Beliefs David Gushee: Christians, Conflict and Change Ethics Faith Opinion Politics

Christians are ‘called to resist’ Trump

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., on Jan. 18, 2016. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

(RNS) On April 28, I joined a multiracial group of Christian ministers and scholars in releasing a statement confessing resistance to Donald Trump as a Christian obligation. Indeed, I helped draft the statement, signed by dozens of leaders such as Jim Wallis, Otis Moss III, Shane Claiborne and Lisa Sharon Harper.

This statement was very carefully drafted after a multiround process of conversation and editing. Evangelicals, such as many of us are, would say that it was written “prayerfully.” (While we have not encouraged others to sign on, we hope the statement will be widely shared.)

The statement stems from our shared sense that the Trump phenomenon challenges Christians at a core moral level and that faithfulness to Jesus is at stake in how American Christians respond.

The language of “confessional resistance” harks back to two particular moments in 20th-century history in which groups of Christians made major statements claiming that the very purity of the faith was at stake in political events and that a failure to resist represented a failure to follow Jesus. Those two instances were Nazi Germany and apartheid South Africa. While no direct comparison is intended, the language of confessional resistance draws on that history.

Any such claims from Christians about a political figure, party, regime or policy need to be made very carefully and very sparingly. That’s because politics is messy, and political figures and parties almost inherently evoke starkly different responses. Our statement is not a mere declaration of political preference or candidate taste. It is about something much more fundamental.

This line from early in the document summarizes the heart of our concern:

The ascendancy of a demagogic candidate and his message, with the angry constituency he is fueling, is a threat to both the values of our faith and the health of our democracy. Donald Trump directly promotes racial and religious bigotry, disrespects the dignity of women, harms civil public discourse, offends moral decency, and seeks to manipulate religion.

Our analysis is that Trump has gained the following that now puts him on the brink of the Republican nomination by exploiting the economic stresses and cultural tensions that exist in our rapidly changing society. He has risen to power by deliberately inflaming resentment, in particular white, male, working-class, “Christian” resentment. We say it this way:

Donald Trump … is manipulating … anger for his own political advantage – at the expense of the common good. Trump is shamelessly using racial resentment, fear, and hatred – always dangerously present in our society – to fuel a movement against “the other,” targeting other races, women, cultures, ethnicities, nations, creeds, and a whole global religion.

Our statement includes an appendix that attempts to list every particular act or type of act (and speech is an act, including social media speech) of  Trump’s we think requires specific condemnation and resistance. This bill of particulars aims to remind our forgetful land of the full scope of Trump’s offenses and the reasons he must be resisted in a more-than-ordinary way.

These offenses go as far back as his playing the “birther” card against President Obama many years ago. They include his attacks on Mexicans and other immigrants, his statements about American Muslims celebrating after 9/11, his mocking of a disabled reporter, his numerous calumnies directed at particular women, the atmosphere of violence at some of his rallies, his attacks on certain media members, the threatening environment for reporters at his rallies and his tendency toward making threats and personal attacks on his political opponents.

Personally, I would suggest that in some ways Trump appears to be reining himself in as he approaches a potential nomination. But what has been said cannot be unsaid, what has been done cannot be undone. The most inflammatory moments of this campaign will live on forever in media clips and in memory. And whether Trump actually believes much or any of what he has said is also, in that sense, immaterial.

The situation appears especially threatening to many who are members of religious and ethnic minorities in the U.S., and to many women as well. They live with the direct or feared consequence of a candidate who has taken the low road frequently and effectively, and created a movement around him in doing so.

I am personally heartened that many Americans, including many Republicans and many of my fellow evangelicals, have in their own ways communicated a deep, visceral, fundamental sense that this particular candidate represents a unique kind of danger. I am hopeful that the resistance of decent folk will, in the end, keep him out of the White House.

But think about it. As of May 4, a man who has done and said these things is the likely candidate of one of our two major political parties for president of the United States. This is astonishing. It is a moment in which everyone must stand up and be counted.

Our children and grandchildren will one day ask what we did in election year 2016, when Donald Trump was running for president.

About the author

David Gushee

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  • Congratulations, Mr. Gushee and the other multi-racial, multi-denominational Christian leaders, on issuing this call to resist Donald Trump’s bid for the U.S. Presidency on religious grounds!

    Now that you’ve succeeded in accomplishing this worthy objective, it should be all the easier to issue a similar religious call to resist Ted Cruz.

  • We are not called to resist any; but only those denying the Son of Man, Our Eternal Light. Donald Trump has not denied Our Creator, therefore he is not against us.

  • Article IV of the constitution says there will be no religious test for public office. There was little contention from the founders on this issue. Most of the colonies were theocracies and had religious tests. You had to believe in god and/or believe jesus died in order to run for office. Some states still have that in their constitutions today, unenforceable.

    What these christians are saying is that electing a non religious christian will take whatever power the religious right still has over our govt and legal system. They have lost on every issue, the last being gay marriage, christianity is shrinking in america at 2% a year, millennials and under 25’s have walked away from organized religion and churches are closing from lack of interest. Trump’s religiosity more matches americas than cruz’s. cruz wants a christian theocracy, Trump just wants us to be happy.

  • “Trump just wants us to be happy.”

    Too bad “us” is such a narrow segment of the U.S. population.

  • Where were you when the most anti life, anti Christian marriage, anti freedom, anti American, anti Israel, anti Christian values president ever to grace the American political landscape, Barack Obama, was running?

  • Fine, but you have to resist Hillary on all the same grounds. Including Birtherism; she was the first to bring it up in 2007.

  • I would probably guess supporting him. After all his born again Christian predecessor declared an unnecessary and destructive war, attacked civil liberties and impoverished millions of Americans.

    I have yet to find a ‘family values” politician who wasn’t hypocritical scum. I have yet to see a Christian conservative with an honest understanding of religious freedom. I have yet to see rational arguments against abortion or marriage equality.

  • So rather the miscreant who pretends to be Christian than an honest upstanding atheist.

  • That is an absolute lie; Clinton has never claimed that President Obama was not born in the US.

    You’re thinking of Orly Taitz.

  • President Obama is in fact in favor of all those things that you falsely claim he is against.

  • Our children and grandchildren will also be asking what we did in 2008 and 2012 when Barak Obama was elected president.

  • Check out number 8.

    As you look at the defining characteristics of fascism, it’s clear that trump is participating in every one of them. Tell ya one thing – fascism ALWAYS ends up the same way, the leaders are usually hung.

    1. Powerful and Continuing Nationalism (or in America, states rights promotion, ie, Texas, red states that want to separate from main stream America). Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of (state) patriotic mottos, slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia. Flags (ie confederate and or state flags) are seen everywhere, as are flag symbols on clothing and in public displays.

    2. Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights – Because of fear of enemies and the need for security, the people in fascist regimes are persuaded that human rights can be ignored in certain cases because of “need.” The people tend to look the other way or even approve of torture, summary executions, assassinations, long incarcerations of prisoners, etc.

    3. Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause – The people are rallied into a unifying patriotic frenzy over the need to eliminate a perceived common threat or foe: racial , ethnic or religious minorities; liberals; communists; socialists, terrorists, etc.

    4. Supremacy of the Military – Even when there are widespread domestic problems, the military is given a disproportionate amount of government funding, and the domestic agenda is neglected. Soldiers and military service are glamorized.

    5. Rampant Sexism – The governments of fascist nations tend to be almost exclusively male-dominated. Under fascist regimes, traditional gender roles are made more rigid. Divorce, abortion and homosexuality are suppressed and the state is represented as the ultimate guardian of the family institution.

    6. Controlled Mass Media – Sometimes the media is directly controlled by the government, but in other cases, the media is indirectly controlled by government regulation, or sympathetic media spokespeople and executives. Censorship, especially in war time, is very common.

    7. Obsession with National Security – Fear is used as a motivational tool by the government over the masses.

    8. Religion and Government are Intertwined – Governments in fascist nations tend to use the most common religion in the nation as a tool to manipulate public opinion. Religious rhetoric and terminology is common from government leaders, even when the major tenets of the religion are diametrically opposed to the government’s policies or actions.

    9. Corporate Power is Protected – The industrial and business aristocracy of a fascist nation often are the ones who put the government leaders into power, creating a mutually beneficial business/government relationship and power elite.

    10. Labor Power is Suppressed – Because the organizing power of labor is the only real threat to a fascist government, labor unions are either eliminated entirely, or are severely suppressed.

    11. Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts – Fascist nations tend to promote and tolerate open hostility to higher education, and academia. It is not uncommon for professors and other academics to be censored or even arrested. Free expression in the arts and letters is openly attacked.

    12. Obsession with Crime and Punishment – Under fascist regimes, the police are given almost limitless power to enforce laws. The people are often willing to overlook police abuses and even forego civil liberties in the name of patriotism. There is often a national police force with virtually unlimited power in fascist nations.

