Tag: Christians

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.

Ben Howe, author of The Immoral Majority: Christian Evangelicals and the Role they Play in the Era of Trump (due out this year) discusses his journey from the Tea Party to the Center, his favorite Marvel character, and why he doesn’t trust anyone who isn’t honest about their failures – especially politicians. Ben takes issue with using the Bible to pretend that you are pursuing your self-interests nobly and explains the problem with combining ideology with partisanship. Don’t miss a fascinating breakdown of how evangelical leaders have recast all of Trump’s sins as virtues and the danger of convincing a narcissist that his narcissism is virtuous. And stick around for Ben’s epic Christian Retreat Dad joke.

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Some people might say I’m either incredibly foolish or extremely brave in bringing up this topic. But I discuss politics all the time—why not religion? I’m curious, however, about the Christian generosity towards Jews and Israel, especially after a conversation I had recently with a Christian friend. Now let me tell you a little about my friend, […]

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Should Pulpits Ring with Trump – Especially This Week?

 

I was encouraged this morning by a pastor colleague that this is the moment to stand up and say something to denounce the immorality and corruption of the Trump administration. In some ways, it was the standard clerical collusion with the anti-Trump media — but at the moment in which things seem to be legally breaking against the president. I have mentioned the president only a few times in my public ministry, and certainly not to denounce him, as I did not denounce President Obama in the preceding eight years. We pray regularly for all public officials as the Bible commands, and I say very little about the goings-on of any administration.

I included below my response to this group of pastors that you may find helpful if you are considering such speech, or are wondering how your church should be responding to the present political moment:

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I have a habit to sit with Pastors and ask them a tough question. The question is: If you don’t teach us about how to merge our Christian faith with our politics who will? This does not make me very popular with the Pastors as you might imagine. I have been convicted however and I […]

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Another Democrat Senator Questions Trump Nominee’s Religious Views

 

In confirmation hearings for Secretary of State nominee Mike Pompeo, Senator Corey Booker chided the Presbyterian Sunday School teacher for holding to the same view of same-sex marriage that most Americans held just a few years ago. Pompeo, you will be shocked to learn, is against it.

The senator went on to justify his marriage questions by alluding to the persecution of homosexuals in other countries. Here is a part of their exchange, according to The Federalist:

The Tower of Babel, Jews, Progressives, and Conservatives

 

One could certainly imagine a post on the Tower of Babel and Jews, but where do Progressives and Conservatives fit in? Recently I ran across two pieces, one an essay and the other a book, that demonstrated to me in a thoughtful manner that a second Tower of Babel is being built and we are seeing more evidence that not only this country, but the world, is in trouble.

If you are unfamiliar with the story of the Tower of Babel, it is quite short, only 11 verses in Genesis, Chapter 11. G-d determines that the building of the Tower must be stopped, since it bodes a catastrophic future for the people. Those building the Tower intended to reach heaven, and in one sense, bring heaven down to earth. These efforts suggested not only a challenge to G-d’s power, but an arrogance of the builders: they believed with their creativity and prowess they were capable of living a secular existence without G-d’s guidance. Rather than obey G-d, they only needed to pursue their own desires for progress and they would be successful in their efforts. Leon Kass, in his book, The Beginning of Wisdom, explains the emptiness of their goals:

Power and technique are ethically neutral; they can be used both justly and unjustly. Worse, technical prowess, precisely because of its transformative power, creates the illusion that one can do without justice and morality. The omnicompetent city lacking in justice is a menace, both to itself and to the world. Even assuming that the inhabitants wish to be just, where will be builders of Babel find any knowledge of justice, or indeed, any moral or political principle or standard?

Alexandra DeSanctis of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America are actually glad to see Sen. Kamala Harris and other national Democrats admitting they want single payer, government-run health care for everyone and they hope America is still ready to reject it. They also hammer radical activist Linda Sarsour for acting as if she’s raising money for hurricane victims when her real goal to build up the bank of her organization to foster division along ethnic, racial, and gender lines. They also pound Politico for a horrible political cartoon characterizing Texans as confederate, Christian rubes who should realize they are being rescued by government rather than God. And they close by shaking their heads at the cases of Americans who injured themselves by applying sunscreen directly to their eyeballs to look at the recent solar eclipse.

