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Why the Christian right still supports Trump

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, right, shakes hands with co-headliner Jerry Falwell Jr., leader of Liberty University, during a campaign event at the Orpheum Theatre in Sioux City, Iowa, on Jan. 31, 2016. Photo courtesy of Reuters/Dave Kaup

(RNS) The biggest religion news story of the 2016 election is erupting before our eyes. It is the continued vocal support of Donald Trump by public figures of the Christian right brand. Secondarily, it is the rupture between these men and other conservative Christians who almost always support the GOP but have abandoned or rejected Trump’s candidacy.

This rupture pits mainly older conservative white male institutional leaders like Tony Perkins, Robert Jeffress, Ralph Reed, Pat Robertson, and most visibly Jerry Falwell Jr., against just about everyone else — other institutional leaders, like Russell Moore, popular authors, like Max Lucado, and a host of significant evangelical women, like Beth Moore. And that is not to mention the progressive evangelicals, like myself, who have opposed Trump from the beginning on policy grounds.

It also sets the #StillTrump Christians against both leadership and rank-and-file Mormons, their erstwhile allies in conservative religious politics. This raises uncomfortable questions, at least for evangelicals, about which group has the more reliable moral compass. It’s uncomfortable because many evangelicals are bewildered by Mormon theology and hardly count the group as fellow Christians.

As a witness to evangelical political engagement since the birth of the Christian right in the late 1970s, nothing surprises me anymore. And I can offer an easy enough analysis of why the old warriors of the Christian right are staying with Trump. It comes down to three main reasons — partisanship, policy, and Hillary — and one main delusion: that a President Trump would keep his promises to the Christian right.

Partisanship: There is no more reliable GOP voting bloc than white conservative Christians. This outcome is the product of 40 years of effort to fuse the two identities — Christian, Republican — on the part of both GOP operatives and Christian right leaders. But it also represents four decades of stated policy and values alignment between conservative white Christians and the GOP, at least on a selected range of issues.

Policy: The Christian right has for 40 years highlighted a “traditional values” policy agenda. Originally it was anti-feminist, anti-gay, and anti-abortion. The anti-feminism was the first to be (mainly) dropped, though just maybe it is surfacing again now; the anti-gay agenda is latent and would be much more visible with a different presidential candidate, and the anti-abortion agenda is going strong. Today the religious-liberty-for-conservative-Christians agenda has rocketed up alongside the others. As long as GOP presidential candidates promise to advance at least the anti-abortion and religious-liberty agendas by appointing conservative judges, they gain and keep Christian right support.

The fact that GOP presidents of much more serious conservative conviction than Trump routinely have failed to deliver on their promises to the Christian right seems to be forgotten rather conveniently every four years. At least they promise what the right wants, while Democrats promise the opposite.

Hillary: The Christian right disdains Hillary Clinton, not just for her policies but also for her (purported) character. The policy rejection would be true of pretty much any modern Democrat; the character rejection is unique to Clinton. And it is especially potent here — if you are a Christian right activist, and your candidate’s character is being questioned, and maybe you question it, you can comfort yourself with the idea that Hillary’s character is bad too. (Whitewater, Travelgate, bimbo eruptions, emails, Benghazi, etc.)

So that’s how you can be Jerry Falwell Jr., Ralph Reed, Tony Perkins, and now the ubiquitous Eric Metaxas, and continue to support Trump precisely from their kind of Christian perspective. Between the two candidates, character is viewed as a wash, policy strongly favors Trump, and partisanship automatically favors Trump.

But this then raises the obvious question: Is there anything that Donald Trump could do now, or could be shown to have done in the past, that might tip his perceived character challenges to a point where they might be seen as disqualifying?

For the Christian right folks I have mentioned, that point has apparently not been reached yet. Despite everything. And that is the religion news story of this election.

Christian right people used to be some of our culture’s leading advocates for a restoration of sound character in America. Character counts, they said. We need to fight all those forces that corrode our culture and cheapen human life, they said. We need men of strong, Christ-like character to lead our families, churches, and nation, they said.

Oh well.

(David Gushee is distinguished university professor of Christian ethics and director of the Center for Theology and Public Life at Mercer University in Georgia. He writes the Christians, Conflict and Change column for RNS)

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  • Three three important facts are not policy. Partnership and Hillary, but power, money, and dominion. They are dominionists, first and foremost.

  • I remember when school prayer was also a hot button issue. I don’t seem to hear much about it anymore.

  • There are only TWO viable (and sleazy, and sinful, and selfish) candidates for President now,
    Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Period.

    So if you don’t vote for the lesser of two evils, (namely, Trump),
    You’re automatically voting for the evil of two lessers (namely, HILLARY) !!!

  • On behalf of the post-Christian movement, I want to thank the TrueChristians™ for once again vividly demonstrating how their propensity for extreme delusion extends into virtually every aspect of their thinking.

  • So a racist and misogynist is better just because Hillary is not prejudiced against gay people as Trump and especially Pence is.

  • The choice is between two candidates.

    The first candidate is a woman who will appoint judges that will allow doctors to murder unborn children. The second candidate is a vulgar womanizer who will appoint judges that will not allow doctors to kill unborn children.

    If you do not vote for the vulgar womanizer, what will you say to the murdered unborn children if, one day, you are fortunate enough to meet them in heaven? ….. “We would like to have prevented the murders that ended the beautiful lives you were just starting to live on earth, but you have to understand, that would have meant voting for a womanizer.”

  • Trump is not at all against the murder of already born children, such as in the nuclear war this psychopath would likely start. Punishing women for having abortions won’t eliminate abortions, but rather make them more dangerous. Abortions should be safe, legal and rare.

  • (1) No law against murder in the history of planet earth has eliminated all murders.

    (2) A law prohibiting abortion could easily be written to punish the abortionists, not the mothers of the unborn children being murdered.

    (3) “[Green Party Candidate] Jill Stein: Hillary Clinton Wants To Start An Air War With Nuclear-Armed Russia Over Syria”

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2016/09/15/jill_stein_hillary_clinton_wants_to_start_an_air_war_with_russia_over_syria.html

  • The thing is is that Trump is an unstable person, and easily provoked. I wouldn’t trust him with nuclear weapons at all. If no law against murder has eliminated all murders, then how would you think laws against abortion will eliminate abortions? I think it is far better to prevent unwanted pregnancies in the first place, rather than punishing mothers or doctors. Sex education, when it teaches how to avoid unwanted pregnancies, rather than the ineffective “abstinence only” form favored by Evangelicals is another key factor in this equation. Also, you probably are against homosexual persons. Don’t you realize that WE contribute NOTHING to unwanted pregnancies and therefore we don’t cause any abortions? ALSO, Trump denies climate change. Climate change is potentially VERY CATASTROPHIC not only for unborn children, but also for all the children who are already born. Trump’s denial could in fact lead to the end of this world as we know it. Trump’s healthcare plan will also increase the number of people, including children, without insurance. This will increase infant mortality rates- why don’t the children who are already born matter? Hillary’s healthcare plan will reduce the number of persons uninsured, as well as lowering copays and deductibles for persons who already have insurance. Trump’s healthcare plan would let insurers do whatever they want, including denying care to children with pre-existing conditions. So voting for Trump really doesn’t show any love or compassion whatsoever for children and in fact might increase the number of abortions, since Trump would possibly end any public funding of birth control and would probably oppose any sex education that wasn’t “abstinence only,” even though he never practiced “abstinence only” in his own personal life.

