What’s Faith Got to Do with It?

 

A bishop with the Church of England thinks that American Christians are committing a grave spiritual error by supporting Donald Trump.

Conservative Christian voters in the U.S. who support President Donald Trump are contradicting the teachings of God by aligning themselves with a version of Christianity that disregards the poor and weak, according to a prominent British bishop.

Paul Bayes, the bishop of Liverpool in the Church of England, criticized evangelical Trump voters for their “uncritical support” of the president, saying that backing Trump’s policies and trying to justify them as part of their faith is simply not possible.

“Some of the things that have been said by religious leaders seem to collude with a system that marginalizes the poor, a system which builds walls instead of bridges, a system which says people on the margins of society should be excluded, a system which says we’re not welcoming people any more into our country,” Bayes told The Guardian. 

This is what happens when politics becomes your religion. The fact that American evangelicals, the same evangelicals that Bishop Bayes is deriding here, are the most generous, most charitable people on Earth goes flying over his head. This is not an either/or proposition: I can minister to the afflicted of my country and want to enforce the laws of my country as well. I’ve worked with missionaries in the slums of Tijuana, I’ve seen the poverty they’re trying to escape, and I’ve spent my hard-earned time and money helping people all over Latin America lead healthier spiritual lives and physical lives.

But I also want to enforce the laws of how people get into the country and partake of its benefits. To borrow a line from somebody much, much smarter than either Bishop Bayes or myself, I want to give to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and give to God the things that are God’s.

Published in Immigration, Religion & Philosophy
Like this post? Want to comment? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Join Ricochet for Free.

There are 23 comments.

Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.
  1. DocJay Inactive
    DocJay
    @DocJay

    Instead of me being damned, maybe he’s the one possessed by the devil and going to hell.  Someone should check him for the mark of the beast.

    • #1
  2. RightAngles Member
    RightAngles
    @RightAngles

    Someone should tell Bishop Bayes to butt out. And to stop getting all his “news” from The Guardian and the BBC. And as for his term ” ‘uncritical’ support,”  I have news for him and all his fellow travelers. Guess what? We know he’s boorish and crass. We get it. We happen to see him exactly the same way you do. The difference between us isn’t that you’re oh-so-sophisticated and principled and we’re not. The difference between us is that we’re capable of seeing the Big Picture and of knowing what matters. And you’re not.

    • #2
  3. West Facing Squirrel Inactive
    West Facing Squirrel
    @WestFacingSquirrel

    Another example of Europe sliding into the abyss.

    • #3
  4. Bob Croft Member
    Bob Croft
    @BobCroft

    One of the often ignored reasons for the American “Colonial Revolt” was the rumor that the Brits intended to appoint a Church of England bishop for the colonies.  There was also a bit of friction, if memory serves, from the placement of a Church of England mission operation pretty close to Harvard Yard.

    They don’t seem to learn.

    • #4
  5. Cow Girl Thatcher
    Cow Girl
    @CowGirl

    RightAngles (View Comment):
    Someone should tell Bishop Bayes to butt out. And to stop getting all his “news” from The Guardian and the BBC. And as for his term ” ‘uncritical’ support,” I have news for him and all his fellow travelers. Guess what? We know he’s boorish and crass. We get it. We happen to see him exactly the same way you do. The difference between us isn’t that you’re oh-so-sophisticated and principled and we’re not. The difference between us is that we’re capable of seeing the Big Picture and of knowing what matters. And you’re not.

    EX–actly! I don’t even know why a bishop in the Church of England thinks he needs to remark on the people who live in the US and don’t belong to his church. Getting out from under the Church of England was, I believe, one of the main reasons many people left there to settle in this continent. In fact, the very first words of our Bill of Rights emphasizes that:

    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;”

    Yeah, hilarious that Bishop Bayes needs to try to continue to butt in…we left that behind a couple of hundred plus years ago.

    • #5
  6. Postmodern Hoplite Coolidge
    Postmodern Hoplite
    @PostmodernHoplite

    Strange: There must be something in the kool-aide progressive are drinking these days. (See http://ricochet.com/481697/heresy-evangelical-christians/)

    It is not for me to question the faith of another, particularly with regards to another professing Christian such as an Anglican clergyman. However, I might point out to the Right Honorable Bishop that given the choice between the President and his Democratic opponent in the last election, many Conservative Christians voted for the candidate who voiced support for the free practice of their religion (even if he didn’t seem to practice it all that enthusiastically himself), and voted against the candidate that expressed open hostility towards them and their beliefs (and seemed to exercise that hostility quite enthusiastically).

