Trump’s Dehumanizing Language Is An Assault Against Our Christian Foundation

Trump’s Dehumanizing Language Is An Assault Against Our Christian Foundation May 17, 2018

 

Christians can be found of all political and theological colors, but regardless of where one lands on the trajectory of Christianity, there’s one thing we should all be able to easily agree on:

Donald Trump’s most recent dehumanizing language is actually an assault against the Christian foundation.

While shocking or offensive language from Trump is no surprise, I would urge Christians of all shapes and sizes to not downplay or dismiss the seriousness of his most recent words. When recently speaking of America’s immigration policies at a cabinet meeting, Trump referred to deported immigrants, saying:

“These aren’t people, they’re animals.”

Calling people “animals” might not sound like the most offensive or outrageous thing he’s ever said, but for the Christian– whether you are conservative or liberal– Trump’s comments are an attack upon the very foundation that nearly all other Christian theology, belief, and ethics are built upon. Yes, Christianity is like a river that splinters off in different directions, but before those disagreements there is by and large a mutual starting point.

Regardless of how one interprets the book of Genesis, the Christian foundation ultimately begins with the belief that human beings were created in the image and likeness of God. Or more specifically, all Christian faith and practice ultimately stems from the belief that each human being has intrinsic, unsurpassable worth to God. Whether spoken or unspoken, this is the core foundation that all other beliefs and theology flow from, whether you’re a conservative Christian, liberal, or somewhere inbetween.

Why has God attempted to make himself known? Because human beings are God’s image bearers and have intrinsic, unsurpassable worth.

Why did Jesus put on flesh and dwell among us? Why was he willing to die (however one might explain the atonement)? Because human beings are God’s image bearers and have intrinsic, unsurpassable worth.

Why does God command us to love one another, and even say that it’s impossible to love God but also hate another person?

Why do evangelical Christians engage in world missions, progressive Christians preach inclusion, and everything else in between?

Because we both actually believe that as image bearers of God, we all have intrinsic and unsurpassable worth.

I don’t care how liberal or how conservative a particular theology may be, [with the exception of Calvinism] the vast majority of Christian faith and practice is deeply rooted in the foundational belief that we are each image bearers of the living God, and that we each have divine value that cannot be stripped away.

And this is why when Donald Trump speaks of immigrants and says they’re “not even people, they’re animals” it is an assault to our core foundation: referring to a human being as an “animal” (unless you’re doing it in bed) strips them of their divine value. More damagingly, it sends the anti-Christian message that there are some people who do not have unsurpassable worth and the God-given worth that we have.

If that belief were to actually take root in the hearts of others? Well, I can imagine you just might find that belief give birth to all kinds of anti-Christ behaviors.

In fact, nearly every act of evil in history first begins with attacking this foundation. Once we begin to see others as less than image bearers who have unsurpassable worth to God, and once we begin to label them as somehow being less than as fully human or as valued as we are, we then pave a road that will lead us to do the unthinkable– often without any remorse for it.

Why were we able to commit genocide against the Native Americans? Well, it first started with labeling them as “savages.”

Why was it so easy for our ancestors to buy and sell human beings? Well, they literally declared them to be less than fully human– that certainly makes it much easier on the conscience.

Whether it’s American slavery, or Hitler’s gas chambers, the most anti-Christ actions in history all began at the same root:

Attacking the foundational truth that each human being is an image bearer of the living God and thus has intrinsic and unsurpassable worth– just as our “Christian” president did when he called God’s image bearers “animals.”

And that’s precisely why Donald Trump’s most recent dehumanizing language is not only an assault against the Christian foundation, and something to be denounced by conservatives and liberals alike, but is a dangerous first step down a road that leads to the greatest evils the world has ever known.

For those who claim to follow Jesus, we have no choice but to resist.


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. 

Be sure to check out his new blog, right here, and follow on Facebook:

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  • The Mouse Avenger

    Well-put, well-written, & well-thought-out in every single way. :-) I have no other words to say, alas!

  • LadyWoman

    Surely someone is going to tell you, “He was just talking about gang members”. It’s the “just” that starts us down the path of more wide-spread dehumanization. If we don’t fight to at least think of everyone as human and valuable just for that, then it’s easy to think this person is less than because and that person is less than because and here’s a guy who’s less than because…we can ALWAYS find ways to dehumanize people. We sure as hell don’t need our President priming the pump by calling ANYONE animals. Deal with crime, yes, but deal with HUMANS, PEOPLE, committing crimes.

  • gloriamarie

    If one claims to be a Christian, one will know that no Christian can ever think to call another human being an “animal.” It is inconsistent with loving one’s neighbor as one’s self as God first loves us. There are no two ways to look at it. A Christian knows God loves all people.

    The only people who would call another person an “animal” is someone who speaks from a place of privilege, usually although not always, white privilege. The only people who would call another person an “animal” are people who think they are better than another. And God tells us no one is better than another. We are all sinners.

    This administration is filled with people of privilege who think they are better than anyone else in the country and possibly the world. This administration passes laws that help people like them and only like them: rich, straight, and white. This administration, I am convinced, would consider the average John Pavlovitz’ follower an “animal” because we are not rich, not all of us are straight, not all of us are white. They are endorsing self-professed neo-Nazis to run for political office, unopposed.

    The values of the current administration have nothing in common with Jesus’ values as taught in the Sermons on the Mount/Plain and in Matthew 25. This administration and those who support it have turned their backs on Jesus and His teachings.

    Every day I work hard to incorporate Jesus’s values to resist this administration and the evils they perpetuate. I strive to bring to attention actions, articles, well-documented news backed up by citations, references, and sources. The kingdom of heaven is “at hand,” meaning we can reach out and touch it and make it a reality. We can do this for the whole world. If you like, you can join my Facebook group, Gloriamarie’s Progressive Stuff.

  • Matthew

    What has happened to America?

  • I did not have to read very far to see you are quoting out of context and being as bad as the Fake News media.
    MS-13 is the gang our President was referring to and they are animals and need to be locked up for life. Fortunately for most of your readers this is all over the news and some are reporting on it correctly not trying to pander.

  • “President Donald Trump referred to some people deported from the United States as “animals” during a roundtable discussion about California’s “sanctuary” law on Wednesday. After a California sheriff commented that her county is unable to notify ICE when an MS-13 gang member is in jail for a minor crime, Trump launched into a riff about “people trying to come in” and being deported who are “not people. They’re animals.” It’s the latest in a series of statements stretching over Trump’s entire national political career that carelessly conflate immigration, criminality, and violence.”

    “THE PRESIDENT: We have people coming into the country, or trying to come in — and we’re stopping a lot of them — but we’re taking people out of the country. You wouldn’t believe how bad these people are. These aren’t people. These are animals. And we’re taking them out of the country at a level and at a rate that’s never happened before. And because of the weak laws, they come in fast, we get them, we release them, we get them again, we bring them out. It’s crazy.
    It’s not clear whom the president was referring to — whether he was simply picking up on Sheriff Mims’s reference to MS-13 gang members or referring to deportees more broadly. But he didn’t exactly bend over backward to specify that not all immigrants deported by this administration are “animals.”

    https://www.vox.com/2018/5/16/17362870/trump-immigrants-animals-ms-13-illegal

    Trump makes no effort to be precise because it would not pander to his base of White Nationalists if he appeared soft on immigration.

  • I heard the speech as it was given. It was perfectly clear who the President was referring to. You sir are a liar!

  • Sticks and stones!

  • Bob Shiloh is what has happened to America! Fox News Christianity. MAGA Christianity! The trolls on the Right have been emboldened by the crassness of his Orangeness. Their pandering to bigotry is beginning to pay off for them.

  • otrotierra

    Thank you Dr. Corey for affirming Jesus and The Greatest Commandment, no matter how politically offensive it is to U.S. white evangelicals still following Trump’s rage-filled, xenophobic gospel. White evangelicals will not be raptured, but will spend the remainder of their days attempting to justify their unjustifiable support for bigotry, racism, sexism, homophobia, fear-mongering, hatred, lies, deception, corruption, and their denial and obfuscation of the truth.

  • Artistree

    That’s the Jewish Mosaic code Nick. Look to Jesus, not Moses.

  • Artistree

    Whether its the left wing of the Beast, or the right wing of the Beast, its still the Beast. Republicans and Democrats are senseless to the Wisdom of God in Jesus.

  • richard

    well, at least Trump didn’t call them a bunch of snakes and a brood of vipers, huh ?
    And yet that’s what Jesus called a group of people.
    Think about that.

