Attendees lower their heads for a prayer at the opening ceremonies of the 2018 Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 21, 2018. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Conservatives flock to ‘values voter’ summit, but message may be mixed

(RNS) — Every year, conservative Christians flock to the Values Voter Summit, where they are regaled with speeches from big-name conservative leaders. And every year, journalists and pundits follow them, reporting dutifully on those speeches and the often-controversial statements of lesser-known panelists as they rail against progressives.

But as activists and reporters in Washington, D.C., kick off this year's event on Friday (Sept. 21), primarily white evangelical conservative Christians may find themselves in a quandary.

With President Trump still mired in scandal following allegations he paid off a porn star after an extramarital affair, and with a conservative U.S. Supreme Court nominee currently facing allegations of sexual assault, "values voter" advocates are left defending an administration that shares their public policy goals but may fall short of their private values.

Gary Bauer, former head of the Family Research Council whose lobbying arm organizes the summit, was quick to dismiss allegations of sexual assault against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

“Look, I have sympathy and I am praying for the accuser out in California for whatever happened in her life and I’m sure this is a difficult time,” said Bauer, who also supported Clarence Thomas after he was accused of sexual harassment by former colleague Anita Hill.

“But what she’s saying is unproven and I would argue it’s unprovable.”

Speakers at this year’s summit, a who's who of conservative leaders, are expected to touch on themes such as religious liberty, abortion and same-sex marriage. (FRC has been labeled an anti-LGBT hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, although FRC refutes this claim.)

Dana Loesch of the National Rifle Association, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, U.S. State Department head Mike Pompeo and Vice President Mike Pence are all listed as speakers. (President Trump, who has spoken at the event in the past, is not scheduled to attend this year.)

Emilie Kao, director of the Richard and Helen DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society at The Heritage Foundation, said she is speaking at the event this year for the first time because “I know that the Family Research Council cares a lot about religious freedom.”

President Trump shakes hands with Family Research Council president Tony Perkins at the 2017 Values Voter Summit, on Oct. 13, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)


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

Anthea Butler, associate professor of religious studies at the University of Pennsylvania, noted that unlike past years when Values Voter Summit speakers railed against the Obama administration, conservative Christians now have an ally in the White House. Tony Perkins, current FRC head and the driving force behind the summit, is one of several high-profile Christian conservatives with close ties to the Trump administration.

Those relationships have paid off, as the president has publicly embraced many of the religious right's legislative goals. Trump has chipped away at IRS restrictions that bar churches from explicit political advocacy. The Department of Justice has lifted up religious liberty as a focus. The president has already successfully nominated one conservative Supreme Court justice and may be on the cusp of a second one.

Organizers of the summit aren't “on the defensive anymore,” said Butler. “What do they have to strive for if you’ve got everything already?”

But Daniel Williams, a professor of religion and American politics at the University of West Georgia and author of "God’s Own Party: The Making of the Christian Right," argued that even though Christian conservatives have achieved legislative goals under Trump, their defensive posture hasn’t faded.

Daniel Williams. Photo courtesy University of West Georgia

“Christian conservatives haven’t necessarily felt triumphant,” he said. “Instead, their rhetoric of being besieged has continued. It’s as though no one feels victorious.”

In fact, Williams said this year’s summit mirrors elements of the original summit in 2006. As in that year, the 2018 summit is being held under a Republican president in the time leading up to a midterm election where the GOP is expected to lose seats.

“If you look at the Values Voter Summit this year and look at the speaker lineup and the descriptions of what people are going to be talking about … most of it is about feeling like they haven’t won,” he said. “That they might lose control of Congress, or they might not get their agenda passed — especially given all the discussions about the Supreme Court.”

Perkins opened his remarks on Friday by pulling out a make-believe invitation to Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein to speak at the summit, joking it's one he had been “sitting on for six weeks" — a reference to the amount of time between when the congresswoman's office received a letter about the allegations against Kavanaugh and when reports of it emerged.

“I guess that doesn’t give her much time to respond,” he said.

McConnell assured the crowd they would see Kavanaugh on the high court’s bench despite the “tactics” they’ve witnessed.

“But here’s what I want to tell you: In the very near future, Judge Kavanaugh will be on the United States Supreme Court,” he said, prompting applause, cheers and a standing ovation. “So, my friends, keep the faith. Don’t get rattled by all of this. We’re going to plow right through it and do our job.”

Other evangelicals see conservative Christian leaders who dismiss the accusations as betraying their own religious values for political gain.

“I don’t expect we will ever know the truth about what did or did not happen," Liberty University English professor Karen Swallow Prior told Slate. "But as an evangelical Christian, I am convinced Dante himself could not have devised a more fitting circle of hell for my faith community than the one in which we find ourselves: being destroyed from the inside out by the sexual sin we spent decades pointing out everywhere but in our own house. For us, this is the real trial.”

Anthea Butler. Photo courtesy University of Pennsylvania

Both Williams and Butler also agreed this year’s summit will double as an effort to turn out conservative Christian voters this November — especially white evangelicals.

But exactly which evangelicals will be inspired by speakers is less clear, as is the modern definition of “values voter.”

“The group that is represented by the Values Voter Summit is probably a declining element of American evangelicalism — but one that maintains great influence,” Williams said. “In my view, evangelicalism is more fragmented today than it has been in generations.”

