President Trump bows his head as pastor Paula White leads the room in prayer during a dinner for evangelical leaders in the State Dining Room of the White House on Aug. 27, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

When Christians sell out Christians for political power

“Belshazzar’s Feast” by Rembrandt circa 1635-1638. Image courtesy Creative Commons

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

(RNS) — There’s a story in the Old Testament about the king of Babylon, Belshazzar, who hosted a dinner for his religious leaders and royal elites. The blindingly arrogant king, surrounded by adoring sycophants, hauled out the holy articles stolen from the temple in Jerusalem to swank up his party.

The lesson of Belshazzar is that co-opting the things of God for the purpose of arrogant power is dangerous business. God showed up in a puzzling display of divine judgement — a great hand appeared and began to write on the wall.

On Monday night (August 27), the White House hosted something like a state dinner to honor the leadership of American evangelicals. Many cabinet members were present, along with the president, the first lady and dozens of members of the group of informal evangelical advisers who enjoy unique access to President Trump.

It’s the latest puzzling contradiction raised by evangelicals working in the service of a president whose character and so many of his policies stand in direct contradiction to the words of Jesus.

As evangelicals not invited to the party — and not likely to be anytime soon — we are astonished that none of these leaders seem to have brought before the president and his cabinet the justice issues so pressing in our day.

Speaking to David Brody on the Christian Broadcasting Network prior to the dinner, Robert Jeffress, senior pastor of First Baptist Dallas, declared the real reason for the event, saying the White House is “cognizant of the fact that the midterms are coming up. And they’re facing the possibility of a Democrat Congress that, if they take control of the legislature, are going to either impeach this president from office or at least paralyze him while he’s in office. ... He knows he’s got to have his evangelical base behind him.”

Pastor Robert Jeffress introduces President Trump during the Celebrate Freedom event at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, on July 1, 2017. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

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

Jeffress isn’t even hiding the partisan political role he is actively playing. Instead of showing up on God’s terms he’s all about the midterms!

What is the cost of this wholesale evangelical sellout? Among other concerns is the plight of persecuted Christians and other religious minorities around the world, who have been all but abandoned by the president’s near shutdown of the long-standing U.S. refugee resettlement program.

The numbers are stark. Over the past decade, according to the State Department’s Refugee Processing Center, the U.S. welcomed more than 280,000 persecuted Christians to enjoy religious freedom and rebuild their lives. Some 42,000 Christians found refuge here in 2016 alone.

RELATED: White House honors evangelicals ‘for all the good work they do’

Since coming into office, the Trump administration has dramatically slashed the number of refugees entering the U.S. through a combination of executive orders, historically low ceilings on refugee admissions and intentional slowdowns of processing overseas.

Christians have been harmed alongside Muslims and others. With just one month left in the current fiscal year, the U.S. is on track to receive fewer than 14,700 Christian refugees and fewer than 22,000 total.

Many of those admitted in recent years have been persecuted particularly for their Christian faith, fleeing brutal governments that have no respect for religious liberty in countries such as Myanmar, Iran and North Korea and terrorist groups like the so-called Islamic State and al-Qaida in Iraq and Syria. Were these fellow Christians mentioned at the White House?

Resettlement of persecuted Christians from Iran and Iraq – which together accounted for about 60,000 Christian refugees over the past decade – are down by roughly 99 percent: Just 46 Christian refugees have been allowed to arrive this fiscal year from these two countries, among those where advocacy group Open Doors says that Christians face the “most extreme” persecution in the world.

President Trump bows his head as pastor Paula White leads the room in prayer during a dinner for evangelical leaders in the State Dining Room of the White House onAug. 27, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

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

Other religious minorities have been kept out as well: just one Jewish refugee has been allowed in from Iran (compared to more than 70 in 2016), and only five Yazidis from Iraq (compared to hundreds in 2016). Any mention of these needy people of faith Monday night?

We’re not only concerned about the plight of Christians or other religious minorities: We’re equally troubled by the decline in resettlement of Muslim refugees, whose arrival numbers are down to fewer than 3,000 thus far this fiscal year, on track for a decline of more than 90 percent compared to two years ago. As Christians, we believe that Muslims are among the “neighbors” whom Jesus explicitly commands his followers to love.

After all, when Jesus responded to the clarifying question “who is my neighbor?” he told the story of a man — the Good Samaritan — who provided help to someone of a different religious tradition who was in desperate need. Where was the advocacy for our Muslim friends?

To be honest, we’re not surprised that most of the president’s evangelical supporters are not lobbying on behalf of Muslim refugees. Some of them were calling for a Muslim ban before Donald Trump did. Fully three-quarters of white evangelicals supported the president’s initial executive order barring refugees and Muslims from entering the country.

But we had hoped that the White House's guests would show concern about the plight of fellow Christians, as even the president seemed to be as he entered office: In an interview recorded the day he signed his first executive order barring refugees Trump said he would be doing more to help persecuted Christians fleeing Syria. “We are going to help them,” the president pledged in a CBN interview. “They’ve been horribly treated. Do you know if you were a Christian in Syria it was impossible, at least very tough to get into the United States?”

