Ben Howe, author of The Immoral Majority: Why Evangelicals Chose Political Power Over Christian Values (and himself an Evangelical Christian), joins the Remnant to discuss his book, the Evangelical reaction to Trump, the past, present, and future of conservatism, and more.

Shownotes

Ben Howe

-And on Twitter, @BenHowe

The Immoral Majority – Ben Howe

-Lance Wallnau on Trump as an Isaiah 45 candidate 

Obama on his own bull****

-Greenland should be ours

Creed Thoughts

-“Why people hate religion” – NYT

Five Thirty Eight on young evangelicals 

-The Kristen Soltis Anderson episodes (here and here)

The Tim Alberta episode

Sheri Berman on identity 

Ron Brownstein on Trump as a wartime president

The Charles Cooke episode

Jack’s review of Yesterday 

David French is wrong

Reagan35X.com 

“Second Thoughts on James Burnham” – George Orwell 

-The outro music

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There are 32 comments.

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  1. kedavis Member

    I don’t think Ben Howe is correct about if something like Harriet Miers happened during Trump. Doesn’t anyone else remember the reaction when Trump talked about nominating his (liberal) sister to the Supreme Court? Has it gone down the Memory Hole or something?

    • #1
    • September 5, 2019, at 4:46 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  2. Lois Lane Coolidge

    I found the discussion very interesting because I have never been able to square the Christian position and Trump beyond the transactional. I am, however, a Catholic, not an evangelical. (We have other issues.) 

    That said, kids absolutely still wear letterman jackets. My son had one. I see them on high school campuses. The biggest difference from when Gen X was in school is that there are more jackets because not just football players get them. (It’s more inclusive to also have kids who letter in soccer–or are even in the band!–get jackets.)

    I live in the South, so maybe there’s more of a nod towards tradition, but I am currently in a very progressive city. On the few cold days, kids will bust out with those bits of attire…. though some will look more like sweaters than jackets because it’s hot here.

    • #2
    • September 6, 2019, at 7:23 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  3. RS711 Listener

    Lois Lane (View Comment):
    I found the discussion very interesting because I have never been able to square the Christian position and Trump beyond the transactional. I am, however, a Catholic, not an evangelical.

    I have actually had interactions with Catholics who claim that Pope Francis is a horrible man with no principles but that Trump may do bad things but has principles that he won’t violate. We may not overall be as batcrap crazy as the Evangelicals but we have our share that think of him as a modern day saint or holding the banner for the modern day saint.

    • #3
    • September 6, 2019, at 9:46 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  4. rdowhower Coolidge

    Very brave of Jonah to interview someone with whom he agrees, but that’s par for the course.

    • #4
    • September 6, 2019, at 10:17 AM PDT
    • Like
  5. Lois Lane Coolidge

    RS711 (View Comment):

    Lois Lane (View Comment):
    I found the discussion very interesting because I have never been able to square the Christian position and Trump beyond the transactional. I am, however, a Catholic, not an evangelical.

    I have actually had interactions with Catholics who claim that Pope Francis is a horrible man with no principles but that Trump may do bad things but has principles that he won’t violate. We may not overall be as batcrap crazy as the Evangelicals but we have our share that think of him as a modern day saint or holding the banner for the modern day saint.

    True dat, for sure, @RS711. There are all flavors of Catholics, and Catholics have lots of reasons for feeling “at war” to some extent with Democrats, I.e. “the dogma lives loudly within you” and the Knights of Columbus are a “hate group.”

    However, I pointed this difference out because the leadership was not positioned the same way in 2016–whatever any of the laity thinks about the leadership of the current pope–and the discussion was really focused on a particular flavor of Protestant leader.

    • #5
    • September 6, 2019, at 10:22 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  6. VRWC Member

    Evangelical support for Trump, is not too hard to figure out… Christians look at Trump and they look at democrats and the say, “Trump doesn’t despise us.” That makes all the rest pretty easy…

    • #6
    • September 6, 2019, at 1:04 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  7. JuliaBlaschke Coolidge

    I love Charles Cooke but I have heard all I ever want to about roller coasters and The Beatles.