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Next on Thinking It Through with Jerome Danner:  I invited a writer and thinker who is influencing me more and more after I heard him on the Eric Metaxas Show. Dr. John Zmirak is a writer for The Stream and he was a great guest to talk to about President Donald Trump’s first 100 days in office. https://jeromedanner.net/2017/04/15/episode-32-jzmirak-of-streamdotorg-on-trumps-first-100-days-john-zmirak-of-the-stream/ Preview […]

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I am continually amazed at how people will take one verse from the Bible (whether they are a devout Christian or an avid atheist) and try to build asinine arguments from that one verse for or against some social issue. It is so important to do good exegesis when it comes to understanding Scripture. Moreover, it […]

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It is time for an update on the worldwide jihad of Muslim attacks on Christians. If you have been relying on mass media to keep you informed, then there is a lot that you just don’t know. This is an ongoing story that our Leftist mass media have shown no interest in conveying to Americans, […]

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My pastor posted on Facebook a link to this letter, written by World Relief president Stephan Bauman, with an approving comment on our church’s ongoing support for this organization. I’m planning on sending him a private response, and hope to get input here before I hit “send.” For what it’s worth, my pastor is young, […]

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ISIS and Religious Genocide in the Mideast

 

ShowImageNina Shea, the director of the Hudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom, gives a devastating account of this reality at National Review Online:

The Islamist genocide — and there can be no doubt that it is genocide, despite world silence – of the Christians, Yazidis, Mandeans, and other defenseless ethno-religious minorities of Syria and Iraq continues. The killing of these peoples is deliberate and brutal and is rooted in religious hatred of the “infidel.” It is meted out in sudden violent executions, mass deportations, and the gradual, methodical destruction of their civilizations.

Washington is blind to this genocide that occurs alongside, but is separate from, a sectarian Muslim power struggle. It has failed to defend them militarily. Now it is failing to provide humanitarian help in the only manner left: resettling the survivors out of harm’s way, in countries where they will be able to rebuild their families and preserve their unique ancient cultures without fear. Rescue is the very minimum we can do to help these victims of genocide. ….

How to Help Yazidi Girls and Women

 

Turkey SE7(Note: These are photos of southeast Turkey, in 2013.)

Two weeks ago, The New York Times’ Rukmini Callimachi wrote an article about the systematic rape and enslavement of Yazidi girls by ISIS. If you haven’t read the article, and even if you think you know the story already, read it:

The Islamic State’s formal introduction of systematic sexual slavery dates to Aug. 3, 2014, when its fighters invaded the villages on the southern flank of Mount Sinjar, a craggy massif of dun-colored rock in northern Iraq.

An Open Question to Christians

 

According to the BBC, the teenage children of a vCharleston-vigilictim of the Charleston church massacre, Sharonda Singleton, 45, said they have already forgiven their mother’s killer. ‘We already forgive him for what he’s done, and there’s nothing but love from our side of the family,” they said.

How does one find the ability to give forgiveness only hours after a loved one is murdered? Although I’m Jewish, I went to Catholic school in England. I learned that if one finds and accepts Jesus Christ, all is forgiven. I understand this aspect of Christian theology.

Ted Cruz and the Friends of Our Enemies

 

Do Christians in the Middle East — specifically in Syria and the surrounding countries — deserve our contempt or our sympathy?

According to Ted Cruz and Caroline Glick of the Jerusalem Post, “contempt” about sums it up. Levantine Christians have often allied themselves with the likes of the Assads and the Husseins, and oppose Israel, often with flourishes that would quicken the hearts of the worst kind of Anti-semites. In short, they support bad actors and oppose our friends.

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There is a new atheist theme circulating the Internet: captioning cute family photos (of Christians, we are to assume) with the more disturbing Old Testament stories (warning: site has explicit language). Apparently, this is supposed to be an attack on Christians, though the material could just as easily be used to attack religious Jews. What’s the […]

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