President Trump arrives at the Celebrate Freedom Rally on July 1, 2017, in Washington, D.C. Photo by Yuri Gripas/Reuters

President Trump promises support to military, evangelicals at Fourth of July event

(RNS) At a Fourth of July concert hosted by First Baptist Church Dallas at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., President Trump pledged never to forget the men and women who have served in the U.S. military — or the people of faith who put him in the White House.

“My administration will always support and defend your religious liberty,” Trump said at the event Saturday (July 1). “We don’t want to see God forced out of the public square, driven out of our schools or pushed out of our civic life.”

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The president touted his support from evangelical Christians — 81 percent of white evangelicals had voted for him — and ran through a number of campaign pledges he said he has kept, including an executive order gutting enforcement of the rarely enforced Johnson Amendment.

And, he said, “I remind you that we’re going to start saying ‘Merry Christmas’ again.”

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He also continued several days of remarks attacking the press, saying to cheers from the audience, “The fake media is trying to silence us, but we will not let them because the people know the truth. The fake media tried to stop us from going to the White House, but I’m president and they’re not.”

President Trump, left, is greeted by Pastor Robert Jeffress at the "Celebrate Freedom" concert on July 1, 2017, in Washington, D.C. Photo by Yuri Gripas/Reuters

First Baptist's pastor Robert Jeffress was a member of Trump’s evangelical advisory board during the 2016 presidential campaign and delivered the sermon at the church service the president attended before his inauguration.

Jeffress noted many American Christians had begun to despair before the election that God had “removed his hand of blessing” from America.

“But in the midst of that despair came November the 8th, 2016. … It was on that day that God declared that the people, not the pollsters, were going to choose the next president of the United States, and they chose Donald Trump.”

Trump responded as he stepped up to the podium, “Nice to win, isn’t it?”

First Baptist's choir and orchestra performed a number of patriotic songs and hymns at the "Celebrate Freedom" concert, including the premiere of a new song composed to Trump's “Make America Great Again” campaign slogan. Its lyrics included:

“Make America great again
Make America great again
Lift the torch of freedom all across the land
Step into the future joining hand in hand
And make America great again.”

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The concert occurred a year after LifeWay Research released a survey of 1,000 Protestant pastors that found 53 percent agree their congregation “sometimes seems to love America more than God.”

Still, 61 percent of pastors said it was important to incorporate patriotic elements into worship services around the Fourth of July.


  1. How is it I am the first to comment? Perhaps everyone is in too much shock. I am, too, because I thought I lived in the United States of America, a representative democracy, built on reason and Christian values. I thought that because I spent my career as a Presbyterian minister, and that church used to be the “mainstream” of centrist but progressive politics. Seeing this event convinces me that somehow I have been transported into Nazi Germany. When fascism comes to the US, it will be waving a flag and holding a Bible, so said Sinclair Lewis. It has happened. Let us rise to meet this threat.

  2. We would ALL know if we had somehow been “transported back to Nazi Germany.” We obviously haven’t been.

    But I understand what you’re getting at. You don’t like fascists, I don’t like fascists. You don’t like bullies, I don’t like bullies. But there they are, all the same, and they need to be defeated.

    Which is why some Christians are *very* glad that Donald Trump, despite his faults — and despite a rather awkward & corny First Baptist song — defeated Queen Hillary and the liberal fascists.

    We all want to be the “mainstream”, we all want to be the “centrists.” But we aren’t. We’re all just whatever we are.

  3. Please, the hysterical reference to Nazis and fascists is getting old and not accurate. Our government has a system of checks and balances in the event an outlier such as Trump leads the Executive Branch. He will never be able to do what Hitler and Mussolini did.

    The Republican party of the past has pushed the America, god and apple pie rhetoric before, especially at state and local levels.

  4. To bad Trump didn’t go with The Original Catholic Church, but one that’s a mere 500 year one. A Splinter from The Holy Church set by Jesus Christ, in God’s Name… But, at least it’s not Soro’s, of Pizza Gate, Hillary joined!

  5. And (side issue), why is “Christian music” so awful? (Oh yeah, the writers have never listened to Bach or Mozart or Brahms or Handel or…)

  6. Common idolatry taken to new tackiness.

  7. 7-11 music: 7 words sung 11 times.

  8. Isaiah 1:17
    Learn to do right; seek justist.
    Defend the oppressed.
    Take up the cause of the fatherless;
    Plead the case of the widow.

    To the tune of make America Great Agian.

    Too progressive?

