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:

Trump supporter says that prayer for “election integrity” may lead to the “Third Great Awakening.” (And other court evangelical news)

Russians are hacking the U.S. government and Trump remains silent. Thousands of people died today from COVID-19 and Trump remains silent (except when he takes credit for the vaccine in a tweet about the stock market).

Meanwhile, Trump continues to raise money on his election fraud claims. Today I received e-mails urging me to “reject socialism,” enter a raffle for a signed MAGA hat, claim (with a donation) my “free Christmas gift,” order my Trump Christmas ornament, and help stop Biden from overturning Trump’s “accomplishments,”

Many of Trump’s most ardent Christian supporters–the court evangelicals–are carrying water for this lame duck president. Let’s see what they have said since our last update.

The gang at Liberty University’s Falkirk Center remain Trump’s most vocal Christian defenders.

Hundreds of thousands have died of COVID-19 and a “think tank” at a Christian college is questioning the “expertise” of scientists and doctors:

While everyone is complaining about the “war on Christmas,” the Falkirk Center is engaged in the war on Mother’s Day and Father’s day. It almost makes one wonder if the Center owns stock in greeting card companies.

Pastors who follow science, public health professionals, and state governments are “submitting to power hungry tyrants.”

Charlie Kirk, the co-founder of the Falkirk Center, tells his followers to ignore Anthony Fauci:

Charlie forgets that Tom Paine wrote Common Sense at a Planet Fitness:

Kirk continues to undermine the democratic process with his unprovable election fraud claims:

And let’s not forget Liberty University Falkirk Center fellow and Trump election fraud lawyer Jenna Ellis:

She is still quoting scripture:

And in other court evangelical news:

Sometimes God gives a prophet “corrections”:

Wallnau is not happy with Beth Moore. On Wednesday he shared this Facebook post from someone named Johnny Enlow:

Response to Beth Moore’s Tweet of Dec 13, 2020 (Twitter@BethMooreLPM)

Beth Moore, I was sent your tweet this morning and you wanted to hear from fellow leaders. Your rebuke was public so therefore this too is public. My goal is that this be an entreaty more than a counter rebuke. Now, I pray you will listen to a fellow leader. To acknowledge and recognize that God’s key governmental instrument is President Trump is not “Trumpism”. Nor is it denying Jesus any preeminent place. The reason God has Cyrus’s and Davids and Esthers and Moses’s and Pauls and Elijahs and Gideons and Joshuas etc. etc. is because He uses human instruments. If I applied your logic to your very ministry I could conclude that you are unnecessary to give a message because Jesus as King will take care of it. You seemingly have faith for Him to handle all governmental matters personally without need of an instrument but not religious or spiritual matters. I think it self-evident He would not call us the “salt” of the earth and the “light” of the world if He as King Jesus would handle everything.

What if King Jesus has Himself sanctioned and raised President Trump as His key instrument at this time? Would it not be an egregious offense before Him for a leader in the Body of Christ such as yourself to not recognize that reality because of some personal wound, grudge, blindness or preference? And worse to then encourage other leaders towards similar mutiny equivalent? What if some leaders in Moses’ day would have reached out to the people and messaged “We have no need to follow Moses! We must only follow God? God will open the Red Sea before us whether we honor or follow Moses or not”. Would that “zeal for Jesus” have been looked upon kindly by God? I think not. It would be a zeal devoid of wisdom. Apply that to every Biblical character of renown that God used as His key instrument. Israel repeatedly faced judgment for ignoring who God had sent as His key instrument. That was true all the way into the New Testament. The Pharisees could not receive Jesus Himself because of their “zeal for God”. They disrespected the instrument God sent because He was not in the package they expected- and He was actually God Himself! Would not anyone championing “God” above honoring the leader this very God had chosen– actually be in rebellion to God?

Beth, I must tell you that as much as I have respected your ministry to the Body of Christ for many years that this is where you find yourself today. You not only are in resistance to God’s instrument of choice of the hour but you are using the very platform God has given you to champion foolishness against God. While there may or may not be “Trumpism” the actual reason there is so much passion in the Body of Christ towards President Trump and what he is fighting for, is because there are millions of believers in this nation discerning God’s will and His instrument of deliverance for our nation. You have done them and the Body of Christ and the general populace itself a great disservice by calling their proper discernment into account. May you back down from your self-righteous stand and properly discern the day and the hour we are in. May the accountability you have projected onto leaders in the Body of Christ be properly felt by you, yourself, as it is serious. –Johnny Enlow

Court evangelical journalist David Brody interviewed new Christian convert and convicted felon Roger Stone:

Eric Metaxas is explaining his “controversial” comments at Saturday’s Jericho March. He tries to separate himself from Alex Jones, his anti-Catholic remarks, and his blatant plugs for the My Pillow Guy.” He also mentions Rod Dreher’s criticism of his appearance at the Jericho March. Rule of thumb: when you need a ten minute segment to clarify your statements, something might be wrong.

He also addresses those criticizing him on Twitter about his belief in election fraud. He specifically mentions Karen Swallow Prior, Kevin Mattingly, and Rod Dreher. He says that their criticism is wrong and “sloppy.” Then he tries to compare the Jericho March with the Civil Rights Movement.

Here are some of the comments on these Metaxas videos:

  • None of this is okay! Biden is NOT OUR PRESIDENT!!! I will NEVER ACCEPT BIDEN OR HARRIS!!!
  • Joe Biden and his campaign TOOK IT BY STEALING so they had to physically “show” that he was “President elect” with signs lol because they themselves know it is fraudulent! Their guilt shows EVERY SINGLE DAY!
  • He calls himself President Elect. He also announced publicly that he and others put together the most comprehensive voter fraud organization in the history of America. Which of these statements is true?
  • We need to be in a position that we are standing in Faith and we’re not giving up! Don’t let them see us sweat! God got this! This is not over!
  • I don’t understand why people are “moving on” from this or letting it slide. Ignoring it. Not standing up to obvious fraud. It makes my heart so sad. Justice and honesty are not being honored. And all the people who voted and put in the effort to abide by the rules have been dismissed. It’s so disrespectful of our nation and our principles. And the implication that anyone who won’t let it go is somehow wrong or imbalanced. I so appreciate your attitude towards this. And the people who are involved. Speaking the truth in love. Bless you bless you bless you.
  • I absolutely 100% agree with you. But Biden doesn’t have have a decent bone in his body. And doesn’t care if all of American thinks he is a lier and crook, which he most obviously is.
  • Don’t forget the pastors of the 1700s who were key in the founding of this nation!
  • Eric, this is part of persecution because we are standing up for Righteousness, Truth, Freedom, and Justice. Persecution will be heavier but remember that you are doing the right thing in the eyes of the Lord. Jesus also said, the world hated Him therefore the world will hate you so count that as a blessing (paraphrase) Matt 5:10. Just a few nights ago, I had a dream and a man in my dream spoke loudly and distinctly the word PERSECUTION. I knew God was showing me to be prepared for it. So be prepared and be blessed for standing on the side withJesus! Paul says in 2Corn 12:10, for Christ, he delights in hardships and persecution.
  • I am stunned people do not want to see or know the truth. We have Forensic research stating Dominion machines have a 68% error rate. Thousands of affidavits from American citizens. Video of fraud taking place. Why should we accept their fraud. NO and HELL NO!