    13. Rampant Cronyism and Corruption – Fascist regimes almost always are governed by groups of friends and associates who appoint each other to government positions and use governmental power and authority to protect their friends from accountability. It is not uncommon in fascist regimes for national resources and even treasures to be appropriated or even outright stolen by government leaders.

    14. Fraudulent Elections – Sometimes elections in fascist nations are a complete sham. Other times elections are manipulated by smear campaigns against or even assassination of opposition candidates, use of legislation to control voting numbers or political district boundaries, and manipulation of the media. Fascist nations also typically use their judiciaries to manipulate or control elections.”

  • When all the dust has died away the US needs to be led by a very different leader, I am a die-hard traditional Catholic and Trump could not be any worse than the vile, evil and corrupt politicians that abound now with all the scare tactics they exude to manipulate the people. Whilst I laughed at first I am not laughing now. Give me Trump over the liars and cheats of today. Read his book “Crippled America” I believe he can do what he promises.

  • The Letter by Saul (Paul)
    to the
    Messianic Assembly at Rome
    Romans

    13:1
    1. Let every soul be in subjection to the higher powers: for there is no power but of Yahweh; and the powers that be are ordained of Yahweh. 2. Therefore he that resists the power, withstands the ordinance of Yahweh: and they that withstand shall receive to them judgment.

  • With respect to the author, I would like to pass on something I read on line; that is, unless Jesus of Nazareth is on the ballet, we are always voting for the lesser of two evils. I find it frightening that Mrs. Clinton might be our president, unashamedly setting out to void the second Amendment to the Constitution. We have had 8 years of liberal democratic rule, and this country is not better for it. The profound impact of the next president nominating Supreme Court Justices is absent from the discussion. But if Mrs. Clinton becomes the next president, we will end up with a generation of the most liberal Supreme Court we could imagine. A vote for one of the minor or third party candidates, or a write in is one and the same for a vote for Mrs. Clinton.

  • Sorry to hear you, the author, applying your principles to one man and not towards all. Jesus was clear that the division was between, not specific ideals of man, but the ideals of man in total, all as compared to those of the Kingdom. We use God to justify our self serving ways or we can simply serve God’s will. We cannot have it both ways.

    Jesus taught us not to rebel against the ideals of man, but to live following not our own will but that of God, which is servitude to others loving neighbour as self. You won’t find any such ideals among political frontrunners or the majority of the people, be they secular or religious. The blind will continue to influence the blind.

  • Your point has some validity and is why no real Christian ever votes for a republican, proud to say I never have nor will I.

  • Tell us, was the country ‘better’ for the preceding 8 years of Dick Cheney rule?

  • If I had to vote on that side of the fence sadly I would vote for Trump. Rev.6:4 says it all but when have we used the Bible to pick our politicians. There is much to be said about Cruz also,who was called Lucifer by one of his own peers.

  • I wholeheartedly agree with your assessment of Mr. Trump, but like G Key, I wish you to extend the same or similar statement with regard to Senator Cruz. While a President Trump will simply preside from a place of grandiose arrogance, and make decisions based on whims and polls, a President Cruz will set his agenda based not on our laws, but of his narrow interpretation of scripture. Senator Cruz’s views with regard to Women’s reproductive rights, LGBT rights, immigration, death penalty, climate impact, war, and guns, are not open to speculation and in still in a “development phase” as are Mr. Trump’s, they are well documented and backed by a perversion of Scripture. Both are scary – but there is one we already know to be without sway.

  • One of the things I try to keep in mind regarding Hillary Clinton is that right wingnuts have systematically attacked her for 25 years, spending millions of dollars in the effort. They have cooked up all sorts of scandals, crimes, etc. They’ve failed every time. However, repeating accusations for 25 years via every public venue there is, have proven very effective in creating the illusion of bad behavior.

    I do not claim that Hillary is perfect by any means, but facts and accusations are two very different things.

    BTW, I would seem like a terrible person after 25 years of highly funded and highly public attacks. Wouldn’t you?

  • I support this effort. I wonder if Drumpf (his real name) has any familiarity with the Beatitudes?

  • Biblical Christians can discern for ourselves without being dictated too by anyone, thank you

  • Leon.. I say this in utter seriousness. Have you not considered that Donald Trump might be the Anti-Christ? He seems to relish bringing the worst out of people. He lies, and changes what he says with incredible speed. He also is highly regarded by many religious people simply because in between flip-flopping on abortion and gay marriage he has been pro-choice and pro gay marriage as well. I don’t know how God feels about those things, and neither do you, but he certainly is acting like a player of people.

  • I have been a Christian all of my life and will vote for Trump in Indiana tomorrow. I have always been blessed with discernment as has most Christians. I watch the debates, speeches, and I research thoroughly before I decide who I will vote for. My research and discernment tells me that Cruz is not who he says he is. I have heard him lie over and over and I think some of his policies are not good for our country. If you are looking for a Christian this time around, don’t be fooled, you are probably not going to get one. Donald Trumps policies are better for our country. He is not bought and paid for. If you want to claim that anyone is evil, it’s the establishment. Cruz is taking money and favors from the establishment, not Mr. trump. I somewhat resent that as a Christian you would call for people to resist Mr Trump! We are perfectly capable as intelligent Christians to make up our own minds. Voting is a citizens right and I’m just as much of a Christian as anyone who voted for Cruz. I’m also just as intelligent. I will pray that God’s will be done as I enter the voting booth tomorrow.

  • That isn’t true! Trump recently said he would place judges in the Supreme Court to over turn gay marriage and work hard to over turn Roe vs Wade. Also is happy a bad thing? Trump is for the people! Cruz is for the establishment! He was bought and paid for and the establishment is proved to be evil! Trump is for our religious rights more than Cruz.

  • Trump isn’t atheist. He will stand up for what’s right. You’re right about Cruz pretending to be a Christian!! And that’s worse than being an atheist!

  • Cruz doesn’t know scripture, if you go research you’ll find that he’s just trying to reach the evangelicals. Trump stands firm on gay marriage, abortion and all other Christian biblical rights. People are getting it mixed up.

  • You’re exactly right Leon. Trump is better for our country and neither one are Christians.

  • You should go research in your bible about the antichrist. He doesn’t fit the bill.

  • if you believe it is your right to deny rights to others for your own selfish gain, then your religion is not working for you.

  • What you are saying is that people disagree with you and you refuse to listen to sense. So?

  • Because the Bible in multiple places clearly states that God does interfere with the peoples government, and rulers.

  • I do read it Darla every chance I get. Donald Trump is the first potential candidate for an Anti-Christ I’ve seen in my lifetime. Follow him at your own eternal peril. Please though look in the Bible, I do very much encourage this, to try to prove me wrong.

  • No, I’m familiar with Ms. Taitz. Anyway, I looked that up and you’re right, Hillary supporters made that claim, not the candidate or the campaign

  • And because someone (John Boehner) called Ted Cruz “Lucifer,” therefore Ted Cruz IS Lucifer? Is that what you’re saying? Cruz is the most honest, forthright, INTELLIGENT candidate we’ve had in decades. He knows and respects the Constitution. He is a believer. Somehow you could vote for the most foul-mouthed, narcissistic FAKE Christian, Donald Trump? Oh, the age of deception has arrived!

  • Cruz is not bought and paid for. Who told you that? Oh, yeah. Trump. He and his supporters have spread the most ridiculous of lies and NOBODY challenges them! Cruz has spent his adult life defending the U.S. Constitution (vs. Trump doesn’t even know what is all contained in the Constitution). Mr. Cruz has been bucking the system while a Senator, which is why the Establishment so despises him; he challenges the status quo. He WILL disrupt their power structure. He will reduce the size of government; protect our nation; and uphold the law and Constitution. Trump is NOT going to reduce government or spending; he’s just going to make what he thinks are “better deals.” All hype.

  • Especially on the subjects I just mentioned. Some things are a little bit bigger than a mere disagreement. Its good to have a moral center. One based in actual morality, not arbitrary rules promulgated by unquestioned authority.

    Btw the whole “everyone who disagrees with you is somehow wrong or bad” argument is overused garbage. Considering the post I initially responded to, your query is hypocritical nonsense. You demonstrated absolutely no problem with branding those who disagree with you as some form of evil. Oh right, it only works if you do it. /sarcasm.

  • Sanders probably is. Cruz is as Christian as they get. He is hypocritical, self-righteous and believes his faith absolves him of any harm he does or plans to do to others.

  • Cruz grew up wrapped in scripture. His father being one of the key figures in the Dominionist movement. Trump doesn’t give a flying —- about any social political position (abortion, marriage equality, civil liberties). He doesn’t have to care. He is relying on more basic forms of bigotry. Racism an xenophobia.