It’s true that the share of Syrian refugees admitted to the U.S. in fiscal 2016 was small, but at least 120 Syrian Christians were admitted that year. In the past eight months, only nine Syrian Christian refugees have been able to come to the U.S., on track for an annual decline of about 90 percent. Were the traumas of Syria spoken of on Monday evening?

There are evangelical Christians concerned about this dynamic. A letter released earlier this month by the leaders of several influential evangelical organizations, including the National Association of Evangelicals, the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, World Relief, and the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, urged the administration to consider an annual ceiling of at least 75,000 refugees for the upcoming year, consistent with historical norms. We were proud to add our names to the letter.

“Belshazzar's Feast” by John Martin circa 1821. Image courtesy Creative Commons

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

We wonder if the invited evangelical “advisers,” while mingling with the president and his cabinet, considered these numbers worth mentioning. We genuinely hoped that these leaders would advocate for them behind the scenes, even if few have spoken publicly. Did they take these concerns to the president in secret?

If Trump further reduces the refugee numbers next month as expected, we'll know the true price of a White House dinner.

At the end of the biblical story, Daniel, the faithful servant of God, was summoned to decipher the writing on the wall:

Oh King, your days are numbered
You’ve been weighed and found wanting
Your kingdom will be divided and given to your enemies

If we take the lessons of the biblical prophet Daniel seriously, what came true for King Belshazzar threatens this president too.

(Shane Claiborne is founder of The Simple Way in Philadelphia, and co-founder of Red Letter Christians. Don Golden is executive director of Red Letter Christians and a former executive at World Vision and World Relief. The views expressed in this commentary do not necessarily represent those of Religion News Service.)


  1. The authors clearly don’t know anything about Christianity. Only white Christians are real Christians. That is why the Evangelical servants of God are so supportive of President Trump’s promise to Make America White Again. Thank God the Mexicans have finally sent the check for the wall. Now President Trump can get the wall built and keep out all of those fake Christians with brown skin from south of the border. If things work out as Jeffress, Falwell Jr., Graham, White, et. al. hope, God will hear their prayers and will use His instrument President Trump to ensure that only godly white Christians are allowed to vote.

  2. Trump’s promise to Make America White Again
    Citation please.

  3. On the positive side you spelled “Christianity”, “Evangelical”, “God”, “America”, “White”, “Mexicans”, and “President correctly.

  4. The plight of refugees at our borders is hardly the only pressing issue Trump’s cadre of hand-picked Evangelicals are ignoring: let’s start with climate change, the most pressing issue facing humanity, and move on to income inequality, the crisis in health care, impending cuts to social safety net programs like Social Security and Medicare, overpopulation, dwindling natural resources, crumbling infrastructure which affects all those without heliport access on their estates, the rise of fascism around the world, I could go on and on. But since tax cuts for the wealthy and conservative judges to protect fetuses from being aborted and heterosexual marriage from the clear and present danger gay marriage poses to every struggling straight marriage out there, there is nothing more for them to discus.

  5. He’s Elagabalus and he approves this message, such as it is.

  6. Satanic Trump needs to return to the hell from which he originated!!

  7. Indeed, and to quote Mrs. Slocombe on “Are you being served?” “and I am unanimous in that.”

  8. Though DT would have thought it OK to fondle Mrs S’s pet, would he not?

  9. I suggest you read the .collected works of Roy hobs” and draw your own conclusions.

  10. Since Trump seems to exhibit the classic symptoms of NAPD/Psychopathy it’s likely the origin lies with the parent whose genetic incompetence he inherited. To be fair DT probably has no choice as to how he behaves – the lack of a normally functioning amygdala limits genuine emotion to rage, aggression and compulsion for revenge, frees impulsivity from normal constraints, facilitates pathological lying, indicates sexual and financial infidelity etc. etc. etc..

    When you teach people to worship an insubstantial and unverifiable psychopathic ideal it’s hardly surprising that some will vote for the nearest embodiment they are offered.

  11. Selling out other Christians? Or just Selling out Christianity? Who needs a mess of pottage when you can sell your birthright?


  12. Didn’t The Mouth of Bob block you some time ago? Because he is still seeing your comments, though rational people might call it “foaming”.

  13. Trumpvangelicals belong on the Comedy Channel. Oh, and remove the tax exemption, I’m tired of freeloaders.

  14. Shane Claiborne is welcome to wring his angst-ridden, Trump-hating hands to his heart”s content on this one. I hope he gets many more opportunities to wring ’em

    The evangelical leaders who were present (and one of them was the new S/BC president JD Greear) did the right thing.

    Namely, just show up, sit down, eat food, and openl support a highly imperiled Constitutional Religious Freedom with the one President who has made it a top priority not only for embattled Christians, but for all Americans. (And if we count Trump’s ambassador Sam Brownback, then we’re talking Re

  15. The eighth paragraph asks, “What is the cost of this wholesale evangelical sellout?” I’d recommend if you have a bright 10-year-old daughter that you ask her when she is 20, 30, 40 and 50. Wealth divide, climate, and the trashing of any real ideals are not looking good for her future. By then she will probably know and be able to tell you.