Some evangelicals have actively protested Trump’s policies and supporters. A group of prominent evangelical leaders gathered in April at Wheaton College — a prominent evangelical school — in what some saw as a de facto critique of the president.

Even so, Butler said that in the age of Trump — where the relationship between white evangelicals and the president is sometimes seen as transactional — the claim to be “values voters” can fall flat with many observers, and the difference between the summit and other prominent right-wing political gatherings such as the Conservative Political Action Conference is harder to discern.

“They’re not really Christian values anymore — their values are more religious Republicanism,” she said.

(Adelle M. Banks contributed to this report.)

Comments

  1. ““values voter” advocates are left defending an administration that shares their public policy goals but may fall short of their private values.”

    Who says? Where’s the proof? Was pastor Hybels ever at the values voters hoohah? what about Ted Haggard? What about your average catholic priest or bishop? What about Cardinal McCarrick? cardinal O’Brien?

    One of the most salient values voters values is hypocrisy. They scold Mrs. Clinton for staying with her husband, attribute a great deal of made up crap to her, do the same thing about gay people, atheists, liberals, and other Christians, Muslims, and anyone else who doesn’t toe their particular line. But they have absolutely no problem with trumps values, because he is playing to what they really want.

    Power. Money. Dominion. Revenge.

  2. “Christian conservatives haven’t necessarily felt triumphant,” he said. “Instead, their rhetoric of being besieged has continued. It’s as though no one feels victorious.”

    I’m feeling verklempt.

  3. “Christian conservatives haven’t necessarily felt triumphant,” a professor of religion and American politics said. “Instead, their rhetoric of being besieged has continued. It’s as though no one feels victorious.”

    Why should they?

    You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how will it be made salty again? It is good for nothing anymore, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men…………….Matthew 5:13

    Folks who better understand and do what they can to put into practice — ‘Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven’…………Luke 6:37…….. are the ones whose salt is better tasting than theirs is. Trampling under foot and throwing out bad salt (push back) is why it’s though no one feels victorious.

  4. If there is no proof, you have nothing to comment on.

    For revenge I would look at Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, 584 U.S. (2018).

  5. “They’re not really Christian values anymore — their values are more the Democratic Party Platform than Christian” he said.

    Gee, it works both ways.

  6. Mitch McConnell’s speech was spot-on and perfectly timed. THAT is really the speech the Values Voter attendees needed to hear right now. The mid-terms can wait. The real battle is right here right now — Judge Kavanaugh’s life-or-death battle against an overt, cynical, hypocritical attempt at political assassination.

    He may survive it. He may not survive it. But McConnell said exactly what needed to be said, because NOW is the time for American Evangelicals to fight for Constitutional Religious Freedom. Goliath wants to snatch it today, period. Democrats know that Kav just might (even without overturning Roe or Obergefell) obtain an additional 10 years worth of Religious Freedom for all of us. Democrat hatred of such an outcome, is now approaching Hadean levels. No joke.

  7. Here’s why:

    “Republican presidential candidate Texas Sen. Ted Cruz on Saturday [September 26, 2015] again won the straw poll at the Values Voter Summit, the annual Washington meeting for social conservatives. … Cruz received 408 votes. … Billionaire businessman Donald Trump, who leads most national polls among Republicans but is not considered a social conservative, … got 5 percent, or 56 votes.”

    Source: Fox News, September 27, 2015, “Cruz again wins straw poll at Values Voter Summit, annual gathering of social conservatives”.

  8. I can count at least nine people in the top photo above who look like they are probably on Medicare. I wonder if they know that this political tribe they hang with would never have had such a program for them or for any other elderly person.

  9. Currently, their values are obstruction of justice, destruction of the environment, caging children, racism, hatred of women, Muslims, LGBTQ, and discrimination. Oh, and corporate tax breaks, the destruction of unions, the destruction of worker safety regulations.

  10. WRONG.

    FYII (For Your Insult to the Intelligence):

    “Values Voter Summit was created in 2006 to provide a forum to help inform and mobilize citizens across America to preserve the bedrock values of traditional marriage, religious liberty, sanctity of life and limited government that make our nation strong. … [It is] ‘one of the conservative movement’s marquee annual events … the premier conservative event now in the country … the greatest gathering of conservative pro-family Americans in the nation.'”

    How about you? How do you go about “mak[ing] our nation strong”? Prove yourself and your alternative social principles better than Values Voter Summit and theirs.

    You have 24 hours to present your Statement of Anti-“Values”. GO.

    Source: Values Voter Summit, “VVS18: About VVS”.

  11. They did worse than that. They utterly trashed the Obama family, including racist attacks, on an intact, traditional American family. By all reasonable accounts, the Obama family is a good one, a good marriage, and good kids. Clearly they all love each other. And Evangelicals viciously denigrated and attacked the Obama family. The fact that they weren’t a white family wasn’t lost on the white Evangelicals.

  12. Is this sung to the tune of “These are a few of my favorite things”?

  13. “Values Voter Summit”

    And the Values Voters support President Trump because he places such high value on women’s genitals? Or just white women’s genitals? A man whose priorities match their own?