  • No such thing as “Christian biblical rights”. Our country and its laws are not beholden to the Bible, Christian religion or any faith. Our laws must have a rational and secular purpose.

    This is why conservative christians can’t come up with legitimate legal attacks on abortion and gay marriage. They have to make dishonest end runs around them as “safety regulation” and “religious rights”.

    Religious freedom means I never have to care what your religion says on any given subject affecting the laws of the land.

  • factcheck .org says otherwise.

    “But none of those stories suggests any link between the Clinton campaign, let alone Clinton herself, and the advocacy of theories questioning Obama’s birth in Hawaii.”

  • Why would you try to trap me with a question like that? No that wouldn’t make sense given the various translations. I believe Saints wrote it inspired by the Holy Spirit. I also believe that as Christians led to the Bible by whatever experiences develop our faith we are required to follow the wisdom in there. I believe in my heart and soul that God does exist, and that the lessons in the Bible are true. When the Bible is taken as a whole, and not knit picked, it is a story of grace, salvation, hope and love. It is also a book with many stern warnings, and you ignore these warnings at your own peril with your own soul at risk and no one else’s. It’s also a book which tells of a God who rewards wisdom and dutiful obedience to his wishes. Much like a Father to a child.

  • There is something deeply flawed in a person like Cruz, who thinks that a large portion of the citizenry is evil.

  • I agree, Trump is the creation of a party that allowed hate to overcome love, feeling to overwhelm mindfulness, and racial hate to overcome diversity in Christ. Yep, the GOP is not the party of poor white under-educated males by accident. They created the monster and now they bemoan the destruction he hath wrought. Evangelicals need to come home to the party that espouses love, diversity and dialogue… Welcome home to the Dems. We never left you.

  • Anti-abortion is not pro life. Its just fetus worship. At no point do opponents of abortion show regard for anyone who isn’t gestating.

  • “He will reduce the size of government”

    But not to be small enough so it can’t interfere with:
    -what goes on in women’s wombs
    -what goes on in people’s bedrooms
    -open and safe commerce

    It certainly will not be able to function in order to ensure people can:
    -Receive an adequate education
    -Safe environment free of unnecessary pollution
    -exercise their civil liberties in an adequate manner

    Lets face it, unless you are fabulously wealthy, “small government” means you are voting to $crew yourself over.

  • Leon,

    God doesn’t have anything to do with earthly governments, since He has already established one of his own (Daniel 2:44; Matthew 4:17). It is a heavenly government which will soon replace all of man’s governments and rule with love, righteousness and justice over man on earth (Isaiah 11:1-9).

    God “allows” human governments to rule over us in the meantime (Romans 13:1-4); however, we need to pay Caesar’s things to Caesar (such as taxes), and God’s things to God (such as worship and obedience); Matthew 22:21.

    I stay neutral when it comes to voting for any politician because my support and allegiance is only toward God’s government.

  • Cruz is also a foul-mouthed, phony, fake Christian, most dishonest, backstabbing, unintelligent and more. I learned to say such things from other christians. Mitt is my best mentor. I’ve learned even more from you. Who’s next? Step right up and help me with more nasty remarks for other people who don’t believe the way I do. Bash ’em, criticize, hate, come on get on board with the christians hate mongering train. Hate, hate, hate. How am I doing vangeest?

  • I’d say the entire Republican Party is the antichrist, if I believed in such nonsense, blessed upon your definitions.

  • Respects the constitution? by calling this a Christian nation that ought to be based upon his interpretations of the bible!

    It is to laugh.

  • A four times bankrupt billionaire, still a billionaire, is for the people?

    How many times have you been bankrupt and remained a billionaire!

  • Cruz claims to be for freedom of religion. He also claims to believe that abortions should be outlawed in almost all cases because, in his view, life begins at conception. Someone please ask him how he squares freedom of religion and “illegalizing” abortion despite the fact that different religions have different definitions of life and when its begins.

  • God wrote the Bible. He used humans to do it, dictating his will through the Holy Spirit and ensuring that his words survived intact through the devotion of his followers and by the sovereignty of his will.

  • I don’t know which ‘we’ you’re referring to but if you don’t care whether your politicians seem to have Biblical values, that’s on you. Many of us think differently. Just because the pickings have been scarce doesn’t mean we don’t care about that. It doesn’t matter that Cruz was called Satan. Jesus was called Satan. Being called Satan means literally nothing.

  • Exactly. I am dealing with people who don’t understand the concept.

    Those who mistake self-interest and adherence to arbitrary directives from unquestioned authority, for moral precepts.

  • THE Gospel writers describe several events in Jesus’ ministry that brought him face-to-face with politics. For instance, shortly after Jesus’ baptism at about the age of 30, the Devil offered him the position of world ruler. Later in his ministry, a crowd wanted to make him their king. Still later, people tried to turn him into a political activist. How did Jesus react?

    Consider these events.

    World ruler. The Gospels state that the Devil offered Jesus rulership over “all the kingdoms of the world.” Think of how much good Jesus could have done for suffering mankind if he had wielded the power of a world ruler! What politically oriented individual sincerely concerned with mankind’s advancement could resist such an offer? But Jesus refused it.—Matthew 4:8-11.

    King. Many of Jesus’ contemporaries were desperate for a ruler who could solve their economic and political problems. Impressed by Jesus’ abilities, the people wanted Jesus to join the political process. What was his reaction? Gospel writer John states: “Jesus, knowing they were about to come and seize him to make him king, withdrew again into the mountain all alone.” (John 6:10-15) Clearly, Jesus refused to become involved in politics.

    Political activist. Note what happened days before Jesus was put to death. Disciples of the Pharisees, who favored independence from the Roman Empire, joined by Herodians, members of a political party favoring Rome, approached Jesus. They wanted to force him to take a political position. They asked if the Jews should pay taxes to Rome.

    Mark recorded Jesus’ response: “‘Why do you put me to the test? Bring me a denarius to look at.’ They brought one. And he said to them: ‘Whose image and inscription is this?’ They said to him: ‘Caesar’s.’ Jesus then said: ‘Pay back Caesar’s things to Caesar, but God’s things to God.’” (Mark 12:13-17) Commenting on the reason for Jesus’ response, the book Church and State—The Story of Two Kingdoms concludes: “He refused to act the part of a political messiah and carefully established both the boundary of Caesar and that of God.”

    Problems such as poverty, corruption, and injustice did not leave Christ unmoved. In fact, the Bible shows that he was deeply touched by the pitiful state of the people around him. (Mark 6:33, 34) Still, Jesus did not start a campaign to rid the world of injustices, although some tried hard to get him embroiled in the controversial issues of the day.

    Clearly, as these examples show, Jesus refused to get involved in political affairs.

    Sadly, most armchair Christians, dishonor Christ, the Apostles, and the faith with their spiritual fornication,

  • One would expect the Antichrist to be a better businessman. Trump declared bankruptcy 4 times.:)

  • That’s not much of a rebuttal. Especially when s1utshaming is an integral part of the position.

  • Truth hurts. Its not bigotry if one opposed people on well founded and reasonable causes. In this case it’s the disregard conservative Christians have for civil liberties, basic propriety, and respect for the lives of others.

    This is how one responds to being called a bigot. By refuting why it is appropriate. Not by just being annoyed about the label. I could have said the typical response “you are playing the bigot card”. But that would be confirming the truth if the label and demonstrating I am merely thin skinned.

  • Anti abortion position depends on a complete and utter disregard for the interests of pregnant women. Posting that self righteous narcissists have a duty to interject themselves into the most private and intimate decisions a woman can make.

    Anti abortion people also tend to support things which undermine the lives of the born. Such as attacking social welfare, public education, environmental regulation, consumer safety regulation, living wages, and financial regulation which protects the middle class.

    Pro life is a euphemism and a very inaccurate one at that.

  • See Fran the Bible is very clear on this matter. You should be careful when you quote the Bible.
    Pr 30:6 “Do not add to His words, or he will correct you and prove you are a liar.”
    Pr 16:4 “The Lord makes everything go as he pleases. He has even prepared a day of disaster for evil people.
    Pr 8:15 “I help kings to govern and rulers to make fair laws.”
    Pr 21:31 “You can get the horses ready for battle, but it is the Lord who gives victory.”
    Pr 19:21 “People can make all kinds of plans, but only the Lord’s plan will happen.”
    ——————————————
    Those are not including the many Kings he brought to power, and the many Kingdoms he crushed. Similarly these are only from Proverbs, but Proverbs provide stern warnings and rules for Christians to abide to. The Lord is involved in every aspect of life including Government. He works to raise the rulers filled with his Spirit, and to decimate rulers who are wicked to the poor and innocent. Finally…

    Pr 29:7 “Good people care about justice for the poor, but the wicked are not concerned.”
    I’m going to repeat Proverbs 29:7 because it speaks volumes..
    Pr 29:7 “Good people care about justice for the poor, but the wicked are not concerned.”

