Your daily coverage of the court evangelicals still in denial

As we enter the final days of Trump, let’s see how his evangelical water-carriers are doing:

Jenna Ellis loves Donald Trump. It seems like she is hoping Trump takes her with him after he leaves office. If Trump’s presidency is just a big episode of “The Apprentice,” Ellis is one of the candidates vying for a place of employment in the Trump Inc. Perhaps she can be the new Amarosa. If this happens, will she need to quit her position as a spokesperson for Liberty University’s Falkirk Center?

This is not really something to brag about:

Liberty University’s Falkirk Center founder Charlie Kirk has never met a pro-Trump conspiracy theory he didn’t like:

Lance Wallnau is ready to fight a spiritual battle (and sell some books). From his Facebook page:

We are facing a different kind of American storm, an ideologic storm empowered by hell and intent on redefining who we are as a nation. Our internal divisions are increasingly fed and inflamed by foreign governments, such as the EU, globalists, and China. Under the clever disguise of noble-sounding causes, well-funded activist organizations spread confusion and feed societal fragmentation as they lay siege to our minds, our cities, and our nation’s soul. They will not stop until all the political and judicial levers of power are in their hands.Don’t go into the battle of spiritual warfare without being properly equipped. Let me walk you through the Bible and what’s happening in America right now. Request your copy of God’s Chaos Code at GodsChaosCode.com

Court evangelical journalist David Brody is interviewing Diamond and Silk:

And he is taking a shot at Wolf Blitzer:

And he mocks John Kerry, Al Gore, and climate change:

Eric Metaxas is not giving up:

Today on his show Eric Metaxas has a tech-guy from Denver telling a story about how “a security genius at the Dominion Voting Machines who promised Antifa members a Trump loss.” Every say Metaxas solidifies his reputation as a full-blown conspiracy theorist. It is also disgusting to watch him spiritualize the voter fraud conspiracy.

One of Trump’s most vocal court evangelicals, Robert Jeffress, has not said a thing about the election in weeks.

What are the court evangelicals saying today?

Election Day 2020 was fifteen days ago. Let’s see how the court evangelicals are processing it.

Eric Metaxas is calling people to “get involved to save the republic.” (Some might say the republic was saved on November 3, 2020). He claims that election integrity is a “bipartisan issue.” Metaxas assumes that there was election fraud and then tells his followers that if they don’t write letters to state legislators they are contributing to the collapse of American democracy. Actually, American democracy worked just fine. In fact, Chris Krebs, the Director of Homeland Security, said that this was the most secure election in American history. And then Trump fired him.

Tony Perkins, Michelle Bachmann, and Metaxas are still praying for a Trump victory:

It looks like Robert Jeffress has something in common with Joe Biden:

Court evangelical journalist David Brody and fellow evangelical journalist Cal Thomas are pushing the election fraud narrative:

Charlie Kirk of Liberty University’s Falkirk Center continues to rant. Expect him to do the same thing in the coming weeks at an evangelical megachurch near you.

“We are juggling pitchers of ‘Marxaritas”:

The Falkirk Center at Liberty University is leading a revival of American fundamentalism. This kind of black and white thinking is at the heart of fundamentalism. It is all about stoking division in the name of God and Christian nationalism. It makes no effort at finding common ground.

Here is Lance Wallnau:

I believe God’s Chaos Code will be a constantly referenced and updated between 2020–2030 when nations align, Cyrus rulers emerge, and statesmen evangelists take their place. Those who understand the times will be wise and “those that know their God will be strong and shall do exploits!”

Let’s see how the court evangelicals are handling Trump’s loss

The election was ten days ago. Joe Biden was the winner. After January 20, 2021 the court evangelicals will no longer have access to the court. Let’s see how they are handling things.