The Electoral College has voted, but Jack Hibbs is still holding out hope:

Jim Garlow shames all evangelicals who did not vote for Trump. They are all baby-killers, socialists, freedom-haters, anti-marriage, totalitarians, and opponents of religious freedom. Here is what he wrote this week at his Facebook page:

81% of evangelicals voted for life in the womb, the sacredness of authentic marriage, for Israel, for choice-based economics/ free market, a job expanding employment which produced the greatest socioeconomic lift to minorities ever recorded …and for liberty and freedom.

But 14% of so-called “evangelicals” (which used to mean Bible believing) knowingly voted for the dismemberment of babies, the destruction of biblical marriage (yesterday I posted an article about Biden appointing a transgender to high office and it was immediately removed), socialism (which inflicts staggering human pain), economic policies which result in the poor becoming a permanent and dependent underclass, an anti Israel stance (which brings God’s judgment – Genesis 12:3), for authoritarianism and totalitarianism (think Cuomo, Newsom, Whitmar, Lightfoot, Pelosi all making rules for “the deplorables” while they violated them!) and – even though the 14% of “evangelicals” were warned that it would cost us religious freedom – tyranny for those who hold to a distinctly biblical faith. Read this article carefully. Very carefully. These are the causes which 14% of so-called “evangelicals” openly supported, and helped destroy what is left of this wounded and tattered nation. At what point, will they repent?

This has little to nothing to do with specific candidates or parties per se. It is not Republicans vs Democrats. It is not Right vs Left. At its core, it is not even Trump vs Biden. It has everything to do with right vs wrong, with good vs evil. It has to do with policies. With principles. Some biblical. Others radically anti-biblical.

Where is the shame among the 14%? Where is the repentance? Look what 14% supported. I am not angry. I am sad. I grieve for them. Read the article carefully (Leftist “evangelicals” – as if there can be such a thing! – are referred to.)

I am assuming that the so-called “14%” will not be part of this (also on his FB page):

A wild question. In the midst of our national demise, is there a chance we are on the cusp of the Third Great Awakening in America? My gut feeling – and I might be totally wrong – is that the 3rd Great Awakening just MIGHT be 1.Very different from the 1st and 2nd Great Awakenings and… 2.There is a possibility – maybe – that we just MIGHT already be in it, given the massive prayer movement that is in the US – along with many other nations praying for us during this horrific time. However, we don’t yet recognize it for the revival it is, because it gets overshadowed or overridden by the political nuances since the spiritual awakening is flowing primarily out of a royally botched, fraudulent election.

In other words, prayer for “election integrity” will lead to a revival.

Robert Jeffress has been pretty quiet on the “election fraud” front. Yesterday he tweeted about Santa Claus:

Ralph Reed seems to have moved on from the presidential election. He continues to focus on the Georgia Senate run-offs:

Everyone is discovering the court evangelicals!

The conservative pundits are outraged at what happened at Saturday’s Jericho March!

David French is worried that too many evangelicals have fallen for conspiracy theories.

Rod Dreher says we would be wrong to “blow off” the influence of these evangelicals who still believe Trump won the election.

Andrew Sullivan is concerned about the fusion of religion and politics.

Matt Lewis asks: “Is nothing sacred?”

Beth Moore is not really a conservative pundit, but she is still fired-up.

And we already discussed Michael Gerson.

And those who regularly question my decision to cover the court evangelical phenomenon seem to be taking it seriously now. Yes, even John Wilson ;-):

I’ve been writing about this for the last four years. At this point I am more interested in who was NOT at the Jericho March on Saturday:

Franklin Graham

James Robison

James Dobson

Jentezen Franklin,

Jack Graham

Paula White

Tony Perkins

Johnnie Moore

Ralph Reed

Greg Laurie

Robert Jeffress

The more traditional court evangelicals–most of whom are not connected with the Independent Network Charismatics and similar groups– seem to be focused on the Georgia Senate race and COVID restrictions. Would they like the election results to be overturned? Sure. Do they believe that there may have been election fraud? Of course they do. But they did not want to join the folks who were on the Mall on Saturday. This branch of court evangelicalism seems to only show-up when Trump is in the house or when one of his surrogates is present. They prefer power over prophecy.

And maybe some of them really believe Biden won.

We will see what happens after the Electoral College votes later today, but right now the evangelical voter fraud movement is led by Eric Metaxas (who showed his Charismatic side on Saturday), the gang at Liberty University’s Falkirk Center (Metaxas, Charlie Kirk, Jenna Ellis, Sebastian Gorka, etc.), and the My Pillow Guy.

UPDATE (December 15, 2020, 12:41am):

Some folks on Twitter were not happy with this post. Here are a few:

These tweeters made fair points, which prompted me to explain things further. It’s never a good idea to try to “explain further” on Twitter, but I am a glutton for punishment! 🙂

COVID-19 is raging. Trump goes to Georgia. What are the court evangelicals saying?

Donald Trump was in Valdosta, Georgia this weekend trying to overturn the 2020 presidential election. The event was a rally for Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, the GOP candidates running for Senate in Georgia, but Trump turned it into an opportunity to whine and complain about voter fraud. He repeated more false and debunked claims about how the Democrats tried to steal the election.

Meanwhile, people in the United states are dying of COVID-19. Trump appears to be ignoring the virus, although he does seem to be aware that his election fraud lawyer Rudy Giuliani has contracted it.

So what did the court evangelicals, Christian leaders who claim to be committed to truth and compassion for the suffering, have to say this weekend.

The Washington D.C. Jericho March is coming-up.

Over on Parler, the new social media outlet for conservatives, Eric Metaxas is quoting Jesus in Luke 8:17: “For nothing is secret that will not be revealed, nor anything hidden that will not be known and come to light.”

Jim Garlow’s “Election Integrity” prayer meetings continue.

