The U.S. Senators who objected to the Electoral College results were almost all evangelicals

For the record, the following United States Senators objected to the Electoral College vote in Arizona last night:

Ted Cruz (R-TX)

Josh Hawley (R-MO)

Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS)

Roger Marshall (R-KS)

John Kennedy (R-LA)

Tommy Tuberville (R-AL)

They are all Republicans. They are all Trump supporters. But they are also, in one form or another, evangelical Christians. Cruz is a Southern Baptist and a Christian nationalist. Hawley is a member of an Evangelical Presbyterian Church. Cindy Hyde-Smith is a Southern Baptist. Roger Marshall is a “non-denominational Christian” who has the support of the Christian Right Family Research Council, the organization run by court evangelical Tony Perkins. Tommy Tuberville attends a Church of Christ congregation. The former Auburn football coach believes that “God sent us Donald Trump.” John Kennedy is a founding member of North Cross United Methodist Church in Madisonville, Louisiana and is a big Billy Graham fan.

The following Senators objected to the Electoral College vote in Pennsylvania last night:

Josh Hawley (R-MO)

Ted Cruz (R-TX)

Cynthia Lummis (R-WY)

Roger Marshall (R-KS)

Rick Scott (R-FL)

Tommy Tuberville (R-AL)

Cindy Hyde Smith (R-MS)

John Kennedy objected to Arizona, but he did not object to Pennsylvania. Rick Scott and Cynthia Lummis did not object to Arizona, but did object to Pennsylvania.

Lummis is a Lutheran and has not made Christian faith a central part of her political identity. Scott is a founding member of Naples Community Church, an independent evangelical church that “affirms the necessity of the new birth.”

Of course there were many evangelical Senators, including Ben Sasse (R-NE), Tim Scott (R-SC), John Thune (R-SD), and Marco Rubio (R-FL) who did not object to the Electoral College votes. Other evangelical Senators, including Jim Lankford (R-OK), Bill Hagerty (R-TN), and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), originally said that they would oppose the Pennsylvania results, but changed their minds after the insurrectionists broke into the U.S. Capitol.

The “conspiratorial style” of American politics: colonial Pennsylvania edition

Historian J.L. Tomlin writes, “the historiography of the conspiratorial style in American politics is well-known but tends to start at the American Revolution and move forward.” Here is a taste of his Age of Revolutions piece, “‘They Chase Specters’: The Irrational, the Political, and Fear of Elections in Colonial Pennsylvania”:

Surveying the situation on the eve of Pennsylvania’s 1726 General Assembly elections, Quaker James Logan realized he’d come to despise the colony’s democratic process. To him, its participants were seemingly “vile people who may truly be called a Mob.” In fact, many had come to loathe and fear the colony’s elections. Each contest seemed more contentious and heated than the last, and the two competing factions had become progressively more hyperbolic and even violent in public depictions of their opponents. In such a tense and partisan environment, elections were almost always marked by public disorder, but they increasingly also devolved into violence and vandalism. What concerned Logan most, however, was his belief that the increasing vitriol was not due exclusively to the serious political and economic considerations of competing interest groups within the colony. He believed a good deal of what animated the supporters of both factions was irrational. He felt followers of both factions genuinely believed the colony was perpetually “absorbed in a contest between papists and levelers.” “Papists” was a kind of political dog whistle connoting various types of abusive power molded off of anti-Catholic tropes, and “levelers” connoted radical social and economic egalitarianism. Fear of either overlapped with prominent conspiracy theories of the time. Logan thought either accusation a hysterical exaggeration. He dismissed what he saw as irrational suspicion felt by ideologues on both sides, stating simply “they chase specters.”

Read the rest here.

Some court evangelicals are still keep pushing the voter fraud narrative. Others are angry with Obama.

It is Thanksgiving. Yesterday Donald Trump’s legal team was in Gettysburg for an election fraud hearing. GOP state legislators hosted the event. The day included testimonies from Pennsylvanians who claimed to have witnessed voter fraud on November 3 and in the days following. Donald Trump called-in to the event. He said the 2020 election was “rigged” and claimed that he “won easily.” During the phone call he repeated false claim after false claim and conspiracy theory after conspiracy theory. He also invited these legislators to drive down to Washington to hang out with him.

