Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, left, speaks during a campaign rally in St. Petersburg, Fla., on Aug. 8, 2016. Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, right, speaks at a campaign rally in Charlotte, N.C.,on Aug. 18, 2016. Left photo courtesy of REUTERS/Chris Keane. Right photo courtesy of REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

New group of evangelicals seeks a more Christian approach to politics

September 13, 2016

Share this!


(RNS) In the midst of a bitter presidential campaign, a group of 13 evangelical leaders has founded an organization advocating a Christian and civil approach to politics.

The group, Public Faith, stresses its nonpartisanship and includes both conservative and liberal-leaning evangelicals. Its founders include Michael Wear, the deputy director for President Obama’s faith-based initiatives during the president’s first term, and Alan Noble, editor-in-chief of Christ and Pop Culture, an online publication.  

 “We seek to offer a different voice: confident and hopeful, equally full of conviction and grace,” the group declares on its website, which went live Aug. 29. 

Public Faith’s leaders say they are trying to counter sentiments among some evangelicals, who have traditionally favored the Republican Party, that they need to turn into political hard-liners, or bow out of a political process that so many this campaign season find distasteful. 

The rhetoric of Republican nominee Donald Trump has distressed some prominent evangelicals, who have accused him of scapegoating immigrants and stereotyping ethnic and religious minorities.


READ: 7 conservative Christians who are not supporting Trump


While the group’s mission is not to be “anti-Trump,” Noble said that those who are morally opposed to Trump may find themselves aligned with Public Faith’s values. 

“If you are an evangelical who wants to find a political institution that isn’t backing Trump, you might find Public Faith refreshing,” Noble said. 

The group takes stances on hotly debated issues, calling on evangelicals to combat racism, stand up for religious liberty, alleviate poverty and battle climate change. They also decry abortion and endorse traditional marriage between a man and a woman, but they want evangelicals to care for families of all compositions, as well as pregnant women and mothers in difficult circumstances. 

On Monday (Sept. 12), the group released a statement opposing the repeal of the Hyde Amendment, which forbids the federal government from using taxpayer dollars to fund abortions. In the same statement, the group voiced its support for community-based policing and criminal justice reform. 

Noble said the group is aware that some of its stances will resonate with conservatives, and others with liberals.

“We want to show we’re not simply tied to the GOP,” he said. 

Beneath the group's online statement is an option for readers to add their signature to a steadily growing list. More than 650 people have signed.

Vincent Bacote, assistant professor of theology at Wheaton College. Photo courtesy of Greg Schrek

Vincent Bacote, assistant professor of theology at Wheaton College. Photo courtesy of Greg Schrek


 This image is available for web and print publication. For questions, contact Sally Morrow.

In an election where the polls show that neither major-party presidential candidate enjoys great popularity, Public Faith's organizers fear that evangelicals may decide not to vote. Vincent Bacote, associate professor of theology at Wheaton College and co-founder of Public Faith, hopes voters will go to the polls and cast a ballot — if not in the presidential race, then for the down-ballot options.

“There’s more on the ballot,” Bacote said. “And often, those are the more important choices.”

Comments

  1. I think America has had quite enough of “the Christian approach to politics”. It has done a great deal to diminish the quality of life and civil liberties in this country. Enough already.

    Maybe evangelicals should finally take the hint. Their brand of “Christian politics” is not as popular as they had hoped for. Its why all the presidential candidates who were darlings of the Evangelical crowd in the last 2 election cycles went down in flames during the GOP primaries.

    I think its best we finally go through the divorce of religion from politics once and for all.

  2. Politics is a function several concerns, among them the values of the voters of whatever stripe. Surely your particular values inform your politics. The wall of separation between the Church and State, to the degree it is legitimately founded in constitutional principles does not bar citizens with a religious point of view from participating in the political process, when that day comes if it does, it will be a test of the vaunted toleration we keep hearing about from the political left. Religious citizens have as great a vested interest in the operation of our civil government as the secular. History demonstrates that the pendulum of political opinion is just as likely to swing the other way in future. If it doesn’t, that won’t prevent religious people from making their voices heard in the public square, at least until a totalitarian society suffocates and suppresses that freedom.

  3. So like why didn’t all these conservative Christians who are so concerned about Trump mobilize earlier in the election when they might have been able to still stop his nomination? I might have more respect for them otherwise but they just sound like your typical right wing fundraising group that also happens to not totally hate conservative Democrats or something.

  4. I am not saying you don’t have a right to mix your politics with religion. I am just saying it is tasteless and rather harmful at this point. The Religious Right has reached the end of its usefulness. It has not contributed anything of value for the betterment of the public. We are both entitled to our opinions of each other’s views.

    When you typically see “religious citizens taking a vested interest in the operation of our civil government”, it typically entails attacking the rights of those outside their faith/sect. It involves very narrow, selfish interests, usually at the expense of others.

    We know that when religious authority and civil authority are entangled, the end result is sectarian discrimination. It also undermines the moral authority of the religious groups. Turning spiritual matters into mundane and petty concerns. It is why the wall between church and state exists in the first place. To protect the integrity of both.

    Frankly its about time religious people of a certain stripe start acknowledging their voice is not the only one out there or the only one which deserves to be heard.

  5. ENOUGH WITH CHRISTIANITY IN POLITICS!! What a nuisance these groups are!
    We need the Atheists and Secularists to let these people know what they are up against – we vote too!

  6. If your values are “Christian” then you need an education into how anti-social and anti-democratic those values are!

    “I’m frankly sick and tired of the political preachers across this country telling me as a citizen that if I want to be a moral person, I must believe in “A,” “B,” “C” and “D.” Just who do they think they are? And from where do they presume to claim the right to dictate their moral beliefs to me?