    We are back to the “we are at war”, ” a vote for this is really a vote for that” etc. I really am sick of it. I was sick of it in 2016. If only there was one decent Democrat. 

     

    • #7
    • September 6, 2019, at 1:08 PM PDT
    • Like
  8. The Cloaked Gaijin Member

    Lois Lane (View Comment):

    I found the discussion very interesting because I have never been able to square the Christian position and Trump beyond the transactional.

    I think it’s like anything else in 21st Century Western Civilization. The elites in a group have a different view than the common folk in that group. Sure, there were a very few (non-mainstream) prominent ministers that came out to support Trump in 2016, but most would have supported any Republican. The common folk are more likely to have dealt with the problems of Obamacare, immigration, and Leftist cultural weirdness and its attacks. The elites are more worried and concerned about their own self-awareness and making sure that they are shown as empathic to those outside their group.

    The above was written before I listened to part of the episode.

    I laughed out loud when Jonah said that Trump is the first president who did not wish to expand his support past his own base.

    1.  Hmm, he doesn’t remember a president named Obama? In over 200 years, Trump is supposed to be the only one to do this?
    2.  Does a president wishing to expand his own base by buying off voters with the money of other taxpayers supposed to count as something morally wonderful?
    3.  President George W. Bush and Paul Ryan’s idea of expanding the base was amnesty for those that break the law. How is having more lawbreakers funded with more taxpayer money supposed to help? Wouldn’t it be better to have immigrants from places and families that respect authority? Christians are morally supposed to be forced to support more government money, debt, spending, and socialism?
    4.  There is nothing morally wrong with getting more people on your side to go the polls. Lincoln knew he wasn’t going to win the Southern states. Was he morally wrong for not trying to appeal to the entire nation? He thought that the issue of slavery and the expansion of slavery needed to be confronted. Well, many Trump supporters think issues like illegal immigration, Leftist craziness, and trade with China should be confronted.

    George W. Bush seemed to be a strong Christian, but he refused to fight back. Heck, that was a large part of his job. It’s great to persuade politicians, but national politicians rarely are going to change their minds. I think President Bush invited Ted Kennedy over to the White House to watch the movie Thirteen Days. Then he let Kennedy write the education bill too. What good is having a president on your side who refuses to fight? Republicans too often want to be liked. Neither Trump or Bush were grand thinkers who respected lots of conservative ideas, but at least Trump with the help of Mitch McConnell and others is willing to fight back.

    • #8
    • September 6, 2019, at 10:56 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  9. kedavis Member

    JuliaBlaschke (View Comment):

    I love Charles Cooke but I have heard all I ever want to about roller coasters and The Beatles.

    We are back to the “we are at war”, ” a vote for this is really a vote for that” etc. I really am sick of it. I was sick of it in 2016. If only there was one decent Democrat.

     

    Especially these days, a “decent” Democrat would have to be a Republican.

    • #9
    • September 7, 2019, at 12:24 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  10. Richard Fulmer Member

    SNL needs to do a skit in which Trump “uses the mashed potatoes as a codpiece,” and FOX #EverTrumpers explain the cosmic genius of his action.

    • #10
    • September 7, 2019, at 9:37 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  11. Richard Fulmer Member

    Richard Fulmer (View Comment):

    SNL needs to do a skit in which Trump “uses the mashed potatoes as a codpiece,” and FOX #EverTrumpers explain the cosmic genius of his action.

    VDH would write a learned essay explaining how the Greeks wore just such attire to confuse the Persians at Marathon, and positing that Trump is simply emulating them in his struggle with Iran.

    Rush would chortle that Trump is brilliantly trolling the Libs.

