The United States Has an Evangelical Problem

The United States Has an Evangelical Problem January 23, 2020

Editor’s Note: OK, so readers here are already well versed in this issue. Still, it’s good to be reminded of the history of Evangelical political influence in the US, and to resist making assumptions about positive or negative outcomes. Also, don’t give up, as I and the author of this piece have sometimes been tempted to do.  /Linda LaScola, Editor

============================

By Bruce Gerencser

In the late 1970s, Jerry Falwell, pastor of Thomas Road Baptist Church in Lynchburg, Virginia, birthed a Christian political action group called the Moral Majority.

Jerry Falwell, a graduate of Baptist Bible College in Springfield, Missouri, started Thomas Road Baptist — an Independent Fundamentalist Baptist (IFB) institution — in 1956. The church quickly became one of the largest churches in the United States. Today, the church claims it has almost 25,000 members. In 1971, Falwell founded Lynchburg Baptist College, now known as Liberty University. Liberty, an accredited university, is the largest Evangelical college in the United States. Most Evangelicals of my age likely remember Falwell’s weekly television program, The Old Time Gospel Hour. It was through his educational and media empire that Falwell pushed the Moral Majority’s agenda: to take back America for God.

In 1979, my wife and I attended a Moral Majority-sponsored outdoor “I Love America” rally at the Ohio State House. We later went to a pep rally of sorts held at a downtown Columbus location. All Polly remembers is discreetly breastfeeding our infant son during the rally. I, however, remember the thrilling speeches about returning the United States to its Christian roots. Dripping with manifest destiny and American exceptionalism, these speeches stirred my heart, and for many years, I devoted myself to waging what become known as the “culture war.”

In 1989, after successfully helping elect Hollywood actor Ronald Reagan to two terms as president, the Moral Majority disbanded. Falwell said at the time,

“Our goal has been achieved…. The religious right is solidly in place and … religious conservatives in America are now in for the duration.”

Today, Evangelicals, having sold their souls for bowls of pottage, rabidly support Donald Trump, the most unqualified man to ever be president. Eighty-one percent of voting white Evangelicals voted for Donald Trump. If the presidential election were held today, Evangelicals would, yet again, overwhelmingly vote for Trump. Even if Trump was thrown out of office, Evangelicals are satisfied that Christian America will be safe in the “godly” hands of Evangelical and True Believer® Mike Pence.

It is clear to anyone who is paying attention that Evangelicals have taken over not only the federal government but also many state governments. Here in Ohio, Evangelicals (and conservative Catholics) rule the political roost. Now having a super-majority, Evangelicals — who are overwhelmingly Republicans — are able to enact their agenda at will, with only the courts standing in the way of them turning Ohio into a theocratic state. And now that Trump is packing the federal courts with conservative Christian jurists, the only recourse we have to beat back Evangelical sharia law may soon be gone.

Secularists love to point to studies showing that Evangelicalism is in numerical decline. While this is certainly true, that doesn’t mean the political power amassed by Evangelicals is in decline. It’s not, and as things now stand, it could take decades to undo all the damage done to our Republic by primarily white Evangelicals and their Mormon and Catholic cohorts.

I live in rural northwest Ohio. Donald Trump and the Republican Party dominate local and state politics. Local Democratic groups are largely ineffective or lifeless. And even among these groups, you will find that the conservative political beliefs espoused decades ago by Jerry Falwell and the Moral Majority have deeply influenced their thinking. I can tell you this much: true liberals around here are almost as rare as ivory-billed woodpeckers. Fearing social or economic retribution, what few liberals there are maintain a low profile. Of late, local Democratic operatives have taken to writing letters to the Defiance Crescent-News. While I appreciate their efforts — having been a regular writer of letters to local newspaper editors for almost 40 years — I fear that they operate under the delusion that their letters will change the minds of local Trump supporters. They won’t. At best, their letters to the newspaper remind other Democrats/progressives/liberals that they are not alone. Changing hearts and minds? Not a chance.