  9. To harmonies that make I-IV-V-I sound complex.

  10. Pastor Jeffress is, as you would predict, a notorious homophobe/bigot.

  11. Found it.
    It’s right there.
    The one that says play in browser.

  12. The Hosanna Chorus from the Religious Right (and I am from the Religious Right) with regard to Mr. Trump is getting stale. By all means support the chief executive with prayer, alms, and what have you, but if God indeed lifts His Hand of blessing from America, it seems unlikely that Mr. Trump will be the servant capable of restoring it. I’m not saying that the Lord’s Arm is foreshortened, nor that He is limited as to what tools He may employ to achieve His Will, but we as a people and a nation have as great a responsibility before God as the president to act in such a manner as to maintain God’s measure of national Grace.

  13. news flash: fat sack of garbage wraps himself in god and flag

    the draft-dodger wouldn’t know how many Corinthians are losing their medical coverage if Kellyanne tattooed it on his palm

  14. Actually, Baptists haven’t even been around for 500 years, although their mythology declares them to be ‘The Original Christians’, of course.
    And the vile, white supremacy-based theology of Robert Jeffress is even younger than that, only appearing around the mid 1800’s.

  15. Quoted: “And, he said, ‘I remind you that we’re going to start saying “Merry Christmas” again.’” 

    Someone’s going to have to help me out here. When, exactly, was it it ever illegal to say “Merry Christmas” in the US? I hope somebody can identify whichever law it was … because I’m just not aware of it. 

  16. Re: “Our government has a system of checks and balances in the event an outlier such as Trump leads the Executive Branch.” 

    That sounds all well and good, in theory anyway. But in practice, it’s a different story. The only “checks and balances” on the Groper-in-Chief (who heads the executive branch) are the legislative branch (headed by a Republican Congress) and the judicial branch (headed by the Republican Supreme Court). 

    There might be “checks and balances” on paper … but in reality, there are none. Republicans can get what they want. What most of them want, is for the US to be “a Christian nation.” 

  17. It was mainly businesses, not wanting to offend non-Christian customers and include others, that switched to Happy Holidays. Snowflake conservative Christians decided that was part of the Great War on Christianity.

  18. I disagree. The courts have the power and have used it. Look at all of the rulings against prayers in public schools and religious displays on public property. The wording of our constitution does leaves wiggle room for liberal or conservative interpretations but the original poster was talking about fascism taking root here. That I don’t believe will happen. We are a nation of laws. We can most certainly be saddled with an ultra-Conservative government based on the will of the people and a conservative SCOTUS but polling of Americans consistently shows a liberal trend that Democrats have not harnessed to get into and stay in power. I believe the Religious Right is having their last gasp and will soon die out.

  19. So it seems. With all the comments in protest it appears American’s won’t stand for it. In the mean time, I found some more of the lyrics of the new hymn “Make America Great Again.” Here they are:

    Make America great again
    May she rule and dominate again.
    May her people be one color
    So they may love and trust each other.
    Make America great again.

    Make America grate again
    On the nerves of other nations
    May they cringe and cower in fear
    That Trump may cause world damnation
    Make America grate again.

  20. Also in addition to being in support of Evangelical Christian based discrimination and violations of the first amendment there, is another issue the article hints at.

    At this point we can dispense with the pretense that Conservatives or Donald Trump himself, or his cronies, give a damn about those who serve in the military and veterans.

    Since we started our various wars with no end in sight, Conservatives have slashed the Veterans Administration budgets, military pensions, military disability benefits and we have a growing problem of veteran drug abuse and homelessness.

    Republicans wants to cut benefits to elderly veterans

    Republicans block Veteran’s health bill

    “We Support Our Troops” is a cruel joke from that crowd.

  21. Robert Jeffress places too much faith in Donald Trump, that’s for sure. Also, he has a reputation for stridency in a few of his past political statements.

    But there is NO evidence that Robert Jeffress’ theology is based on white supremacy. Nor will you be able to find any racial controversies involving Jeffress.

  22. Would you like a donation to help you relocate to your favorite socialist country?

  23. It’s not homophobia to object to a lifestyle that is unhealthy. See the CDC fact sheets under topic “men having sex with men”.

  24. Imagine! Those verses came from a primitive people. Lol! Everyone knows those verses must have been added by some progressive lib in the late 20th century. No primitive people could actually have written those because, as everyone knows – there is no God.

  25. I didn’t get your post either.

  26. “The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.” Mark Twain
    The same can be said of the death of the religious right.

  27. Is your life at risk by this unhealthy choice?

  28. Christmas is a Great War against Paganism. We Pagans want our Saturnalia Back!!!!

  29. Then we must do away with Christmas. Can’t have Christmas Holiday anymore and not say “Merry Christmas”. And even “holiday” itself means holy day. We must call it something else to finally and completely strip the USA from all of it’s religious influences. SEPARATION OF CHURRRRCH ANNNND STAAAAATE – you know.

  30. “Merry Saturnalia”! Nope – it just doesn’t have a ring to it.