    And I am even more angry as a legislator who must endure the threats of every religious group who thinks it has some God-granted right to control my vote on every roll call in the Senate. I am warning them today: I will fight them every step of the way if they try to dictate their moral convictions to all Americans in the name of “conservatism.” … This unrelenting obsession with a particular goal destroys the perspective of many decent people. They have become easy prey to manipulation and misjudgment.

    – “The religious factions will go on imposing their will on others unless the decent people connected to them recognize that religion has no place in public policy.

    They must learn to make their views known without trying to make their views the only alternatives. The great decisions of Government cannot be dictated by the concerns of religious factions. This was true in the days of Madison, and it is just as true today.

    – We have succeeded for 205 years in keeping the affairs of state separate from the uncompromising idealism of religious groups and we mustn’t stop now.

    To retreat from that separation would violate the principles of conservatism and the values upon which the framers built this democratic republic.”

    – – Barry Goldwater, Republican Candidate for President, 1964

  7. CHRISTIANITY IS A TORNADO OF WICKED IDEAS:

    “Hate your friends and family or you are worthless to me” – JESUS (Luke 14:26)
    “Gays should die” – (Romans 1:27)
    “Jews are disgusting and hateful” (1 Thessalonians 2:14)
    “You are nothing” – (John 15:5)
    “Die for me” – JESUS (Matthew 16:24)
    “I did not come to bring peace…But anarchy” – JESUS (Luke 12:49-51)
    Daughters only add filth to the mother – (Leviticus 12:1-5)
    “Slaves shall be beaten” – JESUS (Luke 12:47-48)
    “the kingdom of heaven advances with violence” – JESUS (Matthew 11:10-15)
    Humanity is depraved and worthless – (romans 3:23)

    Put Christianity up for discussion – go ahead and make my day – and I will gladly rip it to shreds.

    Keep it out of our government !

  8. We should put to rest their idea that morality has anything to do with their religion, it does not. In the early theocracies of the colonies ppl were put in stocks and starved for not attending church, locked away for not paying the church tax, they had ‘vice and virtue police’ up and down the coast. The belief of literal christians is that if you can control someone’s thoughts and beliefs, they would be less likely to sin. It’s why they don’t accept that separation of church and state exists regardless of being upheld in courts from the beginning, it’s even biblical. The first major case was in 1878 in the Reynolds decision where they went back to the founders notes and decided religious freedom extends to belief but not always actions. You cannot break civil law because of your religion, it’s only a guarantee between the ears.

    Some states had separation in their constitutions before the first amendment was written, all had disestablished by 1833 voluntarily. These people want us to go back to the days of hanging non adherents, inquisitions and religious executions. and forced attendance in christian only churches.

  9. Re: “The wall of separation between the Church and State … does not bar citizens with a religious point of view from participating in the political process …”

    There’s a difference between “participating in the political process” and “being granted control over everything and given the power to force everyone to have to live according to one’s own metaphysics.”

    Re: “Religious citizens have as great a vested interest in the operation of our civil government as the secular.”

    Funny you’d say that, since a lot of religious folk think non-believers should have no say at all in “the operation of our civil government,” solely because they’re non-believers. I smell more than a little whiff of hypocrisy there. (For Christians, this is problematic because hypocrisy is something their own Jesus clearly and unambiguously forbid them ever to engage in. Still, that prohibition doesn’t appear to have any power to stop them being the raging hypocrites many of them are. More’s the pity.)

  10. Re: “So like why didn’t all these conservative Christians who are so concerned about Trump mobilize earlier in the election when they might have been able to still stop his nomination?”

    In a word, it was “cowardice.” They were afraid to take on their more fanatical, more militant, more nationalistic, more fascistic, less tolerant, less intellectual, and less rational co-religionists and co-ideologues. It was also “convenience;” many of them had ridden the wave of ascension of evangelical Christianity in the US (to the point where it controls Congress) and were not interested in doing anything that, they thought, might undermine that.

    So now they expect us actually to believe they rue the rise of little Donnie and his nomination. I’m nowhere near stupid enough to think they actually didn’t want him to get the nomination or that they actually object to him being elected. Any anti-Trump rhetoric they’re reeling off now is just the product of them being poseurs; they want the rest of us to think they’re more reasonable than little Donnie and his sanctimonious, raging fanbois … but in reality they have a lot more in common with him and his followers than they’re willing to admit. Because — as you point out! — they had their chance to block him, but chose not to do so.

  11. I’m not prepared to be put in a prepackaged box with respect to my spiritual and political views, nor am I suggesting that your remarks are an attempt to put me there. I cannot speak for others, I only represent myself. After much research, I have recognized that among our founders there were skeptics, non-theists, and some unconventional views among those who identified themselves as Christians, so I can certainly respect the right of non-believers to play a role in our government at every level. What I fear is what appears to me the growing desire of many folks to deny believers a place at the political counsels of our nation. As to hypocrisy, I often find among the tolerant and rational a complete intolerance of those who choose to believe.

  12. Barry Goldwater is/was entitled to his own point of view, as are you, as am I. My argument is about how the political process works from a CONSTITUTIONAL perspective. However legitimate the “wall of separation” it does not bar the spiritually inclined from a place at the table of our nation’s counsels. Any effort to do so smacks of the intolerance you so often decry.

  13. Re: “What I fear is what appears to me the growing desire of many folks to deny believers a place at the political counsels of our nation.”

    No such effort exists. It is not happening, no matter how much you fear it. No one is agitating to, for example, remove religious believers from office, or deny them the vote. You fear a bogeyman.

    I’ll repeat what I said above: “There’s a difference between ‘participating in the political process’ and ‘being granted control over everything and given the power to force everyone to have to live according to one’s own metaphysics.'” I’m not sure what part of that escapes you, but there it is.

    Re: “As to hypocrisy, I often find among the tolerant and rational a complete intolerance of those who choose to believe.”