Due to the local sports photography work I do, I am connected with numerous locals on social media. Many of them are like me, using social media to share photos and cat videos. Others, however, regularly post things in support of Donald Trump. One woman, a relative of mine, went off on a rant over Trump’s impeachment, calling Nancy Pelosi and Hillary Clinton all sorts of vile names. People such as I are routinely pilloried. I say nothing, having learned that talking politics on social media is a waste of time. Oh, it feels good to rip a right-winger a new one now and again, but to what end? Instead, I quietly unfriend such people. And it’s not just locals either. I am “friends” with several family members who routinely post all sorts of right-wing nonsense. No lie is too absurd to post, and no action by President Trump is so vile, extreme, or un-Christian that they won’t find a way to defend him.

Trump knows that the key to maintaining political power is convincing Evangelicals that he is a defender of Christian orthodoxy and a warrior in the battle against libtards, atheists, and socialists. So far, Evangelicals think that Trump is some sort of manifestation of God’s plan for Christian America. In the end, the joke will be on them, but by then the United States will lie in ruin.

The only way to beat back the Evangelical horde is for people of good will and reason to understand that Evangelical power and control is an illusion. As things stand today, atheists, agnostics, and nones are as large a demographic as Evangelicals. Hillary Clinton, a polarizing and weak presidential candidate if there ever was one, defeated Donald Trump by three million votes. Unfortunately, it is the arcane, outdated Electoral College that decides presidential elections, and not the popular vote. To keep Trump from being re-elected in 2020, millions and millions of new voters must be mobilized, and countless lazy Americans must be dragged from their beds to vote on Election Day. So far, nothing I have heard from the 3,023 people running for the Democratic nomination says to me that Democrats truly understand how to unseat Trump and take back congress. Maybe someone will rise to the top of the pile and mount an effective defense of American republicanism and secularism, but as of today, I have my doubts. If Democrats don’t figure it out soon, we are looking at four more years of Trump. Imagine the depths of the damage that will be done by Trump and his henchmen if they are given another term in office.

Democrats wrongly assume that our democracy can withstand whatever Trump and Company might do. While I thought this very thing at one time, I no longer believe it to be true. The United States is teetering on the edge of ruin and collapse. And this, remember, is exactly what Evangelicals want. Progressivism, secularism, pluralism, and socialism must be destroyed in order for the Evangelical Jesus to be enthroned as the king and ruler of the United States. Don’t believe it for one moment when Evangelicals “say” they don’t have theocratic ambitions. They do, as Evangelicals made clear in their racist attacks on Barack Obama, their unending attacks on LGBTQ people, their support of anti-immigrant, anti-poor policies, and their criminalization of abortion. Now that conservatives control the U.S. Supreme Court and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is living on borrowed time, Evangelicals know the time is ripe to roll back the social progress of the last sixty years. Want to know what a Christian America might look like? Take a look at countries ruled by Sharia law. Look at what’s going on in India today. Once a proud secular state, India now faces the establishment of a theocratic state by Fundamentalist Hindus — India’s version of Evangelicals.

Part of me wants to say,

“Fuck it, I give up. I am going to die soon, and if death doesn’t get me, global climate change will.”

Quite frankly, I am worn out. But then, I think of my children and grandchildren. What will they say about me if I give up now?

===================

Bio: Bruce Gerencser lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 40 years. He and his wife have 6 grown children and 12 grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for 25 years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. He left the ministry in 2005 and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist. He is also one of the original members of The Clergy Project, which began in 2011. He blogs at The Life and Times of Bruce Gerencser, where the above post originally appears.  It is reposted with permission.

>>>>>Photo credits: “Jerry Falwell portrait” by Liberty University – Liberty University. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Jerry_Falwell_portrait.jpg#/media/File:Jerry_Falwell_portrait.jpg

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  • Jim Jones

    The Democrats need to stop wanting perfection and deal with reality.

