saddle after spending the summer in Kenya. This means that our “Morning Headlines” feature is also back. Check in every morning to see daily headlines from The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, the BBC, CNN, and Fox News. And for those who are local, we also post the daily headline from The Harrisburg Patriot News.
We have found that teachers have found these headlines useful not only for getting up to speed with current events, but also for teaching their students how to detect bias in various news sources.
Today on Fox & Friends, Donald Trump once again trashed his Attorney General Jess Sessions for recusing himself from the Russia inquiry. (Sessions pushed back). At one point in the interview the President asked, referring to Sessions, “what kind of a man is this?”
Reminded me of this classic scene:
In case you missed it, here is CNN’s Brian Stelter’s report on Ingraham’s recent comments about “massive demographic changes.”
Ingraham is correct about the demographic changes facing America today. This is not the first time we have seen such changes. It is also not the first time that Americans have responded to such changes with fear-mongering. This time around the fear-mongers have a cable television channel.
A few more points:
- Ingraham says “the America that we know and love doesn’t exist anymore.” She says this in the context of immigration and demographic change. And then she says that her statement is not about race or ethnicity. Seriously? Then how does Ingraham define the America “that we know and love?”
- Tucker Carlson says “no society has ever changed this much, this fast.” This sounds like something a white Southerner might say during the late 1860s and 1870s, the period of Reconstruction when freed slaves were trying to integrate into southern society.
- In her response, Ingraham condemns white supremacists. But her comments about immigration and “demographic change” seems to be little more than a defense of a white America that she believes is being threatened by people of color. How is this any different than David Duke and others?
- How does Tucker Carlson know that we are undergoing “more change than human beings are designed to digest?”
- Ingraham says that “the rule of law, meaning secure borders” is what “binds our country together.” On one level, Ingraham is correct here. Immigration restriction and securing the borders once bound America together as a white Protestant nation. White Protestants did not want Chinese men and women coming into the country, so they “bound our [white Protestant] country together” by passing the Chinese Exclusion Act. White Protestants did not want more Italians and other southern Europeans coming into the country, so they passed the Johnson-Reed Act (1924) to restrict them from coming. So yes, Ingraham is correct when she says “the rule of law” and “secure borders” have bound our country together. It was racist then. It is racist now. On another level, Ingraham probably needs a history lesson. For most of the 19th-century, the United States did have something equivalent to open borders. So there has been a significant chunk of American history when secure borders did not bind America together.
- I will let someone else tackle this, but “merit-based immigration” seems like a racist dog-whistle. This reminds me of when Trump said that we need more Norwegian immigrants and less immigrants from “shithole” countries.
Often-times fear is propagated by Christians who claim to embrace a religious faith that teaches them that “perfect love casts out fear.” This faith calls us to respond to demographic change with love, not fear.
By the way, I wrote a book about how fear of such “demographic change” led evangelicals into the arms of Donald Trump.
- Starnes takes a shot at the critics of patriot worship services by calling them “so-called evangelical Christians.”
- They criticize Michelle Boorstein’s recent Washington Post piece on patriotic sermons.
- They take some shots at The Gospel Coalition, a group of theologically conservative evangelical Calvinists. Starnes makes the Gospel Coalition sound like they are some kind of left-wing progressive group.
- They call Christianity Today and The Washington Post “fake news.”
- They continue to peddle the false notion that America was founded as a Christian nation.
To be fair, Jeffress does make a good point about anti-Trump evangelicals when he says “they can’t reconcile [President Trump] with their faith.”
Does anyone else see a realignment taking place in American evangelicalism?
I know I have spent a lot of time today (probably too much time) writing about Robert Jeffress, but I could not pass-up Ruth Graham’s piece at Slate: “Salt and Light.” This is one of the best journalistic overviews of Jeffress’s career and ministry that I have seen. (And I am not just saying that because I am quoted in it! 🙂 ). Here is a taste:
Over the course of two weeks in December and January, I attended three Sunday morning church services at First Baptist. (There are three services every Sunday.) I was drawn by Jeffress’ skyrocketing national profile but also by his unique cultural position as a pastor. Few of the most prominent Christians who support Trump—Fea calls them “court evangelicals”—are pastors of their own churches. Jerry Falwell Jr. is the president of a college founded by his own father. Franklin Graham, who also borrows credibility from his father, runs an international aid organization. (Billy Graham, a longtime member of First Baptist Dallas, was only briefly a pastor of a church; neither were many of the previous generation of religious right leaders, including Trump supporter James Dobson.) Of the pastors on Trump’s evangelical advisory board, few have both the high profile and institutional standing that Jeffress does. Paula White, for example, heads an independent nondenominational congregation with few outside institutional ties.
