French, White Evangelicals, and Donald Trump

 

I enjoyed reading David French’s columns and musings at National Review. I looked forward to reading his perspective on everything from law to religion. I still enjoy reading much of what he writes.

However, the 2016 presidential campaign and election had a demonstrable effect on French; it changed him. It changed a lot of us, truthfully. Many thought and felt that the country had two less-than-desirable choices on the ballot for president. Frankly, for the center-left, voting for its candidate was a no-brainer. For the center-right, the decision was not so easy. In addition to his recent conversion to Republican politics, there were legitimate questions regarding Donald Trump’s understanding and commitment to what remains of Republican principles as well as questions concerning his personal character, his temperament, and his ability to lead in a role that was outside of his purview.

Despite these and other legitimate concerns regarding the costs of a Donald Trump presidency, he won the election — thanks in large part to the support of white Evangelicals. Christian support for Donald Trump has wedged itself deeply under David French’s skin and he’s (figuratively) spilled loads of ink letting everyone know about his disgust for his fellow white Evangelicals.

Writing at The Dispatch, French has penned a number of pieces castigating his fellow Christians for supporting and defending Donald Trump. In full transparency, I share some of his concerns regarding the unwillingness and apprehension of Evangelicals (and MAGA world, generally) to publicly hold President Trump accountable when he errs. Over the last four years, it would’ve been in the best interest of the president — and our country — had both groups spoken up sooner and more frequently to let the president know that support didn’t equal a blank check. It would have made President Trump a more reliable and consistent leader.

Having said that, French has taken a professional Never Trump stance to use as a bludgeon against fellow Christians. He misses few chances in letting the public know his feelings about white Evangelicals that continue to support Donald Trump.

Here’s a recent piece posted this past week on The French Press.

The first portion is fairly legit. Though I think the video announcement is fairly clear, French questions how Albert Mohler, the potential next president of the Southern Baptist Convention, could endorse Donald Trump in this year’s election — specifically when he didn’t support Donald Trump in 2016.

French writes:

In 2016, he was consistent with his denomination’s clear and unequivocal statement about the importance of moral character in public officials. He has now decisively changed course.

In 1998—during Bill Clinton’s second term—the Southern Baptist Convention declared that “tolerance of serious wrong by leaders sears the conscience of the culture, spawns unrestrained immorality and lawlessness in the society, and surely results in God’s judgment” and therefore urged “all Americans to embrace and act on the conviction that character does count in public office, and to elect those officials and candidates who, although imperfect, demonstrate consistent honesty, moral purity and the highest character.”

Mohler so clearly recognized the applicability of those words that he said, “If I were to support, much less endorse Donald Trump for president, I would actually have to go back and apologize to former President Bill Clinton.” I do wonder if Mohler will apologize. He absolutely should.

Though Mohler discusses the overall character deficits of both Donald Trump and Bill Clinton, I think French misses a few things in this comparison. French doesn’t clarify the difference between the evangelical condemnation of former President Bill Clinton and the lack of evangelical condemnation of President Donald Trump.

The personal fouls and unforced errors committed since President Trump has been in office, though not excusable, are not of the same standard as those committed by Bill Clinton when he was in office. It’s a distinction with an important difference. The comparison, here, is with the moral offenses committed while in office (hence, the citation of Bill Clinton’s second term). To be consistent, we have to then compare both presidents to what they’ve done while in office.

Among many, many other indiscretions, Bill Clinton had an extramarital relationship and deliberately lied to the public about it. Clinton also lied under oath during his civil case — he denied the affair, the relationship, and that he had sexual relations with his intern; he lied under oath during grand jury testimony about his sexual relationship with his intern; he obstructed justice and persuaded his former intern to lie under oath, and was also guilty of witness tampering.

Many of the offenses that Donald Trump has committed in office haven’t (or haven’t yet) reached Clinton’s level of sinfulness (if one can use that term). Again, I’m not excusing the current president for the growing list of transgressions he’s committed (macro or micro). I’m simply highlighting the difference between the two, demonstrating why the comparison fails. All sins aren’t the same. For good reason, the Bible goes to great lengths to educate its readers about the gradations of sins — the severity of which, if not immediately obvious, are seen in the varying consequences of and responses to those sins. For example, the penalty for murder is death. Conversely, the penalty for unintentional killing (negligence that leads to killing, manslaughter) is expulsion to a city of refuge — ending only when the high priest in office at the time of the killing dies.