  31. You might want to ask the guy who got hiv from a blood transfusion.

  32. As someone who tends to lean to the right politically, and as someone who makes a claim of Christianity, I just wish Isaiah 1:17 described “us” more than make America great agian.

  33. What part of “Theocracy” is not understood here?

    Jeffress and Frankie Graham are just leeches latched on to tDump’s backside, all in the name of staying close to the seat of power.

  34. “I’m not saying that the Lord’s Arm is foreshortened”

    …but Trump’s tiny hands aren’t helping. 🙂

    Couldn’t help myself.

  35. Are you suggesting that satirizing First Baptist Dallas’s song makes me socialist?

  36. Yes. He is jealous of all the people having consensual relations without him.

  37. Trump’s anti-Muslim talk was what we were praying for.

    Religious freedom means the right to reject religions that are not based on Jesus.

  38. The dangerous, unjust, racist-like minority stress that Pastor Jeffress and you are creating makes you culpable in creating a more dangerous society for Gay men.

  39. It is not unjust to point out to people that their lifestyle is dangerous. I’ve pointed out to friends that their smoking addiction will kill them but they can stop. And I tell them how I stopped. It’s not wrong to tell the govt “Don’t make laws that legalize, normalize, and legitimize dangerous lifestyles.” Look what the cdc says about men having sex with men: it isn’t such a “gay” lifestyle after all.

  40. You seem to think that a worldwide minority group of about 300 million, majority Asian, all live the same “lifestyle.”

    What lightly recycled racist stereotypes do you use against other minority groups? I mean, I heard all this fifty years ago.

    Minority stress kills…and you are partially culpable.

  41. Are you so fragil GP that a simple warning by the cdc will throw you into an anxiety attack? Then don’t blame the messenger – blame the cdc. Grow up.

  42. As they say menage a trois is company, fours a crowd. So proceed without me. Lol.

  43. Nope. I’m suggesting “America- Love her or Leave Her”. (I’m sure SBC folk are mature enough to laugh at themselves.)

  44. I am still seething over Sen. Bernie Sanders outrageous treatment of Mr. Vought in the confirmation hearing. Why can’t our “leaders” show some backbone and correct that egregious wrong?

  45. The trouble facing us isn’t Hitler- like Fascism, rather it is more of the same rot and corruption of the Obama years because what Trump promised won’t happen.
    We better pray that the real Trump we saw in his nasty attacks on his rivals
    in the campaign has no chance of re-appearing to our national detriment.

  46. “Love her or leave her.” In other words give up on America because it’s never going to reach the fullness of the dream of total equality? Aren’t you one of those who promotes the notion of love as pointing out sins so that the sinner may recognize their error and turn from them?

    So do we who see America’s flaws and struggle in Christ to become free of culpability not have the duty to point out what still needs to be done, which never was accomplished in the past, so that we can truly claim a land in which all peoples find true freedom and equal access to all that freedom provides?

    No, I’m not going to “leave America,” in fact, I have never even been outside the contiguous United States–ever. America is too valuable and has too much potential for us to just accept things the way they are, especially, since such progress has been made to fulfill the dream of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Pledge which ends with “one nation, under God, with liberty and justice for ALL.”

    To suggest that criticism of America is “not loving” America indicts your own attitude toward sinners whom you claim to love in Christ. You may not agree with, like, or even appreciate the criticisms I have, but that’s okay, I will still declare what I “have seen and heard and handled and tasted” as well as continue to work with those around me together with the impetus and aid of the Holy Spirit to lift the tumbled down walls of promise from of the necks of the marginalized and disenfranchised and to establish with them a more just and merciful society.

    I’m not offended by your suggestion, I just find it sad that you would, in the name Christ, discount the work and sincerity of a fellow disciple in Christ.

    Oh, by the way I hope you have a wonderful, safe, and meaningful Fourth of July.

  47. People who thought of Trump as an alternative to corruption and rot were delusional, dishonest, or just plain ignorant. Nothing about the man indicated he had ethics, morals or even a sense of maturity.

    But he was a Republican and that was good enough for them.

  48. For those who do not speak wingnut, what are you referring to?

  49. Hey you nicely expanded on my well-worn cliche. What you said is what I meant. Well said.

  50. By that poor logic you should be encouraging all women to be lesbians- they have lower STD rates than any other group in the US, as per the CDC.

    Never mind that homosexuality is not Nita lifestyle choice, but inborn. You know what is a lifestyle choice? Your silly religion.

  51. I’ve talked to gays who disagree with you. In fact YOUR community advertised itself in the ’70’s as the gay lifestyle. So it is a lifestyle when you want it to be but innate when it’s more convenient.
    Got it.
    But the bottom line is this: you choose sexual immorality you choose to disobey God’s word and you choose an eternity separated from God. But you seem to be okay with that.