  • Seems that this has been debunked. I’m totally against the rhetoric of this man, but in this instance, we’ve got it wrong. Only right to retract. I’m removing my share of this from my page.

    https://www.dailywire.com/news/30748/animals-heres-how-unethical-mainstream-media-joseph-curl

  • “Calling people “animals” might not sound like the most offensive or outrageous thing he’s ever said, but for the Christian– whether you are conservative or liberal– Trump’s comments are an attack upon the very foundation that nearly all other Christian theology, belief, and ethics are built upon.”

    Let’s ignore for a bit the implications to Trump and just address the underlying claim about Christians and the foundation of Christian theology. It’s difficult to conclude that either knowledge of scripture is surely lacking or this is just good old-fashioned partisan politics intruding into theology.

    John the Baptist called people vipers (Matthew 3:7). Jesus called people dogs and pigs (Matthew 7:6) and vipers and snakes (Matthew 12:34; 23:33). Peter called people animals (2 Peter 2:12). Balaam, a human, was rebuked by a donkey. God debased Nebuchadnezzar into living as a beast, like an ox, eagle, and bird. Jesus was placed in a manger, the eating trough for animals. There is nothing inherently wrong with calling someone an animal and Christians should not feel ashamed for doing so whenever it is appropriate. Context is everything.

    What gets worse is that the context of the statement was left out, as pointed out by other comments. Unlike calling someone an animal, deceiving is a unambiguous sin. This article should be retracted, as it is falsely distorts Christian theology.

  • otrotierra

    You mean when Jesus spoke to his primary adversary, religious elites who were cooperating with a corrupt colonial government?

    Thank you for pointing out that Trump and Jesus are polar opposites.

  • Jim Larkin

    False teachers, like those who deny God, those who are full of greed, those who are sexually depraved, are referred to in the Bible (2 Peter 2) as(or like) “unreasoning animals” “creatures of instinct to be captured and killed” “stains and blemishes” “a dog” “a sow” (a swine, hog or a boar).

  • otrotierra

    And yet Jesus—the dark-complected Middle Eastern refugee crossing borders with no English, no citizenship, and no birth certificate—is more interesting than your sad attempt at obfuscation, moral relativism, and defense of the indefensible.

  • otrotierra

    Thank you for confirming that Jesus and Trump are nothing alike.

  • Artistree

    In the humility of God, He “stoops down”, unites Himself to humanity as a Father and Brother, and Spirit of Love, and shapes and molds the human animal, working with the free will of stubborn children through the gradual process of evolutionary Wisdom, so they can eventually enter the divine Love of the Holy Trinity.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EOBRpdF2Wrs

  • splitrock

    As usual, Otrotierra has no idea what is being discussed. Derek points out that John the Baptist and Jesus referred to people as animals, but Otrotierra wanders off into some other universe with irrelevant comments. Sad. In fact, Trump was responding to a question about The MS-13 gang and they are worst than animals. Both Patheos and the MSM, blinded by their Trump-hatred, can’t get anything right about Trump. In Mexicolast year MS-13 members threw severed heads into a restaurant. Maybe they are the sort of animals St. John and Jesus were referring to.

  • Artistree

    Hitler and other killers refused the light of grace offered to all. We must choose to co-operate with the Divine Light. Hitler rejected Truth and embraced the lie of the age by his own free will. God doesn’t force us to love.

    http://alphahistory.com/nazigermany/nazi-eugenics/

    Secular Fundamentalists are as bad as Religious Fundamentalists.

  • Elizabeth Niederer

    And this describes undocumented persons within the borders of the USA how, precisely?

  • Elizabeth Niederer

    Oops, this is in response to Mr. Larkin.

  • Matthew

    I would like to see some comments about how to understand the verses that you quote in their proper context. Should they be understood metaphorically? I really don´t know.

    Believers in a God of absolute love, revealed in the person and work of Jesus, and who have problems with violence in the Old Testament, need to explain how sometimes even in the New Testament verses come up that paint a different picture of the God they describe. Some of the Psalms would also be a case in point.

    [Edited]

  • Cynthia

    Certainly agree at how unacceptable his language and policies are, but I’m not really sure about calling it an attack on our Christian foundation.

    An attack on American foundation? That would make sense to say, since he is the American president and has the power to affect the country. Against fundamental Christian values? That would also make sense. Attack on vulnerable immigrants? Surely. But how is someone who isn’t a Christian leader capable of assaulting the foundation of Christianity? Surely Christianity exists independent of the US President and the US is not a theocracy.

  • Iain Lovejoy

    It is completely unclear who Trump is referring to; I doubt even he knows. It is just about possible to construe him as talking specifically about M-13 gang members if you really try, and, to be fair, he isn’t necessarily saying all immigrants are “animals”, but the lack of clarity is the whole point of the speech: it allows him to refer to immigrants as “animals” and whip up hatred against them while also allowing the “I didn’t mean those immigrants” when the inevitable blowback occurs. Whatever the question was referring to, his answer is plainly not just talking about deporting M-13 or gang members but immigrants generally, and his actual policies have nothing to do with identifying and deporting gang members specifically, and lump all immigrants together as the same.

  • Iain Lovejoy

    Trump is hailed as leader by a huge (and very influential) chunk of American “Christians”, who are interested in embedding their version of Christianity into the American state. That is why Trump is an assault on the foundations of Christianity, especially in the US, but also, because of the US’s global influence, the rest of the world.

  • Ivan T. Errible

    “Doctor”? He can prescribe medicine?
    Wow-I thought he just learned some languages and pretends hear voices.

  • Ivan T. Errible

    But that doesn’t answer the main question: why couldn’t he get it right the first time?
    And why wait so long to “incarnate”?

  • Cynthia

    So maybe those who would ascribe that position to him are assaulting the foundations?

  • Ivan T. Errible

    Except that secularists don’t get tax breaks or housing allowances. And nobody secularist claims titles and weird clothes, either.

  • Ivan T. Errible

    Church is boring.

  • Artistree

    God choose to work with humans and nature in a co-operative way. God is not a spiritual rapist like the Calvinists think. There are lots of mysteries, just enjoy the Beauty of it all.

  • Artistree

    We get our “titles” and “weird” clothes ( symbols such as military personal and officers, doctors and nurses) because of our continuity with the Jews of the Old Covenant.

    Symbols are important in society, like a woman wears a fancy ring on a certain finger. I wear a Franciscan habit during certain religious gatherings to mark certain events and wear my tau cross daily to mark my person. People identify me in this way and know I am available to help them with needs, both spiritual and material.

  • $144948586
  • $144948586

    You know what’s dehumanizing? Taking people out of context. The “animals” comment was specifically in reference to a question about MS-13.
    https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2018/05/17/ms-13-donald-trump-gang-violence-animals-immigrants-media-column/621537002/

    That being said, regardless of speech I think it’s dehumanizing to put one’s will over another, even if it’s the collective will.
    I’m also much less concerned about the dehumanizing aspect of speech as I am the inhumane view toward murder our presidents have had, including abolishing due process.
    https://www.aclu.org/blog/national-security/targeted-killing-death-without-due-process

  • $144948586

    Fascist rulers and a lying media, hence why these two things are becoming so unraveled having you believe that Hamas is actually the victim.

  • Matthew

    I don´t believe Hamas is the victim …

  • $144948586

    Apologies, “you” was meant to be a pronoun for “the populace” which generally is told by folks at CNN and their ilk that the deaths of women and children at “peaceful protests” are Israel’s and the U.S.’s fault.

  • otrotierra

    Just FYI to Dr. Corey and the comment section moderator: harassment continues at the Sojourners comment section, as a user has yet again opened a fraudulent Disqus account to impersonate me. Their account is marked as private in the hopes of masking their deception.

  • Matthew

    Thanks for the clarification Josh.

    I´m wondering if the Israeli´s, who always stress their military is for defense, could have defended the Gaza border more responsibly?
    I´m not naive to think that every Palestinian protesting on the border was peaceful, but I´m also not so naive to think the Israeli´s are totally innocent either.

    It´s a very complex situation Josh, especially when (like me) one tries to really listen to and hear the voices of both groups of people living in the land.

    [Edited]

  • $144948586

    “I´m wondering if the Israeli´s, who always stress their military is for defense, could have defended the Gaza border more responsibly?”
    You mean in that 80% of those that were killed were actually Hamas?
    https://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/50-Hamas-members-reportedly-killed-during-Mondays-Gaza-protests-556627

    As for defending more responsibly, I doubt so. After all, the only one’s really getting shot are those sending kids to burn tires as a smoke screen and then trying to cut the border wire…of which, Hamas is clear that they want to murder Israelis in Nazi fashion.