Additionally, I don’t remember reading French conceding the difficulty of choosing between Donald Trump and Hillary in 2016. He has repeatedly minimized or ignored the inconvenience many Christians endured as they thoughtfully contemplated and ultimately decided between the two broadly unlikeable candidates. However, in this particular piece, it’s the closest French has come to acknowledging that struggle. He says,

The role of the people of God in political life is so much more difficult and challenging than merely listing a discrete subset of issues (even when those issues are important!) and supporting anyone who agrees to your list. The prophet Jeremiah exhorted the people of Israel to “seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the LORD on its behalf; for in its welfare you will have welfare.”

Yes, David, it is, and thanks for finally acknowledging the obvious. It was a challenge and it remains a challenge. Many Evangelicals, realizing that if they voted, had a choice between bad and worse. Consequently, many thoughtfully prayed, fasted, read their Bibles, studied Christian history, sought counsel from clergy and fellow believers — and still, prayed more. In essence, for many white Evangelicals, choosing Trump, warts and all, was “seeking the welfare” of the country so that they may also “have welfare (or as the NIV translates it, “…Seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.”).

Moreover, Christians and Evangelicals thought about the ramifications of voting for either candidate or not voting at all. French generally flouts this process. He’s flippant when it comes to why white Evangelicals, despite the president’s personal flaws, continue to support him. He disparages his fellow Evangelicals in ways that demonstrate a clear and consistent lack of Christian grace but also in ways that he hasn’t nor wouldn’t address black Christians regarding their vote for — and support of — former President Barack Obama.

And that’s one of the areas where he’s undermined his witness on Christian political activity and accountability — his differing standards between black and white Christians. French holds black Christians to a much lower moral standard than he does white Evangelicals. Black Christians deliberately and recurrently have escaped his admonitions. In this post, he stresses black Christian religiosity but only as a cudgel against white Evangelicals and the latter’s support of Trump.

Again, French has never taken black Christians to task for supporting Barack Obama (or Hillary Clinton) the way he does with white Evangelicals and Trump (if he has to the same extent, my apologies to him). I would like to know why — specifically in light of the fact that he openly speculated as to what Obama’s true “religious” beliefs were.

Obama was a self-identified Christian who sat in Jeremiah Wright’s church — Trinity United Church of Christ (Chicago, Ill.) — for 20 years. Barack and Michelle Obama were married by Wright; Obama had his daughters baptized by Wright, used Trinity’s congregation to launch his political career, and who — again, as a self-identified Christian — passed and supported policies and positions that stood in clear and direct contradiction to the Bible and orthodox Christianity. Why didn’t David French loudly and consistently question or condemn black Christians for continuing to support Barack Obama? Why didn’t French rebuke black Christians for forming a cult around him and his leadership? Did he ever implore black Christians to speak up and hold Obama accountable? Did he write numerous pieces on why black Christians were obligated to forfeit their support of Barack Obama or risk losing moral and religious credibility? Did black Christians abandon “the character test” like their white Evangelical counterparts? Were they ever in danger of forfeiting their “competence” like white Evangelicals?

I think French would have established more credibility (again, on this issue) had he held his fellow Christians who’re black to the same religious standard he holds white Evangelicals. There would’ve been some consistency in his position.

Then, there’s this:

And please Christians, do not run back to arguments about “binary choice.” When I walk into the voting booth (or mail in my ballot), I will see more than two names. I’ll also have a choice to write in a name. I will not have to compromise my convictions to cast a vote for president.

This has always been a less than persuasive argument to me. Of course, one can write in and vote for Mickey Mouse on the ballot.

But there are certain variables that exist that one must take into consideration if one wants to throw away one’s vote to maintain, in this case, a sense of moral superiority. One variable is who’s also on the ballot running for office, here, the presidency. This is particularly important if and when a notable third-party candidate is running and from whom this third-party candidate will siphon votes. Not actively voting for one of the two major candidates is passively a vote in favor of the other.

He continues:

If you do, however, want to revert to the language of “binary choice,” we need to examine the larger context. In January the nation faced a different kind of binary choice. It was, quite simply, “Trump or Pence.” When the president was impeached after he clearly attempted to condition vital military aid to an ally on a demand for a politically motivated investigation of a political opponent and on a demand to investigate a bizarre conspiracy theory, white Evangelicals had a decision to make.

They chose Trump.

They chose Trump when they would have certainly sought to impeach and convict a Democrat under similar facts.

This, too, is unpersuasive. His position underlies many assumptions that Trump was deserving of impeachment based on information contained in the transcript of a phone call between him and Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky. In my opinion, and not having voted for Donald Trump, I didn’t think there was enough in that transcript that qualified as a “high crime” or “misdemeanor,” and I certainly didn’t think it justified impeachment, much less conviction and removal.