    First, to be clear, while hypocrisy is bad, it’s particularly bad for Christians, because they live under a unique and explicit injunction against it. Others, including non-believers, don’t have to worry about it so much. So yes, this means other people are more free to be hypocritical than Christians are. A lot of Christians find this notion bothersome, but too bad for them … Christianity — complete with its clear prohibition of hypocrisy — is their religion. They picked it! If they don’t like its terms, they should drop it in favor of another that doesn’t explicitly forbid hypocrisy.

    Second, given that you don’t appear to have any clear idea of what’s going on here (owing to your expressed “fear” of something that isn’t happening and won’t ever happen), I have no idea what sort of “intolerance” you think you’re putting up with. Is it “intolerant” of non-believers to refuse to think, act, and speak as you’d like them to? Is it “intolerant” of them to not hand over control of the country to you based solely on your belief that you must control everyone and everything? Neither of those fits my definition of “intolerant.” So where you see “intolerance,” I see people “wanting to live their own lives their own way without being forced to live according to religionists’ metaphysics.”

  14. “Place at the table”
    Very bad metaphor – In a democracy nobody is entitled to have a seat in government.
    You have the right to keep your religion for yourself and to advocate for it.
    But You do not have a right to impose it on any one else.

    “Congress shall make no law RESPECTING the establishment of a religion nor prohibit the free exercise thereof” – US Constitution

    There is no wiggle room here. Keep your religion to yourself. Religion shall have no power of law – religious edicts are forbidden from law.

  15. “smacks of intolerance”

    Wrong – YOUR intolerance is what is at issue here!

    “Execute my enemies in front of me” – JESUS (Luke 19:27)
    “Slay them All” – Allah (Surah 9.2)
    “Kill all non-believers – Yahweh (Deuteronomy)

    You would accept faith-based nonsense in society: repression of LGBT rights, repression of women, suicide bombing, genital mutilation or any other faith-based subversion.

    Religion is anti social nuisance – a primitive and divisive philosophy at work against human interests. It deserves scorn and relentless derision.

  16. Some of them tried but they were in the minority. The majority acquiesced at best, joined in at worst.

  17. How am I being intolerant when all I insist upon under the Constitution is my rightful place at the table of public policy discussion. It is you my friend, in your utter and irrational hatred of Christianity that is displaying intolerance. None of the things you ascribe to me come anywhere near my perspective as a Christian; Not the repression of anyone’s rights of whatever sexual persuasion or gender, my opposition to active homosexuality among members of the Church does not rise to the level of civil discrimination in any way. Nor do I endorse suicide bombing, or terrorist acts by anyone in the name of their faith. The same may be said for my abhorrence of mutilation of any sort. You libel me.

  18. In no intelligent interpretation of the passage you cite are the spiritually minded barred from expressing their faith to any who are willing to hear it and even those disinclined to hear it; it is protected speech. It may not please you, it no doubt in your particular case offends you, but offensive speech is not illegal (yet). Beside we are all offended every day, are we going to legislate every possible offence to one another? How utterly absurd.

  19. Your answer in many ways is a non-sequitur. That usually happens when a nerve is touched. I grant your point that hypocrisy is a peculiar point with respect to Christians. I find that the future is informed by the past, and while much may be said against religion based on the past, including many ill informed actions by putative Christians, they too have suffered at the hands of those who have championed the so called rationalism of both the French Revolutionists and the Communists. Modern rationalists tend to disavow the Communists, even going to the length to declare Stalin and Mao as “religionists” of some sort, this in an effort and as an end to distance themselves from Communism’s crimes, despite the fact Communist theorists have always defined it as a “rational” system. With such a vivid and clear picture from the past, you’ll forgive me for being leery and not prone to trust myself to the future tender mercies of the “rationalists.” And as I have pointed out numerous times, my personal practice is to separate what is required of the Church from what is allowed by the Civil government; that does not bar me from commenting on or participating in the political process to work towards those ends that seem to me to be best for the entire culture. I welcome you to the political table, I should think that in our nation you would allow me the same privilege, whatever our differences.

  20. Re: “Your answer in many ways is a non-sequitur.”

    No it isn’t, and you saying it is, cannot and will never magically make it one. I don’t even think you understand what a “non sequitur” is.

    Re: “I grant your point that hypocrisy is a peculiar point with respect to Christians.”

    Thank you. You are perhaps the first Christian in history ever to have made this concession.

    Re: “I find that the future is informed by the past …”

    It is … but only partly. It’s possible to take historical determinism too far, and many people do.

    Re: “Modern rationalists tend to disavow the Communists, even going to the length to declare Stalin and Mao as ‘religionists’ of some sort …”

    Anyone who’s rational is going to disavow Communism, and its related “isms” (e.g. Marxism) chiefly for the reason that it’s a cluster—k, based on erroneous historiographic models and weak reasoning. As for Stalin and Mao being “religionists,” it’s true that Stalin had been a dutiful Russian Orthodox Christian (having attended seminary in his youth), but I doubt anyone with a brain “disavows Communism” because famous Communists were “religionists.”

    Re: “With such a vivid and clear picture from the past, you’ll forgive me for being leery and not prone to trust myself to the future tender mercies of the ‘rationalists.'”

    I don’t really know what you mean by “rationalists.” If you mean “non-believers,” they don’t fit into a single basket, which you imply. They can be found at many points on the ideological spectrum, and often completely off it altogether. You’re treating them as a single cohesive group, when in fact they’re as far from it as you can get.

    Re: “And as I have pointed out numerous times, my personal practice is to separate what is required of the Church from what is allowed by the Civil government; that does not bar me from commenting on or participating in the political process to work towards those ends that seem to me to be best for the entire culture.”

    You say that, but then accuse “rationalists” of trying to silence and destroy you. I don’t know who they are, but no one that I’ve ever heard of wants religionists like yourself silenced or religion abolished. No such campaign is underway anywhere in the US.