    Hannity would point out that Bill used Monica as a codpiece. His statement would be denounced by all remaining Democratic presidential candidates as being in very bad taste.

    • #11
    • September 8, 2019, at 8:01 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  12. Miffed White Male Member

    Jonah and his guest are *way* overthinking why Evangelicals and Christians support Trump.

    It’s very simple – the Left and Democrats hate them. Trump doesn’t.

     

     

    • #12
    • September 8, 2019, at 10:32 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  13. Richard Fulmer Member

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):

    Jonah and his guest are *way* overthinking why Evangelicals and Christians support Trump.

    It’s very simple – the Left and Democrats hate them. Trump doesn’t.

    You may be underthinking this a bit. Your explanation accounts for the fact that many evangelicals are willing to vote for Trump rather than someone who hates them, but it doesn’t explain their blind support for Trump to the point that they make a mockery of their own beliefs.

    This ties back to the politicization of the NRA and the ACLU, which came up during the last Remnant with Charles Cooke. People are jettisoning their principles to take sides in election disputes between Republicans and Democrats. The NRA, for example, used to focus on maintaining the Second Amendment. Now, they’re little more than a wing of the Republican Party. 

    The ACLU used to focus on First Amendment rights, and would support free speech for all – even, on occasion, for Nazis. Today, they favor free speech for only those with whom they agree.

    Some evangelicals have followed suit, becoming Trump supporters first and Christians second.

    As government gets more and more entwined in our daily lives, we can expect this sort of vicious partisanship to spread. The Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa model the tribal warfare that will be our future if we stay on this path. There, politics and the question of which tribe holds power are, quite literally, matters of life and death.

    • #13
    • September 8, 2019, at 11:42 AM PDT
    • Like
  14. JuliaBlaschke Coolidge

    VRWC (View Comment):

    Evangelical support for Trump, is not too hard to figure out… Christians look at Trump and they look at democrats and the say, “Trump doesn’t despise us.” That makes all the rest pretty easy…

    Trump would despise them pretty quickly if they didn’t like him.

    • #14
    • September 9, 2019, at 11:47 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  15. kedavis Member

    JuliaBlaschke (View Comment):

    VRWC (View Comment):

    Evangelical support for Trump, is not too hard to figure out… Christians look at Trump and they look at democrats and the say, “Trump doesn’t despise us.” That makes all the rest pretty easy…

    Trump would despise them pretty quickly if they didn’t like him.

    So what?

    It’s pretty normal and natural to return hate for hate.

    But the left will hate religion – and religious people – no matter what.

    • #15
    • September 9, 2019, at 9:19 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  16. JuliaBlaschke Coolidge

    kedavis (View Comment):

    JuliaBlaschke (View Comment):

    VRWC (View Comment):

    Evangelical support for Trump, is not too hard to figure out… Christians look at Trump and they look at democrats and the say, “Trump doesn’t despise us.” That makes all the rest pretty easy…

    Trump would despise them pretty quickly if they didn’t like him.

    So what?

    It’s pretty normal and natural to return hate for hate.

    But the left will hate religion – and religious people – no matter what.

    It is not normal the way Trump does it. He has a very thin skin and takes everything personally. It would only take one slightly less than effusive comment from an evangelical for Trump to turn on a dime. The left pretty much hates everyone who doesn’t exactly think in terms of what they deem to be politically correct. And politically correct changes constantly.

    • #16
    • September 10, 2019, at 8:40 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  17. Barry Jones Thatcher

    None of what was discussed makes Hillary a better choice. I don’t understand the constant complaining about what has happened. I am not a Trump fan, I just like a lot of what his policies have done (judges, Jerusalem, Iran, etc.) but I do tire of the constant “but Trump…” BS and let’s support someone else instead – not really an option – Mark Sanford anyone? Seriously??? Jonah came out on the podcast a few months ago with an indication of support for Sanford…like he didn’t skip to South America to do a booty call while “hiking the Trail”. Better Trump than another long step toward Socialism. And last but not least it sounds to me that both Jonah and his guest would prefer a President that says nice things but either does the opposite (read my lips – no new taxes) or does nothing (the President has had the option of moving the embassy to Jerusalem for 20 years and all Presidents seemed to support it but none did it) to a President that says horrible things but actually implements policies that do some good (not all of Trump’s policies are good but a lot are, in my never to be humble opinion – your mileage may vary…).