Second, David French is right: it was a binary choice, but not between “Trump or Pence.” It was between supporting the flagrant use of impeachment as a political tool to remove an elected president for partisan reasons and not using impeachment for politically partisan reasons, full stop. To use that embarrassing episode to reinforce an already flimsy argument against the “binary choice” argument, and to further diminish white Evangelicals, missed the mark.

Look, I get it. David French has a severe loathing for Donald Trump. In the professional and credentialed class, he’s certainly not alone. But his animosity for Donald Trump has negatively affected his judgment and conduct toward his fellow white Evangelicals.

On this issue, he lacks distinguishable Christian love when addressing them but particularly when mocking them. I admit that French may be sincerely concerned with the reputation and credibility of white Evangelicals and Christian political witness. But the way he communicates his concern looks like a white Evangelical more concerned with self/moral preservation — actively trying to distance himself from the stigma of Donald Trump. In doing so, his critiques come across as if to be saying, “I’m not like those Evangelicals. I’m a real Christian because I condemn Trump and those so-called Evangelicals who support him.”

When white Evangelicals have called him out on social media for his lack of objectivity and incivility toward them, he seems reluctant to address these objections maturely. Several times, even after respectful inquiry, engagement, and push back asking him to defend or clarify his position(s), he’s un-friended them. I’ve seen it and have been disheartened by it.

In his critiques going forward, as I’m sure there will be more, I hope David French offers a bit more Christian charity as he challenges his fellow white Evangelicals.

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  1. OldPhil Coolidge
    OldPhil
    @OldPhil

    French has become so condescending I haven’t been able to read his stuff for many months. 

    • #1
  2. OldPhil Coolidge
    OldPhil
    @OldPhil

    Duplicate comment. The site is buggy today.

    • #2
  3. DrewInWisconsin is done with t… Member
    DrewInWisconsin is done with t…
    @DrewInWisconsin

    . . . his critiques come across as if to be saying, “I’m not like those Evangelicals. I’m a real Christian because I condemn Trump and those so-called Evangelicals who support him.”

    Or to put it in terms he should be familiar with, “I thank you God that I am not like those other people — deplorables, irredeemables — and especially those White Evangelical Trump voters!

    David French has been writing the same self-righteous column scolding evangelicals about their votes for four years now. He’s Johnny one-note. But I’m not sure why he confines his scorn to “white” evangelicals. It’s a rather racist approach.

    David French’s holier-than-thou piety always rang hollow when he was also out there on Twatter praising the soft-core porn of Game of Thrones. Plank > Speck

    • #3
  4. E. Kent Golding Member
    E. Kent Golding
    @EKentGolding

    I enjoyed Jonah Goldberg & David French at National Review.   I still respect them even when I do not agree.   I read any of their stuff I come across, but most of the Dispatch is behind a paywall,  and there is only a limited number of sites I am willing to pay for.  The Dispatch is not on the list.

     

    • #4
  5. Jon1979 Lincoln
    Jon1979
    @Jon1979

    I really would like to see French game plan out the future of some of the key issues he claims to not just support, but support more then almost all Evangelicals under a hypothetical Biden Administration if RBG and Breyer both retire and something were to happen to one of the other Justices not named Kagen or Sotomayor.

    I’d also be interested in seeing what his game-plan going forward is for regaining control of the Republican Party if he’s seen along with others in the #NeverTrump movement in working towards Biden’s election. That’s even more true if that scenario on the Court selections and other progressive legislation plays out, either under Biden or the VP pick who might replace him. For all his venting over what’s been done, French’s planning for what would happen if he gets his way makes him come across as the King of the Underpants Gnomes on the strategic planning front:

     

    • #5
  6. EDISONPARKS Member
    EDISONPARKS
    @user_54742

    French, like the rest of the NT have taken a principled stand and have unwittingly entered the talking head witness protection program where they are only read by a few of the few.   They may as well talk to themselves in the mirror given they appear to be their own favorite audience.

    The reason more and more conservatives support Trump is because he has proven he can win elections and move the conservative agenda forward as far as possible …. and isn’t that the point of it all.

    The NT are nice enough fellows and very bright guys who write well, but after that, most conservatives have found the NT commentariat to be emphatically  “non-essential”.

     

    • #6
  7. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    One interesting facet of this is that it comes on the heels of Jennifer Rubin’s latest diatribe (to be distinguished from her other diatribes) assuring the world that Trump’s “base” is made up of (drum roll) . . . racists.

    I’ve long felt that this belief goes a long way to explaining the motivations of the prominent never-Trumpers, including the aforementioned French and Goldberg.  During the ’16 primary and election cycle, French was subjected to some very unfortunate “hate” e-mails (not sure how many) directed at his children, who I believe are of mixed race (fact check?).