    Re: “I welcome you to the political table, I should think that in our nation you would allow me the same privilege, whatever our differences.”

    Again, you and other believers confuse “the right to be heard” with “the right to control everything.” They’re not the same thing.

  21. Do not worry about what ‘offends’ me! Christianity is a divisive and terrible set of theories.
    So Please get over yourself. Christianity is JUST AN IDEA. That is all it is.

    Christianity is a concept about a God (Yahweh) who turned himself into a man (Jesus) specifically so he could be slaughtered (‘lamb of god’) as a sacrifice to HIMSELF to save humanity (Salvation) from a Hell (Satan) which he created specifically for non-believers.
    But the salvation only works if you actually believe the story (“believe or be condemned”- Mark 16:16) and if you don’t you are outcast!

    The transparent anti-social nonsense of such a primitive belief has no place in government. Want to talk about your love of Jesus? Be my guest. But don’t be “offended” when people give it as much credence as they give to a Leprechaun! Christianity is an awful, terrible, immoral idea.

  22. Christianity must come to us today weak kneed, with a smiley face, all forgiveness and light – because it has had to surrender so many of its claims in recent centuries.

    We know its claims about prayer are nonsense – prayer is no better than flipping a coin.
    We know Christianity does not make people behave better – the evidence shows the opposite.
    28,000 cases of Priest pedophilia proved that one along with 1000’s of cases of witch burnings, Inquisitions, crusades and pogroms.

    Religion today is comparatively weak – But I will not soon forget how it behaves when it is strong:

    “Hate them” – JESUS (Luke 14:26)
    “they deserve to die” – (Romans 1:27)
    “Have nothing to do with him!”- (Titus 3:9-11)
    “Avoid them” – (Romans 16:17)
    “… let that person be cursed!” (1 Corinthians 16:22)

    God commands hate, then he scolds people for not being loving each other.
    This is not hypocrisy – it is incoherence! 2000 years of Christian contradiction and failure.

  23. What are we to say of the millions of people who died at the hands of the Soviet regime, a so called rational system? Marx preached Communism as a system of economics, Lenin and Stalin turned it into a club to destroy anyone who they thought (often in a state of paranoia) a threat to their personal power. Christianity does have the power to transform lives, I’ve seen the evidence of it myself. Does it make people perfect? Decidedly not. But most Christians endeavor to lead lives of moderation and forebearance, some precisely because they are aware of the sins committed by the institutional Church of the past. Your difficulty lies in an inability to parse the difference between the specific and the general, especially as regards the interpretation of scripture.

  24. You are entitled to your point of view, but I believe you are utterly mistaken.

  25. Non-Sequitur means precisely: “It does not follow.” which I think is a fair assessment of some of your arguments. I agree that all “rationalists” cannot be put in a box any more than Christians can. I have indeed read posts on this very site blaming Stalin’s crimes on the very fact that he was once a seminarian. His crimes were those of a disordered mind apart from his so called political or spiritual persuasion, but communistic regimes have specifically targeted the religious as enemies of the state, resulting in the death and incarceration of a substantial number of souls which may be somewhat difficult to quantify. You usage of “you” in your final sentence is a classic example of a non-sequitur. I personally long ago surrendered the notion that Christians need control the political and legal processes of this nation, and I have made that point several times in my arguments: “Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s,” as per the teachings of Jesus. My final confidence is that He will make the final disposition for things. In the meantime I reserve the right to participate in public discourse and arguing for the merits for certain philosophical precepts of governance and culture without presuming to “control” it.

  26. Re: “Non-Sequitur means precisely: ‘It does not follow.’ which I think is a fair assessment of some of your arguments.”

    Wrong. Everything I’ve said is entirely relevant to the topic. You just proved you don’t really know what a “non sequitur” is.

    Re: “I agree that all “rationalists” cannot be put in a box any more than Christians can.”

    Gee, that’s wonderful. I’m sure they’re all happy to hear that. Now all you need to do is explain what “rationalists” are, in your mind, and then I might be able to come close to understanding what it is you’re talking about.

    Re: “I have indeed read posts on this very site blaming Stalin’s crimes on the very fact that he was once a seminarian.”

    Woah, stop right there. I never “blamed” anything on his being a seminarian. I simply stated that he was, in fact, a religious man, after you suggested that “rationalists” (again, I have no idea who they are, but you keep talking about them as if I’m supposed to) slapped the label “religionist” on him in order to dismiss his style of communism. You’d implied they’d done so falsely, I just suggested that, if anyone had done so, it might not be that far from the truth.

    In any event, if you remember, I went on to explain that such a portrayal of Stalin was completely unnecessary for anyone who wants to disavow communism, because as a philosophy, it fails on its own without any further help.

    Re: “You usage of ‘you’ in your final sentence is a classic example of a non-sequitur.”

    No it’s not, and you still don’t understand what a “non sequitur” is, in spite of having provided a translation for the term.

    Re: “I personally long ago surrendered the notion that Christians need control the political and legal processes of this nation …”

    Bully for you! So why are you still complaining that Christians aren’t running the country any longer? Why do you still confuse “the right to be involved” with “the right to control everything”?

    Re: “In the meantime I reserve the right to participate in public discourse and arguing for the merits for certain philosophical precepts of governance and culture without presuming to ‘control’ it.”

    Again, as I’ve said many times, you’ve confused “the right to be involved” with “the right to control everything.” Christians like yourself do have the former right, but not the latter. Yet when they’re denied control over everything, they simper and whine about not being “involved.” It is possible to be “involved” without possessing “control,” you know.

    Or don’t you?

  27. Not. Association with a topic is not the equivalent of sound argument.

  28. What gibberish. Again, you have no idea what you’re even talking about. When you actually have something relevant and meaningful to say, which isn’t just some lame, knee-jerk attempt to disparage me without any rational basis, let me know.