  • Al Cruise

    This all stems from this fact and it’s scaring the living hell out of white evangelicals. https://www.brookings.edu/blog/the-avenue/2018/03/14/the-us-will-become-minority-white-in-2045-census-projects/

  • the only one’s really getting shot are those sending kids to burn tires

    Pretty sure the kids get shot much more than the people who send them, since they are the ones, you know, running in front of the soldiers with the itchy trigger fingers.

    of which, Hamas is clear that they want to murder Israelis in Nazi fashion.

    Of course, Israel has made it clear that they will actually murder Palestinians “in American fashion”, complete with enthusiastic victim-blaming by people like you. So I guess that’s alright, then, yeah?

  • Matthew

    If Israel changed its policies toward the Palestinians, and if many U.S. lawmakers dumped their support for dispensationalist theology which shapes their policy decisions, do you think Hamas would change its behavior and stance toward Israelis, or do you think Hamas is simply dedicated to an extremist ideology that would never really change?

  • $144948586

    “Pretty sure the kids get shot much more than the people who send them, since they are the ones, you know, running in front of the soldiers with the itchy trigger fingers.”
    80% were members of Hamas. Got any other statistics?

    “Of course, Israel has made it clear that they will actually murder Palestinians “in American fashion”, complete with enthusiastic victim-blaming by people like you. So I guess that’s alright, then, yeah?”
    You mean shooting members of a gang whose explicit purpose is to rip out spines and gas them like Hitler? Sure, I could shoot those kinds of people.

    This is Jew-hatred you’re spewing.

  • $144948586

    “If Israel changed its policies toward the Palestinians, and if many U.S. lawmakers dumped their support for dispensationalist theology which shapes their policy decisions, do you think Hamas would change its behavior and stance toward Israelis, or do you think Hamas is simply dedicated to an extremist ideology that would never really change?”

    They are dedicated, Matthew. Israel has offered peace AND land many times and it has always been rejected by Palestinian leaders.
    https://www.quora.com/How-often-have-the-Palestinians-been-offered-their-own-state

  • “Should they be understood metaphorically?”

    They must be. Jesus didn’t think the Pharisees resembled snakes or were hatched from snake eggs. He was describing actions.

    We use metaphorical language all the time to describe behavior, in both positive and negative ways. It is called zoomorphism. Sports teams and players are described as animals. Personal relationships are described in animal terms (dog, tiger, cougar, fox). Comic book characters. Criminals. Friends and enemies. God himself (Psalm 63:7). That the Bible uses zoomorphism is completely unsurprising.

    Calling out someone’s animal-like behavior implicitly acknowledges that they are (or should be) better than animals, that they are created in the image of God. That’s why it’s upsetting to be called an animal. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t accurate. For example: “The media and blogger wolves circled, looking for any opportunity to viciously attack, even if it was based on lies and deception.”

    (As an aside, a number of media outlets, including the AP, retracted their misleading statements. Many have not.)

  • Scott

    Motto of MS-13: Rape, control, kill. Calling them animals is an insult to animals.

  • Artistree

    So you would prefer to worship a god who forces “good behavior” ? and forces behavior that instantly produces good will; you prefer a slave owner who forces His will upon his subject.
    Sorry, I prefer to worship a God who is a loving Father who invites my Thanksgiving for the gift of the Beauty of Life, for those who have the eyes to see.
    The Divine love story is not true love if there is no choice to love or not.

  • otrotierra

    A friend, catlady, just reminded me of another important distinction: I currently have 4,497 comments with 13,272 upvotes. The fraudulent abuser thus far has 1 comment alone.

  • Iain Lovejoy

    Yes. Maybe that would be more accurate.

  • Realist1234

    Sometimes animals treat each other better than some humans. I dont see animals beheading or burning alive their fellow beings.

  • Matthew

    Thanks. Do you think these metaphors show God to be less than absolute love?

  • And with the cheap and easy accusation of antisemitism, we are done. You, sir, are despicable.

  • $144948586

    Except that I let facts refute your incredulous claims.

    What matters, however, is your motivation for just assuming what you say is true and, worse, wouldn’t be challenged. My thoughts: because you find it easier to blame Jewish Israel than to admit that the American leftist-supported Hamas actually want to murder Jews and actually praise Hitler.

    This must only be the case because you hate Jews, as the information is freely available if you turn off CNN or the New York Times (who, btw, supported a young, charismatic Hitler).
    https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/1922-new-york-times-hitler/

  • Maybe if Israel weren’t a self-consciously and, lately, proudly apartheid state, I would care more.

    Jews are a group in the world, like any other, idiosyncratic as any other but otherwise unremarkable compared to any other. Israel, on the other hand, is a nation-state, which acts, and those acts can be judged. And apartheid isn’t excused, nor violence validated, by self-serving claims of necessity.

    And your continuing insistence to label any critic of Israel’s actions an antisemite reveals your character as utter garbage, and so I have no desire to continue talking with such a person. Good day. Feel free to continue libeling me with the final word if you need to in order to further pleasure yourself with righteous.

  • $144948586

    “Jews are a group in the world, like any other, idiosyncratic as any other but otherwise unremarkable compared to any other.”
    Fascist Europe thought much differently as do many a liberation theology and about a billion peoples of other faith.

    “Maybe if Israel weren’t a self-consciously and, lately, proudly apartheid state, I would care more.”
    If you truly cared about “apartheid” in Israel, you’d be much more incensed at the ubiquitous apartheid of every other Muslim-governed nation in the Middle East AND PARTICULARLY that of Gaza in the present discussion.
    That being said, yes, Israel is the only democracy in the region and representative at that:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Arab_members_of_the_Knesset

    As for Apartheid, I’m certain you mean in Gaza and the West Bank which we’re regions OFFERED FOR PEACE in which in one Israel would relinquish 100% and in the other Israel would relinquish 97%–both of which were rejected by Palestinians…and, of course, we see a constant barrage of rocket attacks in to Israel.

    “And your continuing insistence to label any critic of Israel’s actions an antisemite reveals your character as utter garbage”
    Nonsense; I label the critic that is yourself as your criticism is clearly one-sided.

    Give me a break, if you cared half as much about the stuff your blaming Israel for, they be at the bottom of your list of countries to worry about.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dpDqZujEFAk

  • Ivan T. Errible

    You can’t just hang out a shingle?
    And why anyone would consider the clergy “help” after hundreds of incidents of abuse is stunning.

  • Just Me

    You, like the rest of the media, took this out of context. He was speaking specifically about the MS13 gang members and yes calling them animals is factually correct.

  • Francis J Farrell

    READ THE TRANSCRIPT! SHAME FOR YOU PARROTTING THE LEFTIST “FAKE NEWS” LINE!

  • BJ Oropeza

    Could you please check your facts? This was said about the gang MS-13, which means that you quoted Trump out of context. A good discipline I’ve learned to do now (due to so much bias in news media coverage of anything that goes on politically or in the White House), is to switch between two media sources, one on the right and one of the left, such as CNN and Fox news, or NYTimes and Drudge report. This way, at least you could hear both sides of an issue, and detect when news is taking things out of context.

  • Fartrell Cluggins

    Agreed, his speech and pretty much everything about him is opposite of what Christians stand for, but what is worse and needs to happen is for true Christians to stand up to all the false “christians” still supporting him just because he has an (R) next to his name. Hypocrisy all the way.

    Until the true Christians stand up and call out each and every “christian” friend and family member for supporting him and the Republicans, reminding them of their values in Christ, we’ll only slide further down this slope to a Banana Republic and false theocracy.

  • Just Me

    Sorry to inform you but we’re not living in a theocracy.

  • Marshall

    John Bunyan also took liberty to describe humans by means of zoology.
    Politics can be no ally of faith.

  • C_Alan_Nault

    “Regardless of how one interprets the book of Genesis, the Christian foundation ultimately begins with the belief that human beings were created in the image and likeness of God. Or more specifically, all Christian faith and practice ultimately stems from the belief that each human being has intrinsic, unsurpassable worth to God. ”

    And that women are not worth as much as men and must be subordinate to men.

    1 Corinthians 14:34 Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law.
    35 And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.

    1 Timothy 2:11 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.
    12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.

    Also, shun non-Christians.

    2 John 9 Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.
    10 If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed

    Also, your slaves should fear and respect you.

    Ephesians 6:5 Slaves, obey your earthly masters with deep respect and fear. Serve them sincerely as you would serve Christ.

    And if your slave is also Christian, your slave should work even harder for you because he/she will be helping a fellow Christian.