    I’m sure French hasn’t forgotten this, nor should he.  The question arises whether his mindset is partially (at least) influenced by a belief that these emails represent Trump’s “base”–white, supremacist, and likely anti-semitic (Jonah?).  I would disagree with this, as some of us did when another person vehemently opposed to Trump, Mona Charen, said something similar here and in her column.  But I think that it’s worth considering as an explanation for conservatives of “The Bulwark” variety, even if only a few have gone on record saying it.

    • #7
  8. Jon1979 Lincoln
    Jon1979
    @Jon1979

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    One interesting facet of this is that it comes on the heels of Jennifer Rubin’s latest diatribe (to be distinguished from her other diatribes) assuring the world that Trump’s “base” is made up of (drum roll) . . . racists.

    I’ve long felt that this belief goes along way to explaining the motivations of the prominent never-Trumpers, including the aforementioned French and Goldberg. During the ’16 primary and election cycle, French was subjected to some very unfortunate “hate” e-mails (not sure how many) directed at his children, who I believe are of mixed race (fact check?).

    I’m sure French hasn’t forgotten this, nor should he. The question arises whether his mindset is partially (at least) influenced by a belief that these emails represent Trump’s “base”–white, supremacist, and likely anti-semitic (Jonah?). I would disagree with this, as some of us did when another person vehemently opposed to Trump, Mona Charen, said something similar here and in her column. But I think that it’s worth considering as an explanation for conservatives of “The Bulwark” variety, even if only a few have gone on record saying it.

    I thought Jen’s latest diatribe was to threaten to go all ‘Ilsa — She-Wolf of the SS‘ on anyone who questioned the authority of government in the current COVID shutdown mandates, in particular that of Andrew Cuomo:

    • #8
  9. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    Jon1979 (View Comment):

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    One interesting facet of this is that it comes on the heels of Jennifer Rubin’s latest diatribe (to be distinguished from her other diatribes) assuring the world that Trump’s “base” is made up of (drum roll) . . . racists.

    I’ve long felt that this belief goes along way to explaining the motivations of the prominent never-Trumpers, including the aforementioned French and Goldberg. During the ’16 primary and election cycle, French was subjected to some very unfortunate “hate” e-mails (not sure how many) directed at his children, who I believe are of mixed race (fact check?).

    I’m sure French hasn’t forgotten this, nor should he. The question arises whether his mindset is partially (at least) influenced by a belief that these emails represent Trump’s “base”–white, supremacist, and likely anti-semitic (Jonah?). I would disagree with this, as some of us did when another person vehemently opposed to Trump, Mona Charen, said something similar here and in her column. But I think that it’s worth considering as an explanation for conservatives of “The Bulwark” variety, even if only a few have gone on record saying it.

    I thought Jen’s latest diatribe was to threaten to go all ‘Ilsa — She-Wolf of the SS‘ on anyone who questioned the authority of government in the current COVID shutdown mandates, in particular that of Andrew Cuomo:

    [edit]

    Perhaps.  I may be having trouble keeping up with the diatribes.

    • #9
  10. Franco Member
    Franco
    @Franco

    A very good critique. For someone with your point of view, there are many good catches of French’s double-standards, conveniently ignored facts, and his tendency to virtue-signal.

    I do not share your point of view regarding what I, or even many Evangelicals, expect or look for in a President.

    In retrospect, I think impeaching Clinton was a bad move politically, although I was all for it at the time. You are right that Clinton’s transgressions were of a different nature and far more damning than anything Trump has ever done. Imitted in your post is that Clinton had sex with a 21 year-old intern in the Oval Office.

    The levels of credibility of the charges should also be compared, in all fairness. There are no substantiated charges of Trump forcing himself on anyone. There are some scattered charges, and believe me if there was anything at all to them we would be hearing about them nonstop. But the Trump haters,  and those like yourself, disinclined to accept Trump, won’t really look too hard. They have decided he’s morally bankrupt, so they just think they must be true. That, and everyone seems to agree. This bothers me.

    It seems Trump supporters must prove Trump to be fully innocent of any and every charge, or else accept the premise that he’s morally deficient.

    But, outside of exploiting young starry-eyed interns, raping women and exposing himself to young volunteers, I think a person’s sex life isn’t a very good way to measure a President either way. So Trump being consensually with a porn actress, even while married, isn’t especially worrisome to me. Trump certainly wasn’t exploiting or corrupting Stormy Daniels. We really don’t know what kind of conversations Donald and Melania had regarding this, but I would imagine, Melania being quite smart and having worked as a model internationally, she wasn’t expecting Trump to be absolutely Frenchian in the loyalty department either. By the way, how many models and porn stars have flirted with David French so we can see how he performs under temptation?