  14. Re: “But as activists and reporters in Washington, D.C., kick off this year’s event on Friday (Sept. 21), primarily white evangelical conservative Christians may find themselves in a quandary.” 

    I’m not sure there’s much of a “quandary” here. The truth of “Values Voters” is that they’re all a bunch of white nationalists. Their movement was built upon a clearly-racist foundation. They’re doing exactly what they’ve done, for decades, which is to pursue a religio-political movement intended to re-establish white privilege and marginalize or destroy “the Other” (because “the Other,” you see, is scary). 

    Mitch McConnell meant what he said, when he promised his peeps, “We’re going to plow right through it and do our job.” Their game hasn’t changed much, except that now, they don’t feel as much need to cloak their racism and prejudice … the Apricot Wonder’s election has given them permission to just let it all out. 

  15. “They say what about the tweets? What about the past? What about some of the profanities and vulgarities? We are conscious of his history. We are conscious of his future. And as Oscar Wilde said, ‘Just as every sinner has a future, every saint has a past’.”
    – Bill Bennett, conservative radio host and former secretary of education under Ronald Reagan.

    Source: Jessica Taylor , “Trump to Values Voters: In America ‘We Don’t Worship Government, We Worship God'”, NPR, October 13, 2017.

  16. FYII (For Your Insult to the Intelligence):

    “The Values Voter Summit is an annual political conference held in Washington, D.C. for American social conservative activists and elected officials from across the United States. … The first summit was held in 2006. Among the key issues for values voters defined by the organizers are opposition to abortion and to same-sex marriage, and a strong national defense. … The conference typically includes appearances from Republican potential presidential candidates vying for the support of the crucial social conservative base of the party. … Starting with the second annual conference in 2007, the summit began holding its own presidential straw poll … The winner of the first presidential straw poll … was former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney … [In] 2011 … a group of conservative figures were beginning to organize to turn the Values Voter Summit into ‘a full-fledged rival to CPAC [Conservative Political Action Conference]’ by expanding its focus to include economic and national security issues. … [At] the 2015 conference (the last one to be held before the 2016 Republican primaries began) … the results of the presidential straw poll saw the same exact top three candidates for the second year in a row: [Ted] Cruz once again came in first … Businessman Donald Trump, then the frontrunner for the nomination in all major national polls, came in fifth place with only 5% of the vote. In October 2017, addressing the annual gathering for the third time, President Donald Trump became the first sitting president to do so and spoke for about thirty minutes.”

    Source: Wikipedia, where else.

  17. “Trump to Values Voters: In America We Don’t Worship Government, We Worship God”

    This from a compulsive liar. The Values Voters are placing all their bets on Trump’s promise to Make America White Again. That was also a lie, but it fed the Values Voters’ delusions of grandeur. No doubt the Values Voters expect the check from Mexico for the wall to arrive any day now.

  18. When I read or hear about “Conservative Values Voters,” I think of that label as a euphemism for “Confusable Vacuous Voters” and/or “Contemptible Vile Voters.”

  19. Bill Bennett, the guy who raised against immorality, and yet, managed to have a couple of bad habits involving money?

  20. When I read your comments, I think “this man is clueless”.

  21. So, you dislike Trump.

    Here’s the score to date:

    – you dislike the Catholic Church

    – you dislike white people

    – you dislike Trump

    – you dislike men

    Anything else?

  22. Wait, your last name is “R.U.S.H.”? As in:

    Ramshackle? Oh no.
    Unhinged? Oh no.
    Scam? Oh no.
    Hogwash? Oh no.

    Shall I call 9-1-1? Or shall I finish eating my veggieburger and oil-free fries first? I work hard for the money, you know.

  23. If you lived in my state for any length of time you would learn how detrimental he’s been for us over the past 30+ years. He’s a dangerous backroom dealer. Big Coal, Big Energy, Big Banks…and the best government money can buy via Citizens United. He refuses to spend much time beyond the Golden Triangle here in Kentucky. Just a quick grip and grin photo op and poof, away from us hoi polloi he runs.
    The man started out as a moderate until he developed a taste for power and pork.
    American evangelicals have a tarnished past for which they’ve yet to atone, have no central governing body for which victims can appeal, and aren’t doing very much to assure non believers they are not trying to establish another Christian hegemony.

    Constitutional Religious Freedom, what does this even mean? Seriously, beyond the call for Christian authoritarian dominion of a democratic republic, what does this even mean? I didn’t serve and sacrifice my health to have dogma warped ideologues infringe upon my rights, and rights others, to live free.

    It’s a long read but This is the real McConnell. No longer the man who helped my brother deal with a racially biased issue while commissioned in the US Army. He’s no longer a man of the people, he panders to those who pay him for inserting their brand of religious dogma into public policy to the detriment of all who wish to live free of it. Who are entitled to live free of it, who have the constitutional right to live free of it.

    https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/11/mitch-mcconnell-profile_n_3550173.html

  24. Your “T.R.U.T.H.”? As in:

    Tattle? Yup.
    Ramble? Yup.
    Uppity? Yup.
    Tautology? Yup.
    Hearsay? Yup.

  25. Yet they avoid the very thing that tanks their authoritarian argument mandating traditional marriage…no fault divorces. Why?