    Until then, I’ll conclude you’re a religiofascist automaton, enthralled to your own dour and unrelenting metaphysics. Which, I should add, is not something of which you should be proud.

  29. You have obviously lost control because you can’t engage in a rational debate without resorting to a personal assault on those with whom you vehemently disagree. I could respond in kind, but that would be both unchristian and pointless. I would point out that I have not disparaged you, I have merely disagreed with your interpretation and analysis. Further, I am content to wait on the judgement of history when that takes place in the future.

  30. Re: “You have obviously lost control …”

    Heh heh heh. Hilarious!

    Re: “… because you can’t engage in a rational debate without resorting to a personal assault on those with whom you vehemently disagree.”

    Actually, I’ve been attempting a rational discussion with you. You’ve proven it impossible to do so because you still cannot — and will not! — comprehend that “not obeying Christianists and running the country the way they want it run” is not in any way the same thing as “not allowing them to be involved in running the country.” Despite saying you know the difference, you continue acting as though there isn’t one.

    So yeah, there’s no rational discussion possible with you. So yeah, I concluded that you are “a religiofascist automaton, enthralled to your own dour and unrelenting metaphysics.” And I will repeat: That’s not an achievement of which you ought to be proud.

    Re: “I would point out that I have not disparaged you, I have merely disagreed with your interpretation and analysis.”

    Yes you have. You claimed … and repeated … that I’m reeling off “non sequiturs,” in spite of the fact that nothing — not one thing! — I’ve said is not relevant to the topic at hand, which is that “not obeying Christianists and running the country the way they want it run” is not in any way the same thing as “not allowing them to be involved in running the country.”

    Re: “Further, I am content to wait on the judgement of history when that takes place in the future.”

    History is written by the victors. I’m not content to just let other people write it for me. When religiofascists are trying to make my government into a Christocracy, and when they’re trying to force me to live according to their dour metaphysics, I can and will say so. Every time. And I will not be silenced. Not even by your petulant, childish whining about supposedly “not being allowed to be involved in government” … when in reality your goal is not just “involvement,” it’s control. Of everyone and everything, everywhere.

    If you were mature, you’d just admit that, and the two of us could then have a rational discussion about what makes you think that you and your Christianist brethren deserve to govern the country. Let me know when you’ve grown up sufficiently to make that concession, OK?

  31. Your reply is utter nonsense, you can’t distinguish a personal attack from a refutation of your position. For example, at no point did I ever argue on behalf of “Christianists” controlling the country. That may apply to others, but not to me. Your responses demonstrate your paranoia not mine. Please do not answer me again on this question, I will merely delete it and you will have wasted your effort.

  32. Re: “For example, at no point did I ever argue on behalf of “Christianists” controlling the country.”

    Yes you did. In your first response to my first response to you, you said: “What I fear is what appears to me the growing desire of many folks to deny believers a place at the political counsels of our nation.”

    I, and others, have explained already that this is not what is happening to Christianists like yourself. No one is “denying believers a place at the political counsels of our nation.” No one. Not one person has ever said believers have no right to vote, to hold office, none of that. It has never happened and it will never happen … guaranteed.

    Again, I’ve explained what is happening is not that believers are being prevented from getting involved politically. What has happened, instead, is that they’re less able to control others the way they have in the past by virtue of their beliefs. In other words, both society and the political system no longer grant them the kind of deference they once enjoyed.

    Re: “Your responses demonstrate your paranoia not mine.”

    And your responses … including the one I just quoted above … display your own religionistic paranoia.

    Re: “Please do not answer me again on this question, I will merely delete it and you will have wasted your effort.”

    Too bad. I just did. What are you going to do about it?

  33. I’m getting to hate this particular conversation, but “a place at the political counsels of our nation,” in no contextual way can be construed as an endorsement of ” ‘Christianists’ controlling the country,’ it is an assertion of the right of believers as citizens to participate in the political process.

  34. Let me repeat, for the 3rd time now, what you, yourself, posted:

    “What I fear is what appears to me the growing desire of many folks to deny believers a place at the political counsels of our nation.”

    What I — and others — have been telling you is that no such effort exists! No one is trying to deny religious folk the right to hold office or the vote. No one … anywhere … wants any such thing. No one. Not. One. Single. Person.

    Yes, it’s true that religiosity doesn’t rule the country as it once did. Things religious folk object to, like gay marriage, are now the law of the land. Religionists don’t have the degree of control they once had, and unless something very serious happens, it’s not likely they will. Church attendance is down, comparied to 20-30 years ago, and the numbers of non-believers are slowly rising. Yes, religion does, in some ways, appear to be slipping in the US.

    Even so, religionists are in office around the country. At the moment, they have the majority of governorships, they run a majority of statehouses, and the control Congress as well. They are as “involved” in politics as much as they ever were! They have a very good chance of electing their new champion, little Donnie, president in a little over a month and a half.

    Yet, here you are, whining that there’s some “growing desire of many folks to deny believers a place at the political counsels of our nation.” Again, that is not happening! That believers like yourself think you’ve lost control over the country does not mean you’re no longer involved in politics and it does not mean you’re being forced out of government. It just doesn’t.

    Time for believers like yourself to grow up and accept your place in this country, instead of doing what you’ve done in the past, which is to presume your metaphysics entitles you to run the show and order everyone around. Those days are over. But even if they are, it does not mean you have no voice in government.

    I will repeat, for the 4th time now and the 2nd in this comment, the words you voluntarily posted previously:

    “What I fear is what appears to me the growing desire of many folks to deny believers a place at the political counsels of our nation.”

    Those were your words. Not mine. I didn’t invent them. You did that, all by yourself. You are the one who bellyached that religious folk are somehow being robbed of “a place at the political counsels of our nation” merely because their wishes are no longer the government’s command. You let loose with this whine. I didn’t.