    In 2026, 63 million voted for Trump. 73 million voted for not-Trump, 63 million of those for Hillary despite her poor performance.

    The main takeaway is to attack Trump with any insult, true or not. Being polite and dignified is a sign of weakness to him. And you can stick to the truth, he’s so bad there’s no shortage of things to attack him on.Make stink stick to him – he’ll lose it and people will not want to associate with him.

    He can be defeated.

  • valleycat1

    Democrats also need to expand the activism to Congressional elections. It won’t take many defeats of Red office holders to turn the Senate Blue. And as long as Democrats also hang on to the House, even if DJT were to win again his impact would be greatly reduced, though the country’s government would probably just be in a holding pattern at least until the 2022 Congressional elections are held.

  • Ann Kah

    Bruce, you’re speaking up here, on a site that your rabid Christian relatives will never visit. You say it’s pointless to argue on social media. I say it’s counterproductive to allow them to spread lies. You may not be able to do anything about their emotions or their language, but please, calmly comment on their posts by posting links to disprove the lies. They’re allowed to have their own opinions, but they cannot have their own “facts”. Do it for your children, and for your grandchildren.

  • WallofSleep

    “… and countless lazy Americans must be dragged from their beds to vote on Election Day.”

    Hang on there. I’m as lazy as a throw rug on downers, but I show up to the polls every dang time. Generals, primaries, special elections, I’m there. Ever since I was old enough to vote.

    I think there’s something more heinous than laziness at work here; defeatism.

  • WallofSleep

    The impression I get from his post is that if Bruce were to clap back on social media, he would be outing himself to a local community that is already very hostile to people of his political persuasion.

  • Raging Bee

    Defeatism, yes…and p1ss-poor messaging by liberals…and all manner of voter-suppression policies that have been working (and working very well) under our radar practically since the Voting Rights Act was passed.

  • Stephanus

    This is hilarious. Ok, first of all, I’m recently deconverted. I’m not a Christian, or a theist. But I was at the epicenter of the evangelical political machine. I know Jay Seculow personally (though only casually – he probably wouldn’t remember me). I opposed Trump during the 2016 election. But some 10 years earlier, I was working as a legal intern for Liberty Counsel, in Lynchburg Virginia, where I got my law degree from Liberty University. So I know these people up close and personal. They will deny the vilification of theocratic aspirations, and they have a case they really are not theocrats.

    I’m using ‘they’ too generically of course. There are real theocrats among them. Theonomists like Gary North for example. No running away from that. You want stoning, they got stoning. And I live right next door to some Latter Rain people. They’re planning on a supernaturally powered takeover of the planet to usher in the Second Coming.

    But I’m not talking about the fringe elements. I’m talking about the mom and pop churches filled with regular people. Deluded, yes, but totally expecting to be political outsiders until they are rescued from one big, final persecution by the second coming, framed in classic dispensational terms. These guys are NOT plotting a theocratic takeover. They do want to be able to carry on with their potluck suppers and prayer meetings tax free and unmolested by purveyors of ‘worldly living.’

    What about Falwell and his movement? I was there, right in the heart of it. I belonged to the inaugural class of the new law school there. I graduated the year Falwell died. He’d had a heart attack and recovered, but I caught him sneaking around campus dumpsters trying to hide his fast food eating habit. But before he died, he gathered up our graduating class and had us take an oath on an alleged chunk of Mount Sinai he had shipped in for the occasion. I was so freaked out by the surprise stunt I have only a poor memory of the actual oath, but it was something like, we would do all we could, to the best of our abilities, to promote righteousness through law, in the belief that all good law was based on the law of God.

    And yes, that does sound totally theocratic. But what I need you to understand is hardly anyone there took it that way. My classmates just wanted to go out and make big bucks chasing ambulances or whatever like everybody else. The supposed theocratic utopia was a gigantic FICTION, believed mainly by a few of the old guard, but not so much by the rest of of us planning to make a living doing law. For us it was just, can we pass the bar, can we find a job, can we pay off our student loans, etc.

