Core Values the Religious Right Taught Me, But Abandoned in the Age of Trump

Core Values the Religious Right Taught Me, But Abandoned in the Age of Trump December 28, 2017

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I was a child of the Religious Right.

From my 777 “To Hell With The Devil” t-shirt, to reading Like Lambs to the Slaughter so I could explain to my English teacher how her guided “relaxation” technique was demonic, I was programmed well.

I grew up and eventually became an adult in the Religious Right.

I left Gospel tracts with my tip at restaurants, was the town chairman of the Republican party, and even had a bumper sticker that said “I accelerate for liberals.”

Throughout my years in the Religious Right, especially as a child, I was taught a specific slate of values– some I still hold, and some I do not. Ironically, the same can be said for the Religious Right itself; core values and principles which once were seen as unshakable, have now been discarded in the Age of Trump. Here are some of these values that this Leftist Apostate learned from the Religious Right, but that only I believe now:

Simply claiming to be a Christian doesn’t mean that one actually is a Christian

Growing up in the Religious Right, we used to have a go-to saying for people who claimed to be a Christian but whose life clearly didn’t reflect it. We’d tell them, “I can sit in the garage all day long and claim to be a car, but that doesn’t make me a car.” We rightly believed that simply claiming the title “Christian” did not necessarily mean that an individual actually was one.

However, in the Age of Trump, this belief has been totally abandoned. Instead, the most un-Christian president one could possibly imagine is now seen as a bold Christian who boldly defends Christian values– simply because… well, he says so.

Me? Well, I might be a Leftist Apostate, but I still believe that the true evidence of whether or not one is a Christian is found in the type of life that they lead.

Character counts

Here’s an inconvenient truth: during the Clinton presidency we coined the term “character counts” because, so we believed, the individual moral and ethical character of a leader directly impacted their ability to lead.

This core belief of the Religious Right firmly existed until the day they realized remaining true to this value would mean voting against their own candidate. In the Clinton Era, this value meant taking out a democrat– but in the current era, remaining true to that value would have meant actually electing one. With the election of Trump I thought I had seen my former tribe at their worst, and wondered if this was a one-time deal they’d eventually repent of, but came to see that this value change of the Religious Right was permanent in nature when they supported child-predator Roy Moore for Senate.

Me? Well, this Liberal Apostate believes that character still counts, and won’t be supporting candidates in either party who can’t pass a basic morality test.

Truth and morality don’t change simply because surrounding culture changes.

When I was a kid the Religious Right sat us down and taught us that simply because culture may change, it doesn’t mean that truth or morality changes with it– that just because all of our friends might become accepting of something, doesn’t mean it’s right or true. Instead, we were taught that truth is absolute and that what is moral or immoral never changes either.

In the Era of Trump, this belief changed dramatically. While they still of course hold to some of their original moral convictions, truth and morality in many areas have all of a sudden become much more fluid. Sexual assault became “locker room talk”, lies became “alternative facts”, folks like Franklin Graham responded to the Russian meddling in the U.S. election with “so what, everyone is doing it”, and the moral failings of their own political leaders all of a sudden became somehow excusable.

Me? Well, I remain firm in my conviction that truth and morality don’t shift with the seasons of culture. What is a lie today doesn’t magically become truth tomorrow. What is immoral today doesn’t instantly become acceptable tomorrow. Apostate or not, I’ll keep holding this conviction long after they have walked away from it.

It is impossible to serve two masters

Jesus famously said that it’s impossible to serve two masters, and when I was a member of the Religious Right we actually believed this.

We were taught that you can love God or love the things of this world, but you cannot love both. We were taught that you can follow God’s way, or follow the world’s way, but not both. Back in those days, being a Christian actually meant you had to make some choices that might result in personal sacrifice.

These days? While I still believe it is impossible to swear allegiance to God and something or someone else, the Religious Right seems to have changed their tune. Instead, I’ve actually seen many leaders on the Religious Right argue that serving God, by definition, meant one had to also serve Donald Trump.

Yes, in the old days we believed that one had to pick between Jesus and Barabbas, but in the Era of Trump it appears that you can choose them both at the same time.

Me? Well, I actually still hold to the belief that you can follow God, or follow the crowd.


unafraid 300Dr. Benjamin L. Corey is a public theologian and cultural anthropologist who is a two-time graduate of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary with graduate degrees in the fields of Theology and International Culture, and holds a doctorate in Intercultural Studies from Fuller Theological Seminary. He is also the author of the new book, Unafraid: Moving Beyond Fear-Based Faith, which is available wherever good books are sold. www.Unafraid-book.com. 

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  • otrotierra

    Thank you Dr. Corey for affirming Jesus, no matter how offensive it is to U.S. Evangelicals following Trump’s hate-filled gospel.

  • TheReal Govteach

    I live in East Texas, the middle of the evangelical world. These people will give the shirts off their backs to help you….then turn around and do some of the most hate filled things. Often involving people who are of another race….or religion…..often a religion that also follows Christ. How do I explain these actions to a non-Christian? Seriously?

  • Would like to hear what the fifth value is.

  • Al Cruise

    Galatians 5:6 The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.

  • Al Cruise

    “These people will give the shirts off their backs to help you….then turn around and do some of the most hate filled things.” I would say their behavior is done out of the sense of ” perceived privilege” that they see themselves in and not out of any kind of Spiritual transformation, Christian or otherwise. Authority to to behave in such a dichotomy does not come from God, it comes from a sense of perceived privilege based on, color of skin, economic status, political belief, level of education, gender, specific Theology combined with Church denomination, and so on.

  • TheReal Govteach

    The color of skin and the fact ” God is an American” is how many of these people think….

  • otrotierra

    What you describe in East Texas sounds like self-worship, thinly veiled under white nationalist idolatry.

  • Larry TheKeyboardist Blake

    That part about serving two masters…wasn’t it supposed to be God and Money? Gotta love how the religious right conveniently ignores that part (looks directly at Pat Robertson and Joel Osteen).

  • Matthew

    It´s amazing what people are willing to tolerate in the pursuit of power and control.

  • YellowBird

    its a bizarre dichotomy… here in rural PacNW… the kindest good xian folk (toward those whose skin is “white”) can suddenly go off on a venomous rant on the topic of “lazy drunk” Indians or Mexicans. their kindness is genuine as far as it goes- but it sure doesn’t encompass all people. their “christian love” is painfully shallow, very much only “skin deep”. i cant fathom how they reconcile such racism and hate with “the God of Love” they love to invoke.

    i DONT mean to say this describes every pale-skinned Christian person of faith, it absolutely does not.
    But it is as miserably common among “white Evangelicals” here in rural PNW as it is down south in the Bible Belt :(

  • A Blessing to All

    It is interesting that even “back in the day” “I accelerate for liberals” was an acceptable bumper sticker.Maybe a lot of this stuff was just simmering below the surface before it boiled over…

  • Iain Lovejoy

    If you left tracts with your tip, it seems you never were a proper fundie: the usual practice is to leave a tract instead of a tip, as I understand it.

  • ashpenaz

    I understand these Fundies are selling out all their values, but what I don’t get is this–why for Trump, of all people? If you’re going to sell your soul for an authoritarian leader, couldn’t you pick someone better than Trump? Or Roy Moore? If I knew I was going to have to stand before Jesus and explain who I turned my back on him for, I wouldn’t want to have to point to a 6-ft. cardboard figure of Trump. Jesus would have to control His giggling while He threw you in the Lake of Fire. If they were selling their souls for, say, even Putin (which I guess they are)–it would make sense. At least Putin is smart and attractive. Both Putin and Satan are probably laughing hysterically behind these Fundies’ backs, going, “Trump? Seriously? Can you believe how easy these people were to fool?”

    Fundies, show some self-respect. Sell your souls for someone worthwhile–like Ted Cruz! :)

  • otrotierra

    81% of U.S. White Evangelicals have cemented themselves to Trump. They will not be raptured, but will live the remainder of their years attempting and failing to explain themselves to the world. This is how history will remember them.

  • Chuck Johnson

    Me? Well, I remain firm in my conviction that truth and morality don’t shift with the seasons of culture. What is a lie today doesn’t magically become truth tomorrow. What is immoral today doesn’t instantly become acceptable tomorrow.-Benjamin

    No, not magically or instantly.
    But in time, these changes come.

  • Chuck Johnson

    Jesus would have to control His giggling while He threw you in the Lake
    of Fire.-ashpenaz

    Your comic-book Jesus is a man of hate, arrogance and contempt.

  • Iain Lovejoy

    Loath as I am to defend white evangelicals, the 81% figure is unfair. 81% of those who voted, voted Trump, but this represents only 40-odd% of them as a whole, since only about half of them voted at all. Sadly, since those who didn’t vote for the man are instead keeping quiet and doing nothing, “white evangelicals” as a whole will still be remembered as those who put Trump into power.

  • Chuck Johnson

    I understand these Fundies are selling out all their values, but what I don’t get is this–why for Trump, of all people?-ashpenaz

    That’s easy to explain.
    The Republican hopefuls were Christians of various types (all authoritarians) and Trump.
    The specific versions of Christianity that Trump’s adversaries were promoting made them unpopular with many Christian voters.

    Trump offered a more generic version of authoritarian politics.
    That generic version got him the Republican nomination.

  • Iain Lovejoy

    Note the use of “would have”: it is a deliberately unreal comic-book Jesus (of the fundie type) which is being described for rhetorical effect. I don’t think ashpenaz is actually anticipating this as really happening.

  • otrotierra

    Indeed, there are also the White Evangelical Trump supporters who did not vote, but who support Trump just the same.

    White Evangelicals have earned their national and international reputation as society’s most un-christlike.

  • Iain Lovejoy

    I think it would be more accurate to say that it was many of the other candidates accidentally leaving a few vestigial bits of actual Christianity in their authoritarianism at all that cost them the nomination.

  • Al Cruise

    Yes you could be right, however that 40-odd% includes the vast majority of the high profile gatekeepers/leaders among-st the white evangelicals , the ones who have real power in influencing political and social policy right from local to Federal offices. That 40% is the voice that gets heard.

  • Iain Lovejoy

    Not arguing with that. And of course it’s the ordinary followers acquiescence which make them leaders.

  • I suspect it’s all about validation. Cruz, Ryan, Pence, etc. are slick enough to know there are certain things they and fundamentalists *think* but shouldn’t say. Trump, however, will shout validations on every bigoted/fearful/resentful feeling they have.
    For the most part, I think Trump is really just unmasking who they really are, not changing them.

  • SamHamilton

    Well said Mr. Corey. Far too often we see people jettison their standards for the sake of political “wins.” But in the long run, these wins don’t last. Many supposed feminists who made excuses for and even defended Bill Clinton are now facing accountability. Christians who excuse Donald Trump’s behavior will eventually be held accountable. It will take time, but it will happen.

  • Iain Lovejoy

    There I think you are wrong. Those who don’t vote, don’t vote because they have either no interest party politics at all and ignore the whole process, or because they are insufficiently enamoured of any particular candidate to think it worth trekking down to the polling station. I can’t see how people in either of these categories could be meaningfully said to “support” any candidate at all.
    Also, at least some of those voting Trump will be of the “the Democratic party is the tool of Satan so anyone but Hillary” persuasion, who would probably have rathered any Republican candidate than the Orange One.
    My point is that a lot of ordinary white evangelicals are by and large ordinary reasonable people, whose sin is being acquiescent or willing captives to a truly vile and vocal minority (albeit a pretty substantial one).

  • ashpenaz

    I have an idea for a new bumper sticker: “If you voted for Trump, you won’t get raptured!” :) Maybe that would help people understand the distance between Trump and Christianity.

  • SamHamilton

    I think that’s an important point to keep in mind Ian. The 80% figure is not out of total white Evangelicals, but merely those who voted.

    But I don’t think it’s fair to turn around and generalize about those who didn’t vote for Trump and say they are keeping quiet and doing nothing. How do you measure this level of supposed inactivity?

  • SamHamilton

    Your last sentence is in conflict with the narrative that the vast majority of white evangelicals are an unthinking, unreasonable, hate-filled monolithic block who can written off as outside the bounds of polite society. You will be sent to re-education camp soon.

  • Iain Lovejoy

    Well, not voting, for a start. Or saying anything against Trump, or their own leaders, or voting with their feet and stopping supporting these leaders’ ministry, or indeed not doing anything at all that anyone has noticed. Inactivity is of itself quite difficult to measure, because inactivity means there’s no activity there to measure.

  • SamHamilton

    Joel Osteen is part of the “religious right?” Does he even get involved in politics?

  • Al Cruise

    At the end of the day , I feel that the leaders and gatekeepers of the religious right seen Trump as someone who would preserve their “privileged culture” that they feel is under threat. I don’t feel the support they gave Trump was based on any kind of Spiritual reflection, but more on self preservation of their privileges within society .

  • Herm

    Luke 23:1-25, John 19:1-16, Matthew 27:11-26, Mark 15:1-15

    But they shouted, “Take him away! Take him away! Crucify him!”

    “Shall I crucify your king?” Pilate asked.

    “We have no king but Caesar,” the chief priests answered.

    John 19:15 (NIV2011)

    Ben, this is not new. The chief priests knew only to appease Caesar to protect the sanctity of their religious beliefs. To do so they incited their flocks to sacrifice the only Rabbi who could teach them to be children of God, faithful only to the perfect will of their Father in heaven.

    In order to protect their religious beliefs (e.g.: no equal civil rights for gays and no right for a woman to choose how her body is utilized for the propagation of mankind), the evangelical fundamentalists today will appease any Caesar, benevolent or not, righteous or not, by sacrificing their Teacher over the will of their chief priests.

    I could go on and on, as too many here know, but the sum of the law says nothing about selling out God in the name of God. Caiaphas, as the reigning high priest, had the privilege of going directly to counsel with the Holy Spirit relative to the credibility of Jesus being the prophesied Christ. He would have learned from the Spirit of truth directly that he would be, if he continued on as he did, crucifying a beloved child of God in God’s name only to appease the politics of his party (the Chief Priests and Pharisees) and the will of Caesar.

    As it was written then, it remains true today. We still are barbarically, in essence, sacrificing our virgin daughters to appease the wrath of our volcano god just as we were taught from birth by our religious leaders. I choose not to be in the lynch mob masses as the source to find my pride of righteousness through my tribe’s traditional sacrifice of God’s daughters and sons, simply because I did not check with the available Spirit of truth first, no longer behind the curtain. There is only one Way for us all to end our self righteous appeasement of our parties, our religions, our families, communities and our nations of mankind by sacrificing children of God >>> Matthew 23:8-12 … John 16:13 … Matthew 7:12

    I truly do unconditionally love (with and in empathy, tolerance, passion, forgiveness, …) all of Man and God, of whom each I am a son, born of water and of Spirit. I hurt for President Trump, for all those who follow his lead and for all the innocent children of Man and God who are crucified by those who know not what they are doing. This is not new and there is no sign that it will end as long as Man is the steward of life on this earth.

  • Brad Feaker

    /thread.

    Enough said right there…and well said.

  • Shirley Blake

    I love your passion and fire for God. And while I mostly agree I can’t help but think, as noted below, really, nothing has changed. The history of religion from the Old Testament and on demonstrates the very nature of sin in the corrupt thirst for power that is inherent in man and subsequently the church. Isn’t that ultimately why we have the story of the Christ? To provide life to the ideals of God. I, you and those who are able to be humbled must stand the charge and lift up continually the values that Jesus life represents.

  • StevenHaupt

    Herm, you said you once taught theology. I have a question, in your opinion is Jesus God?

  • Herm

    Steven, my relationship with and in God is no more an opinion than was my relationship with and in my carnal family of birth.

    I did teach the study of God (theology) before I accepted to be with and in the Spirit of truth. The Jesus, known theoretically to theological Christians as the Christ, is today my brother, my Rabbi, my high priest, my Lord with all authority in heaven and on earth and an equally loved child of God, with and by all his siblings, and especially by our Father.

    Those who had arrested Jesus took him to Caiaphas the high priest, where the teachers of the law and the elders had assembled. But Peter followed him at a distance, right up to the courtyard of the high priest. He entered and sat down with the guards to see the outcome.

    The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for false evidence against Jesus so that they could put him to death. But they did not find any, though many false witnesses came forward. Finally two came forward and declared, “This fellow said, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God and rebuild it in three days.’ ”

    Then the high priest stood up and said to Jesus, “Are you not going to answer? What is this testimony that these men are bringing against you?” But Jesus remained silent.

    The high priest said to him, “I charge you under oath by the living God: Tell us if you are the Messiah, the Son of God.”

    “You have said so,” Jesus replied. “But I say to all of you: From now on you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.”

    Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, “He has spoken blasphemy! Why do we need any more witnesses? Look, now you have heard the blasphemy. What do you think?”

    “He is worthy of death,” they answered. Then they spit in his face and struck him with their fists. Others slapped him and said, “Prophesy to us, Messiah. Who hit you?”

    Matthew 26:57-68 (NIV2011)

    I testify under oath by the living God that Jesus is and remains the Messiah, my only instructor (Matthew 23:10), and that I am his student (disciple) sibling (Matthew 12:50), a son of God born of the Spirit. I carry my cross (Luke 14:27) in Jesus’ example led by our Father’s will and our love for those who would accuse us of blasphemy; those who know not what they are doing for, in your heart and mind, who would honestly crucify a child of God in God’s name?

    God is not the most divine authority that your question suggests. God is spirit (John 4:23, 24) bound in all love as a divine family administered to the end of eternity by our Lord Jesus, according only to the perfect will of our Father.

