Singer Katy Perry performs on the final night of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, on July 28, 2016. Photo courtesy of Reuters/Jim Young

Like Katy Perry, I broke up with the conservative evangelical project

(RNS) In evangelical families like the one I grew up in, conservative meant good and liberal meant evil. We conservatives were on "God’s side," and “they” were of the devil. That’s what many of us were taught and that’s what we believed. Many still believe it. 

Katy Perry comes from the same conservative evangelical background I do. That may come as a surprise to anyone who saw her singing in places like the Democratic National Convention and speaking in support of Hillary Clinton. (Attending such events is not on the bucket list of anyone from our background.)

I don’t know the details of Perry's breakup with political conservatism, but I spent over 20 years as an evangelical pastor, and the more deeply I engaged with the life and teaching of Jesus at the heart of my faith, the less enamored I became with the political project to which evangelicalism was giving its soul. I felt increasingly out of sync with an evangelical community more concerned with conservative politics than the compassion of Christ.

How else do we explain why nearly 80 percent of white evangelicals currently embrace the candidacy of Donald Trump, whose way of life and values could not be more opposite to their own? How else can we explain their visceral disgust with Hillary Clinton who, whatever her flaws, is a committed Methodist Christian who grew up in Sunday school, started out as a young Republican, and was drawn into social justice concerns through the influence of a youth pastor?

Katy Perry and Donald Trump … They've got me thinking about 10 reasons I have had to part company with the Conservative Evangelical Project:

1. I want to associate with people who are respectful and treat others, even their opponents, with basic human decency and civility.

Too many conservative leaders have become increasingly disrespectful to the point of being rude, crude and mean-spirited. It’s become impossible to ignore -- from Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C., shouting “You lie!” during the president's State of the Union address to Donald Trump reaching historic lows with name-calling, crude insults, genital braggadocio, and violent rhetoric. 

2. I can’t support regressive thinking that longs for a time when life was worse for nearly everybody except people like me. 

Whether you like President Barack Obama or not, former religious right activist Frank Schaeffer told the ugly truth about contemporary conservatism: It has carried out a vicious “slow motion lynching” of our first African-American president. Today’s conservatives have been undermining voting rights for minorities, vilifying immigrants, scapegoating LGBTQ people, and resurrecting white privilege and white supremacy to maintain systemic injustice. One simple word in Trump’s campaign slogan -- “again” – harkens back to a time of deep discrimination against everyone who doesn’t look like or pray like me. 

3. I won’t be pandered to or manipulated based on religious self-interest or bigotry.

Today’s conservatives support a frightening array of proposals that go against our Constitution's call for “equal protection”: banning people from entering the country based on religion, mass surveillance of communities based on religion and creating registries of people based on religion. 

4. I am drawn to policies that support conquering poverty, not perpetuating it.

When I began to understand the complex causes and conditions that trap people in poverty, I better understood the need for quality education, nutrition, health care, child care, occupational safety, fair pay, racial equity, and public transportation. I became increasingly drawn to leaders who work to reduce poverty by reducing teen pregnancy, addiction, family breakdown, domestic violence, gangs, mass incarceration, and untreated mental illnesses. In short, the more I became committed to poverty reduction, the more I saw how conservatism keeps people trapped in poverty.

5. I cannot support the massive transfer of wealth from the poor and middle classes to the rich.

Conservatives often complain that liberals want to transfer wealth, but the fact is, for decades conservatives have supported a massive transfer of wealth to those who need it least. They have long promised that if we just help the rich through tax cuts, deregulation, and undermining worker rights, the benefits would “trickle down” to the rest of us. When I was younger, I was naive enough to believe this kind of voodoo economics, but with age I’ve come to see that all that actually trickles down is a toxic slurry of pollution, unemployment, crumbling infrastructure and economic inequality that is pummeling Americans, regardless of race or religion.

6. I have grown so tired of being misinformed and manipulated about abortion. 

Here are the facts: Abortion rates went up under former Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, then down under Bill Clinton, remained level during George W. Bush and have fallen about 13 percent during the Obama administration. There were 29 abortions per 1000 women aged 15-44 in the Reagan years, and the number has dropped to 16 today. As evangelical-born writer Rachel Held Evans has said, criminalizing abortion only reduces its safety, not its incidence.

The conservative culture war on abortion has failed. Its “baby-killer/women-hater” rhetoric has polarized and paralyzed us for decades. If we want to reduce abortion, we must focus on policies that have been proven to do so: better education, health care, and wages -- which, it turns out, are policies that also improve women’s lives and strengthen families. 

7. I care about the health of the earth. 

My faith leads me to support environmental policies that build a cleaner, more sustainable and ultimately more profitable future. When I hear conservative candidates talk about shutting down the Environmental Protection Agency and getting rid of government regulations that protect the environment, I wonder how many more Flint-style water crises there will be, how many more Gulf oil spill disasters there will be, how many more inches (or feet!) the sea will rise, and how much national and global instability will result. I’m no fan of big government, but conservatives argue for shrinking government to a size that it can no longer hold big business accountable as it plunders our one and only beautiful planet earth for short-term profit and long-term disaster.

8. I won’t feed terrorism. 

Too few conservatives seem to understand the simple strategy of terrorism: use inexpensive, unpredictable, and highly visible attacks to instill fear among rich and powerful nations to entice them to bankrupt themselves financially and morally through endless and unwinnable wars. When conservatives advocate for “bomb the hell out of them,” “waterboarding” and “carpet-bombing” strategies to beat terrorism, they are foolishly marching us right into the trap the terrorists have set.

9. I am sincerely concerned about Trump's base.

A good friend of mine, a Trump supporter, said this to me the other day: "Whatever you think of Trump, white men like me feel like we've lost a lot. We're everybody's whipping boy. We're tired of being disrespected. Trump gets that." I think there are millions of Americans, many of them white and working class, who feel like my friend. Their jobs were shipped overseas. They’ve been hurt by an economy that aggregates wealth at the very top. They've fallen between the cracks of a dysfunctional Congress so divided that it gets next to nothing done. Sadly, beyond stirring them up with angry speeches, once Trump gets what he wants from them -- their vote -- he’ll leave them even worse off and therefore angrier. We need actual policies that will help them build a better future, not vain promises about returning to the past.

10. I believe in the power of love, not the love of power.

I understand that millions of Americans are pumped up by Trump's talk about being tough, his "punch him in the face" bluster, his disgust with a free press, and his glib praise of dictators and torture. But my faith leads me to see true greatness in service and true power in love, self-control, and neighborliness -- not domination, reactivity, and revenge. Trump's love of power may have served him well in business and entertainment, but in political leadership, it will be his Achilles' heel, and his reactivity and lack of humility will make him chaotic and dangerous.

Not only that, but supporting a crude, angry, unaccountable and self-indulgent leader sets a terrible example for our children and grandchildren. And if conservatives reward Trump with a victory, can you imagine what the next generation of conservative politicians will be like?

Listen, I don’t always agree with everything that goes under the label of progressive, and progressives need to be way more effective at communicating and implementing their best ideas. But I cannot support any party or candidate -- local, state, federal or presidential -- characterized by mean-spiritedness, bigotry, unfairness, carelessness toward the poor, funneling wealth to the richest, undermining abortion reduction, destroying our fragile planet, playing into the hands of terrorists, exploiting the anger of suffering people, and being driven more by the love of power than the power of love.

Any one or two of these reasons would have been sufficient to lead me away from voting conservative. All of them together make me a consistent and passionate progressive voter in this election, win or lose … not in spite of my Christian faith, but because of it.  

To all who come from the conservative evangelical heritage Katy Perry and I share, I would say this: Your pastors, parents, or radio/TV preachers may not grant you permission to break up with conservatism, but you have it anyway. 

Permission is granted by your conscience.

(Brian McLaren is an author, speaker, and networker among innovative faith leaders. His fifteenth book, The Great Spiritual Migration, will be released September 2016. He is an Auburn Senior Fellow and board chair of Convergence Network.)