    Because 99% of us were going back to regular little churches with regular little people who mainly just wanted to live regular little lives. Not even Godly lives. There being no true God, no Spirt to make us really better than anyone else, we went back to lives full of all the usual trials, failures, disappointments, and occasional joys of real life. Hardly the grist you need for a robust theocratic takeover. It seriously amuses me to imagine the people I knew trying to pull that off.

    Ok, yes, I get how Trump is manipulating his political base. He’s promising utopia too, like everybody else. He doesn’t believe it it anymore than any other politician. He knows he needs the evangelicals to hold onto power, so he’s feeding them false hope, and an occasional crumb. My own wife is a fan of his. I stopped fighting her about it because there is no reasoning with her about him. Once she finds out I’ve deconverted, it’s probably game over.

    But neither she nor the rest of the evangelical ‘regulars’ I know see Trump in theocratic terms (well, there’s my estranged sister too – always getting a Trump Dump from her in social media – because it’s easy). Mostly they feel pressed to the edge of an existential threat, living in fear of being coerced into fatal compromise with the world, and they are looking mostly for a space to breath, a place to feel safe again. When I interned with Liberty Counsel, those are the cases we took, evangelicals and other religious people who were being pressed to abandon their faith, to make what they viewed as some horrible moral compromise, and they weren’t looking to force anybody else into anything, they just wanted the freedom to live the way they wanted to live like anybody else.

    So no, not buying the ‘Vast Theocratic Conspiracy’ theory. It’s a paper tiger, and very thin paper at that.

  • phatkhat

    And the Dems ignore the heartland at their peril. As we saw in 2016. One of THE WORST senators in Congress hails from my state. Surely you’ve heard of Tom Cotton, R-AR. He’s running unopposed for re-election. Nary a peep from the DSCC or DNC. There was a Dem rival, but they dug up enough dirt on him to discredit him, carefully releasing all of it 2 hours after filing closed, making it impossible for anyone else to run. Cotton knows he isn’t very popular here, except among the hardcore MAGAts. Admittedly, they are the majority, but still…

  • phatkhat

    I read Bruce’s comments on that and thought it was something I could easily write, myself. We were literally attacked last time we voted by some Evangelical Trumpite who accused us of being possessed by demons because he assumed (correctly) that we were not Republicans. Actually, we are Independent, but that doesn’t matter. The clerk had to call the sheriff to escort him out. It’s bad. It’s VERY bad.

  • phatkhat

    Funny you know Sekulow and misspell his name…

  • WallofSleep

    Egads. I hope that guy was charged with something.

  • Christer Jervhäll

    “they just want their freedom to live the way they wanted to live like anybody else”. That is either a lie or very naive. The Evangelics are constantly trying to force their so called morality on part of the society through laws. Just the laws on abortion that has been passed in several states affects all inhabitants regardless of religion. If Evengelics thinks this is wrong they should not have any abortion, but they should not force everyone else not to have it. The same with equal rights for HBTQ. It is the freedom to disccriminate and misstreat these people they crave, and also here they are trying again and again through law force their idea of sin on everyone – religious or not. I havenever heard any LGBT-person state that Christian Evangelics should not have certain rights or that they should be a group to freely discriminate (for ex. to be fired for their belief), not have I ever heard LGBT-people or humanist rant that Evangelics are an Evil pest destroying society and evil to the core, but I have seen, heard, read Evangelics state that LGBT-people should not have rights as others, that it should be open season on throwing out LGBT-people from schools, apartments, jobs etc. I even heard Evangelics state LGBT-people are evildoers destroying everything and that they should be killed. Imagine the opposite LGBT-poeple advocating in public that Evangelics should be fired, thrown out and killed. No we never heard this ever, so the attack comes from Evangelics again and again and they never get tired. Why can they just not live and let live? If they believe HBTQ is a sin it is only a belief, and they do not have the right to hurt other people that just try to live as best they can for a belief, but they do. So much harm and suffering caused because some bronze-age texts that clearly is not the words of an almighty, allknowing being. The men that wrote the Bible did not know what stars is and therefore states they can fall down on earth, they did not know that micro-organisms are causing many disieses, therefore explaning it with whitchcraft and similar. They did not have the long development to understand the harming impact the brutality of executing their own for a vast range of “sins” have on a society. An allknowing being would know all these things and would have given us these answers. The Bible does not. If God exists the religious fundamentalists of all religions are the ones that have seprated most from God, since they are not listening to their inner voice and guide (if God is anywhere it is there), but instead they are hooked to old texts and dogmas instructing them to close any connection to their inner being and instead worship what is outside of themselves in houses of stone and glas. They are closed off so they an truly believe that hurting and killing other human beings for just existing is righteous. If they opened the connection they would immedietly realize the grave error that is and the horror it brings on all of us.