  16. I do believe that they have absolutely no idea to what extent people outside their right-wing echo chamber are talking about revoking the church’s tax exemption. It may not happen for another decade or so, but the next generation is growing up fast and they’re going to need additional sources of revenue wherever they can find it to make up for the huge windfall Republicans just gave away to the rich, and they will have far fewer qualms about taxing the churches (or the rich) than the old white demographic that currently make up the Republican base, which is shrinking fast as they die off, one by one.

  17. DT probably has no choice as to how he behaves

    I’m not buying it. Everyone has a choice in how s/he behaves. It’s called free will.

  18. He can’t help himself. It’s my animal magnetism, you see.

  19. How is that you always look past the facts and goes straight for the claim that makes you feel better.

  20. The threat to religious freedom in the US is mostly from the Christian right.

  21. In the Hypocrisy Museum, an entire floor should be devoted to the Trumpvangelicals. They idolize politicians and policies entirely opposite to Christian teaching.

  22. No doubt his small hand would be spaciously enveloped – with room to spare….

  23. ” When Christians sell out Christians for political power ”

    Definition of politics : The acquisition and exercise of power and wealth.
    Definition of Religion : The acquisition and exercise of power and wealth.

    Two sides of the same coin.

  24. Wait a minute. You’re the guy saying all these religions are “kiboshed”, but now you want to invoke Satan as an adjective, and Hell as aa actual place?

    C’mon now. If you’re going to abandon religion, abandon all of it. You atheists are so inconsistent!

  25. Trump has done a great job stopping us from becoming Europe. Maybe you should move there if you want to live with refugees.

  26. You mean kept us from being economically well off, with access to healthcare, with working multi party politics?

    “Maybe you should move there if you want to live with refugees”

    You racist un-American slimeball. This country was founded by refugees and asylum seekers. We are the nation with the best history of taking in refugee waves. Trump craps on virtually everything which defines our nation.

  27. Republican politicians have been playing naive white evangelicals for almost 50 years. Nobody is surprised.

  28. Trump is making America great again not a shi*hole by bringing in floods of immigrants from shi*thole countries who try to make us a shi*hole like the one they came from instead of assimilating.

  29. It’s easy to steer the conversation when you make up your own definitions, isn’t it?

  30. By depressing wages, trade wars, obvious corruption and appealing to neo nazis? Your version of “great” is garbage.

    Dumbazz, we were founded and formed by people coming from “sh!thole countries”, our president’s family came here from one. You are a racist derp.

    Those people you are so scared of account for most of our small business growth and entrepreneurship in our nation.

    People from developed world don’t want to come here permanently. They now consider the US a sh!thole country.

    There is not a single refugee immigrant community which hasn’t found success here. Your “floods of people turning the US into crap” was a nonsense argument when they were saying it over a century ago. Bigoted morons evidently don’t change, they just recycle.

    You are as un-American as it gets.

    They deserve to be here. I am not too sure you do.

  31. Those refugees are not assimilating. Go live in Europe where your anti American kind belongs.

  32. Satanic and hell in the vernacular not in theological-religious

    Now for the reality of it all once again:


    Joe Smith had his Moroni and Satan/Perdition/Lucifer. (As does M. Romney)

    “Latter-day Saints like M. Romney also believe that Michael the Archangel was Adam (the first man) when he was mortal, and Gabriel lived on the earth as Noah.”

    Jehovah Witnesses have their Jesus /Michael the archangel, the first angelic being created by God and of course Satan and his demons.

    Mohammed had his Gabriel (this “tinker bell” got around) and of course the jinn.

    Jesus and his family had/has Michael, Gabriel, and Satan, the latter being a modern day demon of the demented. (As do BO and his family)(As do Biden and Ryan) (And Trump? indeed demented)

    The Abraham-Moses myths had their Angel of Death and other “no-namers” to do their dirty work or other assorted duties.

    Contemporary biblical and religious scholars have relegated these “pretty wingie/ugly/horn-blowing thingies” to the myth pile. We should do the same to include deleting all references to them in our religious operating manuals. Doing this will eliminate the prophet/profit/prophecy status of these founders and put them where they belong as simple humans just like the rest of us.

  33. 4.2% GDP growth

    New Mexico trade deal. Canada to follow.

    NASDAQ at all time high.

    15 Federal judges appointed this WEEK.

    I’ll take that ALL day long.

    AND, send your tax cut savings back to the IRS please.

  34. Spuddie doesn’t care that they’re not assimilating. He hates America and wants to change it. He is looking forward to complete Balkanization of the United States and the implementation of a socialist government and economy. I told him to check out Venezuela or eastern Europe; but he still seems to stick around here.

  35. I have been praying for your conversion brother. It seems like you are now aware of The evil one. Keep walking toward the light.

