Trump kicks church/state separation into the long grass

Trump kicks church/state separation into the long grass June 11, 2017

To the delight of the evangelical clowns who adore him, President Trump said this week that wants more Christian voices in politics and on TV and radio, and that all schools ‘should welcome faith and religion with wide open, beautiful arms’.
Addressing the Faith and Freedom Coalition Conference on Thursday, Trump told attendees that government bureaucrats think they can overrule people’s values and tell them how to live, but families and churches know best how to create a strong community.

Bureaucrats think they can run over your lives, overrule your values and tell you how to live, but we know that families and churches – not government officials know best how to create a strong and loving community. We know that parents, not bureaucrats know best how to raise children and create a thriving society, and above all else, we know this: in America, we don’t worship government. We worship God.

Trump talked about how he repealed the Johnson Amendment, which made prohibited non-profits – including churches – from endorsing political candidates and participating in political campaigns or risk losing their non-profit status.
He said as long as he’s President:

No one is going to stop you from practicing your faith and from preaching what is in your heart. No federal worker should be censoring sermons or targeting pastors. These are the people we want to hear from. How about the people we do hear from every night on television. You want to hear from them? I don’t think so.

He added:

School should not be a place that drives out faith and religion. They should welcome faith and religion with wide open, beautiful arms. Faith inspires us to be better, to be stronger, to be more caring and giving and more determined to act in selfless and courageous defense of what is good and what is right.
It is time to put a stop to the attacks on religion. We will end the discrimination against people of faith. Our government will once again celebrate and protect religious freedom. Family is the foundation of American life, and we are proud to stand together with all of you to promote and protect family values.
Our rights are given to us by a divine authority, and no earthly force can ever take those rights away. That is why my administration is taking power out of Washington and giving it back to the people where it belongs.

Trump detailed the ways that religious liberty was enshrined by the Founding Fathers:

Our religious liberty is enshrined in the very first amendment in the Bill of Rights. The American founders invoked our creator four times in the Declaration of Independence. Don’t worry. We’re not going to let them change it. You see what goes on nowadays, right? Benjamin Franklin reminded his colleagues at the Constitutional Convention to begin by bowing their heads in prayer.
Inscribed on currency are the words: in God we trust. And we proudly proclaim that we are one nation under God every time we proclaim that we say the Pledge of Allegiance.

According to this report, Reverend Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, said the President’s speech inspired him to redouble his efforts to energise pro-life voters in the 2018 elections.

I could not help but think that there are so many in the church who do not yet realize what a blessing this president is for the church.

Once a year Pavone tapes up his gob in solidarity with the Pro-Life Day of Silent Solidarity
Gay rights leaders, however, said that Trump had let them down.
Trump’s appearance at the conference – packed with anti-gay crusaders – coincided with criticism that he has yet to recognise June 2017 as Pride Month despite celebrations this month in cities and states across the country to commemorate the 1969 Stonewall riots in New York that are considered the birth of the modern LGBT movement.
Trump has already proclaimed June as National Homeownership Month, National Ocean Month, African-American Music Appreciation Month and National Caribbean-American Heritage Month.
The White House did not respond to questions about not officially recognising Pride Month.
Said David Kilmnick, CEO of the LGBT Network:

It’s shameful that the President of the United States has failed to recognize such a historically significant time for the LGBT community. Millions of people across the country recognize and celebrate June as LGBT Pride Month, which is important not only to LGBT Americans, but to any American who believes in civil and human rights for all.

However, Secretary of State Rex W Tillerson did released a statement recognising Pride Month. The statement affirmed the State Department’s:

Solidarity with the human rights defenders and civil society organizations working around the world to uphold the fundamental freedoms of LGBTI persons to live with dignity and freedom.

The Human Rights Campaign said the statement:

Stands in stark contrast to the silence from the White House.

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  • Smokey

    I still can’t figure out if he’s incompetent, maliciously destructive, or a mindless hand puppet for someone else.

  • cnocspeireag

    A false trichotomy perhaps?

  • barriejohn

    He’s mentally unbalanced. All that tweeting tells the story.

  • andym

    His BMI says obese. He is unpredictable. He tweets late into the night, when his posts get increasingly bizarre and incomprehensible. He does claim to be teetotal. I sometimes think how much his presentation would say “drinker” in anyone else.

  • Paul

    My son showed me a short video of Trump where he says over and over about all the friends he has. Ther were fifty short clips where he says he has a friend -it went on and on, he says his friends were business people, army, black, he is, she is, they are, blah blah. And of course in the last clip he says “I have no friends”.
    He clearly says things so much and a lot for effect. If he says them enough he will get people to believe it. Psychology works, on some. However, I think most of us on here realise how deluded and dangerous he actually is. As an example for a US president to tell NATO its responsible to control immigration shows how utterly mental he is. How out of touch with intelligent people who see right through him. Unfortunately the gullible just don’t, can’t or won’t.

  • The Johnson Amendment has not been repealed.

