Evangelicals support for Trump remains strong

Though The Donald has suffered a modest decline in support from white evangelicals, they remain his most devoted boosters among the religiously affiliated, according to a new PEW study.

Meantime, evangelicals continue to complain that they are persecuted, though the uncomplicated truth is that they are merely despised for their incandescent hypocrisy.

Posted in General | Leave a comment

Dismal theology-related tweet of the day

Actually, this is accurate; contemporary Christianity would not be recognized by Jesus.

The Jesus Movement of the 1st-Century was a resentment-fueled religious/political movement whose locus was the underclass. Augustine, with his notion of Original Sin, — y’all are no damn good and should just obey, obey, obey — put Christianity firmly on the side of society’s bosses against the underclass.

Neither Jesus nor any of the Apostles, by the way, ever heard of Original Sin. It originates with Paul’s epistles, who never met Jesus, and about whom a strong argument can be made that he was gay — in an era when that meant death (so he probably did have grave emotional problems).

Posted in General | Leave a comment

Quote for the day

In every party there is someone whose far too credulous expression of the party’s principles provokes others to defect.

Friedrich Nietzsche
Human, All Too Human, §298

Think Albert Mohler, or John Piper, who serenely say all sorts of crazy things. Think Donald Trump, who has reduced the Republican Party to a pack of overwrought loonies.

They represent the truth about their respective groups.

Posted in General | Leave a comment

Warren: Get rid of Electoral College

What do you know? Yesterday’s posts included a discussion of Elizabeth Warren, and an urging that we be rid of the Electoral College once for all — and last night Warren called for an end of the Electoral College.

“Every vote matters, and the way we can make that happen is that we can have national voting, and that means get rid of the Electoral College,” Ms. Warren said, drawing one of her longest ovations of the night.

It is a fact: A vote in a small state carries more weight for selection of the president than a vote in a populous state.

The Constitutional Convention published no proceedings, but James Madison’s notes survived, and of course there is the post-Convention Federalist Papers. The Electoral College had two purposes: First, to assure that the large states did not overwhelm the smaller. The second was to assure that “men of affairs” could intervene if a cheap demagogue seized the popular imagination.

On that second purpose, the College conspicuously failed, and that failure has imperiled the country by putting a corrupt madman in the White House. Worse, Trump wannabes are already aping his schtick. It won’t happen before 2020, but the Electoral College must be eliminated.

Posted in General | Leave a comment

Divided loyalties and public hypocrisy

FOX News host Jeanine Pirro is at the center of an ongoing controversy concerning a remark she made last week about Congresswoman Ilhan Omar. The relevant clip is below.

Pirro was suspended for two weeks, and you-know-who had a regular hissy-fit.

Certainly, Pirro was wrong to identify the hijab with Sharia exclusively; many Muslim women, probably a majority, wear the hijab and want nothing to do with Sharia law. She was not wrong, however, to raise the larger question of religion and loyalty. Is there any religion on earth (besides Buddhism) that doesn’t insist that its prophet must have priority over corporeal authority?

Let’s be clear about this, too: Christianity makes the identical demand.

Albert Mohler:

In 2 Corinthians 6:14, the Apostle Paul commands that Christians must “not be unequally yoked with unbelievers.” This command reaches far beyond marriage, but it certainly includes the covenant of marriage within its span. Paul’s principle is clear: The Christian’s commitment to Christ is determinative of his or her other commitments. A believer must not marry an unbeliever, for this violates the very logic of the Gospel and the believer’s union with Christ.

The believer in Christ acknowledges him as Savior and Lord, with an allegiance that exceeds any earthly commitment. When two believers are married, they share this mutual commitment and are commonly dedicated to the Lordship of Christ.

Mohler is the President of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, one of the largest seminaries in the United States — and this is what he teaches. SBTS graduates, in turn, howl and bellow that teaching from pulpits all across the country, and all around the world. Southern Baptists are very definite: Jesus first, and everybody else — your family and your country included — can have the leftovers.

Southern Baptists take this stuff seriously, too. During the 2016 annual meeting a motion was debated to condemn display of the Confederate flag. That debate quickly digressed into a discussion of loyalties in general, and the following quotes are a very small sample of the prevailing sentiment in that convention.

  • “I am a Christian first and an American second.”

  • “Following Christ will always trump being an American.”

  • “If I ever have to choose between the cross and the American flag, I will choose the cross every time.”

If you can stomach it, listen to a half-dozen or so Southern Baptist sermons posted online next Monday, especially those delivered in rural southern churches; you’ll hear a lot of near- and actual-sedition.

Remember the Terri Schiavo case, that unfortunate Florida woman who was kept alive in a vegetative state for approximately 15-years? The state judge who oversaw that case was thrown out of the Southern Baptist church he attended, for the specific reason that he put the law before his pastor’s interpretation of what Jesus would want.

And there is a long roll of Catholic politicians who have been denied Communion because they didn’t vote as the bishop wished on this bill or that.

Pirro probably assumes that all Muslims are just as crazy as the pious freaks who surround her at FOX.

Again, Pirro was half-right: Islam, like every other religion that has ever soiled the earth, does demand undivided loyalty.

“The principle of asceticism never was, nor ever can be, consistently pursued by any living creature. Let but one tenth part of the inhabitants of the earth pursue it consistently, and in a day’s time they will have turned it into a Hell.”

Jeremy Bentham

The saving, humdrum truth is this: Most people — Count your blessings! — have too much sense and decency to be good Christians, just as most people have too much sense and decency to be good Muslims; if it were otherwise, the earth would be uninhabitable.

But Christianity and Islam so vociferously condemn the “other,” the skeptic, as wicked, that most people lack the courage to say frankly that their storylines are crazy and their ethics cultish nonsense. It’s easier to be a hypocrite, occasionally attend services, and avoid surveillance.

That strategy for maintaining peace isn’t going to work for much longer, though, because much of the political turmoil in the world has its origins in the decline of the Abrahamic faiths. They are dying, and so the old, discredited faiths are retreating to their cultish origins — and demanding that everybody choose sides.

Posted in General | Leave a comment