David Barton: If someone calls you a homophobe, just call them “a heterophobe.” (And other news from the world of evangelical Trumpism)

Yesterday the Senate voted 55-45 to move forward with Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial. The vote put an end to Kentucky senator Rand Paul’s constitutional objection to the trial. Most GOP senators supported Rand’s motion to kill the trial, but Mitt Romney, Ben Sasse, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, and Pat Toomey broke with the rest of their party and voted to go forward with it. Mitch McConnell, the Senate Republican leader, sided with Paul.

The fact that only 55 senators voted to go forward with the trial (contra Paul’s motion) suggests that it will be difficult to get the 67 senators needed to convict Trump. The trial will begin on Feburary 9, 2021.

Let’s check-in some well-known evangelical Trump supporters. They no longer have access to the court, but they are still in Trump’s corner.

Christian Broadcasting Network journalist David Brody, who calls out other journalists for sharing their opinions on social media, apparently has opinions of his own:

The Independent Network Charismatic (INC) community is still trying to figure out how so many of their prophets got the 2020 election wrong. Mario Murillo believes that the “true prophets” coupled “the promise of Trump’s victory with a call for the church to repent. “False prophets,” he says, “spoke as if we were entitled to an automatic victory.” Here is more from Murillo:

…God ordered the American Church to rally around Trump. The true remnant struck the ground, but many others did not. Some misguided voices diluted the church’s ability to run with the prophetic promise.

‘Woke’ voices, such as Beth Moore and Jim Wallis, notably made it their mission to insult and demean both Trump and his voters. At no time did they offer any sort of meaningful alternative to God’s provision for America.

Nevertheless, we struck the enemy three times, and we actually did win the election. Trump won by a landslide. But we did not get the full victory that would have come if the fraud had been exposed and overturned. That victory was in God’s original plan, but the American Church’s response was simply too little, too late.

We could have taken more authority over demonic power. We needed the lukewarm to repent. That is why we saw the Supreme Court collapse, and why Mike Pence and other Republican leaders chose to save their own political careers, rather than save the nation.

On January 6th, a demonic blanket of evil fell over Washington as Antifa, and BLM protestors posing as Trump supporters, along with a few misguided rightwing extremists, allowed the march to walk into a trap, release great tragedy, and handed the enemy an excuse to try and destroy Trump permanently.

That plus the lethal combination of ‘woke’ Christians, false prophets, and assorted cowards, combined to weaken the enforcement of the true prophecy that Trump would remain in the White House. Instead, we have a puppet and a Jezebel spirit lurking in the people’s house.

Read the entire blog post here. INC prophet Lance Wallnau shared Murillo’s piece and offered similar thoughts of his own.

Meanwhile, Twitter permanently banned Mike “My Pillow Guy” Lindell from its platform. Here is Lindell on Fox News defending himself:

David Barton offers some advice for how his followers should fight the culture war. For the record, I don’t know of anybody in the LGBTQ community who opposes heterosexuals for being heterosexual.

Richard Land is singing the praises of the 1776 Commission Report and actually equates it to scripture. (Deuteronomy 6):

Here is more from Land on the deeply problematic 1776 Commission Report:

Land should stick to running his conservative seminary. He has absolutely no clue about how to do history.

Ralph Reed weighs-in on the impeachment trial. One might think he would welcome the trial since it will distract Congress from moving on Biden’s agenda. Nope:

We could have used more of this nuance from 2015-January 19, 2021:

Well, so much for nuance:

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Sunday in Trumpland

 

Trump Barry

Things seem to be business as usual in Trumpland.

Last night we learned that Donald Trump’s sister, retired federal judge Maryanne Trump Barry, had some choice things to say about her brother. Let’s be clear. She didn’t say anything that we didn’t already know about this president.

Readers of this blog might be interested in Maryanne Barry’s comments about the president’s political base: “All he wants to do is appeal to his base. He has no principles. None. None. And his base, I mean my God, if you were a religious person, you want to help people. Not do this.”