    I did not teach this relationship when I taught the study of God for I did not know it from the inside. I, now, can simply testify, as an infant child of God to what I shared above as truth while pointing you to the only reliable Teacher who can teach you exactly as you can bear (John 16:13). He just showed me where it is written and how to best use it to communicate with you. Don’t believe me, ask Him!

    Love you!

  • paganheart

    Yep. Back in my own waitressing days when I was a financially strapped university student, my experience with fundies (especially those who typically showed up in groups of 8 or more on Sundays after church, insisting on separate checks for each diner, as well as menu modifications and other requests that made considerable extra work for the waitstaff) was that they either tipped very poorly ($1 or $2 at most for the entire table) or else left only a tract or a “Jesus loves you” note on the ticket in lieu of a tip. Which tempted a coworker of mine to write on her Sunday tickets: “Your tips are appreciated–because Jesus doesn’t pay my f—ing rent!”

  • StevenHaupt

    Herm, did you answer my direct question? The question was, is Jesus God? I asked it that way so that you could answer the question with a yes or with a no.
    Let’s say a 6 year old boy came to you and asked, is Jesus God? I’m sure you could answer that question with a yes or no, right?

    Herm, is Jesus God?

  • Herm

    Steven, no, I cannot answer with a simple no, or yes, to the question you ask. Your concept of God is skewed to even believe that I can. I would certainly not answer a 6 year old boy with a yes or no answer to that loaded theological question.

    My answer would begin with, if you were that hypothetical six year old boy, are you Haupt?

    Steven, are you Haupt?

  • Bless your heart Herm!!

    John 4:
    23 But a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth, for the Father is seeking such as these to worship Him.
    24 God is Spirit, and His worshipers must worship Him in spirit and in truth.”

  • They saw He would support their brand I think!!

  • cken

    Unfortunately the other candidate fell shorter on the moral scale than Trump.

  • StevenHaupt

    Yes Herm, I’m Steven Haupt. And yes, Jesus is God. Scripture, the revelation of God to man teaches that Jesus is divine, that Jesus is God. And Scripture is my authority, and the authority of Christians.

  • As usual you are conflicted and confuse politics with religion. The Presidential election was between a Democrat and a Republican not Jesus and Satan. The Left is for God with their lips but anti-God with their actions. The Right is also for God in their rhetoric but less so in their actions. But this is politics not church. We elect a President to keep us safe and to grow the economy among other things; not to be an image of Jesus.

  • Herm

    Your concept of God is skewed.

    From the scripture that you cannot seem to get past, to find the only divine authority for yourself, it very clearly says:

    “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.”

    John 16:12-15 (NIV2011)

    It goes on to demonstrate that the Spirit of truth did come before the scripture was written:

    After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.

    Acts 4:31 (NIV2011)

    You accept the authority of “Christians” based solely on the theology that is no more filled with the Spirit of truth than were the Pharisees, teachers of the law (theologians) and the reigning political high priest who were directly responsible for sentencing to death the Son of God in the name of God.

    Your initial loaded test question was no less out of touch with the only Spirit of truth than “I charge you under oath by the living God: Tell us if you are the Messiah, the Son of God.” Yes, I taught theology and most focused on the temple. The one who verbally charged the Messiah with blasphemy was the only one designated by God to counsel with the Holy Spirit to clarify whether Jesus was in fact the Christ or an enemy of God. He did not and was found guilty of “a greater sin”.

    Jesus answered, “You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above. Therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin.”

    John 19:11 (NIV2011)

    You will be found guilty of a greater sin (transgression against divine law summed up in Matthew 7:12) because you did not consult with the Holy Spirit to be able to speak by the authority of the word of God. Instead you express your pride of authority you only find in “Scripture” as taught you by teachers of the law (scribes).

    “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”

    If you read anything I have shared with you today with an open heart and mind in council with the Spirit of truth, the Holy Spirit, you would understand the error of your ways. You would understand when I say that my Lord and Brother Jesus Christ is a child of God as I am a child of God. Neither Jesus, nor I, is God by ourselves. We are one in God because we all, as spirit, are with and in each other because we are each whelmed with and immersed in the Holy Spirit (who appeared as a dove at the baptism in the Spirit of Jesus the Christ). The same Spirit who has taken each of us into the wilderness to face ourselves and to know in all love and faith the eternal bond we have, led by the will of our Father.

    All children of God, born of the Spirit, and our Father are “of” God as you remain only of Haupt. You can sit in the garage and call yourself a car all day but that does not make you a car. Only the Advocate of God can make you a child of God.

  • Al Cruise

    I disagree, Republican and the Right/Evangelical are the same. Trump just brought them out into the open. The three pictures at the top of this blog speak volumes confirming this fact.

  • Snooterpoot

    I strongly disagree!

  • Bones

    This from a guy who’s still looking for Obama’s birth certificate and thinks Trump is the messiah.

    You are exhibit one proof of this thread.

  • Bones

    You seem to have a one tracked mind?

    Most people aren’t interested in doctrines. Neither is god.

  • Bones

    Who cares?

  • Bones

    And I’m Bones.

    The question is irrelevant except for people like yourself who use dogma to divide.

    But as I said it’s most likely that the first Christians were Adoptionists.

    And your authority is the interpretation you’ve given to the scriptures.

  • Bones

    When they go after his money.

  • Iain Lovejoy

    Here’s an effective sales pitch: “We have just demonstrated we are tight-fisted, entitled, selfish, self-centered jerks, happy to cheat you out of your proper tip. Here’s a leaflet to explain how our god can help you to become exactly like us.”

  • kaydenpat

    Another great article. After Conservatives endorsed Roy Moore, they should be told to shut up and sit down when they try to push their “moral values” on the rest of us. They have absolutely nothing to say to me.

  • otrotierra

    U.S. White Evangelicals have indeed cemented themselves to White male sexual predators Roy Moore, Josh Duggar, and Trump. This is how history will remember them.

  • Apparently that is not true in the least; even among evangelicals:
    “How did American evangelicals vote in the 2016 election?

    Based on polling data and news sources, you might be under the impression that an overwhelming number of evangelicals—more than 80 percent—voted for Donald Trump. But this isn’t quite accurate. There isn’t any way to truly know what percentage of evangelicals voted for our president-elect. But using a more nuanced analysis we can reasonably estimate that somewhere between 35 percent and 45 percent of all evangelicals in America voted for Trump.”

  • Well, it looks like 2 books have just been released dealing with this very subject. Might be worth a read. Bart Ehrman’s latest book, How Jesus Became God: The Exaltation of a Jewish Preacher from Galilee, and a rebuttal, How God Became Jesus: The Real Origins of Belief in Jesus’ Divine Nature—A Response to Bart Ehrman, by a team of five Bible scholars. Jesus never directly says “I am God.” The Jewish leadership felt he was claiming “equality” with God but equality doesn’t necessarily mean “the same,” i.e., one can be equal to God but not the same. However, Pauline theology suggests a replacement of YHWH centered theology with a Christ centered theology and worship, in practice Christ fills the “God void.” Whether Jesus saw himself as God, or knew himself to be God, I’m not sure we can know. Certainly he saw himself as representing God fully and was somehow aware of and claimed preexistence.

  • “As usual you are conflicted and confuse politics with religion,” that is the very definition of Western Christianity. A mere cursory read of Christian history shows that, from the 4th century on, the church has attempted to create the Kingdom of God via military/political means. What do you get when you mix religion and politics? Politics! American Christianity, both liberal and conservative is a prime example. Btw, your claim of only 45% of evangelical support for Trump reflects the lack of support amongst black evangelicals. Why is that? The crux of Corey’s article is about the dramatic 42 point swing or about face white evangelicals have made in the past few years, on the question of whether moral integrity matters in choosing a political leader.

    “A 42-point swing. 42! Evangelicals, who, pre-Trump, said that by 61-30 personal/private moral failings would be a strong predictor of public moral shortcoming in a candidate for president, in 2016, by 72-20 percent, now say that if a candidate’s personal behavior is immoral, that is no reason to assume that his or her public behavior will be also.” (1)

    You know, it may be that the mantra of “voting for the lesser of two evils,” will become less defensible amongst serious Christians who realize our kingdom is not of this world. I struggled with whether or not to vote for Clinton last election and in the end, the actions of Debby Wassermen, Donna Brazil, the DNC and the thought of Bill Clinton chasing aides in the White House again…well, I just couldn’t do it. I voted for a man with integrity, even though he didn’t stand a chance of winning the White House. And, no, it wasn’t the Donald.

    These are the kind of struggles I think Christians on both sides need to be having, rather than merely reflecting party line agendas.

    1 https://www.minnpost.com/eric-black-ink/2017/09/how-evangelical-republicans-brought-themselves-vote-donald-trump
    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/14/opinion/trump-republicans.html?em_pos=small&emc=edit_up_20170918&nl=upshot&nl_art=3&nlid=54115655&ref=headline&te=1&_r=1

  • StevenHaupt

    Herm, Jesus is God. We just celebrated Christmas, the birth of our Lord and Savior. Jesus was God incarnate, this is what the Scriptures, the word of God teaches. Please look at Isaiah 9:6 NIV:

    Isaiah 9:6New International Version (NIV)

    6 For to us a child is born,
    to us a son is given,
    and the government will be on his shoulders.
    And he will be called
    Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

    This verse is about Jesus. Notice the reference to Jesus as “Mighty God” and “Everlasting Father.”

    Herm, Jesus was and is God! Herm, lean not unto your own understanding but trust the Scriptures, the word of God.

  • Herm

    Steven, just saying you are a car does not make you a car.

    Listen, just this once, to hear that if The Son of Man “is” God who are His Father, sisters and brothers … and mother? This is not a yes or no question. Who is participating as “of” God?

  • ” I voted for a man with integrity…” Integrity in a President is simply Keeping Campaign Promises – nothing more nothing less can be or should be anticipated. What President has their been in your lifetime that had integrity over self preservation? None. Since no President manages to keep his campaign promises then President Trump should be a refreshing surprise for you. He is keeping them one at a time despite all possible interference.

    While you wait for a man of integrity among politicians, Christians were becoming an endangered species under Obama. But no more! Our freedoms are now being restored despite the howls of the Progressive Left (Communists by another name). Our police and military are being honored not compromised. Our churches are being supported not punished. Imagine that Obama decided to punish the Little Sisters of the poor because they refused to participate in any way in the killing of babies in the womb. And this is his Christian, man of integrity, position? Outrageous.

    Blacks vote Democrat like lemmings without reason; christian or evangelical. And the most amazing turn of events is Black Christian tacit agreement with the Democrat position on abortion: killing babies until they are fully out of the womb. This is what Jesus meant when He said, ” …it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town (read Democrats – Black or White).

    Corey excoriates Fundamentalists while supporting Progressives without thought of their complete anti-Christian positions.

  • Al Cruise

    “In his sermon on the morning of Trump’s inauguration, Jeffress, senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Dallas, compared Trump to the story of the biblical leader Nehemiah who helped rebuild the city of Jerusalem” Read the article here http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/donald-trump-north-korea-latest-nuclear-war-kim-jong-un-god-given-authority-robert-jeffress-white-a7883746.html . Evangelical leaders routinely claim Trump operates on behalf of God. Probably in a way your right, there is no Republican party anymore. It’s Democrats and Evangelicals.

  • You: “Integrity in a President is simply Keeping Campaign Promises – nothing more nothing less can be or should be anticipated.“

    Actual definition:
    “Integrity is the qualifications of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness. It is generally a personal choice to hold oneself to consistent moral and ethical standards.
    In ethics, integrity is regarded by many as the honesty and truthfulness or accuracy of one’s actions. Integrity can stand in opposition to hypocrisy,[2] in that judging with the standards of integrity involves regarding internal consistency as a virtue, and suggests that parties holding within themselves apparently conflicting values should account for the discrepancy or alter their beliefs. The word integrity evolved from the Latin adjective integer, meaning whole or complete.[3] In this context, integrity is the inner sense of “wholeness” deriving from qualities such as honesty and consistency of character. As such, one may judge that others “have integrity” to the extent that they act according to the values, beliefs and principles they claim to hold.” (1)

    You: “Blacks vote Democrat like lemmings without reason; christian or evangelical.”
    Let me guess, you’re a white, male evangelical? Guess it’s a purely black and WHITE issue for you!

    I agree with Bones, you are exhibit 1A for evangelical hypocrisy.

    1 https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Integrity

  • I think if the best either side had to offer was another Clinton and a Donald Trump, then American politics is in serious trouble. It shows that both parties are in bad shape. The democratic campaign was dirty politics, the DNC was unfair. The Republican Primary debates were nauseating, mean spirited, and in the end chose the least qualified candidate. I am a believer in bipartisan politics and a strong 2 party system. America has not been this deeply divided since the American Civil War. And, no, the Reblican Party we have now is not representative of the Party as a whole. If it is, then it is in major trouble. As Christians let’s try to drop the whole “lesser of two evils” nonsense. Voting for a lesser evil is still voting for evil. Our vote should say something about who we are as Christians first, Americans second.

    If American politics cannot give us leadership we can feel good about…don’t vote or use a write in. It’s that simple.

  • Al Cruise

    This is from the newspaper Independent . “Jeffress, who was was an early supporter of Trump, has said that after sharing Wendy’s cheeseburgers in Iowa, he believed Trump would be the next president and that it would be because God placed him there. ” Question for Evangelicals. Who chooses your leaders to represent what Evangelicalism is in America ? What percentage of these leaders endorsed Trump?

  • raven nevermore

    I possibly agree with Corey more than disagree. What he and others like him, however, do not understand that the religious right simply had enough of the intellectual bigotry (using whatever intelligence to be narrow minded and self-righteous) from the leftists. I take it God will use imperfect leaders.God used Churchill and is using Trump – in both cases, no thanks to leftists.

  • HazumuOsaragi

    the religious right simply had enough of the intellectual bigotry (using whatever intelligence to be narrow minded and self-righteous) from the leftists.” – My Right-Wing Authoritarianism (RWA) detector just overloaded and had to re-boot…

  • Black vs White is what Obama left us with; the uglier part of his legacy.

    Fact: 2016 black voters didn’t coalesce behind Clinton the same way they did Obama, with Clinton earning 88% of their vote (to Trump’s 8%) as compared to Obama’s 93% in 2012. Exhibit A for Lemmings!

  • Al Cruise

    At least your honest and admitting the election was about a religious belief versus everyone else , and for the Right, Religion and Politics are the one and the same.

  • Sooo, tell me, in your opinion then, do Black evangelicals have a legitimate gripe with Trump? Do Blacks have ANY legitimate gripes? With republicanism as a whole?

  • Do you believe God “takes sides” with nations, one over the other, and if so on what grounds? It’s interesting to note that both the north and south viewed God as on their side during the American Civil War. In fact, that has been a general theme in Christianity for 1700 years.

  • Herm

    So if a black president hadn’t been elected and served honorably there would not be this “Black vs White” uprising of a White Nationalist mentality, right?

  • Herm

    But the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowd to ask for Barabbas and to have Jesus executed.

    “Which of the two do you want me to release to you?” asked the governor.

    “Barabbas,” they answered.

    “What shall I do, then, with Jesus who is called the Messiah?” Pilate asked.

    They all answered, “Crucify him!”

    “Why? What crime has he committed?” asked Pilate.

    But they shouted all the louder, “Crucify him!”

    Matthew 27:20-23 (NIV2011)

    Iain, this crowd was “by and large ordinary reasonable people“. They voted “acquiescent or willing captives to a truly vile and vocal minority“, the chief priests and elders.

  • But they were always like this. A good recent case in point: Paul Pressler.* This was widely known 25 years ago in Houston but everyone at both 1st and 2nd Baptist Churches (2nd Baptist is larger for some reason) there was happy to let him continue in important lay leadership positions in the Southern Baptist Convention. Trump isn’t new. It’s just out in the open. That’s the only change.

    * https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Lawsuit-accuses-retired-Texas-justice-of-sexual-12458341.php

    (Also, note that as early as 1989 an unspecified ethics charge disqualified him from a position in the Bush (41) administration: http://articles.latimes.com/1989-09-22/news/mn-711_1_ethical-questions )

    Things like this always went on. It was just easier to cover your tracks before the internet.

  • Election results do not count those too lazy or disinterested to register and vote, nor should they.

  • I’m from East Texas as well. What you describe is accurate. How to explain it? I’ve been trying to my whole life. Only lately are people from the rest of the country seeing what the religious right is REALLY like. But even then they act like this is a new development. It’s not. These are the same people who were polite in public and went to lynchings at night. Same people, different decade.

  • Why do you say God used Churchill? You could point to Cyrus and other leaders whom God is said to have appointed but in those cases you know the mind of God because its written down. But Churchill was just another leader whom the British electorate rejected emphatically when the war had finished. It wasn’t leftists you need to thank for Trump, it was centrists who gave America a false choice. Trump is the logical outcome of 30 years of growing corruption within the political system. He is the puss that erupted out of the boil that is Congress.

  • Yes, the religious right have been corrupting American politics for many decades. If its leaders had understood Jesus’ rejection of political power when questioned by Pilate, they would have accepted the separation of church and state that underpins the Constitution and saved Christ’s church from the squalid mess she now finds herself in. The moral majority were no better than political pimps. You only have to look at the last few presidential elections where a man’s faith was a litmus test to see that many had sold their souls to the American flag.

    Trump simply tapped into the rottenness at the heart of much of US evangelicalism. The people had mistakenly seen the USA as an extension of their Judeo-Christian faith but where their treasure was, so was their heart. In the words of Revelation, they have forsaken their first love and thrown their lot in with a harlot.