  36. And the DNC have their toys Fr Flaiger, Fr Jimmy Martin, and the holy rollers in each city.

  37. How do you come to that conclusion based on the above angelic/satanic cons?

  38. I suspect it is really your intelligence and knowledge. Bobbob has appointed himself the defender of the the faith, and he knows danger when he smells it.

  39. My thoughts exactly. They have tarnished the whole name/concept Christian! Which is fine with me!

  40. If you want to push this inevitability along, simply use the same tools. Turn yourself into a religion. It’s easier than most think, and the benefits are considerable. If you want to be particularly obtuse about it, find some of the ready ways to be disruptive as well. Buy a property in (say an) historic district that has lots of restrictions on it: house color, # panes in the windows, composition of the driveway, antennas and satellite dishes, clotheslines, lawn height, vegetable gardens in your front yard, fence heights, setbacks for outbuildings, and on and on. Then do what you fracking want, because federal laws prevail, and religion. Wrap your house in aluminum foil and bake cakes in the yard all Summer.

  41. He’s been presenting evidence to you in the apparent hope that some of it sinks in. It seems you are not aware of rational discourse, even *internal* rational discourse, a “blessing of faith.” /s Ignorance, especially your form of deliberate ignorance, *is* evil, FFS. He’s thinking for you. Open your mind and accept the reality, it really is a freeing experience. . It was called the Enlightenment for a reason.

  42. Great…. now I have to pray for you too…. 🙂

  43. That’s a lost cause, deservedly so, at a fundamental level. Just like him trying to lead you to water. Gotta give him credit for trying. But if it’s gonna be a blind kitten it doesn’t matter when it opens its eyes.

    Pray for unicorns, will you won’t you? At least the cause and the attempt are then on similar footing.

  44. Pseudo-Christian Trump is just using these evangelical “leaders” for political purposes, and these evangelical “leaders” are playing politics at full speed. Madison, Jefferson, Franklin and our other Founders must be vomiting in their graves. Trump and these fake “Christians” are thumbing their noses at our constitutional heritage of religious liberty and church-state separation.

  45. You might want to move first, Jeffie, especially given you cannot opinions differing from yours. Try N.Korea, Iran, Afghanistan, and other theocratic countries.

  46. Oh, bullshit. I was living outside Cleveland. Plenty of white immigrants from Eastern Europe who after decades of being in the U.S. STILL didn’t speak English. Some even in ‘Little Italy.’

  47. As is their right as an American citizen. Not everyone leans toward being a blockhead.

  48. So you are an open racist. Thanks for the clarification.

  49. Bullcrap. America has always integrated its immigrant populations of all stripes.

    Europe does things badly because they don’t do citizenship by birth or have sane naturalization policies. They intentionally exclude immigrants from the culture and complain why they are not assimilated. Like what you want to do. You complain about what we do right and want to destroy a working practice which has served this nation for centuries. All because of bigotry and nothing else.

    You are anti American. Someone who hates what made this country and wants to destroy it to preserve white supremacy.

  50. Really Parker? Name one refugee population in this country which hasn’t integrated into our national culture and political life? The only one who hates America are bigoted like you who want to crap on traditions which created this nation. Like the one from our inception. taking in the people the rest of the world rejected. Like your ancestors no doubt.

    The only one looking to play identity politics are conservatives and their efforts to make white Christian supremacy color of law.

    BTW liar the only one looking to create a corrupt non functional government like Venezuela are Trump supporters and their “swamp” of kleltocrats. Why won’t you use a real example of “socialist nations”? Like Canada, Germany, South Korea, Taiwan and Japan”

    You are so full of crap that you have to make up straw man positions than address what I say.

  51. Straight line from Obama and likely to plunge, as wages have already.

    Not a single trade deal or diplomatic effort by Trump has worked or benefitted the country.

    The judges part is proof of how little GOP Congress people care about their job and country. Most appointments are due to deliberately refusing to do their job for 8 years.

    The tax plan screws everyone who works for a living. Small savings for working people at the expense of an intentional gigantic deficit strangling the government. Hurting those who most depend on government operations. Those who work for a living. It was a massive plundering of tax payer resources.

  52. Oh Dear: Spuddie got caught with it’s pants down.

  53. Contrary to the opinions of Certain Peopleb i respect truth and intelligence.

    Here comes one of them, one of the more ocd types, in 4…3…2..

  54. LOL! Because you always see people declaring, “GOD DEMANDS YOU VOTE DEMOCRAT!!!”

    The entire reason for the existence of the Religious Right is to get white evangelicals to vote for politicians who attack their economic interests.

  55. Once again the Scripture is misused do to lack of understanding. The writing in the sand, which comes out on the wall, is fulfilled by Jesus, who is the King of Kings, whose arm has not been shortened, that the finger of God could not reach across time, to perform a miracle.

    The problem man has in the last Day is; who is a Christian.

  56. Really? Name one refugee immigrant group in this country which hasn’t been integrated into this country. Every refugee wave gets the same criticism by bigoted derps like you. Every time they are proven wrong. Immigrant groups integrate here within one generation thanks to birthright citizenship. Nobody else has that kind of success.