Comments

  1. “Mark my word, if and when these preachers get control of the [Republican] party and they’re sure trying to do so, it’s going to be a terrible damn problem. Frankly, these people frighten me. Politics and governing demand compromise. But these Christians believe they are acting in the name of God, so they can’t and won’t compromise. I know, I’ve tried to deal with them.”
    ~ Barry Goldwater, November 1994, as quoted in John Dean, Conservatives Without Conscience (2006

  2. Wouldn’t calling people who engage in vile language deplorable be more a description than an insult? 🙂

  3. “A good friend of mine, a Trump supporter, said this to me the other day: “Whatever you think of Trump, white men like me feel like we’ve lost a lot. We’re everybody’s whipping boy. We’re tired of being disrespected. Trump gets that.”
    ______________________________________________________________________________________

    So, the ‘white man’ finally gets a taste of his own medicine and discovers that it is bitter and foul.

    The rest will have a hard time sympathizing with ‘the white man’ who has been administering this bitter medicine to minority populations for centuries.

    Now, ‘the white man’ finds himself no longer supreme. This scares ‘the white man.’ Because what ‘the white man’ fears most is that HE will be treated in the manner HE has treated others.

    It is astounding that so many of ‘the white men’ are so clueless to this dynamic. But it explains a whole lot, doesn’t it.

  4. False equivalence on steroids.

    There is no comparison between Mrs. Clinton’s generally calm and diplomatic behavior and Trump’s race baiting, violent bluster.

    Every day there is a new outrageous statement from Trump. He mocked a disabled reporter. He praised violence by his followers. He challenged gun owners to “do something about” Mrs. Clinton if she is elected.

    Mrs. Clinton once – once – described Trump’s followers as deplorable. The next day a Trump supporter cold cocked a 69 year old woman.

    Yes, deplorable is merely honest.

  5. Brian, you’ve told us what you are against, but what you are for doesn’t exist in the form of an institutional movement. You may eschew Mr. Trump’s apparent love for power, but not Mrs. Clinton’s? There is a third way, and it is not represented by the special interests of either major party. Elements of each have some righteous aims, but the players involved are all gross sinners, which is bound to gum things up. You haven’t evolved, Brian; you’ve merely switched sides from one misbegotten approach to another.

  6. I think for the one where your friend feels that “Trump gets that” you should point out that its people like Trump who are sending jobs over seas. His suits are made in China and Mexica and his business repeatedly try to get Visa for foreign workers to worker, cheaper, at his hotels, even though placement agencies in the states have hundreds of qualified workers.

  7. You don’t need an “institutional movement” to fight for what you think is right. Goodness knows, nothing in the current US political movements matches my vision for a better tomorrow. But I can keep fighting for it, make my decisions on it’s basis, and tell others why and what I think we need to do without being a part of any such movement – there is no binary here. And so can Brian.

  8. I can agree on your view of Trump and some of his idiot policies.
    In fact you had me in your corner until you started cheerleading for Clinton.
    Don’t kid yourself. She is as bad as Trump. In many ways worse, as she is a path….well lets just say that truth and Hillary Clinton are words that should never be in the same sentence.
    You can complain all you want about the conservatives…they have plenty of room for criticism. But when you use the term regressive, it should be equally, probably more to the so called liberals.
    Complain about Trump and his followers all you want, but please do not try to somehow make the queen into some knight in shining armor. She is as bad as he is.

    As a Christian, I am really perplexed as to what to do this election. Especially since there are seemingly no viable 3rd party candidates. We have no good, viable options. I figure that this is God’s way of punishing us for past sins, of which there have been many. We are certainly now beginning to sow what we have reaped.

  9. You know…for 1500 years, Christians held the reins of power and crushed and tortured anyone in their path. For you to say that we need to return to the gentleness of religion? Wow… that’s some mighty fine hypocrisy you’re spewing, there. You also, apparently, believe that calling racists deplorable is on par with calling an entire race rapists. Or calling women fat pigs. Or saying people can’t do their jobs because they’re Mexican, or they’re too lazy because they’re black. In short, you don’t have a clue as to what you’re talking about. So please, strive to be better informed if you’re going to preach at and talk down to people. You, at the very least, owe them that.

  10. religious democrats don’t let their faith cloud their judgement, so what is it that allows republicans to be blinded so completely? supposedly pro-life, yet not anti-war or anti-poverty or anti-death penalty. christian values should not accommodate megachurches

  11. How refreshing are the pronouncements of a true Christian. Thank you for this wonderful essay.

  12. Right you are, Basco, but we’re at a time in our history where we could be destroyed as a nation. You might not like some of Hillary’s antics during the years, but right now we just have to protect ourselves from a fascist takeover.

  13. You’ve hit the nail on the head with this sentence:

    “Because what ‘the white man’ fears most is that HE will be treated in the manner HE has treated others.”

  14. “mean-spiritedness, bigotry, unfairness, carelessness toward the poor, funneling wealth to the richest, undermining abortion reduction, destroying our fragile planet, playing into the hands of terrorists, exploiting the anger of suffering people, and being driven more by the love of power than the power of love.”

    Bingo. That’s an apt description of popular religious conservatism today. (Not ‘all’ religious conservatives.)

  15. The fact is, the author understands that Democrats do not hide under the cloak of being a good “Christian” but their policies do more to help everyone, than just those at the top. When I look at the actions of some of these evangelicals, they are anything but Christ like…they remind me of the Pharisees. Moreover, the clear hate in their hearts should be as glaring as a “I am a fake Christian” billboard sign…Some of the things they have said about others is just heartbreaking. 1John 4 7-8…if you have hate in your heart, you can’t know God for God is love. Actions speak louder than words, and so many of those “Christians” have done nothing to help their fellow man, and only done things to enrich themselves. When people start restricting food for poor children in the name of saving money on entitlements (see Paul Ryan), but won’t think about cutting a tiny portion of the defense budget (which is 50% of the entire Federal budget) I know this is not an action Jesus would do. Cutting education, cutting healthcare, and other programs that have been proven to help people succeed the transition out of poverty to self sustainability are not actions that made this country great. But since 1981, those programs have been seen as being evil. I shudder to think how these “Christians” will fair on their judgement day.

  16. Thank you for this article. I left “conservative evangelical christianity” when my spouse of 15 years left me with many children and vanished. I woke up and realized all around me were people sure that I had *failed to be submissive enough* and surely must face the consequences. That my children [all under 11 and three in diapers] had to face those as well probably meant it would be better if they were taken away. Seventeen years later, I am proud of the fact we only had to endure food stamps for five years, that I worked two and three jobs when necessary and still home educated all of them to graduation. It was surely God that kept me moving. Bit by bit, scales fell from my eyes. I have been glad to fully embrace the admonishment of Who is our neighbor to include so many, to insist and willingly pay taxes that provide food, shelter, medical care and assistance in all it’s forms because too many of the Houses of God are looking to the law rather than the love. We are to be aliens in our own nations, to stand up and apart from the potentates of the land. How can you do that when you are following them as if they are the savior I do not know.

  17. non evangelicals arent hindered by the immorality of the hypocrisy of it. catch up quick, or not, i do not mind shoving logic down your throat again.

  18. I’m a Catholic and Benedictine Oblate. I wonder how many think I’m a stupid bigot. I’m not.

  19. I feel the same way about certain “Scotsmen.” I don’t want to even be associated with them, so I declare them not to be true countrymen of mine.

  20. I would say how you vote has a great deal more to do with the type of person you are than your religion does!

  21. The difference in the two candidates is so huge, it should
    be clear to everyone. Hillary Clinton may be seeking the top job in America,
    but along the way she has done so much for those who need it most. From
    fighting for healthcare for children to making sure those who are differently
    abled are allowed to attend public schools, fighting for women’s rights and
    human rights world over and the list goes on and on. Donald Trump has done for
    no one but himself and he has screwed over so many- but most especially people
    who didn’t have the wherewithal to fight him. He bankrupted small family
    businesses when he would not pay them the agreed upon amounts for work they did
    and he forced small employers to pay money they didn’t have to their employees
    when he didn’t pay his bills. He is a ruthless and disgusting con man and I do
    not know how any sane person could ever vote for him. He disgusts me and now-
    his followers disgust me too.