Eric Metaxas is still doing prayer meetings. He won’t say that he and his group is praying for signs of voter fraud that would give Trump a victory in the election, but that is essentially what is happening at these meetings. The guy with the red, white, and blue shofar will apparently be there. Metaxas continues to say that Fox News is in the Biden camp. He claims he was not allowed to talk about his “Donald the Caveman” books because there is a character in the book named after George Soros and Soros is now working with Fox News to remove Trump. You can’t make this stuff up. You can watch here.

Metaxas is also promoting this piece on his Facebook page.

I honestly don’t know what to make of this tweet from one of the most divisive court evangelicals. James Robison is the guy who believes Satan brought coronavirus to America to prevent Donald Trump from leading a spiritual revival in the country:

Jack Graham is holding out hope:

Back in 2016, Graham was pretty certain about God’s will in the election. Why wait when God has spoken?:

Is Paula White giving advice to the nation here?:

Gary Bauer is going down with the ship:

Robert Jeffress seems to be moving on. He is now talking about religious liberty and a recent speech by Samuel Alito:

How should we interpret such “hope” in the context of Jeffress’s public rhetoric on Fox News and elsewhere? Frankly, I am not sure what Jeffress is talking about here. I may have had a clearer sense of what he would have meant 10 or 15 years ago, but no longer.

Jim Garlow still sees this election as a “cosmic clash” between “good and evil.”

Jack Hibbs is demanding a recount in California:

Lance Wallnau is hoping and praying for a Trump victory:

He is also hosting a Facebook show called “The plot to steal the presidency.”

Wallnau is also a fan of patriotic education. He sees it as a “mental health” issue:

Court evangelical and founder of Liberty University’s Falkirk Center Charlie Kirk just put postal workers in the bullseye. He did the same thing to Harvard professor Danielle Allen:

I honestly don’t know what the Falkirk Center at Liberty University means when they say “proclaim the Gospel.” I am assuming “proclaim the Gospel when you vote” means voting for Donald Trump.

Here is your Thursday morning court evangelical update

More and more Republicans are implying that it is time to move on from this election and admit defeat. I wish more would step up and proclaim Biden president-elect so that the country can move forward, but most of them seem more concerned about party loyalty than what is good for the nation right now. Many are probably afraid that Trump will somehow exact some kind of revenge if they dare speak out against his claims of widespread voter fraud. Others are worried that if they criticize Trump it will hurt the Republican cause in the two Georgia Senate run-offs on January 5. If Trump voters don’t show-up for that run-off election, and the the Democratic candidates (Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock) win, the Democrats will gain control of the U.S. Senate.

Let’s check-in if anything has changed among the court evangelicals. Remember, I have used this term to describe the pro-Trump evangelical leaders who regularly visit the White House for photo-ops with the president and to supposedly advise him on policy matters. Based on this definition, I am not a Biden court evangelical. I have never been to the White House. Nor do I expect to be part of some kind of Biden faith-advisory council! 🙂 )

The folks at the Falkirk Center at Liberty University is still pushing voting fraud. Today they interviewed Rudy Guiliani:

Today in my Pennsylvania History class we continued our conversation about the Whiskey Rebellion. We talked about how George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, and the Federalists believed that the followers of Jefferson and the members of the Democratic-Republican societies they established in the west were a threat to American ideals. But many of these societies were articulating their grievances against Hamilton’s excise tax on whiskey in very American ways. In other words, they were appealing to the principles of the American Revolution, particularly the resistance to the 1765 Stamp Act.

Washington condemned the whiskey rebels and their societies as threats to national unity, but despite all Washington’s well-rehearsed concerns about partisanship he was not above the fray. He wanted national unity on his terms. He failed to understand that in the 1790s there were two visions of American identity among the people and these visions were at odds with one other.

I thought of this again as I read a Falkirk Center tweet from Ryan Helfenbein. He wants to “proclaim Christ and defend America.” Whose America?

At one point in this video, David Barton, a self-proclaimed historian, suggests that Donald Trump’s tweets about election fraud should be taken seriously as a legitimate primary source. One of the first things we teach history students at Messiah University is how to evaluate sources. Barton is treating the Trump claim of election fraud in the same way he treats the American past. He collects stories about supposed fraud, adds them up without any larger context, and claims something happened. When he engages with the past he collects quotes from the founding fathers, adds them up without any larger context, and claims America is a Christian nation.

