The Sunday before Election Day

I attended Sunday services at a white evangelical mega-church in our closely watched swing-state county. Most of the service made no mention of the election just a few hours away. But then, tacked on the end, just after the closing hymn, the pastor and his congregation rushed through an obligatory reminder of the importance of voting because if the wrong side wins they’ll lose their freedom to worship, have their Bibles confiscated, and be rounded up in FEMA camps for real, true Christians. It was simultaneously extreme and insincere — and thus strangely appropriate for 2016. [Read more…]

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Confederate flag-waving Trump supporter suspected in cop killings

There hasn’t been a massive national freak-out over the ambush killings of two Iowa police officers. This is because the suspect is a white guy. He’s really, really white — a Trump supporter who was angry with police after he was kicked out of a high school football game for waving a Confederate flag. [Read more…]

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A foretaste of ‘Donald Trump’s America’

Such acts of violence and intimidation are implicitly first person plural. They convey the message “WE don’t want your kind.” When that undefined, presumed first person plural is not challenged — when it is not loudly refuted and shouted down — then acts of violence like this gain momentum and power. [Read more…]

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Debate night!

In 2011, only 30 percent of white evangelicals said that a candidate’s personal morality shouldn’t disqualify them from public office. In 2016, 71 percent of evangelicals say this. Plus some Aimee Mann. (Consider this post your discuss-the-debate and/or avoid-the-debate open thread.) [Read more…]

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Where are the white evangelicals for McMullin?

For many conservative Republican Mormons, Trumpism is a deal-breaker. For most conservative Republican evangelicals, it’s not. Mormon Republicans are balking at Trump’s misogyny, bigotry, white-nationalism and ignorance. White evangelicals are not. That’s why Evan McMullin’s long-shot campaign is up-ending the polling in Utah but not in the Bible Belt states where white evangelicals dominate Republican politics. [Read more…]

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‘This is disgraceful. It is intolerable.’

Nothing I could write today would be as timely, wise or eloquent as the speech that First Lady Michelle Obama gave this morning in New Hampshire. So let’s just look at that. [Read more…]

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Team Because vs. Team Despite

My framework for viewing Donald Trump’s campaign in the 2016 general election involves seeing his supporters in two distinct groups: Despite and Because. Some people are still supporting Trump despite all the awful things he has said and done. But it was the Because voters who carried Trump through the primaries, and those voters — the ones who love him because of all the awful things he says and does — are the ones Donald Trump intends to serve as president. [Read more…]

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The Salt Lake Remonstrance: Mormons are out-Baptist-ing Baptists (in a good way)

Mormons identify as a people who value missions, religious liberty, and sexual morality. And they are condemning Donald Trump and distancing themselves from him because they value missions, religious liberty, and sexual morality. Southern Baptists identify as a people who value all those things, but we’re not seeing any evidence of that. [Read more…]

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