  22. Really. Suzy? How many pastors and youth ministers have been charged with pedophilia? I don’t have the number but it is many. Research it yourself. All religions provide cover for the most vile, twisted people and compound it with their hypocrisy. You just showed your bigotry with your comment. Yep, I am also a Catholic and a mick.

  23. We don’t know you well enough yet. Lets see what else you have to say.

  24. Drop dead. It’s not “whites.” It’s Confederate sympathizers who are mostly white, but don’t forget — white people comprised the lion’s share of those who beat the Hell out of the Confederacy and killed them wholesale.

    You’re acting like Donald Trump and his supporters — simply venting. It’s like listening to people who can’t hold their liquor. Grow up.

  25. The first time I heard, Perry’s, “Wide Awake” and for a long time after (okay, until I forgot about it) I just assumed the song was about her breakup from conservative Christianity (having gone through it myself, minus the fame and fortune). It just seemed like too many coded Xian references to be about anything else.

    Anyway, this is a wonderful list and oh, so true. Hillary Clinton may not be perfect, but her America will be a far better platform from which to work to spread more social acceptance, generosity of heart (and wallet) and love for each other.

  26. You’re missing the point, and clearly you haven’t been paying attention. White people, particularly white men, are responsible for colonization and oppression throughout history, and we are still seeing its effects today. If you don’t see that, you are being willfully obtuse.

    By starting your response with “drop dead,” you paint yourself as defensive. Is that because you sense what they’re saying is true?

  27. I don’t want to presume to speak for a total stranger, but think the people rcdcr has in mind is not all whites but those who long for the time when this was the “white man’s” country–you know, when America used to be great.

  28. The Christian right is fascist and authoritarian. The GOP is owned by them. They are the enemy of free people of good conscience.

  29. You sir have comprehension issues. Look in the mirror when you bellow, “GROW UP”.

  30. Goldwater sounds like his favorite religion was “Compromise.”

    Which is a wonderful religion for economic policy issues, of course.

    But moral issues? Not so much.

    And gay marriage? NOT AT ALL.

  31. So the Non-Evangelicals do the same stuff of which they accuse Evangelicals, yet the Non-Evangelicals magically “aren’t hindered” by any ethical concerns about their clear display of hypocrisy thereof.

    A most convenient setup. You agree?

  32. That’s the liberals’ answer for everything these days. Sheesh.

  33. Liberal fascism excepted, of course.

    Get ready Christians. The Democrat Gestapo cometh.

  34. I’ll let you whites sort out all this racial historical parsing.

    But when all of you get done hashing it out, please vote for TRUMP. Do it while this nation is still alive, yes?

  35. Why shouldn’t gays be allowed to marry, Floyd?

    Why can’t you leave well enough alone. Admit gay marriage isn’t for you. But why would you try to legislate others to not be able to get married to the person they love? There is a separation of CHURCH AND STATE for a reason. We are NOT a theocracy. As such, it is in violation of the constitution to not allow gay marriage.

  36. We understand that you hate women because they’re having sex … but not with you. Now go answer the door Floyd, its probably Amazon delivering your inflatable girlfriend.

  37. It’s a pretty good answer. Covers a good deal of motivations in conservative politics.

  38. and non-sequitur comments are typical for Teanderthals who are unfamiliar with critical thinking skills.

  39. When white men get disrespected, a black man has to die. That is the lynch culture of the first half of the 20th century, the mass incarceration culture of the second half of the 20th century, and the police policy of today of shooting first and arresting whoever doesn’t die immediately. US is only going to become great when white men stop viewing “being respected” as an entitlement that comes before everyone else’s rights.

  40. I am old enough to remember Billy Graham in his youth. He focused on the Good News of Jesus Christ and personal salvation. He then decided to also serve mammon by publically befriending Presidents, which he gave up when Nixon resigned in disgrace. His son is another story.
    I left the evangelical church in the early 70’s because of their newfound emphasis on ‘wifely submission’ and their opposition to the Equal Rights Amendment and reproductive autonomy. I joined the UCC, but left them when my congregation was ‘steeplejacked’ by conservatives. In my experience, religious men have always been squeamish about the mechanics of avoiding unwanted pregnancy or dealing with distressed pregnancy.
    Western European and Asian governments who don’t feel the need to cater to or accommodate religious dogma in healthcare do far better than the U.S. in longevity and heath outcomes. Healthcare providers that continue to impose medieval protocols on unsuspecting patients in the 21st century are a pox on the U.S.

  41. You’re right, we’re not a political theocracy. But as Ben Franklin and Abe Lincoln clearly warned, the very LAST place that America should be, is the place where America has forgotten God.

    But that IS where we are collectively at. We’re directly spitting in God’s face, via the horror show of legalized gay marriage. We’ve set an unprecedented and fully dangerous precedent. Right here right now.

    Yet we’re all expecting God to do His flag-waving duty every day, divinely keeping America away from the big disasters, crises, economic losses, and violence that we see around the world. America has taken God and His blessings for granted, and now we’re spitting in His face like a dog. “Tipping-Point” is on tap, folks.

    As for the Constitution, it does NOT support gay marriage at all. The late Justice Scalia and current Justice Alito, and others, gave powerful Constitutional arguments that the liberals have NOT refuted. The Founding Fathers approved of state prohibitions on homosexual behavior in all 13 original states, (let alone the horror of legalized gay marriage).

  42. Sounds a lot more like Hillary Clinton on a normal work-day!!

  43. Too much love without logic can be permissivee and licentious, too much logic without love can be condescending, cold, and uncomprimising. Truth is people can’t handle the truth without love and others can’t handle love without truth. But my flesh and blood did not shed their blood in the name of “anti-terroism” just so some biologically misinformed individuals and factions can abuse the right to the pursuit of happiness in the name of equality when any realistic down to earth individual should be well aware of the fact that equality is not achieved through the organisational belligerent voices of community’s such as lgbt. Wake up people. Homosexuality, incest, porn, sexual immortality is all defined by God as a moral no no. But instead you worms would rather sear you’re conscience. Im speaking to those who have one and those who pretend that they are good people. You don’t believe in a God, because you think or live like this life is made for you. Who can wash your sins away and moral impurity when every immoral action is di
    sguised under your pride and lust. The Bible says that people will be giving over to a depraved mind, this is the end result of your self centered Godless existence irregardless of whether you choose to accept the truth for what it is or not, the truth will still remain. So keep on with you’re fairy tale views and ideals of what you think you deserve because you live in a free country. Mark the words of an almighty God, as you pour forth your tainted filthy rhetoric in reply to this post, the end of sin, aka immoral behavior, is death. Whether you believe it or not.

  44. Spitting in Gods face? The horror show of legalized gay marriage? Are we or are we not a theocracy?

    If you say no. Then we CANNOT, under the constitution of the united states, not allow gays to be married. There is NO argument to not allow gay marriage that doesn’t fall back on going against Christian faith. Since religious belief is the only argument, you CANNOT use that as justification for removing rights from a demographic.

    I do find it odd though how conservative evangelicals are up in arms over the gay marriage ruling but shrug their shoulders when priests are out molesting our children. Why the obsession with gays? Shouldn’t you be doing something else with your valuable time that may mean more? Such as protecting our children from molesters?

    ” divinely keeping America away from the big disasters”

    Wildfires occur constantly. New Orleans got destroyed by flooding. Tornadoes wreck havoc on the southern states. When I was in Texas, we got hailed on by softball sized hail.

    God was nowhere to be found to prevent those disasters.

    ” crises”

    An arabic man planted bombs in NY.

    Other terrorists bombed a race in Mass.

