November 1, 2022
image above: Illustration above by Brian Reedy. Think of the illustration in conjunction with this hugely ironic quote, one that said far more about Christian Nationalist sentiment than the good reverend knew:
“We put God right at the center of the White House.” —Paula White, speaking at an Evangelicals for Trump event at Solid Rock Church, Ohio, March 6, 2020
This is from reflections in a post on this website: Amazing Disgrace. (The brilliant image sums up Trump–the wannabe American Messiah; but who is instead generically an Anti-Christ. (Click on the word, and you will find an interesting article . . .) It also captures, tragically, the vast majority of White American Evangelicals. The post, by noted American Religion writer, Sarah Posner, is also brilliantly prescient.)
WN: I grew up a white evangelical in Canada.1
I find it profoundly disturbing to watch what is going on to the south with majority White Evangelicalism. The writer of the article highlighted below indicates:
(This helps explain how evangelicals can embrace views that fly in the face of Christian theology; it’s not about the religion.–Emphasis added)
Please view my post as well: Book Review of: Jesus and John Wayne: How White Evangelicals Corrupted a Faith and Fractured a Nation.
It is also a very disturbing account of American White Evangelicalism since the 1950s. You may click on the highlighted for much on this website. The author writes also that such Evangelicalism is not about the religion; rather, it’s about identity politics and power. There is an even more extreme iteration, summed up under the rubric: Christian Nationalism. Click on that too for much on this site.
Then please view this brief video, recorded November 1, 2022. Columbia Tennessee resident, Jessee Graham, passionately challenges hatred against LGBTQ+ people in her community who “just want to live.”
This was perhaps her moment of cleansing the Temple! (Mark 11:15-19)
Then you may see below it the full transcript:
So why are we even here? Why does hate even have a platform? I am so sick of these straight, white, Christian males who are already at the top of the food chain acting like somebody is out to get them.
Our town has never seen so much homophobic crap as we have since Miller came along, and I’m sick of it. These people have been with us this entire time, and we have never had a problem with it. They have never done any of the vile and disgusting things that that man and his weird cronies have leaked out of their mouth.
I’ve never been sexually assaulted at a drag show, but I have been in church—twice.
And I’ll tell you what, the men at that church told me it was my fault. This whole scenario should have stopped at the United States of America where we have free speech, but it didn’t. We’re here, and it’s so ironic that he also served in the military that guarantees us these freedoms, moved from another place to come here and tell us that a community that we love, we are related to, we are friends with, that we work with, that they’re dangerous. That’s bullshit. They haven’t done anything and I am so sick of listening to this weird, fake pious crap about Christianity being the reason behind—we have to protect the kids. Jesus didn’t go anywhere and condemn people. He did not ever walk into any place spew hatred and lies and completely annihilate a group of human beings who just want to exist. Any of my four children that I also grew inside my womb in case pious pippies here are part of this community, they will be lucky because there is not a whole lot of families that would love their child unconditionally. And the fact that they want to take that away from children, that is child abuse. To immediately tell your child he is wrong for feeling like he doesn’t belong. Conversion therapy, child abuse. And you don’t need a moral compass to recognize something is wrong when it immediately hurts other people.
So why are we even here? Why does hate even have a platform? I am so sick of these straight, white, Christian males who are already at the top of the food chain acting like somebody is out to get them. They just want to exist, Aaron. Peacefully. Leave them alone. I’m done, love to you all.
And you don’t need a moral compass to recognize something is wrong when it immediately hurts other people.
We Canadians sit geographically atop a smouldering powder keg; one where Trump lit the fuse, and it could blow at any time! I also reflect about this from a Canadian perspective, through interaction with various writers.
Religion embraced fanatically creates precisely that: fanatics! The tragedy!
Instead (Galatians 5):
THE FRUIT OF WALKING WITH THE SPIRIT
22On the other hand, if we follow the guidance of the Spirit, our lives will bear good spiritual fruit. The Spirit will grow in us the fruit of love and joy, peace and patience, kindness and goodness, faithful hearts, 23gentle ways, and self-control. Our tribal law has nothing to say against those who walk in these ways. 24For the ones who belong to Creator Sets Free (Jesus) the Chosen One have nailed their weak and broken humanity to his cross. This puts to death all their wrong desires and broken ways. 25Since our life comes from the Spirit, let us dance in step with the Spirit and follow the Spirit’s guidance. 26In this way we will not become big-headed troublemakers who are jealous of each other.