    • #17
    • September 10, 2019, at 10:35 AM PDT
    • Like
  18. JuliaBlaschke Coolidge

    Barry Jones (View Comment):

    None of what was discussed makes Hillary a better choice. I don’t understand the constant complaining about what has happened. I am not a Trump fan, I just like a lot of what his policies have done (judges, Jerusalem, Iran, etc.) but I do tire of the constant “but Trump…” BS and let’s support someone else instead – not really an option – Mark Sanford anyone? Seriously??? Jonah came out on the podcast a few months ago with an indication of support for Sanford…like he didn’t skip to South America to do a booty call while “hiking the Trail”. Better Trump than another long step toward Socialism. And last but not least it sounds to me that both Jonah and his guest would prefer a President that says nice things but either does the opposite (read my lips – no new taxes) or does nothing (the President has had the option of moving the embassy to Jerusalem for 20 years and all Presidents seemed to support it but none did it) to a President that says horrible things but actually implements policies that do some good (not all of Trump’s policies are good but a lot are, in my never to be humble opinion – your mileage may vary…).

    It is about trying to explain what made Trump the choice in the primaries. Just because we are stuck with Trump now doesn’t mean we should stop talking about Trump’s flaws. Trump supporters certainly don’t mind talking about and criticizing other Republicans and the choice between voting for a Republican or a Democrat in many other elections is just as stark. Maybe Trump can pull another inside straight because the Democrats are insane, but I doubt it. Quite a few insane Democrats are sitting in the House right now. He might pull it off if the economy continues to go well.

     

     

    • #18
    • September 10, 2019, at 11:02 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  19. Barry Jones Thatcher

    JuliaBlaschke (View Comment):

    Barry Jones (View Comment):

    None of what was discussed makes Hillary a better choice. I don’t understand the constant complaining about what has happened. I am not a Trump fan, I just like a lot of what his policies have done (judges, Jerusalem, Iran, etc.) but I do tire of the constant “but Trump…” BS and let’s support someone else instead – not really an option – Mark Sanford anyone? Seriously??? Jonah came out on the podcast a few months ago with an indication of support for Sanford…like he didn’t skip to South America to do a booty call while “hiking the Trail”. Better Trump than another long step toward Socialism. And last but not least it sounds to me that both Jonah and his guest would prefer a President that says nice things but either does the opposite (read my lips – no new taxes) or does nothing (the President has had the option of moving the embassy to Jerusalem for 20 years and all Presidents seemed to support it but none did it) to a President that says horrible things but actually implements policies that do some good (not all of Trump’s policies are good but a lot are, in my never to be humble opinion – your mileage may vary…).

    It is about trying to explain what made Trump the choice in the primaries. Just because we are stuck with Trump now doesn’t mean we should stop talking about Trump’s flaws. Trump supporters certainly don’t mind talking about and criticizing other Republicans and the choice between voting for a Republican or a Democrat in many other elections is just as stark. Maybe Trump can pull another inside straight because the Democrats are insane, but I doubt it. Quite a few insane Democrats are sitting in the House right now. He might pull it off if the economy continues to go well.

     

     

    Hopefully he will pull it off as all of the Democrats are terrible in their policies. 

    • #19
    • September 10, 2019, at 11:33 AM PDT
    • Like
  20. kedavis Member

    Barry Jones (View Comment):

    JuliaBlaschke (View Comment):

    Barry Jones (View Comment):

    … (not all of Trump’s policies are good but a lot are, in my never to be humble opinion – your mileage may vary…).