  • Iain Lovejoy

    Well yes, that was rather my point: it’s not true that 81% of white Evangelicals voted for Trump, only 81% of those who voted. In fact probably less than half voted Trump, as nearly half of them didn’t vote at all, as you say most likely either because they were uninterested in party politics or didn’t like either principle candidate (or were uninterested precisely because they didn’t like either candidate).

  • There was a poll awhile back which showed that Christians believed, firmly and ardently, that a person’s individual character was pivotal to how well they could perform the duties of their office.

    Then in 2015, that poll showed a sharp reversal. Suddenly a person’s character didn’t matter one bit. And guess who had announced his candidacy for president around that time?

    There’s statistical evidence to back up #2 if I can dredge it up again.

  • People should stop identifying themselves as victims or injured groups. What specific gripes do Blacks have that are different from Democrats in genera? Blacks are not Republicans in general but many should be. The Democrats have done nothing for Blacks but make empty promises.

  • Not any Black President just this one. His strategy to get re-elected was to divide the county in specific groups andmake the victims.

  • Bones

    Blacks are lemmings now?

    Good to see racist memes haven’t left conservative christians, you revolting individual.

  • Bones

    Wrong!

    Idiots like you created that with your birther nonsense.

  • Found it courtesy of Public Religion Research Institute:

    No group has shifted their position more dramatically than white evangelical Protestants. More than seven in ten (72%) white evangelical Protestants say an elected official can behave ethically even if they have committed transgressions in their personal life—a 42-point jump from 2011, when only 30 % of white evangelical Protestants said the same. Roughly six in ten white mainline Protestants (60%) and Catholics (58%) also believe elected officials can behave honestly and ethically in their public roles regardless of their personal behavior. In 2011, only about four in ten white mainline Protestants (38%) and Catholics (42%) held this view. Notably, religiously unaffiliated Americans have remained constant in their views; six in ten (60%) believe elected officials who behave immorally in their personal lives can still perform their duties with integrity, compared to 63% in 2011.

  • Bones

    Well they came out in droves to help unseat Roy Moore….

    Why do black people vote Democrat??

    There are two obstacles to Republicans wooing blacks.

    The first is what Republican Colin Powell called a “dark vein of intolerance” in the party.

    On NBC’s “Meet the Press” recently, Powell added, “I’m not calling the party racist . . . there’s some in the party who practice a level of intolerance that is not good for the party and is not consistent with American values.” (eg Moore, Trump)

    Number two is that blacks trust the federal government more than state governments, and Republicans believe the opposite. Blacks have a history of states curtailing their rights, blocking their advancement and failing to protect them.

    Federal courts struck down separate but equal schools and federal troops enforced it. Federal civil rights legislation passed to ensure blacks’ American citizenship birthright.

    A states’ rights, weak federal government party platform is a tough sell to a people with a horrendous history under states’ rights.

    Or they can keep deluding themselves that it’s free stuff.

    http://www.dailyrepublic.com/opinion/local-opinion-columnists/lets-debunk-gop-myth-of-why-blacks-vote-democratic/

  • Bones

    Well, he’s your messiah……

    I mean you’re continued posts are an astonishing indictment against evangelicals and make Ben’s point for him.

    Well done!

  • Bones

    I wonder why Blacks don’t vote for a party which considers them stupid?

    Still have that slavery mentality hey Bob…..

  • Bones

    You mean like God used Churchill to starve millions of Indians……

    You people need to grow a brain….Your political leaders don’t care about the kingdom of God.

  • 52% of Republicans who responded to a poll by Washington Post suggested they would consider postponing the 2020 elections and effectively democracy itself in the United States.

    I think we have to consider the possibility that a chunk of people are drawn to fascism in this country, and they latched on to the person who finally spoke the language of autocrats and dictators without filter.

  • Bones

    God used Churchill???? Churchill’s policies of hoarding Indian rice created a famine which killed millions…..

    How Churchill ‘starved’ India

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/soutikbiswas/2010/10/how_churchill_starved_india.html

  • Or unable to vote. Alabama took strides to disenfranchise thousands of people in a three step program- purge voter rolls, create new stricter ID requirements, and then close dozens of DMV offices so that some parts of the state require a person to travel 70 miles to reach the nearest office.

    Or the states where a felony prevents you from being registered to vote at all, even once you’re done serving time. Combine that with disproportionate arrests and sentencing and the occasional completely absurd felony charge.

    The electoral college would have gone to Clinton if just 40,000 votes had been shifted. How many people have effectively been denied the ability to vote due to shenanigans like this?

  • StevenHaupt

    Herm, I didn’t say anything about a car, so I don’t know what your point is.

    Isaiah 9:6 is a prophecy fulfilled by Jesus. This is the teaching of Scripture, the word of God. Who else could it be referring to Herm? You said that you taught theology, how could you not know that?

  • Roxanne

    Speaking of revolting, you really are a one trick pony aren’t you? Bob brings up a valid point on who tends to vote how and you focus solely on race. Anyone who continues to vote for a party or candidate who does little to nothing FOR them or to better their situation is a lemming indeed.

  • ashpenaz

    About Hillary–I think she is a flawed human being and a corrupt, ambitious politician. I also think her resume shows her to be an intelligent, capable manager. As evangelicals now say, I wasn’t voting for a pastor–I was voting for someone who I felt had the skills to be President. Clearly, of the two candidates whose resumes were on my desk in the last election, Hillary was without any doubt whatsoever the person I would hire to run my company/country. Her flaws, though many and deep, did not pose a threat to the overall mission of the company/country. She would be an effective manager until we had the chance to put in someone better. Trump, from everything on his clearly limited resume, showed that he would be a danger to the mission of the company, and I felt it was even possible that the company would go out of business if I voted to put Trump in a position of leadership. I still think that.

    Now that evangelicals have clearly stated that someone’s personal flaws do not render them ineligible for public office, I can vote for candidates like Hillary, or Elizabeth Warren, or Cory Booker, or Joe Biden. Thank God, there’s now a Biblical defense for electing sinners! :)

  • Roxanne

    No because the idiots of the White Nationalist stripe are exactly that, idiots.

  • Bones

    Yawn……..

    So according to you then, the original recipient of that ‘prophecy’, Hezekiah, was God……btw Hezekiah (Hebrew – Chizkiyah) means mighty god.

  • Bones

    So is Hezekiah (Hebrew – Chizkiyah) actually a god?

    There’s a reason Jews don’t accept that ‘prophecy’ as referring to Jesus….because it was referrring to someone else.

  • Republicans just rallied behind a guy who declared, specifically and without being asked for details, that America was great when we had slavery. And then declared that we should get rid of all the amendments past the 10th.

    Some of us, y’know, that sort of thing is troublesome.

  • It’s because an authoritarian leader recently compared Trump to Churchill.

    There’s some irony in this, since I can’t recall Churchill being very fond of Nazis, or vice-versa.

  • Bones

    Btw it’s significant that characters like yourself derail the thread into some argument over the Divinity of Christ.

    That’s all you characters think about – dogma and doctrine…..

    I mean if you don’t understand homoousios you’re going to hell.

    You need to get out of fourth and fifth century Greek controversies.

  • Bones

    And Trump exposed those flaws….

    The problem was she was not a good candidate….and just expected to win.

  • Al Cruise

    ” Blacks are not Republicans in general but many should be.” I’ve heard that before from a right wing conservative, his logic was they [white Conservatives] would be better able to control them. It would be easier to keep them appeased as low ranking adherents within the party than being in another party pursuing things like equal rights.

  • Bones

    Btw did God use Churchill when he sent young ANZACS on the most stupid mission possible in invading Turkey which was a complete disaster claiming many young lives?

    Or Greece in WW2?

    Or when he unleashed the black and tans against Irish Nationalists?

    Or when my country had to fight Churchill to get our forces back to defend our homeland from Japanese invasion (Churchill refused to release our Rats of Tobruk)?

  • Bones

    Lol…..yeah we get it.

    You think blacks are stupid for not voting with you.

    And you wonder why blacks don’t vote Republican.

    Btw Bob is a birther….

  • Bones

    Just like blacks hey….

  • Bones

    A certain country had Gott mit uns (God is with us) on their soldiers belt buckles in ww2.

  • His logic is the Democrat logic. What rights do Black people not have in this country?

  • It’s not like she sat at home waiting for the votes to come in. People act like she was obviously unelectable, but her showing should disprove that. Shift just 40,000 of those three million popular votes to a couple different states and we’d be busy talking about the Republicans’ latest attack on President Clinton instead of wondering if Donald Trump actually has any idea what health insurance is or does (spoiler: he has no clue).
    But for statistic record:

    55.5% of turnout, the third highest since 1968 (which is when turnout dropped below 60% and hasn’t risen above it since)

    65,844,610 votes, third highest in US history behind Barack Obama’s 2008 and 2012 results.

    All that despite a decades’ long smear campaign, Russian interference in the election, disenfranchising of countless people…

    It’s time to put this idea to rest. I didn’t care that much for her, but she earned more than enough votes to prove that there’s no reason she couldn’t have ended up in the White House.

  • Aside from the inequalities that you’ll brush aside for your own personal, undefinable reasons, you act like civil rights is this long established, incontrovertible thing that’s been with us longer than not, instead of being so young that our president reached the age of majority before the Civil Rights Act was signed into law. And he’s not even in the top 100 list of oldest living current-or-former politicians.

    John Conyers served in office until just earlier this year before his resignation. He turned 35 just before he had the right to eat at the same diner as every other American citizen.

    Lester Wolff still hosts a political radio show. His mother earned the right to vote the year after he was born.

    When people talk about Republicans taking the US back to the 1800s, I say they’re missing the point. Widespread civil rights, or at least the ability to contest injustice based on their infraction, is pretty darn young in this country. You don’t have to go far back to see a world without them; you can look back to the childhoods and adulthoods of the people in our government, and even the youngest of them surely has relatives who remembers those days and could easily have passed on their prejudices.

    The most extreme and relevant example: we have politicians still in office today who may well have heard first-hand accounts of the usurpers from the North who stole their land and destroyed their way of life. What’s 152 years to people who are already pushing a century?

  • You: “Christians were becoming an endangered species under Obama. But no more! Our freedoms are now being restored despite the howls of the Progressive Left (Communists by another name). Our police and military are being honored not compromised. Our churches are being supported not punished.”

    Why dont you stop calling Christians victims before you tell Blacks to stop seeing themselves as victims? Just sayin’. Ain’t it funny how your victim identity trumps others victims identity?

  • Herm

    Steven, do you understand that Saul and all the other Pharisees, as well as all the Sadducee, and King Herod (who considered himself king of the Jews and tried to kill the baby Jesus) all read Isaiah 9:6? The Pharisees, as the reigning theologians of their time, did not recognize Jesus as the Christ. It was by their scriptural authority that did kill Jesus in the name of God.

    For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

    Isaiah 9:6 (NIV2011)

    Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.”

    Mark 8:34-38 (NIV2011)

    If the Son of Man, Jesus the prophesied Christ, is God in and of himself alone who is His Father?

    Pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”

    Matthew 12:49-50 (NIV2011)

    If Jesus is a son of God does not He share the same Father of God with all his sisters and brothers, who therefore are children of God?

    As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”

    Matthew 3:16-17 (NIV2011)

    Who was speaking from heaven? Why was not the Spirit of God already with and in Jesus?

    Then John gave this testimony: “I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. And I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ I have seen and I testify that this is God’s Chosen One.”

    John 1:32-34 (NIV2011)

    “If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”

    John 14:15-21 (NIV2011)

    Why would Jesus even be considered the “Everlasting Father” if he is not the Father who will give us, those of us who are His disciples (sisters and brothers), the Spirit of truth to be with us forever?

    Steven, I do not mean to confuse you so I will not offer more substantiation to you, in this moment, that Jesus is not God but is of God. The Father is of God and all Jesus’ siblings (His brothers and sisters) are of God today; each of God is with (wholly whelmed) and in (completely immersed) the Holy Spirit forever as one God bound in all love. Unless you are totally with and in the Holy Spirit you are not of God as Their child. You are dependent upon the Pharisees (the reigning theologians of our time) and their interpretations of scripture to know of God but you are not of God as a student (disciple) of the one only Teacher (the Spirit of truth) and the one only Instructor (Jesus the Christ).

    I know how you could not know that because I, like Saul, once taught and enforced scriptural theology, of which you are a disciple today ready to accuse me of heresy and blasphemy. I knew of Christ through all of scripture but Christ was not with and in me without pause. I believed, as I was taught by my churches of carnal birth, that scripture was the word of God that was never to be added to or changed but was always to be idolized as hallowed. That’s what I was taught in seminary to teach others of your like.

    Steven, you wrote, “Herm, I didn’t say anything about a car, so I don’t know what your point is.” Let me spell it out to you. Just saying you are a Christian does not make you a Christian, a student of the one only Teacher for disciples of Christ. Study of scripture does not make you anymore an authority of God than the Pharisees/teachers of the law of today, or 2,000 years ago. Only being filled, whelmed, immersed, baptized (all synonymous) with the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of truth, can you boldly speak the word of God that is more informed than 1,950 years ago when mankind could not bear as much as we can today.

    This is witnessed of in your scripture that was not written when it occurred.

    After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.

    Acts 4:31 (NIV2011)

    Do you believe that the Holy Spirit can fill you and that then you, too, could boldly speak the word of God (that could not be scripture)? If you do not there is no good news (gospel) for you today. You see, in fact, according to scripture alone, you are not saved on Jesus’ cross for you must, as His disciple, pick up and carry your own to inherit eternal life.

    Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.

    Luke 14:25-27 (NIV2011)

    Remember, as it is written in your scripture of the Holy Spirit: “The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him.“. Honestly, do you see him, know him and accept him without pause or end? I did not when I was teaching scripture and theology. I do today.

  • Herm

    You are consumed with blind bias so much so that you do not remember the Tea Party divided the nation. The Affordable Care Act had not even gone into effect at that time, 2010. President Obama did nothing, more or less, than any other president before him to divide the nation except to be obviously of some black heritage. It was his opponents who swore, during his first inauguration ceremony, that they would make him a one term president and then proceeded to set overwhelming records exercising congressional obstruction for eight years. It was the Republican state legislatures that gerrymandered to obstruct a popular vote from ever favoring the Democrats in their state. President Obama still overwhelmingly won a second term, popular and electoral.

    Bob, there has been no other Black President for you to compare!!!

  • Herm

    Subtract the hate campaign, and the hacking sourced in Russia from our social media and Wikileaks, and Hillary Clinton would have clearly been President today, elected popular and electoral. I don’t think she, in any way, just sat on her butt and waited to accept the prize.

  • Bones

    She neglected the Rust Belt….that cost her the election….and enough mud stuck on her.

    Also Trump won the blue collar vote and rural US.

    Don’t forget Republicans not only won the presidency but the Senate and House of Reps.

    Democrats have to work out what and who they actually represent and what they offer people living in rural areas and the working class.

  • Bones

    If you don’t acknowledge the flaws in clinton’s campaign, you’re going to be doomed to more Trump.

    The fact is Clinton wasn’t liked on the Left either. Nor by country folk and the working class.

    Also GOP now controls all branches of legislature. You can’t blame Russia for that.

    Dems have to respond with offering a decent alternative of government. Maybe starting by examining why people who voted for Obama voted for Trump.

  • Emily Elizabeth Windsor-Cragg

    Moral superiority isn’t a religious value; it’s a matter of ego. If you had to vote with your feet and leave your church due to its hypocrisy, note that Jesus said, “The love of the greater number will cool off,” and wait for further Orders. Never mind, gloating. We who find the Church wanting have nothing to gloat over.

  • Mr. James Parson

    I have only a slight disagreement with this one.

    I think when Roe v Wade is overturned, and women in some states are forced to have children they don’t want. That will be their defining moment. When Roe v Wade is overturned, they will be celebrating in the streets over something that will cause suffering in others.

  • Mr. James Parson

    So would you vote for an atheist?

  • Mr. James Parson

    What is immoral today doesn’t instantly become acceptable tomorrow.

    Sure it does. This is not even hard to find examples.

  • raven nevermore

    You presumptuous prig. The leaders did not back Churchill, therefore brought him disgrace. Besides that, after reading many of your replies, you live in a world where things seem to be neatly packaged, everything in order, like a good English gentleman. You fight what you are. Oh no, I think I sounded like Churchill.

  • raven nevermore

    That could be that some leaders do not care, but they are still used by God. God has a habit of using many that are dead in the bare bones. VICTORY. There I go again, or was that Churchill?

  • raven nevermore

    God utilizes people through their abilities. God uses the imperfect so that people know it is God in charge. Look for the big picture. Trump will be the greatest US President in US history, to date.

  • Bones

    Huh, Churchill brought disgrace upon himself. The Gallipoli campaign was his own invention and was a ridiculous farce. He was the one responsible for hoarding Indian rice, while Indians starved.

    From the Secretary of State for India

    “”Winston may be right in saying that the starvation of anyhow under-fed Bengalis is less serious than sturdy Greeks, but he makes no sufficient allowance for the sense of Empire responsibility in this country,””

    Yeah God was using Churchill to reduce the population of India. Like wtf!!

    And the real winner of WW2 was Uncle Jo Stalin. So I suppose God worked through him.

    Actually the one who thinks in terms of black and white is you.

  • Bones

    Lol…what a complete idiot and a perfect example of Ben’s article.

  • raven nevermore

    Yes, I think God takes sides for particular reasons, always for the greater good and/or to remove an evil people. However, because some think they are doing right no matter what, does not negate what God is doing. We ought to be careful what we claim for God. That’s reasonable.