  • “The second candidate is a vulgar womanizer who will appoint judges that will not allow doctors to kill unborn children.”

    Yeah, you are a tool.

    Every conservative political candidate since 1973 has been promising you the end of abortion rights as a way to get you to vote for candidates who attack working and middle class interests, undermine public infrastructure and attack your civil liberties.

    With 5 Republican presidents, several conservative leaning SCOTUS makeups, and dozens of Republican controlled Congresses and nobody bothered to do anything to invalidate Roe v. Wade or remove the very legal entitlement to abortion which has existed for 40+ years. Nor will they.

    No candidate is going to make abortion illegal. Even when they try to make onerous obstructions to abortion rights, they get shot down by the Supreme Court.

    Btw your complete and total lack of concern for pregnant women or born children is duly noted. The people who crow so loudly against abortion rights are the ones who also tend to vote against living wages, a social safety net, benefits which help families with children, access to adequate healthcare, public education and many other issues which affect the quality of life.

    So take your concern for “unborn children” and shove it somewhere painful. It all comes down to you being naive enough to fall for decades of being grifted by conservative politicians and a total disregard for the lives of people.

  • Laws prohibiting abortions and punishing abortion providers have never prevented abortions or even slowed down their rates. But they have made abortion more dangerous for women and raised maternal death rates for women who want to keep their pregnancies. They also put women in prison for having miscarriage.

    Your lack of concern for the lives and health of women and children is duly noted.

    Its all about forcing women to do as you say and nothing more. Your self-righteous and inflammatory rhetoric isn’t going to make your position suddenly moral or sane.

    You want to vote for people who promise to follow your position, but always ignore it and just take a steaming dump on the rights and lives of people who work for a living.

  • “Christian Right people used to be some of our culture’s leading advocates for a restoration of sound character in America. ”

    That was their image, but it was never true. These people are the leftovers of the segregationist movement. People who were always beholden to attacking the civil liberties of others. The Christian right has always relied on prejudices in order to mobilize poor and working class people to vote against their economic interests.

  • Abortion rates are dramatically higher now than they were in 1960, when anti-abortion laws were prevalent. The laws were starting to loosen up in the states in the early 1970s, just before Roe vs. Wade, making the early 1970s a less relevant benchmark.

    http://www.johnstonsarchive.net/policy/abortion/graphusabrate.html

    As a libertarian atheist, I have no problem with the law allowing women to do as they see fit with their own bodies. Legalization of heroin, meth, cocaine, and prostitution would be great. Abortion, however, involves another human being with no say in the matter.

  • That is a fairly useless and dishonest way to look at the stats. Abortion wasn’t legal nationwide until 1973. 2 generations after it has been legalized both abortion and teen pregnancy are at all time lows. There was a huge spike initially when it was legalized which has declined ever since.

    And guess what? Self-righteous bible thumpers had zilch to do with any of it. In areas where conservative politics/fundamentalist Christians hold political sway, abortion rates, teen pregnancy and maternal death rates are higher than the rest of the country.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2016/04/28/teen-birth-rate-hits-all-time-low-led-by-50-percent-decline-among-hispanics-and-blacks/

    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/study-abortion-rate-all-time-low-in-developed-world/

    ” Abortion, however, involves another human being with no say in the matter.”

    Abortion restrictions don’t give a say for a fetus. It just takes away the rights and liberties of a woman and adds a say in the matter of lippy self-righteous types who have no business getting involved. Your opinion as to what a mother must do with a pregnancy is immaterial and always must be. Its not your body, it is not a subject you have any business in. A fetus cannot, nor ever, have a right greater than its mother. A fetus only exists because its mother wills it so. Only the mother’s will matters here. You don’t have to like her decisions. You are not part of them. It all comes down to you being narcissistic enough to demand that women must follow your will on a personal subject where your input does not belong.

    I have a very unfavorable view of Libertarians. They usually don’t have sane views of civil liberties and how they are protected.

  • There is way too much money in the antiabortion movement for the people get that money to want to end it.

    43 years, buddy, and in that time, all they have done is keep people riled up about an issue, instead of doing something about it. Their hypocrisy and treason to the ideals they profess are obvious to anyone but the useful idiots who give them money.

  • How many babies that might have been aborted have you adopted? How many people in your church have adopted?

  • We need to Pray for some Religious
    Leaders They Might Not Understand what Christianity is

    They think God should only forgive
    they’re kind of sin.

    Only God Knows the heart of a man or
    woman Remember Potiphar’s Wife.

    I saw a youtube video With about 40
    Pastors and Mr Trump. Some said he got Born again if that is so All
    his Black sins Turned Crimson They shall be white as snow. Isaiah
    1:18 If God has forgiven him. Who are we to say his sins are still
    BLACK God looks at us through the blood of Christ and calls us sons.
    ( Children ) and co-heir with Christ Our GOD is AWESOME Full of
    Grace and Mercy.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uk4c2uoOF3o
    if you don”t Like some of these Ministers so what the are part of
    the body of Christ 1 Corinthians 12:27

  • We need to Pray for some Religious
    Leaders They Might Not Understand what Christianity is

    They think God should only forgive
    they’re kind of sin.

    Only God Knows the heart of a man or
    woman Remember Potiphar’s Wife.

    I saw a youtube video With about 40
    Pastors and Mr Trump. Some said he got Born again if that is so All
    his Black sins Turned Crimson They shall be white as snow. Isaiah
    1:18 If God has forgiven him. Who are we to say his sins are still
    BLACK God looks at us through the blood of Christ and calls us sons.
    ( Children ) and co-heir with Christ Our GOD is AWESOME Full of
    Grace and Mercy.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uk4c2uoOF3o
    if you don”t Like some of these Ministers so what the are part of
    the body of Christ 1 Corinthians 12:27

  • It’s Impossible for a Christian to be Self-Righteousness.We have put all our Self-Righteousness and pride.on the Cross and body of Christ .He took it and gave us his Righteousness. Now we are Right with God . I do not think you know what it means to be a Christian. 2 Corinthians 5:21

  • There are substantial numbers of Christians who have indeed adopted children unable to be cared for, or were unwanted, by their biological parents. I know parents and grandparents in the Christian community that have adopted their children’s children, and this is a common practice among blacks, Christian and non-Christian alike. And this (adoption) is the best answer to unwanted or unexpected pregnancy. Though in this day and age with the information available, no one need become pregnant without knowledge, and to me that is a particular point.

  • Absolutely, Edward. But my question was not a general question, it was specifically addressed to HIM.

  • As a member of the Christian Right (per se), I am manifestly not a supporter of Mr. Trump. But David Gushee’s putative “progressive evangelicalism” in my view is in many ways a movement away from biblical Christianity; which statement on my part is subject to an in-house debate, secularists need not apply. I acknowledge Mr. Gushee’s legitimate criticism of those evangelical leaders prepared to support Trump at all hazards, it reflects a seeming lack of trust in the God we avow. No matter who wins this election, God will still be in control, that is the message I would send to all Christians, on the Left or Right. But on the policy questions cited by Mr. Gushee, I think he errors biblically speaking. As to Mrs. Clinton’s “(purported)character,” a curious usage of sentence construction which suggests bias in favor of Mrs. Clinton, I need not be “comforted” by the “idea that Hillary’s character is bad too,” even secularists, fellow Democrats, and other citizens are fully convinced of that fact.

