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‘it Sounds Like You’re Describing Trump’
MyIowa seminar examined why emotional manipulators manipulate and how to escape their snares. Though I never made reference to current political figures, I noticed that person after person would come up to me and whisper, It sounds like youre describing Trump.
For some of my attendees, Donald Trump was the clearest example of manipulation that came to mind.
Im a white evangelical in a red state.Posting criticisms of Trump on my social media feed is like dangling ones feet in a piranha tank. Many of my church-going, Trump-supporting friends feel compelled to educate me about what Im missing when it comes to the president.
They suggest that perhaps Ive become so deranged by hatred for him I cant see straight. Perhaps Ive been watching too much CNN. Or maybe Ive been one of them all along.
A Politicized And Mismanaged Coronavirus Response
The deadly coronavirus has devastated populations around the world, with the United States accounting to date for more than one-quarter of the worlds cases despite constituting only 4.25 percent of the worlds population.5 The Trump administrations chaotic and mismanaged response to the coronavirus crisis has cost more than 200,000 Americans their lives as of September 17, 2020.6 It has been especially harmful to faith communities.
Many faith communities have transitioned to online services or other highly modified in-person activities in order to protect their congregants and communities during the deadly pandemic.12 Yet the Trump administration has continued to push the conspiratorial notion that public health orders are a greater threat to religious freedom than the pandemic is a threat to the lives and well-being of faith communities. At the end of May 2020, Trump declared houses of worship essential and threatened to override governors who did not reopen them. Despite this, the authority of the president to enforce reopenings remains limited.13
In a concurring opinion in South Bay United Pentecostal Church, et al. v. Gavin Newsom, Governor of California, et al., Chief Justice John Roberts wrote:
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Faith Leaders Back Biden In Sign That Evangelical Support For Trump Is Waning
More than 1,600 have endorsed the Democratic candidate, a marked change from 2016 when 80% of white evangelicals backed Trump
More than 1,600 faith leaders in the US have publicly backed Joe Biden, the Democratic candidate in next months presidential election, amid signs that some evangelical voters are turning away from Donald Trump.
The Biden endorsements mainly come from Catholics, evangelicals and mainline Protestants. They include Jerushah Duford, the granddaughter of Billy Graham Susan Johnson Cook, a former US ambassador for religious freedom Michael Kinnamon, former general secretary of the National Council of Churches and Gene Robinson, a former bishop in the Episcopal church.
This record-breaking group of endorsers shows that President Trumps lack of kindness and decency is energizing faith communities and will cost him this election, said Doug Pagitt, executive director of the Christian campaign organisation Vote Common Good, which compiled the endorsements.
The organisation said the announcement represents the largest group of clergy to endorse a Democratic candidate for president in modern history.
Four years ago, many religious voters decided to look the other way and give Trump a chance, but after witnessing his cruelty and corruption, a growing number of them are turning away from the president.
Why White Evangelical Support For Trump Goes Beyond His Policies
When Donald Trump powered his way to presidential victory in 2016, defying the expectations of many polling experts, it quickly became evident that White, self-identifying born-again or evangelical Christian voters were among the most crucial components of his winning coalition.
On its face, it was not a natural fit: Mr. Trump seldom addressed his personal faith before his candidacy, is twice-divorced and has faced over two dozen accusations of sexual misconduct. Some at the time found the political marriage to be one of convenience. But the evangelical attraction to his candidacy extends far beyond ideological alignment, historians and evangelical supporters of Mr. Trump told CBS News.
“There was much less tension between family values, evangelicalism and the support for Trump that we were seeing because of a long-standing commitment to a kind of rugged, patriarchal leadership, a kind of a militant masculinity,” said Calvin University religious historian Kristin Kobes Du Mez. “For decades, evangelicalism has been writing and preaching that men needed to be strong, and that God made men to be strong, so that they could protect their families and their churches and their country. This was the kind of leader that they have been conditioned to look to.”