Jeffress is different. He is the head of 13,000-member church, one of the oldest and most prominent congregations in the country’s largest Protestant denominations. First Baptist Dallas will celebrate its 150th anniversary this year. Jeffress’ job there is to preach the Gospel every week, to guide the spiritual lives of his flock, and represent Christianity to the wider world. The church’s official materials call Jeffress “a bold leader in a decaying culture.” But what exactly does it mean, I wondered, to be a full-time pro-Trump pundit and a full-time pastor at the same time?
Read the entire piece here.
As universities become more and more corporate, writer Suzanne Fernandez Gray wonders what it might look like if academic courses eventually get corporate sponsors. Read her very funny piece at McSweeney’s.
Here are a few of my favorites:
A-H 350 TWENTIETH CENTURY ART
Sponsored by Hobby Lobby
Through lectures, readings, discussions and research, this course examines major issues raised in art and criticism from 1900-1999. Students will learn that Georgia O’Keeffe’s flowers are definitely just flowers, and that Andres Serrano’s Piss Christ is proof of the collapse of American morals and the need for prayer in public schools.
JOU 532 ETHICS OF JOURNALISM
Section 001: Sponsored by Fox News Network
Section 002: Sponsored by CNN
An examination of ethics in the media. Students will reason through issues that arise in the practice of journalism like how to cut off the mic when an opposing guest’s argument gets too credible and how to draw fancy charts to make nonsensical points look like facts.
PS 440 THE PRESIDENCY
Sponsored by Koch Industries
This course explores the political genius of the 45th President of the United States through his relationships with foreign leaders like Little Rocket Man, Mad Alex and The Dopey Prince, while also demonstrating the ineptitude of those who hate America, including Cryin’ Chuck, Sneaky Dianne Feinstein and Pocahontas. Part of the class will be devoted to the President’s tweets and how people in the fake news media, including Sleepy Eyes Chuck Todd, Psycho Joe Scarborough, Little George Stephanopoulos and Dumb as a Rock Mika can’t pull anything over on the man Sen. Orrin Hatch recently called a better president than Lincoln or Washington.
RS 130 INTRODUCTION TO COMPARATIVE RELIGION
Sponsored by The 700 Club
Comparative study of major world religions of which there is only one: Christianity. Students will explore the merits of the Spanish Inquisition and learn how something similar should be implemented in the U.S. in the interest of national security, only with Evangelicals in charge instead of Catholics. Course fees cover a field trip to the Creation Museum in Petersburg, KY where students will be able to see a diorama of dinosaurs aboard an exact replica of Noah’s Ark.
Read them all here. Enroll now! 🙂
Fox News’s creation in 1996 was one of the most damaging developments in modern American history. The wonder is that there aren’t more commentators like Ralph Peters with the integrity to resign in protest over Fox’s propaganda. My @PostOpinions column: https://t.co/lllY9Ec05O
— Max Boot (@MaxBoot) March 21, 2018
Fox News commentator Ralph Peters, a retired Army lieutenant colonel, believes that the United States should make a preemptive strike on North Korea. He believes that Christians are the only “real refugees” from the Middle East. He once claimed that “2000 years of Christian Civilization” was “destroyed on Obama’s watch.” As historian and cultural critic Max Boot writes in The Washington Post, “Peters is about as far removed from a liberal ‘snowflake’ as you can imagine…he is to the right of right.”
Recently Peters resigned his post at Fox. In his resignation letter, Peters said:
- “I feel that Fox News is assaulting our constitutional order and the rule of law, while fostering corrosive and unjustified paranoia among viewers.
- “I am ashamed” [of my association with Fox]
- “Fox has degenerated…to a mere propaganda machine for a destructive and ethically ruinous administration.”
- “Fox News is now wittingly harming our system of government for profit”
- “As a Russia analyst for many years, it also has appalled me that hosts who made their reputations as super-patriots and who, justifiably, savaged President Obama for his duplicitous folly with Putin, now advance Putin’s agenda by making light of Russian penetration of our elections and the Trump campaign.”