  • I concede that point with the exception that without knowing the facts of his personal circumstances I can’t legitimately asses whether he is in a position to do as you inquire, it may be beyond one’s power and means to effect what otherwise is a legitimate argument.

  • To those who passionately embrace the spiritual/existential belief that “abortion is murder”:

    You have the right to hold yourself to your own freely and personally chosen beliefs.
    But you do not have the right to hold others to the beliefs you have chosen for yourself.

    Put another way…

    What a woman does with her own body is her business — not a religion’s, not the government’s, not mine, and not yours.

    It might be different if you offered to pay for her limited work duty & maternal leave, medical costs & transportation, parental costs (including surrogate parenting wages at her discretion), from birth thru the child’s 20th year (including food, clothing, medical care, school & college, room & board, automobile & fuel, maintenance, insurance, and all other childcare costs), plus pain & suffering, inconvenience fees, payment for lost opportunities during all those years, and whatever additional remuneration she might understandably and rightfully demand for agreeing to all the above, including catering to your beliefs instead of following hers, just so you’d feel better about what she did with her own life. Yes, it might be different then — but only if she accepted your offer.

    And that would be just as much her exclusive choice as are contraception & abortion.

    It seems to me that, if you want anybody else, regardless of gender, to hold themselves to any of your own freely and personally chosen spiritual/existential beliefs, then you had better draft a very generous legal contract and deposit an equally generous financial sum into escrow before you bother making reservations at the best restaurant in town to discuss terms.

  • “Only God Knows the heart of a man or woman.” That is a kind, hopeful belief. It implies that there’s no reason to think God hasn’t granted forgiveness and mercy to Hillary Clinton as well as Donald Trump. I appreciate your balance, Jackie.

  • Edward, what do you think should be done for those women who have jobs upon which they depend for their most basic needs — jobs which, in many cases, they will lose if they take “too much” time off for medical reasons? What do you think should be done to protect them from being thrown into a personal, professional, and financial abyss? What do you think should be done so that they will have the same or equivalent jobs and wages when they are able to return to work?

    The harder these women’s lives are, the worse their lives will become without readily available, reliably sustained, and effectively comprehensive support.

  • this might be the one good thing that comes from this election. These evangelical leaders are exposed for their hypocrisy….. Falwell, Reed, Robertson.They deny the female victims of sexual abuse and create silly biblical excuses to support Trump. That’s something that they will never be able to live down. Good for the students of Liberty University for standing up to the bigotry. Most of these evangelical leaders appear to be as phony as the 3 dollar bill.

  • Melania Trump’s girl-on-girl photos from racy shoot revealed | New York Post

    they want trump to share his porn-star wife

  • Do you want substance or talk?

    1. Outlawing abortion does not prevent abortion, it just moves it to another place or an unsafe method.

    Abortion goes down when the factors leading to abortion are addressed. Access to effective long term contraception, accurate sex ed, maternity and parental leave, health care, living wages, etc are proven to reduce abortion. The actual number of abortions decrease under democratic leadership.

    Colorado had a multi year program to provide long term contraception to poor women. The program saved Colorado money AND dramatically reduced the number of abortions. Republicans voted to end the program. Which leads to point 2.

    2. Anti abortion efforts are about controlling female sexuality not protecting life. Whenever the choice is between shaming and harming sexually active women and actually reducing abortion, the “pro life” crowd always chooses shaming. Always.

    3. Trump doesn’t care about abortion. Considering his promiscuity, he has likely approved of and demanded abortion multiple times.

    Donald Trump likes headlines and feeding his ego. Donald Trump does not remember promises, much less keep them. His word means nothing. When the time comes, he would appoint judges who put Trump in a headline, help his business, put money in his pocket or allow him to humiliate an opponent. Or maybe all if the above. Look at the way Trump makes decisions. He is more likely to sell judgships and SC seats to the highest bidder than honor any promise.

    Abortion will decrease under democratic leadership.

  • Can anyone explain why Christians generally vote for war, and also how Christians justify their love of guns? I don’t recall Christ condoning any of that. I’m really curious. If anyone can quote scriptures that support guns and warmongering, please enlighten me. Thanks.

  • One of the reasons Christians are such a scary lot. As their numbers and power increase, they try to impose their will on everyone else. Remember the Inquisition?

  • Adoption is not an answer to most abortion. Most abortion comes about because the woman cannot afford to be pregnant. Pregnancy means missing work and not being able to feed one’s actual children.

    Knowledge? That’s funny. Abstinence only education is proven to increase abortion yet Republicans demand abstinence only and forbid schools to teach about contraception.

    [Edit for clarity]

  • Yes. The abortion issue means politicians will get a body of voters who will ignore policies, character, substance and what is best for the community and the nation.

    Look at Trump. He will have access to nuclear codes yet he can’t even control himself using twitter. He can single handedly destroy civilization. And legions of “pro life” people are willing to give this overgrown orange baby near limitless power because he half heartedly mumbled the correct words on abortion.

  • Well, I have no idea why you specified you’re a libertarian atheist to justify being against abortion when there’s no anti-abortion tenets to associated with either group. It’s one of the points Libertarians debate. But it doesn’t matter, because most people don’t care about aborted fetuses in the same way they care about fully grown human beings (hear me out). An abortion is just a fancy term for an induced miscarriage (well, except stuff like partial birth abortions which I think is literally just killing babies). A lot of people have either miscarried or known someone who miscarried. Miscarrying can be a tragic thing to happen. It cause can a great deal of grief. It can feel like you’ve lost your child and you’ll never be whole again…. But it doesn’t have to feel that way (it depends on how long it was gestating in your womb). It also isn’t as painful as losing a real child unless you have a psychological condition. Most people get over it, so much in fact, they rarely think about the child that could have been.

    Actually miscarriage happens all the time and people don’t even notice it; they never even reach the point of knowing they were pregnant before losing their child. That’s an important part of the mammalian reproductive system. But if it’s such a tragedy of freedom, what about all those babies you’re not trying to save? Or what about in vitro fertilization? They fertilize multiple eggs before implanting them in the woman. Think of how many human peoples have been killed by that? The focus on abortion is misguided and disingenuous for the most part.

    Honestly, I’m against abortion in most cases and would prefer people use birth control (from a moral perspective.. and I do have some exceptions). However, I think a woman’s right to decide to control her own reproductive system supersedes my moral hangups with killing humans at very early stages of development. It’s not like carrying a child to term is easy either. And if you’re talking about freedom of the child, you could just as easily argue the child needs to violate the mother’s freedom in order to survive long enough to be born. You’re trading one violation of freedom against a human being that most scientists (and even the Bible) agree barely constitute as a human being and lack the sense of personhood we usually talk about when we talk about human beings.

  • Hillary is a normal, competent politician who won’t start a nuclear war and murder hundreds of millions or billions over a rude tweet.