White evangelical Christians, who made up more than a third of Mr. Trump’s support, have reliably voted Republican for decades.
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What Trump Reportedly Says In Private About His Christian Supporters
In public, Donald Trump presents himself as someone who honors and celebrates military service, but in private, it appears to be a very different story. Earlier this month, Jeffrey Goldberg wrote a stunning piece in The Atlantic about the Republican president denigrating those who wear the uniform, dismissing fallen heroes as “losers” and “suckers.”
Similarly, Trump also presents himself in public as a hero to people of faith, most notably Christian conservatives who are at the heart of his political base. It’s against this backdrop that The Atlantic has a new piece today from McKay Coppins, reporting that the president is quick behind closed doors to mock and show contempt for theistic allies.
In speeches and interviews, Trump routinely lavishes praise on conservative Christians, casting himself as their champion…. But in private, many of Trump’s comments about religion are marked by cynicism and contempt, according to people who have worked for him. Former aides told me they’ve heard Trump ridicule conservative religious leaders, dismiss various faith groups with cartoonish stereotypes, and deride certain rites and doctrines held sacred by many of the Americans who constitute his base.
In other words, Trump saw these preachers as con artists, and if the reporting is correct, he recognized their skills as familiar because of his own expertise in the area.
Almost certainly not.
Trump’s Christian Supporters And The March On The Capitol
Christian supporters of President Donald Trump were among the thousands who descended on Washington DC last week. Their presence highlights a divide in American Christianity.
Before the march on the US Capitol began last Wednesday, some knelt to pray.
Thousands had come to the seat of power for a “Save America” rally organised to challenge the election result. Mr Trump addressed the crowd near the White House, calling on them to march on Congress where politicians were gathered to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s win.
The crowd was littered with religious imagery. “Jesus 2020” campaign flags flapped in the wind alongside Trump banners and the stars and stripes of the US flag.
The throng did march to Congress, a protest that led to chaos at the Capitol.
At least one group carried a large wooden cross. Another blew shofars – a Jewish ritual horn some Christian evangelicals have co-opted as a battle cry. Elsewhere a white flag featured an ichthys – or “Jesus fish” – an ancient symbol of Christianity.
For some Christians, seeing religious symbols alongside Confederate flags was shocking.
But for others, Mr Trump is their saviour – someone who was “defending Christians from secularists” as Franklin Graham, son of the late evangelist Billy Graham, told the BBC.
The imagery on display was revealing of not just the racial and political divides in America, but the religious divides as well.
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All of this has made a mockery of white evangelical protestations about morality and the family. Moral issues once drove white evangelical votes but, first when Obama was elected and then when the Supreme Court struck down the federal ban on same sex marriage in June of 2015, what remained was their fear. Trump promised justices and a return to a time when they felt less fear, and he delivered, at least on the former. White evangelical fealty to him is firm. Evangelicals in America are not simply a religious group they are a political group inexorably linked to the Republican Party.
Trump delivered evangelicals from the shame of losing, and they will back him again in 2020 to avoid losing again. So perhaps we should take evangelicals at their word that they will support Trump come hell or high water, rather than twisting ourselves into knots trying to figure out why.
Trump Is Doing The Bidding Of Right
Why do white, right-wing Christian evangelicals support Donald Trump? The answer is quite simple. Their agenda is his agenda. Trump and the Republican Party are working to take away women’s reproductive rights and to extend special “conscience” protections to “Christians” who feel that their faith should somehow supersede the law. They view the poor, the disabled, and others as “useless eaters” and are working to protect white privilege and the power of white right-wing Christians in all areas of American life. Trump is also a petit-fascist and an authoritarian. This vision of the world is embraced in every way by right-wing Christians.
Too many pundits and other members of the chattering class prefer to make riddles out of the obvious: They obsess about evangelical leaders offering “mulligans” for Trump’s “sins” and other assorted examples of right-wing Christian hypocrisy.