Trump also issued his 2020 Thanksgiving Day proclamation. Despite Center for Disease Control recommendations, Trump told Americans to “gather” on Thanksgiving: “I encourage all Americans to gather, in homes and places of worship, to offer a prayer of thanks to God for our many blessings.” The proclamation also thanks “first responders, medical professionals, essential workers, [and] neighbors.” In other words, Trump is telling Americans to gather together and spread COVID and let the health care workers deal with it.

Court evangelicals are still complaining about things.

Jenna Ellis, a member of Trump’s legal team and a spokesperson for Liberty University’s Falkirk Center, reminds us that Pennsylvania state senator Doug Mastriano quoted Galatians 6:9 at the end of today’s hearing. (Earlier in the day he quoted John 8:36):

Ellis and Giuliani may really believe they are winning:

Ellis is an evangelical Christian and former professor at Colorado Christian University:

Charlie Kirk is Jenna Ellis’s colleague at the Liberty University’s Falkirk Center and a regular weekend speaker at pro-Trump evangelical megachurches:

Eric Metaxas has a radio show, but he is also a spokesperson for Liberty University’s Falkirk Center. Today he is pushing a providential view of American history and his book If You Can Keep It. (I wrote a multiple part review of this problematic book, but if you want the shorter version click here).

Metaxas is also claiming that “people are going to jail” for engaging in supposed election fraud. His online following is growing largely because he is one of the few evangelicals with a platform who is still pushing these election fraud conspiracy theories. Metaxas is still involved with the Jim Garlow “election integrity” prayer meetings where a guy with a red, white, and blue shofar plays “Taps” and “Amazing Grace.

Facebook barred Metaxas today for violating the site’s “community standards.” Apparently he thanked “My Pillow” guy Mike Lindell for bailing-out Kenosha shooter Kyle Rittenhouse.

Lance Wallnau is ready for the fight:

Yesterday Barack Obama made a factual statement about why so many Hispanic evangelicals voted for Trump. Obama’s comments were more analysis than condemnation and what is he says here is most likely true. Listen (second tweet in the thread):

Here is how Fox News twisted this statement:

Court evangelical Jim Garlow is also spinning this as some kind of Obama attack on Hispanic evangelicals. Here is what Garlow wrote today at his Facebook page:

Obama slamming Latino evangelicals for their views of pro-life and gay (so called) “marriage.” In other words, they are clinging to “life” and “marriage,” in much the same way we were accused by him of “clinging to our God and guns.” Disgusting comments. Trashing Hispanic God-lovers!

I am confused by this. Wouldn’t court evangelicals be happy that Hispanics are supporting Trump because of his views on abortion? How does this Obama statement “trash” Hispanic evangelicals? Doesn’t Garlow’s criticism here imply that Trump’s treatment of Hispanics at the border is correct? This is how these court evangelicals fire-up their evangelical Christian followers. This is not about logic, it’s about attacking Obama. Here are just a few of the comments Garlow received in response to the aforementioned Facebook post:

–Clearly a racist statement on Obama’s part as well as a blatant lie attributing to Trump the cages for illegal immigrants. Those cages were put there by the Obama/Biden administration.

–Liberals can’t stand anyone who believes God has given us direction on true right and wrong. This gets in the way of their playing ‘god’ and determining their own relativistic morals.

–I have NO respect or honor for that filth. Sorry he deserves nothing.

–I pray for our country- Obama is a Muslim that is only about elevating his evil agenda.

–Obama is a piece of crap. There, I said it and I mean it.

–The most corrupt President in USA 🇺🇸 history / never a friend to us / most of us (Latinos vote for Trump)

I imagine that the people who wrote these comments are also some of the people who are tuning in each night to Garlow’s regular prayer meetings for “election integrity.”