  26. alwaysguzzling’s questions were: “And the Values Voters support President Trump because he places such high value on women’s genitals? Or just white women’s genitals?”

    The answer from “Bill Bennett, the guy who raised against immorality, and yet, managed to have a couple of bad habits involving money”, was:

    “They say what about the tweets? What about the past? What about some of the profanities and vulgarities? We are conscious of his history. We are conscious of his future. And as Oscar Wilde said, ‘Just as every sinner has a future, every saint has a past’.”

    But, see, alwaysguzzling wasn’t sincere with her questions, because now all she wants to say is, “[Trump is] a compulsive liar. The Values Voters are placing all their bets on Trump’s promise to Make America White Again. That was also a lie, but it fed the Values Voters’ delusions of grandeur. No doubt the Values Voters expect the check from Mexico for the wall to arrive any day now.”

    Gotta wonder. Whatever happened to alwaysguzzling’s original questions: “And the Values Voters support President Trump because he places such high value on women’s genitals? Or just white women’s genitals?”

    Is she in a 4by4 glass urn or something, trying to make sense of her life in a bubble?

    Me? I read people’s comments, although following up by blowing them up is hard to resist around here at St RNS.

  27. In 1971, the Supreme Court decided Lemon v. Kurtzman which created three tests for determining whether a particular government act or policy unconstitutionally promotes religion.

    The Lemon test says that in order to be constitutional, a policy must:

    Have a non-religious purpose;
    Not end up promoting or favoring any set of religious beliefs; and
    Not overly involve the government with religion.

  28. E Hakenson’s original comment falsifies VVS’ value-statement. I corrected it. Had she written down, “Yet they avoid the very thing that tanks their authoritarian argument mandating traditional marriage…no fault divorces”, I’d probably ignore it like this fly on my sandal right now.

    Around here I’m interested in an on-point discussion. Misrepresentation of facts draws me in the fray very quickly.

    Your comment is no misrepresentation of facts. You get me? No. OK, save it for another time, savouring my respect for you. I won’t let E Hakenson get in the way of that. I treat Ben in Oakland similarly in situations like this. But there are so many annoying people around here, honestly, from the Right, from the Left, from the Center. You & BiO are good people.

  29. I get that you don’t like it, but it is true. Moreover, your repeated denials of it cannot and never will magically make it anything but true. 

    Since you obviously need help understanding the reality of the Religious Right movement, here’s some more for you to look at — if you dare: 

    http://religion.oxfordre.com/view/10.1093/acrefore/9780199340378.001.0001/acrefore-9780199340378-e-97
    https://www.vox.com/the-big-idea/2018/4/30/17301282/race-evangelicals-trump-support-gerson-atlantic-sexism-segregation-south
    https://www.alternet.org/tea-party-and-right/real-story-religious-right-movement-born-defend-racial-segregation

    I should note: Repeatedly calling something “false” that isn’t, in the hope that it will somehow become false if you call it “false” often enough, is a fallacy, called argumentum ad nauseam. It’s also a form of magical thinking — and as such has no bearing on reality. 

    So please, go ahead and tell me I’m wrong … again. Say it over and and over and over and over and over, if it makes you feel better to do so. But — all you’d be doing is throwing a tantrum of denial. It’s childish, and I suggest you grow up already and stop doing it. 

  30. But no matter how many times you post it, it’s still false.

    It’s part of your shtick – your opinions = fact.

    http://religion.oxfordre.com/view/10.1093/acrefore/9780199340378.001.0001/acrefore-9780199340378-e-97

    Michael J. McVicar’s OPINION.

    https://www.vox.com/the-big-idea/2018/4/30/17301282/race-evangelicals-trump-support-gerson-atlantic-sexism-segregation-south

    Nancy D. Wadsworth’s OPINION.

    https://www.alternet.org/tea-party-and-right/real-story-religious-right-movement-born-defend-racial-segregation

    Jonathan Dudley’s OPINION.

    Among the data they avoid altogether is the anti-New Deal religious outcry in the 1930s, including Father Charles Edward Coughlin’s weekly radio broadcasts, the formation of Protestants and Other Americans United for Separation of Church and State in 1948, which immediately began lobbying.

    Why are this data missing?

    Because accounting for them would make it clear that your authors’ OPINIONS have a few holes in them.

  31. You keep complaining about your state, and yet you remain.

    Let’s look at what percentage of the electorate in Kentucky voted for McConnell:

    1984 49.9% (his opponent had 49.5%)

    1990 52.2%

    1996 55.5%

    2002 64.7%

    2008 53.0%

    2014 56.2%

    That looks like more than Big Coal, Big Energy, and Big Banks.

    You might want to move to Maryland.

  32. Let’s look at what percentage of the electorate in Kentucky voted for McConnell:

    1984 49.9% (his opponent had 49.5%)

    1990 52.2%

    1996 55.5%

    2002 64.7%

    2008 53.0%

    2014 56.2%

  33. The decision in Lemon v. Kurtzman, 403 U.S. 602 (1971) proposed a three-prong test, which the Court has since disregarded more than once.

    1. The statute must have a secular legislative purpose. (Also known as the Purpose Prong)

    2. The principal or primary effect of the statute must not advance nor inhibit religion. (Also known as the Effect Prong)

    3. The statute must not result in an “excessive government entanglement” with religion. (Also known as the Entanglement Prong)

    It suggested these factors in considering entanglement:

    a – The character and purpose of institution benefitted.

    b – The nature of the aid the state provides.

    c – The resulting relationship between government and religious authority.

