Power over principle

Religious right leaders not about to let a little racism turn them from Trump

Donald Trump once famously said, “”I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose voters.” He neglected to add that religious right leaders would be there to bestow their blessings on him when he pulled the trigger.

In the latest example of placing power over principle, Trump’s evangelical advisers have refused to condemn the president for talking about the “fine” neo-Nazis marching on Charlottesville.

Only one single member of Trump’s Evangelical Advisory Board has resigned in protest over the president’s outrageous comments. Most of the others haven’t even criticized him.

“We believe it would be immoral to resign,” says Johnnie Moore, a lay evangelical leader, told NPR.

Board members have gone far out on a right-wing religious limb and condemned racism, somewhat reluctantly. But then several of them immediately undercut the statement by signaling their agreement with the president and even going so far as to condemn people of color as much as white supremacists.

“Racism comes in all shapes, all sizes, and, yes, all colors,” said Robert Jeffress, a Southern Baptist pastor. “If we’re going to denounce some racism, we ought to denounce all racism. I think that was the point the president was making and one we ought to all get behind.” (Of course, Jeffress thought nuking North Korea was the godly thing to do.)

Others didn’t even bother the fig leaf. Jerry Falwell Jr. took to Twitter to gush about Trump’s “both truthful stmt.”

The one pastor with a moral compass is A.R. Bernard, a Brooklyn-based pastor. “There was a deepening conflict of values between myself and the administration,” Bernard said in a statement. 

It’s long been clear that religious right leaders were happy to sell their souls to the devil for a Supreme Court nomination. What’s evident now is just how much immoral behavior they’re willing to excuse.

By contrast, corporate America has demosntrated much greater fidelity to moral values this week than the religious right. You know you’ve entered new territory when the head of a drug company can condemn the president but the leaders of millions of Bible-believing Christians cannot. You can argue that business leaders are doing things for less than altruistic reasons, and that may be true.

But business leaders did the right thing. That’s more than the so-called spiritual leaders were able to do.

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14 Comments

  • robkevm

    They got their long-awaited Antichrist and they just love him.

  • jkthsnk

    Racist white religio grifters? Whoda thunk?

    • 1EqualityUSA

      Hearts will not be won using political paths. Oppression is the mixing of religion and politics. For Christians, Christ was not a political character. This confused Rome, too.

    • porque_loco

      He had a lot of views back in the day that magically changed when he became president (pro-choice, pro-Planned Parenthood, how the president golfing is bad, etc.)

      Can’t speak for the media, but I’d like to see a full-stop denunciation of the root ideology and violence associated with the KKK, neo-Nazis and all white “nationalists”/supremacists (no half-assed false equivalencies.) And I’d like to see it done as strongly as his denunciations of foreign terrorists as loudly and as often as it takes until the people themselves get the message and stop believing that they still have his full support.

      Are there “good people” on the side of ISIS???

    • Brody

      Nothing will appease his haters.
      But, it’ll be funny to watch the antifa fascists try to prevent the Trump Presidential Library from going up when the time comes (because you know they will).

    • porque_loco

      @Brody, Antifa gets its name from being ANTI-FAscist. So calling them “fascists” is not only inaccurate, it adds nothing to the conversation.

      Try backing off the name-calling and the baseless notions of what “will” happen and stay with us in the present. I remember rampant speculation (both online and from people I know) that Obama was gonna somehow cancel the 2016 election and stay president for who knows how long. They “knew it will” happen, too.

      Guess what… it didn’t!

    • PinkoOfTheGange

      So do you have all the same views of life as you did 37 years ago?

    • Brody

      porque_loco –

      In case you haven’t figured it out, the so-called “antifa” idiots are ironically doing exactly what fascists do: Silencing opinions they don’t approve of, tearing down monuments, terrorizing the citizenry with their “protests” of violence, and wearing masks to hide their identity so you won’t know who they are. If you really believe they’re “anti-fascists,” then you need to look up the definition of the word.

    • mhoffman953

      @porque_loco & @PinkoOfTheGange

      “So do you have all the same views of life as you did 37 years ago?”

      No but some of his denouncements were from just of last year, some were from last weekend. Why isn’t it enough?

    • porque_loco

      @mhoffman953 Because none of ’em were full-stop denunciation of the root ideology and violence associated with the KKK, neo-Nazis and all white “nationalists”/supremacists without half-assed false equivalencies or weasel words.

      He’s done it right before when he strongly and emphatically denounced the ISIS sympathizers who’ve attacked in Europe, and that’s what he should’ve done here. Period. No implicating anyone except ISIS and the terrorists who fell for their evil philosophy. But here, he’s blamed “both sides” or “all sides” or called out groups “including” the KKK, etc., with the implication being that there are other “bad” groups out there such as the counter-protesters or anti-supremacist groups.

      If it’s a brutal, awful act of terrorism when an ISIS wanna-be drives a car into a group of people resulting in death and he correctly calls it that without hedging his bets or claiming that some ISIS sympathizers are “good people,” why hasn’t he done same thing here? He looked strong denouncing the international terrorists, but he looks weak and indecisive with dealing with the events of Charlottesville.

  • 1EqualityUSA

    Small library, the wad doesn’t read books.

  • Kieran

    If leftists think that the American people are going to agree with them that President Trump is “racist” for saying that all mob violence is wrong, they’re going to crying again in November 2020.

    • 1EqualityUSA

      tears of giddy laughter and joy.

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