    Give me a break, Texas’s senator up re-election is the son of refugees!

    Why don’t you go to white supremacy friendly Russia. You obviously have more in common with their views than anything American.

  57. I remember one particularly dimwitted nativist derp proclaiming that if not for conservative policies on immigration, “there would be taco trucks on every corner!”

    I was thinking, waitaminute! Taco trucks on every corner would be awesome! Who hates tacos?

  58. I can’t help it if your position is so lacking in factual support or even common sense.

  59. Oh dear, you have zilch in response. Caught with what, pray tell?

    Oh right, you derps have to lie about what opponents believe because you can’t back anything up with facts presented in an honest manner.

  60. I am for anything that strangles the federal government bureaucracy.

    Massive plundering of taxpayer resources?! It is the taxpayers money. Oh yeah, your for redistribution of wealth and central planning.

    Like you, I too am concerned about the deficit. Let’s cut all the wasteful spending on useless social programs and let’s get back in the black – agree??

  61. There not American citizens…. that’s the problem. They’re here illegally with no intent to “be American”.

  62. By letting the uppermost wealthy loot taxpayer resources? Essentially robbing from the working class and middle class to go to the rich. Robin Hood in reverse.

    Sorry buddy but kleptocracy is not a solution to government bureaucratic waste. You are not trying to solve a problem that exists. You are looking for excuses to create new ones. Evidently Ferdinand Marcos and Mobutu are the models for Trump’s leadership style. Steal everything not nailed down and bend over anyone who works for a living. It is not a sane policy. Its even more insane to back such ideas.

    I have yet to see a “Big Government Bad!!!” Libertarian who had a clue or actually supported liberties. They all seem to be just pawns of the wealthy and give “Might is right” arguments.

  63. Mr. Trump is a classic example of arrested development. He is completely unable to focus on anything but himself. He sees other people as either appendages to his narcissistic persona, there for his enjoyment, or threats that have to be destroyed. He has no idea, none, that others exist without reference to him, and no interest in their lives except as they impact his. In this, he is very much like the men who sexually abuse others, seeing them, not as persons, but as instruments of their own self-satisfaction. Unfortunately, Mr. Trump sees the entire world that way. It is a tribute to the American people that he has not been able to reduce the nation to his own reflection.

  64. Yes, some of the most diverse populations in the nation. Tons of examples of refugees who made the most of this country.

    Somali refugees revitalized Minneapolis’s economy.

    Iranian, Vietnamese, Korean, Central American refugees have done very well in LA. Not only are their communities thriving and prospering, they bring foreign investment to the country as well.

    Have you been to New York City or Northern New Jersey? Some of the densest and most diverse immigrant populations in the nation and some of the most well off economic markets in the nation. Its telling that virtually every major international corporation has offices in New York and/or LA. By all means call New York a sh1thole. I need a laugh.

    You really stepped in that one. My guess is you are a redneck in “flyover country” who gets the vapors when they hear languages other than English and considers Taco Bell “too ethnic”.

  65. No, they are not assimilating into American culture. Just look at Dearborn, MI.

  66. What I find amazing is how someone so serious completely misses the flippancy and continues to be serious anyway. I’d hate to live like that!

    Dear Mrs. Slocombe, Capt. Peacock, Mr Humphries, Miss Brahms and the rest. I loved that show. So many of those actors now no longer with us 🙁

  67. An essential component of religion is the desire to live in the past or, more precisely, to live in the present as if the past were normative. Every religion points back to a period “in illo tempore” when humankind learned how to live in right relationship with God/neighbor/nature, etc. Using the symbols from that past era permits people to, in the words of Mircea Eliade, sanctify their word or, in the words of David Tracy, to live in an enchanted universe.
    The problem arises whenever people mistake the past for the present and try to force the world of today back into the size and shape of the world in which their religious words and symbols were developed, or, for ideological types, to fit them back into an ideal age when everything was to their liking. This, of course, is what children do, until one day, they have to come to terms with a larger, more diverse world in which everything doesn’t rotate around them and their views. The great majority of children grow up and deal with the real world. Some do so resentfully, but manage to maintain an equilibrium. A few get lost in the maze of experience and fall back down the rabbit hole of the past, insisting only it and they are real and everyone else is a fraud.

  68. It’s called not being able to see the Christian forest for the Orthodox Catholic trees.

    I see you’re a pianist. What kind of music do you like to play?

  69. Hi Monica, I left a scandalous comment on your blog today. Check it out!

  70. I just answered it. Not scandalous for me. But then I’m pretty scandalous myself.

  71. See, that’s where you’d be wrong.
    There’s a difference between coming here to assimilate and coming here just to live in a different place.
    I have no problem with immigration if the desire is to actually become an American.
    Maybe you should check out Paris or Stockholm.

  72. Are you sure you didn’t just describe BobWorld?

  73. Again, you are full of crap. Yes look at Dearborn, MI. You have an ethnic population which has boosted a rust belt economy with working to middle class people, are politically active in our system, loyal as hell to our nation and are fairly successful. If that is not assimilation, then nothing is. It is not even close to the multi-generational slums you would see in Paris. The one’s you pretend exist here.