Eric Metaxas is encouraging people who are “losing hope that Trump can pull this off” to stay the course. He continues to speak with a sense of certainty that Trump will win this election. He also says that “Fox News has gone over to the dark side” and even implies that Fox is now working with George Soros. Then he tells his audience that he, Eric Metaxas, is now one of the only sources of honest news out there right now.

Metaxas says the Democrats are trying to steal the election and “there is nothing more disgusting” than this. Apparently at Metaxas’s prayer meeting on voter fraud the other night some guy blew a red, white, and blue shofar.

Robert Jeffress wants to make sure he is not misunderstood. He is still a court evangelical:

Gary Bauer is fighting the good fight as he sees it. He apparently has some disagreements with Twitter about Trump’s recent tweet.

Tony Perkins is still sowing seeds of doubt among his followers:

I am not sure Trump is doing much “leading” right now.

Are some of the court evangelicals coming around to a Trump loss?

Not really.

Here is the latest from the court evangelicals.

First, let’s acknowledge the death of Bishop Harry Jackson Jr. RIP. I am sure he had a very fruitful ministry and touched many lives with the good news of the Gospel.

As we wrote about this past weekend, Robert Jeffress has admitted defeat. Or has he?

Kenneth Copeland is laughing.

Franklin Graham is looking to the Georgia Senate run-off on January 5, 2012:

After years of pro-Trump rhetoric, including references to his opponents as agents of evil, James Robison wants to find common ground:

Jack Graham seems to suggest he is ready to accept a Biden win:

But he’s still ready for a fight:

Is this a political tweet from Paula White?

Tony Perkins is still on the “election fraud” bandwagon

Biden shouldn’t rely on Gary Bauer to help heal the country:

Ralph Reed says it’s not over:

Jim Garlow is still doing election fraud prayer meetings:

As expected, Charlie Kirk of Liberty University’s Falkirk Center is all-in on the “massive fraud” narrative:

Even Fox News is refusing to air Trump’s claim of voter fraud. Jenna Ellis of the Falkirk Center does not like it.

It looks like the Falkirk Center is confused about the distinctions between fascism and liberalism:

But hey, Liberty football beat Virginia Tech! :-):

*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.

A court evangelical surrenders

One of Trump’s most diehard evangelical supporters has called Joe Biden “the president-elect.” Here is a transcript of Robert Jeffress’s recent commentary on Fox News. The subtitle reads: “What is God doing in this outcome? Why would He allow this to happen?”

It appears that former Vice President Joe Biden will become the 46th president of the United States on Jan. 20, unless President Trump succeeds in legal challenges to the counting of votes in several states. For millions of Christians across our nation, this is a bitter pill to swallow.

In January 2016 — a year before Donald Trump was inaugurated as president — I was flying around Iowa with the then-businessman to campaign with him before the Iowa caucuses.

We had just finished our elegant lunch of Wendy’s cheeseburgers when I said to him: “Mr. Trump, I believe you are going to be the next president of the United States and if that happens it will be because God has a great plan for you and for our nation.”

“Robert, do you really believe that?” he asked.

“Yes sir, I do,” I replied.

Donald Trump then asked: “OK, if that’s true then let me ask you a question. Do you believe it was God’s will for Obama to be president?” 

“Yes sir I do,” I said. “Daniel 2:21 says that ‘It is God who changes the times and the epochs; He removes kings and establishes kings.’”

Human governments and rulers change at God’s direction and design. Our faith and our salvation lie not in any human ruler, but in the ruler of rulers, the King of kings. We have to remember that even though the occupant of the White House is changing, the One who occupies the throne of Heaven hasn’t changed.

The fact that God has established authorities means that by obeying the government, we obey God.