  • Bones

    Lol…..yes and have done.

    You are aware that most countries don’t vote for the most religious candidate but for the ones with the best policies.

  • Bones

    You mean like how God was on Josef Stalin’s side.

    So in a democracy, God is on the side of whoever gets voted in – like Obama, GW Bush, Reagan, Carter, Nixon, LBJ……

    You’re not too bright hey.

  • Bones

    Yeah, like God used Josef Stalin to destroy German divisions in the East.

    But then maybe God used Imperial Japan to destroy western empires in the Pacific.

    The simple fact is you don’t have a clue as to what you are talking about.

  • raven nevermore

    I can always expect you to be presumptuous. Based upon what I said does not arrive at your conclusions. Do you think before hitting those keys? No! I think I hear Hitler’s ghost rattling.

  • Bones

    So God’s only on the good guy’s side…..

    I think we’ve seen through your lack of logic.

  • I wasn’t surprised she lost Michigan; although the state tends to vote blue, I figured out a long while ago that it isn’t liberal, it’s libertarian, and Trump’s burn-it-down approach to politics appealed heavily to the same folk who organized militias and prepared for doomsday throughout the Obama administration. Having finally encountered a politician who spoke to their crabs-in-a-bucket culture, the state was destined to go red. Last I heard, they were seriously itching for Kid Rock to run for office so they could vote for him too.

    Nonetheless, you could fit the number of voters who cost Clinton the election in a small sports stadium. Even in the places she supposedly neglected, the margin of loss was slimmer than reports make it sound.

    Of course, I do think the Democrats need to up their game, if only because the stakes keep getting higher. We now have an open white supremacist (Paul Nehlen) preparing to run for office who makes Steve King sound like he’s blowing in a dog whistle, and Moore proved that the Republican party will back anyone wearing red and heiling an elephant. Taking Alabama and potentially Virginia is a good sign; the base is more energized than it’s been in a long time and it’s going to need to be to overcome gerrymandering (holy crap, North Carolina, that state legitimately scares me) and voter suppression. Most of the Republicans’ big plans are unpopular with the majority of voters, but when nearly twice as many Democrats need to vote as Republicans in order to win an election, odds are good that most red states are going to stay red.

  • Yeah. Exit polls did show that a substantial number of people changed their minds at the last minute when Comey publicized his findings on the last batch of e-mails, and the number of people polls found who said it had given them incentive to change their vote did outweigh the margin of error she needed to take enough electoral college votes to win the election.
    At this point, Mueller is also having to look at the RNC and the timing of some of its actions when the hacked voter information was published, since it’s not out of the question that they used that info to target swing state voters.

    It was a pretty thoroughly FUBAR election. I wish we could wipe the slate clean and do it again, but the chain of succession is clear: Trump -> Pence -> Ryan -> Hatch.

    Personally I wouldn’t be surprised if we wind up with President Hatch after the dust settles. He’s a conservative through and through, but at least he seems to be remotely rational and not filled with petty contempt and a desire to hurt people.

  • There is nothing to justify saying that God used Churchill more than any other world leader. Its easily reduced to absurdity. I really can’t see why you are justifying this position because its serving no purpose.

  • By any metric Trump is the most useless president of all. Its crazy we are having to say this because the article is not evaluating Trump’s abilities which just happen to be minimal even as a businessman, for which he claims to be an expert.

  • For at least the last 30 years Britain has elected a government with a Prime Minister who professes to be Christian but none of them has ever claimed their faith to be in any way relevant to their electability. Furthermore I’ve never heard anyone talk about faith being relevant in my countries politics (apart from fascists). Its ironic that we have the Church of England as an established church, bishops get to sit in our upper house, the Prime Minister has a say in appointing bishops and yet the question of faith rarely comes up and never gets mentioned in general elections. Yet in America where church and state are constitutionally separated, the President is continually challenged on his or her adherence to the Christian faith.

    Its intellectually dishonest to have faith as a test in any US election. Its also quite unsafe. I would be happy to be ignorant of a candidate’s faith or lack of.

  • Matthew

    Bernie would have won the general election had he been the Democratic candidate (I think).

  • Bones

    I still don’t think youre getting it. it does sound like excuses.

    The Gop have majorities in all the houses and trump decimated Clinton in working class whites and the rural vote.

    The dems have to win them back and only a character like Sanders will do that.

    One thing is for sure: Trump will smash any politician produced by the Democrat establishment.

  • Bones

    I’m sure he would’ve.

  • My comments are directed at Democrats who have failed to live up to their promises. They use the Black vote as a rubber stamp in every Presidential election and when elected do nothing for this “constituency.” Now after years of poor leadership with our major cities in decline along come Barak Obama from Chicago and what does he do for his Black constituency? Nothing but use them to get elected the second time and use them shamelessly. He did not even bother to try to stop the murders in Chicago in eight years while courting the world telling them how great he is. What he did do is foment the discord we now see in this country. Is the world better off after his presidency – Hell No and not in any way. The test is whether this country was better off in any way and he failed that miserably as well. Such potential wasted; just another crook form Chicago. Now comes a President with the guts to tell the country the truth and do something about it. Slowly the Left is starting to understand they have been and are being fooled.

  • Simple. Because Black are not victims are they? They are citizens of the greatest country that has ever existed on the face of the earth. On the other hand, Progressives are attacking the very amendments that make this country great; first the Second Amendment and now the First. But now we have a President who will not idly stand by and watch this train wreck proceed. He will make our country Great again despite all the Leftist babble.

  • StevenHaupt

    Herm, as a teacher of theology, you surely are familiar with this passage of Scripture, God’s word, from Colossians 1:

    15
    He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.
    16
    For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him.
    17
    He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
    18
    And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy.
    19
    For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him,

    Herm, these verses are about Jesus. Jesus, when He was here on earth was God in human flesh, God incarnate, the term used by theologians. He is the image of the invisible God.

    Herm, Jesus created ALL things in heaven and earth. Only God could could and did that. This same Jesus is head of the Church.

    Jesus was the fullness of God, Herm

  • Herm

    Yes Sam, FUBAR by those who are ignorant enough to vote without knowing that Benghazi was a CIA operation, not the State Department’s responsibility, of which 6+ 16 million dollar Republican called congressional investigations, with Hillary Clinton’s name at the top, proved no wrong doing on either the CIA or State Department’s part. FUBAR by those who were ignorant enough not to know that having a private email server, which was never hacked by Russia (when the State Department’s was) was not illegal, it was against recently instituted “office policy”, but not the law. It was FUBAR by those who were ignorant enough to believe Hillary Clinton was running a brothel out of a DC pizza parlor. It was FUBAR by those who believed their insurance premiums were going up, some extremely unfair, because of Obamacare when the rates were going up, on average, much more rapidly before The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act … and 20 million less people in the USA were able to be covered by any insurance before Obamacare. It was FUBAR by those who truly believe they would be less protected under the lefties governance because they ignorantly are certain lefties want to remove their stash of guns (so they elect one who will give no warning when he picks up the football and presses the button for their protection). It was FUBAR beginning when I heard Rush Limbaugh first promote the idea that the Clintons murdered Vince Foster in 1993. It was FUBAR when the greatest lie Hillary Clinton told, granted that could be proved in the court of public opinion, was that she remembers being under fire at a foreign airport. It was FUBAR when ignorant voters believed they were out of work (nationally less than 5% unemployed) because of Obama’s policies when the previous president did everything according to conservative/Republican policy and took a booming economy surplus into the Great Recession. It is FUBAR today because momentum is still in the direction supported by ignorance when this nation, and the world, has never been more literate with greater tools to find the truth for themselves, each responsible.

    Thank you for giving me an opportunity to speak my childish heart and mind to how wrong things can go in a government of the people, by the people, and for the people when the majority of people, highlighted by their vote, choose to remain ignorant by following the promises of the most appealing riot/lynch mob. Our latest tax bill serves the plutocratic donors, only, because money speaks to cloud the truth. It clearly does not serve my children or grandchildren, but is does the children and grandchildren of the top 1% of this nation.

    For your information, I am not Jesus Christ, which I hope has and will always be clear. I am not only a son of Man, as Jesus was. I am, in addition, a father and grand-father of Man. For those I am responsible to, who only live because I chose to spawn, contributing to the continuance of mankind, I was a Bernie delegate. Many of my fellow delegates with the Bern were, because they believed the smears, “Never Hillary” fans and did vote for Donald in the end.

  • otrotierra

    Yes, U.S. White Evangelicals do support GOP policies which actually increase abortion rates, and they do indeed work against the flourishing of their neighbors. At least White Evangelical Trump is currently loosing his Transgender Military Ban.

    Will Evangelicals repent, or will they instead hide behind more insults and condemnation? Let’s observe:

  • Herm

    Steven, I hope you aren’t this closed in heart and mind in your practice for the good of your clients.

    Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

    Genesis 1:26 (NIV2011)

    Steven, mankind is in the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation, before Christ. God is an eternal familial body aware and influentially united in the Spirit as one directed in influence by one Father’s will bound in all love for the whole. Mankind, without the image of God, is a temporal species of animal bound together first by familial instinct to propagate the species and then by instinct to support the species. Mankind, with the image of God, remains temporal if not accepted, in spirit, and with and in the uniting Spirit, into the familial eternal body of God as Their infant child of spirit.

    You would do yourself a favor, if you truly seek, to knock and ask God (the Teacher, the Instructor and the Father Matthew 23:8-12) for the truth, to see if just your Bible’s red letters tell you how. They do.

    I know this is not real for you but I would hope that you had faith enough in the reality of God, the ability of God to speak directly with your image of Them (which is spirit), and the love of God for each of Man to get the word of God, the only living word of God, directly from Them. You can, I do.

    Right now, all we hear from you are sanctimonious platitudes derived from how Man has taught you to read the writings of Man. According to your Bible (touted in title as no more than old and new (if 1,900 years is new to you) testaments to God’s relationship with Man), God did not write the Bible but did write the Decalogue and something in the sand. Do you believe God cares enough to teach you personally from Their perspective, as it is testified to that They can and will (even in red letters), or will you fearfully continue to be a blind disciple of our modern day blind Pharisees who would sentence the truth in and of God’s reality to death?

  • Sanders is trash and I honestly would prefer that he leave politics. I fully back his economic plans, but the man is so non-intersectional that I feel the country would take a step backwards if he were to get into office — the only people he can reach across the aisle to are bigots.

  • Herm

    Thanks for that Dave! Did you research, to discern for yourself, why you consider Hillary Clinton “as repulsive as 2 day old roadkill” beyond supporting Trump University, White Nationalism, the NRA, Right to Life for fetus over that of the bearer, homophobia, patriarchy, misogyny and the absolute plutocratic rule of the top 1% paying to advertise to the ignorant masses that the “socialist” left hates America and only wants to remove all guns and Bibles from the real patriotic white Christian Americans (and replace them with Sharia Law and the Koran)? Your blind judgment suggests that you didn’t or weren’t capable.

  • Mr. James Parson

    I will not get side tracked on the death penalty.

    If a woman who is pregnant be allowed to go to a state or country where abortion is legal?

    If she gets an abortion, what should her punishment be?

    Are frozen embryos children?

  • Mr. James Parson

    Wow you caught me there.

    You win!

  • Bones

    You mean like you do with your disgraceful attacks on Margaret Sanger.

    Bearing false witness is a virtue for you mob.

  • Bones

    Wrong! It’s a verse attributed to Jesus by Matthew.

    So does government rest on the shoulders of Jesus?

  • Bones

    Yes but what did Paul think of the Filioque?

  • Bones

    Yeah well the DNC got the candidate they wanted and they paid the consequence for it.

    You need to look to the future instead of dwelling on the past unless you’re prepared to learn from it.

  • Bones

    It was FUBAR when Clinton won the Democratic nomination.

  • Bones

    “People should stop identifying themselves as victims or injured groups.”

    You mean like Christians……..

  • Wish I could “heart” this like on Facebook, LOL.

  • Bones

    Take your rose coloured glasses off, Herm.

    She was the perfect candidate for Trump to exploit.

  • Bob, Your dismissal of the Black strugggle for equality in the US is sickening. One would wonder if the only valid complaints in America come from white evangelical Christians, you know, the one’s facing such intense persecution in the US. Funny you should mention the First Amendment, as the person “acting” as President currently has done more to curtail freedom of speech and undermine confidence in that freedom than any other president I can think of. In totalitarian countries the first thing leadership does is discredit unflattering news. Russia is great at it. So is Trump. He is a master at discrediting news, calling it fake, while spinning the news favorably to appease his base, who like the unthinking puppets that they are, swallow it hook, line and sinker.

  • FrankScotsman .

    We’ve (America) religiously reached what I often call “Ambient Religion.” There’s no longer any connection between our religion and our behavior, but instead our religion is solely connected to our environment. Religion doesn’t flow out from us, but is expected to come as support from things around us. We can’t allow anyone to offend our religious “ambiance” by saying “Happy Holidays” or serving us coffee at Christmas time in plain red cups, or speak in foreign languages, or wear foreign clothes or openly follow a religion we don’t follow. The attitude is that “everyone else is responsible for my religion except for me.”
    I don’t see any point to such entitled religion, we need to follow the admonition to “First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.” I hope American religion has a reformation and returns to personal responsibility.

  • LUX

    I’d say it’s “tribalism”. Any congregation of people, whether it’s religious or secular, is susceptible to succumbing to the mentality “us vs. them” – those who hold the same beliefs as you vs. those who don’t. People with tribalistic tendencies will treat the members of their own tribe generously, but often do the opposite to those who are outside the tribe/group, especially when their culture/beliefs conflict with theirs.

  • Bones

    Once again Bob confirms Ben’s point.

    Well done.

  • Yes, I agree, we should be careful of what we claim God is doing as usually we end up with some sort of confirmation bias. I would disagree that God “takes sides” with nations, as he is a universalist (in the Godly sense), not a “nationalist.” His plans, according to the NT, are to bring all nations into the Kingdom eventually. He is no respecter of nations or persons. That is not his intent. Nations have always attempted to say God is on their side, while not on the side of their enemies, but God makes his sun to shine on the just and unjust.

    We have to remember what Jesus said, “my Kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place.” John 18:36. The Gospel message is about another Kingdom, one not defined by boundary lines. ‘This Kingdom is not achieved by political or military might, which, unfortunately, has not prevented the church from trying anyway.

  • Linda Coleman Allen

    Well said. Thank you.

  • Linda Coleman Allen

    You are so right.

  • Linda Coleman Allen

    Too funny a and so correct!

  • Linda Coleman Allen

    Well, there are no perfect people, and she did win the popular vote. Therefore, she should be President. The Electoral College did not do their job correctly, and this has been proven. We can only pray for mercy and guidance.

  • Linda Coleman Allen

    He will try. Roy Moore lost. And I helped by voting for Jones. People are being forced to look at themselves, at who they are and what is right and what is wrong. Alabama is usually a red state, but enough of us looked at ourselves and gathered info from more than one news source, prayed, and voted.

  • Bones

    But is it an outlier? Moore was a particularly hideous candidate. Even conservatives in Trump’s government disowned him.

    The midterms this year will tell a lot.

  • otrotierra

    Eva’s comment history is so disgraceful, she regularly deletes her own trolling comments in shame.

  • Matthew

    I tend to agree with your sentiments FrankScotsman, but I´m wondering how you are defining religion?
    For me at least, religion (as a system that needs to be “worked” in order to “get right” with God) is always
    a problem. Such a system never changes a person from the inside out. It simply keeps making the same
    mistakes all religions have made over the centuries.

  • Kirk, the Black struggle for equality in the US is mostly a Democrat construct to get votes. You tell me where is the protest known as Occupy Wall Street? No where now as it is not needed until 2020. Where is the Black Lives Matter movement and what are they protesting; the flag at football games – pitiful. Which Black men were being hunted and killed by Police yesterday or the day before? None. Because it is an empty Democrat construct protest. Who started the unrest in the Black Community? The great Divider and useless President Barak Obama in order to get re-elected. He succeeded but did nothing, started nothing grand and ignored the Black Community preferring to grandstand in front of the world with his juvenile Iran Deal. Why were Black people being killed in the streets of our major cities under Democrat control every day and night while the Obama administration criticized the police to incite more violence under the guise of civil rights? It was self-interest not empathy. Equality in the US? Try telling that to the parents of Otto Warmbier who died in a country that doesn’t have Free Speech. Try telling that to the 30 million aborted Black babies who mothers flocked to Planned Parenthood using abortion as birth control.

    And as to free speech, who weaponized the IRS to prevent conservative groups from forming legally- Obama. Who weaponized, the State Department and the FBI to spy on the Trump organization? This crime has become fully exposed now. Using a fake dossier to get a FISA warrant to spy on the the Trump organization? The gasps you heard the night of Hillary’s loss were the leadership of the the FBI and State Department as the realization hit them that their crimes would not be covered. Free Speech is alive and well now for we have a champion in the Oval Office not a Pretender and his Lemmings!

    Happy New Year!

  • raven nevermore

    I accept what you say and you have said it well. I think that we ought to assess, judge an event, with its juxtaposition into an undisputed evil however. Otherwise there is no point for God to remove evil people. Thanks for the good response.

  • Bones

    Well no one listened to God when they elected Trump.

  • Bones

    Lol….the civil rights movement is a Democrat construct???

    There are reasons why blacks don’t vote Republican (and you’re confirming it with your passive racism).

    Actually it was police violence which started unrest in the black community and continues to this day. Heck the cop who shot the Aussie woman STILL hasn’t been charged. But black people live with that every day. Once again its Republicans like you who blame blacks for their own problems.