    1 Timothy 6:1-2 Christians who are slaves should give their masters full respect so that the name of God and his teaching will not be shamed. If your master is a Christian, that is no excuse for being disrespectful. You should work all the harder because you are helping another believer by your efforts. Teach these truths, Timothy, and encourage everyone to obey them.

  • C_Alan_Nault

    “Until the true Christians stand up”

    Let me guess: you are defining a “true” Christian as a Christian that believes exactly as you believe.

  • Artistree

    What is your moral basis for a “responsibility for our continued existence” ? Why, what’s the point, says who ? Why not just end it all ? If goodness and morality, Truth and Beauty, are merely illusions and have no real meaning, what is the value of continuing our existence ? Just because you want to live another day ??, who gives you that right if there is no benevolent Father of this household we call Earth ?

    Odd, the Apostles who claimed to be eye witness’ of Jesus’ supernatural acts and His death and resurrection to New Life, were all willing to suffer torture and death for claiming something was true, yet they knew in their hearts was not true, and they were really willing to die for a lie.

  • Artistree

    The clergy help millions, even billions. If they did not, they would no longer exist. My priest helps me, and I have never experienced abuse. True, there is a percentage of bad clergy who do evil, just as there are evil psychologists and secular therapists who do tons of damage.
    There is a Church and pastor next door to my house. I do not attend his Church but I am a good friend of his. I see people flock to him for help, and he gives it. He is a tree of good fruit and for you to attack people like him and millions of others like him is sad.

  • Laurence Charles Ringo

    A “True Christian ” is one who obeys The Savior and adheres to the Scriptures as they’re discerned in their proper cultural context. When one is guided by the principle embodied in Proverbs 3:5-6, you will be amazed at how easy that will become. PEACE IN CHRIST TO YOU.

  • $144948586

    “It is completely unclear who Trump is referring to; I doubt even he knows.”
    “but the lack of clarity”
    Lol, right after she says they could be MS-13 members.

    http://www.reactiongifs.com/r/cwclp.gif
    Here’s a golf clap for managing to keep your bigoted blinders on; how loving.

  • Trump is a master politician. He’s a genius panderer, just like Barack Obama and Bill Clinton. Although his language may seem off-the-cuff, I suspect it’s more thought out with intention to stir support from his base. Bottom line is, we have a serious education problem in this country and until we fill the country with smart voters, we’re going to continue to get divisive politicians who use polarizing language to rouse their base. This is not a Republican or Democrat issue. This is an American citizen issue. Most people in this country lack the thinking skills to process what ‘pandering’ is. And so it’s exploited.

  • C_Alan_Nault

    “A “True Christian ” is one who obeys The Savior and adheres to the Scriptures as they’re discerned in their proper cultural context. ”

    “adheres to the Scriptures as they’re discerned in their proper cultural context. “???

    What does that mean? Aren’t the scriptures supposed to be the word of god? Wouldn’t god’s words be correct for any and all cultural contexts?

    Or is the Bible supposed to be used like a menu, where someone can pick and choose which items they want?

  • John

    He was clearly talking about MS-13. You are disseminating fake news and you are a domestic terrorist.

  • Patricia Lindsay Douglass

    I appreciate your thoughtful comments. Trump has made many remarks about people that doesn’t lift them up as “image bearers”. This is one reason I could never support him.

  • otrotierra

    All the deception, hyperbole, and fear-mongering of a Trump Rally.

    Congratulations.

  • otrotierra

    Yep. And it is quite telling than Evangelicals rush to defend Trump’s anti-Christlike behavior, even right here in Dr. Corey’s comment section. Their digital footprint reveals all we need to know about their theology.

  • bill wald

    If evil people and good people are equally “image bearers” then it tells us more about God than about humans, After all, God told his prophet that the army invading Jerusalem was His servant.

  • Spreading the cover-up huh, there are ya, cowpunch…Trump’s original statement was when he was referring to immigrants in general and there was no “some” immigrants to it…that only came later under the damage control and using it for bait to hook asinine wearing blinders Trumpeteers…

    Trump’s original statement: We have people coming into the country, TRYING to come in, we’re stopping a lot of them. We’re taking people out of the country, you wouldn’t believe how bad these people are. These aren’t people. These are animals. And we’re taking them out of the country at a level and at a rate that’s never happened before, and because of the weak laws, they come in fast.

  • Kyle

    Yes and no. They were written to a specific time and culture, but also for us. Therefore to establish how to understand it and apply it today one needs to first understand what was being said to the original hearers and then one can begin understanding what it means and how it would apply to the contemporary situation. One also needs to ensure it actually fits within the context of the theology and meta narrative of Scripture. These are all guidelines that ensure you are applying the text accurately and not making up your own meaning. I hope that helps you, brother.

  • Artistree

    We have the same goal, mine being, loving God by showing love in “continuing improvement of the human species”, but we have different means and measures to accomplish this; mine being a sacramental view of all of life.
    Although your statement “(or deny them any human right) because of who they love”, might need qualification. What about priests, imams , or rabbis, ( or any man or woman) who “loves” young boys ? Would you defend Mohammed’s human right to “love” little girls ? I have a friend who has more than 30 kids and numerous wives; will you defend his human right to love many wives ? I argue with him on this, and I think his love is disordered, but it sounds like you might take his side.

  • gimpi1

    Um, ‘domestic terrorist?’ You’re calling for Cr. Corey to be arrested for disagreeing with Mr. Trump’s language? That’s over the top nuts.

    As to Mr. Trump’s comments, they’re open to debate (obviously.) However, even if he was referring only to a specific violent gang, you could make a case that dehumanizing any group strips them of their unique humanity and that act is against the teachings of Jesus. That’s what I took Dr. Corey’s point to be.

  • steve

    Trump is a white supremacist, and appeals to a right-wing base of supporters. He does not care about anyone outside of this group, in fact, he only cares about himself.

  • PedasiPaul

    Jesus on the cross didn’t dismiss the criminals being crucified alongside him as animals. Christ followers necessarily believe in redemption.

  • PedasiPaul

    There you go, trying to use facts to persuade, as if that will do any good in this age of The Donald.

  • PedasiPaul

    Having read the transcript, I did not see his specific reference to MS13 gang members. Were these words exclusively about gang members? “We have people coming into the country, trying to come in, we’re stopping a lot of them. We’re taking people out of the country…”

  • SamHamilton

    I am loath to sound like a defender of the President, but in this case I think he was talking about gang members. His language is often inexact and/or sloppy, and he should be more careful. His spokesperson clarified later that he was, indeed, referring to members of MS-13, who were the subject of the original question to which he was responding. However, I can understand how some people don’t give him the benefit of the doubt considering some of the things he’s said in the past.

    In our town, gang members from Central America slit a young man’s throat and left him under a slide on a playground near our home. “Animals” is too good an adjective for people who would do such a thing.

    That being said, this is an interesting thought experiment. Couldn’t Mr. Corey’s same points be made even about violent gang members? Aren’t they, too, human? Shouldn’t Christians react with just as much frustration to characterizing convicted murderers in dehumanizing terms? Should it matter whether the President was talking about any undocumented immigrant or just MS-13 members?

    Mr. Corey’s sentiment, though I think he misinterpret’s the President, is accurate. His comments are a good reminder about dehumanizing language or attempts to make people different than you into people who can be dismissed. Comments like “people who cling to their guns and religion” or using labels like “commie, hater, bigot, fascist, terrorist, socialist, fundamentalist, etc.” People use these terms less as true descriptors but more as slurs to imply “these people can be disregarded.” Politicians from across the political spectrum are very good at this. Christians should eschew this behavior.

    Addendum: Another example of dehumanizing language to further political goals is “it’s just a clump of cells,” “no different than getting your appendix out or sloughing skin cells.”

  • SamHamilton

    “domestic terrorist?” A terrorist is someone who commits violence in the name of a political cause.

  • My sincerest apologies here, PedasiPaul…it appears I made a grave mistake in sending my response to the wrong person…that being you. It was intended for John. I hope that in your heart ya could ever forgive me; in fact I vehemently agree with what ya stated…

  • Walt Harvey

    https://www.c-span.org/video/?c4729859/president-trumps-ms-13-animal-comment

    Well forget the transcript. Listen to the question he is asked. He is responding specifically to a reporter question about MS-13.

  • Walt Harvey

    Listen to the question he was asked!!!! There is no ambiguity if the answer goes with the question!

    https://www.c-span.org/video/?c4729859/president-trumps-ms-13-animal-comment

    If you divorce the answer from the question and then speculate about the man’s thoughts and intentions. Well, I think your intentions become a little more obvious.