  • I don’t think that’s the case. There are many Republicans who want nothing more than to serve the Lord, and to help people. Similarly with Democrats. However at this moment in time the party has a leading candidate that definitely fits the bill for the Anti Christ. Since the GOP shamelessly recruits evangelicals, and promotes the idea that it is in fact them who represent Christianity they are held to higher standards. Yet right now they have a leading candidate who has said point blank that he has never asked for forgiveness. You can watch him say so here:

    http://www.cnn.com/2015/07/18/politics/trump-has-never-sought-forgiveness/

    Then back tracked changing his tune, and saying why do I have to ask forgiveness if I’m honorable and not making mistakes, and says this instead:

    http://www.christianpost.com/news/trump-why-do-i-have-to-repent-or-ask-for-forgiveness-if-i-am-not-making-mistakes-video-141856/

  • I feel sick to my stomach when he speaks. But I honestly do not know who to vote for. Perhaps Kasich, but I don’t believe he can win. Maybe a write-in vote? Ben Carson? That is who I wanted to see elected.

  • The point is that the gop platform is directly opposite to the tenets of Christianity. You can have blatant capitalism or you can have Christianity. I am not opposed to business and commerce however, when those ideals oppose Christianity then I must turn my back on them. Conservatives have adopted a collective ‘religion’ where in the masses have a relationship which allows for a bending (for lack of a better description) of the principles of Christianity. That seems to me to be a very dangerous trend, for me Christianity is a personal relationship. Perhaps my point is different, perhaps both are correct, perhaps not.

  • Jesus’ ‘politics were/are of the Kingdom and polar opposite to the
    traditional ideals of mankind. He nor any real Christian could not possibly be political on man’s terms. If the ideals of the Kingdom were actually lived, they would turn the world upside down. Instead people follow a church/religion that broadsided the Kingdom and rejoined the world of man and the blind have lead the blind until this day.

  • No, I’m serious. What is morality to you? Where does it come from? What’s it for? Why is it important. You’ve said a lot about what it isn’t, but I still have no idea what you think it is, or whether that is anything like what I think it is.

  • To everyone in this discussion, if you really had faith in what’s written in the Bible. Why are you so afraid of what will happen if Trump is elected, how would this effect the believers who are not of this world. The End signing out.

  • Did you know Carson urged anti-gay bakers to murder not only same gender couples by poisoning their cakes, but also their relatives, friends, neighbors and coworkers who attend their weddings? Here’s what “The Hill” reported in their article, “Ben Carson pulls crowd to its feet in iowa.”

    “What I have a problem with is when people try to force people to act against their beliefs because they say ‘they’re discriminating against me.’ So they can go right down the street and buy a cake, but no, let’s bring a suit against this person because I want them to make my cake even though they don’t believe in it. Which is really not all that smart because they might put poison in that cake,” he said to chuckles from some of his staff and dead silence from the journalists in the room.

  • Not interested in getting in a religious war. It’s not at all helpful to hear Obama bashing OR Carson bashing for that matter. I am only trying to figure out, Biblically speaking who the evangelical leaders feel Christians should vote for. I know Trump is not in any way, shape or form, a Christian. He says he doesn’t need Jesus and he doesn’t need forgiveness. Bad choice of words. That tells me that no, I don’t want him as my president, but I don’t have a clue now. I’m not voting Hillary or Bernie. I definitely am not voting for Cruz. Kasich is really an underdog and I don’t see him winning the nomination at all. So that leaves one person. And it would kill me to check his name off.

  • 4 of Trump’s businesses declared bankruptcy. Separately incorporated so as to protect him personally. What any smart businessman would do,

  • You would think he would show a little more competence in the amazing of wealth. Maybe I expect a bit much from the human embodiment of evil.

    He’s no Damien Thorne. Not even an Adrian Woodhouse.

  • Talk about not much of a rebuttal — full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. Just a string of assumptions and accusations — unpersuasive because they don’t actually describe reality.

  • No, your post was pretty much the exact definition of bigotry — an unnuanced characterization of a class of people (in this case, several billion) as all sharing the same few negative traits. And geez, get a hobby — you’ve commented on HOW many threads here? I think any question of you being “thin skinned” has been settled. Go pull the wings off a butterfly or spit on a priest or something.

  • OH MY GOSH — I just clicked on your profile and you’ve made near 13,000 comments. 13,000 attempts to tell the world how smart you are. Trust me, we all really can live without the wisdom you wish to share with us.

  • Trump is horrible. But Trump is horrible in the open. Cruz scurries around in the dark, behind closed doors, gnawing away at our belongings, like a roach, or a rat.

  • Jesus had his chance to set things right. God failed at his chance, just before that. Now we have to work things out on our own. Getting rid of the failure of the bible would be a good start.

  • You don’t like my posts, don’t read them. As for positive traits by people who identify themselves as Christians around here, they are for and far between. You guys are a pretty shrill bunch.

    But your second response was admittedly a good one.

    That being said there is no group more likely to make nonsense sweeping generalizations of the Christian faith than fellow Christians. How often is one accused of not being “a real Christian”, “unbiblical” for disagreeing with those of a fundamentalists bent? Too damn often. I don’t do anything worse than what you do to each other.

  • No you weren’t. Because those who understand morality knows where it comes from. They know how to define it.

    I have already told you what it wasn’t. You can fill in the blanks from there. I know where you are heading here. I will save that discussion for another time.

    That being said the long and the short of it is using political power to attack, denigrate or demean others is immoral. Using political power for sectarian and irrational ends is immoral. It rises above disagreeing on issues and goes towards good a d evil uses of power.

    Those who run on a “values platform” are generally immoral types who want to abuse power to serve sectarian interests. Plus most are hypocritical types. Immorality wrapping itself in the trappings if self righteousness.

  • You are not actually disagreeing or refuting my assertions. You really need to follow up your statements with some support for your own position.

    When I find an anti abortion type who actually shows concern for the born, I will be surprised. Haven’t found one yet.

  • I don’t know who Otis Moss III, Shane Claiborne, and Lisa Sharon Harper are. I do know who Jim Wallis is, and I don’t trust him as a Christian leader any farther than I could throw him. The reason is evident in the statement, which is anything but a balanced statement of Christian concern from a politically neutral point of view. On the contrary, it is a declaration of the false religion of Progressivism.

    The test, for me, is that these leaders do not likewise note a Christian obligation to resist Hillary Clinton, who arguably is the most evil single individual who has ever run for office in the United States, certainly in my lifetime. Trump is a bellicose buffoon, but he’s not less moral than Ms. Clinton; they are two of a very ugly kind.

    I do oppose Trump’s candidacy, and I do oppose it as a matter of Christian conscience. However, my reasons for doing so have more to do with the evident nature of his character, and less to do with whether his political statements trigger some leftist “racism” meme, as is apparently the case for the leaders discussed in this article.

  • I AGREE WITH A LOT OF STATEMENTS YOU MADE, i AM AFRAID WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO OUR COUNTRY AND WHAT OUR CHILDREN AND GRANDCHILDREN WILL HAVE TO GIVE UP, A OF PEOPLE ARE NOT THINKING ONCE ELECTED HE IS THERE 4 YEARS. THINK BEFORE WE VOTE.

  • No. You are really engaging in a very dishonest and overused cliche. As I stated previously, the whole “you just disagree with me its not really a moral issue” line is usually garbage. Because it is usually brought up when people are discussing issues like civil liberties, war and discrimination. Issues which are moral in nature. People likely to use your argument when they want to justify a repugnant position as “oh its not so bad really”.

    As I stated also, conservatives have no problem framing their positions as moral crusades or labeling their opponents as immoral or wicked people. Making such remarks typically hypocritical for them

    “To reform one’s character, one needs to engage in a lengthy and difficult process of learning about one’s sins, repentance, confession, and restoration that can take the better part of a lifetime.”

    That is your sectarian take on such things. But I do not see what is really important in there, making restitution for the damage one does to others. Squaring things with God is hardly the same as taking full responsibility for one’s actions to fellow human beings. I don’t see in Christian notions of morality the idea that one tries to understand the impact of one’s actions to others. This is why plenty of people act in very immoral ways when they think they are acting on God’s behalf. It is more about following arbitrary rules than doing right with others.

  • This should be interesting. Maybe Christians need to learn they aren’t as important as they think they are.

  • I don’t ask for forgiveness, I don’t serve no Lord, either, just a waste of time, and something I’ve always associated with weak, highly impressionable, highly emotional, seeing and hearing invisible beings called gods or God, people who, in less than a minute, can make any Anti Christ proud, spewing lewd and vicious words at the non-‘s, attack, attack, and more attacks to justify them and their god(s) or God

  • I will pray, as Jesus instructed in the Lord’s model prayer, for God’s kingdom (or heavenly government; Daniel 2:44; Matthew 4:17) to come, and God’s will to be done, as in heaven, also upon earth (Matthew 6:10). God’s government is the only one that will solve all of man’s problems (Revelation 21:3,4).