    One thing I’ve learned in the last couple of decades is public morality and private morality are not the same, and it’s more important that our leaders are faithful to us the citizenry and the constitution than their wives. Hopefully both. But public/private morality is not transitive.

    Evangelicals, from what I can see, have decided that Trump’s public morality, trumps his private ( and historical) transgressions. I doubt Trump would win re-election if he was caught in the Oval with a 21 year-old intern.

    The other thing that shines a nice light on these Evangelical Trump voters is the Christian concept of forgiveness and redemption. They believe, as I do, that Trump may well have reformed. He may have lost his appetites, and/or found a higher calling. Apparently French doesn’t believe in the possibility of redemption.

     

    • #10
  11. Gary McVey Contributor
    Gary McVey
    @GaryMcVey

    I had to look twice to make sure the photo wasn’t photoshopped. It looks like the crowd in the Oval Office is re-enacting the Dawn of Man scene from 2001: A Space Odyssey, with President Trump as the Monolith. 

    • #11
  12. Stina Member
    Stina
    @CM

    Hoyacon (View Comment):
    During the ’16 primary and election cycle, French was subjected to some very unfortunate “hate” e-mails (not sure how many) directed at his children, who I believe are of mixed race (fact check?).

    At least one is from Africa.

    While I don’t condone the hate mail he got and I know people can adopt kids that don’t look like them for the best of reasons, I don’t consider it wise, especially when there are many kids who look like him in need of a good home.

    • #12
  13. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Derryck Green:

    The personal fouls and unforced errors committed since President Trump has been in office, though not excusable, are not of the same standard as those committed by Bill Clinton when he was in office. It’s a distinction with an importance difference. The comparison, here, is with the moral offenses committed while in office (hence, the citation of Bill Clinton’s second term). To be consistent, we have to then compare both presidents to what they’ve done while in office.

    Among many, many other indiscretions, Bill Clinton had an extramarital relationship and deliberately lied to the public about it. Clinton also lied under oath during his civil case– he denied the affair, the relationship, and that he had sexual relations with his intern; he lied under oath during grand jury testimony about his sexual relationship with his intern; he obstructed justice and persuaded his former intern to lie under oath, and was also guilty of witness tampering.

    This is a point I think French misses when he tries to use the Southern Baptist Convention’s words about Clinton, apply them to Trump, which insinuates the Christian leaders were hypocritical.  Clinton did his misdeed while in office then lied to the public about it, which told the world he was an unrepentant sinner.  Trump appears to have put his unsavory past behind him and appears to be repentant.  No, he’s not going to go on national TV and pull a Jim Bakker, but a press who looked away from Clinton keeps a thousand eyes on Trump’s every move, looking for any evidence of sexual misconduct.

    We don’t know if Trump is repentant or not, but his actions in office indicate he is a devoted husband and father now . . .

    • #13
  14. Spin Coolidge
    Spin
    @Spin

    Someone here on Ricochet said that the key question is “Compared to what?”

    I saw French’s article and didn’t read it, because he’s the kind of pompous ass that makes people not want to become a Christian.  

    We did not cede any moral high ground because we chose Trump over Clinton, and defended that choice.  Now if you are one of those people going around saying Trump is the greatest thing since sliced bread…maybe he’s got a point.  But those folks are few and far between.  Most of us know he’s a flawed human being.  We chose him anyway, because he was less flawed (or shall we say differently-flawed) than the alternative.  

    And now we’ll be asked to choose between him and a hair-sniffing weirdo who doesn’t know which way his dentures go in.  And we’ll be heathens for making that choice, too.

    • #14
  15. Franco Member
    Franco
    @Franco

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    One interesting facet of this is that it comes on the heels of Jennifer Rubin’s latest diatribe (to be distinguished from her other diatribes) assuring the world that Trump’s “base” is made up of (drum roll) . . . racists.

    I’ve long felt that this belief goes a long way to explaining the motivations of the prominent never-Trumpers, including the aforementioned French and Goldberg. During the ’16 primary and election cycle, French was subjected to some very unfortunate “hate” e-mails (not sure how many) directed at his children, who I believe are of mixed race (fact check?).

    I’m sure French hasn’t forgotten this, nor should he. The question arises whether his mindset is partially (at least) influenced by a belief that these emails represent Trump’s “base”–white, supremacist, and likely anti-semitic (Jonah?). I would disagree with this, as some of us did when another person vehemently opposed to Trump, Mona Charen, said something similar here and in her column. But I think that it’s worth considering as an explanation for conservatives of “The Bulwark” variety, even if only a few have gone on record saying it.