    9/11 occurred.

    Where oh where has God ever intervened?

    “As for the Constitution, it does NOT support gay marriage at all.”

    The 14th amendment of the constitution says, “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

    What this means is that all people are equal and cannot be discriminated against in any way. If one demographic gets rights and privileges, all demographics must get those same rights and privileges.

    Heterosexuals can marry. This means that this right must be afforded to homosexuals as well… especially since married people are provided a ton of benefits.

    Furthermore. Gay marriage isn’t a “horror” at all. Two people love each other and want to spend their life together. How in any way does that affect you at all?

    You guys are more concerned about gays getting married than about pedophiles fiddling kids in the church. That’s disturbing.

  45. Only in your twisted logic little world. Enjoy it while it lasts.

  46. It’s going to be funny when the white man use what little assets they have left to finance trips to Mars and create a new society. The motto will be “you don’t work you don’t eat.” In the year 2500 we’ll have tours of Earth to see how we can send them inter-galactic aid. We’ll shake our heads and think, “but for the grace of God; there go I.” The number one cause of death will be murder because of covetousness; the same thing that happened to the former Soviet Union after it’s fall in 1991.

  47. The only thing Clinton is passionate about is abortion. How do you trust the moral compass of someone who thinks aborting babies should be a constitutional right.

    In Christ,

    The enemy hates clarity

  48. Some of the most Christ like people I know are athiest and some of the worst people I know have their butts in a pre every Sunday.

  49. Great article but I doubt the people who should read it will.

  50. How do you trust the moral compass of a being who slaughtered everyone on the entire planet, including the little babies who couldn’t have sinned even if they wanted to? Or who sent an innocent victim to atone for the sins of the guilty? Or who committed suicide but condemns suicide?

  51. I think that was Suzy’s point. I also think you owe her an apology.

  52. And this kind of attitude is why civilized, kind, decent, thoughtful and intelligent people are leaving religion behind, and leaving it to people who think like you do.
    thank god I’m an atheist.

  53. See, that’s the nice thing about the late Justice Scalia, the current Justice Alito, and others.

    They DID in fact come up with Constitutional “arguments to not allow gay marriage that doesn’t fall back on going against Christian faith,” as you worded it.

    Unrefuted constitutional arguments, I might add. Arguments that can still be used very effectively in the Court Of Public Opinion, to help influence the American people to NOT accept legalized gay marriage. Obergefell is NOT the last word on this issue, oh no no no.

    And you’re right, it IS important to do all we can to keep the gay priests off of the altar boys, and the straight priests off of those altar girls (although the same-sex mess was or is more prevalent). But I’m not the Pope, he’s the supervisor in charge of the priest biz, so take the molestation issue up with HIM please.

  54. Where are these supposed “unrefuted constitutional arguments” Floyd? Being gay is an immutable characteristic. As in. It’s a characteristic about a person that they themselves. Those who are gay, cannot change. Gay people are born that way. They cannot change who they are or who they are sexually attracted to.

    As such, since it is an immutable characteristic, it falls in line with the 14th amendment as a protection under the law.

    “so take the molestation issue up with HIM please.”

    Not the point I was getting at. You evangelicals are SO concerned with who marries who or who sleeps with who that you guys don’t take a step back and look around and see people being KILLED because they are gay. Gay people being threatened, harassed. That’s not loving. That’s hate. Not allowing them to marry the person they love.. That’s not love on your part. That’s hate.

    Jesus didn’t come to bring hate to our fellow man. He came to bring love.

    Evangelicals tend to be the most likely to be against the virtues of Christ which is extremely ironic. They have higher divorce rates. Higher rates of cheating. More who don’t want to help the poor. More who don’t care about children or the mothers once they are born.

    It’s ridiculous. People like you force a mother to give birth by outlawing abortion and then refuse to help support the child when the mother can’t.

    I’ve seen the trends. I’ve seen the statistics.

    The current conservative party is some of the most anti-christ like people I have ever seen.

  55. “Because what ‘the white man’ fears most is that HE will be treated in the manner HE has treated others.”

    I wonder sometimes if this is true about extreme homophobia as well. I think it’s pretty normal for heterosexuals to be uncomfortable about homosexuality, and even opposed to it.

    But when people are virulent about it, I wonder:
    “Does it upset you so much BECAUSE you realize that there is a man who would view you as a woman, and you KNOW that you view women as objects. And you don’t want a man to view YOU as an object.”

    I’d love to see if there’s any correlation between the nastiness of an male individual’s homophobia and the way he thinks of and treats women.

  56. “. There is NO argument to not allow gay marriage that doesn’t fall back on going against Christian faith. Since religious belief is the only argument, you CANNOT use that as justification for removing rights from a demographic.”

    I am so glad to not be the only person who sees this!

    And since I don’t want to have other religions force their beliefs on me, I have to logically support gay marriage.

    (in fact, as a Christian, I’d rather have gay marriage and NOT have marriage-type relationships, like domestic partnerships.)

  57. Remember the people who quoted the Old Testament verse about “praying for the death of his wife and children,” and would say, “pray for Obama”? And they claimed to be Christians.

    It enraged me.

  58. “How do you trust the moral compass of someone who thinks aborting babies should be a constitutional right.”

    Very easily. It means she respects that women are citizens fully capable and entitled to make decisions concerning their bodies and what goes on inside them.

    I do not trust the moral compass of people who think that any action can be perfectly justified if they think it is in God’s name.

  59. I’ll admit there is something refreshing about you honest barbarians. few so called “christians” will admit they’re willing to kill to force their religion on others.

    there really isn’t much a difference between people like you, and the jihadists of isis. and for that, I admire your honesty.

  60. The author had me right up to this: “Hillary Clinton who, whatever her flaws, is a committed Methodist Christian”. Arguably the most corrupt, evil woman in America, he is now willing to embrace.
    The man has no understanding of actual conservatism, nor of the roots and results of progressivism. He simply hits the rhetoric and talking points to construct and destroy strawmen.
    And he concludes that he can support neither party nor candidate that “plays into the hands of terrorist, exploits the anger of the suffering, and is driven by the love of power rather than the power of love”……which if he be honest, eliminates Hillary Clinton.

  61. Oh, I see.

    So I’m Trotsky, and your God is Stalin.

    Got it.

  62. Another problem is that many in the Far Left are the same. Why, even the editor of the “Nation” magazine, is a Putin apologist including Jill Stein. Thankfully Bernie Sanders didn’t go that far to either side but he didn’t win either.

  63. Very well said.
    I’m afraid to ask my close friends who they are voting for now.
    In the last election I blew my cool at some very old friends during a St. Patrick’s dinner when one brought out the Obama birther conspiracy and every one there either agreed or nodded in agreement.. That did it. I raised my voice in his defense (rather loudly) and one couple still hasn’t spoken to me since.

  64. And if you noticed, she’s been either changing or mellowing many of her positions since Bernie’s popularity became evident.

  65. You got that right. We are coming after your Assault Weapons of Mass Destruction.

  66. The far left has no candidate in the “mainstream”. The far right has Donald Trump and a media that gets on its knees for him.

  67. Here’s some clarity for you. Bush used the word “crusade” to explain America’s invasion of Iraq, which killed many – born and unborn. This was a choice to abort the lives of people made by those that believe in your Jesus. Your moral compass resides where the sun don’t shine.

  68. And you know this from…a book translated into a language that didn’t exist at the time.

  69. floydlee – you really think that “Compromise” is a religion?”

    Take a deep breath and think for a week.

    If your answer is yes – you display, yet again and totally without pressure, that your understanding and use of the English language is both inaccurate and risible.
    Result – You yourself show that your comments are invalid, irrelevant. without intellectual value and should be ignored.

    If your answer is no – you stand self-exposed as someone who makes statements that he(?) knows to be untrue.
    Result – You yourself show that your comments are invalid, irrelevant. without intellectual value and should be ignored.