  52. The CDC agrees with me. Minority stress is the core difficulty that the LGBT community experiences.

    Here is the CDC on minority stress.

    Stigma and Discrimination

    Homophobia, stigma (negative and usually unfair beliefs), and discrimination (unfairly treating a person or group of people) against gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men still exist in the United States and can negatively affect the health and well-being of this community.

    These negative beliefs and actions can affect the physical and mental health of gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men, whether they seek and are able to get health services, and the quality of the services they may receive. Such barriers to health must be addressed at different levels of society, such as health care settings, work places, and schools to improve the health of gay and bisexual men throughout their lives.

    The Effects of Negative Attitudes on Gay, Bisexual, and Other Men Who Have Sex with Men

    MSM couple sitting on a park bench, smiling, and drinking coffee.
    Some people may have negative attitudes toward gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men. These attitudes can lead to rejection by friends and family, discriminatory acts and violence, and laws and policies with negative consequences. If you are gay, bisexual, or a man who has sex with other men, homophobia, stigma, and discrimination can:

    Affect your income, whether you can get or keep a job, and your ability to get and keep health insurance.

    Limit your access to high quality health care that is responsive to your health issues.

    Add to poor mental health and poor coping skills, such as substance abuse, risky sexual behaviors, and suicide attempts.

    Affect your ability to have and maintain long-term same-sex relationships that lower your chances of getting HIV & STDs.

    Make it harder for you to be open about your sexual orientation, which can increase stress, limit social support, and negatively affect your health.

    Homophobia, stigma, and discrimination can be especially hard for young men who are gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men. These negative attitudes increase their chance of experiencing violence, especially compared with other students in their schools. Violence can include behaviors such as bullying, teasing, harassment, physical assault, and suicide-related behaviors.

    Gay and bisexual youth and other sexual minorities are more likely to be rejected by their families. This increases the possibility of them becoming homeless…

  53. And…yet you ignore to your peril what the cdc says about the dangers of msm. You (pl) shot yourself in the foot.

  54. What makes it dangerous to be a Gay man is oppression, injustice, discrimination, your vile take on your religion, and the resulting fatalism and anomie. You are culpable in making life more dangerous for them.

    That life is more dangerous for Gay men doesn’t excuse your greedy, heartlessly recycled racist tactic of cherry picked science. What do you think that accomplishes? Do you think that you can make them disappear? That they will once again become invisible and silent, thereby becoming complicit in their own oppression? Do you think that you”ll get there jobs, their properties at fire sale prices?

    You’re no different than the racists who disparaged loving, minority adult relationships, such as those of interracial couples, back when I was young.

  55. Actually what makes it dangerous to be a gay man according to the cdc is msm.
    I’m retired.
    If you didnt want this conversation you shouldn’t have posted to this thread.
    If you can’t stand the heat…chill out.

  56. There is nothing new in this article. Trump is saying what he needs to say to keep the base in tact. And part of what keeps the base in tact is not defending religious liberty but giving some conservative pop theologians, like Falwell, and causes some pull.

    Thus, I wonder why evangelicals are not concerned about health care bills that cut people off from having medical insurance? And I wonder why evangelicals are not concerned with significant cuts to social safe net programs. And I wonder why evangelicals are not concerned about Trump’s friendliness with dictators. And I wonder other things as well.

  57. Right! I’m leaning toward “Happy Follydays.”

  58. So the whole “their lifestyle is unhealthy” thing is a red herring.

  59. I’m happy to continue this conversation for as long as you wish.

    The way to make Gay lives less dangerous is to encourage stability in their lives…not to encourage instability.

  60. No. See cdc on health issues lesbians face.

  61. Do the warnings on the side of cigarette packages deter people from smoking? For most it doesn’t. So those who persist in smoking should not blame others for their health problems related to tobacco use. The same thing is true for those who engage in the risky behavior of MSM: proceed at your own risk.
    (Fyi: I simply referred to cdc science – if you don’t want to follow their recommendations then don’t – it’s your life.)

  62. I’m all for following CDC recommendations. But since you’re fine with creating dangerous minority stress that leads to fatalistic behaviors in oppressed minorities, just as the racists were doing when I was young, apparently you aren’t fine with the CDC’s recommendations to reduce minority stress and encourage stable relationships.

  63. Knock knock knock
    “Yes can I help you?”
    “Your house is on fire and…”
    “You are stressing me out you cigarettephobe…”
    “No it’s just that your house is…”
    “How dare you point that out! You want to oppress those of us who smoke cigarettes dont you? You want our jobs – that’s it isn’t it!”
    “No – what? No your house is on fire…”
    “We cigarette smokers will not be driven back into the shadows! (So much stress!)
    “Ummm…your house is burning down. Just thought I’d let you know.”
    “You are to blame for my house burning down!”
    “Well if you didnt fall asleep while smoking…”
    “AAAAaaaaacckkkkk… You vile cigarettephobe it’s your fault!”

