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.
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.
(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.