  70. McLaren parted ways with Conservative Christianity a long time ago. It’s a little disingenuous for him to act like trump is now the final straw. He’s been out for decades.

  71. Well, there is a difference. One of them believes in the one true God of love, and the other one does, too.

    I’m sure you can figure out which one is which.

    Here’s a hint or 5. ?????

  72. No, we also like to include a completely unwarranted faith in your totally imaginary superiority.

  73. Homophobia is not the fear of homosexuals. It’s the fear that you, yourself are homosexual.

    And in the septic tank under the house of homophobia, the turd of misogyny keeps bubbling away.

  74. Defending the people who wouldn’t let people like you use the wrong drinking fountain.

    You are confused.

  75. Listen. Duct tape on ur mouth might help. God is love. Did I say I was God buddy?

  76. The Far Left has Jill Stein who will be stealing votes(especially Millenials) from Clinton.

  77. Thank you for the thoughtful article. And while I disagree with many of your viewpoints, I am also tired, very tired, of demonizing all those who do not agree. Adult human beings, particularly those who claim to be Bible-believing Christians, ought to be able to apply Paul’s teachings in I Corinthians about what is “lawful”, and what is expedient. Biblical Liberty clearly teaches us we are going to have different opinions, and it is ok.

    The Bible clearly sets forth a number of very clear do’s and dont’s. And we mortal humans have a hard enough time getting them right without resorting to the addition of yet more rules and regulations. Yes we have differences, and, yes, we can get along despite them.

  78. Well, as a mostly white person, I want to thank you for lumping me into this large category of generalization. It goes hand in hand with generalizing all Blacks as lazy welfare dependent criminals, all Hispanics as taco-eating drunks with no potential other than to pick strawberries, and all Asians as money-grubbing and hyperactive photographers who, after eating inedible and disgusting things then go off and aquat in holes in the floor.

    I don’t like generalisations, and your negate any good perspectives you may have tried to make.

  79. Obergefell v Hodges was almost a textbook example of what SCOTUS is supposed to do, test the Constitutionality of a law. As such, it was a defense of the 14th Amendment and how it addressed this emergent issue between states. One can protest it on religious grounds, but definitely not on legal grounds. Despite revisionists like David Barton (who allegedly is teaching Trump US History), the US was intentionally designed to be a secular state.

  80. Heh. I found that “conservative evangelical Christianity” for the most part left me about the same time they found my spouse of nearly 30 years walked out, because I had failed my duty to “manage my family well”.

  81. Two small notes:

    First, Trump’s not even anti-gay. On his reality TV show “The Apprentice”, he openly affirmed gay contestants and gay rights. YOU are apparently the confused one.

    Second, even the liberal National Public Radio reporter Debbie Elliot’s piece “Is Donald Trump a Modern-Day George Wallace” (04-22-2016), openly conceded that “Trump is no racial segregationist.” So now you’re into falsehoods too.

    So trust me, don’t try too hard to play the race card Ben. You’re only insulting Black Americans by trying to link your changeable and errant homosexual lifestyle, to Black Americans’ unchangeable and normal genetics.

  82. North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un should attack the mormons in utah with a nuclear weapon

  83. Deeply religious people are irrational; it’s necessary to suspend logic, reason and common sense. Irrationality is part of our human makeup. Trump is using emotion to attract followers and has tapped into our dissatisfaction with our political system and the direction our country is taking. This same irrationality is why his followers ignore what the rest of the world condemns.

  84. It eliminates anyone who wants to be president.

    It eliminates any so called Christian who insists on dominion over the lives of others.

  85. So the only difference between you and an ISIS mook is access to RPGs.

  86. Someone who would be lucky to get 1% of the vote. A marginal candidate at best. The far right has someone who can count upon about 35-40% of the electorate.

  87. Trump is what he says is wrong. Trump does what he says to not do. Trump is a bad hypocrite.

  88. There is no god in the Constitution. Period. There is no Jesus in the Constitution. Period. Perhaps Iran is more to your liking.

  89. Keep it simple, stupid.

    The one thing I like about the Bible is that it cuts through all the nonsense and babble of humans, especially self-anointed geniuses.

    Trust in Adonai with all your heart;
    do not rely on your own understanding.
    In all your ways acknowledge him;
    then he will level your paths.

    Don’t be conceited about your own wisdom;
    but fear Adonai, and turn from evil.
    This will bring health to your body
    and give strength to your bones.

    — Proverbs 3 (CJB)

    Any objections?

  90. “Those who are gay, cannot change. Gay people are born that way.”
    Tell that to the wife of New York City’s current mayor. She used to be a solid lesbian activist for nearly 20 years — until she met Hizzoner, Bill DeBlasio. Then all that “Born That Way”, “Cannot Change”, lesbianism went straight down the tarlet !!

    (And no, she doesn’t have any spare tires, and she doesn’t allow any lazy-oaf liberals to call her a “bisexual” at all.)

    She doesn’t even credit God or Jesus for her change. She simply “put some things in the past” as soon as Hizzoner said boo. Just that quick.

    Your stated position is therefore false, because change is certainly possible. Love means telling the truth: Nobody HAS to do gay-self-identity. Don’t have to be gay.

  91. Go back and re-read the Goldwater quotation — umm, the one that you YOURSELF provided, remember?
    His statement shows rather comvincingly that his god, his object of worship, just happened to be “Compromise.” That’s why he was upset at the thought of Christians refusing to compromise on some issues.

  92. Actually, McLaren threw plenty of “demonization” in there.
    Please read his essay again…and this time, between the lines as well.

    As for “getting along despite differences”, it’s not that simple. It DOES make a genuine difference what those differences happen to be (as the Methodists have clearly discovered).

    Stated simply, some stuff is biblically non-negotiable.

  93. Hey, I honestly do trust that Planned Parenthood will never betray its moral compass, because HELL can be trusted to NEVER compromise nor liberalize its particular moral compass, and Planned Parenthood just happens to be a direct franchisee.

    (Which explains the occasional smell of sulphur in Planned Parenthood clinics, naturally!)

  94. Simpler.
    no relying on the authority of ancient books of unknown provenance.
    no relying on the authority of ancient books of unknown provenance.

  95. Nope. He’s a good hypocrite, a super duper, grade a, first class hypocrite.
    But not a very good human being.

  96. There may be a line at that window, quite honestly. Time to serve up those freshly baked apologies, Ms. Suzy!

  97. “Which explains the occasional smell of sulphur in Planned Parenthood clinics, naturally!)”

    Or perhaps you need to cut down your intake of fiber, legumes and cruciferous vegetables when you walk past the clinics.

  98. You misunderstand. I am not relying upon “the authority of ancient books of unknown provenance”.

    I am relying – putting my trust in – the God of Avraham, Yitz’chak, and Ya’akov instead of myself.

    He has said that he frees people from the slavery of other humans and does so without their having to prove themselves worthy of his redemption of them.

    He forgives and rescues freely if they only but turn to him.

    Upon whom do you rely?

  99. It isn’t me. The Bible – the very word of God – itself has refuted Brian McLaren.

  100. My self, the constitution, and the good will of others.

    “He has said that he frees people from the slavery of other humans and does so without their having to prove themselves worthy of his redemption of them.”
    As a gay man, as a Jew, as the dear friend of a black man whose ancestors were slaves, I would have to differ with that.

  101. You’re Jewish? Excellent. Here’s what the Tanakh says about the people of Israel:

    Adonai [God] said to Moshe, “Speak to Aharon and his sons, and tell them that this is how you are to bless the people of Isra’el: you are to say to them,
    ‘Y’varekh’kha Adonai v’yishmerekha.
    [May Adonai bless you and keep you.]
    Ya’er Adonai panav eleikha vichunekka.
    [May Adonai make his face shine on you and show you his favor.]
    Yissa Adonai panav eleikha v’yasem l’kha shalom.
    [May Adonai lift up his face toward you and give you peace.]’
    “In this way they are to put my name on the people of Isra’el, so that I will bless them.”