  • Artistree

    So if adults have a sexual disorder, and they consent to “whatever”, more power to them,…. OK. In the Islamic and Arabic world, the young brides consent. Even Mohammed’s youngest wife ( 6 years old when he married her, and 9 when they “consummated the marriage”) consented on their special night. She loved her husband and grew to be his staunchest defender. In your evolutionary world where there is no ultimate Moral Governor who can tell you what is wise living and what is not, its the “survival of the fittest”, so it’s fair game to the strongest and fittest. Your opinion doesn’t matter in your godless universe….its dog eat dog, dog on dog.

  • Dean Daniels

    I wasn’t aware that Anabaptists or Progressive Christians were Full Preterists proposing Postmillennial theocracy. Historical accounts of the Anabaptists peg their eschatology as Premillennialist. But aside from that curiosity, do we see any such New Testament raging against emperors and governors? Paul engages murderous tyrants of Jerusalem, Rome and Asia and he does so with respect and grace and without fear and panic that “Christian foundations” are under siege and in danger of eroding under their reign. Additionally, there are no such attitudes or diatribes found in the Patristic writings. We cannot propose that God will judge Christians as to a vote in error in a democratic republic or blind support of a maniacal despot – so to judge them ourselves is clearly stepping out of the bounds of His mercy and Grace. I submit that the only “Christian foundation” under assault here is this particular construct of Theology which is lacking continuity in debate. Unless of course, this written ‘condemnation of other brethren’ truly is from the consensus of Full Preterist Postmillennialism – then it is just a heretical error; but even then I am not aware that heretical error in eschatological matters is worthy of condemnation.

  • David White

    I think most anit-Trump folks hear only what they want to hear in order to reinforce their preconceived conclusions. As in this case, when placed in context, Trump was talking about brutal inhumane gang members who act like “animals” not humans. In this context calling them “animals” is equivalent to saying that they are acting like animals.
    It would be very nice to hear from anti-Trumper’s when the President talks about the importance of loving one another, the uniqueness of America as an incredibly positive influence on the world. That is not to say that America is perfect, but no country on earth, in the context of history, has come to the aid of other in need like the USA. To talk about our goodness with pride while talking about our mistakes with regret inspires people to goodness. Let’s get some balance here eh?

  • David White

    You are so seriously full of labels and judgement that you are completely out of touch with reality. If you are hateful toward Trump, that’s all you will see and you will believe the misinformation to support you hate as justified. Time for a good look in the mirror and a reality check of who is being hateful now.

  • Kyllein MacKellerann “

    One needs to understand that Donald Trump has only one God, who happens to be named Donald Trump. Other diverse creeds may be tolerated, but at the end of the day, the POTUS will only worship at the altar of Donald J. Trump and his divine avatar, Mammon.

  • Ivan T. Errible

    So thousands of years ago there were people with weird costumes-so you need to dress up in weird costumes today?

  • Ivan T. Errible

    So in other words-you can’t answer.

  • kaydenpat

    Supposedly Trump’s remark was about MS-13 members. However, given Trump’s past comments which are racist, sexist, xenophobic, etc., he doesn’t deserve the benefit of the doubt. He’s a bigot and proudly so.

  • Al Cruise

    Absolutely . Trump is using a small group to demonize the entire group as a whole. That’s the real intention here. Point out a few bad apples in a way that the public will believe every apple is bad . It’s old school fear-mongering and something evangelicals are skilled at doing . What about white american males that go to South Asia for sex tourism , to have sex with minors , should all white american males be banned from traveling there because it should be assumed they all want to do that?

  • gimpi1

    Apparently there’s debate about that too. Many people here who consider themselves Christian are defending Mr. Trump’s remarks by saying he was referring to criminals when calling people his administration had deported “not human, animals.” So, some people who think they’re following Christ also think dehumanizing people based on their actions is just dandy . ..

    Now, I personally prefer your and Dr. Corey’s beliefs. There’s never a reason to dehumanize a human being. Someone’s actions may force us to restrict them, even remove them from society, for safety’s sake, but they still have the inherent dignity of humanity. I’m not hearing that in Mr. Trump’s statement or from his defenders. Defenders, am I hearing correctly?

    Just an aside, biologically speaking, humans are, in fact, animals. We’re not minerals, plants, fungi or viruses. I know that’s a technically, but it’s worth remembering, in my view.

  • Realist1234

    ‘but no country on earth, in the context of history, has come to the aid of other in need like the USA. ‘

    – that’s highly debatable. I would remind you that the US is the only country in the world to use nuclear weapons against civilians, twice. It also took a full 2 years before the US would aid its allies in World War II, and only then because it was directly attacked. It continues to be full of discrimination against non-white people, still allowing the likes of the KKK to continue in existence. I could go on.

  • Realist1234

    He has a PhD and is therefore titled ‘Dr’. Dont pretend you dont understand that.

  • Realist1234

    But surely youre missing the point of the article. Ben is saying that noone should ever describe other human beings as ‘animals’ because we are humans not animals, and such a comparison is to be viewed as highly offensive. Yet Jesus and his apostles sometimes compared some humans to animals, due to their behaviour.

    In this particular case, it seems Trump referred to these specific people as ‘animals’ because of their behaviour, not because they were immigrants. Apparently he specifically said they were ‘bad people’, implying bad behaviour.

  • Realist1234

    ‘You wouldn’t believe how bad these people are.’ I think its obvious he is not talking about immigrants in general, but people who have done very bad things. It therefore seems reasonable to conclude that Trump was referring to MS-13 gang members. Per wikipedia:

    ‘In an interview with Bill Ritter in late 2017, Nassau County, New York District Attorney Madeline Singas, referring to crimes committed by MS-13 gang members, stated: “The crimes that we’re talking about are brutal. Their weapon of choice is a machete. We end up seeing people with injuries that I’ve never seen before. You know, limbs hacked off. And that’s what the bodies look like that we’re recovering. So they’re brutal. ‘

    According to the same article:

    ‘On July 28, 2017, one day after 113 suspected MS-13 gang members were arrested by Salvadoran authorities,[32] President Donald Trump declared his goal of “eradicating” MS-13, calling them “animals” whose victims “die slowly because that way it’s more painful.”‘

    Assuming Ben is reporting what Trump said within the last few weeks, then this quote from nearly a year ago is strong evidence he was again specifically referring to MS-13 gang members.

    It is hard not to come to the conclusion that on this occasion, Trump is being falsely accused.

  • Realist1234

    ‘You wouldn’t believe how bad these people are.’ I think its obvious he is not talking about immigrants in general, but people who have done very bad things. It therefore seems reasonable to conclude that Trump was referring to MS-13 gang members. Per wikipedia:

    ‘In an interview with Bill Ritter in late 2017, Nassau County, New York District Attorney Madeline Singas, referring to crimes committed by MS-13 gang members, stated: “The crimes that we’re talking about are brutal. Their weapon of choice is a machete. We end up seeing people with injuries that I’ve never seen before. You know, limbs hacked off. And that’s what the bodies look like that we’re recovering. So they’re brutal. ‘

    According to the same article:

    ‘On July 28, 2017, one day after 113 suspected MS-13 gang members were arrested by Salvadoran authorities,[32] President Donald Trump declared his goal of “eradicating” MS-13, calling them “animals” whose victims “die slowly because that way it’s more painful.”‘

    Assuming Ben is reporting what Trump said within the last few weeks, then this quote from nearly a year ago is strong evidence he was again specifically referring to MS-13 gang members.

    It is hard not to come to the conclusion that on this occasion, Trump is being falsely accused..

  • After reading the blog, I decided to check the comments wondering, “I’m not sure how any Christian could find anything significant to disagree with in the blog, but I suspect someone will.” Well, sure enough!

    The consensus of several responders seems to be that if people are evil enough (gang members), then it’s fine to call them animals. The author states that all people are bearers of God’s image, and so it violates the foundation of Christian belief to dehumanize other people by calling them animals, or savages. As people who are called to demonstrate God’s radical love even for our enemies, It baffles me that people who claim to follow Christ can consciously defend referring to other people as being “not people” because they do evil things. I agree with the author: This gets to the very heart of Christ’s teaching.

  • Matthew

    Hello Peter!

    I´m wondering if you read Derek Ramsey´s post below? If so … thoughts?

  • Matthew

    Can you say something positive about the U.S., Peter?