    It is the Entanglement Prong that makes the Lemon Test a work-in-progress.

    It is completely arbitrary in its application, which has led the Court to disregard it from time-to-time.

    http://scholarship.law.unc.edu/falr/vol10/iss3/5

    “Cooking up a New Lemon Test: The Establishment Clause, Displays of Religious Objects, and Lessons from India”

  34. Looking carefully at the top photograph there, I count what appears to be two Black Americans in the front row, and a Latino or Asian American in the second row.

    I guess you missed seeing them, or you wouldn’t have said “they’re all a bunch of white nationalists.”
    It’s difficult to play a race card that you don’t have.

  35. So you hate Sen. Mitch McConnell. After all, he’s a solid conservative and you’re a solid liberal. Duh.

    But when the chips were down for your own brother, McConnell himself pinch-hit for him, and scored a Home Run?

    OH well. That don’t matter. Please continue hating on Mitch McConnell. I’m sure he deserves your hatred.

  36. “Values Voters”… what arrogance and hypocrisy. It’s telling that these so-called “Christian” voters’ values don’t happen to coincide with those of Jesus.

  37. You want “limited government”, yet you want the government to restrict Americans’ access to reproductive health and freedom. And you want the government to act to bolster your religious bigotry and impose it on other citizens. The truth is, you want our government to represent your religious beliefs, which are not shared by a majority of Americans.

  38. You’re not paying attention. 

    What I said was, “The truth of ‘Values Voters’ is that they’re all a bunch of white nationalists. Their movement was built upon a clearly-racist foundation.” Someone might have found some “dark” folks to shove in front of the cameras, but in fact, the Religious Right movement — of which the “Values Voters Summit” is merely one annual manifestation — is, as I said, inherently racist, founded on racism, and in which racism persists. 

    Finding a couple “dark” people here or there who’re in the movement, cannot and will never magically change its underlying, fundamental nature. Let’s be clear: It erupted in the wake of the IRS taking away Bob Jones University’s tax exemption, in 1976, because it continued to refuse admission to blacks. Paul Weyrich, Jerry Falwell and later Francis Schaeffer used that to instigate their movement. 

    Find out about the history of it right here: https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/05/religious-right-real-origins-107133?paginate=false This history is well-known, easily traceable, and is revealed by the architects of the R.R. themselves. Frank Shaeffer, the late Francis’ son, has attested to it quite often — among many others who were in a position to know what was going on at the time. 

    It’s not even debatable: The R.R. movement is predicated on bigotry and prejudice, and is a manifestation of white nationalism. Its initial appeal was to white Southerners desperate to keep segregation alive in the wake of the civil rights movement and efforts by the federal government and all of its arms (the IRS included) to promote minorities’ civil rights. (Why do you think the R.R. remains all worked up and in a tizzy over the existence of the federal government? To the point where its followers have cooked up the notion of a “deep state” to explain why it’s continuing to thwart them even though the federal government is now controlled by them?) 

    To say anything else about the R.R. is a damned lie. That’s not to say every person in the R.R. movement is a racist. I am not saying that at all. I’m saying the founding purpose of the movement was to perpetuate racism and promote white nationalism. And promoting racism remains one of its goals. 

    So call me unimpressed by your observation. You’re going to have to do better than that — much better. 

  39. Comments reflecting the reality of how far “Values Voters” have wh0red themselves to someone has no regards for niceties or propriety.

    At this point, there is not even the slightest pretense the”Family Value Platform” means anything other than discrimination and corporate welfare.

  40. So anti-gay bigotry was used as a rallying point for people to vote for candidates who attack their own economic interests.

    “Limited government” is a catchword for being a prag to corporatist interests. Government is never too limited for such people to fit in a bedroom or womb.

    Their anti-values:
    These people voted for a serial adulterer, kleptocrat who has made the country considerably weaker in many regards.

  41. Their private values were pretty reprehensible from the outset. “Protection of traditional marriage” being both an attack on marriage equality and single parenthood. Given the prevalence of single parenthood among minority communities, it adds an extra twinge of barely concealed racism to hypocritical hateful mix.

  42. ” Judge Kavanaugh’s life-or-death battle against an overt, cynical, hypocritical attempt at political assassination.”

    Because sexual assault allegations only matter to you if the accused is a Republican. We got that already from the usual apologists.

    “But McConnell said exactly what needed to be said, because NOW is the time for American Evangelicals to fight for Constitutional Religious Freedom”

    Translation: I want the government to attack the civil liberties of women, gays, and minority religions.

  43. The man is partisan garbage who is more than willing to deep-six the country in favor of personal interests.

    Mitch McConnell refused to so his duty 2 years ago when hearings were held for a SCOTUS nominee. At this point any Trump nominee can go stuff themselves. Turnabout is fair play here.

  44. Can’t help sort you here. Because of my reply “21 hours ago” telling E Hakenson off for being “wrong” about VVS’ “history”, she has since backed down, opting instead with this opening line: “Currently, their values are …” etc. Your reply just “an hour ago” came after that slip.