    They’re you’re words. Own them. If you didn’t really mean what you said (i.e. if you acknowledge there’s no effort underway to rip believers out of office or deprive them of the vote) then just admit it, and we can move on.

    What will it be? Let me know.

  35. Once more, your words:

    “What I fear is what appears to me the growing desire of many folks to deny believers a place at the political counsels of our nation.”

    What I and others have told you, repeatedly, is: There is no effort underway to yank believers from office or deprive them of the vote.

    Yet, you said you “feared” an apparent “growing desire of many folks” to do so.

    I will continue holding your feet to the fire of your own words just as long as it will take for you to concede you typed them.

  36. My remarks are merely, to some limited extent, the reverse image of your remarks that Christians are trying to turn this country into some sort of theocratic state.

  37. May I ask you to give an example? Just trying to understand the argument. Ted Cruz, a conservative Christian,staid in the race the longest of all besides Trump. Nobody denied him a fair chance and he still keeps his Senate seat. Most Supreme Court judges are Christians. What do you mean by your assertion about believers’ rights being somewhat thwarted?

  38. I just asked your opponent above to kindly give me an example of what the heck is he talking about. All of Supreme Court are believers. Most of them are Christians. Conservative Cruz almost became a nominee. About 90% of Congress are Christians of various stripes.How many more seats at political table does this gent want?

  39. Re: “My remarks are merely, to some limited extent, the reverse image of your remarks that Christians are trying to turn this country into some sort of theocratic state.”

    No, they’re not. You said, “What I fear is what appears to me the growing desire of many folks to deny believers a place at the political counsels of our nation.” That’s not “the reverse image” of an expression of Christocracy. If anything, it’s a pathetic martyrs’ whine about Christianists not having as much control over things as (they think) they rightfully should have.

  40. They want 100% of the seats of power, 100% control over everything, and they want anyone who’s not a Christian like themselves to forever be silent and unseen.

  41. Actually, I believe the present Court is split evenly between Jewish members and “Christians.” My concerns are less about the present and more about the direction I believe the country is headed philosophically. The persecution of religious minorities and Christianity in particular is not without precedent historically. The early Church was persecuted by Imperial Rome. Christians were persecuted heavily both by the Soviet Union and Maoist China. As I view certain trends in this nation, I don’t think it outside the realm of future possibility that conservative Christians will bear the animus of those who reject their view of life and culture. I have been accused of paranoia and being irrational in these concerns. Time will tell.

  42. No, you are mistaken – there are 3 Jews and 5 Christians on Supreme Court currently, after Scalia’s death. And if your concern is about keeping evil, godless , immoral backwards ideas of conservative”Christians” -like opposition to human rights , then yes, Democratic society will work to gradually eradicate that filth, like we did to get rid of proslavery conservative “Christians”, anti black and anti women voting rights,segregationists, etc.. Such scum has no place in our future.

  43. Ha, to give him credit he honestly replied that his fear is conservatives being marginalized. Aha! That’s clearer. I told him that he is right and to be assured, we will drive that scum out like we did with conservatives before – slavery , segregation proponents, women voting rights deniers etc etc etc such good Christians of the past;)

  44. “What are we to say of the millions of people who died …soviet regime..”

    The Soviet regime was a religious claim. Religious claims are dangerous fables and they always lead to catastrophe wherever and whenever a government forces claims about gods onto a population.

    You are only proving my point – Religion is dangerous nonsense.

  45. “but most Christians endeavor to lead lives of….”

    Nonsense. Your ‘no true scotsman’ argument fails for many reasons.

    All human beings try to live by simply being decent – not only “Christians”.
    Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Native Americans, Pagans and Atheists all try to get along – – the majority of humanity is just trying to live decently and trying to raise their kids.

    There is no need for a religion. Religion adds to the dangers of humanity.
    “Bring to me those enemies of mine who refuse to have me for a king and execute them in front of me” – JESUS (Luke 19:27)
    This kind of lesson is no better than the advice of an ignorant barbarian.

  46. Thank you for proving an earlier argument of mine that in an effort to distance themselves from the crimes of Stalin some skeptics attempt to reframe a putatively rationalist system into a religious one. Time to step back through the looking glass Alice.

  47. “some skeptics attempt to reframe a putatively rationalist system into a religious one.”

    First of all, Stalinism was a religious Messianic claim who seized the title of CZAR (a religious title for a Caesar demigod), absolutist fascist dogma no different from Jesus himself (“You are either with me or against me”- JESUS – Matthew 12:30 ) and enforced supernatural miracle claims of Lysenko.

    The only country more religious than Stalinist Russia is North Korea. You clearly have no clue what religion is. Religion is messianism.

  48. Second, I’ve had enough of your slander against Atheism.

    THE GREATEST LIFE SAVERS IN HISTORY WERE ATHEISTS.
    MORE THAN 5 BILLION LIVES HAVE BEEN SAVED BY ONLY 3 ATHEISTS IN PARTICULAR:

    Norman Borloug (Atheist) saved 2 billion lives by fixing the world Agricultural systems and ending starvation cycles in 100 countries.

    Jonas Salk (Atheist) saved 2 billion lives by discovering and donating the Polio vaccine.

    Donald A. Henderson (ATHEIST) saved at least a billion lives with the eradication of Smallpox.

    Thank Atheism for these accomplishments while Monks and Priests could find nothing better to do than crawl on stones and ask favors from apparitions – favors which never panned out.

  49. Third, The balance sheet for religion and Christianity in particular is a disgrace to humanity. Sure, Stalin was Atheist by your definition (despite his years in a Christian Orthodox Seminary studying to be a priest ) but his regime was Messianic, not godless at all. He used he title Czar for religious reasons.