    And the look over there approach doesn’t work for the people who are suffering in your country.

    Your last paragraph is just parochial nonsense. You can stop looking for Obama’s birth certificate now.

    Well done for confirming that you put political parties before Jesus and confirming Ben’s article yet again.

  • Bones

    Roy Moore still doesn’t know why Blacks didn’t vote for him…………It’s a Democratic plot to make him say slavery days were good days.

  • Herm

    Bones, my 20/20 hindsight tells me that at least 17, head to head, candidates were perfect for Trump to exploit. If the future of democracy will be determined by how critically the electorate can discern in a post-truth era then we are doomed, once yet again, to authoritarianism, fascism and communism, as have all democracies and republics fallen before. Any honest (as honest as mankind can be) candidate for office in the GOP, since 2010 in the USA, were perfect for the Tea Party, Grover Norquist and the NRA to exploit in the primaries, which is the only reason (along with state Republican gerrymandering) that both houses of congress are today in GOP control. Social media, church pulpits, and trillions of self serving donor dollars (once countered by strong labor union dollars) have served to give the USA an Ayn Rand (an avowed Russian American anti democratic republic teacher) disciple heading the House of Representatives, a party above nation “life is but a game” zealot heading the Senate, and a psychotic narcissist who makes up lies in the moment heading the Executive Branch.

    If we, the people of the USA, cannot discern that a person, who actively and honorably served 12 years as First Lady of the state of Arkansas, eight years as the First Lady of the USA, eight years as a Senator for the state of New York, and four years as Secretary of State, standing up to continual public scrutiny while hounded by verifiable untrue conspiracy theories because she was an uppity woman, is the perfect candidate for President over a proven lying scoundrel billionaire who had no credit (or credibility) with any USA banking/lending institution then ignorance prevails over reality!

    Mankind just isn’t perfectly suited to be the perfect steward for this planet, anymore than a self serving five year old would be leading the strongest military and economy on earth. If a child has been beaten down and abused by one parent, the sure sign to the outside public, of which parent is the abuser, will always be the parent toward whom the child runs to when threatened by anything or anyone else. Children gravitate toward the promise of strength even when that strength is a destructive lie. Children of Man are not asked to pick up their cross but they are allowed to vote for their perfect candidate.

    President Obama was was not born in Kenya!

  • Bones

    You’re barking up the wrong tree there Herm. Trump tore through the Republican candidates and Clinton was the perfect candidate for him with her many skeletons in her closet.

    You have to ask yourself why people who voted for Obama voted for Trump.

    Hint: Had a lot to do with the Democrat candidate.

    It’s these sorts of excuses which will give Trump another term.

  • M85

    I fear that Dr. Corey has thrown out the baby with the bathwater. He’s gone from the Religious Right to the Religious Left but has missed Christ in the process. He’s still politicised and still a ‘fundamentalist’ but simply a liberal one now. Why does he always approach the Bible and Christianity through political and cultural categories?

  • Matthew

    This is not a liberal or a conservative issue. Simply pointing out hypocrisy on one side doesn´t suddenly make you an adherent to the other side.

  • Questioning

    Are you black Bob?

  • I am a conservative God fearing American who despises the relentless pursuit by Progressives to divide the country along racial lines….but thanks for asking.

  • Herm

    … because you can’t serve two masters???

  • Herm

    Why do so many believe that, when targeted for failing insurance care, the president from Kenya, would not have lost by the same margin in the end? Lock him up!

  • Questioning

    Sure Bob, just wanting to confirm the ignorance in your post above. You are not black so you really have no idea what it is like to be black in America,nor do you have the faintest idea what the “Black struggle for equality” really is. It’s ignorant and dishonest to talk about things you know nothing about, as if you do know something about them. It crosses over into stupidity, and further dishonesty, when you try to educate others about that thing you know nothing about. Who knows the impressionable minds that may be reading? The rest of your post is just typical, oft-repeated by you, right wing vitriol, most of which, I suspect, has no basis in fact. Any knobhead can post that stuff. Are you a knobhead Bob? It’s up to you how you waste your time, but your rantings here only serve as your own relentless pursuit to further divide. Finally you don’t fear God all that much or you would not be here persistently bearing false witness, lying, and sowing discord. You might want to set your sights a little higher. Thanks for confirming what I already suspected. No further questions…..

  • Well I have a question for you. Why don’t you enlighten all of us and explain the “Black struggle for equality.”

    You presume I don’t know about Blacks. I do and I never intentionally lie. Leave your Liberal feeling aside and see if you can explain without rancor?

  • $144948586

    “Are frozen embryos children?”
    Yes.

  • SamHamilton

    I don’t think pointing out how the “religious right” has comprised its values makes one a member of the “religious left.” That said, I share your dislike of broad categories by which to label and dismiss people.

  • SamHamilton

    We can’t allow anyone to offend our religious “ambiance” by saying “Happy Holidays” or serving us coffee at Christmas time in plain red cups, or speak in foreign languages, or wear foreign clothes or openly follow a religion we don’t follow. The attitude is that “everyone else is responsible for my religion except for me.”

    I don’t know about you, but the religious community in which I’m involved doesn’t get upset about things like coffee cups, foreign languages, clothes, etc. Does your religious community get upset about these things? Or, is that your impression of American religion based on online communities and news (keeping in mind online “communities” and online news tend to amplify the nuts and silence the sane people)?

  • Questioning

    Nowhere did I state or even imply that I could explain the “Black struggle for equality.” You see, I’m not black, therefore I cannot. It’s just a simple fact and one you would do well to internalize. I don’t “presume” you don’t know about blacks. It’s a dead ripe certainty that you, not being black, cannot possibly know what it is like to live and breathe as a black person. You may know some things about being black, I suppose we all do, but it is not close to the same thing. With respect to rancor, I suggest you remove your own. I have read comment after comment from you filled with rancor. Also you bear false witness again, labeling me a liberal, and applying your own preconceived attributes to me, all just so you can elevate yourself and diminish me. Finally a lie is still a lie, whether it is done intentionally or out of ignorance.

  • Dean

    Funny enough, if you take a poll, God is always seems to be on the side that wins! Greg Boyd always asks this series of questions when people talk about America as a “Christian” nation: were we a Christian nation when we committed genocide against Native Americans? Were we a Christian nation when we imported black slaves to work our fields? Are we a Christian nation when we bomb civilians in foreign lands to achieve our own foreign policies? For some reason, it’s very easy for us to see ourselves as the good guys and the Other as the villain, but we can’t fathom people abroad thinking the exact same thing in reverse. America is a normal country, like other countries that have come before us. We’ve done some good things and we’ve done some bad things. But if there is one thing that is central to Jesus’ teachings while he was on earth it was that the Kingdom of God was neigh, and that this kingdom is nothing like the kingdoms of this earth, in fact, it operates on rules that almost always opposite to the priorities of this world. This belief on the part of the Religious Right that we are a Christian nation and we need to use politics and the power of the state to achieve God’s will on earth is so far from the Gospel of Jesus Christ that I think it’s not a stretch to say that’s it’s nothing short of Satanic. It looks appealing because the objective seems noble, but it’s the exact kind of shortcut that defeats the very purpose of what we are here as Christians to do.

  • $144948586

    “Right to Life for fetus over that of the bearer”
    Some nice obfuscation you got going on there. What percentage of pregnancies, in the U.S., are a choice between woman and child?

    “homophobia”
    Ain’t nothing there about homophobia–besides, Trump is the first platform-based pro-homosexual’s rights president we’ve ever had. Bet.

    “patriarchy”
    I don’t see many wives or daughters complaining, and I see nothing coming from the C-i-C saying “control your woman.”

    “misogyny”
    Lol, well I guess one doesn’t see the plank in his own eye.

    “the absolute plutocratic rule of the top 1% paying to advertise to the ignorant masses that the “socialist” left hates America and only wants to remove all guns and Bibles from the real patriotic white Christian Americans”
    You do realize that like the top 10 richest Americans are leftists, yes?

    Hillary Clinton is repulsive, because she lied and got an ambassador cruelly murdered and a reporter gang-raped on 9/11/2012.
    Hillary Clinton is repulsive, because she chose the side of an oppressive Iran.
    Hillary Clinton is repulsive, because she profited on Russia buying yellow-cake.
    Hillary Clinton is repulsive, because she got a child rapist off scot-free.
    Hillary Clinton is repulsive, because she paid for a dossier which, when looked into, actually reveals she had many more dealings with Russians than Trump has ever been proven (which is still at a big fat 0).
    Hillary Clinton is repulsive, because she chose to play identity politics–the only problem is: the game of division causes division and so this identity politic almost split the Democratic party.
    Hillary Clinton is repulsive, because she sows hate.
    And this last reason is why this class of Democrats, the Elizabeth Warren kind, are repulsive.

    It doesn’t really matter, though. You’re appeals to Caesar will only serve to get people killed in the long-run–and in a democracy in which YOU vote for Caesar, that means YOU give tacit approval, and that means YOU get people killed.

  • Bones

    Lol…your mate Steve Bannon has put your messiah in the sh*t.

    Trump is repulsive for far more reasons…..

  • Bones

    Seems your mate Steve Bannon has put Messiah Trump in the sh*t.

  • Herm

    Josh, it actually is repulsive to hear from someone who actually can’t discern truth from slander, and seems to brag about it. You don’t see that you are sowing hate?

    Perhaps, you would honor the truth just this once if you cared at all and read this, not Facebook or FOX News:

    http://time.com/4420518/chris-stevens-mother-benghazi-donald-trump/

    Not one GOP called investigation, over 16 million tax dollars later, found the then presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton guilty of any wrong doing in Benghazi, not one. She was proven to have never lied regarding Benghazi beyond what the CIA, who was solely in charge of the operation, told her, and not one of her words “cruelly murdered” anyone. Just who are you quoting with any credibility, surely not your eye witness account.

    And, for your information, together the Koch brothers are the richest Americans and would be highly offended to be considered leftist.

    Please, do not continue this ignorant tirade.

  • Yes you did imply that you could explain the “Black Struggle for Equality” when you said that I did not have the faintest idea what it really is.
    Any rancor you may find in my posts is well deserved. You have selective perspective.
    In fact you are the liar because you are in fact certainly a Liberal. It shows in every word of your posts.
    One more silly outburst from you and I’ll put you in the same category with two nutcases on this site: Bones and Herm.

  • Bones

    What are you talking about Herm?

    The reality is Clinton lost to a liar and a narcissist.

  • Bones

    Aaaand there we see why Black people vote Democrat…..because of morons like Bob.

    It must be hurting having Bannon dump your messiah into the sh*t.

  • Herm

    … and Barack Obama was not up against “a liar and a narcissist“, anonymous manipulated social media believed over accountable media, and a hard up political party that would take any who signed their bills when he won by the margins he did.

  • In the story of Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness by Satan, he is offered political power. Jesus refuses the bait. When Emperor Constantine offered the church official status, honor, power, wealth and properties, sadly the church took the bait. What Satan could not do directly to the Son of God, he accomplished through the State. I am reading Keith Giles, “Jesus Untangled: Crucifying Our Politics to Pledge Allegiance to the Lamb.” Powerful book, another game changer for me. Highly recommended read.

  • Matthew

    What I don´t understand is this:

    Women, millenials, African-Americans and Latinos in America came out to vote for Obama. They stayed home for Clinton.

    African-Americans by and large got Doug Jones elected in Alabama. Then the African-American vote peeters out in general elections in the very red state of Alabama.

    Why the inconsistency?

  • Bones

    Obama would have destroyed Trump.

    Whenever Trump tried to run against him in fact he was destroyed.

    Clinton was perfect fodder for Trump. He rattled those skeletons in her closet.

  • Bones

    Simple. Clinton wasn’t a good candidate and had heaps of baggage. And many resented her win over Sanders in the DNC. And Roy Moore actually made pro-slavery comments.

  • Matthew

    I would like to see more consistency with the groups I mentioned. Maybe in the midterm elections this year …

  • Bones

    Depends who the candidates are Matt.

    In our country we have compulsory voting….so everyone HAS TO vote or cop a fine or a week in jail. That actually puts constraints on extremists.

    The US doesn’t have that so if voters don’t like the candidates they just stay at home.

  • Matthew

    I tend to agree with you on this one Bones. You made a good point in your last post
    to me about candidates. If the Dems cannot produce candidates, either for Congress
    or the Presidency, who speak to the real needs of women, millenials, African-Americans,
    and Latinos – those folks will stay home on election day.

    And if the Dems cannot speak to the real needs of the white working class, those people
    will not stop supporting the likes of Trump. My theory doesn´t even account for the evangelical
    vote — rich or poor — that will probably still vote Republican in the midterm elections and for Trump
    in 2020.

    If Bernie decides to run in 2020, and gets the Democratic nomination, then the story changes I think.

    That said, Trump could very well, sadly, get another term in office :-(.

    Edited

  • Matthew

    My mother voted for Obama, then voted for Trump I think.

    It had to do with Clinton I´m nearly certain.

  • SamHamilton

    Hi Dean,
    I agree with just about everything you say here and agree with Greg Boyd re: America supposedly being a Christian nation. However, it’s important to remember that it’s not only the “Religious Right” that tries to use politics and the power of the state to achieve God’s will on earth. There are plenty of Christians not on the right who want to use the state to achieve God’s will on earth as well. The desire to use the state to impose one’s idea of God’s justice and righteousness is not limited to the political right.

  • Questioning

    Wrong again. I know you do not have the “faintest idea” because neither do I, neither of us being black and all. No implication needed. You seem to have a mental block on that point.
    Bring on the rancor Bob. Again it is totally up to you how you raise your blood pressure and fritter away your time, arguing with and trying to best “nutcases”.
    I try to remain pretty much center of the road, leaning left on some issues, right on others. I try to vote the person and the platform, not the party. Of course, it seems you would not understand that because, apparently to you, there are no such animals, those being people who actually think before they vote.
    Finally, please consider this a silly outburst. Bye now…

  • $144948586

    I’m not the one who advocates killing more babies each year than were ever sacrificed by ancient religions all for a ridiculous argument.

    “Hillary…”
    http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/OTUS/systemic-failure-state-department-benghazi-attack-report-finds/story?id=18012210

    “And, for your information, together the Koch brothers are the richest Americans and would be highly offended to be considered leftist.”
    Hardly.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_members_of_the_Forbes_400

    Again though,
    I’m not the one who advocates killing more babies each year than were ever sacrificed by ancient religions all for a ridiculous argument.

  • FrankScotsman .

    Thanks for the recommendation on “Jesus Untangled…”, I looked it up on Amazon and it looks like a good read. Also good is “The Great Spiritual Migration” by Brian McLaren, check it out.

  • Mr. James Parson

    I don’t have a good answer for that one.

    There will be an Republican presidential nominee after Trump. Will he be even more vicious. Will he just claim to be Christian and that will be enough?

  • Mr. James Parson

    The atheist observes that.

    The Evangelical that speaks loudest and first represents Evangelism. In the case of the last election it was Jeff Sessions.

    https://www.politico.com/story/2016/02/sen-jeff-sessions-endorses-trump-219939

  • Mr. James Parson

    Thanks for your response.

  • Mr. James Parson

    America is really broken in this regard.

  • Herm

    Josh, your lenses are clouded and you only read what passes the FOX News test.

    In your “http://disq.us/url?url=http%3A%2F%2Fabcnews.go.com%2FPolitics%2FOTUS%2Fsystemic-failure-state-department-benghazi-attack-report-finds%2Fstory%3Fid%3D18012210%3Admduuht4yIoZdIow2Mw_nKsA6aw&cuid=2572581” citing (reported eight days after the attack) this is included:

    “The Board remains fully convinced that responsibility for the tragic loss of life, injuries, and damage to U.S. facilities and property rests solely and completely with the terrorists who perpetrated the attack,”

    Perhaps, your search for truth would be better served if you digested facts!

    http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2015/oct/12/hillary-clinton/clinton-there-have-been-7-benghazi-probes-so-far/

    You wrote:

    “And, for your information, together the Koch brothers are the richest Americans and would be highly offended to be considered leftist.”
    Hardly.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wi

    If you could read to comprehend exactly what I said then you would not have injured your credibility even further. Citing the rankings, from which you presented as proof that the Koch brothers together were “hardly” the richest Americans, it seems individually they each are in the top ten you misspoke earlier about.

    Individually:
    Bill Gates 89 billion tops the list
    Charles Koch 48.5 billion currently tied for 6th and 7th place
    David H. Koch 48.5 billion currently tied for 6th and 7th place

    Together the Koch brothers 97 billion is 8 billion over Bill Gates Net Worth.

    Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffet, Mark Zuckerberg, and Larry Ellison (the top 5 American positions of net worth) are not dependent on the identical business interests for their wealth as are the Koch brothers. Financially the Koch brothers are truly joined at the hip.

    I repeat, verbatim, “And, for your information, together the Koch brothers are the richest Americans and would be highly offended to be considered leftist.

    Don’t go to pulling ignorantly at the heart strings with your “baby killing” judgments just to build your self worth as though you love babies more than anyone else. If you wish to discuss facts we can do so at another time. As it stands, with the facts presented to you, your reply was only a continuation of your ignorant tirade and has served to further diminish your value in the search for truth here.

  • Mr. James Parson

    Here is how they will explain him.

    He is against abortion
    He loves the 10 commandments.
    When he did bad things, the standards of the time were different.