  • Bankruptcy, like divorce, is an everyday part of any business climate when necessary, unlike personal bankruptcy. Bankruptcy isn’t always about bad business practices and debts, but sometimes more of a protection state from individuals and other corporations who want to control, ruin your business. Bankruptcy is a part of acquisitions and mergers that are hostel and in order to protect the employees, declare bankruptcy and usually the wolves back down. Bankruptcy allows an orderly disposal of assets or management of debt to a means. In most bankruptcies, the company continues operation and works out their problems and stronger. Bankruptcy = protection, it’s not always an escape route. Bankruptcy = a second chance to come back, and stronger.

  • Trump is not worth what he claims, and lies there as well. He declared bankruptcy for venture such as Trump Steak which sold at Sharper Image, Trump Airlines, Trump University which he is getting sued for, several Trump constructions. He is unwilling to turn his taxes in so it’s anybodies guess. I would truly like a solid answer to why you feel Trump is a good candidate to run the country. However I expect pure troll foolishness at this point from you.

  • In fact the only seemingly real thing about you is that your head is filled with pure garbage. Can’t you find anything besides trolling websites to do with your time, and puking hate and intolerance at every step and in every conversation. Seems sad, and definitely doing nothing to help you in your life since your attitude bleeds over into every sector of life.

  • Matthew,

    The psalmist at Psalm 146:4 says: “Do not put your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no salvation.” Verses 5-7 direct our attention to God instead.

    Jesus, God’s son, is also called the Prince of Peace, and I will follow him instead of any human ruler (Isaiah 9:6-7).

    God foretold, through his prophet, Daniel, world powers in exact order before their existence, through an image of a man. The head of gold was Babylon (Daniel 2:32,36-38; 7:4). The chest and arms of silver were Medo-Persia (Daniel 2:32,39; 7:5). The abdomen and thighs of copper was Greece (Daniel 2:32,39; 7:6). The legs of iron was Rome (Daniel 2:33,40; 7:7). The last world power is the feet and toes of iron and clay, or the dual Anglo-America dual power that came into existence during World War I. Why is this important to us?

    Daniel 2:44: “In the days of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed. And this kingdom will not be passed on to any other people. It will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms and it alone will stand forever.”

    We are living in the last days of man’s political governments and powers.

    The good news of God’s kingdom as the only hope for man is being preached worldwide before the end of this wicked era (Matthew 24:14). The start of the millennial rule of God’s kingdom (Isaiah 11:1-9) will follow.

  • Re “the leaders are usually hung”, unless you’re rebutting Rubio, I think you mean “hanged”. ?

  • Morally deficient progressives, eh? Because I don’t share your particular and peculiar version of God? Because I put real people, their freedom, and their welfare above the imaginary demands of an imaginary God? Demands which change repeatedly whenever the person who claims to represent him changes?

    I don’t confuse my politics with morality. That tends to be the religious dominionists who do that. If your religion demands that you attack and control the lives of others whom you don’t know, know nothing about, and who have done you and intend you no harm, perhaps your religion is the problem, and not the others.

    Here’s morality for you:

    Mind your own business, because it requires more minding than the business of others, despite your beliefs to the contrary.

    don’t harm others. if you do, make amends or restitution.

    Treat others as you would like to be treated. this antedates Jesus by at least 500 years.

    Recognize that there are other people and other creatures in the world.

    Tell the truth. If what you have to say isn’t true, nice, and necessary, don’t say it. Just because you believe it, doesn’t make it true,

    “Good is better than evil because it’s nicer.” Mammy Yokum.

    You don’t need religion to have morals. Plenty of religious people lack them entirely. If you Can’t tell right from wrong, your problem is that you lack empathy, not that you lack religion.

  • I’m very interested to read through this, but have to catch some zzzz’s right now. Look for an honest reply and thought on this tomorrow.

  • So its new to you. Lol. The only people who can discuss civil liberties in a dispassionate tone are those seeking to attack it for others.

    Again you fail to acknowledge such behavior among your own partisan group. Show me a dispassionate anti abortion proponent. That position brings out hysterics by the truckload.

  • Yawn. You mean the kind of support that you use — like you can’t find “an anti-abortion type who actually shows concern for the born”? That kind of irrefutable, evidence-based logic that slays your rhetorical opponents and wins the field for your ideas? If I need to resort to that kind of thin intellectual gruel, then I’d rather not. And, Mr. 13000 Remarks, this is my last posting on this. It’s boring, and neither of us will convince the other.

  • And how representative are posters in this or any thread of the groups they self-identify with? Create a portrait of atheists based on comment sections and what you’re going to see is a person who is rude, hateful, smug, dismissive, intolerant, and anti-intellectual while claiming to be the very model of empiricism.

    Anyway, as I said in the other thread, I’m done with this. Seems this is a pretty important part of your life — if you’ve been on this site for only five years you average something like 7 comments per day, every single day. Wow. I have things like a family, a job, friends, and other interests. I’ll step back and allow others to snatch up the pearls of wisdom that fall from your lips.

  • Thank you for the bigotrd comment about atheists. I’m not any of those things. I don’t care what you believe or why you believe. Just keep it out of my life, and stop trying to use the law to force it on me, and we’re all happy.

  • How many guns would Jesus buy?

    The country is not the better for it? How is your 401k doing these days?

  • Omg who are you?
    If we were to act as Jesus did in the bible the world would be a great place! Please open your heart to Jesus and read the books of Romans and then Matthew in that order respectfully!
    God Never Fails!!! But we do!!!!!

  • What you don’t know about Christians is that we truly believe everyone is valuable and all people are important!

  • Kasich is the only candidate I feel I could vote for, as a Christian, with a clear conscious. YES, I fear the future of any others elected as our President. This is coming from a person raised as a diehard democrat! GO KASICH!

  • I was going to try and read all of them but thanks to your suggestion now I won’t.

  • Another Christian who is on same page as me maybe pipe in here. I’m not saying that earthly governments are as good as God’s Kingdom. Not by a long shot. However God is in more control than the devil. So yes while the devil may infiltrate earthly governments he does so only because God’s has higher purpose and plan for the macro of earth. Similarly he cares about the micro in our lives. God does not view death the same way we do. A good person dying is more like giving birth to them in heaven. No one wants to leave the womb. I believe God wants to fix the damage caused by sin, but he wants to do it in a way so to give humans free will to choose where their soul belongs. Love cannot be considered love truly if it is forced upon the one desirous of it. That is slavery. God has free will, and so he wants to have humans made in his image to love him with our free will.

    That being said non of your arguments seem to state that God doesn’t have say in government. They instead argue that God’s kingdom will be better than the one on earth as of now.

    Without looking for more evidence these three quotes posted above seem to directly state God does in fact have control over all things including earthly governments,

    Pr 16:4 “The Lord makes everything go as he pleases. He has even prepared a day of disaster for evil people.

    Pr 8:15 “I help kings to govern and rulers to make fair laws.”

    Pr 21:31 “You can get the horses ready for battle, but it is the Lord who gives victory.”

    Pr 19:21 “People can make all kinds of plans, but only the Lord’s plan will happen.”

  • Christians should learn from Paul…keep religion and government separate. Seems the only time Christians come out of the woodwork is to tell everybody what Christians believe. If Christians really acted like Christians the USA would have fewer poor, hungry and homeless. Like that will ever happen.

  • But Michael brown, who knows God personally and intimately,says that God is punishing America for being bad by giving us trump. And Rafael Cruz was telling us that God personally wanted sCruz’s son, defeaTED aka rejecTED, to be president.

    Will the real God please stand up and tell us e aptly what is going on here? Because I don’t know which self appointed spokesman for God actually speaks for God.

  • Too bad so many Christians act as if they are the only important and valuable ones.

  • Matthew,

    Yes, God is definitely in control. That is why his kingdom/government will soon crush and put an end to all human governments and replace them (Daniel 2:44).

    It should also be noted that the upcoming war of the great day of God the Almighty, or Armageddon, involves the KINGS of the entire inhabited earth (Revelation 16:14,16).

    Revelation 19:19 also indicates that the KINGS of the earth and their armies will be gathered together to wage war with the one seated on the horse (Jesus as King) with his army.

    What will be the result of that battle? As Revelation 19:17,18 brings out, an angel will command the birds in midheaven to gather together to the great evening meal of God to eat the fleshly parts of KINGS and military commanders, as well as others.

    God and his kingdom will prove victorious at Armageddon, and God’s kingdom will then commence its millennial rule.