The Apostle Paul told us: “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God” (Romans 13:1).

Paul also told us to pray “for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions” (1 Timothy 2:1-2).

Now, it’s always easier to submit and to pray for someone when he was our preferred candidate. But the rubber really meets the road when the person who takes office is not the one we supported. Paul didn’t give us any wiggle room — his command applies all the same, whether the emperor was the faith-friendly Constantine or the evil emperor Nero.

Here is our chance to show that Christians are not hypocrites. We serve a God who remains on His throne, sovereignly reigning over every square inch of this vast universe. We serve a God who loves us and will never leave or forsake us. And now we have the chance to show the consistency and constancy/ of our Christian witness to this world.

When Joe Biden becomes president, we should commend him for the things he does right. We should condemn the things he does wrong. And above all, we must pray fervently for our president.

If President Biden succeeds, we all succeed. May God bless Joe Biden, and may God bless the United States of America.

I appreciate Jeffress’s statement. But I also wonder if the “chance to show that Christians are not hypocrites” is long gone. And if such a chance is long gone, Jeffress and his fellow court evangelicals are responsible. Let’s remember that 76% of white evangelicals voted for Donald Trump in this election. This election, and the Trump presidency, did little to change the political sensibilities of conservative evangelicals in America. With the election of Joe Biden the nation may be in a slightly different place right now, but the evangelical community is not.

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:

The court evangelicals are making their final case for Trump

Robert Jeffress is saying that not voting is a “sin against God.” Does he mean not voting is a sin or not voting for Trump is a sin?

I agree with the Falkirk Center and Tucker Carlson:

I am still waiting for the Falkirk Center to explain how our right to bear arms comes from God:

This is the kind of biblical proof-texting that passes for sophisticated political theology at The Falkirk Center. Their entire biblical defense of the Second Amendment comes down to two verses from Psalm 82 and Proverbs 24.

All Charlie Kirk of Liberty University’s Falkirk Center had to do was just condemn this incident. The court evangelical just can’t bring himself to do it:

Johnnie Moore, the court evangelical who describes himself as a “modern-day Dietrich Bonhoeffer, is praying for a Trump victory:

Samuel Rodriguez doubles-down on the spiritual warfare theme:

Jim Garlow is still preaching the idea that Trump is “saved” and just needs a little more spiritual growth.

Garlow also believes that progressive and liberals are mentally ill and demonic:

I am not sure what this means, but it seems to make sense to Kenneth Copeland:

I think this is like saying that you are not racist if you a Black friend:

Eric Metaxas is still making his “Trump is a pilot” argument. The problem with this analogy is that Trump is incompetent. He doesn’t know how to fly the proverbial plane.

Gary Bauer is engaging in Christian politics:

Yes, Tony. We will all “answer one day”:

I wonder what Paula White really means by this prophecy?:

Cissie Graham is trying to spin Wolf Blitzer:

Al Mohler and Donald Trump have found each other!:

It looks like Southern Baptist Theological Seminary is now taking the position of its president and entering the political fray. Jack Graham loves it:

And let’s not forget Franklin Graham:

Robert Jeffress: George W. Bush, Mitt Romney, Ben Sasse, and Peter Wehner are all “disgraces to the Republican Party”

But are they disgraces to the church of Jesus Christ?

It looks like pastor Jeffress is now a spokesperson for the Republican Party.

As Jeffress’s fellow Southern Baptist and court evangelical Richard Land put it, “the most dangerous place in Texas is between Robert Jeffress and a television camera.”

Here is Jeffress:

Jeffress also says that Biden looks like he is “aging” and does not have the energy to be president. The worst part is the way Jeffress couches this common pro-Trump political attack with biblical language.

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.