The White House released a statement regarding the comments made by the president’s sister. It read: “Every day it’s something else, who cares. I miss my brother, and I’ll continue to work hard for the American people. Not everyone agrees, but the results are obvious. Our country will soon be stronger than ever before.”

It is the eve of the Republican National Convention and the convention website has very little information about what is going to happen. We do, however, finally have a list of speakers. The Trump family will be filling a significant number of speaking slots.

U.S. Senators speaking include Tim Scott, Rand Paul, Marsha Blackburn, Joni Ernst, Mitch McConnell, and Tom Cotton. Some GOP Senators with national reputations will not be speaking. This list includes Lamar Alexander, Susan Collins, John Cornyn, Ted Cruz, Lindsay Graham, Chuck Grassley, Josh Hawley, Jim Inhofe, James Lankford, Mike Lee, John Kennedy, Kelly Loeffler, Martha McSally, Lisa Murkowski, Mitt Romney, Marco Rubio, Ben Sasse, and Rick Scott.

Speakers from the House of Representatives include Steve Scalise, Matt Gaetz, Jim Jordan, Dan Crenshaw, Elise Stefanik, Lee Zeldin, Kevin McCarthy, and Jeff Van Drew.

Others noteworthy speakers include former U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley, Donald Trump Jr.’s girlfriend (and former Fox News pundit) Kimberly Guilfoyle, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds, South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem, Trump staffer Kellyanne Conway, Eric Trump’s wife Lana Trump, and Rudy Giuliani.

There are also several speakers who represent our nation’s ongoing culture wars. They include court evangelical Franklin Graham, Covington Catholic High School student Nicholas Sandman, court evangelical Charlie Kirk, and the St. Louis’s gun wielding couple Mark and Patricia McCloskey.

Trump is still tweeting about God.

He is still obsessed with the pledge of allegiance:

For a full treatment of what happened read this post from yesterday.

Trump had another tweet today about God:

This tweet, of course, is a blatant attempt to win the votes of evangelicals in November. But it also tells us what Trump really thinks about evangelicals. He believes that we will gravitate to any political candidate who mentions the name of God. We will blindly follow the sound of the “We want God” mantra–like zombies–into the voting booth. Sadly, this may actually be the case for many of my fellow evangelicals.

The court evangelicals seem to welcome Trump’s appeal to his base. This morning a megachurch pastor in California turned his pulpit over to Charlie Kirk of Liberty University’s Falkirk Center:

I wonder what Kirk will say. Perhaps some of his most recent tweets (last 24 hours) will make it into his Lord’s Day sermon:

Liberty University Falkirk Center fellow Jenna Ellis loves Trump’s tweet about God:

Self-pointed prophet Lance Wallnau is still talking about Kamala Harris as a “Jezebel” (and hawking a book).

 

Court evangelical journalist David Brody believes Trump is the only biblical candidate:

I am curious about what Brody means by “traditional biblical policy positions.” Most evangelicals didn’t really see abortion as a political issue until the mid-1970s.

Robert Jeffress was on Fox News this morning.

First, he seems to believe that one can “remove God” from public life. It this theological possible? I think most evangelicals, myself included, believe God is bigger that this.

Second, Jeffress also ignores the fact that the Pledge of Allegiance was recited every night at the DNC convention with the phrase “under God” included. But why would the pastor bring this up when he can twist the truth for political advantage?

Third, Jeffress implies that people of faith in the Democratic Party are not true Christians.

Fourth, Jeffress continues to promote this idea that abortion is the only political issue evangelicals should be concerned about. Perhaps he should read conservative evangelical David French’s column today in which he challenges this idea.

Watch:

Stay tuned. Classes start this week at Messiah University, but I still hope there is time to watch the GOP convention and write a few words.

When Political Loyalty Trumps Moral Clarity

Impeachment Image

We are in the third day of the Donald Trump Senate impeachment trial.  Kentucky Senator Rand Paul has already gone on record saying that the entire trial is a “partisan charade.”