    It is about trying to explain what made Trump the choice in the primaries. Just because we are stuck with Trump now doesn’t mean we should stop talking about Trump’s flaws. Trump supporters certainly don’t mind talking about and criticizing other Republicans and the choice between voting for a Republican or a Democrat in many other elections is just as stark. Maybe Trump can pull another inside straight because the Democrats are insane, but I doubt it. Quite a few insane Democrats are sitting in the House right now. He might pull it off if the economy continues to go well.

     

     

    Hopefully he will pull it off as all of the Democrats are terrible in their policies.

    And if he doesn’t I think we’ll know at least some of the people responsible…

    • #20
    • September 10, 2019, at 3:09 PM PDT
    • Like
  21. Richard Fulmer Member

    kedavis (View Comment):
    And if he doesn’t I think we’ll know at least some of the people responsible…

    You mean, like Trump?

    • #21
    • September 10, 2019, at 7:16 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  22. kedavis Member

    Richard Fulmer (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):
    And if he doesn’t I think we’ll know at least some of the people responsible…

    You mean, like Trump?

    Trump is Trump. Nobody has the option to change him. All we can control is what we do in response.

    P.S. That means nobody has the option to change the Democrat candidates either, to fit a dream or whatever. They’re crazy socialists. Period. Vote for them at not just your own risk, but everyone else’s risk too.

    • #22
    • September 10, 2019, at 10:24 PM PDT
    • Like
  23. Richard Fulmer Member

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Richard Fulmer (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):
    And if he doesn’t I think we’ll know at least some of the people responsible…

    You mean, like Trump?

    Trump is Trump. Nobody has the option to change him. All we can control is what we do in response.

    P.S. That means nobody has the option to change the Democrat candidates either, to fit a dream or whatever. They’re crazy socialists. Period. Vote for them at not just your own risk, but everyone else’s risk too.

    I don’t disagree. But I would add that it’s looking more and more likely that Trump’s trade wars with China, the EU, South Korea, Canada, Japan, et al will tank the global economy just in time for the elections. So, Trump is probably handing the election to the crazy socialists.

    But suppose that Trump wins somehow. As you say, Trump is Trump, and it’s a given that a win will confirm his opinion of his own omniscience. We’ve seen what he’s like now – from kissing up to any dictator that comes his way to Sharpie-gate. After reelection, his warp engines will shift into full-tilt, moon-bat crazy.

    In the short run, a crazy socialist president may well be worse than full-tilt Trump. But, in the longer run, the Democrats will get the blame for their president’s failures, and the Republicans will be blamed for Trump’s.

    Bottom line, I don’t see anything good coming out of the 2020 elections. All we can do is try to guess who will be less bad.

    • #23
    • September 11, 2019, at 1:35 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  24. JuliaBlaschke Coolidge

    Richard Fulmer (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):
    And if he doesn’t I think we’ll know at least some of the people responsible…

    You mean, like Trump?

    Exactly and hey don’t blame me. I voted for Rubio.

    • #24
    • September 11, 2019, at 1:53 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  25. kedavis Member

    JuliaBlaschke (View Comment):

    Richard Fulmer (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):
    And if he doesn’t I think we’ll know at least some of the people responsible…

    You mean, like Trump?

    Exactly and hey don’t blame me. I voted for Rubio.

    Not in November 2016, you didn’t.

    • #25
    • September 11, 2019, at 5:54 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  26. kedavis Member

    Richard Fulmer (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Richard Fulmer (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):
    And if he doesn’t I think we’ll know at least some of the people responsible…

    You mean, like Trump?

    Trump is Trump. Nobody has the option to change him. All we can control is what we do in response.

    P.S. That means nobody has the option to change the Democrat candidates either, to fit a dream or whatever. They’re crazy socialists. Period. Vote for them at not just your own risk, but everyone else’s risk too.

