Monday, November 07, 2016

Evangelicals' Support of Trump Has Exposed Their Hypocrisy

UPDATED: Some suggest that my statements about evangelicals are too harsh.  Having followed them and so-called "family values" organizations like Family Research Council and The American Family Association for two decades, I think not.  These people celebrate the embrace of ignorance, many have decided white supremacist leanings, and they leave a trail of disowned LGBT children, individuals fired from their jobs, and hate and division in their wake.  This is not the behavior of Christians.  If anything, they are modern day Pharisees.

As regular readers know, other than perhaps the Catholic Church hierarchy, there are few people I hold in lower regard than evangelical Christians.  They claim the Christian label, yet act in countless ways that are the exact opposite of Christ's Gospel message.  Indeed, given that they are defined by their hypocrisy and hatred of others, they are the true successors of the Pharisees so thoroughly condemned by Christ.  Few things have brought this reality home to a majority of Americans more than evangelicals' support of the thrice married, admitted sexual predatory, serial adulterer and pathological liar, Donald Trump.   Two pieces look at this reality.  One is a piece in Daily Kos wherein Bill Maher takes these false Christians to task.  The other is a piece in the Dallas Morning News that makes the case that a true Christian cannot be a Trump supporter.    First, these highlights from Daily Kos:
Bill Maher called out evangelicals for the dangerous hypocrisy they are displaying with their support for everything they preach against, which Donald Trump exemplifies. You can watch the video here.
"Before leaving this election behind we must all thank Donald Trump for the one good thing he did," Bill Maher said. "He exposed evangelicals who are big Trump supporters as the shameless hypocrites they have always been. I don't know if you noticed, but Republicans didn't get to play the Jesus card this time around because it is hard to bring up the ten commandments when your candidate spent his life breaking all of them. Trump's commandments are like the regular commandments with LOL at the end."
Bill Maher then went on to itemize with examples the commandments Trump continuously break. He displayed the women he committed adultery with. He played clips of him cursing and bearing false witness. He used Trump University to illustrate his stealing. He displayed Vladimir Putin as an example of Trump having false idols.
"He is the world's least godly man," Bill Maher said. "Jesus saw the good in whores and lepers, but if he met Donald Trump he would say 'Sorry man, that's a preexisting condition."
Maher said that with four days left until the election, he wanted to celebrate one thing. Because evangelicals chose the most ungodly character to support, they could not inject religion into the campaign.
Bill Maher went on and pointed out that evangelicals support Trump 75%/14%. Mormons only give him 19% support. He gave kudos to the Mormons.

The piece in the Dallas Morning News is equally unflattering to the falsely pious "godly folk."  Here are highly condensed excerpts:
As sociologists of religion, we are intrigued by the surprisingly large number of self-identified Christians, especially evangelicals, who support Trump and have voted for him over the more vocally religious Ted Cruz. In past elections, such voters were motivated by moral convictions around abortion, same sex-marriage, and the perceived deterioration of traditional values, and voted predictably for candidates such as Huckabee, Santorum, and most consequentially, George W. Bush.
The clear and present danger of a Trump presidency impels us to skip over the thoroughness we would normally dedicate to investigation. And more precisely, our consciences demand that we address voters not primarily as scientists but as citizens and as people of faith. Our audience is that perplexingly large group of Texans who likewise identify as followers of Jesus Christ and plan to vote for Donald Trump.
Our argument is simple: A Christian who supports Trump either does not understand this person and his positions, or supports him in spite of Christian convictions.
[O]ne cannot really love Jesus and wish to follow him and also vote for a person who so clearly embodies the opposite of everything Christ taught, died for and demands of us.
Here are 10 reasons, centered around ideas central to the Christian: character, relationships and values:
1. He lacks compassion.
2. He appeals to fear and anger.
3. He is enamored with “greatness” and ego, but has no concern for “goodness” or service.
4. He lies — a lot.  According to Pulitzer Prize winning truth-checkers Politifact, which compares candidate statements to evidence, Trump’s statements are verifiably false 76 percent of the time.
5. He is hostile to women.
6. He speaks about his daughter in a disrespectful and sexualized way. . . . In a 2006 interview with Rolling Stone, when asked about the idea of his daughter posing for Playboy, Trump replied, “I’ve said if Ivanka weren’t my daughter, perhaps I’d be dating her.” For a self-identified Presbyterian, such a statement is hard to square with Calvinist sexual ethics.
7. He does not attempt to love his enemies, but instead cultivates antagonism.
8. He does not model sacrifice or altruism.
9. He doesn’t seem to care about the poor.  The Bible says: “Jesus said to him, ‘If you wish to be perfect, go, sell your possessions, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.’” (Matthew 19:21)
10. His love of money is more apparent than his love of God or others.

The take away? When you hear someone who supports and/or voted for Donald Trump proclaim their devotion to Christian values and/or the Bible, know without reservation that they are hypocrites and liars.  Know that they are not nice or decent people.  Rather, they are racist, liars and selfish, hate-filled bigots.  They need to become social pariahs shunned by decent people.  They deserve no political deference and absolutely no respect. They are part of what is wrong with America.

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