Other GOP Senators have also weighed-in:

Whether you call the Senators “jurors” or “judges,” something is not right about a Senator writing tweets like this during such an important trial.  This impeachment trial is not a hoax.  The Constitution says that the House of Representatives has the authority to impeach the president.  This has happened.  Some Senators may not like that this has happened, but it did.  Senators now have a responsibility to sit quietly, listen to evidence, and make a decision about whether or not to remove the president.

This impeachment trial is just the latest example of how political partisanship distorts critical thinking and basic morality.

I don’t see how any Senator can be confronted with the evidence we have heard over the last two days and not think that Donald Trump has done something immoral. We can debate whether or not what Trump did was an impeachable offense, but can we truly say that he acted in a morally upright way in this whole Ukraine mess?  Was this really a “perfect call?”

Why won’t these GOP Senators speak-up?  Why won’t they publicly admonish Trump for his blatant immoral behavior?  Why have they remained silent or commented on Trump’s immorality with phrases like “Well, that’s just his style” or “if it was me, I wouldn’t have used those words.”  Why do they take media opportunities to defend Trump?  I hope people like Mitt Romney, Ben Sasse, Cory Gardner, Tom Cotton, Marco Rubio, roy Blunt, Richard Burr, Rick Scott, Rob Portman, James Lankford, Pat Toomey, Tim Scott, John Thune, Bill Cassidy, and Lamar Alexander will answer these questions for me.  Mitt Romney is a Mormon.  Sasse, Rubio, Blunt, Lankford,, Tim Scott, Rick Scott, and Thune are evangelical Christians.

Most of these Senators can think critically and make decisions based on evidence.  Many of them have a sense of right and wrong.  But their critical faculties and moral capacities are held captive by political partisanship.  Party loyalty weakens independent thinking.  Party loyalty undermines moral clarity.

Is Rand Paul a Pacifist?

PaulRand Paul is out of the presidential race, but he is still a United States Senator from Kentucky.  He is also historian David Swartz‘s Senator.  Swartz, the author of the excellent Moral Minority: The Evangelical Left in an Age of Conservatism, teaches at Asbury College in Wilmore, Kentucky.

In an ongoing series at his blog titled “Unexpected Sites of Christian Pacifism,” Swartz turns his attention to Paul.  I love how Swartz frames this post. He knows that virtually everyone is going to be mad at him for pointing to Rand’s pacifist streak, but he definitely seems to be on to something.

Here is a taste:

This post on politician Rand Paul, the latest in a series that has included Pentecostals, holiness groups, and Charles Spurgeon, will probably perturb everyone. Conservatives will object because they won’t want to be linked to the “liberal” position of pacifism. Libertarians will object because theirs is not a principled pacifism, but a fiscal one. Pacifists will object because theirs is a not a fiscal one, but a principled one. Progressives will object because they, though perhaps admiring Paul’s rhetoric of peace, don’t want to be linked to the right wing. But Rand Paul is a person, not a platonic ideal, and he, even more than most people, defies easy categorization.

Back in May 2013, Paul, a Kentucky senator and likely presidential candidate in 2016, gave an extended interview to the Christian Broadcasting Network. (You can watch the entire 28-minute feature here.) It didn’t get much press at the time, but Paul, as he is prone to do, pushed back against established narratives. Concerned about the Republican enthusiasm for international conflict, he contended that Jesus “wasn’t really involved in the wars of his days.” He continued, “Part of Republicans’ problems and, frankly, to tell you the truth, some in the evangelical Christian movement I think have appeared too eager for war. . . . I think you need to remember that [Jesus] was the ‘Prince of Peace.’”

Paul has persisted in this anti-violence refrain. In June at the Freedom and Faith Conference, he articulated a strong pro-life message on abortion (pro-life groups say he has a 100% pro-life voting record on 8 votes in the Senate). He also declared, “Jesus reminds us what our goal should be when he proclaims, ‘Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called children of God,’ . . . It’s unacceptable to have, and appoint, leaders who really show no reluctance for war.”

Read the entire post here.