The court evangelicals and hotel Trump

Over at The Washington Post, Sarah Pulliam Bailey reveals all the court evangelicals who have stayed at the $650 a night Trump hotel in Washington D.C. Here is a taste:

Jerry Falwell Jr., former president of Liberty University, said he stayed there for a gala for the opening of the Museum of the Bible in 2017 and has eaten in the lobby’s restaurant several times because he is fond of seafood as well as the establishment’s owner. “It’s like supporting a friend,” said Falwell, who was one of Trump’s earliest supporters. When he was president of Liberty, the university would pay for his travel, he said. “It’s not like they’re giving us better rates. We pay full price.”

Robert Jeffress, who is pastor of First Baptist Church, a prominent Southern Baptist Church in Dallas, said he has stayed at the hotel about a dozen times since it opened and gets a discount because he is a regular customer. He said his choice of hotel, which his church pays for, has nothing to do with his support for the president and comes down to one factor: Its proximity to the White House. “It’s ridiculous to think that the president could be swayed … by where guests stay,” he said.

J.D. Greear, president of the Southern Baptist Convention, stayed in the hotel for one night in August 2018 when he was in town for a White House dinner for religious leaders, a trip that was paid for by his North Carolina church The Summit. Greear’s spokesman Todd Unzicker said Greear had booked an Airbnb but decided to switch to the Trump hotel because he could meet with other pastors staying there, and because he thought it had a good space to record a video for his ministry. “It’s like the convention hotel,” Unzicker said. “It’s convenient.”

Read the entire piece here.

Court evangelical: “There is a war going on in America right now…between “good and evil, between the kingdom of light and the kingdom of righteousness”

First of all, the quote in the title is correct. I always thought the “kingdom of light” and the “kingdom of righteousness” were the same thing, but perhaps Jeffress, in all his fervor, misspoke.

I wrote this yesterday, but it is certainly fitting here.

I recall Grant Wacker’s great line in 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.” 

How Trump’s rhetoric is shaping evangelical prayer

Trump is telling everyone that the Democrats are trying to steal the election. Rather than trying to make it easier for Americans to vote, he is trying to prevent people from voting because he thinks mail-in-ballots will not be properly counted.

Of course there is no evidence of widespread election fraud in the United States and several states have been voting by mail-in ballots for years.

Our founding fathers did not let all Americans vote. Over the years, the suffrage (democracy) was extended to African-Americans and women. These were hard- fought battles. So why wouldn’t Trump be working with all his power to make sure everyone gets a chance to vote in this pandemic? This is what democratic presidents do. But Trump knows that if more people vote in this election he will lose.

Trump has now said multiple times, including at last night’s debate, that he would contest the vote count if he loses.

Again, there is absolutely no evidence to suggest that mail-in ballots lead to widespread voter fraud. But some evangelical leaders are allowing Trump’s narrative to shape how they conduct their ministries. Here is court evangelical Robert Jeffress:

Future historians will note not only how evangelicals are rallying behind Trump, but how Trump is influencing the way evangelicals practice their faith.

We deserved last night’s debate. We didn’t deserve last night’s debate.

Last night the nation got the debate it deserved.

Last night a nation suffering through coronavirus deserved better.

I think both of these things can be true at the same time.

The first 2020 presidential debate was a disaster. It was a perfect representation of the current state of our political culture. I think theologian Keith Plummer got it right when he tweeted:

Biden’s performance wasn’t great, but he hung in there. Historian Amy Bass nailed it:

Biden didn’t need to kill it last night. He is leading in all the polls. Trump did nothing to widen his base. The debate changed very little.

At one point in the debate Biden told Trump: “You’re the worst president America has ever had.” We will let future historians decide this, but right now it is hard to argue with Biden’s assessment. Here is presidential historian Jon Meacham:

As most of you know by now, Trump refused to condemn “white supremacy” and “racists”:

Here is Christian writer and editor Katelyn Beaty:

And then Trump empowered a neo-Fascist group by telling them to “stand back and stand by.” It is worth noting that the Proud Boys immediately made “Stand Back. Stand By” part of their new logo. Yes the President of the United States told a white supremacist militia group to “stand by.” This implies they he may need them at some point in the immediate future.