    No additional thinking necessary

  • I wholeheartedly disagree. He has met Christ in the process. I, too, was of a fundamentalist persuasion but in all my studies it became more and more apparent that the Gospels were our commentary on the Hebrew Bible. Through Christ the law has passed away so that our commitment is to God and our neighbour, not laws inscribed in stone. The biggest problem with fundamentalism (whether its Christian or otherwise) is that it is a slave to law just as the Pharisees were. And when the law doesn’t tell you which side to sleep on you make one up.

    You can’t get away from politics because it impacts on every aspect of our lives. I used to believe that my world view came from the Bible but now I realise that it comes from every aspect of my life. I no longer consider the Bible to be a manual, I see it as the revelation of Jesus but its through Christ’s Spirit that I live, not from words in a book. The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it.

  • Herm

    Clinton would not have been the target for the GOP, regarding Benghazi, if Obama would have been the presumptive Democrat running for president, he would have been the Benghazi target. The Clinton private server would not even have been an issue if she was not the presumptive candidate, but at least one of eight years worth of presidential skeletons (controversial Benghazi, Iran, North Korea, Syria, ISIL, Afghanistan, Russian nuclear deals, increasing insurance rates, the pizza parlor child sex ring that he and Michelle were running, …) that could easily be lied about and be publicly subject to GOP scrutiny in congress would have been blown out of fact (not forgetting eight years as a state senator and four years as a national senator) if Obama was the presumptive candidate. Trump, the GOP and the Russian smear campaign (and Watergate-esque hacking) could just as easily have incited large crowds to scream, “LOCK HIM UP!!!”

    I would like to know which skeleton (other than Comey’s last second false email claim) that would make 32 years, of mostly constructive and productive public service, of less trusting value than a proven conspiracist liar, an American credit risk, and a clear psychotic narcissist to the American (USA) electorate? Would it be White Watergate, Vince Foster’s murder, Benghazi, the pay for play Clinton Foundation, the D.C. pizza parlor or even more that was bantered about by the conservative right ever since 1993 when she had accepted to promote healthcare from the position of First Lady? Each and every one of those claims have been researched and investigated in depth with no find of fault on Hillary Clinton’s part. We can prove that Hillary Clinton has been able to manage political office for the benefit of her constituents, when Donald Trump never has proven such. In fact, there is a public record of Trump’s bankruptcies, bond defaults, and for his personal profit ignoring contracts with honorable contractors (too many of whom went out of business for that reason alone).

    Trump, by hook or by crook, rattled conspiratorial skeletons for everyone he came up against. Given time, which he had, as long as the electorate believed that this nation was being dangerously overrun by immigrants, legal or not, that they would lose their health insurance due to Obamacare, that employment opportunities were decreasing because of socialist rulings, that Muslims were an overwhelmingly greater threat to our citizen’s lives than White Nationals, that the GOP congress was never obstructionist but instead it was the leftists that just would not compromise, and that Trump’s opponent was not only incompetent but was lynch mob criminal enough to be locked up, all untrue, then every opponent could be fabricated as perfect fodder.

    Trump never ran against Obama beyond conspiracy theories. He was primaried. As far as the now famous Steele dossier is concerned Russia did not begin to groom Trump until 6 years ago.

    Bones, there is not time enough here to come up with the answers to how not to fail against the onslaught of lies, emotional buttons falsely pushed, and enemy nations compromising fact from responsible media by inserting lies on unsubstantiated social media. The fact is that no politician is perfect. No politician can afford to tell the whole truth all the time when up against opponents who lie all the time. All who responsibly govern make mistakes. If our electorate can be ignorantly swayed by innuendo and lie over record then all democracies are doomed to authoritarianism, fascism and communism. America, by all the numbers, has not been greater than it was in 2016 but by electoral college we now have a child father trying to take us back to well before the New Deal, like about the 1930’s when all things were really great, you know, when Negroes couldn’t vote or even consider being the president of the United States of America. Or, when women knew their place!

    No, I do not believe for one minute, now, that Obama would have destroyed Trump. Obama only destroyed opposing candidates who had some basic honor and concern for their constituents.

    If the known illegal Russian intervention would have been publicly highlighted, by our national investigative services, as much as the legal Clinton private server was, perhaps the electorate, those otherwise unable to discern truth for themselves, would have carried the Electoral College for Clinton as well as the whole did in the popular vote. It is truly sad that the more highly educated, discerning and financially adept voting populace (New York and California) were not the determining factor in who the present President of the United States would be.

  • $144948586

    “As it stands, with the facts presented to you, your reply was only a continuation of your ignorant tirade and has served to further diminish your value in the search for truth here.”
    Again though,
    I’m not the one who advocates killing more babies each year than were ever sacrificed by ancient religions all for a ridiculous argument.

  • Herm

    That’s it?

    Fortunately, neither am I!

  • $144948586

    Except when this is a charge against a rightist:
    “Right to Life for fetus over that of the bearer”

  • Tina Alford

    Well said

  • Tina Alford

    Eloquently said…

  • Herm

    “Right to Life for fetus over that of the bearer”
    Some nice obfuscation you got going on there. What percentage of pregnancies, in the U.S., are a choice between woman and child?

    obfuscation – noun – the action of making something obscure, unclear, or unintelligible.

    To the intelligent is it clear that I spoke only to the right of a mother to choose how her body is used toward the propagation of the animal species mankind.

    I do not advocate “killing babies” anymore than I do killing any human being. In fact, as a disciple of Christ I carry my cross that temporal animals such as you, gifted the image of God, may, hopefully, learn one day to live eternally in the Spirit which is God.

    That would mean having to adhere, at minimum, to the sum of the law as in everything do to all others, of especially your species, as you would have them do to you. In a fragile species facing certain eventual death of all its present supporters, demanding propagation to sustain itself, trapped on a planet where only the fittest species survive, quality of spawn is far more important than quantity of spawn.

    I choose to respect all others’ rights to determine, by their irreplaceable knowledge and feeling in each moment, how their bodies will be used to the good of the body of Man. This regardless of race, religion, gender, sexual preference or community of birth. I will stand up to deny all who think it is their right to use another’s body, mind and/or spirit of responsibility to suit their beliefs that are limited in perspective and ignorant to what is constructive and productive for the other, as well as for the whole of our species, mankind.

    Yes, contraceptives kill potential life and I do support the use of contraceptives to prevent an unsupported over population that would overwhelm any possibility of quality nutrition and nurture for the helpless child. I am not a slave, nor wish to make anyone else a slave, to animal instincts that only serve to expand the size of our species beyond the limits of quality life for mankind on this earth.

    Yes, informed abortions, chosen by the supporting mother, physician and social counsel, kill potential life of awareness and influence within the body of Man. Know that you, too, kill potential life when you allow yourself a wet dream, in astronomically higher numbers. Each “that time of the month” for potential mothers kills potential life in astronomically higher numbers than all uses of contraception and abortions, legal or not. Do you believe that God chose for you not to ever ejaculate fertile sperm in huge numbers because life would be lost? Do you keep your hands above the covers at night to keep from some ugly form of self imposed relief?

    I do support the right of a mother to abort a life of responsibility to her potential child when her body, her mind, and the condition of the fetus give every reason to believe that she, and her community, is not ready to go to term and/or will not be able to provide for and nurture that potential child into a productive and constructive adult for the survival of the species mankind.

    I am not one who advocates killing more babies each year than were ever sacrificed by ancient religions all for a ridiculous argument.

  • Tete Rouge

    I think it is more a case of ‘people living in rural areas and the working class’ realising who exactly has their best interests at heart. And it sure isn’t the GOP

  • Tina Alford

    Hillary’s loss was due to trump’s Russian backed involvement in the election…

    Trump stated no facts during his campaign to beat the “17” candidates running against him…he was just the bully on the block that used mean defamation tactics against them…name calling…a school yard childish behavior…ignited a crowd like a gladiator fighting in a coliseum where the emperor says live or die…the crowd was ignited by his bully tactics which made them thirsty to see blood…and not actually listening to his words…just like his lies now…believe me…he says…and out comes the lies…when he won the nomination at the RNC …I saw him mouth the words…”this is all for me”…

    He was/is involved with the professional wrestling association that uses smoke and mirrors to incite the crowds into a feeding frenzy…this is his agenda…fire them good olé boys up and get ‘er done right under their noses…testosterone driven environment that can’t see through the veil of lies…

  • Bones

    Yeah that’s the Trump side….now look at Clinton’s…..Clinton supporters need to take their rose coloured glasses off. She was a dreadful candidate.

  • Bones

    Huh….they were Trump’s base…..

  • Bones

    Herm, Trump never ran against Obama because he knew he would be destroyed. Obama’s popularity ratings were well over Trump’s. And it was Trump who led the Birther nonsense.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kkIntmqXdnc

    In the 19 minute mark of this video, Obama destroyed Trump’s 2012 run for presidency and humiliated him. Many minorities wouldn’t vote for Clinton but they did for Obama and they would’ve again.

    Once again you offer excuses while ignoring the reality of the Democrats losing ALL houses of legislature.

    You can’t blame emails and Russians for that.

    Hillary, this is the real reason you lost

    “Millions of those white people who voted for Donald Trump also proudly voted for Barack Obama. There are nearly 700 counties in the United States that voted twice for Barack Obama, one-third of which flipped to Trump in 2016. According to Nate Cohn of The New York Times, “almost one in four of President Obama’s 2012 white working-class supporters defected from the Democrats in 2016, either supporting Mr. Trump or voting for a third-party candidate.””

    “Why did so many Obama voters defect to Trump? It wasn’t race or immigration. According to a survey by the liberal super PAC Priorities USA Action, the top seven priorities were (1) protecting Social Security and Medicare; (2) creating good-paying jobs for American workers; (3) making sure Americans have access to affordable insurance; (4) cleaning up corruption in government; (5) cracking down on outsourcing; (6) making sure the wealthy pay their fair share in taxes and (7) keeping Wall Street in check.”

    Another reason these Obama voters defected to Trump is that they kept hearing from Clinton and the Democrats how great the economy was doing. Yet, according to Priorities USA Action, “50 percent of Obama-Trump voters said their incomes are falling behind the cost of living, and another 31 percent said their incomes are merely keeping pace with the cost of living.” When Clinton touted Obama’s economic progress, she seemed hopelessly out of touch.

    These “forgotten Americans” had legitimate grievances that Democrats ignored. That sent a message to working-class voters that Democrats are not focused on fighting for them. So they defected.

    Add to this Clinton’s inability to connect with her party’s liberal base (the so-called drop-off voters who turned out for Obama but failed to show up for her) — plus the Clinton Foundation and her repeated lies about her personal server, which led large majorities of Americans to conclude that she was dishonest and corrupt — and you had the toxic brew that produced her electoral defeat.

    Clinton says she is done with electoral politics, so it really does not matter if she understands “what happened.” But there is little sign that Democrats today understand, much less are doing what is necessary to win back these working-class voters in the heartland. Instead, they have declared themselves “The Resistance” — further alienating these voters who put Trump in office, while hoping that they can turn out their liberal base in the next election. That’s precisely the strategy that failed in 2016. We’ll see if doubling down on failure works in 2020.

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/commentary/ct-hillary-clinton-lost-white-voters-20170914-story.html

  • Bones

    Why Sanders supporters (the Left) and minorities didn’t vote for Clinton……

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=72-dEItC1pk

  • Herm

    Bones, I don’t have time today to speak to all you offer but this point is very important. The Democrats lost both houses under President Obama, not during Hillary Clinton’s campaign for the presidency. They lost the states because of focus, during Obama’s administration, on federal campaigns. State legislatures went Republican and gerrymandering strongly favors all GOP voting efforts.

  • Frank, thanks for your recommendations as well. I confess I am having second thoughts about the entirety of politics. I have been preaching “the lesser of two evils is still choosing an evil” online here, and have been suddenly hit by the hypocrisy of my statement as I have done that myself. As Sam above has stated, allegiance to Rome is not restricted to just evangelicals. I subscribed to Sojourners for a while. I believe in much of the general ethos, but, and this is a big but, it is very, very political. I understand Jesus’ call to protect the powerless, to support the disenfranchised, but Jesus never, ever suggested we spread the Kingdom through earthly politics. The misguided attempts of leaders like Franklin Graham to spread Christianity through legislation has its counterpoint in progressive circles as well. There is a real difference between the political realm and the spiritual and I fear we’ve got it all messed up.

  • Agreed, as my response to Frank below shows. I think we need to understand there is a difference between living out the Law of Christ and pure political endeavor. We are so used to using political methods to achieve (or think we achieve) godly goals, that the methods of living a cruciform life in front of others has kind of fallen by the wayside. The early church impacted their culture by showing love, by sacrificing, by resisting entanglements with war, politics and self seeking endeavors. Rather than seeking to protect their own interests, they sought to protect others. I think the decision to vote or be political is a personal one, but one that I am having serious doubts about, thanks to my Anabaptist friends on Facebook, as well as books I have been reading. I think society is best changed from within, one heart at a time rather than imposed via legislation.

    I am sure there are those that think that a bit naive or simplistic, but it appears that is how the Gospel was spread in the first 300 years. Looking at church history since then I’d say the early church had a much more effective gameplan.

  • Bones

    These are the same people who voted for Obama in 2012, Herm……

    It’s ridiculous that the Democrats gifted the working class to Trump and the Republicans. Clinton’s reputation as a Wall Street stooge followed her. That she couldn’t garner the minority vote against a candidate using race also says a lot about her.

    Bernie Sanders nailed it as well

    “”Look, you can’t simply go around to wealthy people’s homes raising money and expect to win elections,” the Vermont senator, who gave Clinton a surprisingly strong run for the Democratic nomination, told NPR’s David Greene in an interview airing on Morning Edition. “You’ve got to go out and mix it up and be with ordinary people.””

    “The Democratic Party swallowed the bait,” he argued. “They became hooked on big money.”

    The Vermont senator added that he believes Democrats have lost touch with the needs of everyday Americans.

    “I happen to believe that the Democratic Party has been not doing a good job in terms of communicating with people in cities, in towns and in rural America, all over this country,” he said.

    Sanders believes Trump’s message resonated with workers, like the ones in Wisconsin and Michigan, who were hit hard by the economic recession and haven’t yet recovered. It was a connection Democrats were largely unable to maintain.

    “One of the reasons that Mr. Trump won is that we have millions of people who have given up on the political process, who don’t believe that Congress is listening to their pain,” Sanders said. “What the Democratic Party has got to do is start listening.”

    https://www.npr.org/2017/01/06/508385203/bernie-sanders-says-trump-won-because-democrats-are-out-of-touch

  • Bones

    Well Kirk, you live in a democracy not a military dictatorship or religious theocracy like Jesus did.

    And I seriously question that the Kingdom of God is not political – ask any liberation theologian who lives among the poor and oppressed.

  • Bones, like I said, I am just beginning to mull it all over in my mind. Nothing set in stone. Politics is a troublesome sphere of human interaction. I don’t decide public policy, politicians do. Who tells the politians how to vote? Special interest groups, lobbyists. Who’s behind them? The wealthy big corporations, big business. We are a capitalist nation here in America. We are a country run by the wealthy, who’s ambitions run counter to the Gospel.

    Unfortunately, this is true of both liberal and conservative parties, and both are tangled up with nationalism, which is also counter-gospel. Politicians have shown over and over again, they are interested in our votes, in getting elected, not in necessarily legislating what we want legislated.

  • Bones

    Is not the civil rights movement a political movement?

    Is this not a political speech?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xw0DpF3vpac

  • Martha Arenas

    Bones,

    Injustice is fought where it is found. In Dr. Luther King’s case, is was the state who was creating unjust laws to abuse a certain demographic of human beings and the rest of the country followed suit because “it was the law.” Dr. King had to take matters political because it was the political establishment leading the atrocities. So, sure, there is a fine line between infiltrating politics to create positive change in a culture and using the political climate to excuse on’e behavior. On simply needs to remember that:

    “And the devil said to Him (Jesus), “I will give You all this domain and its glory; for it has been handed over to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. “Therefore if You worship before me, it shall all be Yours.”

  • Martha Arenas

    Bones, I agree with you on this one. I had to go with my conscience and abstain my vote for the presidency of the US precisely because I could not bring myself to vote for either of the dreadful candidates. I know many more that did the same as me

  • SamHamilton

    Thanks Kirk. While I’m not signed up with the Anabaptist position (at least not yet), I think American Christians place too much importance on the political realm rather than “living out the Law of Christ,” as you put it. I don’t think being involved politically is inherently a problem, but I do feel like many Christians place it on a higher plane than personal sacrifice and servanthood. I think they do this because it’s simply easier to vote the “right” way, or sign the “right” petition, or volunteer for the “right” candidate than it is to spend precious time and resources caring for the poor, the immigrant, bringing healing to the sick, etc. And then they have the audacity to judge other Christians who might vote for the “wrong” candidate from time to time harshly without knowing at all how that Christian conducts other aspects of his or her life, and they do that because voting is an easier marker than the other stuff.

    (I don’t want this to come across sounding like I’ve got my priorities all sorted out properly; I don’t).

  • Herm

    Bones, I love you brother! You do know that you don’t have the answer to this, that you’re only raising a red flag to what is still the major problem (which was never the Democrats, Republicans or Hillary Clinton), and that plenty of others have raised the same issue that Cornel raises (including me). The USA is politically functioning, in the majority, as a bi-partisan plutocracy.