    Based on the track record of Democrats, she will also put in place policies – access to health care, social safety nets, etc. – that directly lead to a reduction in the number of abortions.

  • Of course, most Christians aren’t like that at all, just like most non-Christians. The real bummer is that those few exceptions on both sides can be ungodly — and inhuman.

  • I don’t know about “generally”, but certainly a lot of the loudest Christians vote
    for war… and against non-Christian beliefs…
    for guns… and against women’s equality…
    for war guns… and against LGBTQ rights…
    for gun wars… and against racial justice…
    And the beat goes on…

  • “anti-feminist, anti-gay, and anti-abortion”… and now demonstrably anti-“traditional values”.
    What’s “Right” in the good old U.S.A.?

  • I wonder… If the Religious Right is such a powerful and monolithic voting bloc, and loyal to the GOP, why didn’t the GOP end up with one of the several primary candidates who represent traditional religious conservatism? Look back and ask yourselves how you got to this Hobson’s choice. Were too many swept up by the rabble-rousing flim-flam of a self-aggrandizing business trickster? Were you intimidated by the bullying tactics of his gang of alt-right thugs? Did you find excuses to reconcile a God of Love with his message of hate? Or have the ranks of the Religious Right dwindled to the point where the GOP can get away with a bit of lip service as the Trump Train rolls past your church without stopping?

  • “Though in this day and age with the information available, no one need become pregnant without knowledge, and to me that is a particular point.” Except that isn’t true. No birth control method is 100% effective. People using birth control exactly as instructed can and do become pregnant. Furthermore, many young people are denied access to comprehensive sex and reproductive health education. Often this is the result of the common, oft-repeated error that “sex education will encourage teens to have sex”, and parents pull children out of sex-ed classes, or school districts fail to provide genuine comprehensive sex-ed. Why do red states have the highest teen pregnancy and STD transmission rates? Is it because red state teens are having more sex than their blue state counterparts? No. It’s because when they do have sex, they are less likely to use contraception, and they have less access to clinics which provide low-cost or free birth control, particularly condoms, and promptly diagnose and treat STDs. Colorado began a program offering free implants or IUDs to teens and poor women. It was an unprecedented success. “The birthrate among teenagers across the state plunged by 40 percent from 2009 to 2013, while their rate of abortions fell by 42 percent, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.” The best way to reduce abortion is to provide free birth control. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/06/science/colorados-push-against-teenage-pregnancies-is-a-startling-success.html

  • It is an issue of bodily autonomy. Say I am in the hospital dying of kidney failure and there are no matches available for me. An accident victim in otherwise good health arrives at the hospital, dies of his head injuries, and he is a perfect match for a kidney for me. If he has not signed a donor card, or made his wishes known to his family or spouse, I cannot have his kidney, even to save my life, because organ donations must be voluntary, with full consent. Forcing women to carry a pregnancy to term without their consent is literally giving them less bodily autonomy than we give to a corpse.

  • And Edward, there are substantial numbers of gay and lesbian couples who also adopt the cast off, unwanted products of irresponsible heterosexual reproduction, but are damned by so called Christians, virulently antigay and, I think, antihuman to the core, for being good people and doing so.

    This is what happens when theology is conflated with plain old prejudice. Floydlee– our other topic– is a black man, and should understand this. But he much prefers his prejudices and bigotries to compassion and understanding.

  • Third option. Religion is simply a method of identity and identification, and nothing else.

    How you read the Bible has everything to do with the kind of person you are, not your actual faith. A bigot will read the Bible in such a way as to justify being a bigot. He doesn’t read the Bible and become a bigot.

  • That might have more to do with 25 years of calumny directed at Mrs. Clinton than it does with reality. 25 years of calumny that has been shown repeatedly to lack any more basis than innuendo.

    Is she perfect? No. she is a politician, with all of the good and bad that that implies. Is she the evil monster people like floydlee paint her to be? Absolutely not.

    Reviling, slandering, and bearing false witness are also sins of grave biblical import.

  • A major weakness in conservative Christian thinking is the Doctrine of False Equivalence. If all have sins, all sins are equal, and all forgiveness washes everything equally. Thus sexual predation is a sin equal to cussing, and a sexual predator who is a Christian is a better person than a non christian who cusses. This is what we are seeing play out on the national stage. And what the whole world sees is that every Christian who believes that is a God damn fool.

  • LOL. Suuuuure. Anytime someone says, its impossible for a member of ___ religion to do something naughty, I have to laugh. Real life has proven such assertions very very false.

  • Even the term “Christian Right” is completely oxymoronic, given that Christianity has always been a left-wing movement. To quote the late George Bernard Shaw, “I am a Christian, that obliges me to be a communist.”

  • Perhaps if the Republicans would stop closing planned parenthood clinics, birth control might be more readily available to women to prevent pregnancies.
    Republicans are Not replacing clinics that are shut down. Women in rural ares are especially impacted by closed clincs, not only for birth control but also for health care.

  • CALLING ALL CHRISTIANS! Let us come together regardless of our denominations. Together we can change this election! Let’s call on God for help. Please pray with me this prayer, “God please let good prevail over evil in this upcoming election.” Thank You!! God
    bless you!

  • It’s called sin leveling, and it is a way of avoiding a real discussion about morality, as you note,

  • I do not think you know what it means to be a Christian.”

    I do not think you know what it means to be gullible.

  • In my experience of nearly 58 years as a member of a fairly fertile family, and in my observation of friends and acquaintances, among people who are largely working class, few of the women have found themselves so unsupported by their family and community that they could not reasonably weather the storm of an unplanned pregnancy. In that time, the flexibility for such women has increased to some degree by virtue of Federal and State legislation. None of us can guarantee against unforeseen circumstances, but I’m puzzled about arguments claiming that information regarding pregnancy prevention is not clear or readily available. While contraception beyond abstinence or sterilization is not 100%, any contraception decreases the likelihood of unwanted pregnancy. From my preteen years I knew and understood the basic biological facts about the cause of pregnancy, I can’t believe that in the intervening years such information has become less available. I would argue that it is a matter of poor choices and personal selfishness on the part of both men and women that has led to in unsustainable increase in single parent families, and I’m sorry, I don’t believe the child conceived in such circumstances should pay with its life, while I acknowledge that others do not so view it.

  • While I have reservations about the adoption of children by gay couples for reasons that you can no doubt divine, I would much rather that be the case than that such children be denied their opportunity to experience life beyond the womb.

  • While I respect your point of view, I believe based on my study of her history that the charges regarding Mrs. Clinton rise well above the level of innuendo. I strive to be very careful regarding the sins you list. Evil monster is not a term I would use with reference to Mrs. Clinton, ever mindful of my own sinful proclivities, and naturally, floydlee has not designated me his spokesperson, but despite his sometimes heated rhetoric which is often matched by his adversaries, at base, I don’t really think he is a hateful person, I think he is very passionate about his spiritual convictions which can sometimes overcome temperance in language.

  • Are they religion based reasons, prejudice based reasons, or are they fact based reasons? Because the fact is that 40 years of research has concluded that gay people make good parents,

  • I am unaware of any statutory or legal basis which allows “Republicans” to close Planned Parenthood clinics, though legislation has been passed in states restricting certain of their functions on the basis of the time stage of the pregnancy. Closed clinics are probably a matter of funding more than anything else, and I’m not aware of any present Federal limitations of funds in place that are substantially lower than historic norms. Private contributors are certainly free to give as they so choose. Contraception and health care is also available through other health care systems funded by the states.