  • Realist1234

    ‘The consensus of several responders seems to be that if people are evil enough (gang members), then it’s fine to call them animals. ‘

    – actually the main point of my post was to negate Ben’s apparent assertion that Trump was using the word ‘animals’ to describe ALL deported immigrants:

    ‘Trump referred to deported immigrants, saying:

    “These aren’t people, they’re animals.” ‘

    In fact he seems to have only referred to violent gang members as ‘animals’. That is why I think Ben is making a false accusation, which as you should know from Scripture is a serious thing.

    The whole point of comparing some people to animals DUE TO THEIR BEHAVIOUR is precisely because they are not living as the image of God in which they are made. They are behaving more like animals than humans.

    I would also remind you that the authors of Scripture sometimes compared human beings to animals:

    2 Peter 12: “They are like unreasoning animals, creatures of instinct, born only to be caught and destroyed, and like animals they too will perish”.

    In the next verse the same people are described as “blots and blemishes”!

    And 2 Peter 22: “Of them the proverbs are true: ‘A dog returns to its vomit,” quoting Proverbs 26.

    Again because of their behaviour.

    Personally I think Trump is immoral and probably racist, but lets get the facts correct before making accusations. And don’t assume EVERYTHING he says or does is immoral or wrong.

  • Realist1234

    No Matthew they dont. God is truth too. As I said in my final comment above, sometimes people are compared to animals because they are not living up to the image in which they are made. They are behaving as if they are less than that image, that is, like animals.

  • Matthew

    Thanks Peter.

  • I recognize that there are differences of perception about whether President Trump was referred to Immigrants in general when he said they they are not people, or whether he was referring specifically to immigrants who had joined gangs. But surely you would agree that that issue is irrelevant to the theological issue this blog is addressing. And can there be any doubt that dehumanizing other people becomes, as the author reminds us, the basis of treating others inhumanely?

    In other words, no matter who the President was talking about–whether criminals or Boy Scouts–what he said, and his actions which align with what he has said, is, as the author said, in opposition to the very core of Christ’s teaching. I’m puzzled that you seem to be more concerned about who the President was talking about than the fact that the President of our country would say it about anyone at all. Can’t Christians at least all agree that it is a tragic outrage that the leader of our nation would say this about any human beings, whoever they are?

  • Yepper, Walt, Trump was responding to a hypothetical MS-13 question when he made the statement. However, he gave no distinction from other Latino immigrants and MA-13 in that statement. If you consider all his past statements on Latino immigrants, then giving the benefit of the doubt, one certainly could ascertain he was including all Latino immigrants when referring to “these” immigrants instead of merely referring to ‘MS-13 members’.

    Kinda ‘asinine’ isn’t it…

  • Realist1234

    yw!

  • Realist1234

    Ive explained my position clearly. If people choose to behave in non-human ways, mocking the image of God in which they are made, then comparing them to non-human animals is acceptable. It should actually shame them. And you dont seem to agree with Jesus, who called one group of human beings a bunch of snakes, nor the apostle Peter who compared another group to animals, including dogs and pigs. There isnt much more I can say.

  • Walt Harvey

    He wasn’t making a “statement” he was answering a direct reporter question about MS13. Geez take your anti-trump blinders ff for just a second in this case.

  • Walt Harvey

    You worship the god of modern science. A constantly evolving, correcting and growing field of study. It likewise does not have all the answers your are demanding.

  • Walter, Walter, Walter…you’re the one taking it all out of context, If you would just see his past statements concerning ethnicity; like, “They are not our friend, believe me,” when it comes to Mexico; in disparaging Mexican immigrants: “They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.” Lest we not forget Trump’s reference of Haiti and African nations that, “They’re s#ithole countries!”

    Now if ya really want to debate cowpunch and ‘see’ who’s wearing blinders, fire away. Any Trump topic, you choose, so…you’re call…

  • Walt Harvey

    I took nothing out of context. I merely said he was answering a specific question. I made no attempt to defend any of Trump’s statements. But you sir are taking his answer to a specific question out of context and adding your anti-trump bias to it. The answer was specifically about a MS13 question. To add all your other Trump hating bias is to deny the basic fact that the statement that everyone is screaming about again was not a policty statement but the answer to a specific question. Your anti-Trump bias needs to take this out of context so your blinders aren’t dislodged. And I never bother to waste my time with people who have already made up their minds and closed it shut solid. Regardless of the topic. So find some other proselyte for your anti-Trump rhetoric. Again, I merely pointed out the comments that added to, interpreted his comment. Once, more I was addressing the convenient lack of context in this particular outrage not defending anyone carte blance. Even most of your media outlets have acquiesced on this point. Have a great day, brother.

  • JB Watkins

    You moron, he was obviously talking about MS-13

  • Fartrell Cluggins

    Not at all, and you should look inward if that’s the first thought that triggered you to respond. Why is it so hard to rebuke what Trump is all about and what he says? Why is it so hard to look past the Republican (R) next to their name and hand wave whatever they do because of it, instead of weighing their actions and words independently, taking partisanship out of it?

    Basically, a true Christian to me, is one who follows Jesus’ teachings and the Ten Commandments at the very least. Love thy neighbor, welcome and help the poor, etc. Every single tenement of what modern Conservatism and much of “christianity” and evangelicalism are about are opposite of those teachings. Praise and help the rich, bash and take away from the poor. Keep others out, instead of welcoming them.

    Think about that.

  • Fartrell Cluggins

    But we’re approaching one, and if Conservatives in power had their way, we’d have one as soon as they could legislate it.

  • Just Me

    No we’re not. We have constitutional protection from this and there is no state religion or anything even approaching that. You need to try better to keep up with current affairs.

  • Ivan T. Errible

    “And we have to mention this fact every time we say his name so that people treat him as if he were as intelligent as a physician!”
    Being that obviously needy used to be considered pathetic, but I guess you’re desperate enough for public attention to have to resort to stamping your feet.

  • C_Alan_Nault

    Either it is moral to own human beings as property or it is immoral to own human beings as property.

    Either it is moral to kill homosexuals or it is immoral to kill homosexuals.

  • C_Alan_Nault

    “Basically, a true Christian to me, is one who follows Jesus’ teachings and the Ten Commandments at the very least. Love thy neighbor, welcome and help the poor, etc”

    The ten commandments? What about the other 603 commandments? There are 613 commandments in the old testament.

  • Kyle

    So you have decided that you will create your own way of reading it even though that is not at all what the author was saying. It’s probably easier for you because than you can make it say what you want it to say instead of actually caring what it truly means. You can take it out of context and put your oen spin on it. If you truly want me to show you what is happening in some of the texts and can clearly show you but if you are choosing to just look for ways to attack because that’s easier for you it’s probably not worth my time. I too can go through statements you’ve made and pull out sentences to take out of context… which is a form of lying about it… or I can actually pay attention to what you are saying and seek to understand where you are coming from. Your choice.

  • C_Alan_Nault

    “So you have decided that you will create your own way of reading it even though that is not at all what the author was saying. It’s probably easier for you because than you can make it say what you want it to say instead of actually caring what it truly means. You can take it out of context and put your oen spin on it.”

    Here is what it says:

    “If a man lies with a male as with a women, both of them shall be put to death for their abominable deed; they have forfeited their lives.” (Leviticus 20:13)

    Whoever strikes his father or mother shall be put to death. (Exodus 21:15)

    All who curse their father or mother must be put to death. They are guilty of a capital offense. (Leviticus 20:9)

    If a man commits adultery with another man’s wife, both the man and the woman must be put to death. (Leviticus 20:10)

    When a man strikes his male or female slave with a rod so hard that the slave dies under his hand, he shall be punished. If, however, the slave survives for a day or two, he is not to be punished, since the slave is his own property. (Exodus 21:20-21)

    Slaves, obey your earthly masters with deep respect and fear. Serve them sincerely as you would serve Christ. (Ephesians 6:5 )

    Christians who are slaves should give their masters full respect so that the name of God and his teaching will not be shamed. If your master is a Christian, that is no excuse for being disrespectful. You should work all the harder because you are helping another believer by your efforts. Teach these truths, Timothy, and encourage everyone to obey them. (1 Timothy 6:1-2)

    That’s what it actually says…

    What do YOU think the author is saying?
    What do YOU think truly means?
    In what context are such laws good?

  • First off ol’ Walt…there was no specific question, it was a comment and it was not by a “reporter,” it was a California sheriff who gave a declaration.

    Simply put, when it comes to undocumented immigrants, the Trump administration lumps them all together in their rhetoric (Trump, Kelly, Sessions, etc.) and in their policies…

  • Realist1234

    Sorry are you talking to me or Ben? I dont have a Doctorate.

  • Chari McCauley

    When parents say, “Close the door, were you born in a barn?” Do they love you less?

