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April 03, 2020, 03:27:31 am

Christianity and Trump

Started by Pete, March 03, 2020, 05:54:10 pm

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Pete

So I have some concerns with what I believe is happening to Christianity as a result of association with and endorsement of our President.

Let me begin by saying I have been so disturbed and disquieted internally from what I've seen during Mr. Trump's presidency that I renounced the Republican party at the end of 2019 and I am now a registered independent. I made this decision because I do not believe that the Republican party in its current state is representative of my beliefs and values.

I was raised in a Christian household. I have attended the same evangelical, Word of Faith church my entire life. I was saved at a very young age and aside from a few rebellious teenage years, I have held fast to my faith unwaveringly.

I tell you that because it is the basis for my concern. Throughout my life, evangelical Christianity has held that the moral integrity of our leaders is paramount. However, that seems to no longer be the case. Mr. Trump regularly lies. He's a massive bully. He's been found guilty of defrauding his own charities. He's paid porn stars to keep quiet about him. The list goes on. And yet few in the evangelical Christian community seem to care about these deeply concerning character flaws.

I suspect the reason for this is because they see Trump as instrumental in pushing their agendas. Remaking the judiciary is a key component of that. But I wonder at what cost? I don't believe for one second that Mr. Trump has any true convictions about the issues that Christians care about. He simply says and does things he knows will be popular because that's what he must do to stay in power. The minute it is no longer beneficial for Mr. Trump to stand with the evangelical right, he'll pander to whatever he thinks is most beneficial for him.

The words "character" and "integrity" mean something to me, and I believe it is remarkably hypocritical for someone to suddenly excuse all defects in character and integrity in the name of political expediency. It's like all of a sudden, much of the evangelical right couldn't care less about Trump's lack of character and integrity after sounding the alarm for years that we need to have leaders with moral character and integrity above reproach.

In summary, this is my concern; I believe that much of evangelical Christianity is willingly surrendering their witness by associating, and in many cases endorsing, bad behavior by our President. And I don't understand why.

:afro:
"There is no charge for awesomeness -- or attractiveness."

LittleRocketBoy

All valid statements.
The choices remain:
1. Vote for a Democrat who will ensure abortion, anti-family, and anti-Christian policies for the foreseeable future.
2. Vote for a third party candidate. May as well not vote at all and increase the possibility that #1 happens.
3. Do not vote at all and increase the possibility that #1 happens.

While I agree with the assessment in the OP. I really do not see where there is any other choice. Hold my nose and pull the lever.


jiminpa

I agree with so much of what you posted, Pete, with a few qualifiers.

In PA, registered as an independent, you no longer have a voice in choosing a candidate, so while I understand making the statement that you are, you are losing your ability to make the change you are protesting.

The problem was, that as bad as Trump is, he was still the best of the worst that we were presented.

At this point, whether because he is working for reelection, or because he believes in what he is doing, his policies are doing a lot of good, but someone else should be running his twitter account and his mouth should be super-glued.

Some of the moral problems you cite are decades old and some people who have met him believe that he is no longer that guy. I hope they are right and that he is sincerely working for the good of the country, but I have concerns that you may be exactly correct about him turning once there's no more incentive.

Our so-called news media is straight up satanic and speak only the language of their father.
I used to worry and stress and strive to "do my part," never believing that I had done enough of "my part."  Now I see my part as casting it off on Him, doing what I believe He is giving me, and letting it just be His problem.  I don't have to fix everything, but I get to work along side of God.

jiminpa

Quote from: LittleRocketBoy on March 04, 2020, 02:02:22 pmAll valid statements.
The choices remain:
1. Vote for a Democrat who will ensure abortion, anti-family, and anti-Christian policies for the foreseeable future.
2. Vote for a third party candidate. May as well not vote at all and increase the possibility that #1 happens.
3. Do not vote at all and increase the possibility that #1 happens.

While I agree with the assessment in the OP. I really do not see where there is any other choice. Hold my nose and pull the lever.