  64. Because Mr. Vought was only a Christian and not a Muslim.

  65. Re: “It’s not homophobia to object to a lifestyle that is unhealthy.” 

    What makes it any of Jeffress’s — or your — business? Just wondering. 

  66. What business is it of anyone if I smoke or use drugs/alcohol? Or as a heterosexual male use prostitutes? No one’s unless it intersects with the public health. When it becomes a public health issue that can affect me/my community then it becomes my business.

  67. Being Gay is not like a tobacco addiction, it’s a minority gender relationship orientation. It’s also an evermore interconnected worldwide minority community, a worldwide egalitarian movement, and a declaration of that sort of integrity and authenticity that exposes bigotry for what it is….the defense of greedy unearned privilege at the expense of others.

    Whatever your gender relationship orientation., enjoy it lovingly and responsibly. Minority stress makes it difficult for some people to do that. When you’ve been pushed into being self-hating and fatalistic, when you don’t love yourself as you are, it’s difficult to be a responsible person, at least in some areas of your life.

  68. Being gay and engaging in dangerous high risk behaviors are 2 different things. People who have a genetic predisposition to alcoholism will never die of alcoholism if they never take that first drink.
    In the same way those who are gay will never experience those diseases prevalent among the gay community if they don’t engage in those high risk behaviors. You proceed at YOUR OWN risk. And if/when you do get a disease from your poor choices, don’t blame the messenger who points out to you the facts from the cdc. Blame the guy who gave you the disease.
    I would say the same thing to some horn dog hetero who hooks up with anything in a skirt. You play with fire you get burned – duh.

  69. When I laughed at your remark, I couldn’t either.

  70. Actually I’m a libertarian (a true one, not a Koch Bros. or Von Mises Inst. libertarian, those people wouldn’t know libertarianism if it smashed them in the face), and as such would like to do away with a lot of the regulations re: the sale of alcohol. I’d also end the “War on Drugs,” and I’d even be open to legalizing prostitution. 

    Two consenting adults doing what they want, in the confines of their own private property, who aren’t causing any damage to anyone else, are by definition not your business. So grow up and get over it already. 

  71. You really are deeply pathetic.

    Close knit communities, minority or not, sometimes have health problems that are less prevalent than in the population as a whole. I have a genetic disease that is more common among Scandinavians than in other populations. I don’t see you demanding oppressive laws and attacking them. That would mark you as a bigot.

    The way to help alleviate health challenges in any community is to first respect the community. work with the community, do the sociology, the hard sciences, demand equality under the law for the community.

  72. People who are genetically predisposed to alcoholism are responsible for their sobriety.
    People who have genetically inclined emotional disorders are still responsible for their choices.

    You are the quintessential “leave Brittany alone” meme.
    What on earth have you done in your life that you have become the middle age version of a middle schoolers “you aren’t my boss you can’t tell me what to do”?
    Seriously, you need to grow up and take responsibility for your behavior. Not because I said so – but because the CDC says so.

  73. That could be applied to almost any day. Lol.

  74. You can be a beer braut for all I care. You do things in the privacy of your own home that bring in the low life scum who pedal drugs and threaten me and mine and you’ll see how far your libertarian credentials will take you then. So take your drugs and your prostitutes and move on down the road.

  75. Lower STD rates than heterosexuals. Thanks for pointing that out.

  76. Re: “You do things in the privacy of your own home that bring in the low life scum who pedal drugs and threaten me …” 

    You’re being ridiculous. Gays being gay does not, in any way, “threaten” you. 

    Re: “So take your drugs and your prostitutes and move on down the road.” 

    I’d be happy to. Because I believe in one little thing, that you — and Jeffress and the rest of the Religious Right — don’t, which is: Freedom. Grow up and stop with the Christofascism already. 

  77. Marty,
    But the issue isn’t in the fact that some have been left uninsured, but it is in the numbers of those left uninsured. And in those numbers, those who had fewer resources suffer the most.

    I am well aware of many of the significant problems with Obamacare. But it would seem to me that if we were to change from Obamacare, which we must, why would we be nonchalant in changing to a health care law that provides for fewer people?

  78. Nope on both. But thank you for the patronizing response. That was entirely necessary. /sarcasm

    So are you someone who makes a noise about supporting troops and veterans but vote for people who hang them out to dry?

  79. Too bad he and his party don’t share the same sentiment. Look at who is cutting benefits to veterans. They aren’t liberals.

    Why do you hate our veterans so much?

  80. So you do use drugs/prostitutes as you said you are happy to move on down the road – good. We have finally agreed on something. And you’re not a libertarian – you’re just selfish.