    I have little doubt that most, if not all, of the vile  personal attacks came from false flags and trolls. I’ve seen them do this all over the place. We have all seen these hoaxes debunked, we’ve seen these leftists assume the personae of their most extreme versions of how their enemies think and behave and try to replicate that online. Usually it’s quite obvious. And they know they can hoodwink these innocent souls. But French, Goldberg and Charen live in a Puritan fantasy world which includes the usual boogeymen. That has become equally obvious.

    • #15
  16. Derryck Green Member
    Derryck Green
    @DerryckGreen

    Franco (View Comment):
    It seems Trump supporters must prove Trump to be fully innocent of any and every charge, or else accept the premise that he’s morally deficient.

     I agree with this statement, the reality of which, in practice, is grievous.

     

    • #16
  17. Derryck Green Member
    Derryck Green
    @DerryckGreen

    Franco (View Comment):
    One thing I’ve learned in the last couple of decades is public morality and private morality are not the same, and it’s more important that our leaders are faithful to us the citizenry and the constitution than their wives. Hopefully both. But public/private morality is not transitive.

    This sounds a lot like the distinction Dennis Prager makes. Not sure to what extent this holds true, meaning to a point the distinction is correct. But to what can one not be correlated with the other?

    • #17
  18. Derryck Green Member
    Derryck Green
    @DerryckGreen

    EDISONPARKS (View Comment):

    French, like the rest of the NT have taken a principled stand and have unwittingly entered the talking head witness protection program where they are only read by a few of the few. They may as well talk to themselves in the mirror given they appear to be their own favorite audience.

    The reason more and more conservatives support Trump is because he has proven he can win elections and move the conservative agenda forward as far as possible …. and isn’t that the point of it all.

    The NT are nice enough fellows and very bright guys who write well, but after that, most conservatives have found the NT commentariat to be emphatically “non-essential”.

    Mostly agree here. I look at NTs like… ok you’re against Trump– mostly on principal, though I can’t discount the intrinsic virtue signal of the position nor the ability to monetize it. But post Trump, then what? Since the political boogeyman will eventually leave the scene, what’s their position?

    But that said, post Trump, does French continue to double and triple down on Evangelicals? What about the Democrat presidential hopefuls and potential candidate in 2024 who will be much further left than Biden and the party is now…. does he critique Christians for supporting the Democrat party and eventual nominee? If not, why not?

    It’s a position I look forward to him addressing.

    • #18
  19. Guruforhire Member
    Guruforhire
    @Guruforhire

    Pharisees gonna pharisee.

    French should try reading that bible he thumps.

    • #19
  20. Full Size Tabby Member
    Full Size Tabby
    @FullSizeTabby

    One of the odd things (well odd to me) that has come out of the opposition to the current president is how often that opposition includes or develops into, not just disagreement with the decisions and opinions of people who support the actions of the president, but denigration of the very character of those people. In the past, for the most part, character critique was leveled at the politician in an effort to persuade people to form an opinion opposed to the politician. Now, in a move that seems novel to me (at least in its widespread use), character critique is leveled directly at the supporters themselves. Observation of this phenomenon is not original to me, as it has been observed for almost four years. But, the more recent expansion of the phenomenon from leftists’ opposition to the president into conservatives’ opposition to the president concerns me.

    • #20
  21. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill
    @EJHill

    “And please Christians, do not run back to arguments about ‘binary choice.’ When I walk into the voting booth (or mail in my ballot), I will see more than two names. I’ll also have a choice to write in a name. I will not have to compromise my convictions to cast a vote for president.”

    The money shot of self-righteous arrogance. Sure, when any of us receive our ballot we will see more than two names. We also know that if we see 30 names we know 28 of them has no shot at winning. Not 26. Not 27. Every four years only one of 2 candidates has a legitimate shot at the White House and one has an “R” after their name and the other one has a “D.” I know that, you know that and so does French. To argue otherwise is to assume that your intended audience is “stooopid.”

    He’s every much the con artist he claims Trump to be. Only his sleight of hand is to convince you you’re not handing the reins of power to the neo-Marxists by voting third party or not voting at all. And believe me, if you willingly give the power to the Marxists and convince others to do so you have, indeed, compromised your so-called convictions and the futures of everybody else. Pope David the First can sod off.

    • #21
  22. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio…
    @ArizonaPatriot

    Derryck, this was a great post.  Just “liking” it is not enough.  I don’t really have anything to add.  Well done, and thanks.