  • In Romans 13:1, god tells us, through Paul, to follow the law of our government. Massive FAIL. In Matthew, Jesus tells parables to teach people how to behave, Wasted time. FAIL. God supposedly created man, then did not like the result. Fail. So he flooded the earth, and then regretted it. Fail.

  • Outlaw Christ Insanity.ban the Bible as porno and not for those under 18 to read.

  • Actually God said reject the world of man’s ideals for those of the Kingdom. So anyone meddling in worldly ideals may be a Christian but is a fraudulent follower of Jesus.

  • Ben in Oakland illustrates for us the Progressive Fantasy Universe, in which people who call themselves “moral” get to describe their opponents in terms that occur nowhere but their own imaginations.

    Instance 1: where Ben asks me,
    “Because I don’t share your particular and peculiar version of God?”

    From what did you infer that this was my reasoning? Please be specific. (Good luck with that; it’s from your imagination.)

    Instance 2:
    “That tends to be the religious dominionists who do that. ”

    “Religious dominionists” are more or less an invention of the Progressive Fantasy Universe. There was a tiny group of Calvinists led by a theologian named Rushdoony who advocated Dominion Theology back in the 1980s, and ever since, Progressives have been seeking out anything they can tag with that name to “prove” that Christians are trying to take over everything. It’s among the silliest conspiracy theories I’ve ever encountered.

    Instance 3:
    “If your religion demands that you attack and control the lives of others…”

    Attack and control? Who’s doing that, besides Islamists engaged in Jihad? Please be specific, with examples.

    Instance 4:
    “You don’t need religion to have morals.”

    Who said that you did?

    And then he lists the common morality to which every culture has agreed–as though somebody thinks that such was the invention of Christianity. Only, nobody here ever said that it was. In actual fact, the Christian apostles agreed wholeheartedly that everybody knows innately what is required of them–which is why God is just to condemn the wicked.

    But none of this addresses the subject of this conversation, which is the common mistake of Progressives to believe that their politics define “good,” and the politics of conservatives define “evil.” Ben apparently just could not resist the urge to vent his venom toward religious people, who commit immense evils–in his head.

    You know, Ben, if you actually knew any of the people you think you’re rebutting, you wouldn’t be attacking all those scarecrows and makings such a complete ass of yourself.

  • In short, I think the Nation is in a crisis. People, even Christians can’t think clearly. The moment I hear anything negative being said about Trump, people are immediately talking about others, like cruz, hilary, and on and on…..Why does it have to be this way? Let’s just focus on this candidate. The means he has used to raise to this level is just unimaginable. It caught my attention the first time he mentioned about McCain and that it was heroic not to get caught…I was awestruck…what a twisted thinking? Media has played too much into it and the voices now from religious groups are so late….so sad. Whether any one favors others or not, the nation and people deserve a better person than Trump. Whether inside he is different or not does not really matter. What he has projected himself to be, his words have to be used to weigh on him. That is it.

  • Yes, troll it is. Foolishness from me. I love it. Nobody is worth it, it not even you. Trump is a jerk, you’re a jerk, Hillary is a bitch, all courtesy of the christian people. God I love this country, full of idiots, illegals, all up lifting one another. But wait, I wouldn’t be a good christian boy without stabbing someone in the back or voting for sinners. OK, I agree.l You win. Trumps is not worth what he claims, and lies, a first for the human race, and this upsets you no?

  • Oh I just pass the hate on to the next sob, and keep praying for god to strike down the heathen Trump. Now it’s your turn to reply back with your hate. See how easy it is. I learned this from going to church for 20 years.

  • I support Trump. I support christians. I support Hillary, I support Obama, and the Queen. But at your ok, I can hate them too if you’d like.

  • What most of you do not even address is: Is the article right about Trump? I can not find any little something that is false. Trump uses hate to create a wave that washes him into white house. Is this the way Christians should support or oppose?
    And the answer to that should be clear – at least according to my bible. I did not find anything like “hate all others and make fun about them”. I did not find racial prejudices in it. I did not find support for hate or cruel jokes in it. Or support of what he did to the disabled journalist. But I found an overwhelming lot of the opposite. “Love your neighbour” is exactly the opposite of what Trump preaches.
    If he would have a strong ground in anything and would just use the hate to support a greater good, than one could possibly argue for Trump – but what is Trumps greater good? Any idea? Because I don’t have. He claims to be pro-life – and some weeks later he is pro-abortion – just to return to pro-life again. And that is working for almost any subject. There are some exceptions to this: He was always and without any question against immigrants, against people from Mexico, against Muslims. But that is again just hate – and not a political ground or a greater good.
    And if you are not sure: Ask people from the minorities. Native americans, afro-americans, spanish-speaking people, disabled people, people who ended up in jail or whatever minority you find in your neighbourhood. Because “what you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” And I am rather sure that what Trump did to them is not what the king wanted to be done.

  • As a noted Dallas pastor has said., “The second coming of Jesus Christ isn’t going to be on Air Force One.”

  • David Gushee is not a Christian. He represents false Christianity or Churchianity, which is pseudo Christianity. It is full of hypocrisy and wickedness, supporting wickedness in the name of God, which is blasphemy! Such men will find themselves in hypocrite’s hell facing the eternal wrath of a righteous, holy God who condemns their evil ways. Such people judge others wrongly, as their so called discernment is from a heart filled with deceit and corruption. They don’t know the truth even when it hits them square between the eyes.
    They disguise their hatred of others and the truth by calling those they oppose hateful. They think by calling themselves Christians they take the power of Christ’s name to themselves, but like the Philistines who looked into the Ark, they bring a curse upon themselves and their children and those that listen to them.

  • Ah, Benny, you need to read more carefully. Whether you are those things or not I don’t know. But what I did say was “based on comment sections” atheists would come out that way; I was actually CONDEMNING characterizing whole classes of people based on such shallow data, which is what Spuddie does.

  • “Wo unto them that call evil good, and good evil.”

    “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.”

    “They draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.”

    Perhaps time for a little introspection on the part of the letter writers and signers.

  • Do mainline Protestant churches even wonder anymore why they are DEAD or DYING?

    And the INSANE thing is…fools like the fools (and I mean the fools who signed this document) somehow think the smaller and more insignificant their sect becomes….the more “right” or “righteous” they are.

    Like the Episcopagans. For example. DEAD.

  • An “Epistle” from nobodies which
    belong to member churches of The National Council Of Churches Nobody Goes To Anymore!

  • The only one acting troll-like is yourself. Flinging personal insults and acting all hysterically. I haven’t seen anything from bbeck which compares to your little nasty minded attack here.

  • I would say, check out the ones on the Onion AV Club for the weekly episodes of Penny Dreadful, but posters on that show are far too enamored the character of Ferdinand Lyle for your tastes. 🙂

  • Michelle,

    Intelligences are of several varieties.

    In the case of Senator Cruz my guess is you’re agreeing with the popular journalistic line that he is a first rate intelligence of the vulgar IQ type. Mensa material. Even in that limited sense, surely you’d agree that the press has over-rated him? Of the bright folks in politics he surely is not up there with Nixon, the Clintons, or pre-eminently Obama, a genuinely high-IQ.

    That only gets us through the math and puzzle stuff. In the functioning intelligences — self- and social awareness — Cruz is a sad cripple.

    You claim he “knows” the Constitution. I don’t think so. As with IQ, his knowledge of the Constitution seems to me of the very fast mechanical type.

    I’m sure he can beat me in a Constitution quiz, and I’ve taught US Constitution for several years, back in the seventies. His functional knowledge of it, however, is as pitiful as that silly smirk that gives away his lack of social intelligence. He can quote the Tenth Amendment, and frequently does, but his understanding of it is that of a Martian who arrived without any knowledge of the Civil War and all the Amendments since the Tenth, added to an ignorance of the Supreme Court all the way back to Marshall.

    In the case of the Supreme Court, i.e. the topic of the interpretation of the Constitution, Cruz’s disingenuousness is worse than the ignorance of my imaginary Martian. He feigns ignorance because to acknowledge the existence of the Supreme Court from Marshall to the present would force him to acknowledge the empty, tinny, nature of his meretricious Constitutionalism. He worships a piece of paper, and avoids facing its actual meanings. Remind you of his Biblicism, perhaps?

    Which brings us to his moral intelligence — for adopting a feigned ignorance about the Constitution is surely a matter of dishonesty, hence of the man’s morality.

    His religious background is interesting, and certainly much deeper than anything we can know from the daily press. Both his parents are clearly fine brains, and his mother is in my opinion a serious Christian of the sort I respect the most, a Primitive, or one who tries to understand Jesus and His teachings, and to live by them, both Him and His Word. I grew up in a half-Fundamentalist village of 800, and I know the answer to the question “Wherewith shall it be salted?” There is hope for humanity. Everywhere.