By the way, Jack Graham is also mad about this:

Not sure if John Hagee is talking about election fraud or COVID restrictions here. Probably both:

Who is Doug Mastriano, the Pennsylvania state senator leading today’s hearing on voter fraud?

As I type, members of the Pennsylvania legislature are hearing testimony from Rudy Giuliani and those who supposedly witnessed election fraud on November 3.

The event is hosted by state senator Doug Mastriano. He represents Pennsylvania’s 33rd district. He is an Army veteran and a graduate of evangelical Eastern University in the Philadelphia area. He has a Ph.D from the University of New Brunswick in Canada and has taught at the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. He published his dissertation as Alvin York: A New Biography of the Hero of the Argonne.

Mastriano is also an evangelical Christian and Trump supporter. In his opening speech at today’s hearing, he quoted John 8:36 and claimed that Pennsylvania Democrats were trying, through election fraud, to take away the freedom of the citizens of the commonwealth. He also connected Jesus’s victory over sin at “Calvary” to Trump’s “victory” in the 2020 election.

Here are a couple of “highlights” from his short career in the Pennsylvania legislature:

The church leaders attacked in this Facebook video responded here.

He has a Ph.D in history, but he believes that “history is under assault” when monuments are attacked.

UPDATE: (November 27, 2020 at 11:32AM): Mastriano posted his opening speech from this “hearing”:

Also, Twitter suspended his account:

When “someone trying to attack American democracy heads to Gettysburg searching for a dramatic victory…”

Twitter is reporting that Donald Trump and Rudy Giuliani will be in Gettysburg later today.

Here is more from Jeremy Diamond of CNN.

Nothing I can say here can top Yoni Appelbaum’s tweet:

Or Paul’ Harvey’s tweet:

UPDATE (11:22 EST): Now it looks like Trump will not be attending.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Interesting:

I think we all understand Paula:

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

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

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

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

Lance Wallnau:

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

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

Making sense of Pennsylvania

In the days following the Election Day 2020 I spent some time in my Pennsylvania History class getting the students to connect the past and the present. Why is Pennsylvania a swing state? Why is it so diverse?

I tried to get my students excited about the fact that they were studying the history of the commonwealth at a time when the nation’s eyes were on Pennsylvania. “This is a story you can tell your kids,” I told them. (Only about half of the students rolled their eyes).

I thought of my class as I read Ed Simon’s piece on Pennsylvania at Belt Magazine. Here is a taste of “The Keystone State is Ringing“:

Every four years, Pennsylvanians face the trauma of being a “swing state” and, for those of us with progressive inclinations, the possibility of embarrassment. Throughout the rapidly-collapsing Trump regime, there has been a cringe that’s accompanied my Pennsylvania identity. When we could have prevented incipient fascism, in 2016, too many of our fellow voters pulled the lever in favor of authoritarianism. Which made the announcement last Saturday—that Pennsylvania had pushed its native son, President-Elect Joe Biden, over 270 electoral votes—so sublimely sweet. That it was my hometown of Pittsburgh makes it even more so. It feels like a kind of redemption.

It’s also a reflection of Pennsylvania’s complexity.  This area has always been hard to categorize, starting with the state’s designation as “Mid-Atlantic,” which feels nonsensical for a landlocked state. “Mid-Atlantic” itself has long meant simply the part of the Northeast that’s not New England (New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware, and perhaps the District of Columbia), though defining something by what it’s not is never satisfying. Pennsylvania is sometimes seen as Midwestern by those of a more coastal bent, and parts of it belong to Appalachia and the Rust Belt. Democratic political strategist James Carville infamously said that “Between Paoli and Penn Hills, Pennsylvania is Alabama.” The state is perhaps best understood as what was left over after every other region delineated its confines.