  • phatkhat

    Nah. The deputy sent him home with a stern warning. Then lectured us about how Democrats voted against building a new jail to protect the community. SMH. This is a Sheriff Department that hosted a prayer meeting at the courthouse flagpole to support Trump in 2016.

  • alwayspuzzled

    An interesting analysis. But the author left out Brown v Board, which was instrumental in the formation of the Evangelical political movement. The Groper-in-Chief is the Evangelical’s messiah because he has promised to Make America Bigoted Again. But he is also their messiah, perhaps even more so, because he has promised to Make America White Again. It is an exercise in total self-delusion, but in 2016 it worked. It is unclear whether it will work in 2020.

  • Stephanus

    LOL, what’s funny is I even checked his name before posting because I routinely have trouble with it and I *still* got it wrong. Dang.

    As for the rest, I just don’t like throwing everybody into one big homogeneous lump. It’s not how I experienced them. I think the threat of an evangelical theocracy is being way overplayed. Just my two cents.

  • phatkhat

    Also as an ex-vangelical, I think the threat is way UNDERplayed. You seem to be an apologist for the reconstructionists.

  • WallofSleep

    Aw, fer crying out loud. You just can’t win in a situation like that. Sorry to hear that.

  • Earl D.

    One of the reasons why I’ve (for the most part) given up debating issues with people on the right (religious or secular), especially on-line, is that I realized that nine times out of ten, at least, the people who I’m arguing with don’t really believe the point they’re arguing. It’s not that they can’t be convinced, it’ that they already have been convinced, and for what ever reason they still continue to dishonestly push their bankrupt ideology.

  • Stephanus

    I’m not. I promise. More of a Buddhist. Minus the metaphysical.

  • Stephanus

    I believe what I’m arguing. I just don’t conform to anybody’s narrative, so it confuses everybody. Oh well …

  • Stephanus

    And yeah, some folks are being pressed. I see this attitude all the time in the FB atheist groups I belong to. Not everybody, but a loud group, evangelicals are mentally ill, evil, stupid, we must ban their religion, use force to stop the disease, take their children away, that’s how you stop it, on and on. True, these guys are not on the front line of the legal fights. But they are part of the overall picture. The animus is palpable. I find both sides capable of saying some very disturbing things. All I want is peace. Seriously. I’m too old for this.

  • Linda LaScola

    I believe hosting a prayer meeting at a courthouse is illegal. I suggest you report it to the Freedom from Religion Foundation. https://ffrf.org/?gclid=Cj0KCQiApaXxBRDNARIsAGFdaB9M24itB_X03PAWFRtovAE-bbRUs9qGof7mM6Cx-oPsIYpL2eFig8AaAgjqEALw_wcB They might be able to take action on it.

  • phatkhat

    Well, they got letters from AU and FFRF. They laughed about it and doubled down. Just proved to them they were on the right track, and the demonic bullies couldn’t stop them. It’s a small town, and I’m sure that with limited resources, the groups have bigger fish to fry.