  45. “[I] want … government to represent [no] religious beliefs”. I don’t care what VVS wants. I was just telling E Hakenson off for being “wrong” about VVS’ “history”. She has revised her original statement as a result.

  46. Actually, as liberal Democrat Congressman Keith Ellison’s ex (Karen Monahan) is painfully discovering, abuse allegations “only matter if the accused is a Republican.”

    (Which is perfectly fine with you, of course.)

  47. Indeed, you are “unimpressed” by “a couple ‘dark’ people here or there.” You VERY easily dismiss people of color who show up in RNS photos of conservative-religious gatherings. (Yet you want to complain about conservative “racism.” Hmm.)

    Reminds me of Queen Hillary. When black clergy sent her an emergency letter in 2016, that black Christians wanted her to address THEIR values on Religious Freedom, Abortion & Gay Marriage, she totally ignored them. https://religionnews.com/2016/11/01/faith-leaders-ask-clinton-not-to-ignore-black-church-concerns/

    Anyway, she’s (deservedly) toast. So let’s knock out Randall Balmer’s flawed hit-piece, the mess that somehow hypnotized you. Just click on these two links: https://mereorthodoxy.com/religious-right-alt-right-sarah-posner/
    http://thefederalist.com/2014/06/05/the-real-origins-of-an-evangelical-hit-piece/

    “The history of the Religious Right can be reduced to defending racial purity only if the 1970s and Carl McIntire simply never happened.” — Matthew Lee Anderson (2017)

  48. Sorry, but you linked to a Terrorist Organization there (the SPLC). I don’t support terrorist organizations. The SPLC used to be an honorable Civil Rights organization, but those years are long gone. Now they’re just another Alt-Left Hate Group, inciting hate among the gullible.

  49. Most would agree that a two parent family is better than being a single parent.
    Most would agree that there is an absence of fathers in the inner cities of America, either due to incarceration or often by choice (of the father).
    It’s not racist to point these issues out in order to address them. If you go back to Aretha Franklin’s funeral a few weeks ago, the black pastor made mention to this as well; and he certainly isn’t a racist.
    Turn your “everyone’s a racist” meter down a notch.

  50. I do hate McConnell, he’s compromised the health and safety of the Jackson Purchase area in his drive for the power he now possesses.
    As far as pinch hitting… BS, it was no home run. He stopped my brother from be the sole recipient of discipline of which three other captains were also culpable. Racial bias was determined to be behind the effort to single him out.

  51. Re: “You VERY easily dismiss people of color who show up in RNS photos of conservative-religious gatherings.” 

    I do, because as I explained to you, the Religious Right movement was established in order to foster white nationalism and perpetuate racial segregation. It is, in fact, still doing that. 

    Re: “– Matthew Lee Anderson (2017)” 

    Your quotation is irrelevant. The history of the R.R. is well-documented. It was created — as I’ve said multiple times, and as the recollections of those involved make clear — to promote racial segregation and white nationalism. There’s no longer any debate over it. That’s just how it is. 

    I get that you don’t want it to be true — but it is! The mature thing for you to do, would be to accept that, and move on. But I suspect you’ll keep denying it … as though your endless denials can magically make your wishes come true. Logic doesn’t work that way, no matter how vehemently you insist otherwise

    My advice to you is, to grow up for the first time in your life and embrace reality instead of futilely railing and fuming against it. The alternative is to keep acting like a sniveling infant. Which you are, of course, free to do, if it’s so important to you to do so…. 

  52. You hate McConnell, you hate your state, you hate many of the people in your state.

    There is a theme here.

  53. I take it your first sentence is about Chuck Schumer.

    There was and is no duty to hold hearings at all.

    They are relatively recent occurrence.

    False allegations are “fair play”?

  54. You explained to no one that the Religious Right movement was established in order to foster white nationalism and perpetuate racial segregation.

    You stated your opinion that it was, but over the months every time you’ve done so your opinion has been refuted with facts.

    Facts: they’re what’s for dinner.

  55. The substance of Arnzhole’s comments is generally nothing.

  56. So, their entire “anti-values” consists of not voting for your candidate?

    Are you on something?

  57. “I should note: Repeatedly calling something “false” that isn’t, in the hope that it will somehow become false if you call it “false” often enough, is a fallacy, called argumentum ad nauseam. It’s also a form of magical thinking — and as such has no bearing on reality.”

    And, of course, there is the obvious flip side . . . “Repeatedly calling something “truth” that isn’t, in the hope that it
    will somehow become truth if you call it “truth” often enough, is a fallacy, called argumentum ad nauseam. It’s also a form of magical thinking — and as such has no bearing on reality.” . . . with the obvious prime example being the Bible.

  58. Re: “And, of course, there is the obvious flip side …” 

    Being correct, and repeating correct information, is not fallacy. As I’ve explained at length, the cold reality of the Religious Right movement is that it is white nationalist in nature and was fashioned in response to Bob Jones University losing its tax exemption, in 1976, because the school refused (then) to admit African-Americans. 

    It’s all on the record, and is well-attested, both via documentation as well as the recollections of those involved at the time. 