  • Edward, I gave you three examples of what he has to say. There are more. None of those things even rise to the Luke warmth of passion, but are flat out, hated filled, bigotry based lies. I understand you want to give him the benefit of the doubt. But that is your doubt, not mine.

  • I don’t know about prejudice, facts of course may be argued, so I would have to say that my concerns are spiritually based, which of course have no basis in present law, nor is that likely to change, but you will note of course that I declared such parenting in my mind is preferable to the alternative of abortion. I mean, I won’t alter my spiritual convictions, but I will always try to frame them as carefully as I can.

  • Agreed. I suppose if their version of God is incorrect, they are in for a rude awakening after death.

  • Good points. You know that the Christian Patriots are considered by the FBI to be an underground terrorist organization? Odd isn’t it?

  • Prayer stopped the end of don’t ask don’t tell.
    Prayer kept sodomy laws.
    Prayer stopped gay marriage.
    Prayer stopped hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Matthew, and hurricane sandy.
    Prayer stopped the middle east wars.
    so pray away.

  • I can’t imagine anywhere in the Bible that it says that gay people can’t be good parents. But that’s because It doesn’t, and science doesn’t say it either.

    However, if we’re going to make a spiritual argument, it’s a sin not to believe that Jesus died for your sins. Divorce for any reason but adultery is a sin. We’re all doing the backstroke in sin, according to bible believing Christianity. So are you arguing that people who don’t accept Christianity are bad parents? Two thirds of the world doesn’t buy the christian story. Are they bad parents by definition, by a spiritual definition? And what is that definition, and why is it “spiritual”? Are you arguing the parents who are divorced and remarried don’t make good parents? I don’t think so. And if it’s all about sin, then no one is qualified to be a parent.

    Why are you making an exception about gay people? Are you uncomfortable with same sex parents? Do you think something is going to happen to a child with same sex parents? Do you think that gay people are incapable of being great parents, something that flies in the face of forty years of research? Are you denigrating, for example, the Fisher-Paulsons of San Francisco, who adopted two boys no one else wanted, and are struggling– and successfully– to undo the damage that their heterosexual birth parents inflicted?

    Or is it about that specious claim that every child deserves a mother and a father to turn out well? Because the jails, gangs, prisons, rehab centers, and congress are just full of the products of heterosexual parenting.

    So what are you saying? In your own terms, you’re going to have to do better than say it’s better than having an abortion. I’m going to be uncharacteristically very strong in this point, and I hope you understand exactly why I sound so irate:

    because saying it’s better than abortion puts you on no better level than floydlee when he declares that gay people are violent and dangerous, and that we support violence and intimidation.

  • It’s misogyny and racism all the way down. When he was just calling women ugly, telling them they’d look good on their knees, making creepy sexual comments about his daughter and random ten year old girls, and slutty shaming a former beauty contestants, they didn’t care. When he called Mexican illegal immigrants racists, falsely claimed (and insisted on the face of contrary evidence) that Muslims in New Jersey celebrated 9/11 in the streets, slandered an Hispanic judge on the basis of his ethnicity, and insisted that the absolutely exonerated Central Park 5 were guilty (two weeks ago, folks), they didn’t care. They don’t care that he tells his overwhelmingly white followers to take their friends to “other” (minority) neighborhoods on election day to “prevent problems” (i.e. keep black and brown people from voting), they say nothing. And now that they know he bragged about being a sexual predator and several women have come forward to confirm he did what he boasted of doing, they attack the women, defend him, and piously exhort us not to cast stones.

    Women and girls don’t matter to them. Black and brown people scare them. Misogyny and racism, all the way down.

  • Trump is a BIG IMAGE, a STAR, a TV celebrity!

    And many people are excited and taken by his presence!

    And that is ALL there is… An image.

    Many are so devoted to Donald Trump that they would FORSAKE EVERYTHING for his image. Many wear his BIG IMAGE on their clothes and hats. This is a VERY important thing to think about…

    If you are ABLE to look away from the IMAGE and search for discipline, practice of decency, history of faith, kindness and character you FIND that Donald Trump LACKS all of these.

    Donald Trump the TV celebrity, the Star- is really JUST a FALSE IDOL.

    False Idols always fill their followers with extreme thoughts… Look away, do not be devoted to

    EMPTY CELEBRITY,

    Do not worship Donald Trump- the FALSE IDOL.

  • Okay, let’s look. You didn’t say how you got the idea that: “If all have sins, all sins are equal.”

    That idea is incorrect. In fact, Jesus clearly tells Pontius Pilate that the people who sent Jesus to Pilate, were committing a bigger sin than Pilate. (John 19:11). So not all sins are equal.

    What the Bible DOES say, however, is that all sins produce the same tragic spiritual results (Romans 6:23). You may not be a sexual predator but that don’t mean you are sinless.
    For example, cursing. As a teenager, I cussed a bit (but never around my family!), until another Christian pointed out that it was a sin. Here’s why it’s a sin:

    Cursing (such as calling somebody a ‘God damn fool’, for example), “is a failure to follow the Lord’s greatest commandments—to love God and to love people (Matthew 22:37-40). When we curse an individual, we do not love people. And when we curse God, we do not love Him.”
    (Hat Tip to CARM online article, ‘Is Cursing or Swearing a Sin.”)

    So there you go. By cursing, you ARE saying a genuine “No” to something that God has commanded of you. So you ARE sinning against God, and it’s no small problem. But like the CARM article said, “Thankfully, God forgives us of our sins through the redemption found only in Jesus Christ (John 3:16).” So now it’s clear: Repent of the sin, and reach out to Christ !

  • Ben doesn’t want me to repeat those public testimonies, those public quotations, those public examples again in this forum. Ben has this habit of deliberately leaving out the stuff that he doesn’t want readers thinking about.

    That’s why I listen carefully to Ben’s posts. See, I know what he ducked last time, and I can tell that he is leaving out a lot of information, oh yes.

    What Hillary Clinton did to those women, was by ANY description, **evil.** If you listen to the women themselves, that’s abundantly clear.

    In fact, you would expect a MAN criminal, a cold Mafioso type, to do that kind of silencing job on a sexual-assault survivor, a rape survivor. You would expect a MAN criminal to open intimidating investigations on nearly every victim. You wouldn’t expect another woman to do that stuff. That’s how evil, how very **monstrous**, it really was. Want those quotations again?

    Plus Hillary was half of the U.S. presidential tag-team at that time, and it’s gotta be REAL scary when a victim facing that much firepower, has to choose whether to snitch on Slick Willie or not. Ben won’t put himself in THEIR shoes, nope.

  • Uhh, wait a second Ben. I haven’t even posted anything about where Trump stands or doesn’t-stand on the abortion issue. I don’t even KNOW for sure where he stands or doesn’t-stand on that issue.

    And I haven’t discussed, neither affirmed nor denounced, any gay couples adopting “the unwanted products of irresponsible heterosexual reproduction.”

    So it doesn’t sound like you are very interested in the Trump-Clinton-Abortion issue here. It doesn’t sound like THAT is the real issue you want to focus on.