Actually, this whole Proud Boys thing sets me up nicely for my Pennsylvania history class today:

This may have been the first presidential debate in American history in which one candidate called another candidate a “racist.”

Trump did nothing to win women voters tonight. Here is historian Heather Cox Richardson:

A few odds and ends:

  1. Trump refused to say that he would concede the election if he loses.
  2. Trump interrupted Biden to attack his son Hunter at the precise moment Biden was talking about his dead son Beau.
  3. In the middle of a discussion on COVID-19, Trump attacked Biden’s intelligence. He also mocked Biden for attending “Delaware State” university. Actually, Biden attended the University of Delaware. Delaware State is a historical black university. One would think Trump would know this since he likes to brag how much he has done for HBCUs.
  4. I don’t want to see another debate. This was a waste of time. Let’s just vote in November and move on as a nation.

A few random tweets from the night:

Before the debate court evangelical Robert Jeffress was praying for unity:

I support national unity. I even support praying for national unity. One of the best speeches on national unity was Abraham Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address:

Here’s Sean Hannity being Sean Hannity:

CNN commentators saw things differently:

Is this King George or Vladimir Putin?:

Even the Fox News moderator Chris Wallace was having problems making sense of Trump’s words:

I am hearing all kinds of stories about parents letting their kids watch this debacle. Here is Yahoo News writer Jon Ward:

Here is Amy Bass:

Hey, but at least Donald Trump did this:

34 more days.

Court evangelical Robert Jeffress says the debate over a new Supreme Court justice makes COVID-19 “background noise”

It’s all about the Supreme Court for Donald Trump’s court evangelicals. Everything else, including nearly 200,000 dead from a pandemic, is just “background noise.” Here is NBC News reporter Peter Alexander.

So much for being pro-life. For Jeffress, COVID-19 is simply a political inconvenience. Of course Jeffress’s political savior, Donald Trump, believes the same thing.

UPDATE: I misses this tweet:

Donald Trump’s Christian America

Trump GOP convention 2

Donald Trump had some things to say about Christianity and “faith” during his GOP convention acceptance speech on Thursday night. Emily McFarland Miller and Jack Jenkins have it covered at Religion News Service. Here is a taste:

Nearing the end of his speech, Trump returned to the theme of the “great American story.”

That story began with “our American ancestors” sailing across the ocean to “build a new life on a new continent,” the president said.

“They loved their families, they loved their country, and they loved their God,” he said. When opportunity beckoned, they picked up their Bibles, packed up their belongings, climbed into their covered wagons, and set out West for the next adventure.”

What Trump’s version leaves out is the Native American ancestors already living on the continent when European explorers and settlers arrived. It was the Doctrine of Discovery, a series of papal edicts, that gave Christian explorers the right to claim lands they “discovered.”

It also leaves out slavery, pointed out John Fea, a professor of American history at evangelical Messiah College.

The story of American progress is more complicated than Trump made it out to be, Fea told RNS.

“Manifest Destiny was deeply informed by the long-standing evangelical idea that white Protestant ‘civilization’ must advance Westward. God gave the continent to Christians and it was their ‘destiny’ to conquer and tame it,” he said.

“This entire project was drenched in the unholy mix of evangelical Protestantism and white supremacy.”

But the emphasis on the role of Christian faith specifically in America’s founding was well-received by some Christians. 

“I believe for those Americans who want a country that’s founded on faith and freedom and on law and order, they were excited by what they heard the president say tonight,” Pastor Robert Jeffress, one of Trump’s most vocal evangelical supporters, told Fox News afterward.

Read the entire piece here.