2. in the last election the third party candidates were all worse than Trump, but a little better than Hillary, IMO.
I used to worry and stress and strive to "do my part," never believing that I had done enough of "my part."  Now I see my part as casting it off on Him, doing what I believe He is giving me, and letting it just be His problem.  I don't have to fix everything, but I get to work along side of God.

LittleRocketBoy

Agreed... and again... ugh.

Quote from: jiminpa on March 04, 2020, 02:43:33 pmI agree with so much of what you posted, Pete, with a few qualifiers.

In PA, registered as an independent, you no longer have a voice in choosing a candidate, so while I understand making the statement that you are, you are losing your ability to make the change you are protesting.

The problem was, that as bad as Trump is, he was still the best of the worst that we were presented.

At this point, whether because he is working for reelection, or because he believes in what he is doing, his policies are doing a lot of good, but someone else should be running his twitter account and his mouth should be super-glued.

Some of the moral problems you cite are decades old and some people who have met believe that he is no longer that guy. I hope that he is sincerely working for the good of the country, but I have concerns that you may be exactly correct about him turning once there's no more incentive.

Our so-called news media is straight up satanic and speak only the language of their father.

LittleRocketBoy

We were pulling for Carson in 2016. Did not happen.
I dunno... would entertain any suggestions.

LittleRocketBoy

And I have wondered. If the 1st century Christians could vote and choose their leader, what would Paul or Peter tell them to do? If you could vote out a Nero would you do it? If you had the choice between a Caligula or a Cyrus, who would you vote for.
Lots of side issues here.

jiminpa

Quote from: LittleRocketBoy on March 04, 2020, 02:48:18 pmWe were pulling for Carson in 2016. Did not happen.
I dunno... would entertain any suggestions.
The last candidate that made it as far as the primaries that I was excited about was Alan Keyes in 2008, but he was too honest to go very far and it was that war hero for the Vietcong, McCain's turn. I couldn't pull the lever for McCain. He served in the Navy as an enemy combatant and has passed blatantly ant-constitutional laws. The choice that year was basically the same platform with different faces.
I used to worry and stress and strive to "do my part," never believing that I had done enough of "my part."  Now I see my part as casting it off on Him, doing what I believe He is giving me, and letting it just be His problem.  I don't have to fix everything, but I get to work along side of God.

jiminpa

Quote from: LittleRocketBoy on March 04, 2020, 02:51:25 pmAnd I have wondered. If the 1st century Christians could vote and choose their leader, what would Paul or Peter tell them to do? If you could vote out a Nero would you do it? If you had the choice between a Caligula or a Cyrus, who would you vote for.
Lots of side issues here.
The prophets, speaking as God directed, and Jesus were quite graphic in their wording, and not at all polite.
I used to worry and stress and strive to "do my part," never believing that I had done enough of "my part."  Now I see my part as casting it off on Him, doing what I believe He is giving me, and letting it just be His problem.  I don't have to fix everything, but I get to work along side of God.

Bryan

As Christians, we should pray for those placed in charge over us in govt positions.  As Americans, we should use our granted voices to promote and vote for the candidate we feel is best.  Now I don't for a second think God wants us to instill a theocracy.  Our King and therefore "govt" is in Heaven.  We are to do the best we can here to support those God has placed over us, even if we may disagree with a moral decision they have made in the past.  It doesn't mean we have to like them or even want to vote for them.

One thing that always irked me about the Obama years, was the propensity of conservatives (especially Christian conservatives) to ridicule and mock Obama.  Completely ignoring a biblical mandate to pray for those over you and submit to them.  It's like when Trump was elected, people in the streets and on talk shows actively claiming they wanted him to fail.  Seriously, if the President fails, most likely we all do.  I just don't get it.  Politics I feel are by far one of the most egregious evils this world has known.
All glory to him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by shedding his blood for us.  He has made us a Kingdom of priests for God his Father. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen.

