Evangelical support for Trump

Russell Moore, President of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, has written a piece within the Washington Post in which he renounces the term “evangelical”, not because he has stopped believing, but rather because the term now describes individuals who appears to support and champion people that are very publicly and vocally opposed to the values that it is supposed to represent.

He writes, without naming any names …

The other problem is the behavior of some evangelical leaders. I have watched as some of these who gave stem-winding speeches about “character” in office during the Clinton administration now minimize the spewing of profanities in campaign speeches, race-baiting and courting white supremacists, boasting of adulterous affairs, debauching public morality and justice through the casino and pornography industries.

… er yes, it is not exactly a profound mystery about whom he is referring to here, exactly how many politicians do we all know boast about his various affairs, are involved in the casino business, and court white supremacists. If you are struggling and truly don’t know then let me congratulate you on your recent trip to Mars, welcome you back, and advise that a few things have recently developed politically that you may find to be quite surprising.

Apparently the team over at the Washington Post are a tad concerned that their readers are truly stupid, so they stuck this video under the above paragraph to be sure that all was clear …


Mr Moore also asks some very good questions …

Why are many evangelical leaders, including some who pontificate on nearly everything else, scared silent as evangelicalism is associated with everything from authoritarianism and bigotry to violations of religious freedom?

How can they look the other way in silence when politicians praise Planned Parenthood and demur about white supremacists and neo-Nazis?

He also reveals a degree of honesty when he points out …

For years, secular progressives have said that evangelical social action in America is not about religious conviction but all about power. They have implied that the goal of the Religious Right is to cynically use the “moral” to get to the “majority,” not the other way around.

This year, a group of high-profile old-guard evangelicals has proven these critics right.

Sadly he ducks the real issue by playing the old “They are heretics” card, in this case quite literally …

the word “evangelical” has been co-opted by heretics and lunatics

… and so he fails to come to terms with the fact that the foundation that it is all built upon is the real issue, but instead proposes that he will simply cease to use the word “Evangelical” because that is “them” and is not him. However, his proposal is in itself a step that is perhaps be commended because his stance is motivated by a desire to disassociate himself from the rather blatant racist xenophobia, and so for that I do applaud him.

The key problem is of course the authoritarianism that is a foundational aspect of religious belief. You are supposed to trust and obey, and simply accept that what you are told is true. Doubt and skepticism are frowned upon and unquestioning obedience are virtues. You either fall in line with the group-think or you are out.

There are plenty of decent humans who quite naturally gravitate into this mode of thinking because of their emotional embrace of religion and then end up being part of a power block that falls in line behind a charismatic individual who touts some truly obnoxious stuff, but not everybody is willing to be a sheep within that flock, especially when they have a moment of epiphany and gain a sufficient degree of clarity to appreciate that their Shepard is actually a wolf.

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