    … We’ve seen what he’s like now – from kissing up to any dictator that comes his way to Sharpie-gate. After reelection, his warp engines will shift into full-tilt, moon-bat crazy.

    In the short run, a crazy socialist president may well be worse than full-tilt Trump. But, in the longer run, the Democrats will get the blame for their president’s failures, and the Republicans will be blamed for Trump’s.

    Bottom line, I don’t see anything good coming out of the 2020 elections. All we can do is try to guess who will be less bad.

    One of the lessons of history is the left never gets the blame for their debacles. And I have neighbors who still claim the current great economy/employment is “leftover Obama.” Not that they’d say a crash, if it comes, is also Obama’s fault. No, THAT would be Trump.

    • #26
    • September 11, 2019, at 5:57 PM PDT
    • Like
  27. JuliaBlaschke Coolidge

    kedavis (View Comment):

    JuliaBlaschke (View Comment):

    Richard Fulmer (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):
    And if he doesn’t I think we’ll know at least some of the people responsible…

    You mean, like Trump?

    Exactly and hey don’t blame me. I voted for Rubio.

    Not in November 2016, you didn’t.

    And I probably won’t vote at all in November 2020 given the choices.

    • #27
    • September 12, 2019, at 8:00 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  28. ericB Listener

    JuliaBlaschke (View Comment):
    If only there was one decent Democrat.

    “there was one”. Even more than one. Many used to support religious liberty. Many valued classical liberalism, at least to some degree. They even had some politicians that affirmed the right to life.

    But those Democrats would have trouble winning Democrat primaries now, and their party is moving away to the left. Hence the #WalkAway movement of former Democrats.

    • #28
    • September 12, 2019, at 1:17 PM PDT
    • Like
  29. ericB Listener

    Richard Fulmer (View Comment):
    As government gets more and more entwined in our daily lives, we can expect this sort of vicious partisanship to spread. The Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa model the tribal warfare that will be our future if we stay on this path. There, politics and the question of which tribe holds power are, quite literally, matters of life and death.

    Which is exactly why it’s better to have a government that doesn’t get more and more entwined in our daily lives, a government whose power is restricted to essential functions that government needs to do, with most power pushed out as far as is feasible (e.g. preferring states to federal, preferring local to state, preferring power to the people and personal choices over government, i.e. subsidiarity).

    You are quite right that a government that exercises intrusive power over lives will inevitably lead to power struggles over who controls the levers of power. It has always been so and will always be so.

    • #29
    • September 12, 2019, at 1:29 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  30. ericB Listener
    1. How is it representative of Christians to quote Prager (not a Christian) referring to Trump as a “savior” while omitting any mention of Dr. Michael Brown, author of Donald Trump is Not My Savior: An Evangelical Leader Speaks His Mind About the Man He Supports as President? (See interview contrary to Howe’s expressed narrative.)
    2. Howe incorrectly tried to connect conservative Christian support for classical liberalism to “nationalism”, apparently based on the idea that religious liberty is “an American right” (start around 14:30). The whole point of our Declaration and of the wording of most of the Bill of Rights is that these rights come to humans from God, not from government. America never gave anyone these rights. Instead, we exclude “prohibiting”/”abridging”/infringing human (not American) rights.
    3. If Howe or others are suspicious of Christians voting to preserve human rights (including religious freedom) in America, are they also opposed to efforts to promote human rights in China or elsewhere? If they support America granting asylum to victims of religious persecution elsewhere, do they oppose efforts to preserve religious liberty in this country that should offer asylum?
    4. In our system, the people share in authority and determining government. I consider it a Christian duty to seek government that avoids power struggles and promotes a peaceful ordered liberty (cf. 1 Tim. 2:1-4; Jer. 29:7). What system can we choose that promotes society’s well-being better than classical liberalism?
    5. Nothing I’ve said defends Trump’s wrongs.
    • #30
    • September 12, 2019, at 2:29 PM PDT
    • Like
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