    “Assimilation”, as you use it, is just a code word for attacking people for being non-white, non-Christian and 1-2 generation Americans. Integration is really the more honest term. How well the first and next generation Americans become active parts of our system.

    You are revealing your bigotry here in a very obvious way. No immigrant group will be considered assimilated to you, therefore they have no place in your fantasy white supremacist inspired America.

  74. Wrongarino.

    It is economically well off (as in citizens who are invested in our economic system). Especially when compared to much of the state. The area is active politically (as in citizens who are invested in the American political system). Much like Jersey City, “Tehrangeles”, and other major Muslim enclaves in this country. My bet is one look at my local Walmart would send you into apoplexy over the women with hijabs manning the check out counters.

    If you are trying to pretend it is an equivalent to the multigenerational slums Continental European countries produce, you are SOL. Those same people find success here which is impossible in most of Europe.

  75. You got pwned and are trying to reframe the argument. Your examples were not of failure in taking in refugees, but success. Proving again, you are full of crap here.

    I don’t see a single example of refugees who come here and don’t become invested in being American. Your prior examples were laughably incorrect.

    Do you have any goddamn clue how many 1st and 2nd generation Americans, former refugees and their children, run for political office in this country? How many of them set up businesses? Send their kids through our education system? That is the definition of becoming American. Investing in our nation and its growth.

    “Assimilation” as you use it is a nonsense term to attack people for not being white christians. It would apply to Amish and Haredi Jews as you use it, but would never have the nerve to try.

    “I have no problem with immigration if the desire is to actually become an American. ”

    Of course you do, you are a liar. Attacking mythical people who do not exist. If they aren’t white and/or Christian, they aren’t really going to be American to you. The whole point of conservative takes on immigration has everything to do with vainly trying to maintain white supremacy at the expense of national interests.

    “Maybe you should check out Paris or Stockholm.”

    Why? They do immigration wrong over there. The lack of citizenship by birth creates multigenerational slums over there.The people you would decry as “anchor babies” here, are the chief reason for success in integrating immigrants in this nation. You follow the example of people who don’t do it right and you attack what works here. You are demonstrating bigotry makes people take stupid, self-defeating positions.

  76. Well, my wife, a Buddhist — already died and was reincarnated into her present life…she, like many people, remembers her previous lives…but there was no judgment day.

    So what’s going on here? How can people have more than one last day?

  77. You have to belong to the First Church of the Last Laugh.

    Then it all becomes clear.

  78. Your reply shows your ignorance…again. All the women in Dearborn wear burqas, nobody speaks English, all the businesses are advertised in Arabic. They all are on wealfare buy food with EBT cards, get medicaid, yet drive nice SUV cars and live in fine houses. They throw feces and urine, rocks, spit on Christian missionaries in that community. That is not assimmilation into our American culture.

  79. No they don’t. Most Muslims in this country aren’t even from places where burkhas are worn. Btw Sparky, the US has the largest Muslim convert population. Many of those women wearing religious garb are native born US citizens.

    “They all are on wealfare buy food with EBT cards, get medicaid, yet drive nice SUV cars and live in fine houses.”

    You are recycling “welfare queen” bullcrap which was old hat back The 80’s. You bigoted derps use that same story for every minority. As if they could only have achieved middle class life by theft. The lament of poor rednecks who thought being white entitled them to privilege.

    Where do you get this garbage?

    “They throw feces and urine, rocks, spit on Christian missionaries in that community.”

    Let me guess, that same fake YouTube video anti Muslim groups have been bandying about for the last decade or so. To pretend Deerborn is like a Paris slum.

    I am surprised you didn’t bring out the No Go Zone myth.

    So according to your exercising religious freedom, middle class existence and hostility to people who attack and denigrate them isn’t being part of American culture. How interesting.

    As I said before, your entire position is anti American bigoted garbage. Now you are showing yourself to be either dishonest or ignorant.

  80. I’m not sexually immoral. I have been faithfully married to the same woman for 32 years, my one and only wife. But that has nothing to do with this discussion.

  81. At this point, at least, I’m not using a model for an avatar, person non grata at First Things, nor did I need to set up my own website to feel good about myself.

    But according to you I need help.

  82. Let us now Kibosh it all:

    Putting the kibosh on all religion in less than ten seconds: Priceless !!!

    • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Abraham i.e. the foundations of Judaism, Christianity and Islam are non-existent.

    • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Moses i.e the pillars of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have no strength of purpose.

    • There was no Gabriel i.e. Islam fails as a religion. Christianity partially fails.

    • There was no Easter i.e. Christianity completely fails as a religion.

    • There was no Moroni i.e. Mormonism is nothing more than a business cult.

    • Sacred/revered cows, monkey gods, castes, reincarnations and therefore Hinduism fails as a religion.

    • Fat Buddhas here, skinny Buddhas there, reincarnated/reborn Buddhas everywhere makes for a no on Buddhism.