Pete

Quote from: jiminpa on March 04, 2020, 02:43:33 pmI agree with so much of what you posted, Pete, with a few qualifiers.

In PA, registered as an independent, you no longer have a voice in choosing a candidate, so while I understand making the statement that you are, you are losing your ability to make the change you are protesting.

It's not so much that I'm protesting anything as it is a personal choice for me. I cannot in good conscious call myself a Republican. I am a conservative-leaning independent. The Republican party is no longer representative of my beliefs and values, and it's not like the Republican party is going to select a different candidate.

Quote from: jiminpa on March 04, 2020, 02:43:33 pmSome of the moral problems you cite are decades old and some people who have met him believe that he is no longer that guy. I hope they are right and that he is sincerely working for the good of the country, but I have concerns that you may be exactly correct about him turning once there's no more incentive.

You don't have to go back decades to see that Mr. Trump is only loyal to anyone so long as they are loyal to him. There are plenty of examples to pull from throughout his administration. The minute it is no longer beneficial for Mr. Trump, he pretends like he hardly knows people and turns on them in a heartbeat. Mr. Trump cares about himself and nothing else. It's evident in everything he says. Heck even at this year's prayer breakfast, he somehow managed to make it all about himself and how badly he's been treated. These are not the words of a man who puts others before himself. There is also no evidence of any change in the meandering, nonsensical rants that Trump makes at his rallies. His demeanor is not that of someone who has changed.

But back to my original comment, how much character and integrity does Christianity willfully surrender by applauding this behavior? That is my main concern. By excusing and spinning away Mr. Trump's behavior, any credibility that we care about morals, character, and integrity is completely shot.

O0
"There is no charge for awesomeness -- or attractiveness."

Pete

Quote from: Bryan on March 04, 2020, 04:13:34 pmAs Christians, we should pray for those placed in charge over us in govt positions.  As Americans, we should use our granted voices to promote and vote for the candidate we feel is best.  Now I don't for a second think God wants us to instill a theocracy.  Our King and therefore "govt" is in Heaven.  We are to do the best we can here to support those God has placed over us, even if we may disagree with a moral decision they have made in the past.  It doesn't mean we have to like them or even want to vote for them.

One thing that always irked me about the Obama years, was the propensity of conservatives (especially Christian conservatives) to ridicule and mock Obama.  Completely ignoring a biblical mandate to pray for those over you and submit to them.  It's like when Trump was elected, people in the streets and on talk shows actively claiming they wanted him to fail.  Seriously, if the President fails, most likely we all do.  I just don't get it.  Politics I feel are by far one of the most egregious evils this world has known.

Exactly. If you're on Facebook, I'm sure you may have seen one of the memes that can only be described as revisionist history. It basically is from the perspective of a conservative supporter of Mr. Trump that says something to the effect of, "We sat quietly by while Obama was in office and we were respectful and well behaved the whole time. Now the least you could do is do the same for Trump." And I think to myself, HOW in the world can people say that with a straight face? The conservative right was ANYTHING but quiet, respectful and polite during the Obama administration.

This is an incredible video that demonstrates the outstanding hypocrisy of the conservative media coverage of Obama vs. Trump. You think they're talking about Mr. Trump in this video? Nope. These are all criticisms leveled at Mr. Obama that suddenly no one seems to care about.


O0
"There is no charge for awesomeness -- or attractiveness."

Pete

Quote from: LittleRocketBoy on March 04, 2020, 02:02:22 pmAll valid statements.
The choices remain:
1. Vote for a Democrat who will ensure abortion, anti-family, and anti-Christian policies for the foreseeable future.
2. Vote for a third party candidate. May as well not vote at all and increase the possibility that #1 happens.
3. Do not vote at all and increase the possibility that #1 happens.

While I agree with the assessment in the OP. I really do not see where there is any other choice. Hold my nose and pull the lever.


My concern with Mr. Trump is bigger than number 1 above.