    The reason I have to repeat myself is because current R.R. members are too petulantly childish to accept this reality. It’s not my fault they’re so infantile that they need facts repeated to them ad nauseam — but they are. I will not apologize, either, for repeating myself on this. The truth is that history is on my side and bolsters everything I’ve said; it runs counter to what the R.R. would like to believe of itself. 

    Again, the solution here is very simple and obvious: For the R.R. and its followers to grow up, for the first time in their sniveling little lives, and accept facts. They are, as I’ve said, on my side, not the R.R.’s. 

  59. Sane non-hateful people would not attack people for being single parents or use such conditions for dog whistle racist appeals.

    “Values voters” don’t do anything to address the issues of endemic poverty, single parenthood, or any conditions in inner cities and the like. They simply wag fingers and attack people for their existence. Irs all about feeling morally superior (while not being so in the least)

    These are the same people whose “family values” include voting to take food and access to medical care away from poor families.

    Pretty useless bunch for doing anything other than promoting discrimination and getting poor and working class people to vote against at their economic interests.

  60. That shows how far gone you are. But then again you activately support discrimination under color of law. Reality is not your friend.

    Let’s be more honest then you are going to be willing to be. You never respected the SPLC. They always focused in politically active right wing bigots. Groups you have supported in general.

    There is no real “Alt Left” to speak of The alt right however, aka neo nazis, have entangled themselves with mainstream conservatives. You have thrown in support with white supremacists one way or another.

  61. Actually you are trying to deflect in order to avoid the embarrassment of the a SCOTUS nominee with an embarrassing past.

    One way or another Ellison has to face voters over this. Democrats aren’t exactly rushing to his aid here.

    “(Which is perfectly fine with you, of course)”

    Which I have said when? Never. Nice try but you are full of it. Trying to project here.

    I distinctly remember you demanding due process before accusations for Roy Moore be taken seriously. But I guess it only matters if one is a Republican.

    You defend miscreants. I prefer to hear out accusers first.

  62. Clearly, you aren’t aware, but Jesus talked about “values” only 3 times, and it’s your calling to figure out what He meant …

    (1) In Matthew 13:46: “Upon finding …the kingdom of heaven … that one pearl of great value [polytimon = very precious], he went and sold all that he had and bought it.”

    (2) In Luke 12:7: “But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value [diapherete = with the full distinction showing what is better or superior] than many sparrows.”

    (3) In Luke 16:15: “He said to them, ‘You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of others, but God knows your hearts. What people value highly [hypseelon = conceit in, exalt, highly esteem] is detestable in God’s sight.'”

  63. I don’t think anyone was attacking single parents or bring race into it. But you sure did.

  64. And you would be wildly incorrect.

    That was the point of such criticism by “family values types”. Attacking parents and children for existing. “Inner city” being the euphemism for signalling about racial minorities.

    Of course on top of that involves attacking families based on the gender of the parents as well.

  65. I’m still trying to wrap my head around the promotion of Kim Davis by these ‘values voters’. She of the four divorces somehow being the Joan of Arc, the patron saint, of protecting traditional marriage. And then there were all the references to St Thomas More, who more or less lost his head protesting a certain divorce. It’s all very head scratching.

  66. Children for existing…. you like to kill them before they are born anyway; so why do you care?
    Inner city “types” statistically have a higher percentage of fatherless families. Face the facts.

  67. PsiCop, I was not taking issue with your comment, which I agree with. I was simply focused on the general idea of “repeatedly calling something ‘false’ (or ‘true’) that isn’t, . . .”

  68. Values Voters primarily value raw, naked power. That’s been obvious since this fascist movement began.

  69. Aspologies, I misunderstood you. That said, repeating correct information in order to get past irrational resistance to it, isn’t fallacious. It’s necessary. But, it’s not made necessary because of any flaw in the information … it’s necessary because of the childishness of those who refuse to accept it. 

  70. So, faced with some solid rebuttals of Balmer’s little mistake, what do you do?
    You merely double down on the mistake, offer some lame low-octane insults about maturity, and hope that the readers simply forget where to find good arguments against Balmer’s mistake.

    Sheesh. As a debate strategy, it’s an automatic fail. You gotta do better..

    Meanwhile, if anybody tries to sell Balmer’s mistake again in this forum, I’ll simply give readers the TRUTH instead. “The history of the Religious Right can be reduced to defending racial purity only if the 1970s and Carl McIntire simply never happened.” — Matthew Lee Anderson (2017)

  71. Re: “So, faced with some solid rebuttals of Balmer’s little mistake, what do you do?” 

    First, you didn’t “rebut” anything. Second, Ballmer didn’t make any “mistakes.” 

    Re: “You merely double down on the mistake, offer some lame low-octane insults about maturity …” 

    Maturity is the issue here — or rather, a lack of it. Religious Rightists are immature, and their religion and ideology are constructed in such a way as to grant them license to remain immature. The problem is, they’re grown adults and have no valid excuse for remaining immature. 

    Re: “Meanwhile, if anybody tries to sell Balmer’s mistake again in this forum …” 

    You need to grow up and stop pitching fits over Ballmer. He’s right, without regard to your infantile unwillingness to admit it, and I have no idea what Anderson is talking about — and have no intention of ever doing so. What I do know is that none of his drivel has any factual basis. 

  72. Nope. Children are born.

    But according to you, womenfolk are merely property whose bodies are yours to command.