    This for the sake of those who won’t research to know what a plutocracy is:

    Plutocracy or plutarchy, is a form of oligarchy and defines a society ruled or controlled by the small minority of the wealthiest citizens. The first known use of the term was in 1631. Unlike systems such as democracy, capitalism, socialism or anarchism, plutocracy is not rooted in an established political philosophy

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plutocracy

    A democratic republic is dependent upon an engaged and informed electorate to provide quality representation for the good of all governed citizen’s. When the information directing the majority of votes comes from advertising, robo calls and unfettered social media discussions then only the forms of exchange accepted by the voter win in the end regardless of fact, truth and the good for the majority of human life within control of government. The gun manufacturers win because they finance their NRA lobby, while any gun regulation suffers. Our world environment suffers long term for the short term profit of polluters who can afford to finance ad campaigns denying fact in favor of continued consumption, such as the Koch brothers and the nicotine industry. Wall street and enemy nations back candidates with money and resources who will best serve their interests by concealing through an inundation of lies how each, the political contestant and the financial supporter, will profit in power and economic status at the cost of the voter.

    I was a Bernie delegate because I researched enough to discern the truth. Bernie was the most honest and clear sighted candidate in the race for the presidency of the United States of America. Bernie didn’t have the support of the plutocratic support, while Hillary did, hence the result. The majority of plutocratic support favored, after the primaries, Trump.

    The problem I seek answers to is not dependent upon a winning female 32 year politician being less honest and clear sighted than Bernie, a career independent socialist Senator from the great little red state of Vermont. The problem I seek answers to is why any voter would vote their ill informed gut, placing in the most powerful office of governing influence in the world, for an illiterate authoritarian psychotic narcissist with an attention span less than 10 minutes who has a track record of profiting only from dishonoring any contract he would lose from. Why would a Bernie delegate vote for Trump? … to spite Hillary, a proven political manager with credentials sustained by learning how to work the system, by condemning their nation and world to certain disaster?

    I was a Bernie delegate and worked side by side with the “never Hillary” delegates. All the arguments, citing truth after truth, in the world were insufficient to shake the emotions that “never Hillary” had been instilled purely by campaign innuendo dating back to 1993. Trump once petitioned the Black community, who felt abandoned even by Obama, with, “what do you have to lose?” Everyone who voted for Trump are now finding out what they had to lose from their knee jerk reaction to the beltway/Wall Street swamp by throwing out the baby with the bathwater.

    You can condemn the incompetence of the DNC and/or the Clinton campaign all you want as the problem. All losers are by definition the least competent. The real problem is that “every” poll after “every” poll says that the clear majority of the 350 million weak USA populous do not, and did not, agree with the direction that Trump, Sessions, and the GOP are taking the world. The majority of the USA is being taxed without representation because their representatives are in the pocket of the wealthy. Bernie and Cornel cannot be, nor could ever afford to be, effective in the representation of their constituents as long as their political backers in spirit don’t actually vote for the best candidate regardless of campaign hype, solely on intelligent discernment.

    As a disciple of Christ I could not win a seat on any legislature. Bernie is closer in the business of honestly and intelligently serving his constituents to the principles as taught by the Messiah. Hillary is closer to the principles of Caesar. Trump is very possibly closer to the principles of Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin. Jesus could not win a seat on any governmental legislature, worldwide.

    You can say that the DNC better get their act together, or they will continue to lose by the votes of the gut electorate who would turn eight days before election day because another computer with emails on it has been found, all you want but that isn’t the solution, only the problem. How do you solve an electorate that cannot responsibly weigh their choices on fact, on truth? How does any honest, intelligent, capable and “spotless” candidate combat the millions of dollars, from Wall Street/Big Business, it takes to elect even one representative in the House every two years with television, bill board or any other form of media spin (including social media)? Could any of our fore-fathers (none of which were spotless) have been elected in this political climate? Has this political experiment democratic republic of the people, by the people and for the people failed in less than 300 years? Who’s left to govern founded on the precept that all people are created equal endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness?

    I am done arguing that Hillary was the clear best candidate in the general election for the good of this nation, and hopefully the world. I have never argued that any are perfect without stain. All political parties in the world are influenced by the donor class. It would make sense that in a proud capitalistic nation winners rule by capital good. Bernie attempted, and has a huge following today, to gain rule by social good. Social based economies have always, in my lifetime, been absolutely falsely associated with fascism and communism by capitalist and fundamentalist Christian based mentalities in the USA. Capitalism, turned from self profit at the cost of national profit, in the USA, to evolve into failure in the 1930’s, then to success in the 1950’s under the social premises of the New Deal, and now into a rapidly growing plutocracy which will collapse under the weight of authoritarianism (the true image of fascism and communism).

    Sorry for the length of this but this just isn’t a case of a political party better get their act together or they will continue to lose as the protector of the working class. There are overwhelmingly more working class voters than any other class of voter in the USA. The working class in the USA is more literate capable than any working class throughout all the history of mankind. I have heard all my voting life that my fellow voters wish they didn’t have to, each time, vote for the better of two evils. Way too many use this for an excuse to not even try to vote, much less have to study to discern who is the better candidate for their good. As a humble little ignorant child of God my single vote is determined by choosing the more perfectly suited candidate, of which none are ever even close to perfect, by diligent study discerning from as much truth I am allowed. I don’t even care how flawed Hillary Clinton was when all my emotions now are consumed by the destructive results from voting purely on “never Hillary” and “LOCK HER UP”.

    So, please, let’s quit this Monday morning quarterbacking assessing Hillary as the worst candidate to confront the Trump machine of lies. There is absolutely nothing that says Trump would have lost to Obama when his comeback was stronger, more devious and more financially supported than ever before. The DNC was hacked and humanity was shared with the world. The RNC was hacked and all the dirt was kept from the world. I don’t believe even Barack could have withstood his perceived dirty laundry being outed and would have fared any better.

    Now, please, let’s not highlight the problems without offering the solutions. If you, or I, care that much about it, and feel we believe we know how to combat money and lies with truth and fact, then it our obligation to our accepted responsibility to mankind’s good to be their representative.

    You and I are sick with what we see is happening to mankind by self-centered, short-lived profiteers ruling the future. This is not the first time this cancer has stuck the body of Man. This is the first time we, a nation within mankind, has had the opportunity to choose their own destiny through a democratic republic form of representation and governance with all the people written in the foundation document. How do we get all the people to be responsible with their vote?

  • Bones, do you feel white evangelicals “compromised” their Christian faith by supporting politically and financially (and continuing to support) Donald Trump and his agenda? And if so why?

  • Bones

    The struggle for equality is a political movement.

    It cannot be achieved by sitting around praying…..

  • Bones

    He actually fits in with ‘their’ Christian faith.

    ‘Their’ Christian faith is anti-immigration, anti-leftist, anti-big government, anti-welfare, anti-abortion, patriotic…..Just like their god is……

    Their god is a right wing American.

  • Bones

    Well Herm, it’s this sort of thinking which will see Trump in power for another term…..

    She should have spent more time in Michigan and Wisconsin instead of taking $225 000 for speaking engagements in Wall Street.

    And I reckon Jesus would go pretty well over here.

  • Unlike you I grew up in the poor part of a major city and I do have a good perspective of the racial divide.
    Your posts show all the attributes of a liberal whether you are or are not.

  • You perceive yourself as different from your race. What privilege is that based on.

  • Bones

    The privilege to live in ghettos……and be blamed by white Republicans for being poor….

  • Ron McPherson

    Well just this morning Trump tweeted that he is a “very stable genius” so there!

  • You left out “white” right wing American. Yes, as any atheist will tell us, Christians create God in their own image. He is what we want him to be. But what I was getting at with my question is that conservatives have compromised Jesus’ teachings in their attempt to force the Kingdom of God upon us. In doing so they will use any means available, including violence, if deemed necessary, to promote their nationalistic religion.

    This is the classic “the ends justifies the means” solution. Overlooking the moral character of a politician to achieve an altruistic goal is nothing new really, and usually involves excusing “lesser” injustices to gain what is deemed a more important moral victory. Sacrifice women, the poor and minorities in order to achieve an end to abortions, for example.

    But “the ends justifies the means” approach is not limited to white right wing Americans. The handling of the Democratic primaries, for example, was disturbing. The old guard of the DNC conspired to shut Bernie Sanders out. It was dirty politics, a redundant term if there ever was one. The DNC head slipped the questions to Hillary Clinton also prior to a debate. Cheating. Conflicts of interest abound, such as the Clinton Foundation…money, money, money. Then there is her lying, cheating, adulterous husband to account for.

    I am not suggesting that politicians must be “perfect,” but the ends justifies the means is a slippery slope that has been used to justify all sorts of atrocities over the history of the church. We, as moral beings, need to always be conscious of underlying agendas that may run counter to the Gospel and the teachings of Christ when we support a party platform. This last election cycle was disturbing on many fronts here in America…on both sides, and is what has given me pause.

    For me, it may mean a step back from reliance on political means, and a more personal “behind the scenes” involvement with causes that show Christian charity in my community. This is not a total repudiation of politics, our leaders need to be held accountable and injustice pointed out when it occurs, but the partisanship deadlock we have been in since the founding of America accomplishes little other than showing how divided Christians are.

  • ChevalBlanc

    You know, that whole prosperity gospel stuff that is so tied in with some of the far right, pro-theocracy types literally is Satanic. I’m neither a fundamentalist, nor do I believe in Satan as a literal being, but a Christian is supposedly someone who wants to follow the example of Christ, right?

    These people are preaching that striving to accumulate all the wealth and power is not only good, it is what God wants for them. Christ’s temptation in the wilderness tells us who offers earthly power in exchange for worship (spoiler – it ain’t God).

    WWJD? The correct answer is “Just say No”, and I’m astounded that there are so many people – some of whom pride themselves on having the Bible memorized – that need help arriving at that conclusion.

  • ChevalBlanc

    Of course our political positions are somewhat guided by our understanding of right and wrong. That doesn’t just go for Christians, either. However, the “Religious Right” has made achieving “God’s will on earth” part of their political brand.

    Getting caught in a hotel room with a bunch of hookers isn’t something to be proud of no matter who you are, but there is a reason it is worse for a TV preacher that’s been railing about sinners for decades. Y’know?

  • Bones

    The simple fact is the kingdom of God is a political kingdom. It was a very real threat to the political actors at the time of Jesus whether religious or secular.

    Good luck not using politics to legislate equality btw…….

    You’re barking up the wrong tree using the self aggrandiser Clinton as an example….As a foreigner its mind boggling that you’re equating political parties (who are more about pleasing their rich benefactors) with the Kingdom of God.

    Try civil rights leaders instead like MLK….

  • Bones

    Was it a full moon last night?

  • Ah, now I think we are closer to being on the same page. Civil rights leaders “walk the walk and talk the talk.” There IS a vast difference between conservative Christian leaders who JUST talk but don’t sacrifice for others, don’t have empathy for those different than themselves and merely look to protect their own interests, and those who march and are willing to put their lives at risk for strangers.

    I don’t personally equate ANY political party with the Kingdom of God, however that has not been the case with evangelicals in the US for the past 70 years. Since Ronald Reagan, white evangelicals have TOTALLY conflated the Republican Party with establishing the Kingdom of God on earth.

    I think where we are miscommunicating is I see the Kingdom of God as a SOCIAL movement, you see it as a POLITICAL movement, and in fact, we may mean basically the same thing. In that regards I would concede that a social movement will indeed have definite political ramifications. So, thanks, I think I’m not going to jettison all political involvement and join a commune after all, LOL.

  • Prayer, when used properly, is a powerful motivator. Conservative Christians use it as though they are influencing God with it. With someone like MLK, it enthused, rallied and gave inspiration to push through the fear, the pain the hatred. It influenced people, not God. However, I get your point. Evangelicals substitute prayer for action. Not helpful.

  • Herm

    You know (?), after thinking about this, I would be happy to accept $225,000.00 from any group who would want that much to hear what I had to say relative to the truth in my heart and mind taught by the Rabbi. Just how many Wall Street speeches did she make when on the campaign trial?

    Bones, I think, my opinion only, you show here a bias that keeps you from the truth in this matter. Not to worry, I show mine from time to time, also. I hope we each can be introspective and humble enough to learn from our childish errors in judgment. Both of us risk being wrong by publicly sharing and, thereby, vulnerable to criticism. All disciples are wrong from time to time.

  • Well, this film looks interesting: “In God we Trump.”
    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/ecopreacher/2018/01/in-god-we-trump-film-review/
    Sure to bring out the pitchforks and burning torches of the Religious Right.
    Can hardly wait ‘till it’s released.

  • Bones

    We all have a bias, Herm, and yours is showing.

    Yeah like Clinton was preaching to the Wall Street mob. Clinton pocketed 22 million from Wall Street yet couldn’t be bothered making her way to Michigan.

    She was a bad candidate and she lost.

    Get over it and learn from it.

  • SamHamilton

    Well, yeah. No one likes hypocrisy.

  • Tim

    “Me? Well, I might be a Leftist Apostate, but I still believe that the true evidence of whether or not one is a Christian is found in the type of life that they lead.”

    Of course, a large part of the problem here is that what it actually means to be a real Christian to the average American Evangelical has become so convoluted, they wouldn’t (and often don’t) recognise a real Christian when they see one. Likewise, they equally have trouble spotting a counterfeit like Trump.

  • Lord Fnord

    Um, the guy’s pushing his book, right?

  • YellowBird

    yes agreed, the political process is appropriately used only in serving the best interests of the whole community. yet far and away most of politics is abused for promotion of self-serving personal agendas, and religious figures/institutions are hardly exempt.

    however unless Sojourners has recently changed their focus (and financial usage) very dramatically, they are nowhere near the league of corruption of Samaritans Purse etc …

  • YellowBird

    i myself feel powerfully that our planet was far healthier prior to the Industrial Revolution… nonetheless, Pandoras Box cannot ever be closed and to say the least its a vastly different world we are forced to function in now… i personally believe she is dying. sometimes i find myself reduced to tears of overwhelming awareness for my hypocrisy of the planet killing life i must of necessity live… were i able to somehow miraculously escape the Grid, it could not undo the damage of the past 200+ years, not even a tiny bit. So instead, i weep & try to live as wisely and compassionately toward my planet and fellow humankind as is personally possible for me to do. Knowing its not Enough – can never be anything like Enough – but all i can do all the same.

    maybe there’s a metaphor there for your own dilemma, i dont know… you are right tho, its a powerful & very deeply personal struggle, this effort to turn away from that which grieves the Soul, in hopes of seeking out some Better Way
    my heart is with yours… keep Searching… in time you will know what is the best path open to you
    Blessings

  • YellowBird

    kirk i wonder if maybe you’d be interested in the work of Rev Dr William Barber… he is reviving Dr MLK’s Poor People’s Campaign

  • YellowBird

    tossed Bernie under the bus too, lost a ton of Milennials & Indys w that stunt… whereas if she’d named him her running mate after the Primary… was there a rule barring that? becoz he was the logical choice…

  • YellowBird

    nope unfortunately, the nationalists would never accept Bernie… they say he’s a dreaded “Commie”… lol…
    they hate him because he fights for ALL on the lower rungs, not just themselves. there are a lot of folk going around w/o noses these days. most of them are still claiming its a great new look

  • YellowBird

    *stomps feet & wildly applauds*
    WOW!!! Herm that needs about a million upvotes!

  • YellowBird

    yes a ton of bile has been bubbling there all along. and the fires been stoked for at least 20-30 years… probly a lot longer
    (i’m a former fev, grew up in the church)

  • Thanks. He sounds spot-on. I’ll keep an eye on him. Here’s an open letter to the evangelical leaders that prayed over Trump.
    https://thinkprogress.org/an-open-letter-to-clergy-who-prayed-with-trump-7876ee87dbc2/

  • Bones

    Yes it seems anyone who tries to drag the US into line with the rest of the Western world is a Commie.

    What most western countries take for granted eg universal health care is seen as communism.

  • Bones
  • YellowBird

    right, and trained & ingrained for centuries – Brainwashed they were – to Blindly Follow The Leader… their corrupt Authoritarian Religious Leaders… hating the Real Jesus because those they trusted had taught them to fear Questions & to believe in Lies…

    this is where America finds itself now… important to note that there also were many voices crying for True Justice “LET THE INNOCENT GO” … but now same as then, these voices are crying into the wind… largely ignored, poorly recorded, mainly unheard

  • YellowBird

    in many states, voter enrollment records were somehow mysteriously purged… it did not receive the coverage it needed, but was widespread enough that my own state issued official notice to its residents to check our registrations WEEKLY in the months leading up to last Nov

  • YellowBird

    ^THIS^

  • YellowBird

    right? opining that “Blacks vote like lemmings without reason” is extremely telling of his character & belief system…

  • YellowBird

    so yesterday your president made a series of remarks specifically revealing of his true heart toward Blacks – Immigrants – Refugees – Poor…. *shithole* was just one of his choice terms… still standing with this ‘man of god’ (he’s been so described by FEV leaders) are you?

  • YellowBird

    fairly obviously he is not as he likens Black Americans to Lemmings… but he himself is NOT a lemming, oh no, no sir…

  • YellowBird

    bob you grieve my heart… you come here only to instigate strife & conflict… you rudely represent a belief system that is filled with blind acceptance of bigotry & hatred of The Other
    please put me in the same category with Bones and Herm. i GLADLY stand with them.

  • YellowBird

    or, we go out and **waste** our vote by offering it to some candidate whose track record we actually respect, knowing very well that our votes will never even be counted as it is silently recognized by all that only one of the Big 2 will win a presidential race.

  • YellowBird

    exactly,
    and Black Alabamans rallied behind the candidate with a real history of FIGHTING against KKK.
    yet Bob remains shocked.