    • A constant cycle of reincarnation until enlightenment is reached and belief that various beings (angels?, tinkerbells? etc) exist that we, as mortals, cannot comprehend makes for a no on Sikhism.

    Added details available upon written request.

  83. “I will pray for you” Christianspeak for being a sore loser who got trounced in an argument.

  84. If you don’t like them, that’s probably a plus for them.

  85. Why assume that she meant you?
    Are you the only Bob?
    Are you Bob at all?

  86. It has to be rocket science that’s going on here, writing on the wall is not what Buddha did. If Buddha is right your wife will have endless number of last days, which means she will have to die again and again and again. There doesn’t seem to be a equal comparison to one death and then everlasting life.

  87. Not really. Just being Christian and caring for my fellow man.

  88. Would it be OK if I converted a few of your comments on this thread into a stand-alone article for publication on my website?

    There is no fee, I’m simply trying to add more content diversity for Writer Beat and liked what you wrote. I’ll be sure to give you complete credit as the author. You can learn more about the site by checking out my Disqus profile (my email and the website addpress are in the upper left hand corner) or just reply “sure” and I’ll handle the rest.

  89. So, to summarize, people who disagree with you want to live in the past like children, while you, a really really really smart person have 21st Century Faith which looks remarkably unlike the Catholic Faith. Oh, did I mention you are a really really really smart person?

    La superbia viene davanti alla rovina.

  90. How true. And I see that he is changing his comments again, after they’ve been replied to.

  91. Neighbors & Brothers: only fellow Muslims. Try reading Sahih al-Bukhari. Muslims are commanded not to take kuffar as friends, partners or protectors in nine ayat including Surah Al-Idmran 3.28, try reading a Quran or tafsir.

    I agree that Christian refugees should have priority over Muslims, who should be given refuge by their Muslim brethren.

  92. No thank you. I am honored by the request, but it would make things too awkward for me personally.


    …there are times when “I’ll pray for you” is spat at you with a sneering curl of the lip and no sincerity whatsoever. Usually, this happens during–and typically at the end of– a debate. I mean, you have just spent 45 minutes showing some dim bulb that he has neither evidence, facts, logic, nor reason with which to support his side of the issue, and like a boxer on the ropes with his last gasp he takes a wild roundhouse swing, “I’ll pray for you!”

    And it is always done with condescending arrogance designed to make you feel inferior that says, “Not only am I right and you are wrong, but I am a better person than you” or “You obviously can’t take care of (fill in the blank) yourself, and God won’t help you on his own, so I’ll ask since he listens to me more.” It is a Christian’s passive-aggressive way (or a passive-aggressive Christian’s way) of putting you down. It can mean, “You’re such a wretched specimen of humanity that you need divine intervention in order to avoid your just punishment of eternal torment by fire.”

  94. From the article I linked to

    “I don’t want the prayers of someone who is so blatantly mean-spirited, and I am fully capable of praying for myself if I feel so led.

    To this “prayer” nonsense, I have only this to say:

    It’s like rubbing your (member) against a tree. Sure, it feels good for you, but it does absolutely nothing for the tree, and it puts people off”

  95. So, you’ve dropped the argument that sexual orientation is not a choice?

  96. We can’t help it if your position is so lacking in factual support or even common sense.

  97. All of whom are run by folks quite a bit like yourself.

  98. All taxation is robbery.

    Putting funds into productive resources creates wealth.

    Placing it in your hands wastes it.

  99. “Not a single trade deal or diplomatic effort by Trump has worked or benefitted the country.”

    Have you looked at the terms of our new agreement with Mexico?

    The lowest unemployment in 50 years?

    The lowest unemployment among African-Americans since WWII?

    And on and on.

    Do you EVER acquaint yourself with a single fact before posting?

  100. Although you appear to have made it a life’s work?

  101. It would be patently illegal as a violation of the First Amendment IF we had not passed a law, the Refugee Act of 1980 (Public Law 96-212), which provided asylum for victims of persecution, specifically INCLUDING religious persecution.

    Do you EVER get any facts in order before posting?

  102. Potatoes live under dirt and rocks. They “can’t help it.” 😉

  103. Nope. Run by idiots like you, dud.

    Sent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone

    ——– Original message ——–

  104. One of the side effects of the rise of atheistic communism in the 20th century was the instilling of the notion of “inevitablism” into the jargon of argument.

    The rise of the proletariat and collapse of capitalism was “inevitable”.

    The success of fascism and a one thousand year reich was “inevitable”.

    The rise of feminist ideology and the demise of the distinction between the sexes was “inevitable”.

    Apparently the demise of the religious tax exemption is now “inevitable”.

    That runs into a few problems.

    The first is that what you call “their right-wing echo chamber” appears to be larger than “people outside”, substantially larger.

    The second is that the total amount of revenue that could be derived is so small it wouldn’t provide much incentive for Congress to face the backlash.

    The third is the assumptin that “the Republican base” is dying off, which does not appear to be well-grounded.