    — Numbers 6 (CJB)

    Adonai said to Moshe, “When you get back to Egypt, make sure that you do before Pharaoh every one of the wonders I have enabled you to do. Nevertheless, I am going to make him hardhearted, and he will refuse to let the people go. Then you are to tell Pharaoh: ‘Adonai says, “Isra’el is my firstborn son. I have told you to let my son go in order to worship me, but you have refused to let him go. Well, then, I will kill your firstborn son!”’”
    — Exodus 4 (CJB) (emphasis mine)

    God redeemed the people of Israel – your family – from the slavery of Pharaoh and Egypt. He asked for nothing in return except that they trust him as a father asks for his son’s trust.

    As a person who puts his trust in ADONAI, God, I plead with him to bless you and prosper you in all his ways and open the floodgates of heaven into your life.

  102. Excellent post and replies. Hate=Fear=Violence. Hopefully we are watching the dying gasps of functional white supremacy. The “good ol’ (white) boy” system is soon going to be a thing of the past, and all of its members are scared shitless. They are very sore losers, though, and they won’t go down without fighting dirty.

  103. “Tell that to the wife of New York City’s current mayor.”

    She was bisexual. Not lesbian. Sexuality is not binary.

    Whether she likes to admit it or not.

    “Your stated position is therefore false”

    Because of some anecdotal story? You have no idea what ‘data’ is, do you?

    Being gay is about -attraction-

    People cannot control who they are attracted to.

  104. I’m sorry to be disrespectful but, you, sir, are a creep…and creepy. “changeable and errant homosexual lifestyle”? Not only is that a disgusting view of homosexuality, it is even more appalling because you don’t know Ben in Oakland, or what he’s about, or what his sexual orientation is. Judgmental much? You didn’t even have to out yourself as a Trump supporter. The rest of what you had to say already marked you as one.

  105. You would be less easily convinced if you understood that “religion” does not mean what you think it means. But then we’ve been here before haven’t we?

    Words in the English language have meanings, language is a means of communication. In order to communicate effectively both a word’s users have to have the same understanding as to the meaning of a particular combination of letters.

    You fail to communicate effectively because you decide what a word means to you and assume that either
    1 – your meaning is the correct one or
    2 – everyone else misuses the word the same way as you do.

    Consider – “Religion” – we could also try “worship” and “some” couldn’t we?
    “Religion” – The belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods.
    Compromise is not “superhuman”, it is not “controlling” and it’s not a “power”. QED – Compromise is not a “religion”

    There are excellent dictionaries available FOC on-line. Since it appears that your knowledge of English is limited I suggest you utilise them – heck I do and it’s not only my native language it’s also something I excelled in at school. Don’t want to look like a numpty unnecessarily do we?

    One tip – try using spell-checker more often and CAPITALS less frequently.

  106. Not “creepy”, merely “capable of using Plain English.”
    I don’t claim to know Ben (although he’s presented a lot of self-information in this forum, as have I). But I do know what the Bible says. And Ben knows just as much about what the Bible says as I do, just as I know Ben’s gay-activist Talking Points, from stem to stern.

    Homosexual behavior AND the so-called “gay self-identity” that the behavior derives from, are flat out wrong. Quicksand traps. They’re against God’s design for you, against God’s plan for you, me or anyone. LGBT = TRAP.

    But God offers you a choice. He offers you Himself, in the person of Jesus Christ, as the Savior, Healer, and Deliverer from the entire LGBT trap, (1 Cor 6:9-11, 1 Cor 10:13), no matter how many years a person has lived in that trap. So you don’t have to be gay (LGBT) if you don’t wanna be. You could be free instead.

    That’s not judgmentalism. That’s just Bible Truth 101. Choose.

  107. When Mrs. DeBlasio published her “coming out” story and lesbian activism, you didn’t challenge her personal self-label testimony. You accepted her self-label and stuff as The Truth, period.

    So why can’t you do that now that SHE says that she is neither lesbian nor bisexual? Why can’t you just be equally accepting when an LGBT person gives you their personal testimony that they are NO LONGER LGBT?

    Who are you to declare (by fiat) that she is not exclusively attracted to Mr. DeBlasio? Where’s your evidence that she’s not?

  108. Oh Please. I hate having to do people’s homework for them, but some folks need it.
    Come on, let’s go to Merriam-Webster Online, and see the “Simple Definition”:

    (1) the belief in a god or in a group of gods

    (2) an organized system of beliefs, ceremonies, and rules used to worship a god or a group of gods

    (3) an interest, a belief, or an activity that is very important to a person or group

    Therefore Goldwater’s religion of “Compromise”, based on Goldwater’s own words, is indeed clearly a RELIGION, based on Webster’s “simple definition” #3.

    Okay, next lazy-bones varmint please!

  109. No

    “Politics and governing demand compromise. But these Christians believe they are acting in the name of God, so they can’t and won’t compromise”

    Goldwater does not say compromise is very important to him – he says it’s necessary to politics and governance.
    Your dentist might say that flossing is vital to oral hygiene – it doesn’t make flossing a religion.

  110. There’s a difference between being exclusively attracted to DeBlasio and being attracted to both men and women.

    A man can be solely attracted to his wife or vice versa without changing from being heterosexual. They are still heterosexual. They just found their true love. Mrs. DeBlasio is the same way.

    Anecdotes does not data make.

  111. Always proselytizing. It’s something I detest about Christianity, a religion that has traveled the world raping, pillaging, and murdering in the name of their imaginary “god” to further their sick agenda of the control and domination of all humans, and to prosper off of the sweat of said humans’ labor. They demand respect, yet will blindly quote words from their big book of fairy tales to self-professed atheists, which is a very disrespectful and presumptuous thing to do. No one is going to hell, because hell doesn’t exist! It is quite enough to behave in a manner that is kind, loving, and helpful, and to resist greed and blind self-interest. Nobody needs “religion” to grasp the basis of decent humanity.

  112. “Anecdotes does not data make.”
    I’ll remember that the next time somebody tries to preach their “coming out of the closet” gay testimony.

  113. I plead with God to bless you and strengthen you and your family beyond what you could possibly imagine and to give you shalom that passes all understanding.

  114. o.O

    Floyd. When many gay people come out of the closet, they are shunned by their community and we can utilize statistics to see that suicides increase among the gay population due to the way they are treated by the public.

    This is not anecdotes.

    We can also see that sexual attraction is prevalent among all animals, including humans. It’s natural. We can see that people can’t choose their sexuality.

    if you knew anything about what makes us attracted to what, you’d understand and the REASON why we are attracted to what we are attracted to is due to evolutionary psychology within sexuality in order to enhance and facilitate mate selection.

    For example. Sexual dimorphism. Men are more ridged, rectangle shaped. Women are more hour glass shaped. Men have square jaws. Women have rounded faces. These minor traits correspond with our neural synapses and tells our brain and sexual organs to be attracted to this facial structure or body structure. It gets super complex, though and sometimes wires get crossed and males send up being attracted solely to males or females to females or they might be attracted to both male and female.

    It’s all neural synapses deciding whether someone is attractive in an attempt to facilitate the reproductive faculties your brain shoots through your head.

    THIS is why people cannot just up and choose who they are attracted to, Floyd. This is science.

  115. John Adams in a speech to the military in 1798 warned his fellow
    countrymen stating, “We have no government armed with power capable of
    contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion . . .
    Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is
    wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

    John Adams is a signer of the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of
    Rights and our second President.

  116. How can you vote for Hillary knowing all the deceit she has meted out over the years. She is just as guilty as Trump, not to mention blatantly lying in front of Congress, the people and the world. Just because Conservatives don’t handle the subject of abortion well would turn you to the very person who would commit the murder up to the day before the baby is born??? I agree that you can’t legislate morality, you must change people’s hearts and that’s what Jesus does. How can you support someone who doesn’t even BEGIN to want to change. How can you think that the Democratic party will even start to change the poverty in this country when they have been in charge of it for years? Starting with LBJ, it has gotten worse, especially the last eight years. And about the Constitution: “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”–John Adams–

    Read more at: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnadams391045.html

  117. Benjamin Rush, Signer of the Declaration of Independence said. “[T]he only
    foundation for a useful education in a republic is to be aid in religion. Without this there can be no virtue, and without virtue there can be no liberty, and liberty is the object and life of all republican governments. Without religion, I believe that learning does real mischief to the morals and principles of mankind.”

