Let’s think about what has happened in the last 24-48 hours.
The President of the United States continues to push a conspiracy claiming that MSNBC host Joe Scarborough murdered Lori Klausutis, a 28-year-old women who died in his former congressional office in 2001. The widower of this woman, T.J. Klausutis, wrote a letter to Twitter asking the social media outlet to remove these tweets. In that letter he wrote: “the president of the United States has taken something that doesn’t belong to him–the memory of my dead wife–and perverted it for perceived political gain….My wife deserves better.”
One hour ago, Trump tweeted:
Psycho Joe Scarborough is rattled, not only by his bad ratings but all of the things and facts that are coming out on the internet about opening a Cold Case. He knows what is happening!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 27, 2020
Despite its refusal to remove Trump’s Scarborough tweets, Twitter may be waking-up to the president’s lies. The social media outlet recently fact-checked a Trump tweet on mail-in ballots. Trump says that he will punish Twitter for this. (I still don’t understand why Twitter fact-checked this tweet and not the Scarborough tweets).
In Minneapolis, four police officers were fired for their involvement in the death of a black man named George Floyd. An officer held down Floyd with his knee as Floyd said that he could not breathe. He died shortly after this took place.
Trump mocked his Democratic 2020 rival Joe Biden for wearing a mask. He told a reporter wearing a mask that he was trying to be “politically correct.” Conservative radio pundit Rush Limbaugh said that masks have become a “required symbol on the left to promote fear, to promote indecision, to promote the notion that we’re nowhere out of this.” Trump’s press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said that it is “peculiar” that Biden doesn’t wear a mask at home.
These all seem like moral issues that Christians should be concerned about. The T.J. Klausutis story falls into the realm of “family values” and “marriage.” The Twitter fact-check story is about the difference between truth and lies. The George Floyd case is about human dignity and racism. The mask story is about life.
But too many conservative evangelical leaders, especially the court evangelicals, are silent. Trump has paralyzed them. Their consciences are held captive by GOP politics, the Christian Right political playbook, and the president. Their heads are in the sand. They are mostly silent. While all of these stories rage, they tweet things like this:
Did @twitter take action against @kathygriffin for displaying the bloody, severed head of @realDonaldTrump? No. Or calling for Trump’s murder today? No. Or fact-check @RepAdamSchiff for saying Trump colluded w/ Russia? No.@twitter showing same #LiberalBias as the media.
— Ralph Reed (@ralphreed) May 27, 2020
There are so many hurting people that we can help! Speak a word of kindness, show love, do good deeds and let others feel God through you
— Paula White-Cain (@Paula_White) May 26, 2020
My new book, Praying for America is available NEXT TUESDAY, June 2! Join with me as we ask God to do His will in and to bless America. You can pre-order your copy here: https://t.co/z7QH1190RK pic.twitter.com/1xPuSYPOiT
— Dr. Robert Jeffress (@robertjeffress) May 26, 2020
— Albert Mohler (@albertmohler) May 26, 2020
I would rather have a president who’s not afraid to go outside and play golf for the first time in three months than a president who’s too scared to come out of his basement for three months
RT if you agree!
— Charlie Kirk (@charliekirk11) May 26, 2020
Court evangelical Jack Graham should be commended for calling attention to the Floyd case:
We cannot ignore the tragic death of George Floyd. The brokenness of a sinful world and violent humans cannot be tolerated. Silence is not an option. We condemn hate in all its forms and stand together to end injustice. For the love of God.
— Jack Graham (@jackngraham) May 27, 2020
Reed agrees with Graham:
Amen and well said. We oppose bigotry in all its ugly forms and I call on swift action to bring justice for the family. https://t.co/hCx4YSjRKc
— Ralph Reed (@ralphreed) May 27, 2020
Now if only Graham and Reed would develop a deeper political theology to address the history of systemic racism that led to this moment. They condemn what happened to Floyd. This is right and good. Yet they remain blind to the racism and racist policies of Donald Trump.