    But devout Christians like Constantine, Franco and Torquemada were no better than Stalin.
    SO WHAT IS YOUR POINT? IF JESUS LEADS TO THE SAME EVIL AS STALIN WHAT GOOD IS HE?

  50. Fourth, You owe your freedoms to an Atheist Constitution.

    Slandering me with the Messiah Cults of Pol Pot, Mao, and Stalin demonstrates your ignorance of Atheism. Those regimes were not examples of Atheism.

    Atheism is the lack of belief in God. That is all it is.

    If belief in God prevented people from acting like depraved crackpots there would be no Adolph Hitler, Catholic Ustashi, Joseph Mengele, Saddam Hussein, Tomás de Torquemada, Osama Bin Laden, Anatole Serromba, Fred Phelps, Erst Kaltenbruenner, Max Koegl, Nazi SS, Rudolf Hess, Hermann Goering, Adolf Eichmann, Islamic Suicide Bombers, Franco, Hirohito, Cardinal Bernie Law, Ariel Sharon, Emperor Constantine, Father Joseph Tiso, Werner Braune, Tai Ping Rebellion, Father Tiso, or Catholic Rat Lines – just to name a few!

    THIS is an example of proper Atheist Government Policy:

    “Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of a religion, nor prohibit the free exersise thereof” – US CONSTITUTION

    That is exactly how I run my ATHEIST home. My wife and children can have whatever religion they want but nobody may force religion on anyone else.

    You owe your freedom to ATHEISM. You are wasting it on Jesus.

  51. A wholly inadequate and incomplete definition.

  52. Obviously you have not had enough. Additionally shall I list the scores of Christian doctors and scientists who have contributed to the health and benefit of humanity? Neither your list or mine has anything to do with the question.

  53. None of the three you cite meet a proper definition of a Christian, except by personal profession, God will make that final determination.. No matter how one self identifies, if he does not follow the precepts of Christ he does not meet the definition.

  54. “None meet a definition of Christian”

    Clearly you do not understand. The Greatest atrocities in history are all MESSIANIC RELIGIONS:

    STALINIST CULT
    MAOISM
    HITLER CULT
    THE INQUISITION
    HIROHITO THE SUN GOD
    NORTH KOREAN CULT
    THE CRUSADES
    AZTEC CULT OF THE HUMMINGBIRD WIZARD
    TAIPING REBELLION CULT
    AL QUEADA CULT
    WAHABIST CULT
    SHIA CULT
    ISLAMISM
    CHRISTIAN CULT
    CATHOLICISM
    JUDAIC CULT
    and many others…

    The greatest accomplishment in human history
    is the Atheist Constitution of the USA which forbids Messianism.

    The US Constitution is still the only one of its kind in the world.

  55. Nonsense.

    The greatest doctors and hospitals in history have NO religious affiliation. The vast majority of hospitals are doing just fine taking care of people without any RELIGION whatsoever.

    Jesus: “You are either with me or against me” (Matthew 12:30)
    Catholic Hospitals: “We care more about Jesus than we care about our patients”
    ATHEIST Hospitals: “We don’t care about Jesus – we treat everyone equally”

    But if prayers were answered people wouldn’t need hospitals at all.
    Instead of taking responsibility for the lie of prayer, you advocate the dishonest garbage of prayer – a proven failure!

  56. “shall I list the scores of Christian doctors…..?”

    If you are going to reduce religion to social work the success of USAID and Doctors Without Borders (22,000 Atheist medics working around the world) and other secular organizations far surpass anything religion has done.

    The great philanthropists have all been Atheists. If religion had any use as you claim Ambulances would bring people to churches instead of Hospitals. Good grief!

  57. You don’t know religion when you see it.

    MESSIANIC Agrarian cults with miraculous claims (Lysenko) and religious titles (Czar) ARE NOT examples of Atheism. Stalinism was anti-religion in the same way McDonalds is anti-Burger King – one religious cult replacing another.

    Totalitarianism is the religious decree manifested as politics. Separation of Church and State is the only effective cure for it.

    “Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of a religion…” – US Constitution

    Our Atheist Constitution is the only protection against the dangers of Messianic Totalitarian Cults.
    Christianity is nothing more than a Messianic cult.

  58. You introduced doctors and scientists, not I. And your last two sentences are not only incorrect, they are utterly baseless, without foundation and absurd, to not put too fine a point on it.

  59. The bulk of the Founders who crafted and approved the US Constitution would be surprised to find the document described in the manner you assert.

  60. Nonsense.
    “Question with boldness whether there be a god” – Thomas Jefferson

    The founders scoffed at believers such as yourself, so certain of your convictions you create a tyranny against others.

  61. I am against Tyranny.

    That is why I support the United States Constitution:
    “Congress shall make no law RESPECTING the establishment of a religion nor prohibit the free exercise therof” – US Constitution

    That one sentence ensures NO religious claims will ever be allowed to rule the country; whether they be Christian, Muslim, Hindu or any other claims.

    All of these religious decrees are outlawed and forbidden from Government Enforcement:

    “God exists”
    “God does not exist”
    “The Commandments are to be followed”
    “The Commandments are NOT to be followed”
    “God is Yahweh”
    “God is Allah”
    “God is Christ”
    “God is not Christ”
    and so on.

    If you do not understand this separation of church and state, then you do not understand the profound genius of the US Constitution in ensuring Liberty for All.
    And you demonstrate no respect for your rights or the rights of others.

  62. I find Him in the rain that falls, the clouds that are the dust of His feet. I find Him in the myriad fruits of the earth and the astonishing world of the animal kingdom. I find Him in the perfectly balanced four seasons of the year. I find Him in the fact that the earth is the precise distance from the sun to sustain life in a world that relatively speaking is neither too hot, nor too cold. I find Him in the orbital pattern of the moon which controls the ocean’s tides. The odds of all this serendipity occurring by random chance are virtually nil mathematically speaking. If you can’t see Him, it is beyond my power to make Him visible to you, that is dependent upon His prerogative and your desire to see Him. He has said, you may seek and find Him if you search for Him with all your heart. I can offer no better signpost than that.