  118. Noah Webster, author of the first American Speller and the first Dictionary said,
    “[T]he Christian religion, in its purity, is the basis, or rather the source of all genuine freedom in government. . . . and I am persuaded that no civil government of a republican form can exist and be durable in which the principles of that religion have not a controlling influence.”

  119. John Jay, Original Chief-Justice of the U. S.Supreme Court ,
    “The Bible is the best of all books, for it is the word of God and teaches us the way to be happy in this world and in the next. Continue therefore to read it and to
    regulate your life by its precepts.”

  120. George Washington,General of the Revolutionary Army, president of the Constitutional Convention, First President of the United States of America, Father of our nation,

    “Religion and morality are the essential pillars of civil society.”

  121. Benjamin Franklin, Signer of the Declaration of Independence
    “[O]nly a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.”
    “Whereas true religion and good morals are the only solid foundations of public liberty and happiness . . . it is hereby earnestly recommended to the several States to take the most effectual measures for the encouragement thereof.” Continental Congress, 1778

  122. James Wilson, Signer of the Constitution; U. S. Supreme Court Justice,
    “Human law must rest its authority ultimately upon the authority of that law which is divine. . . . Far from being rivals or enemies, religion and law are twin sisters, friends, and mutual assistants. Indeed, these two sciences run into each other.”

  123. “Despite revisionists like David Barton (who allegedly is teaching Trump
    US History), the US was intentionally designed to be a secular state.”

    While it is true that it was not intended that the Church govern the country, it WAS intended that the men who govern the country would be ruled by the power of the Holy Spirit as righteous men under the influence and guidance of divine law.

  124. Your response doesn’t sound very loving. Love the sinner, hate the sin.

  125. There is a big difference. Justin did not say he would kill to force anything on anybody. He is just reminding people of what God said. “Vengeance is mine sayeth the Lord.” God can take care of His own business. The punishments will be meted out not by man but by God and His Son, Jesus. What that will look like in the end times can be found in the book of Revelation.

    That is why no matter which evil you choose during THIS election, ultimately God wins.

  126. True, they are not in writing, but God/Jesus was in the hearts of the men who wrote the Constitution. Righteous men make righteous laws else our country would flounder. Hmmm…..seems like we may already be approaching the tipping point. See my earlier posts for quotes from the Founding Fathers and others of import at the time.

  127. I rather think that MANY in the GOP have gotten far from their faith. THAT is the problem.

  128. We are to become like Israel, prisoners in our own land. God had to show them what it meant to be without Him before they were willing to accept the Savior. And Jesus WILL return again. So, it doesn’t really matter which evil you vote for because they are both equally bad. Oh yes, Hillary has done some “good” things on the surface but look at all the underhanded, backstabbing and totally illegal things she and her husband have done behind the scenes. Not to mention the fact that she would murder an innocent baby up to the day before it’s born. The curtain will be torn aside and the light will shine on those deeds.Jesus WILL come again and God ultimately wins. Praise the Lord. We should all be shuddering in our boots and urgently preparing for the day is sooner than one may think.

  129. I know! I started nodding my head at first but the further down I read, I started frowning. Because Hillary is “a committed Methodist Christian” gives her the right to do all the despicable things that everyone in the world now knows about?? Neither candidate is acceptable by ANY measure.

  130. hlascarlet, assuming everything you’ve posted is accurate (I don’t really doubt it, but there are a lot of fake quotes by the Founding Fathers going around and I don’t have time right now to verify all of yours), I would point out one thing they have completely in common:
    They are obsolete.
    The Constitution was not designed to be forever interpreted according to the mores of the 1790s. Back then, pretty much every person in the USA was either Christian, Jewish, Deist or of a Native American or African religion – and that latter two were generally disregarded entirely. Today, we have Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, Zoroastrians, Pagans, Voudoun Practitioners, Candomblists, Spiritualists, Buddhists, Shintoists, and many more, and the fastest growing group in the USA today – nones. And every single one of those religions has their own moral code and their own idea of what is right.
    Modern government MUST be separated from religion, for both the good of the state and the good of the religion. By all means, believe whatever it pleases you to believe, but do not imagine any religion or moral code arbiter of the actions of government.

  131. If it was important, they would have included it. Absence of evidence is evidence of absence.

  132. He doesn’t SOUND like much of an evangelical to me. Only God knows for sure, but my crap detector is going off.

  133. perhaps you can list all of those deceits. and then perhaps you can provide all of that secret information to congress.
    And then you can vote for four time bankrupt, three times married, twice (at least!!!) adulterous and Two Corinthians– the one, the only, Donald trump.

  134. Well, let’s look at Brian’s points one by one. Some may not be as strong as he imagines.

    1. Won’t be associated with Disrespectful Speech. Untrue. He will and he is. You’ve simply chosen to issue a pass to the left now, instead of the right. No reasonable person could honestly come to the conclusion that one side is respectful and the other isn’t.

    2. Won’t go back to the old days.This one is quite ironic, because I’ve seen no end of liberal memes longing for the days of Eisenhower or pre-1980 times, which is where they claim things started going wrong. The way they tell it, life was a virtual paradise in the 50’s, when the Rich paid 90% (they actually paid less than they do nw, 90% was merely the starting rate), there were no social services to speak of, and the military was half the budget rather than about 16% as it is now.

    As for Obama, the right has been far more polite to him than the left was to Bush. Obama is at least challenged on failed policies, while Bush was primarily targeted personally. This is something Brian claims to be against, but is actually okay with as long as it’s directed against what he considers to be the proper targets. Bill Clinton used the exact same slogan “Make America Great again”, and Brian is planning to vote for his wife.

    3. Equal Protection is too complex to go into here. Suffice to say that it doesn’t have the precise meaning Brian thinks. It applies or fails to apply at the whim of the court. (Google the term “Levels of Scrutiny” for more information on this). Affirmative Action violates Equal Protection, but this is one of the cases where they’ve chosen not to apply it.

    As for Mass Surveillance, Brian must have missed the NSA Scandal that occurred under the current President. Brian appears to be blind to malfeasance committed by his own people, and the way he tells it, he was exactly the same way when he was a conservative. The flaw is in him.

    4. Doesn’t want to perpetuate poverty. This one is a joke. The entire philosophy of his people for decades has been to make the poor more comfortable where they are, but to prevent them from escaping poverty.

    5. Dosen’t want to transfer money to the rich. This one is just a head scratcher. The Top 1% makes something like 20% of the income and pays something like 30% of the taxes. By any objective measure they’re paying more than their “fair” share. But in Brian’s mind, we’re paying them. I think I know what he means. He doesn’t mean what he says, he means that they’re getting the lion’s share of new income. And it’s true. Under Clinton, the Top 1% got 33% of new income, under Bush II it was about 66% and under Obama 99%. Yet he has no problem with it as long as it happens under his own people. I think this is another example of the personal bias issue that Brian seems to have struggled with his whole life. Once again he IS supporting what he claims he cannot support.

    6. Abortion isn’t a big issue in this campaign (there wasn’t a single question about it in the debate). He fails to name any public figures involved in the “Baby Killer” Rhetoric, so I therefore have to regard this one as a dodge to try to misdirect from the real issues. Next.

    7. Health of the Earth. Another issue far more complicated than Brian understands. On this one, suffice to say that Science is generally agreed that there is some kind of global effect to which people contribute. But all the doomsday scenarios, as well as the idea that the problem can be solved by regressing to a medieval style government with total control over people’s lives is pure pseudo-science, not confirmed by those 97% of scientists who agree that something is happening.