  • Keulan

    Bruce, I agree with you on Evangelicals, but I think you’re wrong that all the Democrats running don’t know how to unseat Trump and take back Congress. Of all the candidates running for president, the only one who talks about getting new young voters and people who don’t normally vote out to the polls is Bernie Sanders. And his campaign has been working hard to do just that for many months now.

    https://jacobinmag.com/2019/10/bernie-sanders-victory-voter-turnout-grassroots-canvass

  • abb3w

    Er, 2026?

  • abb3w

    When I interned with Liberty Counsel, those are the cases we took, evangelicals and other religious people who were being pressed to abandon their faith, to make what they viewed as some horrible moral compromise, and they weren’t looking to force anybody else into anything, they just wanted the freedom to live the way they wanted to live like anybody else.

    This may be accurate, from a perspective.

    On the other hand, requiring Christians not to burn heretics and suspected witches at the stake can be considered pressing them to abandon their faith and make some horrible moral compromise.

  • Stephanus

    True. Which underscores the difficulty in managing a pluralistic society. Where do we draw these boundaries? Those witch-burning Puritans were trying to bring forth the kingdom of God by applying deadly force to the ‘infidels.’ Our clients at Liberty Counsel were trying to avoid writing words on cakes that conflicted with their sincerely held beliefs. Maybe a Golden Rule moment? Would you want to be forced against your will to scribble words that offend you on your work product? Because if you don’t, you can be forced out of business? Most people I know would think there’s a pretty discernible gap between those two extremes. And keep in mind, I’m using the Golden Rule here in its evolutionary sense. Empathy has turned out to be an essential part of surviving as a social species. We just work better when we try to put ourselves in the other guys shoes before doing anything we can’t take back.

  • Jim Jones

    I’ll fix it. Damn glasses.

  • abb3w

    Most people I know would think there’s a pretty discernible gap between those two extremes.

    There are other stepping stone instances that may narrow the gap to a hair’s width; however, the language in the detailed post is currently in a moderation queue, very likely from an allusion to a classic joke.

  • Otto

    I agree in that I don’t believe there is a serious push to enact a theocracy in this country, however I do believe there is plenty of push to bend things in favor of a Christian view in a legal sense (granted that is a broad brush), and they are willing to bend that as far as they can take it.

    FWIW I think many of us have run into the same tribalism on the atheist side as you have experienced. I have argued with atheists that are trying to promote making religion illegal. Not only is that futile but it is counterproductive imo. Luckily in my experience that view is a very minor one.

    In the end those extremists on the secular side have almost zero power to get any of their agenda enacted, too bad the same cannot be said on the other side, and right now that is a bit worrisome.

  • One need only watch what’s going on with abortion to see the political and social pathway to theocracy. Twenty years ago, no one would have thought it possible to overturn Roe v Wade. Today, we are on the precipice of its reversal — thanks to hundreds of new laws at the state level. In the past 40 years, Ohio has gone from a progressive state to a righ-wing but house. Our abortion laws are some of the most restrictive in the nation.

    I entered the ministry in the 70s. EVERYONE believed in the separation of church and state. Today, you’d be hard pressed to find an Evangelical pastor/leader who believes in the separation of church and state. Talk about the United States being a Christian nation is routine. It is in this fertile ground theocratic seeds grow.

  • mason

    I think the Evangelical movement is definitely a serious push to enact theocracy and they’re already making headway against women’s reproductive rights, anti-science in schools

  • mason

    I totally agree with Bruce’s railing against Evangelicalism today. When I was an Evangelical Separation of Church and State was accepted as one of the pillars of our Democratic Republic and we weren’t anti-womens’ reproductive rights or anti-science. Today Evangelicalism is a toxic cancer for all the reasons Bruce cites, and more. It is dividing and destroying families and our society. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/99a19b4fa0fc154fcd3eb3e21f68bfc1571eb1592174de10a76710054bb9f92a.png

  • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

    The rule this time is

    #VoteBlueNoMatterWho2020

    or there won’t BE a United States worth saving after 4 more years of Repug overlordship.

  • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

    Most people I know would think there’s a pretty discernible gap between those two extremes.

    Only because *secular* folks have forced a reassessment leading to the current status quo.

  • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

    And yeah, some folks are being pressed.

    Only to obey SECULAR law even if it conflicts with their Ignorant Tight 69Ass Haters Club.

    IF they don’t like that, they can suffer the *secular* penalty, and if they’re truly devout, they’ll CHERISH it as the ‘persecution’ your ‘bible’ claims your JEEEZZZZUUUUZZZ nattered on about.

  • Linda LaScola

    Wow – I truly didn’t know that Evangelicals supported separation of church and state. I suppose that was when they felt powerless in the face of more powerful religions and a powerful state.

    Now that has changed — they are the powerful ones – and are taking over the state..

  • I was taught in college that state and church were equal, separate authorities. Each were ordained by God, but were never to mix. 40+ years later, it is hard to find an Evangelical pastor who still believes this; even Baptists, who were, at one time, known for their strict separation of church and state. Roger Williams was considered a hero in Baptist circles.

  • Otto

    I figured Stephanus was referring to ‘theocracy’ in a literal sense where religion is the complete law of the land so I was responding to that, I do however think the fundamentalists are pushing to inject their religious views into law a piece at a time. That I have no doubt about.

  • Within Evangelicalism, you will find groups dedicated to establishing God’s kingdom on earth as it is in Heaven. Theonomists, reconstructionists, dominionists, all recognize no king but Jesus and believe God’s law (and not just the ten commandments either) should be the law of the land. This is the Christian version of Sharia Law.

    Other Evangelicals believe the United States is a Christian nation, and as such its laws should reflects God’s law. That’s why you will find Evangelical preachers who believe homosexuals and abortion doctors should be executed.

    None of these people, of course, literally practice the 613 laws/commands/precepts in the OT and the laws/commands/precepts in the NT. For example, few Evangelicals are Sabbatarians. Imagine what the United would look like if theocrats truly got their way.

  • mason

    Yep, we weren’t really political at all back then … just get the souls saved from hell fire. A rather fireman’s focused mission. The scripture “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, what is God’s, to God.” Romans 13:1 Jerry Falwell changed the political stance of Evangelicals with the Moral Majority

  • mason

    The Democrats IMHO don’t have one good orator who could also go toe to toe with trash talking Scump. Politics today has become trash talking, attacking, WWF.

  • mason

    Hope you’re correct, but there a many indications of the theocratic killing women’s reproductive rights and having anti-science creationism taught in the schools. Also religious schools are being given govt. funds for vouchers. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/23ddb1944b378f154dda845fca5d5769b9ac2c24ec697371c74e3f3131fd51a6.jpg

  • mason

    thanks for clarifying

  • mason

    I think to fully understand how toxic and socially cancerous Evangelicals (or any fundamentalist cult) are, one must be an Ex-Evangelical, which I am. (pastor, evangelist) There is no peaceful or objective way of dealing with Evangelicalism … their mythical leader was anti-peace and very pro hatred, division, the sword, and to hell with family values when it comes to other religions or non-belief. “Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to set a son against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter -in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man’s enemies will be the members of his household Matthew 10:34. – mythical Jesus character

  • mason

    the emotional and mental abuse of children by Evangelicals or any other religion should be illegal; physical abuse is.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/4c9c6efa1be186e2bd0dbb06a50f5c164c896357055fb6b6a6af1ba9dd2cae92.jpg

  • mason

    Evangelicals are doing just that; a piece at a time

  • Otto

    That I agree with… as a person who has suffered their mental abuse as a child.