M. Wildman, Terry. First Nations Version (p. 348). InterVarsity Press. Kindle Edition.
Then please read this carefully, and tell me where is the “Christian” in such partisan, hateful politics?
I John 4: Love Comes from God
7Beloved, let us love one another, because love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.
9This is how God’s love was revealed among us: God sent His one and only Son into the world, so that we might live through Him. 10And love consists in this: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as the atoning sacrificed for our sins.
11Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God remains in us, and His love is perfected in us. 13By this we know that we remain in Him, and He in us: He has given us of His Spirit. 14And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent His Son to be the Savior of the world.
15If anyone confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. 16And we have come to know and believe the love that God has for us. God is love; whoever abides in love abides in God, and God in him. 17In this way, love has been perfected among us, so that we may have confidence on the day of judgment; for in this world we are just like Him.
18There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear, because fear involves punishment. The one who fears has not been perfected in love. 19We love because He first loved us.
20If anyone says, “I love God,” but hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. 21And we have this commandment from Him: Whoever loves God must love his brother as well.
Finally: we say our prayers . . .
How can so many people buy into false election fraud claims, climate change denialism or panic over White people being “replaced”? How can they vote for manifestly unfit Republicans such as Georgia U.S. Senate nominee Herschel Walker or Pennsylvania gubernatorial nominee Doug Mastriano?
In a nutshell, this group’s beliefs clash with the essence of the American experiment and conflict with objective facts, demography and economics. White evangelical Protestants’ outlook is warped by right-wing media and refracted through a prism of visceral anger and resentment.A striking 71 percent of these voters think the country has gone downhill since the 1950s (when women were excluded from most professions, Black Americans faced barriers to voting, 50 million Americans still used outhouses and only about 5 percent of Americans were college-educated). Because White Protestant evangelicals make up such a large share of the GOP, that means 66 percent of Republicans want to go back to the time of “Leave It to Beaver.”
In other words, Burge explained, more people are “conflating evangelicalism with Republicanism — and melding two forces to create a movement that is not entirely about politics or religion but power.”
Half of White evangelical Protestants also think God intended America to be the promised land. Nearly two-thirds say immigrants are a threat, and 61 percent say “society has become too soft and feminine.” And they are the only discrete religious group polled to support overturning Roe v. Wade.
On race, only 19 percent of the group agrees that “the legacy of slavery and discrimination have limited Black Americans’ upward mobility.” They are the least likely to accept that African Americans disproportionately receive the death penalty. And here’s the kicker: Unlike a majority of Americans, “six in ten white evangelical Protestants (61%) agree that discrimination against white Americans has become as big a problem as discrimination against racial minorities.”
In a nutshell, this group’s beliefs clash with the essence of the American experiment and conflict with objective facts, demography and economics. White evangelical Protestants’ outlook is warped by right-wing media and refracted through a prism of visceral anger and resentment.
Last year, Eastern Illinois University professor Ryan Burge wrote for the New York Times, “In essence, many Americans are coming to the understanding that to be very religiously engaged and very politically conservative means that they are evangelical, even if they don’t believe in the divinity of Jesus Christ.” In other words, Burge explained, more people are “conflating evangelicalism with Republicanism — and melding two forces to create a movement that is not entirely about politics or religion but power.” (This helps explain how evangelicals can embrace views that fly in the face of Christian theology; it’s not about the religion.)
Please click on: Consider What Motivates GOP BaseFootnotes
- Fundamentalist too–Plymouth Brethren. Historian Ernest Sandeen, in The Roots of Fundamentalism: British and American Millenarianism, claims that my tradition I was raised in is in fact “quintessential fundamentalist.”
I reflect on this through a novel you may order: Chrysalis Crucible. (Click on the highlighted for my post on it; click on the book for Amazon.ca) It is a coming-of-age story through the eyes of a fictional character, Andy: Of it further:
When Andy Norton joins an evangelism team headed for West Berlin during the height of the Vietnam War, he thinks he has all the answers. Little does he realize the experience will become a crucible that forces him to reevaluate virtually everything he believes. In the spirit of the best coming-of-age tales, Chrysalis Crucible takes readers on a journey of discovery, transformation, and rebirth.[↩]