    Sounds much, much more like you’re really focused on YOUR favorite religion again. The one that opposes biblical Christianity, and is visibly ***incompatible*** with both the words (Matt. 19:4-5) and the deeds (1 Cor. 6:9-11) of Jesus.

    Now if you want me to discuss THAT issue vis-à-vis Trump & Hillary, just give me the green-light, and we’ll just have ourselves a party with good cookies, chips and soda-pop **immediately** !!

  • It was not my intent to suggest that gay persons, or non-believers, or believers of other religions lack the capacity to be good parents, nor that there are no such examples. Whatever my resistance or concern about such categories (not a happy word, but offhand it will have to serve) they do not rise to the level of my abhorrence for abortion. As to my objections, or concerns, they are primarily spiritual in the sense that I hold to some specific beliefs that I think are well represented in scripture. Since I do believe that a spiritual relationship with Jesus Christ is the only means of securing one’s eternal future, it is my sense that the best way of securing that relationship is for a child to be raised in a family atmosphere where that belief is held. An atheistic heterosexual may well raise a child in a relatively healthy physical and familial environment in the temporal scheme, but my great concern is for eternal things. A homosexual who identifies as a Christian or not undoubtedly has the capacity to meet those same conditions, but because of what I think biblically in terms of active sin, of whatever type, any environment in which children are exposed or taught that certain things don’t matter eternally causes me concern. In personal terms, people are perfectly entitled to tell me to buzz off, that it is none of my business. I accept that, but in general terms, I am appealing to what I believe is ideal and consistent with God’s plan for humanity. At the same time, I know that children as they grow often cast off the teachings of their upbringing, whether Christian or otherwise. People raised as atheists come to Christ, people raised as Christians often reject the message of the Cross. People from other belief systems convert, most do not Pastor’s children are almost infamously known for rejecting or drifting away from their upbringing. In a sense, my comment regarding homosexual parenting vs. abortion was a usage of hyperbole to stress my unhappiness with abortion as a methodology of birth control, though I can not back down from my conviction that a male/female model for parenting is naturally the best in the overall balance of things, though no parent is perfect either as a parent, an individual, or even as a Christian. In my own case, I confess to having been a very poor father in that, because of my own inadequacies and fears I failed to be the secure, strong, and loving father that I should have been, a function perhaps, to some degree of the shortcomings of my own upbringing, and my child who is nearing thirty still bears the consequences of that, as the bible says, “the sins of the parents shall be visited upon the children.” On the other hand, I sometimes wonder if we all “idealize” children a little too much, to the extent that we forget that they are prone to the same tendencies and fallibilities as the adults they will soon be. “Spare the rod and spoil the child,” is sound advice, but I use “rod” in the sense that it be a metaphorical tool to guide the child to the left or right of the path as necessary against the obstacles of life, not a physical tool to abuse children with, though some corporal punishment applied carefully and constructively is not out of bounds. I know that this may not be a satisfactory answer to your liking, but it honestly is the best I can do.
    As a final note, I would like to offer my appreciation for the expression you used as a literary device…”doing the backstroke in sin”…quite a clever usage. As always, though we disagree, I genuinely wish you peace.

  • I think you do understand, Edward, to a point. Unfortunately, I don’t have time to write today, and won’t have much due to my husbands family coming for a visit. Not much will be heard from me for a while, barring a few opportunities here and there. I’m sure a couple of people will be quite happy about that.

    I will say this much. There are a lot of contradictions, breaks, divides, and workarounds in what you wrote. I think that these all occur wherever your faith meets bedrock reality– things you know to be true, vs. the things you believe to be true. You’re smart enough and compassionate enough to know it.

    But your faith is the most important thing to you. I get that, and I cannot begrudge it to you. As I always say, if your faith makes your life better, and you a better person, I have very few issues with it– for you. For myself, I’m not fond of that dissonance, so I always choose what appears to me to be reality, and realign my thinking to the new facts that are presented to me.

    In short, I don’t share your certainties. My only faith, if that’s the right word, is a belief that whatever I put out into the universe will be what comes back at me. The apparent contradiction is that generally speaking, I am at peace, have a happy life, a great husband, a wonderful family, and a large circle of friends. But that’s because I strive to remain positive, do what good I can in the world, and refrain from harming anyone if I can, and make amends if I cannot. That’s what comes back to me.

    Likewise, I genuinely wish you peace.

  • I keep getting told that all sins are equal by conservative Christians trying to deflect attention from their sins of child abuse, domestic violence, and sexual assault, just as you are doing here. I have no respect for anyone engaged in any part of those processes, including the coverups.

  • For Mormons, it’s built into our scripture:

    8 “I, the Lord God, make you free, therefore ye are free indeed; and the law also maketh you free.

    9 “Nevertheless, when the wicked rule the people mourn.

    10 “Wherefore, honest men and wise men should be sought for diligently, and good men and wise men ye should observe to uphold; otherwise whatsoever is less than these cometh of evil.”

    For course, the same can be found in the Bible as well, if not as explicitly (seeing how Jesus’ times weren’t exactly democratic). In his magnificent Sermon on the Mount, Jesus preaches on judgment and
    discernment in three situations: daily life (“Do not judge others, and you will not be judged.”), evangelism (“Don’t throw your pearls to pigs!” — a bit of advice that should be followed by candidates deciding where to campaign), and selecting leaders (“Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep but are really vicious wolves.”) When it came to Bill Clinton, the Religious Right correctly placed him in the third category, condemned his behavior, and called for his removal. But in the case of Trump many of them are suddenly pretending that he fits in the first category, as if he’s your co-worker in the next cubicle. They are going to deeply regret their decision in years to come.

  • The Christian Right lives in the past, when women and minorities had no voice. The C. R. want believes that a woman should “submit” to her husband, and his rule is law. They forget that women are breadwinners, and should, no, must, have dominion over their own bodies.

  • WW II was the last war that was a war of conscience, and one that had to be fought. Korea, Nam, Afghanistan, Iraq,and the deadly mini wars, in which we have become entangled, have degraded our nation.

  • It is sin that causes all of these things. When we turn from our creator, we will reap what we sow. That is why I believe this election is so important! God gives us free will to choose, I believe he is waiting to see how we vote in this upcoming election. I feel this will determine the outcome of the US. I hope again we will be one nation under God!

  • Linda, check out a movie that you can obtain on DVD. It is by Michael Moore, and it is entitled “Where to Invade Next.” It speaks of working programs in European nations that were first thought of here in the US, but then ignored.
    European models, as you call them, do work and work well for the citizens. So, check out that film, it is one of Moore’s finest works.

  • Fetuses are not “children.” Making abortion illegal will not stop abortions. How do I know? I worked, as a nurse, in the 1950s and 1960s. Wealthy women received safe abortions, even back when abortions were “illegal.” They either went out of the country or they found a sympathetic doctor, and yes, sympathetic doctors risked their licenses to perform abortions.
    Poor or middle class women, also, had abortions, but many died or needed long hospitalizations due to massive bleeding and infections.

  • I wonder if all of those “good Christians” who deplore abortion would adopt the children of poor, single, or poor married women, or women who were raped or girls who were victims of incest??

  • LOL! That’s a good one.