    • #22
  23. Franco Member
    Franco
    @Franco

    Derryck Green (View Comment):

    Franco (View Comment):
    …. public morality and private morality are not the same, and it’s more important that our leaders are faithful to us the citizenry and the constitution than their wives. Hopefully both. But public/private morality is not transitive.

    This sounds a lot like the distinction Dennis Prager makes. Not sure to what extent this holds true, meaning to a point the distinction is correct. But to what can one not be correlated with the other?

    I have a whole post on this in my drafts section here, unpublished because it needs to be edited for length. At some point , since we really can’t believe our politicians about very much, we took to using their personal lives and history as a shortcut. The Europeans found the American requirement for a perfect family man quaintly naive. But the burden always fell more heavily on conservatives, mainly because of the hypocrisy charge. At least Democrats weren’t being hypocritical telling people how they should live their personal lives, or in Clinton’s case, “everyone lies about sex”. (My answer 20 years later, everyone lies about murder too)

    But this created a political vulnerability. The Republican has to be veritably without sin, otherwise the religious right would stay home. Anything the candidate ever did that could be construed as morally questionable was an automatic disqualification. They used it against Gingrich whose crime was asking for a divorce from his sick wife. Then, when the nicest, most family oriented, Boy Scout, altar boy Mitt Romney was nominated, they trashed him anyway. And he lost because he was too nice, among other reasons.

    French et al are overly attached to this President/Saint model. But Evangelicals and others collectively understood this dynamic and decided to select the guy with a questionable background over the woman who would most certainly advance abortion and suppress religious freedom whilst doing other damage to our values. The President stopped being a role-model for them and became a vessel or a tool for moral action. As long as Trump does what’s prudent publicly, and he isn’t presently sinning – having sex with interns for example – he’s perfectly acceptable.

    The fact that too many past Presidents have been morally deficient in their personal lives while at least trying to do the right things, and Presidents like Carter and Obama(?) were scandal-free but ineffective or despicable to the values,  shows that the correlation is mostly irrelevant. Reagan was an exception. 

    It was only because there was a three-way primary ( with Hillary) that the news of Edwards affair got out in 2008 regarding his extramarital affair, and the main reason it got traction is his wife was dying of cancer. Otherwise – had Edwards been the actual nominee – the news would not have surfaced, or if it did, would have been played down. Like how they are ignoring and dismissing Biden’s dementia and the Tara Reed allegations.

    • #23
  24. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio…
    @ArizonaPatriot

    Gary McVey (View Comment):

    I had to look twice to make sure the photo wasn’t photoshopped. It looks like the crowd in the Oval Office is re-enacting the Dawn of Man scene from 2001: A Space Odyssey, with President Trump as the Monolith.

    Gary, that is hilarious.

    I’m not sure if you’re being facetious, or have actually never seen people praying over someone like this.  It is quite common in my circles, when someone is sick, or going on a mission trip, or for a variety of other reasons.

    • #24
  25. DrewInWisconsin is done with t… Member
    DrewInWisconsin is done with t…
    @DrewInWisconsin

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):

    One of the odd things (well odd to me) that has come out of the opposition to the current president is how often that opposition includes or develops into, not just disagreement with the decisions and opinions of people who support the actions of the president, but denigration of the very character of those people. In the past, for the most part, character critique was leveled at the politician in an effort to persuade people to form an opinion opposed to the politician. Now, in a move that seems novel to me (at least in its widespread use), character critique is leveled directly at the supporters themselves. Observation of this phenomenon is not original to me, as it has been observed for almost four years. But, the more recent expansion of the phenomenon from leftists’ opposition to the president into conservatives’ opposition to the president concerns me.

    Yes, that is fascinating. I’d say it’s been going on for a lot longer than four years. The Democrats have long used “Americans are racist, sexist, homophobes!” as a sales pitch. “Bitter clingers” and “basket of deplorables” were just a more recent variants by their presidential candidates.

    But now we have so-called “conservatives” using a similar approach — against their own side. (Well, sort of. I tend to believe these people are not really on my side.)

    • #25
  26. Spin Coolidge
    Spin
    @Spin

    EJHill (View Comment):

    “And please Christians, do not run back to arguments about ‘binary choice.’ When I walk into the voting booth (or mail in my ballot), I will see more than two names. I’ll also have a choice to write in a name. I will not have to compromise my convictions to cast a vote for president.”

    The money shot of self-righteous arrogance. Sure, when any of us receive our ballot we will see more than two names. We also know that if we see 30 names we know 28 of them has no shot at winning. Not 26. Not 27. Every four years only one of 2 candidates has a legitimate shot at the White House and one has an “R” after their name and the other one has a “D.” I know that, you know that and so does French. To argue otherwise is to assume that your intended audience is “stooopid.”