On the Liberty University Falkirk Center front:

Jenna Ellis, spokesperson for the Falkirk Center and Trump lawyer, is quoting Bible verses:

Ellis remains optimistic:

She will move forward without Giuliani:

Future historians will try to reconcile the evangelical support of Trump’s election fraud claims with these kinds of tweets:

Charlie Kirk, the co-founder of Liberty University’s Falkirk Center, tweets with no evidence or source:

In Political Science 101 you learn that elections are decided by votes, not counties:

Kirk does not seem to know much about the character of the Kingdom in which Jesus serves as king. Jesus is was not a populist culture warrior. His Kingdom is not of this world and his followers do not seek worldly power.

In the midst of COVID-19 deaths and unsubstantiated claims of election fraud, the Falkirk Center at Liberty University is posting about truth:

Liberty University’s Falkirk Center promotes a speaker who connects “fear of COVID” to socialism:

The Liberty University Falkirk Center is still pushing election fraud. It looks like a Liberty University law professor is involved as well:

And in other court evangelical news:

Here is Lance Wallnau:

If you watch this whole video, Wallnau offers his listeners “sanctified gossip” about Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue’s failure to support the president. He describes a “Christian populist movement” of 40 million voters who will lead the “backlash” against GOP governors in swing states who will not support Trump’s voter fraud claims. This video has over 200K views and 13K comments.

Demonic forces are preventing American expansion:

Court evangelical journalist David Brody interviewed Pennsylvania state legislator Doug Mastriano:

Hard hitting journalism from Brody:

And this:

I love how Brody distinguishes Fox “dayside” from conspiracy theorists like Hannity, Ingraham, and Carlson who appear in the evening.

This USPS worker seems to be making the rounds on pro-Trump media:

Jack Hibbs believes the republic is at stake.:

Sin whispers to the wicked, deep within their hearts. They have no fear of God at all. In their blind conceit, they cannot see how wicked they really are. Everything they say is crooked and deceitful. They refuse to act wisely or do good. They lie awake at night, hatching sinful plots. Their actions are never good. They make no attempt to turn from evil. – Psalms 36:1 -4

As the battle continues regarding our Nations’s future during this attack by the wicked to overthrow and undermine our election, I am reminded of Benjamin Franklin’s challenge to the American people, when at the conclusion of our Founding Father’s Constitutional Convention, Franklin was asked by a woman waiting in the crowd outside – “What kind of government have you given us Dr. Franklin?” Franklin answered with both a challenge and a rebuke when he said “A Republic if you can keep it.”

Most people (thank the LORD not all) in the United States today are so civically ignorant of their Constitutional Rights and Biblical calling that they have no vision nor understanding of what to do with them. They are willfully blind to the truth and have resigned themselves to 15-second bites taught by the blind themselves.

“Facts are stubborn things” said John Adams but we the people have become too distracted to care. Sadly, many people in this Nation have rendered themselves unworthy of the very freedoms they enjoy in this (God-given) Republic.

Freedom, like the Gospel, must be preached and practiced, or else it will grow old a wither away like a flower. Truth is active and the pursuit of it is a vigorous ethos.

During these days, I have dedicated my morning hours to be in intercessory prayer for the Nation that God has given me. As I teach and preach that Jesus Christ could return at any moment for His church in His Blessed Hope of the Rapture (Titus 2:13) – I must occupy in this world until He comes. So then I must be busy about my Father’s business in all things.

As my Nation today is literally under attack by enemies both foreign and domestic, I am called to stand on the truth and be obedient to live it out now.

In the next several weeks your life and mine is about to be changed forever. The persecution and violence that is coming can only be met with a resolve to preserve our liberty and freedom for our children and our children’s children.

Be ready Christian to defend your faith, family, and freedom. To that end, Psalm 36:1-4 speaks to me about the horrible people who are boldly and brazenly committing acts of deception, lying, cover-ups, and fraud as they have been exposed as political jihadists.Someday our children will ask us “What kind of government have you given us” may our answer be to them;”A Republic if you can keep it.”

Robert Jeffress is still praising the Supreme Court’s religious liberty decision and Donald Trump’s appointment of Amy Coney Barrett. Jeffress seems to only understand these issues through the grid of “rights” and politics. Evangelical Christian Francis Collins, the director of the National Institutes of Health, has a different opinion. Jeffress also defends Trump’s case for voter fraud

Ralph Reed continues to focus on Georgia:

Gary Bauer:

“Life has risks.” I wonder if Tony is attending face-to-face church these days?

More fearmongering from Perkins. This time it’s a socialist takeover:

Franklin Graham:

Interesting:

One overlooked part of Franklin Graham’s brand of politics is how he loves merging Christian Right talking points with celebrities:

Trump knows he isn’t going to win, but the court evangelicals aren’t so sure

As I type, CNN is reporting that Donald Trump, despite his public pronouncements, knows he lost this election. But some of his most ardent evangelical supporters still believe the president was re-elected.

Today was a special day for the court evangelicals. Donald Trump called-in to Eric Metaxas’s radio show. Metaxas told the president that “Jesus is with us” in the fight over voter fraud and said that he would “be happy to die in this fight.” We blogged about this a few hours ago.

Metaxas is willing to die to save Donald Trump and the republic. But does anyone think Trump himself would lay down his life for the nation?

Let’s see what else is happening in court evangelical land today.

In a normal world, the young Trump lawyer Jenna Ellis, a spokesperson for Liberty University’ Falkirk Center, would have ruined her career by defending Trump in these voter fraud cases. Granted, she will never be able to engage an audience larger than the one made-up of Trump’s most hard-core followers, but after this is all over there will be plenty of places for her to go, and plenty of clients for her to defend, in the pro-Trump Christian universe. She is destined to spend the rest of her career in this silo.

Charlie Kirk, the co-founder of Liberty University’s Falkirk Center, is not letting go:

Lance Wallnau interprets Kirk’s tweet:

Wallnau is also calling-out GOP senators who will not challenge “fake votes”:

Here is Wallnau last night on his Facebook page:

What is happening now in this critical, perhaps final week in combat with forces of darkness seeking a hostile takeover of our nation. Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Georgia and Arizona update. We’ve found the weakness- nervous Republican Legislators! And I give you the strategy.

Wallnau’s video praises Doug Mastriano. He also chides his followers for not praying hard enough and not praying for the right people (state legislators). He and Eric Metaxas are now the same person.

The Falkirk Center at Liberty University is promoting some of their favorite people:

It appears they will contest this election to the end. The Falkirk Center was not around in 2016, but if they were I am sure they would have said the exact same thing. ;-):

I think this means Ralph Reed’s Faith & Freedom Coalition believes Trump won:

Court evangelical journalist David Brody is still at it:

Brody retweeted Dinesh D’Souza:

David Barton, Kirk Cameron, Charlie Kirk, and Michele Bachmann are “barnstorming” through Georgia.

Jack Hibbs:

Jim Garlow is still doing ZOOM prayer meetings for election integrity.