  81. “I’m a true libertarian…”

  82. No. You missed it. Lesbians are at a higher risk of some health problems than hetero women. Keep looking – it’s there.

  83. Your behviors are the cause of your stress-that and this conversation. Funny, I don’t feel any stress at all.

  84. Marty,
    Sometimes the projections are somewhat accurate and sometimes they are not. But the dynamics of the republican plans support the general direction of the CBO projections. And the hub of the Republican plan is basically an Atlas Shrugged approach. The rich are tired of footing the bill of those not rich and so they want their taxes cut. The rich want everybody to pay their own way. But they also want to maximize profit for industries like health insurance and health care.

    Like Obamacare, the Republican plans are written by representatives of the health care industry. The Left protested Obamacare from the beginning. However, the problem with the Republican plan is that it not only removes the problems created by Obamacare, it reinstates some of the problems that Obamacare addressed. Let me ask you this: Should health insurance companies be allowed to make sexual assault a pre-existing condition for women?


  86. You do know that unlike with alcoholics under the influence of booze, you can safely operate heavy machinery while under the influence of Gay.

    I do take responsibility for my behavior. Why would you think that I don’t? I’m getting on old now. Never smoked, don’t drink. Keep my weight down. Use safer sex recommendations.

    Why don’t you do what the CDC says…stop creating dangerous, unjust minority stress?

    Not to mention that using STD rates to bash minority groups that carried a heavy burden of dangerous minority stress to disparage their relationships and justify discriminating against them has been done before.

  87. Projection. Lol. Nothing but projection. Lol.

  88. But it is a NO TRUE SCOTSMAN fallacy. Bigger than life.

  89. Ah RenewAmerica, so you got your garbage from that loony rightwing garbage hole. Thanks but no thanks.

  90. The Senate healthcare bill is an abomination whose goal is to justify a tax cut on the uppermost wealthy at the expense of our most vulnerable people. No amendment is going to polish that turd.

    So which party controlled Congress during the last administration? The same one as now.

  91. Funny, it was a Republican plan before they started calling it Obamacare. Now it’s a great evil to them. The ACA is a poor substitute for healthcare system which actually work. But better than the prior status quo or it’s proposed replaced.

    Single payer + mandatory private insurance for people who work is a far better system. But we are a ways off from that. As for the middle class shouldering the burdens, that is what happens when you are unwilling to allow the wealthy to pay their fill measure into they benefitted the most from.

    Conservatives love voting to bend over the middle class to service the wealthy.

  92. Not at all. Even the secretary of defense is trolling the president. The troops respect Mattis. They have no idea what to make of the loudmouth vulgarian they have as commander in chief.

  93. Marty,
    Don’t know why you bring up the Democrats to me especially on this subject. Have looked into the history of the accuracy of CBO predictions before. So you can stop the snow job here.

    The hub of the Republican plan is this: Health care and insurance will be offered solely by a free market that believes in maximizing profits for the good of the shareholders. BTW shareholders, especially the major ones, do pretty much get free lunches especially when they direct those in charge of companies to offshore jobs or rely on gov’t assistance to subsidize payrolls while writing tax laws that help them further reduce, if not eliminate, their share of the tax burden. People who cannot afford health insurance because of costs will not covered. And this is fine with you because there are no free lunches for them.

    And, btw, the repeal of Obamacare was about cutting taxes for the rich and making sure, in Paul Ryan’s words I believe, that the healthy do not pay for the sick–which is exactly how any health insurance works in the first place.

    You can attack Obamacare all you want. That doesn’t make your case here because, in the end, Obamacare isn’t the issue. The issue is health insurance coverage. And the republican plan is really designed to restrict health insurance coverage on an essential product for living. Perhaps you should study the pre-Obamacare stats on the effect of health care expenses and personal bankruptcies.

    In terms of health care insurance, both the Repubs and the Dems have it wrong.

  94. Your ignorance of underlying facts is duly noted and ignored. The ACA was a revival of a Republican envisioned plan. It was opposed in the 21st Century simply out of a desire to deny a legislative achievement of the Obama administration.

    “How the Heritage Foundation, a Conservative Think Tank, Promoted the Individual Mandate”

    “The irony of Republican disapproval of Obamacare”
    The Democrat’s version of health insurance would have been cheaper, simpler and more popular. But we enacted the Republican version. So why are they so upset? Because it an achievement for the Obama administration.
    “One reason for the continued resistance to the Affordable Care Act is a badly distorted narrative of how it became law.”

    Baucus very deliberately started the talks with a template that was the core of the 1993-4 Republican plan, built around an individual mandate and exchanges with private insurers

    You may notice I have used sites of fairly objective reporting reputation and sites of center left and center right. While you just reply with “nyuh-huh”

    “Single payer may be a far better system on some other planet, but not this one.”