I am concerned with the separation of powers, checks and balances, independence of the judiciary, the foundational principles upon which our great country is founded. All are being eroded under Mr. Trump. If conservatives continue to endorse this, what will happen when (not if) the political power swings? If a precedent has been set that the President can just do whatever he wants and is completely immune to any and all oversight, what does that mean when the guy in power isn't on the side of our agendas?

I honestly don't know the answer. The Democrats sure don't have it.

But should I vote to endorse and enable the continued path toward authoritarianism?

Much prayer will transpire before I head to the voting booth this year.

O0
"There is no charge for awesomeness -- or attractiveness."

jiminpa

Quote from: Pete on March 04, 2020, 08:15:19 pmExactly. If you're on Facebook, I'm sure you may have seen one of the memes that can only be described as revisionist history. It basically is from the perspective of a conservative supporter of Mr. Trump that says something to the effect of, "We sat quietly by while Obama was in office and we were respectful and well behaved the whole time. Now the least you could do is do the same for Trump." And I think to myself, HOW in the world can people say that with a straight face? The conservative right was ANYTHING but quiet, respectful and polite during the Obama administration.

This is an incredible video that demonstrates the outstanding hypocrisy of the conservative media coverage of Obama vs. Trump. You think they're talking about Mr. Trump in this video? Nope. These are all criticisms leveled at Mr. Obama that suddenly no one seems to care about.


O0
But those are mostly valid criticisms of actions affecting the country, and to your point not all of them apply to Trump, (but some more so), but I really don't blindly support everything about him. The media relentlessly attacks Trump personally, and untruthfully. Yes, personal stuff was said about Obama so I agree that the memes are usually revisionist, unless they're posted by someone who really did keep their criticisms in bounds, and there's a difference.
I used to worry and stress and strive to "do my part," never believing that I had done enough of "my part."  Now I see my part as casting it off on Him, doing what I believe He is giving me, and letting it just be His problem.  I don't have to fix everything, but I get to work along side of God.

jiminpa

Quote from: Pete on March 04, 2020, 08:20:45 pmMy concern with Mr. Trump is bigger than number 1 above.

I am concerned with the separation of powers, checks and balances, independence of the judiciary, the foundational principles upon which our great country is founded. All are being eroded under Mr. Trump. If conservatives continue to endorse this, what will happen when (not if) the political power swings? If a precedent has been set that the President can just do whatever he wants and is completely immune to any and all oversight, what does that mean when the guy in power isn't on the side of our agendas?

I honestly don't know the answer. The Democrats sure don't have it.

But should I vote to endorse and enable the continued path toward authoritarianism?

Much prayer will transpire before I head to the voting booth this year.

O0
Most of what I see being labeled abuse by the satanic media is actually Trump moving us more toward what the constitution actually says. The supreme court is not above the constitution, but they have been overruling it for decades. So much so that an actual constitutionist would be viewed as a super-radical.
I used to worry and stress and strive to "do my part," never believing that I had done enough of "my part."  Now I see my part as casting it off on Him, doing what I believe He is giving me, and letting it just be His problem.  I don't have to fix everything, but I get to work along side of God.

Pete

Quote from: jiminpa on March 04, 2020, 10:53:09 pmMost of what I see being labeled abuse by the satanic media is actually Trump moving us more toward what the constitution actually says. The supreme court is not above the constitution, but they have been overruling it for decades. So much so that an actual constitutionist would be viewed as a super-radical.
We'll probably have to agree to disagree on a number of points here.

First of all, I don't agree that the media is satanic. Much of what I see people classify as "attacks" and "fake news" is really pretty accurate. I'm not saying the media is perfect. Far from it. But oftentimes I see someone complain about an article, read it for myself and think, hmm, that's pretty accurate. On the other hand, when someone posts something from the conservative media machine, it's usually vapid spin, replete with misinformation. Of course, I'm speaking generally, but that's my opinion based on what I've seen and read.

