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New York Times: American Christians in the Political Arena

By HatetheSwamp
July 17, 2022 9:07 am
Category: Religion

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Several opinions on the editorial page:

At this hour of stress and flux, illiberal demagogues instinctively sense that they can make inroads to the chambers of power by using appeals to base emotions by thumping on the Bible. The question for these would-be theocrats is which version of Christianity should prevail.

Division and strife are inevitable. It is one thing for this Supreme Court to permit prayer in a public arena or have government revenues used for religious organizations. But once they are called upon, as they eventually must, to decide which denomination has primacy, the court will grasp why the Constitution was framed as a secular instrument.

*****

Todayís Christian nationalism has a long pedigree. The intense religiosity of 19th-century America was noted by observers as different as Tocqueville and Marx. Well into the 20th century, religious, ethnic and racial divisions were far more central to American politics than class conflict.


Interesting.

This woke yarn on "Christian Nationalism" amounts to the last woke paranoic conspiracy insanity.

Based on the Courtís recent decisions, one way we may be going is a recognition of the fact that the Religion Clauses protect religion from government intrusion. If that's the case, expect an expansion of religious freedom...

...and, soon.


Cited and related links:

  1. nytimes.com

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Comments on "New York Times: American Christians in the Political Arena":

  1. by Curt_Anderson on July 17, 2022 9:13 am
    I am all for seeing Christians in the arena. There should also be lions in the arena.


  2. by Donna on July 17, 2022 1:31 pm
    LOL Curt!

    As in everything political in this country, the loudest voices are getting all the attention. That's also true for religion. Christianity does not = Evangelical Christianity. One you get outside of Evangelicals, the politics of Christians is not unlike that of non-Christians. There is also a Christian Left. They're active on Facebook.



  3. by HatetheSwamp on July 18, 2022 4:43 am

    Christianity does not = Evangelical Christianity. One you get outside of Evangelicals, the politics of Christians is not unlike that of non-Christians.

    I think it's worth understanding that not all evangelicals are in the pocket of James Dobson and Pat Robertson.

    In fact, Donna, your opinion of evangelicals is stuck in the 1990s.

    My sense is that much of the country is, politically speaking, coming to the position of the evangelicals of decades ago.

    Since the pandemic, when churches began streaming their so-called "worship" services, pb has been monitoring several of the weekly gatherings of his pastor friends. They NEVER discuss politics or political issues.

    I suspect that you secular progressives have created a straw man and that you're failing to understand how completely political moderates these days are leaning toward conservative...and more so...libertarian values.

    These two recent Supreme Court decisions that favor religious freedom have nothing to do with organized, institutional Christianity.

    They free individual citizens from the government's tyranny over their freedom to live out their religious faith in a free country.

    If an issue connected to something like woke culture's largely mythical Christian Nationalism comes before the Court, if pb's understanding the recent decisions correctly, the Court will squash that like a bug.

    In any event, your image of evangelicals is outdated by 30 years or more, in pb's opinion.


  4. by Donna on July 18, 2022 8:54 am
    My opinion of evangelicals is stuck in the data.

    See the attached chart.

    pewresearch.org


  5. by HatetheSwamp on July 18, 2022 9:12 am

    Interesting. More hyper-liberal Anglicans are GOP than crazed Pentecostal Assemblies of God people.

    You're missing my point, though.

    Party affiliation doesn't comport with political radicalism. Of course, evangelicals tend to be GOPs. The parts of the country where they're located are the most heavily GOP states in the country.

    Even though I'm no longer connected to organized Christianity, many of my acquaintances are very active in Evangelical churches. Evangelicals, as I know them, are nowhere nearly as politicized as they were 30 years ago.

    In my opinion, that tide turned starting in 1994 when GOPs seized control of Congress and didn't come through for James Dobson, Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell. They talked the talk but they didn't accomplish much.

    As we know, all those GOP nominated Supreme Court Justices didn't overturn Roe for another three decades.


  6. by Donna on July 18, 2022 10:01 am
    I'm not missing the point. As the data has consistently showed, Trump's main support comes from White evangelicals.


  7. by HatetheSwamp on July 18, 2022 10:26 am

    You're living in the 90s, Donna.

    When you can show me that Franklin Graham and Rick Warren are with Trump like Falwell, Robertson and Dobson were with Reagan, I'll be convinced.


  8. by Donna on July 18, 2022 10:37 am
    I'm living in the data. Look at the chart in my last post.


  9. by HatetheSwamp on July 18, 2022 10:56 am

    As the data has consistently showed, Trump's main support comes from White evangelicals.

    Wow, Donna. What it shows is that Evangelicals supported Trump rather strongly, but...

    ...IT DOESN'T SHOW THAT TRUMP'S MAIN SUPPORT COMES FROM WHITE EVANGELICALS.!!!!!

    Clearly, evangelicals are a core constituency for Trump. They're not his main source of support.


  10. by Curt_Anderson on July 18, 2022 11:00 am
    Franklin Graham Says Trump 'Will Go Down in History As One of the Great Presidents'
    Evangelical leader Pastor Franklin Graham has thanked God for Donald Trump's four years in the White House, saying he will "go down in history as one of the great presidents."

    Graham posted a lengthy statement on Facebook on Monday, writing that he had been asked if he was disappointed about the election but was instead "grateful to God" for the past four years.

    The pastor, a Trump supporter since 2016, said the president had "protected our religious liberties," "stood up for the lives of the unborn" and "nominated conservative judges to the Supreme Court."
    newsweek.com


  11. by Donna on July 18, 2022 11:12 am
    You're correct, Hts. My bad.

    A third of Trumpís support in 2016 came from evangelicals ó and he hasnít lost them yet
    washingtonpost.com


  12. by HatetheSwamp on July 18, 2022 11:14 am

    Curt,

    If you believed in God, considering the last year and a half, you'd thank God for Donald Trump, too.


  13. by Donna on July 18, 2022 11:15 am
    A FB friend of mine found an interesting quote.

    ďToday Christians ... stand at the head of [this country]... I pledge that I never will tie myself to parties who want to destroy Christianity .. We want to fill our culture again with the Christian spirit ... We want to burn out all the recent immoral developments in literature, in the theater, and in the press - in short, we want to burn out the poison of immorality which has entered into our whole life and culture as a result of liberal excess during the past ... (few) years.Ē

    - Adolf Hitler, quoted in: The Speeches of Adolf Hitler, 1922-1939, Vol. 1 (London, Oxford University Press, 1942), pg. 871-872


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