    I don’t think his father earns any such credit. Reverend Rafael Sr. is clearly a fanatic, consumed with personal ambition, and crippled by alcoholism and the attitudes that sometimes accompany it. He is a serial success and failure, as a Castroite revolutionary, in the computer industry, and as a husband. When his wife wisely threw him out of the house, he adopted the psychology and the life-style of the extremist, born-again, burnt-over US, Biblolator. In this newest career he now prospers.

    The Senator, sadly, takes his father as a model. His mother he patronizes is a manner as creepy as many of his other inter-personal displays.

    For you to call him straight-forward and honest is I think mistaken. It seems to me the reason he is held in hatred and contempt by the Senators he has to work with every day is that they see his very deep dishonesty up close and every day.

    Please think about the Senator’s positions, perhaps read some of his speeches, and consider the views of people who know his veracity well.

    To read any paragraph of his positions on any political issue is to see a parody of the high-school debater, but magnified as he creates weasel positions that are true in both directions, that can be called up to prove anything some time later.

    In short I think you have the man seriously wrong. I think Ex-Speaker Boehner was speaking economically and metaphorically. But he had the essence about right.

    Best wishes,
    -dlj.

  • Doug,

    Three of Trump’s businesses, in Atlantic City, were put into bankruptcy, one of them twice or more. The losses to his creditors and mortgage holders probably exceeded his net worth today, so over his lifetime he’s under water. A financial parasite. A loser.

    In the case of the Plaza Hotel in New York, the hotel itself was put into bankruptcy. Donald Trump himself was clearly bankrupt, i.e. he failed to meet his promises, and couldn’t; and was in violation of personal commitments in connection with the hotel. His creditors let him off with a harsh personal settlement. The profitable book he wrote on this jinking and weaving is a fine tribute to his superb sales skills.

    You should Google up “Trump, Plaza Hotel.” I think you will withdraw your claim that “any smart businessman” would behave the way Trump has. My view is that he has made no money in business since his father died. During his father’s life-time he was almost certainly a net loser, but was frequently bailed out by the bright, aggressive, and politically connected, old man.

    He is not one of the top ten builders in New York. Neither you nor I have ever heard of most of those who are — exactly because they don’t behave the way Trump does. Personally, financially, or entrepreneurially.

    They are winners.

    Best wishes,

    -dlj.

  • BBeck,

    What you say is often true.

    It does not cover the case of Trump and the Plaza Hotel, which you should go Google.

    He behaved like a stupid little boy in a candy shop, and was able to borrow the excessive price he paid for his plaything only because of his father’s reputation and political power.

    Far from people wanting to ruin his business, the New York business community went the extra mile to give the promising young man a second chance — and indeed he has done some good things with the reprieve he was given. The Wollman Rink shows what a kid can learn from following Daddy around in the construction industry. Trump Tower shows what an energetic young man can do with a few ten of millions in taxpayers’ subsidies. Both of the were decades ago, when he was under adult supervision.

    The benefits of bankruptcy fall on good and bad alike.

    Cheers,

    -dlj.

  • My kingdom is not of this World.
    So you, yes you. what are you doing here?!
    Waiting to vote for Hitlery?
    As we’re IN THE WORLD we have a responsibility to adhere to what we believe.
    For that, I respect you. Do the right thing. Honor God. Resist temptation and flee from sin.
    Those were Christ’s instructions.
    Oh yeah. Honor Widows and care for orphans.
    Defend yourself from the arrows of the Devil, Brother.

  • Does any of that “help” involve respecting the wishes and choices of women considering such things?

  • It’s also science that a fetus only exists because it’s mother wills it so. That one can’t “protect” a fetus without attacking the woman’s autonomy.

    It’s religion that places a fetus as more important than the sole person who keeps it alive.

  • Ohhhh! I’m doomed! And neither you nor leon want to help me. You’d rather watch me burn, is that it? Are you praying for the government? Are you praying for Trump? Are you praying for the Kings so God’s wrath is spared? Were is your grace?

  • Science creates its definitions just as geometry creates axioms. Definitions, whether scientific or mathematical or anything else, are not facts. So what science says in defining life is just its definition for its purposes; religion has its definitions for its purposes. Nothing makes scientific definitions better than religious ones. So imposing a “scientific” definition of life on people is still a violation of their freedom of religion.

  • To Michael L Hays and ScottLayne – the abortion question is often framed as an issue involving science and religions’ opposing views on when life begins. This is a false dichotomy which ignores the actual issue between church and state! The issue in question is NOT about the status of a fetus as a human being but its status as a CITIZEN subject to the rights and protections of our US legal system.

    Our Declaration of Independence states ” Governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the CONSENT of the governed”. The ‘governed’ are defined by the constitution as citizens who, according to the 14th Amendment are, “All persons BORN or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof,”

    While a fetus may (by religious doctrine) or may not (by scientific theory) be considered a human being, it is neither BORN nor able to give CONSENT, and as such is not subject to any “law” other than the wishes and decisions of the mother. To claim otherwise would be as ignorant as the Citizens United case that determined corporations to be “human/citizens” or as futile as trying to apply US law to Norwegian’s in Norway!

    In this misguided, self serving and highly partisan attempt to protect unborn fetuses and corporations, the legal rights of true BORN citizens to “equal protection under the law” and to “life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness” are negated!

  • You have scientific theory backwards: a fetus is without question a living human being. There is no scientific question about whether life begins at conception; it does. Whether humans in the fetal stage of development deserve protection is, of course, a separate issue, and one’s position may draw on one’s religion or philosophical beliefs.

    What the Constitution reads on this issue is not relevant to the underlying moral question, which is what matters. The Constitution has been wrong on a lot of issues.

  • To Louise Dotter: I think that you have misunderstood my position and that you err in some details, although, as a matter of fact, I am pro-life (of the born).

    First, the science versus religion is a bogus issue, but only because anti-abortionists like to invoke science as defining life at some state in the existence of the unborn. (They do not like to invoke it to rebut creationism or intelligent design, however.) My comment points out that anti-abortionism operates on assumptions about life just as religions do which enjoy no special sanction in this debate. So I am attacking a bogus argument that science has a role to play in what is fundamentally a moral (and political/policy) question. Indeed, Roe v. Wade, by invoking science to define the trimester system, violated religious freedom and created an establishment of religion.

    Second, the idea that citizenship is involved in the abortion issue strikes me as a tangle of issues which do no clarify or justify anything. The Declaration of Independence, which is not a legal document, also declares life to be God-created–but it does not define life. The Constitution grants citizenship to all those born or naturalized here, but giving consent to be governed is (1) not a definition of personhood, (2) not a requirement (no forced voting) and (3) not a right enjoyed by all citizens (minors, most felons, etc.).

    Third, you give away your argument by asserting that a fetus may be considered a human being. The possibility of it being so should count against abortions. More, except for the usual self-defense or wartime reasons, there are no justifications for killing a human being.

    What I take to be the proper position on “choice” is to regard it as an exercise of moral or religious conscience protected under the First Amendment. Under that provision, people are free to choose to have or not have an abortion as their conscience dictates as a matter of freedom of religion. However, no one has or should have the authority to impose one’s moral/religious principles respecting abortion on another, and laws to that effect amount to an infringement of religious freedom and an establishment of religion–both violations of the First Amendment.

  • Trump is the only candidate mentioned in the Bible. Hosea 8:1, “A trump be in thy throat” (Wycliffe Bible).

  • “I looked for someone among them who would build up the wall and stand
    before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to
    destroy it, but I found no one.”

    There is so much more going on here. We need to put aside our way our will our thinking.. and agree pray as one..stand in the gap for this nation. JESUS IS REAL! What is written has to happen.. some things can come swift and hard or soft and gentle. As for people.. we only see flesh..then we judge by what we see and action.. this is not the heart. There is a reason we PRAY! If my people. Leaders are like rivers .. God always has control.. There is a battle and its NOT on TV or YOUTUBE or at the White House. All power all authority over the enemy is our given to us BY GOD! Thats YOUR FATHER! To HIM be ALL the glory ALL the praise. Want to see this nation stand.. then pray..stand in the gap for this nation. It is only when the WORD the gospel is taken around the world …THEN the end will come. We are here now..

    We were born here for a reason. Only YOU could handle this by and through GOD. He needs no one.. He choose to use us. Sin? Get over it.. repent.. I DO and stop doing it..forgive your self HE..HAS.. and FIGHT! PRAYER!

  • bbeck,

    I hope to be right here on earth, my home, to see it all happen with my own eyes. A large crowd of people on earth from all tribes, races and culture will survive the great tribulation and Armageddon, with help from God (Revelation 7:9, 13-17; 21:3-4).

  • bbeck,

    No, I won’t. Jesus himself said that those who use the sword will perish by the sword (Matthew 26:52). He promoted the love of our fellowman, even of our enemies. I refuse to get involved in any worldly conflicts or wars.