    Your criticism is ignorant and myopic. Sanders plan is inferior to a lot of nations with effective single payer plans. Clearly market based health insurance doesn’t really work.

    Japan has a mixed single payer and private mandated option which works far better than Republican plans or Sander’s single payer. They are not exactly a “socialist liberal wonderland” many progressives would use as an example. But their system is functional, fully funded and works on a population larger than most European countries.

  95. I know what “projection” means, but do you?

  96. That which you cannot refute you dismiss.
    Typical of your ilk.

  97. Yup. I am not responsible for your “stress” – you are.

  98. I’m not a teenager who is feeling crushed under the dangerous and unfair burden of minority stress.

    I’m a cranky old guy who studies the varieties of “whiteness” and business class bigotry. I know a smirking, wannabee bully when I read one.

  99. I’m holding up a mirror for you, but you don’t recognize yourself.

  100. Marty,
    Yes, I have looked into CBO estimates, but apparently you only seem to recognize your interpretation of the facts and you show that by talking down to others.

    The idea of no free lunches appeals to the wealthy because they can afford all they want and need. But no free lunches in a capitalist economic system that emphasizes the maximization of profits spells early death to many who cannot afford certain necessities. Basically, you are supporting an Ayn Rand Atlas Shrugged mentality. Another way to describe that mentality is to equate it with Cain’s rhetorical question: Am I my brother’s keeper?. Ironically, he asked that question after he had murdered his brother. And those adopting this ‘no free lunch’ mentality are asking the same question in conjunction with supporting a health care bill that makes health care unaffordable, and thus early death inevitable for many people.

    This idea of ‘no free lunches’ is a social darwinian mantra. Those who can afford the lunch live, the rest dies. This idea of ‘no free lunches’ also denies the interdependence we have on each other. After all, even the wealthy depend on the lower economic classes to make them rich either through labor or consumption.

    And note how you so boldly proclaim ‘no free lunches’ instead of proclaiming ‘no one left behind.’ It shows how important people are to you. So why is ‘no free lunches’ so important to you? Why is that your bottom line?

    Finally, comparing health insurance with auto insurance is flawed. Can people live without owning automobiles? Yes. But will people unnecessarily die early without proper health care?

    The real problem here is between those who look at others as objects vs those who value people as being more important.

    BTW, socialist economic systems and free market systems suffer a common problem. That is difference between demand and health care resources. The free market approach to health care unnecessarily drives up the costs of health care by driving up the administrative costs of health care. But it does nothing to alleviate the demand for health care vs the resources available. It simply uses a financial filter to determine who gets services, who waits for services, and who gets left untreated. The weakness in the Socialist system depends on the resources that the gov’t can either provide by itself or in conjunction with the private sector. And the more gov’t resources that are dedicated to war and militarism, the fewer health care resources are available to the people. So for some, it’s a choice between the military and war vs health care and infrastructure maintenance. And that analysis is not mine alone.

  101. I’m not cowering behind a pseudonym that refers to a violent man who takes the law into his own hands… which results in a serial killer being free to kill again.

  102. There was nothing to refute, just some assertions with the only back up a vague reference to a rightwing loony site.

  103. Marty,
    Not even close to reflecting my point. And it seems you are here to preach than to discuss.

    And what reality are you dealing with regarding no free lunches. The wealthy get plenty of free lunches and they can because their wealth gives them power. Is that the reality of which you speak? No free lunches is equated with reality only by those who believe that the financial bottom line is the only bottom line. Such ignores other realities in life.

    And while you are lowering costs with the maximization of profits, you are not only cutting environmental costs and workers’ wages and benefits, you speaking the truth. Because maximizing profits can include fixing prices or exploiting situations. One only needs to point to Martin Shkreli’s hiking of AIDs medicine as an example. The free market does not lower the costs of all items with which it sells. That is especially true with health care. We spend more on health care here, even before Obamacare, than most other nations and our outcomes don’t show that we are getting our money’s worth.

    Personally, I find your argument for ‘no free lunches’ to be boring and one that embraces a 1-dimensional reality and thus black-white thinking. Decision making is so easy when one is only required to address one issue. And when the financial bottom line is more than people’s lives, you can chant your mantra until you become one of those who lose your privileged position.

  104. Marty,
    We all get things for nothing from ourselves. And the wealthy are proof of this. But that isn’t issue for me with this response. If you want to provoke responses by distorting my points, our conversation is over. So it is up to you.

  105. Marty,
    Sorry if criticism of the wealthy in general doesn’t float your boat. But we have to deal with facts and reality. So don’t work too hard and try to escape that 1-dimensional thinking.