    Bigots use the term “inner city” to make wildly generalized racist comments without being overly obvious about it. Statistically rural poor aren’t much better in that regard. But that requires a level of honesty not seen by “Values Voters”.

  73. Kim Davis is white and shares the same bigotry they promote.

    Everything else is forgivable. Much like Trump’s serial adultery, wh0re mongering, cheating business associates, swindling customers of his businesses and a host of other immoral and illegal activities.

  74. Bottom line these evangelical “Christians” are not Christians at all. They are in fact Calvinists and are only interested in power and control of others. They follow the teachings and examples of John Calvin & Oliver Cromwell committing heresy, blasphemy, sacrilege, and idolatry in the process.

  75. Only Matt 13:46 passes rigorous historic testing .

    Then there is this:

    Actually, Jesus was a bit “touched”. After all he thought he spoke to Satan, thought he changed water into wine, thought he raised Lazarus from the dead etc. In today’s world, said Jesus would be declared legally insane.

    Or did P, M, M, L and J simply make him into a first century magic-man via their epistles and gospels of semi-fiction? Many contemporary NT experts after thorough analyses of all the scriptures go with the latter magic-man conclusion with J’s gospel being mostly fiction.

    Obviously, today’s followers of Paul et al’s “magic-man” are also a bit on the odd side believing in all the Christian mumbo jumbo about bodies resurrecting, and exorcisms, and miracles, and “magic-man atonement, and infallible, old, European/Utah/Argentine white men, and 24/7 body/blood sacrifices followed by consumption of said sacrifices. Yummy!!!!

    So why do we really care what a first century CE, illiterate, long-dead, preacher/magic man would do or say?

  76. Actually, Jesus was a bit “touched”. After all he thought he spoke to Satan, thought he changed water into wine, thought he raised Lazarus from the dead etc. In today’s world, said Jesus would be declared legally insane.

    Or did P, M, M, L and J simply make him into a first century magic-man via their epistles and gospels of semi-fiction? Many contemporary NT experts after thorough analyses of all the scriptures go with the latter magic-man conclusion with J’s gospel being mostly fiction.

    Obviously, today’s followers of Paul et al’s “magic-man” are also a bit on the odd side believing in all the Christian mumbo jumbo about bodies resurrecting, and exorcisms, and miracles, and “magic-man atonement, and infallible, old, European/Utah/Argentine white men, and 24/7 body/blood sacrifices followed by consumption of said sacrifices. Yummy!!!!

    So why do we really care what a first century CE, illiterate, long-dead, preacher/magic man would do or say?

  77. Actually, I called for due process and fact-checking for **both** Roy Moore (GOP) and AL Franken (Democrat). As I recall, you had some quite serious bias problems regarding Moore.

    But even you haven’t gone Three-Shades-Past-Demon-Possessed-Hog-Wild, as your Democrat pals are currently displaying against Judge Kavanaugh. These libbies are going full Wes Craven !!

    YOU still have a working brain. But your libbie friends done fried ALL their twisted neurons in the Hadean Chicken Grease!!

  78. Wrong on that as well. You sought to deflect from Moore by bullshifting with Franken. Unlike Moore, Franken at least took responsibility for his actions and how they appeared to the public. Mentioning Keith Ellison here also shows how little you regard fact checking or due process.

    You are not waiting on fact checking and due process here. You are dismissing an accusation before a person has a chance to provide their sworn testimony on the subject.

    What we don’t see from liberals, but get plenty of from conservatives is rallying around an accused sexual predatory and character assassination of the accuser.

    If you cared about fact checking and due process you would not have been constantly using the “Bill Clinton is a rapist” nonsense or “Planned Parenthood sells fetuses”. Since one was never established and the other was complete malicious fabrication. But you do. Fact checking and due process only matter to you if the person is a Republican. Otherwise, you simply follow the silly rumor.

  79. I was under the impression that you did not consider divorce a moral issue.

    That being the case, what difference does it make if she had zero or a dozen divorces?

    Do we know WHY she got divorced?

    Perhaps she seeks abusive alcoholics.

    All this judging about Kim Davis is very head scratching.

  80. Is discussion of Matthew 25 on the summit’s agenda?

  81. If I could give you a thousand UP arrows, I’d do so. Thank you.

  82. “I don’t want no stinkin’ guv’mint messin’ with MY medicare. Keep guv’mint out of it.”

    SIGNED – Ignorant KY voter for Trump

  83. The bulk of Bob Arnzhole’s posts are false. He’s very experienced at his con game.

  84. The bulk of Bob Arnzhole’s posts are neither factual, nor true.

    Bull droppings are his stock in trade, and what he posts, and what he eats for dinner.

  85. You don’t care about the truth. If you did, you would advocate for the FBI to investigate the accusations against Kavanaugh.

  86. Black people should have figured out by now that discrimination against minorities is wrong, yet for some reason they have not.

  87. Abortion is a life-and-death issue for pregnant people. Black people should know better than to restrict the civil rights of others. Get a new hobby.

  88. But they are all in for rapists, often an underrepresented group.

  89. Citation needed for your spin, “Values Voter Summit was created in 2006 to provide a forum to help inform and mobilize citizens across America to preserve [RACISM]”.

Leave a Comment