    • #6
  7. Richard Easton Coolidge
    Richard Easton
    @RichardEaston

    He’s part of a dying church.  Contrary to Bishop Robinson’s looney assertions, the squishy left churches are on their way out.  But enjoy the terrorism bishop.  You don’t appear to care about protecting your people from being run down in the streets.

    • #7
  8. Paul Erickson Inactive
    Paul Erickson
    @PaulErickson

    Kevin Creighton: “Some of the things that have been said by religious leaders seem to collude with a system that marginalizes the poor, a system which builds walls instead of bridges, a system which says people on the margins of society should be excluded, a system which says we’re not welcoming people any more into our country,” Bayes told The Guardian. 

    This is not even an argument or criticism of Trump’s actual policies.  It’s a string of cliches.  Unfortunately, that’s about as deep as it gets from the leadership of mainline protestant churches.

    • #8
  9. Stina Member
    Stina
    @CM

    No wonder atheism grows apace in England. If my church worshipped the government, I’d leave for better seating, too.

    • #9
  10. Stina Member
    Stina
    @CM

    Paul Erickson (View Comment):

    Kevin Creighton: “Some of the things that have been said by religious leaders seem to collude with a system that marginalizes the poor, a system which builds walls instead of bridges, a system which says people on the margins of society should be excluded, a system which says we’re not welcoming people any more into our country,” Bayes told The Guardian.

    This is not even an argument or criticism of Trump’s actual policies. It’s a string of cliches. Unfortunately, that’s about as deep as it gets from the leadership of mainline protestant churches.

    It’s disturbing in its corruption and failure. The inheritors of Augustine and the church that gave us C.S. Lewis is a source of mourning and grief for me.

    This is my theological heritage, raising it’s withered, dusty, accusing finger one last time before it gasps it’s last breath.

    I pray the remnant can regrow.

    • #10
  11. Quietpi Member
    Quietpi
    @Quietpi

    Bayes is nothing more than a high – placed representative of something I’ve run into more times than I can count, in ths post-modern, post-Christian world.  “I believe I’m a Christian,” they say, and in the next sentence reveal that they haven’t any idea of what Christianity actually is.

    Bayes’ elevated position reveals something else.  Many, possibly most “main line” churches today actually cannot truthfully be classified as Christian at all, not that there aren’t many true believers counted among their membership.

    • #11
  12. TBA Coolidge
    TBA
    @RobtGilsdorf

    Is this one of those, ‘…prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule on their own authority’ deals?

    Thank you Augustine and thank you Founders for protecting us from this kind of idiocy.

    • #12
  13. Stina Member
    Stina
    @CM

    TBA (View Comment):
    Is this one of those, ‘…prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule on their own authority’ deals?

    Thank you Augustine and thank you Founders for protecting us from this kind of idiocy.

    I’m looking forward to the part where our daughters start prophecying and our sons see visions.

    • #13
  14. RightAngles Member
    RightAngles
    @RightAngles

    Stina (View Comment):

     

    I’m looking forward to the part where our daughters start prophecying and our sons see visions.

    Thank you for not saying “prophecizing.”

    • #14
  15. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    Since when is charity with other people’s money more Christian than charity with your own money?

    • #15
  16. Nick Baldock Member
    Nick Baldock
    @NickBaldock

    Rodin (View Comment):
    Since when is charity with other people’s money more Christian than charity with your own money?

    That is, I think, the stated position of the Church of England i.e. that government exists to guarantee universal provision of various social goods, to mitigate the consequences of natural and inherited inequality and to provide comfort and support for the poor.

    I don’t think this is unchristian nor intellectually disreputable, but it does seem to be the Church’s primary mission these days. (I left the Church of England six years ago).

    • #16
  17. RightAngles Member
    RightAngles
    @RightAngles

    They always forget that part in Thessalonians 2 where Jesus says we must work for our food.

    • #17
  18. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    Nick Baldock (View Comment):

    Rodin (View Comment):
    Since when is charity with other people’s money more Christian than charity with your own money?

    That is, I think, the stated position of the Church of England i.e. that government exists to guarantee universal provision of various social goods, to mitigate the consequences of natural and inherited inequality and to provide comfort and support for the poor.

    I don’t think this is unchristian nor intellectually disreputable, but it does seem to be the Church’s primary mission these days. (I left the Church of England six years ago).

    But why is it more charitable — which seems to be the point of the Anglican political critique, i.e., true Christians should want more taxes rather than personally be more charitable?

    • #18
  19. Stina Member
    Stina
    @CM

    Nick Baldock (View Comment):

    Rodin (View Comment):
    Since when is charity with other people’s money more Christian than charity with your own money?