    These are the same people who would rather have kids stay in the foster care system than let gay couples adopt them. They don’t care about the lives of children.

  • Fact 1: Conservative courts have had the chance to overturn Roe vs. Wade and never did. There are actually no more abortions now than there were before R. vs W. just fewer women dying in back alleys. There are ALWAYS fewer abortions when Democrats are in charge for many sane and logical reasons having to do with creating a culture of hope (jobs, child care, financial support, access to birth control and truthful sex education, to name a few) instead of stupid unnecessary medical tests and other forms of punishment for desperate women.

  • The question is, whose god?
    Personally, I think your right about sin causing all of these things. The sins of homobigotry, homohatred, and homophobia. The sins of mistaking a mere social prejudice, albeit a vicious, ancient, and durable one, for the word of god who is love. The sin of voting for a man who betrays every single moral standard that a certain class of so-called Christian insists are important– as long as it doesn’t interfere with that so-called Christians desire for power, money, and dominion over the lives of others.

  • It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for an “evangelical” to enter the Kingdom of God.

  • None whatsoever. It was a war the US should have gotten involved in earlier.
    However…
    From Korea on to the current day, wars have been fought for US policy, not the need to defend the US or others. When was the last time you lost sleep because North Vietnam won the war? Do you feel less safe because of that? I have friends in Vietnam and they are doing just fine.
    If a war ever comes to the US borders, I’ll ask to become an officer again and fight on the front lines.
    Response?

  • Yes. Which makes one wonder how a majority of Christians have moved from socialism and communism propounded by Jesus, into a capitalistic God and Country and gun-loving-stance. It’s a mystery.

  • Sin is not the same if a hypothetical hell is layered according to sin and the degree of it.
    God obviously is the Chief Accountant. Why would it not be layered?
    And by the way, the idea that a just God would throw someone in hell forever because of one infinitely short human lifetime is preposterous.
    Perhaps that is how Christians justify right wing stance: “God is the most extreme Right Winger that exists”.

  • Jesus said that ALL who take the sword will die by the sword. What gives you the right to disregard Christ’s clear teaching to Love our Enemies, national ones included?

  • I agree that the conservative Christian notion of hell, when examined closely, is nonsensical. The notion that the soul’s condition after death cannot change is an idea perilously close to atheism, and a God who would condemn an immortal soul to immortal suffering for events that happen under what can only be described as “extenuating circumstances” is barbaric. But that is getting off-topic.

  • The election presents the choice of two devils. Pick the lesser evil, that’s the option being provided.

  • “What a woman does with her own body is her own business…” Agreed

    What about the child’s body that happens to be inside the woman.

    Are you thankful that your mother didn’t consider you disposable?

  • It’s un”believe”able, Mick. Sacrilegious terrorism welcomes all faiths. See the washingtonpost-dot-com article, “Three Kansas men calling themselves ‘Crusaders’ charged in terror plot targeting Muslim immigrants”.

  • Some people believe that life (or “soul”, “living spirit”, “personhood”) begins at birth.
    Some believe life begins at 26 weeks.
    Some believe life begins at 20 weeks.
    Some believe life begins when fetal movement can be seen.
    Some believe life begins when a fetal heartbeat can be heard.
    Some believe life begins when an embryo attaches to a uterus.
    Some believe life begins when an ovum is fertilized.
    Some believe life begins when an ovum exists.

    One’s beliefs are not more valid than another’s.
    One’s beliefs do not trump another’s.
    One’s beliefs do not govern another’s.

    One has every right to hold oneself to one’s own spiritual/existential beliefs.
    One has no right to hold others to one’s own spiritual/existential beliefs.

    This may or may not be your belief.
    But this is America.

  • Considering I never would have known had my mother considered her fetus disposable (and had disposed of it), there’s nothing for me to be comparatively “thankful” about.

    Back to reality, I enjoy life and do my best to contribute to the good in this world.

    I loved Mom; she loved me; and I can’t possibly describe how happy I am that she was my mother, how sad I am that she died, how glad I am that she had her freely chosen faith to comfort her, and how much I hope that she died peacefully.

  • The GOP and Religious Right bought the farm when it came to cultivating extremism as a means to gain power. They planted the seeds of extremism. They protected the sprouts of extremism. They encouraged the growth of extremism. They reaped the fruits of extremism. But they never considered what kind of crops they were raising. And yet, now that they have discovered exactly what the produce is that they have brought to market… have they stopped cultivating extremism?

  • One is a conniving sane person who works with others and has a foundation that helps children. The other is a conniving insane person who works alone and has a foundation that helps a child. Choose wisely.

  • South Korea has done alright by itself thanks to US involvement from 1950-53. Even if cellphones from that country have a habit of bursting into flames.

  • “also agree with you that Europe is far ahead of us in offering humane civil structures that promote the common good.”

    The only major caveat is Europeans don’t know how to do immigration in a sane fashion. Attitudes towards immigrants and refugees in Europe really underlie xenophobia and bigotry which lies just below the surface.

  • A response? Sure. Until Pearl Harbor, a lot of Americans weren’t thrilled about getting into WWII either. Didn’t think we should “get involved.” Didn’t want to fight unless “a war ever comes to the US borders”, so to speak.

    That’s why America of all places, turned back an entire ship of Jews who were trying to escape Nazism. WE — not Hitler, but us — refused to accept them, and sent ’em back to Europe. In Europe, some survived — and some did not.

    WE, the big proud freedom nation, did that. But no matter, we got what we wanted: no “war-mongering”, as you put it. However, the war DID eventually come to the US borders, and a lot of men died that day.

    But, I only asked about theological objections to WWII, and apparently you have none. So that’s kewl. (Try not to get too simplistic regarding Christians and war, please.) Meanwhile plenty of Thanks for your service, and let’s hope you don’t have to keep that promise you just made.

  • I don’t know when you may find time to reply, or not, given your stated agenda for the next few days…however, it never hurts to take a breather. What you have characterized as contradictions, breaks, divides, and workarounds, I prefer to view as nuance in presentation and care in phraseology. As I pointed out to Psycop, to no avail, if we, for a moment, view public policy as a gemstone cut in a multifaceted fashion, the light that is reflected from those facets will strike different observers in different ways based on perspective, and indeed, the light that strikes those facets may not come from the same source. This I think is a lucid metaphor. As to the social sciences upon which many people depend to inform them more completely about the human condition, I have great skepticism. You have cited evidence which supports your position on a number of issues at different times, I choose not to challenge that evidence because I think it would be counterproductive to our discussions, though I would point out that there are other studies that would potentially arrive at different conclusions. I do not cite them for the same reason. Social science is not hard science, it’s conclusions must be viewed skeptically because of the potential for subjective speculation. I don’t agree (politely, of course) that there is a dissonance between my faith and objective reality. I’m not averse to reframing my position based on evidence, but like anyone, I have to be convinced of the evidence. This is why I distrust the social sciences, no researcher I think is wholly free from bias. Most social scientists in the back of their thinking are attempting to prove something they already believe (at least that is what I suspect). On another note, your philosophy of life as stated in your last paragraph is a worthy one that I do not discount. Not the biggest difference between us, but a palpable one, is your affirmation of the positive, while I have always been rather pessimistic (a latent form of the semi-Calvinism I embrace). Beyond that, be well. and may you thoroughly enjoy the visit of your relations.