  • YellowBird

    i left 2 years ago…after 20+ years… and i am still weeping… and seeking the Better Way

  • YellowBird

    it’s absolutely appalling

  • YellowBird

    “God… is using Trump”
    as one bird to another…i am greatly disappointed to hear this opinion from you…

  • Yep. And Ohio is currently in court defending bi-annual voter purging.

  • YellowBird

    any metric except the one measuring his popularity among $$$conservatives – those making $$$ via this corrupt Admin along with those who are illogically convinced that $$$ will start trickling to them any day now…

  • YellowBird

    raven please at least TRY to step back far enough to see what a F-EV Moral Majority talking point that really is…
    the entire framework of that toxic attitude in america comes from a specific set of writings developed by & for the use of an extremely authoritarian culture of antiquity. Then, as now, it works very well for Authoritarian Leaders to absolve sheer horror & abuse by claiming “GOD’S USING THIS LEADER”

  • YellowBird

    …a great many people who voted for Obama found that in good conscience they could not vote for either Trump nor Hillary…

    these votes were never counted because the US voting system is set up such that only the 2 main vote blocs are ever fully tallied. therefore those who voted conscientiously for some other candidate altogether, are somehow equated to voting *for Trump* because they did not cast their votes for Hillary. at the same time, also accused of having been lazy/staying home/not voting at all when the reality is that there was far more due diligence done among this group overall than among either of the 2 main parties

    imho, the entire system is a trainwreck

  • YellowBird

    my mother & i were watching that moment and also saw what you saw… at the time we’d thought he said “this was so hard” but on reflection i think your interpretation is a lot more accurate

  • YellowBird

    “In the 19 minute mark of this video, Obama destroyed Trump’s 2012 run for presidency and humiliated him.”
    ah… that explains a LOT. Trumps been on a relentless mission to destroy Obama ever since. i always wondered what the real trigger was and i think you nailed it right there.

  • Herm

    Thank you, YellowBird, as much as we think we know of Christ, as sincerely taught to us by our evolving, blind to an actual relationship with and in Christ (John 14:15-21), “Authoritarian Religious Leaders“, and from our own studies of testimony from over 1,900 years ago, Christ was then and remains so to this day, “largely ignored, poorly recorded, mainly unheard“. Can any of our mortal religious leaders today, tell us of Jesus’, the Christ, childhood games, or even of His three years of nightly sharing with His 12 disciples in camaraderie? How much of the history of an infinite eternal God of spirit can we chronicle and/or read to comprehend?

    Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”

    John 3:5-8 (NIV2011)

    They will wage war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will triumph over them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings—and with him will be his called, chosen and faithful followers.”

    Revelation 17:14 (NIV2011)

    “For many are invited, but few are chosen.”

    Matthew 22:14 (NIV2011)

    If infants in the Spirit, who desire to be sisters and brothers of Christ, carry their own cross (Luke 14:27, Mark 3:35, Matthew 12:50) to be heard they will be disappointed. We carry our own cross because we know we would have an other do the same for us when we knew not what we were doing. I find my cross not so much of a burden but as necessary to give the blind I love time to see.

    the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.

    John 14:17 (NIV2011)

    The Spirit of truth knows, and can share as much as we each can bear, all of Jesus’ life on earth as no other authority on earth does or can do. More importantly, to me, the Spirit of truth counsels me in how I can be most productive, constructive, loving, and loved every moment, of every day, on this earth, while simultaneously preparing me for an eternal life of spirit, with and in God (John 14:15-21, 16:12-15). Even though I sincerely seek to “let the innocent go“, and the guilty to repent, I am counselled that I will be “largely ignored, poorly recorded, mainly unheard” as was my Brother before me was and is today.

    Thank you so very much for your sincerity of love!

  • YellowBird

    oh, i have to say your assessment of the Resistance is far too simplistic… its a global socio-political movement far broader than any one Party or belief system… it encompasses people of many political stripes, Anarchists, Left, Centrists, Liberals, even some Conservatives, and those of no party at all… all races, genders, religions, nationalities, and citizens of countries around the world… unified in sharing the one common bond of resisting fascism and extremism and corrupt oligarchist authoritarianism and the suppression of ordinary people everywhere…
    its not something started by any political party, no more than the Civil Rights Movement in america or anywhere else, but rather as a spontaneous outcry against Injustice of all kinds, from an entire world of frustrated people screaming from the rooftops and into the wind. many voices have been there for decades… it is only that this catastrophic election somehow managed to provide laser focus…
    the voices of protest & awareness have swelled massively throughout 2017…
    and now it is another new year and whatever 2018 will bring, this Protest against Power is vast and real and cannot be easily killed. altho Power will certainly try.

  • YellowBird

    yep and Bernie won a lot of hearts here in the PacNW when he drove his humble VW around, all by himself with no chauffeurs, to one speaking engagement after another in no-charge public arenas and high school auditoreums…
    he won my heart personally when after 1-1/2 hours speaking for one engagement at a local public school, he put obvious exhaustion aside to come outside and do another 1-1/2 hours speaking in the frigid rain to 2000 mostly young people who’d waited just for a glimpse of their hero after having been unable to get into the overwhelmingly packed-out auditoreum.
    this beyond his decades of steadfast public service

  • My do my comments expressing a different viewpoint grieve you? it is not my intention to do that.

    As to the two in question – no one can be in agreement with them because they have no fixed views just
    reactionary comments that normally border on insanity.

  • YellowBird

    your rudeness and hostility toward The Other grieves me.
    you cannot see that you are yourself Other for those who disagree with your beliefs
    yet your voice would nevertheless be welcomed here and respectfully considered if it werent for your continual expressions of insults & intolerance toward all who will always be Other and therefore considered Lesser by you
    i am The Other you hate.
    and i am No One
    and i am completely fine with that.
    i will go on hoping that one day you might See with new eyes

  • Tina Alford

    Hillary didn’t have to belittle anyone to get her votes…she didn’t act like a bully…she had strategic plans that …when implemented…would have improved the common good…she spoke with dignity…and showed how a leader of the free world should act…She wouldn’t have the United States in a position of sword rattling with nuclear weapons against North Korea right now…say what you will about her…she conducted herself like a true leader…

  • Bones

    You left out Wall Street stooge…..(pocketed $22 million in talks to WS)

    And she lost…..She didn’t know the concerns of the people.

    Clinton also voted for War with Iraq.

  • Tina Alford

    Thank you…you have put into words my feelings…

  • Tina Alford

    How much has trump profited throughout his lifetime of business deals and not paying simple laborers fair wages…lawsuits just to win because he can hold out due to the fact that he has more money and lawyers… bankruptcies… and that’s not counting how he is raping the country now with his business pursuits as president…
    Hillary won the popular vote…
    Gerrymandering put trump in office…
    and I didn’t call you a name…

  • raven nevermore

    I can agree with what you say. I would doubt that a horrible leader is at all cognizant of the idea of being used by God and especially when not used by God. Thanks anyway.

  • Bones

    The leaders of Iran claim to be used by god.

    It does seem to be an authoritarian trait.

    Pop quiz: who said this….

    “We don’t ask the Almighty, ‘Lord, make us free!” We want to be active, to work, to work together, so that when the hour comes that we appear before the Lord we can say to him: ‘Lord, you see that we have changed.’ The German people is no longer a people of dishonor and shame, of self-destructiveness and cowardice. No, Lord, the German people is once more strong in spirit, strong in determination, strong in the willingness to bear every sacrifice. Lord, now bless our battle and our freedom, and therefore our German people and fatherland.”

  • Bones

    That’s why they hate people like Desmond Tutu.

  • So be it…

  • Because Ben now exhibits the hallmark of the Left: Anger. Find a “cause” get righteously angry and then blame some group or other entity, even this country, and rail against it. Gather others to your cause du jour and demonstrate, rally, encourage others and inflame the passions of your group until the cause is addressed. But does this make a person of the Left happy? No! They just go to “cause 2.” In the process the various religious groups always coopt Jesus. Now on this site Jesus is the Leader of the Left not the Son of God who died for our sins.

    Many here ask what Jesus would say about this “cause” or that “cause if He were on the earth today. Here is one possibility found in Matthew 7:

    1 Judge not, that ye be not judged.
    5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.
    21 Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you workers of lawlessness.’…

  • Yes we do. Just this morning it was reported that Fox News hold 8 of the top 10 most watched programs with Hannity averaging 3.6 million viewers per night. The Left can’t even understand that there are more conservatives than liberals in this country.

  • Obscurely

    A better word than tribalism is IDOLATRY.

  • Obscurely

    Great post, but I think a better word than the garden-variety hypocrisy we all indulge at times is IDOLATRY — Christians who put party or tribe (whether on the Left or the Right) over God and their faith are simply worshiping false idols. Thank God there’s a significant minority of both evangelicals and Republicans who are appalled at the ‘devil’s bargain’ some Christian on the Right are making with morally execrable demagogues . For example here’s a column by prominent evangelical Republican Peter Wehner titled, “Why I Can No Longer Call Myself an Evangelical Republican” …

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/09/opinion/sunday/wehner-evangelical-republicans.html

  • Bones

    Trump’s a moron..
    Hilary was still a very bad candidate. Stop making excuses for her and do something about it or else you’ll have 8 years of Trump

  • Tim

    I know exactly what you mean, being originally from the PNW myself.

  • Questioning

    This viewer statistic has nothing whatsoever to do with “more conservatives than liberals” in this country. It simply means more conservatives are watching Fox News. Duh….. big surprise there. Come on Bob you are really straining here. It seems your facts are just as suspect as some Fox News facts.

  • If you read the comment carefully the two aren’t linked.
    Eva said at least we have conservative media in this country. My fact statement was in response to Eva’s observation.

    As to the latter, it is not in question, there are more conservatives than liberals in our country.

  • Bones

    Lol…Trump was elected on the anger of conservatives….angry at Muslims, angry at blacks, angry at Mexicans….angry at everything….

  • Bones

    Well it is because more people voted for Clinton than Trump…..

    Lol Fox News….

    The lying right wing mouth piece.

    Birmingham ‘totally Muslim city’: Steven Emerson Fox News ‘terrorism expert’ apologises

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6u1zxtbhyEg

    No wonder you watch it…….

  • Bones

    I doubt he loves “You shall not commit adultery”.

    Evangelicals ignore that though.

  • Matthew

    “Love can build a bridge” … sing it Wynnona!

    I wonder what would happen if Bones and Bob simply had lunch together ….

    :-)

  • Questioning

    Sure Bob, however you want to play it. It is worth noting that, until recently, the largest percentage of the population identified as moderate. The percentage of the population with the largest growth is liberal and has jumped from 14% to 25%, while the conservative percentage has shrunk, so it seems moderates are moving to that side in growing numbers. This is all from Gallup by the way. Even so, all that matters is; are people voting and how are they voting? Judging by the last 3 elections, in terms of sheer numbers, you are being outvoted. If the democrats had rolled out a halfway decent candidate, DJT would have been squashed. Even with a lousy candidate like Hillary Clinton, 3 million more Americans voted her way. Point is, the statistical number of liberals, conservatives, moderates is not a reliable indicator of how elections will go. I suspect by the time this next generation reaches retirement age, these percentages will be reversed or at least fairly equal. Neither you nor I will be around to see it, so don’t go covering yourself in ashes and tearing your clothes. And…. for what it is worth, you will be a much happier, less fearful, and calmer person if you just turn off Fox News. Like most news organizations, they exist to make money first, report news that is conducive to making money second, always report accurate and meaningful news somewhere much further below. If you cannot see that, take the blinders off.

  • “halfway decent candidate?” Hillary is God’s gift to the nation (or most of the nation).

    Here is a prediction: Fox news has been reporting on what is going to be The Biggest Political Scandal in our history and it snares the Obama’s administration, Obama’s Justice Dept. and the FBI. Over the next three months it will force the media to admit they have been wrong.

  • And that is good because…….??

  • “And…. for what it is worth, you will be a much happier, less fearful, and calmer person if you just turn off Fox News.”
    BINGO!!

  • Bones

    Bob probably wouldnt tip and would leave before his shout.

  • Matthew

    I was thinking maybe there would be a massive food fight :-).

  • Bones

    Is that why Bannon was being interviewed by the Feds?

    Seems your obsession with Obama and his birth certificate has progressed to other conspiracies.

    Has Clinton been arrested yet Bob, you nutter?

  • Questioning

    The Biggest Political Scandal in our history! My ass…You have really drunk the Kool-Aid haven’t you Bob? This is sad. The fact that Faux News is reporting it tells me all I need to know. This is typical; here’s a story, we will fill in the facts later, if any can be found. Their MO is to rile and frighten. Rile and frighten the base, which keeps them coming back for more anger and fear. You should let it go Bob. Life is short, be happy.

  • Famous last words. The information is already out there – you just haven’t seen it but you will.

  • Bones

    Yeah….with Obama’s birth certificate, you nutter.

  • Bones

    Lol…..in other words it’s ok for conservatives to get angry over statues….and Mexicans….and blacks….and gays….. and transgendered people….and they voted for an irrational narcissist because he fed their anger.

    Those are important things to get angry about.

    I mean many Aussies are angry that a cop shot an Aussie dead who asked for police support in the US…..and she wasn’t even black.

    We got the point that you hated liberals a llloooonnnnggg time ago.

    it’s bizarre that you think that’s some sort of a surprise.

  • Bones

    It actually says a lot that Catholics are more angry about blacks, gays and transgendered people than they are about their church’s treatment of paedophile victims ….but we’ll sweep that under the rug.

    Says a lot about them actually.

  • Questioning

    Ok… just for a moment, let’s pretend it’s all true. In that highly unlikely event, I am still not sure why you even care. After all, your president is a failed business man, multiple times, his bankruptcies causing untold damage to the people working for him. By his own hand, like a bird, he daily tweets evidence of his own dimwitted, thin skinned, spiteful narcissism. He spouts all kind of ignorant, rascist vitriol, then tries to deny ever saying it. By his own words, he is a sexual predator. In short he is an unqualified moron, a disgrace to this country, and since we seem to be trafficking in things that “might” be news, one who probably colluded with the Russians, knowingly or unknowingly, to sway an election. At least in one of these “news” cases, there is an actual investigation being conducted. Sorry Bob, but this is pathetic and a total waste of my time. Be happy in your cloud cuckoo land.

  • There will be plenty of time for you to lament your ill chosen words. But I realize patience is not one of your virtues.

  • Tick – Tock: The scandal is starting to unfold…

  • Questioning

    ooooooh… somebody better tell Elvis and Tupac. :>)

  • Bones
  • Ulf Turkewitsch

    When you look at the history of the early church you see that there were times of severe persecution and times of relative toleration and support for it, the church . During the persecution the church actually grew. This is counter intuitive but, hey, that is how God works. During times of acceptance of the church the church became lazy, fat and lost its power to attract people. One of those times was during the reign of emporer Constantine. After that whenever the church joined itself to power, ie, political objectives or kings and emporers then it became virtually useless. It also became corrupt. Is this what is happening today in the American evangelical churches?

  • Definitely. The definition of insanity is to repeat the same actions over and over again, expecting a different result. This is basically what the church has done for 1700 years. They commingled church and state under Constantine expecting to create the Kingdom of God by force, with little success. They are still trying to do it.

  • Tom Wisdom

    I too grew up in fundamentalism, but now as I reflect on my five decade long theological study, I must say that fundamentalism by and large does not have values that parallel those of Jesus. At the core of their beliefs is the notion of violence. They support it by their continual support of the NRA and it’s agenda. They support it by elevating military service and killing the “enemy” to a level of holiness. They support it by preaching that Jesus will return to commit mass genocide on the human race by destroying them at Armageddon. They support it by not acknowledging the incongruity between Jesus and the 1000 times in the Hebrew bible where it is mentioned that God slaughters humans, including women and children as well or that God brings horrific (and I mean absolutely horrific) suffering on his/her supposed beloved people for their failures. They permit this because they choose to accept an inerrant bible which dictates that they endorse God as a psychopathic murderer and exclude the one who taught us in his living and dying and unparalleled appeal to the poor and marginalized, “blessed are the peacemakers, for they are the children of God.”

  • Tick -Tock, Tick-Tock, KABOOM BABY!

  • Questioning

    What? You mean The Biggest Political Scandal in our history just broke and you are the only one that knows about it? Seriously Bob, this stuff is not even interesting, unless of course one happens to be a birther like you and Tweetler.

  • Birther? No. Tweetler? not sure what that is.
    The FISA court abuse by the FBI and Justice Department and Obama administration is the Biggest Political Scandal in our history and we are just getting started with today’s report. KABOOM BABY!

  • Questioning

    Um… Sorry Bob but no, not even close. Keep trying though.

  • The Mouse Avenger

    Amen to all of that! :-)

  • The Mouse Avenger

    Well, it was admittedly decades overdue…but Pope Francis is actually hosting a special conference with other Catholic leaders to discuss combating & ending the pedophile priest problem. :-)

  • The Mouse Avenger

    I agree with you about Hillary. :-) But on everything else…no.

  • Obscurely

    I give myself thumbs UP toooo!!!

  • Obscurely

    It’s their annual kabuki theatre of the ABSURD ;)

  • It is coming out like molasses but it is even bigger than we thought.

  • Bones

    Our archbishop in South Australia was tried and convicted of supporting paedophile priests.

    Pope Francis refused to sack him.

  • Bones

    Your hypocrisy – yes it is.

  • Ulf Turkewitsch

    Amen brother!!!!!!

  • Edward Mooney Jr.

    We understand each other. Thank you for writing this. If we wish to teach morality, we must live morality, not just using words, and not stand with what is immoral just because it is expedient.