*The New York Times* talks to Trump evangelicals about the election

Here are a few bits from yesterday’s piece by Elisabeth Dias and Ruth Graham:

After calling the Latino vote “the quintessential swing vote,” court evangelical Samuel Rodriguez described Trump’s “policies” as “absolutely remarkable.”

Albert Mohler of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary said that forty years ago a vote for Trump was unimaginable to evangelicals, but today “they feel the wind facing them…with a clear sense that the culture is becoming reordered in a hostile and increasingly secular manner. Evangelicals are voting with the same values, but with a different set of priorities.” I beg to differ. The priorities of white evangelicals on the Christian Right have not changed much in forty years.

Franklin Graham reminded Dias and Graham that the election was not yet “official.” He added: “America is in such a moral decline…We are becoming a much more violent country. I am afraid for our country.”

Robert Jeffress took out billboards throughout Dallas to advertise his upcoming sermon on Biden. He added: A Joe Biden win cannot erase all the positive accomplishments that can be attributed to President Trump.”

Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition is now focused on the Georgia Senate run-offs on January 5, 2021.

Read the entire piece here.

Court evangelical Robert Jeffress quotes Micah 6:8 and applies it to election fraud

Justice for Trump!

About one hour ago, Robert Jeffress told Lou Dobbs on Fox News that the 2020 presidential election is “far from over.” Jeffress said the God requires Christians to “act justly, and that includes in elections as well.”

Watch:

Micah 6:8 says: “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”

And in other court evangelical news this evening:

Paula White is hosting another prayer meeting right now.

Ralph Reed is focusing on the upcoming Georgia Senate run-offs:

Earlier today Jim Garlow hosted another election fraud prayer meeting:

Court evangelical journalist David Brody is retweeting Trump’s press secretary Kayleigh McEnany. He retweeted all these McEnany tweets:

Biden is winning Michigan by more than 130,000 votes. Yet Charlie Kirk of Liberty University’s Falkirk Center demands a recount:

Charlie Kirk does not seem to understand that a lot of Americans live in cities:

He is also getting pretty desperate:

And what is a court evangelical roundup without Eric Metaxas? In this video he not only claims that there was election fraud, but that the Democratic Party deliberately planned it. “When the smoke clears,” Metaxas says, “Trump will be re-elected as president.”

In this interview, Metaxas and his guest John Smirak go after Rick Santorum and The National Review for questioning Trump’s claim of election fraud. Smirak says that never-Trumpers are just Republicans who want to be invited to “liberal’s cocktail parties where there might be some cute girls.” Watch:

Quick court evangelical update

2:37pm. A lot of silence on the court evangelical front. But:

Ralph Reed is pushing the fraud narrative:

We may never know, but Reed’s statistics are suspect. Edison Research has 76% Trump and 23% Biden:

I agree with Perkins. “Light” is the best disinfectant. The tireless workers counting the votes right now are shedding that light.

Joe Biden?:

These votes were not “found.” They are legitimate votes that just need to be counted:

I am glad Georgia, Pennsylvania, Arizona, and Nevada are taking court evangelical Jenna Ellis’s advice:

Lara Trump and the court evangelicals try to win voters in Florida

Last night Lara Trump, the wife of Donald Trump’s son Eric, spoke to an “Evangelicals for Trump” rally in Pensacola, Florida. The event was followed by a “town hall event” that included court evangelicals Paula White, Jentezen Franklin, Tony Suarez, and Ralph Reed.

Does anyone think people who come to an “Evangelicals for Trump” rally are undecided?

Sadly, Lara Trump’s recent performance on Jake Tapper’s show “State of the Union” (CNN) reveals just the kind of stuff Trump evangelicals are willing to cheer:

Less than a week to go. Let’s check in on the court evangelicals

Trump’s favorite evangelicals are making their closing arguments. Here are some of them:

Franklin Graham believes that God works through the United States Supreme Court. It is also worth noting that he is bragging here about attending a super-spreader event:

These two tweets from James Robison are pretty revealing:

Jentezen Franklin does not seem to understand that overturning Roe v. Wade will do little to end the “abortion agenda” in the United States.

As might be expected, Jack Graham is supporting Al Mohler’s argument for Trump:

“The most successful term of a President in my lifetime”:

Christianity Today actually gave Paula White space to make her argument for Trump. What are the chances that PR man Johnnie Moore wrote this piece?:

John Hagee believes that Amy Coney Barrett is a “righteous judge.” Perhaps he is confusing the nomination of Barret with what the Pslamist says in Psalm 7:1. and Psalm 9:4.

Tony Perkins wants us to believe that he supports Amy Coney Barrett because she holds a “proper understanding” of the Constitution. He could care less about this. It’s all about Coney’s previous statements on abortion and what he believes to be her willingness to “inject social policy issues into the court.”

They said something similar about every conservative appointment in the last forty years. We will see what happens:

Look and weep?. It sounds like Bauer just dropped a royal flush in a poker game:

Ralph Reed would prefer massive crowds that are not social distanced and not wearing masks. In other words, a Trump rally. Yes, Ralph Reed supports pro-life candidates.

Wayne Grudem is still at it.

Eric Metaxas is still talking about “the end of America as we know it.”

Jack Hibbs believes God answered his prayers:

This kid called John Piper a “fool.” Now he is lecturing more pastors:

Sadly, this all Jenna Ellis and the rest of the Falkirk Center crowd at Liberty University have left:

How did the court evangelicals respond to last night’s debate?

They loved it, of course.

Let’s begin, one more time, with American religious historian Grant Wacker from his biography of Billy Graham:

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.

As I noted in an earlier post today, Ralph Reed said he condemned Trump’s policy of separating children from parents. Tony Perkins, on the other hand, wants to talk about cages. Let me repeat that, there are 545 kids without parents and family values guy Tony Perkins want to talk about who built the cages.:

The oil industry pollutes. it is bad for the environment. Tony Perkins mocks alternative forms of energy:

You can tell Perkins is getting desperate. It’s late in the election and his guy is trailing. He is condemning Biden for not meeting with a North Korean murderer and dictator. This is really getting sad.

Perkins mocks mask-wearing and claims that Biden is the candidate who “covers things up.”

If Napp Nazworth’s reporting is correct, Johnnie Moore, the guy who claims to be a “modern day Dietrich Bonhoeffer, is probably on the phone right now with The Christian Post asking them to do a piece on how Trump won the debate.