  • BRAVO…

    No one should be telling others what they should believe about when life begins.. That is an individual choice in America.. It is not an individual choice in many middle eastern countries.

  • David, you forgot to mention the most important issue….POWER. The Falwells, Pat Robertson, Ralph Reed, Tony Perkins, and especially James Dobson (who you did not mention but came out for Trump in Christianity Today) are each satiated in their egotistical power broker status. You cannot openly say that as an academic, David, but I can say it. These listed above have built their power base upon their ability to manipulate political power, quite effectively, too. Which has meant status, large financial contributions, and the heady atmosphere of being able to sit at the table with presidents, senators and representatives, and pull strings.
    Quite a contrast to THE POOR ONE who suffered a tortured death as a defensive move by power-intoxicated religious and political manipulators. So the Church today can either testify in its life witness to the resurrected POOR ONE or capitulate to the demonic forces that crucified Him.

  • One of the primary reasons “Why the Christian right still supports Trump” is because, from the time they were toddlers, they have been well trained to believe the unbelievable, to believe assertions unsupported by evidence, and to believe that the more preposterous an assertion is, the more likely it is to be true . . . as long as the assertions come from delusional or fraudulent sources that they have been trained to trust.

  • I am sorry I did not express myself
    more clearly many people say they are Christ Followers and are not.
    They think that there righteousness
    can give them eternal life. Like do good get good do bad get bad Not
    understanding God’s way of making people right with himself. Romans
    10:3 Philippians 3:8-9 Before someone comes to OUR GOD all there self
    righteousness is as filthy rags. Isaiah 64:6 after ANYONE GOOD BAD
    moral or immoral and understands the Gospel ( THE GOOD NOWS )1
    Corinthians 15.3-4 and BELIEVES that Jesus Christ came to save them
    and give them eternal life. Then they repent of the bad stuff they
    have been doing and gives there life to him and are saved and
    receives the free gift of righteousness that comes from God. That is
    why Christianity is different then ALL other religions in the world.
    Other religions are trying to reach up to there God in hope that he
    might Love them. Our GOD Loved us while we were yet sinners sent his
    son to came Down to get us. Romans 5:8 Do Christians still do bad
    stuff yes But WE hate it. And as we mature in Christ we do less bad
    and more good. Because we Love our Father God and cannot stand to
    hurt him.

  • Who told you man has an immortal soul It is Not the teaching that comes from the Bible It came from the snake (the devil ) God said eat the fruit and you will die THAT DAY The devil said you will not surely die. Thy ate the fruit and died that day.That death was not physical but spiritual. Man lost their immortal soul. Now all men are just mortal until thy get Born again by the Sprat of God. If they choose not to get Born again they perish like wax in hell. The fire burns for ever that means you can never come back. Jesus said he game to give us life. if we already had eternal life why did he say that John 17:3

  • God does not send anyone to hell they choose to go. God said the Devil was a Liar and a Murderer from the beginning John 8:42- 8:47

  • You were quite clear. But it is a common excuse. One used to avoid the reality that people use religious belief to justify acting badly. That there is a log history of Christian belief being employed in such a fashion. It is not a bug, it’s a feature of religious faith.

  • I loved my mother. She’s been dead for a while now but in life was a pro-choice feminist who decided, because she wanted to and could, to have me even though my arrival was unplanned and, frankly, a huge imposition. BUT: that was her choice.

    I think that it would be brutal and inhuman to demand that she carry me for nine months, deal with the pain and physical alterations that come with pregnancy, and take the hundreds of risks that go along with it as well just for my sake. I’d have taken a bullet for her, gladly, and I know she would have done the same for me. Had I been sentient and she’d come to me and said “Look, this just can’t happen,” I wouldn’t have forced her to bear me because I loved her. I’d have departed gladly, knowing that her life would be better. I would not have forced her to undergo all that on my behalf. Her body, her choice. I know I would have no right to make such a demand of her or anybody else.

    What kind of effin’ monster are you that you’d force that kind of slavery on someone that you supposedly love?

    Don’t you DARE use someone’s mother as ammunition in your culture war’s attempts to control women’s bodies. Don’t you DARE. The simple truth is that you’re telling me more about how much you love YOUR mother than you’re pretending to ask about anybody else’s.

  • How sad. The depths of inhumanity that human beings are willing to descend to, to so easily make a human life disposable out of inconvenience, to somehow equate “slavery” and the terrible history of that in our 5000 years of so called civilization with the responsibility of carrying a life inside.

    Is there any hope for our humanity left when we kill our own children and justify it.

  • “God, I thank you that I am not like other people — robbers, evildoers, adulterers — or even like this tax collector”!

    How’s the weather up there?

  • … and mocking the disabled, and ???

    The sheer incompleteness of this list makes me crave the quiet, contemplative serenity of Disneyland’s “Its a Small, Small World”.

  • You’re most welcome, jdcar0110! I’ve never been a fan of cultural, spiritual, and political traditions that teach “Us” to subordinate “Them”.

  • “Christian Right people used to be some of our culture’s leading advocates for a restoration of sound character in America. ”

    They stopped being such advocates years ago when they decided to suck up to and appease the feminists, Dykes and Queers. The Christians sold out to the Communist leftist scum, so there’s no surprise that they’d continue on the same path.

  • Your logic is fallable.

    Some believe sexual assault is OK
    Some believe women are inferior, or people of color and so forth
    Some believe unborn children are disposable
    Some people believe homeless people should get out of their neighborhoods
    Some people believe it is ok to have sex with children

    Civilization and law and order are built on the presupposition that not all beliefs are valid.

    Some beliefs are invalid.

    I stand by my assertion that an unborn child is a human being and America will not be a true nation of justice until all human beings have an equal right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness in our nation.

  • Amazing how the Christian right-wing has comfortably embraced racism, homophobia, misogyny and sexual assault by rapists as “Hey, no big thing we’ll support Trump anyway”. The epitomy of hypocracy.

  • I have to say, that is the darkest, most nihilistic, and the most evil interpretation of that passage I have ever heard. Congratulations on the low to which you have sunk.

  • These are Evangelicals that would rather vote than evangelize to affect the nation !!!!!! Jesus did NOT say “go into all the word and vote” !!!!!!

  • The biggest appeal to Christians is the authoritarianism of Trump’s reign. Christians LOVE authority. Their whole religion is based on a hierarchy with God at the top, then
    Jesus (even though Jesus IS God, supposedly), then men, then women, cows, and goats. Attend any church long enough–say, three weeks, tops– and you are bound to hear a boring sermon explaining it in detail, and declaring that God is only pleased when women know their place: on the bottom rung of the hierarchical ladder.

    Is it any wonder, then, that they support this misogynistic goon who takes over everything, bosses people around, does what he pleases with no concern for the opinions and rights of others, and treats women like dogs that he can abuse and get rid of? This is pretty much the biblical definition of a real man in authority! Plus, the Bible assures us that it is GOD who appoints all worldly leaders, and that would include the orange-faced baboon currently soiling the Oval Office.

  • Unless you plan to adopt that child, it’s not your business. You don’t know the reasons why a woman opts for an abortion, and you probably don’t even care.

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