  106. Marty,
    Actually, you have reversed the roles from what is real. It is the wealthy who see public funds as the ‘pot of gold’ which they are in in the process of acquiring. And they do through laws like Obamacare and the republican health care plan. BTW, we should note that the House voted an exception for themselves from their own bill.

    But whether it is through the borrowing of Social Security funds to pay the military industrial complex to laws prohibiting medicare from negotiating drug prices to the prison industrial complex to foreign policies that protect business interests to tax laws that give tax credits to those making profits to how the federal gov’t continues to loan money to our financial institutions and I could go on, the wealthy, in general, see public funds as a pot of gold.

    As for them being a pot of gold, those who benefit the most from society are those who should foot the biggest part of the bill.

    But see, this what I mean by distortion, you ignore what I have written in the past about the wealthy in order to distort and provoke. Your provocation won’t work forever.

  107. Lol. You said you were a real libertarian unlike those other false libertarian. THAT IS A NO TRUE SCOTSMAN FALLACY. LOL.
    Christofacist? Oxymoron fail.

  108. You haven’t looked hard enough.

  109. Depends on the kind of industrial work they are engaged in.

  110. 1. Because single payer is far more feasable, It was a compromise. That being said adding 8 million to the rank of the insured is better for the public than removing another 20 million as planned right now

    2. It wasn’t originally. See prior posts. It began as a Republican idea. You are ignorant of basic facts here

    3. I see you don’t actually bother to refute articles and just fling poo at the sources. CS Monitor, Forbes and the Atlantic are “fake news” sites? Hardly.

    4. Sanders plan is not the only form of single payer systems out there. In fact several countries have working models which were better than his. You made a strawman argument.

    5. Quite untrue or irrelevant on all counts. Even uninsured pay far less for healthcare than in the US (where it is a leading cause of bankruptcy)

    A mixed demographic population has no bearing on the structure of a healthcare system or its funding. Nor have any bearing on who receives treatment and who does not.

    You are full of crap

  111. 1. Meaning, “I don’t like what I am hearing so I will discount it and pretend news stories on the subject don’t exist”

    2. 8 million uninsured have health insurance thanks to the Republican conceived ACA. 20 million will lose their insurance under Trumpcare. As “disasters” go the worse one is the one going forward than the one in the past.

    3. Gave you three two posts ago. Not going to argue the point further. Look at 2 posts prior

    4. Your sole example of single payer was Sander’s plan. It did not constitute the entirety of such plans. Many in existence today, quite successfully. There is no free lunch, but risk management tactics where large numbers of people pay into a system reduce costs collectively

    5. Catastrophic heath expense insurance is what we have now. We do not have is an actual healthcare system here, and until we go single payer, we still won’t.

    As for the aging of Japan, they have a solution to the problem already in progress. The same one used by the rest of the developed world. Immigration. Japan has immigration, they just don’t discuss it openly. They have been importing people from Brazil, the Middle East

  112. You may be on to something: maybe lesbians have lower lifespans because they are industrial workers. Think about it.

  113. Just keep looking. You’re bound to find it. I feel certain.

  114. Evangelism does not equate to Trump-ism. Trump never lead anyone to salvation. Do we worship Christ Jesus? Are we loyal to Christ Jesus or to Trump’s antics? Trump needs, like all of us, to repent. I can;t follow Trump or those that mimic him. They are a dead end, a fad and a hoax. Yes the culture of our nations is sick and broken but Trump and Trump-ism is not the answer.

  115. Happy to find your post on this subject, Emily! Good story. Thank you and RNS for the service you’re providing. As a society we appear to be “stuck” in a difficult transition period — especially in civil rights. Why? Who is being threatened the most by expanding equal opportunities and justice, under the law, to women and other minorities? It sure seems evangelicals — most notably, I guess, Southern Baptists, wants to push U.S. toward Empire, it appears at times, as an alternative movement. Not just to shut down these civil rights movements but to shift the narrative of government’s role away from protecting all, almost. Noticed the survey in Emily’s story, i.e., where a majority of protestant pastors admitted their congregations “sometimes seems to love America more than God.” Is that a more “just” America, they love? ALL citizens with greater opportunities? Or just the “chosen?” Southern whites carrying “keys to the Kingdom,” for instance? Had difficulty with First Baptist’s pastor Robert Jeffress (seen in photo above with Trump) last year during the campaign, as another example of this — proudly endorsing Trump for President, even over Jesus Christ! And as explanation, arguing the country needed the expertise of a level-headed business person like Trump more to help the country prosper. More than someone like Christ. Sorry to be so lengthy, but it just seems such messages are esoteric! Shareholders of this new “corporate” U.S. are only the few? Certainly not all citizens!? As in other tough periods in this nation’s history of change, I have no doubt as “a people” we’ll get thru this one also. But it will not be as Empire Builders! And once again, thanks to the host for the opportunity to comment also.

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