Geographic ambiguity is the least of the Pennsylvanian uncertainties. Pennsylvanian gulfs are vast. The area we frequently call the “T”—between the mainline of Philadelphia and the suburbs of Pittsburgh—can appear a wide-open zone of Trump signs and A.M. Christian radio, while the urban centers share more in common with any of the major metropolises in the northeast or industrial Midwest. If you look at a nighttime satellite image, you see the explosion of lights on the seaboard, with Philadelphia (the fifth largest city in the U.S., and the second largest on the east coast) but a node lodged between Baltimore and New York, and then infinite speckled darkness spreading westward till you hit the lights of Pittsburgh.

Read the entire piece here.

Pennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey thinks Trump should start cooperating with the Biden transition

Pennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey was silent during the Trump impeachment trial, but now that he is not running for re-election he is starting to come around. Here is a taste of Bob Mayo’s piece at the website of WTAE Pittsburgh:

“We’re on a path it looks likely Joe Biden is going to be the next president of the United States. It’s not 100% certain but it is quite likely. So I think a transition process ought to begin,” Toomey told Pittsburgh’s Action News 4 reporter Bob Mayo in an interview Monday via Zoom.

Toomey indicated he doesn’t see his statement as giving up on Donald Trump getting a second term as president.

“And you know, if it turns out that the unlikely scenario actually comes about and it turns out President Trump is determined to have won this election after all, then the transition, of course, becomes moot, and it expires and it evaporates,” Toomey said. “But I think that’s not the likely outcome, so I think it (the transition) should begin.”

Toomey did not refer to Biden as president-elect during the Pittsburgh’s Action News 4 interview.

Read the rest here.

Trump says he expects violence in the streets tomorrow

Trump is scared to death about Election Day. He is already challenging the legitimacy of the election in Pennsylvania and suggesting that violence will erupt in the streets if he loses. Does anyone think that this is not a dog whistle to his followers? Let’s hope that this election wraps up early and Pennsylvania does not play a factor in the electoral vote count. If it does, things will get ugly.

Twitter had to flag another Trump post tonight.

Here is Reuters:

(Reuters) – Twitter TWTR.N and Facebook FB.O late on Monday both flagged a post by President Donald Trump that called a U.S. Supreme Court decision on voting in Pennsylvania “very dangerous.”

The U.S. Supreme Court last week allowed extended deadlines for receiving mail-in ballots in Tuesday’s election in Pennsylvania and North Carolina, states pivotal to Trump’s re-election chances. The decision let stand a ruling by Pennsylvania’s top court allowing mail-in ballots postmarked by Election Day and received up to three days later to be counted.

“The Supreme Court decision on voting in Pennsylvania is a VERY dangerous one,” Trump wrote in his post on both platforms. “It will allow rampant and unchecked cheating and will undermine our entire systems of laws. It will also induce violence in the streets. Something must be done!”

Twitter added a disclaimer to Trump’s tweet, saying that its content was “disputed” and “might be misleading.”

Read the rest here.

Court evangelicals make their final pitch on election day eve

Two court evangelical posts in one day? Why not? It’s election eve and the court evangelical phenomenon may soon be irrelevant–at least for the next four years.

Franklin Graham makes his final plea:

What does it say that Graham, a religious leader, equates his audience with lovers of the 2nd Amendment?:

James Robison wants you to vote for the “future of freedom.” He believes that “miracles” were happening in America until Satan sent the pandemic and ruined it all.

Here is Jentezen Franklin:

Jack Graham:

Paula White tells people to vote for Trump:

BTW, last night White was at an “Amish for Trump” rally in Lancaster, PA:

For Tony Perkins, a “Christian world view” leads one to Donald Trump:

Gary Bauer:

Whose “American Dream,” Charlie?:

Jenna Ellis:

To my knowledge, former Christian college president Everett Piper is not a court evangelical, but he certainly loves Donald Trump. In a Washington Times piece today he called Joe Biden a “proven, habitual, unrepentant fraud and a pathological liar of the highest order.” And then he added: “Such shameless deceit is not the behavior of a decent man, but rather that of a devil, and God help us all if he becomes our president.”

And there you go folks. We will check in with the court evangelicals on the other side of the election.

The *Pittsburgh Post-Gazette* endorses Trump

Say it ain’t so!