    The fourth, which is probably the show-stopper, is that few constitutional experts believe the Johnson Amendment would survive a full-fledged constitutional challenge. As long as a religion acts as a religion, whatever that may be, the First Amendment appears to protect it from taxation. Now, if it opens a coffee emporium, that unrelated business income IS taxable.

  105. You should change that tagline to:

    “Sent on Verizon by a Dud through a Samsung Galaxy notverybrightphone”

  106. Whack! Nasty and typical Christian Bob Arnzhole takes another stab at a poster. Do unto others, Arnzhole…

  107. Bob Arnzhole, stop taking swipes at Ben, you disgusting bigot and asswipe.

  108. We call you Bob Arnzhole with justification, you rotten old bigot.

  109. I have him blocked here and banned from my blog, so I never see the horrible comments he makes under his “Bob” name. God only knows how many other names he posts under to give the impression someone actually buys the hate he spreads.

  110. Stop being a jerk, Arnzhole. Or just die soon, please, you disgusting old bigot.

  111. That is better than can be said about you, Arnzhole, you disgusting old bigot and cretin. Die soon please.

  112. You’re not suggesting there’s something going on between us… do you?

  113. But true. You are one of the ones I miss from NCR.

  114. Selling out all of humanity in the name of a false idol they have made in their own image.

  115. another goober afraid of feminists. Paranoid bunch of scaredy cats or perhaps “rats” (Trump’s latest attack word with such a long and horrid fascist/anti-semitic history). Scaredy Rats.

  116. Trump is racist to the core. In the Trump cult, racism is the First Commandment.

  117. Jeff H. You really need to shut Fux News off and watch some real news. Trump and Fux have got you by the short hairs. You got any brain left? use it.

  118. Explain with a specific example related to this topic? You can’t because you are a mindless progressive lemming.

  119. Define “Racism”.
    Is the NAACP Racist in your opinion?

  120. Israel’s Parliament enacted a law that enshrines the right of national self-determination as “unique to the Jewish people” — not all citizens. Read more here:

    Why don’t you go to Jewish Supremacy friendly Israel, Spuddie? After all, you stated to me in the comments section of a Religion News Service article that you are of Jewish ancestry, so you would easily pass they DNA test that’s sometimes required to prove a potential immigrant’s Jewish bloodline before they are accepted for Israeli citizenship.
    A number of people from the former Soviet Union wishing to immigrate to Israel could be subjected to DNA testing to prove their Jewishness, the Prime Minister’s Office said Sunday. The policy was reported in Maariv on Monday, one day after the Israeli paper revealed that a 19-year-old woman from the former Soviet Union was required to take the test to qualify for a Birthright Israel trip.

  121. According to the table on page 32 of the criminal alien statistics report published by the U.S. government’s General Accounting Office which reviews FBI statistics, illegal immigrants residing in the USA committed 27,300 murders between 2010 – 2015.

    Table 2, on page 21 of the criminal alien statistics report published by the U.S. government’s General Accounting Office which reviews FBI statistics, states that between 2003 – 2009, illegal immigrants residing in the USA committed 25,064 murders.

  122. Not interested it adds a level of attention to my posting I am not comfortable with.

  123. So you can’t make one either. I am talking refugees. They are legal immigrants. You make the same cut and paste but it always misses the point that by population try foot fewer crimes per capita

  124. Cut and paste irrelevance. Please stick to the topic naziboy.

  125. Lol, yeah 😀 Piano: mainly oldies: lots of Charismatic style worship stuff from the eighties (that I was brought up on as a young Christian), but I also do some Terry MacAlmon stuff as well. He’s a colossally brilliant pianist. Some Don Francisco numbers, also some Elvis Presley, Barry Manilow, all kinds of things. The only thing I don’t do is requests 😉 At a local stately home, where I used to volunteer to play the piano every couple of weeks, I used to get a lot of Gilbert and Sullivan requests for some reason. Goodness knows why they thought I’d know any opera…

  126. How pathetic. You’re such a Trump lemming you’ll follow him off the cliff. It’s coming. Mueller has him by the short hairs. Then what will you do?? Cry wee-wee-wee all the way home?? Your lost without your wee fascist who is going down. Hehehe!!!

  127. It was good to at least read, “We’re not only concerned about the plight of Christians or other religious minorities: We’re equally troubled by the decline in resettlement of Muslim refugees, whose arrival numbers are down to fewer than 3,000 thus far this fiscal year, on track for a decline of more than 90 percent compared to two years ago.” But it almost sounds as if Claiborne is willing to throw the Muslims under the bus if these “leaders” would just speak up for Christian refugees.

  128. OK. If you change your mind and decide you’d like more exposure for what you have to say, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

  129. It’s not hate, it’s just a POV you can’t argue with.

    You’re not a theologian. You only pretend to be. If women were supposed to be theologians, then Jesus would have made one of them an Apostle.

    Instead, he had the ladies clean up after the guys were finished eating……LOL

  130. Right, we need leaders like you have in Italy. What are they on, their 200th government since WW II ?

    Italy is about to implode out of the Euro. Worry about that. And the laundry.

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