Are evangelicals responsible for Milo?

1806225034_50df5b8ba4_oHow did the gay, profane, iconoclastic Milo Yiannopoulos get to be a poster child for conservative Republicans?  Was this due to a surge of pro-gay tolerance?  Or have conservative Republicans lost their moral compass?Ben Howe, writing in the Atlantic, blames evangelicals, especially evangelical leaders who taught that Donald Trump’s moral failings should not prevent him from getting their followers’ support.  These evangelicals used to hold politicians to high moral standards.  But in their zeal to support Trump, they have become moral relativists, at least when it comes to politics.  If morality and politics have nothing to with each other, Milo presents no problem.Now the question is, will evangelicals and this new breed of Republicans take the next step of separating morality from government?  Have they already?

Consider Howe’s argument after the jump.  He is writing from an openly anti-Trump position.  I doubt that he would criticize Milo’s gayness.  I would think that he would laud the evangelical leaders who have been giving him a pass.  But does Howe have a point anyway?  Do you see an error in his reasoning?  Didn’t Milo get taken down by a moral reaction? [Read more…]

What about the Christian left?

A listener whose religious beliefs make him a political progressive asked NPR’s Danielle Kurtzleben why we always hear about the Christian right, but seldom hear about the Christian left.  Read her answer, after the jump, and then consider the points I make. [Read more…]

Trump’s summit meeting with evangelical leaders

Donald Trump met with some 1000 evangelical leaders at Trump Tower in New York City yesterday.  He promised them that he would end the ban on politicking for tax-exempt organizations like churches.  He also said that he would appoint anti-abortion Supreme Court justices.  He also said that he would emphasize religious liberty, including allowing government employees to offer sectarian prayer in public and making department store employees say “Merry Christmas.”

The Washington Post said that the attendees were thrilled with Trump, but his critics among evangelicals were not invited.  One of them, recalling the movement’s former insistence on moral character, said that the spectacle marks “the end of the Christian right.”

What do you think about this?

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When Christian voters support the least Christian candidate

There once was a time when evangelical voters favored candidates who were Christians and who modeled “family values.”  Today the favorite candidate among evangelical voters is someone who says he has never repented of his sins, has been married three times, brags about his sexual conquests, and has made much of his fortune by building gambling casinos.

At least those who once called themselves “the moral majority” can no longer be accused of being “judgmental” in their politics.

Is this indifference to a candidate’s faith and morals a sign of political maturity in the Christian right?

Or is it the end of the Christian right, with its members caring more about such issues as immigration more than they do moral or religious issues? [Read more…]

From Moral Majority to Prophetic Minority

Russell Moore–identified as one of those mythical “Lutheran Baptists“–is the new spokesman for the Southern Baptist Convention on social issues. He is taking a different approach from the conventional political activist on the “Christian right.”  He says that Christians have lost the so-called “culture wars” and that the loss of Christian cultural dominance may actually be good for the church.  He says that Christians need to stop thinking of themselves as “the moral majority.”  Instead, they have to see themselves as the “prophetic minority.”

After the jump, excerpts from a Wall Street Journal piece on Dr. Moore by the outstanding Christian writer Naomi Schaefer Riley, who interviewed him for her story. [Read more…]

Shifting from family values to religious freedom

McKay Coppins notes a change in the message of Republicans and social conservatives in particular.  No longer are they pushing for moral issues, apparently feeling that those battles have been lost.  Instead, they are fighting for religious freedom, for the liberty of religious people, at least, to hold to their moral convictions. [Read more…]