  • barriejohn

    Trevor Blake: Just another unfulfilled promise.
    “I don’t think there’s any question that the president has done a significant amount on the issues that he put forward in the campaign,” White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told reporters ahead of the 100-day mark, touting “a record number” of executive orders. “We are very proud.”
    As a candidate, the president promised big wins that would be so frequent America would get bored of it. Ahead of the 100 days benchmark, the president seemed in search of such a win, hurrying to launch his tax plan and resurrecting the health care effort just weeks after it failed spectacularly.
    “We are going to have a big win soon, because we are going to have health care and that’s gonna happen. And there was no lose with health care, this is just a constant negotiation and the plan is getting better and better all the time,” Trump told a Wisconsin television network in April.

    The Republicans are now trying to push through legislation that would weaken controls on financial institutions (“no lose” there, surely!). They’re not likely to succeed with that either.

  • Bart

    Trump is simply fucking unhinged. But then much of the USA is unhinged too if a dangerous loon like him can become President. Mind you which is worse. A psychopathic KGB Goon like Putin, the Mad Rabid Dog that rules North Korea or Trump? Not an easy question … but at least Trump can be impeached (please) or assassinated (far superior presidents have been) or be a one term abomination. Lets hope that Trump takes a few swipes at the Jesuits so that they will do what they did to Kennedy.

  • 1859

    We all have to hope that no serious military emergencies arise in the next 4+ years, because if it does this lunatic will start pressing every button on his desk. He is probably the most odious politician I have ever had the misfortune to experience. Even the sound of his self-important voice makes me want wretch. For me, the whole character of the man was epitomised when he rudely pushed aside the president of Macedonia so as to get to the front for the photo at the Nato conference. What a bulling prick.

  • remigius

    ‘…because if it does this lunatic will start pressing every button on his desk.’
    1859, if you’re worried that the idiot will inadvertently launch a nuclear strike – then don’t be. The Trump Maladministration cannot even find the light switches in the White House. There is very little chance of them dropping buckets of instant sunshine on their unsuspecting enemies, friends, or neighbours anytime soon.

  • 1859

    @remigius: Nice one. Let’s hope some fool hasn’t connected the light switch to the nuclear button and vice versa!

  • barriejohn

    This is a strange story, but if true very revealing about Trump:

  • Cali Ron

    Not one word of Trump’s speech came from his feeble, immature mind. I doubt he is even capable of fully comprehending it’s meaning, let alone capable of writing it. He’s a sham and a joke. OK, enough of the good stuff about Trump.
    Bart: “But then much of the USA is unhinged too if a dangerous loon like him can become President.” About 1/3 of registered voters voted for Trump. About 1/4 of eligible voters voted for him. His current approval rating is 38%. So if you consider everyone who voted for him unhinged and about 1/4 of Americans ‘much of America” then your statement is true. Not coincidentally 25% of Americans are evangelicals (once deluded it’s easier to further delude) and they wholeheartedly supported the non christian Trump..
    Incidentally, the similar observations could be made about England and the Brexit vote.
    I’m not sure which country has the most ‘loons’, but both have way more than any sane person would hope for.

  • Vanity Unfair

    Channel 4 in the UK is currently running a multi-part documentary on the integration of church and state in the USA on Sunday evenings. It is a US production based on a Canadian report of 1985 with some updating to include recent developments so is probably available in the USA too.
    The title is The Handmaid’s Tale.

  • Cali Ron

    Vanity Unfair: Are you referring to the TV series in the US called the The Handmaid’s tale? The series was created by Bruce Miller and is based on the novel The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood and some have called it documentary, but technically it’s not. The book is an excellent read, I haven’t seen the documentary or TV series yet. The TV series is available on Hulu.

  • barriejohn

    Cali Ron: I had assumed that VU was being a trifle sarcastic. I haven’t watched it, but it seems a bit like an updated Stepford Wives!

  • Vanity Unfair

    I read the book shortly after it was published, frighteningly, 32 years ago, and thought it somewhat far-fetched. Events since then have just shown how perceptive Ms. Atwood was as events have slowly followed her plot line, not just in the USA but around the world though, obviously, not exactly and not equally throughout.
    It is one of the most unsettling television programmes I have seen in a long time. I would rank it alongside the BBC dramatisation of Nineteen eighty-four. The average viewer has probably grown up somewhat as it has not produced the outcry generated by the earlier production.
    The Handmaid’s Tale makes The Stepford Wives look like a typical exploitation film in comparison, mainly because we are in no doubt that the women have been coerced, frightened and brainwashed into accepting their new role in Gilead but they are still real women and capable of suffering the degradation and humiliation that comes with realising what they have lost.
    That The Stepford Wives involves mass murder I cannot deny. Perhaps a philosopher or two would like to dispute the relative cruelties.
    I was trying for ironic but will settle for sarcastic.

  • barriejohn

    VU: Ironic would have been better word. Just look at this:
    President Trump’s daughter Ivanka has criticised “the level of viciousness” her father has been subjected to.

  • barriejohn

    This was interesting as well:
    Activists in the US state of Ohio have been inspired by The Handmaid’s Tale in their protest against a bill placing more restrictions on abortion.
    Several women held a silent protest in red robes and white bonnets – like the characters in the dystopian novel and TV series where fertile women are captured and forced to have children.

  • Vanity Unfair

    Miss Trump’s annoyance is perfectly understandable. Sometimes accurate reporting is the most vicious action that can be inflicted upon a person.
    For information: sarcasm.
    Ohio: dramatic irony.
    Other opinions are available.