    That is, I think, the stated position of the Church of England i.e. that government exists to guarantee universal provision of various social goods, to mitigate the consequences of natural and inherited inequality and to provide comfort and support for the poor.

    I don’t think this is unchristian nor intellectually disreputable, but it does seem to be the Church’s primary mission these days. (I left the Church of England six years ago).

    Its the modern day, Christian version of the money changers in the Temple. The sacrifice for your sins should mean something to you – it should be sacrificial. If it isn’t, then it is only so much virtue signaling. The rich man vs the widow’s mite comes to mind.

    Passing off that responsibility to someone else makes you lazy about what its about. We should certainly feel something when we give of what we have to others.

    • #19
  20. Phil Turmel Coolidge
    Phil Turmel
    @PhilTurmel

    Nick Baldock (View Comment):
    I don’t think this is unchristian nor intellectually disreputable, but it does seem to be the Church’s primary mission these days. (I left the Church of England six years ago).

    Well, I consider government-enforced “charity” to be theft, so yes, I think it is unchristian.  And intellectually disreputable.  We are commanded not to covet our neighbours goods, and using government to “redistribute” them is no different.

    • #20
  21. TBA Coolidge
    TBA
    @RobtGilsdorf

    I cannot conceive of a Christian God who would view the paying of taxes as any variety of being charitable. Taxes are rendering unto Caesar, and for all that we are enjoined to do by the Bible, it’s not as though we have much choice in the matter. In short, you shall receive no grace for voting for a dude who makes other dudes give him money to construct a good Samaritan machine.

    • #21
  22. JustmeinAZ Member
    JustmeinAZ
    @JustmeinAZ

    Cow Girl (View Comment):

    RightAngles (View Comment):
    Someone should tell Bishop Bayes to butt out. And to stop getting all his “news” from The Guardian and the BBC. And as for his term ” ‘uncritical’ support,” I have news for him and all his fellow travelers. Guess what? We know he’s boorish and crass. We get it. We happen to see him exactly the same way you do. The difference between us isn’t that you’re oh-so-sophisticated and principled and we’re not. The difference between us is that we’re capable of seeing the Big Picture and of knowing what matters. And you’re not.

    EX–actly! I don’t even know why a bishop in the Church of England thinks he needs to remark on the people who live in the US and don’t belong to his church. Getting out from under the Church of England was, I believe, one of the main reasons many people left there to settle in this continent. In fact, the very first words of our Bill of Rights emphasizes that:

    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;”

    Yeah, hilarious that Bishop Bayes needs to try to continue to butt in…we left that behind a couple of hundred plus years ago.

    Besides, we believe (or at least I do) that conservative policies help the poor more than liberal policies. Just look at Chicago or Detroit that have been under the Democrats’ thumb for years.  If that’s what is called helping then leave me alone!

    • #22
  23. Nick Baldock Member
    Nick Baldock
    @NickBaldock

    Rodin (View Comment):

    Nick Baldock (View Comment):

    Rodin (View Comment):
    Since when is charity with other people’s money more Christian than charity with your own money?

    That is, I think, the stated position of the Church of England i.e. that government exists to guarantee universal provision of various social goods, to mitigate the consequences of natural and inherited inequality and to provide comfort and support for the poor.

    But why is it more charitable — which seems to be the point of the Anglican political critique, i.e., true Christians should want more taxes rather than personally be more charitable?

    Perhaps I should have said that the Church does not regard social-democracy as charity. “True Christians” from this perspective would probably want greater taxation as well as more private charity.

    Coincidentally, I just read a book by Timothy Radcliffe OP in which he applauds Aquinas’ insistence that extreme wealth is permissible insofar as it promotes the common good, that all can be ensured the necessities of life. So it’s policy, if not doctrine, for Catholics (my church) as well as Anglicans.

    Anyway, I maintain that it is both Christian and intellectually sound to believe that government represents a community, and a stated goal of that community should be the provision of (for example) schools, hospitals, environmental protection, housing, libraries, care for the elderly – and so on, and that these can be accomplished if we all contribute another nickel. We can’t accomplish these things individually (most of us) and any potential benefit from the ‘missing nickel’ is outweighed by the very concrete benefit of a school, hospital, etc.

    Also, it is not necessarily bad to trade a little economic freedom for social security.

    It would also be argued that it is good in itself to reduce inequality, because power-structures tend to replicate themselves and will become less penetrable as inequality increases.

    This, of course, looks very good on paper and why a (Corbynist) campaign slogan of “more money for schools and hospitals!” is difficult to rebut, because who would disagree?

    I know the good Ricochetti could (and possibly will) rebut it, but it does not mean the Bishop of Liverpool is entirely misguided, even if he almost certainly suffers from the Guardian.

    • #23
Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.