  • Stephanus

    I’m as fully ex-evangelical as anybody. I am a Bible Theology graduate of the Moody Bible Institute, law graduate of Liberty University, sat under the direct teaching of A.W. Tozer as a child, been to VBS and Bible camp and preached in the pulpit and evangelized in the streets and hammered home the Christian apologetic online everywhere I could get access. So yes, I am as fully Ex-Evangelical as anybody else, and my experience of evangelicals is that they are ordinary human beings who routinely are better people than their warped theology predicts, but who can also descend into every common human failing, including the tribal lust for power. But they are not ‘The Great Satan.’ They are all indoctrinated children, and though their doctrine is definitely toxic, I find many of them either unaware or avoidant of the ugly parts. They have no supernatural aid, but mostly they try to be nice people just like everybody else. I’ve seen it over and over. There are bad eggs. There always will be. But to disparage them personally is to alienate them personally. I don’t believe it’s a good way to win them over. It only feeds the persecution complex. I had a close family member who was deeply into a really fringe cult. They were trying hard isolate and indoctrinate him and make him as hateful as themselves. We didn’t win him back by telling him he was toxic or a cancer. We won him back by being the one place of love he knew he could come back to. We were better than our doctrine. Many evangelicals are. Because every last one of them is also human.

  • Raging Bee

    Some evangelical ministers even supported Pagans when their freedoms came under attack by the likes of Jesse Helms. Them wuz the days…

  • Patricia Silverman

    it amazes me that you believe the democrats are on your side, they have demonstrated a complete lack of respect for the constitution, in 2017 they stole the nomination from Bernie Sanders and now they fake impeachment, what part of their behavior is Christiran let alone evangelical SMH

  • Mirror

    “the most unqualified man to ever be president.”

    When you use language like that, it detracts from everything else you say.

  • It’s my educated opinion. I can’t think of one president worse than Donald Trump.

  • I am not a big fan of the Democratic party. I campaigned for Sanders in 2016, Obama is 2008 and 2012. That said, as long as we have a two-party system, I am forced to choose which of the parties I support. I hated voting for Clinton in 2016. Her latest comments about Sanders speak volumes about her pettiness and overall character.

  • Earl D.

    But that’s his point. I.e. answering the question, how is it that a highly educated, advanced Western democracy (the US) elected someone so manifestly unfit, as to be an exaggerated caricature of unfitness, as president? Answer: evangelical Christian uncritical-to-the-point-of-fanacism support of Trump the person.

    If you think that Trump’s just great, even if you’re not evangelical, then there’s no mystery to solve from your perspective and Bruce’s article doesn’t really apply to you.

  • Mirror

    Trump is not great, but he is certainly not unfit. He seems to be doing the exact job he was hired for.

  • Earl D.

    Well, roughly the same applies. If you don’t see Trump as aberrant then Bruce’s answer to the question of how the US could have elected such an individual obviously won’t interest you, as that was his point.

  • Mirror

    What I find aberrant is this unreasoning, unfiltered hatred of Trump some seem to have. Mystifying.

  • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

    So YOUR KIND have a problem with truths you decide are inconvenient?

  • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

    tRump IS unfit.

    He’s a figurehead for the authoritarian conservatives who want to force an xtian theocratic takeover of the United States (for the middle and lower economic statuses, anyway…the rich will still live in sybaritic hedonism, supported by the ‘plebes’).

  • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

    YOUR KIND’s willful ignorance does not excuse you from researching *why* so many who know tRump, but don’t need him at the moment, speak so harshly of him.

    He’s a sociopathic narcissist, who realizes he gained power by cheating but doesn’t give a flying 69fuck…he’s a guy to whom ‘winning’ is not complete unless somebody ELSE is *losing*…and the cruelty is the POINT for him (and for YOUR KIND, but that’s a discussion for another day.).

  • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

    AIUI, evangelicals supported separation of church and state so that the state wouldn’t dictate to religion.

    Still a worthy cause, and I’m not too concerned about their motive at the time.

  • Erik1986

    Eh, maybe Harding? But he wasn’t around long enough to do much harm….. No, you’re right, Trump is the worst.