Like Tony Perkins, Ralph Reed tweets Biden’s view on fossil fuel and the oil industry as if reducing our reliance on these things is a bad thing:

The same goes for Charlie Kirk:

It seems like the court evangelicals are divided over the performance of moderator Kristen Welker:

I can no longer write about Robert Jeffress without thinking about his fellow court evangelical Richard Land’s line: “the most dangerous place in Texas to stand is between Jeffress and a television camera.” Expect Jeffress to repeat this tweet tonight on Fox News with Lou Dobbs:

And here is the Liberty University Falkirk Center crowd:

This weekend Charlie Kirk will be bringing this to an evangelical megachurch near you:

I am sure “Falkirk Fellow” Jenna Ellis will be pushing this narrative today on Fox News:

“No rational American believes this”:

No rational American believes this:

Again, these court evangelicals try to deflect from the fact that 545 kids are not with their parents by focusing on the construction of the cages. Where is the empathy and compassion among these evangelical Christians affiliated with Liberty University?:

I just wanted to get this on the record. It was tweeted at a moment when COVID-19 is surging again:

11 more days.

Tonight’s debate

Some thoughts on the final debate of the 2020 presidential campaign.

On the format:

The mute button definitely worked. Kristen Welker did a solid job as moderator. Trump was under control. He started-out very mellow:

Symbolic gestures are important, especially in a pandemic:

This continues to be the essence of Trump’s approach to the coronavirus:

I have no idea what Trump meant when he criticized Biden for “selling pillows and sheets”:

Trump focused on Hunter Biden’s laptop, Burisma, and Biden’s houses (he owns two). No one cares unless you watch Fox News:

Seth Cotlar gets it right:

When Trump attacked Biden’s family, Biden did not get into the mud. (There is a lot of material about the Trump family he could have used). Instead, he appealed to American families:

When Biden talked about American families and their “dinner table” concerns, Trump accused him of being a “typical politician.”:

Trump kept pushing lies about Biden’s positions on health care and fracking:

In one the better moments of the debate, Biden said that Trump was confused about the identity of his opponent in this election, especially as it relates to health care. Biden does not support socialized medicine. He actually won the Democratic primary against the likes of Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren who do favor socialized medicine. He reminded the viewers who Trump was running against:

The moderator, Kristen Welker, asked Trump about how his administration manage to lose the parents of 545 immigrant children. Trump claimed that they these children were brought to the country not by their parents, but by “coyotes.” Biden pushed back hard, saying that these children came to the United States with their parents and they were separated. Trump’s failed to exercise any degree of empathy for these children. It was painful to watch.

As a side note, I had interesting exchange on Twitter on this issue with court evangelical and GOP operative Ralph Reed:

I am not holding my breath about Reed’s decision to revisit this issue 10 days before an election.

Welker asked Biden and Trump about “the talk” African-American parents give their children about the dangers they will face in a racist society. Bruce Springsteen summarized this well in his song “American Skin”:

Here is the lyric:

41 shots, Lena gets her son ready for school
She says, “On these streets, Charles
You’ve got to understand the rules
If an officer stops you, promise me you’ll always be polite
And that you’ll never ever run away
Promise Mama you’ll keep your hands in sight”

Biden responded to this question with a clear statement about systemic racism, lamenting that such a “talk” is necessary in the United States of America. Trump never answered the question. Instead he said this:

Trump claimed he was the “least racist” person in the room. Then he backpedaled a bit, saying he couldn’t be entirely sure that he was the “least racist” person in the room because the lights were too bright and he was unable to see everyone.

Trump then went after Biden for his role in drafting the 1994 Crime Bill. This bill was controversial because it increased incarceration in an attempt to stop crime. It led to more prison sentences and aggressive policing that hurt people of color who are disproportionately likely to be incarcerated.

Biden has said that his support of the 1994 bill was a mistake and he regrets it. He said the same thing last night. But what confuses me is why Trump always criticizes him on this front. Wouldn’t a “law and order” president like Trump who does not believe in systemic racism be in favor of such a bill? After Trump’s response to racial unrest this summer, one might think he would have been chomping at the bit to support such a bill. Biden lost a chance to point this out.

New York Times columnist David Brooks weighed-in on the debate:

Biden said that he wanted to phase out the oil industry because it is bad for the environment. Trump implied that Biden’s statement alienated people in Texas, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, and Ohio. Perhaps it did, but Biden stood his ground. Historian Andrew Wehrman put it succinctly:

Biden’s claim to be the president of all Americans reminded me of Thomas Jefferson’s first inaugural address:

Trump did fine. As CNN’s Dana Bash put it, the “bar was very low” for Trump and he managed to clear it.

Biden did fine as well. He had some nice moments.

I don’t think the debate changed much, especially since Trump is probably going to stay some more stupid stuff tomorrow and everyone will forget about last night’s debate.

Court evangelical Ralph Reed says Trump will get more than 81% of the white evangelical vote in 2020

It wouldn’t surprise me.

Here is Jon Ward at Yahoo News:

Ralph Reed, a veteran Republican operative who has helped corral the evangelical vote for Republicans for the last 30 years, said he thinks white evangelical support for President Trump is likely to be higher in the 2020 election than it was four years ago.

“I think the 81 percent of the evangelical vote that Trump received four years ago is the floor,” Reed, president of the Faith and Freedom Coalition, said in an interview. “I don’t think it’s beyond the realm of possibility that he could end up in the mid-80s.”

Reed said that by Election Day his organization will have knocked on between 3.7 million and 4 million doors in a get-out-the-vote effort.

And he predicted that the efforts of his group, and others like it, combined with white evangelical enthusiasm for Trump, will produce votes from 5 million to 10 million white evangelicals who did not vote at all in 2016. Reed claimed that there were 31 million white evangelical votes for Trump four years ago.

Read the rest here.

Unmasked court evangelicals were at the Barrett announcement

Donald Trump has COVID-19. So does his wife Melania Trump. So does the president of the University of Notre Dame. So does Utah senator Mike Lee. So does North Carolina senator Tom Tillis.

Look at these pictures from Trump’s announcement of Amy Coney Barrett as his Supreme Court nomination:

If you click on the link above you can see a larger image. Historian Ben Park summed it up best in this tweet:

And here are the court evangelicals seen in the pictures above:

Franklin Graham (no mask)

Cissie Graham (no mask)

Paula White (no mask)

Greg Laurie (no mask)

Jack Graham (no mask)

Bishop Harry Jackson (no mask)

Jentezen Franklin (no mask)

Ralph Reed (no mask)

Tony Perkins (no mask)

Jerry Prevo (no mask)

Robert Morris (no mask)

Ralph Reed and Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows share a handshake:

Here is Meadows working court evangelical Tony Perkins:

John Jenkins of Notre Dame learned his lesson:

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,

I know many of you have read about the White House ceremony I recently attended.  I write to express my regret for certain choices I made that day and for failing to lead as I should have. 

Last Saturday morning I received, on very short notice, an invitation to attend the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the United States Supreme Court.  It was important, I believed, that I represent the University at this historic event to support a faculty colleague and alumna of Notre Dame who is greatly respected by academic and judicial peers, revered by her students and cherished by her friends. 

