Sunday, February 28, 2016

Evangelicals for Trump!

The press still doesn't get it, despite daily lessons for decades now.  The latest example: this article in today's New York Times, by Trip Gabriel, which features the following hopelessly deluded comments:

"OKLAHOMA CITY — It is one of the prime paradoxes of the 2016 election: A twice-divorced candidate who has flaunted his adultery, praised Planned Parenthood and admitted to never asking for God’s forgiveness is the favorite of the Christian right...

Mr. Trump’s appeal with the religious right is debunking some long-held maxims about evangelical voters, showing that they are not monolithic; that they do not fall neatly in step with evangelical leaders, many of whom endorsed Mr. Cruz; and that within evangelical ranks lie fault lines of class and culture."

All these years and the press has refused to figure out what should be so obvious:  The "Christian right" is a gigantic con.  None of these guys has really ever cared about a damned thing except the eternal Conservative goal: cut my taxes; with a small side dish of hatred to spice things up.

Here is what I have been pointing out, for as long as I have had this blog, and for decades before: Evangelical Christianity, at least as it exists in the United States, is a phony religion.  Its entire purpose is to deny the clear teachings of Jesus Christ, and substitute for them a host of ideological purity tests (e.g. being against abortion, denying evolution, etc.) which allow Evangelicals to tell themselves that they are actually the moral people in the world, while demanding nothing of them. This allows them to throw the poor, the sick, the strangers among us, the prisoners, out of the train, in order to satisfy their greed, while still claiming the moral high ground.

That's it; and it is a truth that should have been more than obvious to anyone who really looked at them, for a long time now.  But as a corollary of "both-siderism" the press is not allowed to question the sincerity of any belief held on the right, so we are endlessly fed the absurd myth that these people believe in anything but themselves and their own entitlement.

Looked at this way, the Evangelical support for Trump is not a "prime paradox;" it is an entirely predictable phenomenon.  They say that the test of a theory is its ability to predict the future, but the failure of the mainstream cant about the right to do that will accomplish nothing in the way of challenging that theory.  And so, on we go:  Bernie is just the same as Trump, Democrats caring about other people is an equally valid moral choice as Republicans only caring about themselves, liberal truth is no different from Conservative lies, black is white, down is up, and it all makes no difference, because politics is just about personalities and the horse race, and the choice of a government never ever affected people's lives.  And it will be the same this time, right?  Because Hillary having taken some money from Wall Street makes her exactly the same as Trump being a lying, fascist bully.  Being sane and being crazy are really the same thing, and lucky for us too, because so many Americans are joining the crazy side.


Anonymous said...

You must be voting for Ayn Rand.

Zog said...

"Here is what I have been pointing out, for as long as I have had this blog, and for decades before: Evangelical Christianity, at least as it exists in the United States, is a phony religion." - Green Eagle

One quibble. As Fred Clark at Slacktivist has pointed out, this phenomenon is linked to white evangelicalism, and he often uses the qualifier of "white" when discussing it.

Here's the result for Google searches for "white evangelical" at Slacktivist.

He doesn't deal with black evangelicalism very much, but he did link to this article by Lisa Sharon Harper. I'll just quote a key excerpt:

White evangelicals generally do not experience such systemic oppression. According to Emerson and Smith, most white evangelicals don’t prioritize or even see the thousands of references in the Hebrew Scriptures and and New Testament about structural and systemic injustice.

Accordingly, the Gospel — and by extension their evangelism — is about only one thing: Personal salvation through faith in Jesus Christ, who died for their sins, and a personal relationship with him.

Black evangelicals also have personal faith that Jesus’ death paid for their sins, but their Gospel doesn’t end with personal (and individual) salvation. For Dr. King and Sojourner Truth and Fannie Lou Hamer and the Rev. John Perkins and Nelson Mandela and for hundreds of thousands of Black Christians around the world and for me, the good news of the Gospel is that Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection were for the redemption of both individual souls and the redemption of whole societies.

It's a common oversight that many of us make. Since this is a society where "whiteness" is considered the norm, our analysis of evangelicalism tends to focus on white evangelicals, and I applaud Fred Clark for putting the necessary modifier of "white" into these discussions.

Green Eagle said...

Well, I suspect you are making a very good point there, Zog. My long term (back to the sixties) following of fundamentalist Christianity has been virtually entirely related to my interest in right wing political movements, which means that I have paid attention almost entirely to white Christians, with the exception of a couple of figures like the great tent revivalist A. A. Allen. As a result, I can't speak about black religion with any real knowledge. That's the only reason I said that I suspect what you are saying is true- I just don't know enough about religion among black Americans to make any sort of pronouncements.