    8. Terrorism. Terrorism is becoming more and more commonplace lately, with all the attempts to appease it out of existence proving total failures. Brian is doubling down on failure on this one.

    9. Sincerely concerned about Trump’s base. Brian’s concern may be sincere, but it is UNOBJECTIVE, as we have seen throughout these points. His whole life, Brian seems to have seen no evil in his friends, and ultimate evil in his enemies. The real world simply is not as black and white as Brian sees it.

    Want proof? Brian is planning to vote for a woman who, if judged by the same standard, is every bit as bad as Trump, if not worse. Her mentor was an ex-Klansman, she called blacks “Super Predators”, she supported a crime bill that put thousands of them behind bars. She lives in an all-white community. She supports and takes money from regimes that oppress women and kill gays. She supported her husband’s position on illegal immigration which was virtually identical to Trump’s (sans the wall). Her campaign spread e-mails that hinted that Obama was a Muslim. She has a history of smearing sexual assault victims for personal benefit. She supported DOMA. She has opposed gay marriage for 98% of her life. She encouraged the crazies to take a shot at Obama in 2008.

    There’s more, but the point is made. Brian would find none of those things acceptable in his enemies. If he judged his own candidate by the same standards he judges his enemies by, he would consider her to be a racist, sexist, homophobic war hawk. But he does not hold his friends to his own standards.

    10. I love love. A total cliche. I won’t waste your time on this one, as any important point here has already been covered.

  135. It doesn’t matter if he was or not. I’m perfectly wiling to concede that he was, and that when he was, he had the same blind spots as he does now, but in reverse. But that is a flaw with Brian personally, not either of the movements he’s been involved with.

  136. If you were paying attention when Comey spoke, he listed several himself. He said flat out that she not only didn’t tell the truth, but she broke the law, only they weren’t prosecuting because they didn’t feel gross negligence ought to be prosecuted. Just because you’ve shielded yourself from facts doesn’t make them “secret”.

    And of course you have no right to criticize Trump for things you forgave Bill Clinton for. As you probably said yourself all through the 90’s (or agreed with, at least), “Character doesn’t matter it’s all about leadership.” So, please stop lying to us.

  137. The question is irrelevant. Why do “secret” lies matter, when the publicly known ones are so damaging? I don’t know any secret ones, if that answers your question.

    And I see that you conceded the point about your own double standard, so we won’t belabor that. Just correct it.

  138. In you want to talk about “unobjective”, start with your paragraph beginning with “Want proof?” I’m surprised you didn’t include the one that says Mrs. Clinton just laughed when asked about getting a child rapist off.

  139. You’re conceding the point and committing the tu quoque fallacy.

    You failed to find anything wrong with the “want proof” paragraph (Comically, the only point you disagreed with was one I didn’t make). It’s all part of the public record, unless you want to deny that Byrd was a Klansman or something crazy. None of it is criminal, to be sure. The point is that if you hold your friends and enemies to totally different standards, you will reach totally unreliable conclusions. If you hate Trump and love Hillary, you could just as easily have reached the exact opposite conclusion by massaging the facts in a different way. Clearer now?

  140. only in truthiness land.
    sorry. Won’t be engaging further. I don’t like swimming in koolaid.

  141. If you’re apologizing for answering a claim I didn’t make, I accept your apology.

    Otherwise, I think that’s wise not to engage. If you don’t disagree with anything I’m saying, it would be pointless. You’re trying to bluff me into having faith that I’ve made some mistake that neither one of us can find, but that’s neither fair nor rational. But if you do find something wrong later, you’re free to change your mind.

  142. ” characterized by mean-spiritedness, bigotry, unfairness, carelessness toward the poor, funneling wealth to the richest, undermining abortion reduction, destroying our fragile planet, playing into the hands of terrorists, exploiting the anger of suffering people, and being driven more by the love of power than the power of love.”—–Then certainly you are not supporting the “progressives” in the form of one of the most power hungry, egotistical, careless, uncaring, scheming to scamming wealthiest bigots we have seen since her husband was in office?? You just contradicted yourself sir. And “mean-spiritedness”??? Have you NOT listened to her campaign ads? And if you want to go down the road of insulting us women-let’s talk about the physical, emotional and sexual abuse she and her husband have perpetrated their entire political life. What if that was your daughter? your sister? your wife? How would you feel? From when they scammed the elderly in Arkansas to the mysterious deaths that seem to keep piling up. The Clintons are far from what ‘we need for America’. She’s broken so many laws-and goes unpunished-no wonder she is supported by thugs. As Americans we should be ashamed we have allowed HER to get this far, not when we had so many other promising candidates to choose from. It’s disgusting. Your article would have swayed me had you said we need to grow up, clean up and find our sense of class again. Something we lost the minute Bill Clinton had sex in the Oval Office and we didn’t throw his sorry ass out on the White House Lawn. THAT, sir, is when I stopped being a Democrat. How disgusting and disrespectful can you get? What a pig. But then, you all have forgotten all that, and put a halo on his head. Unbelievable.

  143. This is such a poorly written article, which stereotypes conservatives with a broad brush. First, not all conservatives believe as the author suggests. He only perpetuates the ugly stereotyping that he eschews. Plus, he once was an evangelical with quite the following until he denied the deity of Christ, hence publicly declaring himself apostate, denying historic Christian orthodoxy. He is correct – he isn’t an evangelical, so he should reject their claims, assuming he truly understands who evangelicals are. I don’t think he does from this article, full of stereotypes. He’s probably right about Trump though.

  144. I am Jewish and I despise trump and all he stands for. Christianity was based on Judiasm, but in our religion God “chose us” to help make this world a better place for all mankind, through social justice and peace for everyone – men ,women, Afro-americans, Moslems, Christians, gays, Straights, Immigrants. As long as people allow others to live in peace and humanity, with out forcing their narrow minded ideas on everyone. I agree in some of the thoughts in thses comments that White Christian men are afraid that they will end up being treated the way they have treated other minorities throughout history, and that has broughtout the Trump supporters “Make America White Again”.

  145. But most of the founding fathers were Deists, not Christians.
    anyway, you quote: “[O]nly a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.”
    but current right wing religion is what is causing people to become “corrupt and vicious” — we need to get back to being virtuous, as the article describes.

  146. By now, we are beginning to suspect that Floyd is actually gay and in the closet and hates gay marriage because he is jealous. No one who is straight cares that much about gay marriage. Jesus certainly didn’t.

  147. He didn’t say worship and compromise is the very essence of democracy. Right wing Christianity is inimical to democracy, and is therefore evil in government.

  148. Generalizations have their place. rcdcr was using the phrase “white men” in relation to a previous quote.

  149. And yet, after much discussion about it, they consciously chose to leave religion out of the Constitution. This was intentional, and it was a message to people like you who think they speak for God. I think you do not speak for God, or even with God, because the religion you follow has done more harm than good, and is completely unrelated to what Jesus preached, as enumerated in the OP.

  150. It sounds like the Right’s fantasy about Hillary Clinton, a straw-woman made up to inflame your little heart against her, a good Christian.

  151. I think it’s more authoritarian personalities, based on fear. This fear-based world-view also produces the bigotry, as well as judgmentalism, hypocrisy, hate — all the things Jesus warned against.

  152. This piece is ideological terrorism in my opinion. McLaren panders to the Left from the outset by identifying with a celebrity and then praising the religion of Hillary Clinton (while passing judgement on Trump’s). He then proceeds to insult evangelicals on a variety of issues, which he deftly misrepresents for the sake of spiritualizing his own political affiliations. In essence, he has dropped a cheap, and not very thoughtful, word-bomb on evangelicals with the hope of drawing them into an unwinnable war against half-truths and mischaracterizations. I could have stopped reading with the title of this diatribe as it seems to say everything we need to know about McLaren. By claiming spiritual kinship with Katy Perry it seems he is also claiming her confession “My head gets so confused…hard to obey.”

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