    The apostle Paul confirmed what a true Christian’s weapons would be: “Though we walk in the flesh, we do not wage war according to what we are in the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not fleshly, but powerful by God for overturning strongly entrenched things (2 Corinth. 10:3,4).

    The result of Jesus’ ransom sacrifice and his upcoming millennial rule from God’s kingdom will soon put an end to any need for weapons, war, or fear (Micah 4:3,4) of any kind.

  • Christians should be called to resist President Obama and his approval of the gay and transgender agenda. And they should resist Hillary Clinton and her political opportunism and dishonesty. Has everyone forgotten what happened in Mena, Arkansas in the late 70’s and 80’s? Bill Clinton provided political cover for the mass importation of drugs, particularly cocaine, into the USA. Has everyone forgotten that just a few months ago the Saudis donated $25 million to the Clinton Foundation?

    We should vote for Trump, not resist him.

  • Bull. I am a Christian. Saying somebody making a complete ass of himself lacks the humility of someone who calls himself religious, sir. And let’s get real. Both sides think they are right. Both are arrogant at times. I have seen the arrogance of progressives often, thinking they are so educated that only they have the knowledge and education to know the truth about how “progressive” they are. I have also noticed a lack of sincerity and a condescension towards so called minorities. I’ve seen the same arrogance with conservatives, for example, on the gay issue. I belonged to a conservative church back in the 80’s, and there wasn’t much difference between what I saw there and out in the real world. I miss it, but believe I can live a more Christian life outside of any organized religion. I believe the gay issue is not about what God wants,(yes I’ve read and studied the verses, etc) but that it is a cultural issue where being gay is a threat to mostly men, because of cultural threats to what is defined as manhood. And those conservatives were dead silent, except for Tammy Faye, when AIDS came about. So don’t get too smug. And lest we forget, the compassionate and empathetic(note sarcasm) Jerry Falwell said AIDS was the wrath of a just God against homosexuals. Reagan did nothing. Conservatives and evangelicals were the Spirit of Death, and I’ve heard little, if any, apologies, over the years.

  • LOL.

    Ivaro, I was describing Ben in Oakland’s claims, which had nothing to do with you, and your reply does not address a single item that I raised, apart from my having claimed that he made an ass of himself. Really, it looks as though you read only enough of the thread to decide “I don’t like this ‘Phil’ guy,” and then proceeded to spew at me every notion in your head about Christians, regardless of whether they were relevant to this discussion or not.

    So really, I’m not going to respond to what you said other than to ask: who in the hell are you talking to? Certainly not to me. You need to deal with your own issues yourself, and leave me out of them.

    A few items you might want to take into consideration, though, for your own mental health:

    (1) When your hatred toward a group rests on naming somebody who has nothing to do with either the discussion or the persons holding the discussion, who has not been active anywhere in public since the 1980s, and who has been dead for almost 10 years (e.g. Falwell), it’s time to consider whether you’re even relevant anymore, let alone accurate.

    (2) When your claim is “I can live a more Christian life outside of any organized religion,” you really need to refrain from calling any other human being “arrogant.” In my experience (I’m over 60) everybody says they can live the Christian life on their own, but nobody does. It’s just a self-excusing delusion. I’m betting that you can’t really even describe the Christian life in any terms that have any relation to actual Christian teaching.

    (3) If you actually believe that the main issue with male homosexuality is how it deviates from a cultural myth of manliness, you clearly haven’t the first clue what actual research says about the subject. But I won’t get into what the research actually says, because the more relevant question is why you even brought that up in the first place. It has nothing whatsoever to do with my rebuttal of Ben’s nonsense. So clearly, it’s a massive issue TO YOU, but not to me. You need to examine why that is.

    My guess (but it’s really just a guess) is that you’re gay and that causes you immense psychological pain, which you’re eager to blame on me. But your pain is not my fault; it comes from inside of you. So you can do whatever you like to me, it’s not going to affect your pain. Good luck with that, but damn, son, find a more relevant target for your angst.

  • Damn, son, I am over 60. Read the book, Embodiment by James B. Nelson. That is, unless it causes you too much pain or angst. Or read his book The Intimate Connection. Your spirit is as ugly as anybody I’ve seen in a long time. “Their people honor me with their lips, but their spirit is far from me.” (Matthew 15:8) I am saying a prayer for you as I write this. And if you think that somebody over 60 like me hasn’t read what you’ve written ? You deceive yourself.

  • I’ve read some of your other posts. You, son, are an arrogant elitist of the Pharisee variety. I’ll be praying again for you.

  • From reading your other posts, it certainly appears I am speaking to an educated arrogant elitist, of the pharisee variety. I am over 60, son, and I’ve met people like you before, and you won’t be the last. I have an obligation to state that your intelligence does not give you the right to call others an ass or evil. You are incorrect about that I have no idea what the “research” says about the subject, you are incorrect about having to live the Christian life inside an institutional setting, and I remember Falwell very well, and those of his ilk, past or present. Pharisees will never go out of style. Good luck with that information, son.

  • I am beyond 60. I disagree with all your points. I remember Falwell very well and the harm he did, also knowing he knew very well that this hatred he sewed would bring him money for his organization.(he said so himself) I’ve listened to his speeches, and was appalled at his arrogance, and thinking back to the verses in the Bible about humility. My point about manliness comes from various anthropological studies regarding those who are “punished” for being outside the mainstream. The being punished for being outside the mainstream is not a novel idea, and is not a liberal or conservative idea. I read in a book by a prominent theologian about why people live outside the church in order to be more Christian. Millions have left the church. Former fundamentalists have left. There were TV shows back into the 70’s regarding that, and I have no doubt there will be continue to be support groups for those who felt they had to leave for their own sanity and conscience. Blessings and good luck, son.

  • So, does God will disasters, if he makes everything go as he pleases? Did God will Jimmy Carter becoming president in 1976? Did God will that Donald Trump be the Republican nominee this year? Did God will that Hillary Clinton be the first woman nominee in America at this time in history? How does things like AIDS and the Holocaust enter into your point of view?

  • Phil-I am over 60, and you are a fundamentalist, so there is nothing I can do to get a real exchange going. I do disagree with everything you say, I am actually open to different ideas, but I learned a long time ago that when somebody has their mind made up, as in fundamentalism, you spend time elsewhere and serve God that way, “son.”

  • I do apologize for some of the spirit I wrote you-that is not normally how I operate. I am sorry. Maybe somebody bullied you for some reason when you were younger, so you strike back with “knowledge.” However, what you wrote to me assuming I was some kid in tormented pain was so disrespectful I did have a right to say something. I worry about educated types who write books but come on here and just try to kill the spirit of someone and have the spirit of condescension and arrogance, that somehow your education makes you wiser than others. “God opposes the proud and gives grace to the humble. Everyone who exalts himself will be humbled and he who humbles himself will be exalted. For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of
    himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober
    judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.” God helps me with my converted soul, Phil, but I’ll let God and the love from God deal with yours. I can try and help plant the seed with God’s Spirit within me, but that is all. And maybe if there is another conversation, it will be done in a spirit of listening and respect.

  • If the moderator sees this, I would like for the moderator to consider banning Phil Weingart from this page. From seeing other statements he has made on other pages, there is a pattern of calling people names, and total disrespect done in an intellectually detached but pointed manner. It’s not just me, but anybody who disagrees with him. This is a pattern-please take notice. I will leave the details to you. Thank you.

  • There is little actual morality in American evangelicals. The hatred in our nation comes mostly from people who identify as “evangelical Christians”. They love the lies that please them and tend to remain very uninformed of the actual reality that swirls around them. They are destructive to our nation as they have shown throughout our history. I hope to see all religion die a natural death as logic and reason supplant superstition and hate.

  • From the article: “This statement is absolutely no tacit endorsement of other candidates, many of whom use the same racial politics often in more subtle ways. ” However, what is the objective of this post? As far as I can tell it is to influence Christians not to vote for Mr Trump. So if we all do that and then what would be the result? Hillary Clinton as president of the USA. In good conscience, I cannot be part of her becoming president.

  • You know also the title of this article is very arrogant. “What does
    faithful obedience look like in Election 2016?” and then the article is
    supposed to be the settled answer to the question that basically says
    “if you vote for Mr Trump then you are not practicing “faithful
    obedience”. Obedience to what? God’s word? to who? Our Creator? I do not
    think this article will be something to boast about on judgment day for
    all of those that signed it. Hillary Clinton is one of the biggest
    supporters of abortion and planned parenthood and that is enough to know
    that voting for her is not faithful obedience to His Word or the
    Creator.

  • If you were true Christians you wouldn’t be against the only person standing in the way of the murderous devil trying to crown herself your queen! The peoples of Serbia, Honduras, Iraq, and Libya have already felt her wrath, and now you wish to share that with your countrymen?

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