Here is a taste:

Let’s look at the Trump record:

Under Donald Trump the economy, pre-COVID, boomed, like no time since the 1950s. Look at your 401(k) over the past three years.

Unemployment for Black Americans is lower than it has ever been, under any president of either party.

Under Mr. Trump, our trade relationships have vastly improved and our trade deals have been rewritten. Thanks to him, middle America is on the map again and the Appalachian and hourly worker has some hope.

Has Mr. Trump done enough for these struggling fellow citizens? No. But he recognized them. Maybe he was not articulate, but he recognized their pain.

No one ever asked the American people, or the people in “flyover,” country, if they wanted to send their jobs abroad — until Mr. Trump. He has moved the debate, in both parties, from free trade, totally unfettered, to managed, or fair, trade. He has put America first, just as he said he would.

He also kept his promise to appoint originalists to the Supreme Court of the United States. His third appointment, Amy Coney Barrett, is the best of all — a jurist whose mind and character and scholarship ARE first class. We hope she stands against both judicial and executive excess.

Finally, let’s talk about one of the most important concerns in this region — energy. Under Mr. Trump the United States achieved energy independence for the first time in the lifetimes of most of us. Where would Western Pennsylvania be without the Shell Petrochemical Complex (the “cracker plant”)?

Donald Trump is not Churchill, to be sure, but he gets things done.

He is not a unifier. He often acts like the president of his base, not the whole country. He has done nothing to lessen our divisions and has, in fact, often deepened them. The convictions and intellect of all Americans should be respected by ALL Americans, especially the president.

Has Mr. Trump handled the pandemic perfectly? No. But no one masters a pandemic. And the president was and is right that we must not cower before the disease and we have to keep America open and working.

He has not listened well to people who could have helped him. He has not learned government, or shown interest in doing so.

But the Biden-Harris ticket offers us higher taxes and a nanny state that will bow to the bullies and the woke who would tear down history rather than learning from history and building up the country.

It offers an end to fracking and other Cuckoo California dreams that will cost the economy and the people who most need work right now. “Good-paying green jobs” are probably not jobs for Pittsburgh, or Cleveland, or Toledo, or Youngstown.

It offers softness on China, which Mr. Trump understands is our enemy.

Mr. Biden is too old for the job, and fragile. There is a very real chance he will not make it through the term. Mr. Trump is also too old but seemingly robust. But in Mike Pence, Mr. Trump has a vice president ready to take over, if need be. He is a safe pair of hands. Sen. Kamala Harris gives no evidence of being ready to be president.

This newspaper has not supported a Republican for president since 1972. But we believe Mr. Trump, for all his faults, is the better choice this year. We respect and understand those who feel otherwise.

Read the entire editorial here. I would have preferred it if the Post-Gazette just reprinted this opinion piece as it’s editorial. 🙂

What is the deal with the Trump campaign leaving people literally out in the cold?

First there was Omaha on October 27. Seven people went to the hospital.

Tonight it was Butler County, Pennsylvania:

Supreme Court gives Pennsylvania a 3-day extension to count votes

John Roberts was once again the deciding vote, joining with the three liberal justices. Here is the Associated Press:

The Supreme Court will allow Pennsylvania to count ballots received up to three days after the election, rejecting a Republican plea.

The justices divided 4-4 Monday, an outcome that upholds a state Supreme Court ruling that allowed election officials to receive and count ballots until Nov. 6, even if they don’t have a clear postmark.

Republicans, including President Donald Trump’s campaign, have opposed such an extension, arguing that it violates federal law that sets Election Day as the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November and that such a decision constitutionally belongs to lawmakers, not the courts.

Chief Justice John Roberts joined with the three liberal justices to reject Pennsylvania Republicans’ call for the court to block the state court ruling.

Justices Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Clarence Thomas would have required the state to stop accepting absentee ballots when the polls close on Nov. 3.

There were no opinions accompanying the order, so it is impossible to say what motivated either group of justices.

The conservative justices have been reluctant to allow court-ordered changes to voting rules close to an election.

Read the rest here.