Morality as politics

The Pew Research Center has conducted a study finding that 64% of church goers heard political issues being preached from the pulpit.  Those “political issues” included abortion, homosexuality, religious liberty, the environment, and economic inequality.

Now those are mostly moral–not political–issues.  Churches have always taught about sexual morality and respect for human life.  They have also addressed issues of social morality.  That is not being political.  The Pew study found that only 14% heard political candidates being promoted or criticized.

What’s interesting here is that the researchers consider moral beliefs to be nothing more than political positions.  To be sure, government dictates about morality gives them a political dimension they normally would not have.  This is especially true when the government requirements run counter to the church’s traditional moral teachings.  Of course the church must push back against that.

But the problem isn’t churches meddling into politics.  It is the government meddling into morality.

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Trump vs. Clinton on religious liberty

At Donald Trump’s conclave with evangelical leaders, he notably dodged the religious liberty questions.  That’s understandable, since Trump supports the LGTB cause , the source of the current efforts to punish Christians and Christian organizations for holding to their religious beliefs about sexual morality.

But surely Hillary Clinton would be worse than Trump on religious liberty issues, wouldn’t she?  Maggie Gallagher thinks otherwise, after the jump.  She argues that if Clinton is elected, Christians could oppose her from the base of a major political party.  But if Trump is elected, both parties would have abandoned the issues, and Christians would have no political advocates.  Do you agree with her reasoning?
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Trump’s evangelical advisory board

Donald Trump has appointed an evangelical advisory board.  See who’s on it after the jump.

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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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The end of the religious right?

Nearly all evangelical leaders are opposing Donald Trump.  And yet evangelicals are voting for him in droves.  Jonathan Merritt of the Atlantic is hailing this phenomenon as the end of the religious right.  Read what he says after the jump, read my response, and offer your opinion.

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Why so many evangelicals are for Trump

Why are so many evangelicals supporting such a flagrant non-evangelical as Donald Trump?  Ben Domenech, publisher of the Federalist, gives the best answer I’ve heard:  The evangelicals who support Trump recognize that they have lost the culture wars, that Christianizing the government is futile, that America is no longer a Christian nation.  What they want now is protection from the politically-correct elites who would love to stamp out whatever Christianity is left.  And Trump, for all his faults, delights in defying the politically-correct elite.

You conservative Christians who support Trump, is this at least part of the reason?

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