Category: Religion

Christian Leaders’ Feckless Tolerance of Trump Continues

Michael Gerson, conservative commentator and former G.W. Bush speechwriter, recently published a column “Are these evangelicals ready to topple the idol of politics?”

(Excerpt) …the reaction against the Trump evangelicals among other evangelicals is still in the emergence stage…a group of 50 ethnically and denominationally diverse evangelical leaders (recently)  met to discuss the sad state of their movement…The predominant narrative of white evangelicalism is tribal rather than universal: Christians, who once set America’s moral and political terms, are under legal and cultural siege by the forces of secularism. Now they must find political allies and fight back before they are thrown to the lions…

IndieDems Comment:

Why does Gerson limit his remarks to evangelicals? Where in God’s name are the leaders of our major Christian denominations? They remain silent as Trump and his Republicans sink deeper and deeper into a cesspool of criminality, corruption, and contempt for America’s basic moral and democratic values, contempt for God’s Commandments, and contempt for common human decency.

The absence of a concerted Christian opposition to Trumpism takes us back to the days when Christians remained silent about slavery and then segregation. Christian hypocrisy has reached new heights of shame.

Our current Baptists, Methodists, Episcopalians, Presbyterians, and Catholics seem closer to the doctrines of the 19th Century Baptists who founded the Southern Baptist Convention as the Christian instrument to perpetuate slavery. Or the 1950’s Christians who let it up to the lawyer Joseph Welch to point an accusing finger at Joe McCarthy and his Trump-like followers to start the destruction of McCarthyism.

It’s not just the love of money that characterizes our putative Christian leaders, as some claim. It’s their total abandonment of the 10 Commandments and the Golden Rule to accommodate Trump and his morally and intellectually corrupt Republicans that makes American Christianity nothing but an exercise in hollow hypocrisy.

Our current Christians’ silence as Trump deals daily blows to every principle of the Judaeo-Christian ethos has become equal to the silence of previous generations of Christians to slavery, segregation–and the rise of fascism and Naziism in the march toward the Holocaust. Christian hypocrisy once more knows no bounds.

When did we reach the point where the only thing you need to do to show you are a Christian is point your accusing finger at abortion, gays, or the use of contraceptives? Or at Bill Clinton? Trump literally tramples on the 10 Commandments and the Golden Rule daily–and our so-called Christians keep their heads firmly in the sand.

But God is not mocked, and these hypocritical Christians are in for a rude shock on judgment day.

Giuliani Joins League of Republican Adulterers

Trump, unable to get high-level prominent lawyers to represent him, has appointed former New York Mayor Rudolf Giuliani as his senior attorney.

Wow. Trump and the Republican Party are in overdrive to make adultery a way of life in America, the way they have worked to make lying a way of life. Trump, Giuliani, Newt Gingrich–birds of a corrupt, adulterous feather do stick together, don’t they?

To you young Americans: the Republican Party was once actually led by decent, honorable people. Go to Wikipedia and look up Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Dwight David Eisenhower. Those days are obviously gone forever.

Yes, you live in an era of the total moral and intellectual corruption of the Republican Party, and the total hypocrisy of your religious leaders for failing to speak out against the immorality and corruption in which the Trumpists are enveloping us. But do not despair. Remember, Trump’s opponent got 3 million more popular votes than he did, and the strength of the lying and adultery-loving immoral and corrupt Republicans is exaggerated by the unrepresentative U.S. Senate and the Republicans’ gerrymandering of Congressional districts to frustrate the popular will.

Rededicate yourselves to ousting these NRA-loving sleazebuckets from office and have faith better days will come.

A Christian Universal Get-Out-of-Jail Pass?

The Reverend Frank Graham on April 4 tweeted the following:

How does someone not fear death? Because of the assurance knowing that their soul is secure in the hands of Almighty God. That’s our hope–that one day we’ll be in His presence, not because we’re good people but because we’ve been saved by the blood of Jesus Christ.

Thank you, Rev. Graham, for assuring us that Trump can tell all the lies, commit all the adulteries, and sexually abuse all the women he wants, and preside over a totally corrupt Administration, and still be assured of going to heaven.

Rev. Graham explains that when Trump said he could shoot someone on Fifth Ave. and get away with it, he not only knew what he was talking about, he was being a good Christian. In fact, Graham has explained the genesis of slavery, segregation, and the Holocaust.

Question: Is this universal get-out-of-jail pass really the foundation of the Christian faith? Do Christians really believe they can rape, lie, cheat, steal, and commit adultery with impunity, and get to heaven as long as they claim they were saved by Jesus Christ?

Trumpism Is Normal? Like the Republicans’ Previous Normal, McCarthyism?

Gary Abernathy, the publisher and editor of the Hillsboro (Ohio) Times-Gazette and a Washington Post columnist, has written another apologia for the Trump Administration.

Surely, at this point, it is abundantly clear that any word or deed that makes Trump’s morally and intellectually corrupt Administration the new normal is the equivalent of saying that slavery and segregation were normal. Or that McCarthyism or Watergate or Iran-Contra was normal. Or of Germans deciding that rule by the Nazis was normal.

Trump and his Republicans are an abomination to all that America is supposed to stand for. Abernathy has joined Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, Orrin Hatch, and Nikki Haley in savaging our basic moral and democratic values. Give them credit: They have not taken half-steps. They began at the top, by declaring null and void God’s 10 Commandments, especially the ones about adultery and lies. They have now added a stupefying willingness to acquiesce in Putin’s war against our democracy.

Abernathy’s aggressive apologia for Trump will earn him a place in history right up there with the Americans who sanctified slavery, segregation, and racism–and the Republicans who worshiped Joseph McCarthy. Or apologized for Nixon until the smoking gun was found that made clear what any half-wit already knew.