    He’s every much the con artist he claims Trump to be. Only his sleight of hand is to convince you you’re not handing the reins of power to the neo-Marxists by voting third party or not voting at all. And believe me, if you willingly give the power to the Marxists and convince others to do so you have, indeed, compromised your so-called convictions and the futures of everybody else. Pope David the First can sod off.

    I did that in 2016 (Frenchies bit).  What good did it do?  I voted for McMullin.  Now don’t hate.  I said at the time and I meant it:  if I lived in a purple state, I’d have voted for Trump.  But I live in Washington.  Hillary won this state handily.  

    But the point is, again, what good did it do?  I got to virtue signal.  “Hey libs, I’m one of the good ones!  See we aren’t all racists…oh, huh?  What?  You still think I’m a racist?  But…but…”

    So…yeah  

    • #26
  27. Gary McVey Contributor
    Gary McVey
    @GaryMcVey

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    Gary McVey (View Comment):

    I had to look twice to make sure the photo wasn’t photoshopped. It looks like the crowd in the Oval Office is re-enacting the Dawn of Man scene from 2001: A Space Odyssey, with President Trump as the Monolith.

    Gary, that is hilarious.

    I’m not sure if you’re being facetious, or have actually never seen people praying over someone like this. It is quite common in my circles, when someone is sick, or going on a mission trip, or for a variety of other reasons.

    I’m being semi-facetious, so thanks, Jerry! But no, I’ve never seen anything like this in Catholic circles. We do things a little differently across the Tiber. 

    • #27
  28. EHerring Coolidge
    EHerring
    @EHerring

    Franco (View Comment):
    I have little doubt that most, if not all, of the vile personal attacks came from false flags and trolls. I’ve seen them do this all over the place. We have all seen these hoaxes debunked, we’ve seen these leftists assume the personae of their most extreme versions of how their enemies think and behave and try to replicate that online.

    This (see quote). I suspect as much, too. I remember that “Trump supporters” and their vile attacks turned me off Trump, for a while, but I came to my senses.  “False flags” scream leftie troublemaker. They burn churches, carry Confederate Flags at rallies, troll social media, etc.When their efforts get the reaction they want, they zero in. French might have gotten so many of those because the targeting worked.

    French’s most valuable contribution was in the pro-life debate. He frittered that advantage away and lost the attention of all but the NT readers with his NT illness. I no longer read him. I don’t dislike him and even enjoyed talking to him and sitting at his table on cruises. I just have no interest in reading what he is writing now. 

    Ditto Jonah. Fantastic guy and fun speaker on the cruises.  I just am not interested in his NT stuff…tired of it. I can at least enjoy GLOP still but quit following him on twitter, only seeing what he writes when someone retweets him. My daughter almost quit her NR subscription because she didn’t want to be mad at him. 

    Charlie and Kevin aren’t Trump fans but they write on so many other things and thus have preserved their value. Their Mad Dog and Englishman podcast is every bit as enjoyable as it was before. Ditto the Ricochet and Law Talk podcasts, as well as anything with VDH, I eagerly await each one.

    • #28
  29. Full Size Tabby Member
    Full Size Tabby
    @FullSizeTabby

    As to what I consider the substance of Mr. French’s objections to the choices of some white evangelical Christians, I note that the people of God have in various circumstances used their access to ungodly people (usually men) to continue their work as the people of God. 

    Nehemiah was cupbearer to the Persian king Artaxerxes. Cupbearer to the king was a position that required the king to have enormous trust in the cupbearer. It seems to me unlikely that Nehemiah was forced into such a trustworthy position serving a decidedly not God-fearing official, so presumably Nehemiah made some effort to get that position. Nehemiah went to work there, and it turned out that God used the connection to further God’s work, even if that was not Artaxerxes’ intent. At the request of Nehemiah, Persian king Artaxerxes supported Nehemiah’s God-directed plan to rebuild Jerusalem. 

    Esther lobbied to become queen to King Xerxes (definitely not a man of God). She then at great risk to herself used her position to protect the Hebrew people. From this event today’s Jews celebrate Purim. 

    There are times at which God’s people may find that supporting a leader who does not fear God is a reasonable decision. But, there is likely not going to be unanimity among the people of God as to all the details concerning such cooperation. 

    • #29
  30. Full Size Tabby Member
    Full Size Tabby
    @FullSizeTabby

    Mr. French continues to have valuable things to say about freedom of religion and the rights to bear arms. I just need to do some heavy filtering of his articles to find those valuable nuggets.

    • #30