When I arrived at the White House, a medical professional took me to an exam room to obtain a nasal swab for a rapid COVID-19 test.  I was then directed to a room with others, all fully masked, until we were notified that we had all tested negative and were told that it was safe to remove our masks.  We were then escorted to the Rose Garden, where I was seated with others who also had just been tested and received negative results.

I regret my error of judgment in not wearing a mask during the ceremony and by shaking hands with a number of people in the Rose Garden.  I failed to lead by example, at a time when I’ve asked everyone else in the Notre Dame community to do so.  I especially regret my mistake in light of the sacrifices made on a daily basis by many, particularly our students, in adjusting their lives to observe our health protocols.

After returning to campus, I consulted the Notre Dame Wellness Center and was advised to monitor carefully and report any COVID-19 symptoms.  In an abundance of caution, I have decided also to quarantine in accordance with University protocols. 

Thank you for your continued efforts during this semester, and for your understanding.  

In Notre Dame, 

Fr. John Jenkins, C.S.C.

Will we get similar letters from the court evangelicals? I doubt it. We will see if they even quarantine.

Early court evangelical reaction to last night’s debate

There was nothing in last night’s debate about abortion, religious liberty, or Israel. One might think that this was a perfect opportunity, with Christian Right issues off the table for the evening, for evangelical Christians to decry Trump’s inability to abide by the rules, his constant lies, his refusal to say he would accept election results, and his failure to condemn racism and white supremacy. One might think evangelicals would be disgusted by all of this and, as those who supposedly care about ethical leadership and the moral fabric of country, condemn what they saw.

That, of course, did not happen.

Much of this is from last night:

But Tony Perkins, do YOU believe that both candidates are “fatally flawed?”

Tony is also peddling the voter fraud conspiracy:

I thought Biden missed an opportunity to talk about his support of the police. Perkins is right to point this out:

Now even a Fox News moderator is unacceptable to the court evangelicals. When you’re in trouble, blame the moderator:

Blaming the refs:

I thought Wallace was weak, but for a different reason. He didn’t tell Trump to shut up enough when he was speaking out of turn.

Ralph Reed tweeted once during debate. He chose to focus on the Biden family:

I think Charlie Kirk was watching a different debate last night:

More to come, if I have the stomach for it! 🙂

The court evangelicals get another chance to execute their political playbook

For many American evangelicals, Christian witness in the political sphere comes down to overturning Roe v. Wade. This is why the court evangelicals are so gleeful about Trump getting another Supreme Court nomination. This is also why they say virtually nothing about the president’s mishandling of COVID-19 (nearly 200,000 dead), his separation of families at the Mexican border, his environmental policies that will one day make the planet incapable of sustaining life, and his racism. Look for yourself. The silence is deafening. Start your research with these names:

Franklin Graham, James Robison, James Dobson, Jenetzen Franklin, Jack Graham, Paula White, Greg Laurie, John Hagee, Tony Perkins, Gary Bauer, Johnnie Moore, Ralph Reed, Robert Jeffress, Eric Metaxas, Jim Garlow, Jack Hibbs, Harry Jackson Jr., Luke Barnett, Richard Land, Jim Bakker, David Barton, Steve Strang, Samuel Rodriguez, Charlie Kirk, Lance Wallnau, and Jenna Ellis.

I imagine (again, I only imagine) that some of these people were on a conference call the moment Ruth Bader Ginsburg died. They no doubt started the session with prayer for the Ginsburg’s family and perhaps even threw-out a prayer or two for those suffering through COVID-19. And then, when the pleasantries were done, they got down to strategizing about how to best support the president’s forthcoming Supreme Court nomination and the most effective ways of spinning their 2016 claims that President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee–Merrick Garland–did not deserve a hearing in the Senate because it was an election year.

As I wrote yesterday, Robert Jeffress said that COVID-19 is mere “background noise” now that Ruth Bader Ginsburg is dead and Trump can appoint another conservative justice. Background noise? Tell that to the families who lost lives from COVID. What kind of world do we live in where a Christian pastor can say that the loss of 200,000 lives is unimportant and get virtually no push-back from his followers, all men and women who name the name of Jesus Christ?

Here is what the court evangelicals have been saying about the Supreme Court story:

Let’s start with Franklin Graham. Let’s remember that Barack Obama nominated Merrick Garland about eight months before the 2016 election:

And now Graham says the country is at a “boiling point” and needs prayer. He has no clue that he is partly responsible for the divisions in the nation and the church.

Southern Baptist seminary president Al Mohler tries to defend Mitch McConnell’s decision to reject Merrick Garland’s nomination in 2016. There is no reference to the Constitution or its interpretation. Mohler’s argument is weak, especially coming from a self-professed Constitutional originalist. I would like to see him defend this argument through a close reading of the Constitution as opposed to the weak reference to 1880 that he offers here. Mohler, who prides himself as an intellectual driven by logic, begins with the assumption that we need another conservative justice and then searches for an argument–any argument–to justify his political desires.

There is no doubt that President Trump will make a nomination to fill the vacancy, and there is now no doubt, thanks to a statement released by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, that the Senate will move forward on a confirmation process once the nomination is announced. Indeed, Senator McConnell stated, “In the last midterm election, before Justice Scalia’s death in 2016, Americans elected a Republican Senate majority because we pledged to check and balance the last days of a lame duck president’s second term. We kept our promise. Since the 1880s, no Senate has confirmed an opposite party president’s Supreme Court nominee in a presidential election year. By contrast, Americans reelected our majority in 2016 and expanded it in 2018, because we pledged to work with President Trump and support his agenda, particularly his outstanding appointments to the federal judiciary. Once again, we will keep our promise. President Trump’s nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate.”

Ecclesiastes 10:1. Interesting choice of verse by Tony Perkins:

Here is Gary Bauer. It’s all about the Christian Right playbook. He actually believes that overturning Roe v. Wade will end abortion in the United States. As long as he keeps sticking to this playbook, the lives of unborn babies will remain a political football.

Hey Ralph Reed, why weren’t you making this argument in 2016?

Charlie Kirk of the Falkirk Center at Liberty University does not even want hearings for Trump’s new justice:

Kirk criticizes Ilhan Omar for being a “starter of fires” fueled by religion and skin color. Hmm…

For many evangelicals the 2020 election represents a simple choice: Trump will defend the pro-life movement, Joe Biden is pro-choice; Trump promises to appoint Supreme Court justices who will challenge–perhaps even overturn —Roe v. Wade, and Joe Biden will not. When it comes to dealing with the problem of abortion, the court evangelicals have been reading from the same political playbook for more than four decades. It teaches them that the best way to bring an end to abortion in America is to elect the right president, who, in turn, will support the right justices. Thus far, things seem to be going well: not only has Trump appointed pro-life justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanuagh, but he has appointed dozens of conservative judges to federal district courts across the country. Now, he will most likely get to appoint another conservative justice.