  • 747

    Why are “gang-members” gang-members? Who made them ‘gang-members”? Who brutalised them so much that they became so violent and cruel? Is a gang-member beyond redemption – beyond the reach of God? Maybe there was no social media when The Cross and The Switchblade came out as a book then as a movie, but it asks some very valid questions about the brutalisation of the people who become gang-members.

  • Walt Harvey

    Coach, you are just wrong. Listen to the C-SPAN clip. He is responding to the female reporter’s direct question about MS13.

    https://www.c-span.org/video/?c4729859/president-trumps-ms-13-animal-comment

    Like most progressives your blinders don’t even all you to wrestle with the actual facts. Rather you just run with how the media ‘chooses’ to report it instead of consulting available source material. That’s looks like a preconceived bias to me.

    Good luck with that blinding hatred, brother.

  • SamHamilton

    Good questions. I would guess that gang members are all different and have different motivations for joining gangs. I certainly don’t think gang-members are beyond redemption or God’s love. I didn’t even speak ill of gang members in general in my comment, but drew attention to particular gang members who would slit another man’s throat over what was most likely some petty grievance, show of machismo, or small amount money.

  • SamHamilton

    Fartrell,
    There is a mountain of difference between elected legislators enacting their personal policy preferences into place, even when those public policy preferences are grounded in a religious faith, and a theocracy.

  • Elca

    So, they are not ” people “? I wonder who is the moron?

  • Elca

    White Evangelicals and the Religious Right supports and enable such divisive rhetoric.
    When we taught that Trump had hit a new low with his racist comment about ” S…Hole people” and his preference for white people from Norway, Evangelicals simply slap him on his orange hands and gave him a wink, a nod and a smile so he can continue his divisive ,bitter and offensive tirade against God’s Children.
    We will never hear Trump be so out spoken against white supremacists and white terrorist, killing kids in schools…
    I look forward to Trump going to a new low, because Trump knows this is what the base ( Evangelicals, the Religious Right and the deplorables ) wants to hear to be fed.

  • No “hatred” podnuh, but there is some impatience..it was a female county sheriff making a statement…you go back and look at it yourself…then Trump goes off on his little tirade. She did include the MS-13 in her final comment, but she wasn’t addressing Trump to answer a question.

    But speaking of this ‘out of context stuff’ when FBI agents, Strzok and Page were phoning each other complaining about Trump…was that taken out of context in your opinion…

  • Fartrell Cluggins

    “…even when those public policy preferences are grounded in a religious faith” which is exactly what a Theocracy is: ruling by using religion as your guide. Deny it all you want, but that form of rule is why the USA was created. The pilgrims were fleeing a tyrannical religious government.

  • otrotierra

    Dr. Corey: over at his Patheos blog, Morgan Guyton just announced that Patheos Evangelical shut down Dr. Throckmorton’s blog. Dr. Throckmorton, you likely know, has courageously spoken out against serial abuser Mark Driscoll and other fraudulent evangelicals who continue to lie, deceive, obfuscate, and bear false witness. Is there any kind of support that you and other Jesus-following Patheos bloggers can offer Dr. Throckmorton?

    More evidence that U.S. Evangelicals are earning their national and international reputation as self-centered, self-serving, abusive bullies with a deep hatred for truth.

  • otrotierra

    Over on Slacktivist, fellow user Gregory Peterson posted this from Dr. Throckmorton: “Dear Patheos: Which Topic was the Last Straw?”
    http://www.wthrockmorton.com/2018/05/23/dear-patheos-which-topic-was-the-last-straw/#comment-72291

  • SamHamilton

    Fartrell,
    I think you’d have a hard time convincing any political science expert that the definition of a theocracy is voters and their legislators letting their religious faith influence their public policy decisions. But even using your definition, it’s incorrect to imply that “conservative” Christians are the sole Americans who want a theocracy. Most every Christian across the political spectrum, other than those who eschew politics altogether, use their faith to guide the public policy decisions (and most people of other faiths do so as well).

  • Chuck Johnson

    Overstatement is a time-honored political ploy.

  • Chuck Johnson

    Regardless of how one interprets the book of Genesis, the Christian foundation ultimately begins with the belief that human beings were created in the image and likeness of God. Or more specifically, all Christian faith and practice ultimately stems from the belief that each human being has intrinsic, unsurpassable worth to God.

    Not true.
    You, Benjamin and other modern Christians made that up and then pretend that it’s the original intent of Christianity and Judaism.
    Making things up an then pretending that they are true is a hallmark of religious people.

  • Matthew

    What do you think was the original intent of Judaism? Christianity? I would really like to know your thoughts.

  • FrankScotsman .

    Galatians 3:28 – There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
    It’s clearly stated in the New Testament

  • FrankScotsman .

    So your argument is “Trump didn’t say what Trump said?” That argument is getting worn pretty thin, you need something new.

  • Chuck Johnson

    It is clearly stated in the New Testament that Jesus gave advice on the proper method to beat your slaves.
    The Southern Baptist Church was founded upon the approval of slavery which is abundant in the Bible.

    The Bible can be used to “prove” anything.
    It all depends upon what style of confirmation bias guides you.

    God, Jesus and the Bible are dummies.
    Religionists are the ventriloquists.

  • Chuck Johnson

    The intents and uses of these religions were there long before the word “Judaism” or “Christianity” even existed.

    These stories and traditions served many purposes.
    Entertainment, education, speculation about the origins of things we observe, transmission of laws and morality, and many other uses.
    To look for a single “original intent” is folly.

  • Matthew

    Thanks for your thoughts.

  • Notagod

    One of the problems with the U.S. is the conceit. Other countries do a lot to aid others, in some cases much more than the U.S. does. The U.S. is a large land mass country, it is disingenuous to compare the amount of U.S. aid to the aid provided by smaller countries. Christians really should get a grip, they elected a most disgusting President due to their conceited, uncaring attitudes. Christians have lost their undeserved moral high ground reputation, and it’s about time to because in reality christians never have been morally superior.

  • Matthew

    Thanks so much.

  • Notagod

    You are welcome. Anytime!

  • SamHamilton

    I’m curious what your definition of an “evangelical” is. I wonder about this because you ascribe the “defenses” of President Trump’s statement as coming from Evangelicals, yet no one here has self-applied that term (that I’ve noticed). I wonder how you know they’re evangelicals.

  • $144948586

    Obama called Kanye a “donkey”.
    A notable virtue signaler called Trump an animal months prior to denouncing this speech. What say you?

  • gloriamarie

    What part of my very first sentence was unlear to you?

  • $144948586

    I just want to know if you’ll be so bold as to question Obama’s Christianity on the same grounds.

  • gloriamarie

    No, I don’t think so. I think you want to have an argument. Once again I refer you to my first sentence which I believe is unequivocal. I commit you to God in love.

  • $144948586

    “No, I don’t think so. I think you want to have an argument.”
    And I think your “Christian mercy” goes only one way, as do so many outspoken posters that follow Benjamin Corey.

  • gloriamarie

    Again, trying to bait me into an argument which demons clearly diddn’t read what I wrote. your chiice. If you don’t liem waht Corey writes, incidentally a veteran who is 905 disabled in the service of gthe USA, why bother to read him and troll his audience.

    I Commit you to God in love.

  • $144948586

    “incidentally a veteran who is 905 disabled in the service of gthe USA,”
    Whatever this has to do with me, I know not.

    “why bother to read him and troll his audience.”
    Because I’m trying to disabuse people of the slanted tripe he generally writes.

  • gloriamarie

    Hmmm.. an alumnus from an evangelical senminary who is a veteran who is 90% disabled writes tripe? A call to a life of holiness as taught by Jesus is tripe? I refer you to books written by Shane Claiborne.

    May the Holy Spirit illumine your mind and soften your heart I commit you to God in love.

  • $144948586

    “an alumnus from an evangelical senminary who is a veteran who is 90% disabled writes tripe?”
    Yes.

    “A call to a life of holiness as taught by Jesus is tripe?”
    Yet supports theft through government and forcing one’s will over another human being because it’s what the collective wants.

    May the Holy Spirit illuminate you to the fact that slanted theology and majority rule are, themselves, both evil.

  • gloriamarie

    I guess your version of the Bible iomits Matthew 25.

  • $144948586

    Please, elaborate.

  • gloriamarie

    Then you really don’t have Matthew 25 in your New Testament? Well, that explains a lot. I commit you to God in love.

  • $144948586

    Like I thought. A chump who only dishes out their hypocrisies without expecting it to be challenged.