Abernathy is a living, breathing symbol of the callousness and inhumanity that has seized the hearts and souls of so many affluent, middle-aged, powerful white males. They are the living embodiment of what used to be a caricature.

The New Roseanne: Remember When Saying ‘Martin Luther Coon’ Was Funny?

The Washington Post on April 4 published an article by Gary Abernathy, “I don’t care if ‘Roseanne’ is pro-Trump. I just hope it’s pro-civility.” In addition to being a Post columnist, Abernathy is publisher and editor of the Hillsboro (Ohio) Times-Gazette. He is a leading apologist for Donald Trump’s corrupt and immoral regime that has abandoned any semblance of regard for God’s Commandments or Jesus’ Golden Rule. Here is my comment:
What a crock of horse manure. I long ago anointed Gary Abernathy as America’s chief yahoo, and this column proves my choice beyond the shadow of a doubt. Yes, I’m a Democrat, but my horror at what Trump is doing to this country long ago ceased to have anything to do with partisan politics.
I am appalled at the level of pure racism, sexism, ignorance, anti-intellectualism, and xenophobia Trump has unleashed, his toxic vulgarity and crudeness that wage a war against our basic democratic and moral values and against common human decency.
Most of all, I am outraged at how Trump and his Republican lackeys, like Abernathy, have abandoned God’s 10 Commandments and Jesus’ Golden Rule to make a bullying coward President. Every day, Trump literally spits on God’s Commandments against lying and against committing adultery. And name me a single Trump tweet or public utterance that reflects “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
What a gross act of deliberate hypocrisy and dishonesty Abernathy commits by asserting that Roseanne’s show is a case of pitting liberal vs. conservative values. Unless, of course, Abernathy is admitting that conservatives value:
  • Packing innocent DACA  children into boxcars and shipping them back across the border into countries they have never known
  • Telling the flagrant lie that Obama was not a native-born American
  • Demeaning the military service of John McCain
  • Bragging about sexually assaulting women and calling them bimbos
  • Pardoning the thug Joe Arpaio and supporting a child sex pervert to be a U.S. Senator
  • Using ethnic slurs against Americans as well as foreigners
  • Calling his own daughter a “piece of ass”
  • Inciting his followers to violence.
Go right ahead, Mr. Abernathy. Keep telling us that all the above, and much more, is knee-slappingly funny to you conservatives. Reminds me of the day you could say “Martin Luther coon” and get a good laugh.

Christians Choose Trump over 10 Commandments, Golden Rule

America’s religious leaders and their ignorant yahoo followers who are apologists for Trump can dodge and weave all they want, the truth become more apparent every day: they have abandoned God’s Commandments about lies and adultery in order to accommodate Donald Trump’s lies and adultery. Leaders of our mainstream Christian Denominations are proving they are hypocrites and cafeteria Christians.

If our pastors, reverends, priests, and bishops want to have any credibility, they must address Trump’s treatment of the 10 Commandments and the Golden Rule with the same words and fervor with which they speak of abortion and homosexuality. Mike Pence, Orrin Hatch, and Mitt Romney should join in.

Besides Trump, Evangelical Leaders Face sex Scandals of Their Own

In an age of Trump and Stormy Daniels, evangelical leaders face sex scandals of their own

(Excerpts) As white evangelicals have been some of President Trump’s staunchest defenders, a handful of their leaders find themselves contending with a problem all too familiar to the commander in chief: a sex scandal.

  • At least four leaders in the evangelical movement have been accused of violating the tenets of their faith, from adultery to sexual abuse.
  • Now some observers wonder whether evangelicals are experiencing a repeat of the scandals that led to the downfall of several well-known televangelists in the 1980s.
  • Russell Moore, who leads an important commission in the Southern Baptist Convention, said: “I think there’s a growing — but not fast enough — realization in church life of the way that power can easily be abused in predatory ways, especially spiritual power.”
  • Late last year, Paul Pressler, who helped lead a conservative takeover of the Southern Baptist Convention…was accused of sexually abusing a young man for several decades, starting when the alleged victim was 14.
  • Frank Page, president and chief executive of the SBC’s executive committee, recently announced his resignation because of an “inappropriate relationship.”

Other accused include:

  • Bill Hybels, who co-founded Willow Creek, one of the nation’s largest churches. He has denied the accusations.
  • Earlier this year, a woman said Andy Savage, a megachurch pastor in Memphis, sexually assaulted her 20 years ago, when…Savage was a youth pastor in Texas. After he addressed his congregation, apologized and asked for forgiveness, it applauded him. He has since resigned.

Rachael Denhollander, the first woman to make allegations against sports physician Larry Nassar, has more since focused on speaking out about sexual-abuse allegations in Sovereign Grace Churches, a network of congregations mostly based across the United States.

These recent instances echo those of past years, including:

  • Ted Haggard, who was once a megachurch pastor and president of the National Association of Evangelicals, resigned in 2006 after a male prostitute said Haggard had paid him for sex. Haggard now leads a church in Colorado Springs.
  • In the 1980s, sexual and financial scandals involving televangelists Jim Bakker, Jimmy Swaggart and Paul Crouch sent shock waves through the evangelical world. All three continued in smaller versions of their ministries.

Megachurch pastor accused of defrauding people out of more than $1 million

A Texas megachurch pastor stands accused of using his influence to lure “vulnerable and elderly” people into a financial scheme that caused some to lose their life savings.

Rev. Kirbyjon H. Caldwell, the pastor of Windsor Village United Methodist Church in Houston, is facing federal charges of defrauding investors out of more than $1 million using obsolete Chinese bonds

The U.S. Attorney’s office claims Caldwell used his status as pastor of the Houston church to help gain investors’ trust.