While the answer to this supposed riddle is nothing more than crude realpolitik — the context, logic and implications of right-wing Christian support for Trump remain important.
Consider the following.
As shown by his words, deeds and actions, Donald Trump is evil. Right-wing Christian evangelicals continue to support him despite their obsession with the mythological figure known as the anti-Christ.
Writing at the History News Network, Ed Simon explores this theme:
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Neuroscientist Explains Why Christian Evangelicals Are Wired To Believe Donald Trumps Lies
President Donald Trump lies so often that it is no longer shocking when it happens, no matter how blatant or absurd the falsehood may be. Not only does Trump regularly exaggerate the truth, he frequently denies facts that can be observed directly from video or audio tapes. This has led some professionals to diagnose his lying as compulsive or pathological, and many psychologists have pointed out that he is constantly gaslighting his basea term that refers to a strategic attempt to get others to question their direct experience of reality.
With so much evidence to contradict his claims, like having the largest inauguration crowd size despite pictures clearly showing otherwise, one must wonder how there are still people out there who believe anything the man says. But the fact of the matter is there are many who swallow it hook, line, and sinker. Most of his fervent supporters are convinced that Trump is the harbinger of truth when it comes to important issues like climate changewhich is really just a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese government.
One reason Trump supporters believe his lies comes from a basic fact about the brain: it takes more mental effort to reject an idea as false than to accept it as true. In other words, its easier to believe than to not.
‘christian Nationalism’ In The Us
But aside from specific campaign issues, some academics say “Christian nationalism” was behind much of the religious support for Mr Trump’s campaign.
They say Christian nationalism merges Christian identity with national identity: to be American is to be Christian. Proponents believe that America’s success depends on its adherence to conservative Christian positions and warn, in Mr Trump’s words, of “an assault on Christianity” from political opponents.
“Voting for Trump was, at least for many Americans, a symbolic defence of the United States’ perceived Christian heritage,” the sociologist Andrew Whitehead wrote in a paper analysing the support for the president.
Academics such as Mr Whitehead and Philip Gorski, professor of sociology at Yale University, argue that throughout his presidency, Mr Trump explicitly played to Christian nationalist ideas by repeating the claim that the United States is abdicating its Christian heritage.
He promised “to protect Christianity” and for many supporters his campaign slogan “Make America Great Again” could have been synonymous with “Make America Christian Again”.
At a rally in Ohio last year he warned a Biden presidency would mean “no religion, no anything”.
“Hurt the Bible, hurt God. He’s against God, he’s against guns,” he claimed.
But American Christianity is divided.
The Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church of the US, the Most Reverend Michael Curry, described the riots as a “coup attempt” and “deeply disturbing”.
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Reasons You Cant Be A Christian And Support Donald Trump
Its like saying a vegan can enjoy steaks.
10 Reasons You Cant Be a Christian and Support Donald Trump
A person cannot really love Jesus and wish to follow him and also support a person who so clearly embodies the opposite of everything Christ taught, died for and demands of us.
Rational people are intrigued by the large number of self-identified Christians, especially evangelicals, who support Trump and voted for him over the more vocally religious Ted Cruz. In past elections, such voters were motivated by moral convictions around abortion, same sex-marriage, and the perceived deterioration of traditional values, and voted predictably for candidates such as Huckabee, Santorum, and most consequentially, George W. Bush.
These issues and their 2016 equivalents have never been central features of Trumps life history, let alone his Oval Office, and on many of them he has confused, moderate or unclear positions. Whatever the appeal of Trump to evangelicals might be, it is not due to these conventional stances.
At first, Trumps opponents seemed willing to ignore perhaps, perhaps as a disciplined tact to suffocate his bloviations of the oxygen they need to burn. This approach proved naïve in the wake of everything which has happened since the election.
The argument is simple: A Christian who supports Trump either does not understand his person and his positions, or supports him in spite of Christian convictions.
1. He lacks compassion.
2. He appeals to fear and anger.