    You’re welcome to change my mind and explain how Matthew 25 is related to this conversation.

  • gloriamarie

    Baiting me and calling me names the way the current ioccupant of the Oval Office calls people names is not going to get me to engage with someione who acts like a troll.

    Read my OP carefully. Ponder it thoughtfully.

  • $144948586

    So you think its wrong to say someone is acting like, say an animal or a chump?

  • gloriamarie

    Your refusal to read my first sentence is really quite coring. Good evening.

  • $144948586

    Ehich first sentence? I read your OP and asked if you’re equally offended by Obama’s dehumanizing language–as a professed Christian, mind you. To which you replied, “No.”

    That’s favoritism, thoroughly ungodly given that God is no respecter of persons. Then you throw out some ambiguous statement on Matthew 25 refusing to clarify even when asked. Its very chump-like behavior.

  • gloriamarie

    “To which you replied, “No.” That is a lie. I did not say that. When you asked the question, I asked you to read my first sentence again, which, apparently, you refuse to understand.

    Now you continue to utter lies about me, which are baseless, and you would see that, had you the intellect to understand what I said in my first sentence. However, all you do is reveal that you are the sort of “Christian” who engages in the behavior my first sentence refutes, much as you accuse Obama of behavior which you evidfently indulge yourself.

    “Blessed Are the Sh*t-Givers”
    MAY 31, 2018 / JOHN PAVLOVITZ

    A large crowd assembled on a hillside.

    Then Jesus (or a guy who greatly resembled him) sat down to teach them all, saying:

    Blessed are the sh*t-givers, for they will lose a lot of sleep these days. They will find little rest.

    Blessed are they who don’t give a sh*t:
    About a ceremonial Sunday faith displaying its hollow righteousness once a week in buildings where not everyone is welcome.
    About sugary lip service claiming to hate the sin and love the sinner, while showing no love.
    About fake news religion of flags and anthems and America’s greatness.
    About sky-is-falling alarms, impending apocalypse urgency, and fierce damnation wielded like a hammer.
    About phony white persecution complexes and manufactured culture wars designed to make straight caucasian martyrs.
    About a nationalistic fervor that claims sole ownership of goodness and morality.
    About professional grifters and hucksters peddling division to dupe the easily deceived and the already angry.
    About fear-mongering bigotry that erects taller walls instead of building bigger tables.

    These things are all false idols; glittering, gilded facades covering an empty faith that serves only itself.

    The world is filled with such people and they are not of me even though they will attempt to commandeer my name and claim to speak for me.

    No, brothers and sisters, blessed are they who give a sh*t:
    About refugees, braving churning oceans in homemade rafts and crammed into blazing cargo beds in order to escape the living hell that is their home.
    About parents of terribly sick children who have to choose between keeping their kids alive or keeping a roof over their heads.
    About young black men born into a prison-industrial complex that profits from their incarceration and declares that their lives do not matter.
    About transgender teenagers living in bodies they do not feel at home in, standing outside churches that offer them no respite from the cruelty they live exposed to.
    About single mothers making wages that can never sustain any semblance of stability and health—that will leave them perpetually under water and forever in the red.
    About second graders forced to do active shooter drills and high schoolers worried about dying in their hallways, because powerful men love their guns more than someone else’s children.
    About Muslim families treated as threats and terrorists because opportunistic preachers and politicians have painted them with such a brush.
    About the full, expansive breadth of humanity that is made in God’s image and deserves full access to freedom and opportunity and love and sustenance.

    Be diligent and listen carefully in these days.

    Those who give a sh*t will be my clear, gentle voice cutting through a cacophony of resounding gong and clanging cymbal Christians, letting the outsiders and the invisible and the oppressed know that they are welcomed and seen and loved.

    They will be the unapologetic carriers of the common good news; joy and rest for the poor, and the powerless, and those once pushed to the periphery.

    Do not be fooled. Those who give a sh*t will not have it easy here. They will face the slings and arrows and incendiary sermons of those privileged, coddled, and entitled few who do not want the ground leveled; those who will fight like mortally wounded animals because they see diversity as a threat and equality as oppression.

    But you who would follow after me need to keep going—because goodness is needed most when bad men have the greatest power.

    Many will come and claim to be of me, but do not fall for their clever deception or their flowery prayers or their show piety.

    Those who love me will be those whose lives yield compassion and mercy, whose actions welcome in peace and usher in justice, those who care for others as much as they care for themselves.

    Blessed are the sh*t-givers—for they will bring Heaven down to earth.

    And after he had finished speaking, many were overjoyed and moved to tears. There was great jubilation and dancing.

    But a few of the wealthiest and whitest among them burned with anger, because they realized the end was near—the meek were finally inheriting the earth.

    https://johnpavlovitz.com/2018/05/31/blessed-are-the-sht-givers/

  • $144948586

    “Now you continue to utter lies about me, which are baseless, and you would see that, had you the intellect to understand what I said in my first sentence.” https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/1858d1b0e781ada545e08dc189164affcc6b22250bc4fcdb4a40c2ce53eda01e.jpg

    Your above paraphrase has nothing to do with your hypocritical, favoritism, unloving-of-truth Christianity. I learn more and more that the Word is a two-edged sword, because it obliterates those who stand for others to the DISADVANTAGE of those whom they oppose…THAT is, itself, dehumanizing.

    You see, God loves the oppressed. BUT he also loves the oppressor. Jesus wanted those that have to give to those that have not, BUT he never took from those that have through the suppression of their will AGAINST their will. This matter is not unimportant.

  • gloriamarie

    You continually call me ugly names. Perhaps your New Testament omists the words about the use of the tongue and what happens when someone calls another person names.

    I commend to you chapters 5-7 of the Gospel of Matthew. Have a wonderful day. I commit you to God with love.

  • $144948586

    “You continually call me ugly names. ”
    I called you a chump, because you expected you could come in this blog and spew “Republican hatred” not expecting to be called out on your bias. You openly questioned one’s Christianity while being unwilling to do the same against someone else.

    Would you just prefer I call you a hypocrite? Fine; hypocrite.

  • gloriamarie

    You have called me that and other names several times already. Again I commend Matthew 5-7 to you. Every day I seek to allow these words to trasform me as much as possible. Jeus tells me to love my neighbor as myself as God first loved me. Jesus tells me this repeatedly in the Gospel of John. The Holy Spirit inspires me to love all my neighbors every day and the world is full of my neighbors.

    Obeying my vocation to be a small pebble in a still pond, I seek to obey God’s call in my life in my FB group Celebrate What Christians Have in Common, where we all submit to the same discipline: to read, reflect, never disagree or argue but only look to that which we can affirm in all of the postings. Jesus calls us to be peacemakers, not combatants.

    i committ you to God in love.

  • $144948586

    “The Holy Spirit inspires me to love all my neighbors every day and the world is full of my neighbors.”
    But you don’t; you deride one person for the same “crime” as one you refuse to.

  • gloriamarie

    Please read my first sentence.

  • Mr. James Parson

    When I was a Catholic, the story in Genesis was merely that humans are sinful and capable of sin an therefore need salvation.

    Disclaimer: I am now an atheist.

  • otrotierra

    Note to Dr. Corey: a fraudulent Disqus account has again been created to impersonate and harass me across multiple comment sections beginning with Sojourners. This is the fifth fraudulent account to impersonate me.

    My account, opened in 2011, has 4,598 comments with 13,590 upvotes. The fraud’s account, opened yesterday, is set to private and has 20 comments. Thank you in advance for moderating your comment section.

  • $144948586

    Would you support Obama, a third-part (if so, who), or are you an anarchist?

  • Tim

    I think you’ll find that it was Paul, not Jesus who talked about treatment of slaves. And you have to remember that these people were just as much products of their time as anything else.

  • Realist1234

    I previously defended Trump for using the word ‘animals’ to describe members of the brutal MS-13 gang. I see now he has described all illegal immigrants coming into America as ‘infesting’ the US. Such language is wholly inappropriate – we all know what we tend to do with ‘infestations’ – exterminate them. It reminded me of the language used by the Nazis, and we know where that led. So it seems Trump has betrayed his true mindset.

    I dont know if any of you has seen the documentary ‘White Right: Meeting the Enemy’ on Netflix. Id recommend it. Sometimes racists just need to meet the people they hate on a personal level for some change to begin.

  • Trump calls murderers, torturers and rapists “animals.” Leftists push policies that permit more murderers, torturers and rapists into the United States. We’re going into histrionics over vulgar speech while people’s lives are being lost. Mr. Corey, if you really care about image bearers, you can do a lot better than this.