Secondly, I absolutely do not agree that Trump is in any way moving us toward "what the Constitution actually says", but in order to have an objective discourse on that topic, we'd have to define what you mean. I've come to realize that a great many people have very different ideas of what the Constitution actually says. So is there specific text in the Constitution that you believe Trump is moving towards?

O0
"There is no charge for awesomeness -- or attractiveness."

Pete

Quote from: jiminpa on March 04, 2020, 10:46:48 pmBut those are mostly valid criticisms of actions affecting the country, and to your point not all of them apply to Trump, (but some more so), but I really don't blindly support everything about him. The media relentlessly attacks Trump personally, and untruthfully. Yes, personal stuff was said about Obama so I agree that the memes are usually revisionist, unless they're posted by someone who really did keep their criticisms in bounds, and there's a difference.
Actually, just about everything in that video is valid criticism that absolutely does apply to Mr. Trump. Complaining about Obama's golfing and vacations, but now silent when Mr. Trump golfs even more. Complaining about Obama tweeting, but now silent when Mr. Trump spends half the day on Twitter. Complaining about Obama calling someone a name and talking about how it is beneath the office of President, but now silent when Mr. Trump belittles everyone he talks to. The list goes on.

Rather than speak in generalities about the media "attacking" Mr. Trump, can we discuss specific examples of how that is occurring? I'm a facts and figures kind of guy. So while I will admit that I disagree with you on the concept of the media "attacking" Mr. Trump, I would also like to see specific examples of news articles that you believe are attacking him. I'm just curious to see if we consider the same things to be "attacks".

O0
"There is no charge for awesomeness -- or attractiveness."

Pete

Also, let's talk for a moment about gullibility and the willingness of conservatives to believe anything critical of the democrats and beneficial to Mr. Trump.

Here's a prime example; I have seen this article shared on Facebook by many of my conservative friends numerous times; The headline?

Pelosi Diverts $2.4 Billion From Social Security To Cover Impeachment Costs
https://potatriotsunite.com/impeachbill/

This article has been shared on Facebook (as of this posting) 4.4 MILLION times. The only problem? It's completely made-up nonsense.

I mean, think about it for a second. The website is actually called Potatriots Unite. Not exactly a website that sounds like a legit news source. But then actually click on the article. Read it. It's pure satire meant to troll conservatives. Heck, it's emblazoned in the banner at the top of the page, stating "For satire, ridicule and mockery". Their about us page says in part;

"Everything on this website is fiction. It is not a lie and it is not fake news because it is not real. If you believe that it is real, you should have your head examined. Any similarities between this site's pure fantasy and actual people, places, and events are purely coincidental and all images should be considered altered and satirical. See above if you're still having an issue with that satire thing." 

And yet, this hasn't stopped countless conservatives from sharing it as if it were the gospel truth all over Facebook multiple millions of times.

It's hard for me to take people who post this kind of stuff seriously when they say that they only care about the truth.

O0
"There is no charge for awesomeness -- or attractiveness."

LittleRocketBoy

When all is said and done, we have 3 choices.
Vote for those who hate Christ and want to continue to murder babies.
Vote for nobody.
Vote for the only candidate who is against murdering babies and at least gives the nod to free exercise of religion.

All else is just wasted breath.

flaglady

Quote from: Bryan on March 04, 2020, 04:13:34 pmPolitics I feel are by far one of the most egregious evils this world has known.
I don't know or understand the system of American politics, I have enough trouble understanding my own country's politics! But I do so agree with Bryan's comment here. No truer word was spoken. You only have to look across the globe and the centuries to find similar issues and indeed, cases where this behaviour even led to that individual's seizing ultimate power - think Mugabe, Sadam Hussein, Kim Jong-un, Gaddafi and further back, Hitler, Mussolini and many others.

There is an old saying that goes:

First they came for the Communists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Communist

Then they came for the Socialists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Socialist

Then they came for the trade unionists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a trade unionist

Then they came for the Jews
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Jew

Then they came for me
And there was no one left
To speak out for me