- “As an intelligence professional, I can tell you that the Steele dossier rings true–that’s how the Russians do things.”
Here is a taste of Boot’s piece:
What makes Fox’s ravings so scary is that they are not just influencing the public — they are also influencing the president. Matthew Gertz of Media Matters for America found a feedback loop between Trump and the TV personalities he watches so faithfully. Many of the president’s deranged tweets — e.g., his claim that his “nuclear button” is “much bigger & more powerful” than Kim Jong Un’s or that Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin should be imprisoned — are lifted straight from Fox. On Monday, the First Fanboy was in ecstasy because his favorite evening host was on his favorite morning show. He tweeted: “.@seanhannity on @foxandfriends now! Great! 8:18 A.M.” Instead of watching Fox, Trump would be better advised to read his briefing papers — such as the one advising him not to congratulate Putin on his rigged election win.
Years ago, before the rise of Trump, I used to think that Fox performed a harmless service by publicizing conservative ideas. It has since become clear that its worldview has little to do with conservatism and everything to do with populism and white nationalism. Fox News’s creation in 1996 by Rupert Murdoch and Roger Ailes was one of the most damaging developments in modern American history. The wonder is that there aren’t more commentators like Peters with the integrity to resign in protest over Fox’s propaganda.
Read the entire piece here.
I haven’t watched much television today, but I have noticed that every time I tuned into CNN on my computer I found very little coverage about the death of Billy Graham, arguably the most famous person in the 20th-century world. Granted, there are issues related to guns and school shootings in Florida and beyond. I thus fully understand why Graham took a back seat on my preferred cable news station.
So I decided to cruise around the Internet a bit. On CNN’s website, I needed to scroll down a bit before I found a link to Graham’s death. The same was true for MSNBC, Fox News, and The Washington Post.
Graham’s death is front and center at the websites of the BBC, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal. On the BBC site I was able to click on links to two articles on Graham without having to scroll down.
This is what court evangelical Johnnie Moore said on Fox News yesterday. And no, he wasn’t referring to the shooting in Parkland. He was referring to Joy Behar’s remarks about Mike Pence. While the nation’s attention is riveted on this shooting and we are trying to figure out what to do next to curb gun violence, court evangelical Moore, who describes himself as a “modern day Dietrich Bonhoeffer,” is on Fox News talking about the words of a B-list comedian on a daytime talk show. Is this how Moore and Fox News distract attention from the real moral issue facing the country this weekend?
Why doesn’t Moore come out and say that the Florida shooting was “incomprehensible and we can’t let it pass by”?
Why have the court evangelicals been so silent beyond “thoughts and prayers?”
— FOX & friends (@foxandfriends) February 18, 2018
— Johnnie Moore ن (@JohnnieM) February 18, 2018
Here is Robert Jeffress arguing that Donald Trump is sane.
If you listen closely, you will notice Jeffress, who comes on Fox News in his capacity as a Christian pastor, says absolutely nothing about faith, religion, Christianity, or the Bible. This is what happens to court evangelicals. They must defend and serve the king at all costs. I am sure Donald Trump is very proud of pastor Jeffress.
Court evangelical Falwell Jr. on Fox and Friends this morning:
Fox News conservative Charles Krauthammer:
As many of you know, President George W. Bush used the phrase “axis of evil” in his 2002 State of the Union Address to describe foreign governments sponsoring terrorism and seeking to build nuclear arsenals. Bush applied the phrase to North Korea, Iran, and Iraq.
Jeffress uses “axis of evil” to describe the Democrats and Republicans of the “establishment” who are trying to destroy Donald Trump. “We cannot allow that to happen,” he says.
Is this a call to a holy war of some type? Is Jeffress pitting the forces of God against the forces of anti-Trump evil? Is Jeffress comparing the opponents of Donald Trump to what Bush describes here?:
Seconds before Jeffress came on the air, in the same segment, Lou Dobbs was talking about Pope Francis’s criticism of the Trump administration. This was the context in which Jeffress used the phrase “axis of evil.” Is Francis part of this axis of evil? If so, this would not be the first time Jeffress has spewed forth anti-Catholic rhetoric. Whatever the case, this Dallas court evangelical believes that Trump is God’s anointed one and anyone who opposes God’s anointed one is evil.
And you wonder why I have suggested that the course of American Christianity is changing?