  63. None of what you have said proves your statement that the Constitution is an atheistic document. Let me at least assure you on one point, I do not support a theocratic state, but spiritually minded citizens are allowed to participate in government and frame their acts around their personal values, the same as any other citizen.

  64. Thomas Jefferson does not represent the view of all the Founders. Nor was he as hostile to the concept of God as you, despite your quote mining.

  65. This is the most hostile thing ever written about religion in any Constitution in world History:

    “Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of a religion nor prohibit the free exercise thereof” – US Constitution.

    I’ll translate it into plainer english for you:

    “Congress shall REJECT as an authority over ANY and ALL of its laws and decisions ANY and ALL gods and religions no matter which ones are invoked OR WHO claims to invoke it. But citizens can believe whatever they want so long as they don’t force it on any other citizen.”

    That is how one puts religion in its rotten place! By rejecting its validity as a governing principle.
    And every signer of that Amendment agreed with it!

  66. “spiritually minded citizens are allowed to participate in government and frame their acts ….”

    Yes they are! And if they invoke Jesus or Yahweh they should be laughed at!
    Many public officials are foundering and incompetent – so they invoke Jesus, God, Church or prayer and they win cheap points with an ignorant electorate. It is disgusting.

  67. I’m not interested in removing your right to religion nor am I interested in removing religious people from office.
    But if they talk about Jesus they should be ridiculed for the foolishness it is. And if they preach Jesus (or any other god) they should be fired or impeached.

    “Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of a religion nor prohibit the free exercise thereof” – US Constitution

    Actual blood (as opposed to the nonsense of Jesus ) has been spilled for this astounding accomplishment of civilization and Evangelical blow hards are trying to rip it out of the constitution or deny its meaning.

  68. Okay. Let’s look at this.
    Instead of a demonstration of a god, You are offering me your vague sense of a Parent figure along with an emotional argument for a beloved parent. This feeling is well known and is universal in cultures throughout history which is why thousands of Father and Mother figured Gods have been invented to explain it.

    “God” is an illusion created by your brain’s inclination to find a cause for things when you have no answer – the human mind will accept a bad reason over NO reason! Hence, thousands of gods over the centuries have been created to answer these unknowns.

    Your description of God is exactly what one would expect to be programmed into our infant brains to direct us to find our parents! “God” and the yearning to find him is nothing more than the drive to find our parents.

    Now – I ask again, where is YOUR evidence for a real God as opposed to this parental figure which we can easily explain?

  69. You argument has some merit with respect to a deep seated yearning, but I think the parental analogy is insufficient relative to God, though we do refer to Him as Father. But I believe the yearning goes much deeper than that. Apart from that, what you will accept as evidence would require a Deity like event where God came thundering out of the heavens and sat down next to you in His physical presence and had a conversation with you. That. I’m afraid is unlikely to happen, at least until it does happen. The evidence for me is less demanding. As I stated, I see evidence for Him in the very precise, and mathematical synchronicity of the universe, it is the signature of the Artist and Architect. Consider for example, the vast variety of fruits and vegetables and grains of varying colors and tastes, from sweet to sour, rich to bland, bitter and salty. And how when combined in recipes they not only nourish but please us in their infinite variety. Once again, the odds against such a serendipitous formulation occurring by random chance is astronomical, and this covers only a narrow spectrum of the creative palette set before us. That may not be evidence enough for you, but it’s a good start for providing enough evidence for me.

  70. You need not keep repeating the clause from the 1st Amendment, I memorized it years ago. And there is no doubt that we will continue to disagree over it’s precise meaning. Nor am I attempting to persuade you of anything, I’m simply affirming a political view informed by my spiritual values, and as I am not a member of government, my point of view has no force in law.

  71. Many government officials are incompetent entirely without reference to Jesus or any other Deity. And laughter would not only be rude, but uncharitable.

  72. Actually, you put much more into the clause than is there. Occam’s Razor states, “Entities should not be multiplied beyond necessity,” or Keep it simple. The clause merely intends that there would be no state sanctioned denomination as the official church of the United States.

  73. “The clause merely intends that there would be no state sanctioned denomination as the official church of the United States.”

    You don’t seem to understand how the Establishment Clause eviscerates Religion.
    It rejects all of the claims of Religions and GOES SO FAR AS TO claim itself above them:

    “CONGRESS SHALL MAKE NO LAW RESPECTING THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A RELIGION..”

    That means all of the claims of religion are to be disregarded under the law
    Claims about the existence of gods, miracles, sins, commandments…all of it…must be disregarded.
    This is one of the greatest accomplishments in human history.

  74. Since when is it rude or uncharitable to be honest with people?
    You have no evidence for gods. And it is a lie to claim such evidence exists or that such claims are true or valuable if there is no supporting evidence.

    It is immoral to lie to people. The Jesus story is completely ridiculous and deserves laughter and public derision. Blood sacrifice!? It is 2016 for goodness sake!

  75. Consider for example, the vast variety of fruits and vegetables and grains of varying colors and tastes, from sweet to sour, rich to bland, bitter and salty. …the odds against such a serendipitous formulation occurring by random chance is astronomical”

    The joys of life or the awareness of life’s possible rarity (we don’t know whether life is common in the universe or not) is not confirmation of a god. It is confirmation that you are not among the millions who are starving to death around the world and you are evolved to be happy about that. It is solipsism. You are satisfied by this – I am not.

    If a god exists he is vicious and cruel to give so much to so few who only see it as confirmation of their own blessing and ignore the lack of such blessings on others.

Leave a Comment