The court evangelicals respond to Donald Trump’s RNC convention speech and the aftermath

metaxas and Graham

Eric Metaxas and Franklin Graham were both in action (so to speak) at last night’s GOP convention

Last night I thought Franklin Graham offered a good opening prayer to kick-off the last night of the GOP convention. Today he sat for an interview with David Brody of the Christian Broadcasting Network. At times Graham tried to be bipartisan, but in the end this was pure court evangelicalism. This idea that the socialists (and other secular enemies) are coming to close our churches has a long, long history in American evangelicalism. As I wrote in Believe Me, evangelicals said the same thing about Thomas Jefferson in the run-up to the election of 1800. On another matter, it is disingenuous for Graham to claim that he is “just one man” and does not speak for a significant portion of American evangelicalism. There are white evangelicals who hang on every word he says.  Watch:

Court evangelical Eric Metaxas showed us how to blind-side a protester and backpedal to safety. In this August 22, 2020 interview, Metaxas talks with fellow court evangelical Greg Laurie about “the role of virtue in the public square.” Metaxas notes how Jackie Robinson and Rosa Parks were known for “turning the other cheek.” He laments the way “rage” and “violence” are “setting the [Christian cause] backward and confusing people.” He even speaks of non-violence as a Christian virtue. This 15-minute interview is interesting (to say the least) in light of what Metaxas did last night. Jab and move, jab and move.

Jack Graham ran into some trouble last night, along with dozens of other court evangelicals:

Two things are going on in this tweet. First, Graham’s story appears to be true. I am not sure how Graham was able to interrogate the “thugs” and “infidels” about their political ideology (Marxism), but he is right to suggest that this kind of harassment needs to stop. Second, Graham is playing to the base. He did not punch the protesters like Metaxas did, but Graham is obviously hoping his tweet will serve Trump politically by scaring evangelicals to pull a lever for the president in November.

If I recall correctly, in the New Testament Jesus stopped on the road to Golgotha with the old rugged cross on his shoulder and called his tormentors “thugs” and “infidels.” He then asked God to stop the insanity.

The same goes for Paula White:

I am guessing that Gary Bauer believed Trump delivered last night for the Christian Right

Ralph Reed saw his “good friend” Jack Abramoff Rudy Giuliani:

Reed and Giuliani

Robert Jeffress spent some time at the court today:

And then he talked with Lou Dobbs about it. There is no one “kinder and more gracious” than Donald Trump “and that’s what “makes him such an effective leader”:

67 days to go. I am afraid it is going to get a lot worse.

Court evangelicals on night 3 of the GOP convention

Court evangelicals prayer

Here is what the Bible-believing, born-again Christians who support Donald Trump are saying today:

Let’s start with the Liberty University Falkirk Center crowd:

Charlie Kirk believes that the Democrat concern over racial unrest and racial justice is politically motivated:

He is still denying the existence of systemic racism. How many more incidents have to happen before he sees a pattern?:

The NBA players boycotting for racial justice are morons:

And this:

Can Jenna Ellis point to one “God-given right” enshrined in the Constitution? The Constitution never mentions God:

As I wrote earlier today, Pence actually “stands firm” on the heretical fusion of Christianity and American nationalism:

Here is Sebastian Gorka of the Falkirk Center:

And this:

Court evangelical journalist David Brody has a partial list of court evangelicals who will be at Trump’s acceptance speech tonight:

The list includes Johnnie Moore, Jenetzen Franklin,Paula White-Cain, Tim Clinton, Greg Laurie, Samuel Rodriguez, Eric Metaxas, Gary Bauer, Jack Graham, Harry Jackson, Cissie Graham Lynch, and Ralph Reed.

Trump hasn’t even given his speech yet and Robert Jeffress is already calling it “historic”:

As expected, Jeffress was pretty excited about Mike Pence’s speech last night:

Johnnie Moore, the court evangelical who describes himself as a “modern-day Dietrich Bonhoeffer,” wrote a piece at Religion News Service in defense of Trump.

Mike Pence tried to quote the New Testament Book of Hebrews last night. He replaced “Jesus” with “Old Glory. Pastor Jack Graham loved the VP’s manipulation of the Bible for political gain:

Ironically, earlier in the day Graham tweeted this:

Yes, but is Franklin Graham proud of his niece Jerushah?

Night four of the RNC convention begins very soon.

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.