Still, it is not exactly clear how this strategy will bring an end to abortion in America. Chief Justice John Roberts, himself a devout Catholic, has called Roe v. Wade “settled as the law of the land.” Amy Coney Barrett, who appears to be Trump’s top pick to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg, has said publicly that it is likely Roe v. Wade will not be overturned.

And even if Roe v. Wade is overturned by the Supreme Court, the issue will be sent back to the states. Abortion is very likely to remain legal in the so-called blue states, including California and New York, and illegal in many of the so-called red states, especially in the deep South.

State legislatures will need to decide how they will handle the abortion issue in the remaining states, but a significant number of them will probably allow abortion in some form. To put it simply, overturning Roe v. Wade will not end abortion in America. It may curtail the number of abortions, but it will bring our culture no closer to welcoming the children who are born and supporting their mothers.

The taking of a human life in the womb via the practice of abortion is a horrific practice. Modern technology shows us that a baby in the womb, especially in the last trimester, is alive. Christians should be working hard to reduce the number of abortions that take place in the United States–even working to eliminate the practice entirely.

But we have been under Roe v. Wade for long enough that several generations of Americans now believe that they have a right to an abortion. Such a belief is not going to change anytime soon. Conservative evangelicals and other pro-life advocates spend billions of dollars to get the right candidates elected because they believe that the Supreme Court is the only way to solve the problem of abortion in our society. Yet, most of these conservatives oppose “big government” and want to address social concerns through churches and other institutions of civil society. Imagine if all the money spent to support pro-life candidates was poured into these institutions.

How did we get to this place. Learn more here:

What the Christian Right, court evangelicals, and GOP said about Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland

In a previous post on whether Trump should pick the next Supreme Court justice I wrote:

Politics is not about integrity, ethics, or standing by one’s word. It is about power. And let’s not pretend that the Democrats wouldn’t do the same thing if they were in the GOP’s shoes right now. Plague on all their houses!

In 2016, the Senate would not allow Merrick Garland, president Barack Obama’s SCOTUS pick, a hearing and vote because the GOP members in the Senate, led by Kentucky’s Mitch McConnell, believed that the next president should choose the next justice.

What did the court evangelicals say about McConnell’s decision in 2016?

Ralph Reed and his Faith & Freedom Coalition issued a statement on March 21, 2016:

We strongly oppose Judge Garland’s nomination to the Supreme Court.  We urge the U.S. Senate to await the final judgment of the American people rendered in the 2016 election before acting on any nomination to the highest court.  We will undertake a muscular and ambitious grassroots effort in the states of key U.S. Senators to defeat the Garland nomination and prevent President Obama from shifting the balance of the court for a generation.”

Here is Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council:

In the end, the Senate’s position isn’t about the person — it’s about the principle. “The only reason that they’re complaining about a hearing on the nominee is because they want to make the process as political as possible,” Grassley said. “And that goes to the heart of the matter. We’re not going to politicize this process in the middle of a presidential election year.” The other 10 GOP members of his committee have already made up their minds. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) couldn’t have been clearer when he said, “We’re not going to confirm anyone. Period.” But America’s law professor-in-chief still insists: “In putting forward a nominee today, I am fulfilling my constitutional duty. I’m doing my job. I hope that our senators will do their jobs, and move quickly to consider my nominee. That’s what the Constitution dictates…”

Wrong again. As scholars like Noah Feldman remind him, “Here’s what the Constitution says about filling Supreme Court vacancies: nothing.” Yet, as they’ve done with abortion and same-sex marriage, liberals are quite content to point to its invisible ink to suit their narrative. The reality is, President Obama has the right to nominate a replacement for Justice Scalia, just as the Senate has a right to ignore it. This is exactly what the Americans people wanted when it elected a GOP majority: a Senate that would rein in the president’s unchecked powers. Now they have it. And on the biggest decision in a generation, we can all be grateful its leaders are doing their part.

I am sure, based on the above statement, Perkins sees no hypocrisy in McConnell’s decision to give Trump’s nominee a hearing in an election year.

Let’s see if Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse will meet with Trump’s appointee. He refused to meet with Garland in 2016. And what about all those “principled constitutionalists” (like Ted Cruz) who would not give Garland a hearing in 2016, but will support Trump’s nominee?

The Huffington Post has collected the comments of several GOP senators in 2016 about Obama’s appointment of Merrick Garland. Here are some of those comments:

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley of Iowa: “Given that we are in the midst of the presidential election process, we believe that the American people should seize the opportunity to weigh in on whom they trust to nominate the next person for a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court.”

Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina: “As I have repeatedly stated, the election cycle is well underway, and the precedent of the Senate is not to confirm a nominee at this stage in the process. I strongly support giving the American people a voice in choosing the next Supreme Court nominee by electing a new president.” 

Sen. Thom Tillis of North Carolina: “It is essential to the institution of the Senate and to the very health of our republic to not launch our nation into a partisan, divisive confirmation battle during the very same time the American people are casting their ballots to elect our next president.”

Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas: “It has been 80 years since a Supreme Court vacancy was nominated and confirmed in an election year. There is a long tradition that you don’t do this in an election year.”

Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida: “I don’t think we should be moving forward with a nominee in the last year of this president’s term. I would say that even if it was a Republican president.”

Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado: “I think we’re too close to the election. The president who is elected in November should be the one who makes this decision.”

Sen. Mike Lee of Utah: “We think that the American people need a chance to weigh in on this issue, on who will fill that seat. They’ll have that chance this November, and they ought to have that chance.” 

Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania: “With the U.S. Supreme Court’s balance at stake, and with the presidential election fewer than eight months away, it is wise to give the American people a more direct voice in the selection and confirmation of the next justice.”

Sen. John Thune of South Dakota: “Since the next presidential election is already underway, the next president should make this lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court.”

Liberty University’s Falkirk Center meets all expectations at its “Get Louder” event

Yesterday, Liberty University’s Falkirk Center, the culture war wing of the largest Christian university in the world, held a 1-day conference titled “Get Louder: Faith Summit 2020.” Evangelical Trump supporters were encouraged to yell and scream more, fight more, and make sure that they were active on every social media platform. This is how the Kingdom of God will advance and Christian America will be saved because in the minds of the speakers, and probably most of those in attendance, there is little difference between the two. There was virtually nothing said about civility, humility, empathy, peace, compassion, the common good, or justice for people of color or the poor.

If there is any doubt that the Falkirk Center, with its angry and bitter political rhetoric and unswerving support of Donald Trump, represents Liberty University, those doubts were put to rest in the first fifteen minutes of the event. The day began with a video from the late Jerry Falwell Sr.:

This was followed by a welcome from Liberty University Provost Scott Hicks. Scott Lamb, Liberty’s Vice President for Communications, also welcomed the audience and praised the work of the Falkirk Center.

Falkirk Center director Ryan Helfenbein introduced the day’s festivities:

The first plenary speaker was former Arkansas governor and GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee. He started-off with a real “historical” whopper:

Much of Huckabee’s speech confused identity politics with “collectivism.” It was an ideological mess. The real socialist collectivists in America are no fan of identity politics.

And it wouldn’t be a Huckabee speech without some fearmongering:

Huckabee is disappointed with students on “evangelical campuses”:

Next came Ralph Reed, one of the primary architects of the Christian Right playbook. Reed sings one note:

The “Great Awakening” was ubiquitous at this event:

We’ve written about the “Black-Robed Brigade here.

Falkirk Center’s co-founder Charlie Kirk’s pastor spoke:

A general observation about the day:

And then Eric Metaxas showed-up:

I compared this session on the “Christian mind” to Bruce Springsteen’s convocation address last night at another Christian college–Jesuit-run Boston College:

Next-up, court evangelical Greg Locke:

Next-up, the anti-social justice crowd:

At the end of a long day Eric Metaxas came back for a solo speech:

Please read my recent Religion News Service piece in this context of these texts.

Trump is having a rough week. What are the court evangelicals saying?

If you are following the news (or this blog), you know that:

  1. Multiple outlets, including Fox News, have confirmed that Trump disparaged American veterans. He called them “losers” and “suckers.”
  2. Trump knew about the “deadly” nature of the coronavirus as early as February 7, 2020 and did nothing about it. (And I am sure there will be more revelations in Bob Woodward’s forthcoming book).
  3. According to Michael Cohen, Trump disparaged evangelicals, calling their beliefs “bulls–t.”

So what are Trump’s evangelical supporters–the men and women I call the “court evangelicals”–saying?

Some of the court evangelicals will be gathering at a Liberty University Falkirk Center event today. I will try to keep an eye on this.

Liberty University Falkirk Center fellow Jenna Ellis is not going to read Woodward’s book. But I don’t think Woodward’s reporting will be something she can ignore. If I were her, I would jump off the Trump train right now:

Ms. Ellis will not be able to change the subject much longer:

When Donald Trump candidate is in trouble, court evangelicals start talking about abortion and the Supreme Court:

If abortion and the Supreme Court don’t work, court evangelicals can always retweet stuff about truth and ethics:

But let’s not pick-on Jenna Ellis too much. Let’s see what Liberty University’s Falkirk Center co-founder Charlie Kirk is up to.

Again, pivot to abortion:

If abortion doesn’t work, say something about Nancy Pelosi:

Or this:

Court evangelical journalist David Brody is always ready to tweet favorable things about Trump, but all he has for us today is a story about Biden and a Washington football team hat. Maybe he is on vacation. 🙂

There is a reason Trump released his Supreme Court list today. Ralph Reed is more than willing to help the president in his attempt at misirection:

The same goes for Johnnie Moore, the guy who touts himself as a “modern-day Dietrich Bonhoeffer.”

Gary Bauer refuses to believe the reporting:

Tony Perkins, as expected, focuses on the Supreme Court:

Jack Graham too:

Graham also seems to reject the reporting on Trump’s disparaging marks about the military. He retweeted this:

This is what court evangelicals do. When every major news outlet (including Fox News) confirms a story that they don’t like about Donald Trump, they desperately search for a source from a Trump loyalist to prove them wrong.

Jentezen Franklin is distracting his followers with a different story:

I think it is fair to say that the court evangelicals, with a few notable exceptions, have been relatively silent this week. They don’t have much to say about Trump’s remarks on military veterans, Cohen’s allegations, and the president’s mishandling of the coronavirus.

Michael Cohen alleges that Trump called evangelical beliefs “bulls–t”

As most of you know, Michael Cohen was Donald Trump’s longtime personal attorney and “fixer.” The press is now starting to get access to his forthcoming memoir, Disloyal: A Memoir.

Here is a taste of Ashley Parker and Rosalind S. Helderman’s piece at The Washington Post:

Cohen describes Trump’s obsessive hatred of Obama, including claiming that the only reason the former president got into Columbia University and Harvard Law School was because of “f—ing affirmative action.” He also recounts Trump’s “low opinion of all black folks.” claiming that Trump once said while ranting about Obama, “Tell me one country run by a black person that isn’t a s—hole. They are all complete f—ing toilets.”

After South African President Nelson Mandela died in 2013, Trump said he did not think Mandela “was a real leader — not the kind he respected,” Cohen writes.

Instead, Cohen writes that Trump praised the country’s apartheid-era White rule, saying: “Mandela f—ed the whole country up. Now it’s a s—hole. F— Mandela. He was no leader.”

Cohen writes that before winning the presidency, Trump held a meeting at Trump Tower with prominent evangelical leaders, where they laid their hands on him in prayer. Afterward, Trump allegedly said: “Can you believe that bulls–t? Can you believe people believe that bulls–t?”

“The cosmic joke was that Trump convinced a vast swathe of working-class white folks in the Midwest that he cared about their well-being,” Cohen writes. “The truth was that he couldn’t care less.”

“Can you believe people believe that bulls–t?”

Read the entire article here.

We will see if anyone corroborates Cohen’s story in the same way people are corroborating Trump’s words about American military personnel.

This all reminds me of the late David Kuo, an evangelical speechwriter for Jack Kemp, Bill Bennett, John Ashcroft, court evangelical Ralph Reed, Dan Quayle, and George H.W. Bush. He also worked in Bush’s Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.

In his book Tempting Faith, Kuo wrote:

For…the White House staff, evangelical leaders were people to be tolerated, not people who were truly welcomed. No group was more eye-rolling about Christians than the political affairs shop. They knew “the nuts” were politically invaluable, but that was the extent of their usefulness. Sadly, the political affairs folks complained most often and most loudly about how boorish many political involved Christians were. They didn’t see much of the love of Jesus in their lives…There wasn’t a week that went by that I didn’t hear someone in the middle-to-senior levels making some comment or another about how annoying the Christians were or how tiresome they were, or how “handling” them took so much time. National Christian leaders received hugs and smiles in person and then were dismissed behind their backs and described as “ridiculous,” “out of control,” and just plain “goofy.”

Kuo, who died of a brain tumor in 2013, realized that the White House is “one of the most seductive places imaginable. Not just because of the perks…but because of the raw power of the place hidden in true desire to save the world.”