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Without The Christian Right, There Would Be No President Trump

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Without The Christian Right, There Would Be No President Trump

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Reprinted with permission from AlterNet.

The so-called “alt-right” may have grabbed most of the attention since Donald Trump’s victory, but it’s the Christian right that got him over the line. And experts say they are much more likely to influence how he governs.

Frederick Clarkson, a senior fellow at Political Research Associates, has studied the Christian right for decades. He says that when it comes to their relationship with the morally erratic Trump, it’s all about the art of the deal.

“The Christian right has matured as a political movement. They recognize that you can’t always get political leaders who conform with your beliefs as consistently and wholly as you’d like.”

“Even though he doesn’t appear to be their guy, they can make deals with him that would make him into their guy in a way that no one else has ever been.”

Ralph Reed, chairman of the evangelical Faith and Freedom Coalition, appeared to confirm Clarkson’s analysis when he spoke to Fox News. “They were never under any illusions that Donald Trump was one of them,” he said of his evangelical flock. “And by the way, they never asked him to be. All they asked was that he shared their issues agenda and that he would fight for it. He persuaded them on both of those points.”

A lot of post-election coverage (some of it unnecessarily fawning) has considered the newer, shinier, openly white supremacist alt-right movement. And people are right to be concerned about the influence of its White House sympathizers like Steve Bannon. But the fascist core of the movement likely numbers around 10,000 or less. Trump, ever the opportunist, has already cut loose some of the more outre leaders, like Richard Spencer. Also, the wide variety of right-wing actors who lay claim to the alt-right tag are already riven by infighting.

The upsurge of hate crimes around the country should be monitored and resisted, but it seems possible that the “hipster fascists” have already peaked in terms of their national political clout. Recent bizarre speeches by Richard Spencer presage a future of increasing isolation.

The Christian right’s adherents, on the other hand, include tens of millions of the most disciplined voters in the country. And there’s a very good case to be made that they won Trump the election. Just look at the numbers.

In 2016, white evangelical Christians composed 26 percent of the electorate—just as they did in 2012, 2008, and 2004.

And their quarter of the total vote in 2016 went 81-16 percent for the Republican. This gave Donald Trump a slightly bigger share of evangelicals than Mitt Romney, the pious Mormon, in 2012, or war hero John McCain in 2008. Trump even slightly outdid George W. Bush’s 2004 share, even though W identified as a born-again Christian.

According to exit polls, these numbers and proportions meant that the evangelical vote alone almost entirely negated Clinton’s advantage among nonwhites. (Of the 29 percent of voters who were nonwhite, Clinton got 74 percent of the vote.)

And while there’s been a lot of talk about the “white working class” and its grievances, other figures suggest that the combination of race and religious identity may have been even more potent.

According to the Public Religion Research Institute, “the proportion of white Christians in each of the 50 states is more strongly correlated with support for Trump than is the proportion of white residents without a college degree in the state.” If we use education as a proxy for class, in the states that flipped Trump it mattered less than religion.

The places where Trump outperformed expectations to clinch the election—like Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Iowa—all have white Christian majorities.

As the PRRI’s CEO Robert P. Jones points out, in 2016, when we measure the United States as a whole, white Christians (a category that includes white evangelicals, but is not limited to them) are only 43 percent of the population.

His recent book, The End of White Christian America, predicted that white Christians would, on the whole, decline in their demographic and electoral dominance. He stands by the overall argument, but admits 2016 didn’t exactly bear out his conclusions.

“Where I was wrong, where I was surprised, is that I said in the book that Mitt Romney’s campaign was the last one in which you could plausibly stack up enough white Christian voters to get you over the line.”

“I would say that what you are seeing is that last gasp of this particular group, rather than any reversal of major trends.”

The key this year was turnout. The Obama coalition, faced with an uninspiring Democratic candidate, stayed home in droves in key states. The Christian right—losing ground demographically and in the culture wars—came out to vote. While Clinton piled up redundant votes in safe states like California, evangelicals helped to pry loose the upper Midwest for Trump.

The fact that they did may seem puzzling. Trump is on his third wife, cheerfully admits to serial adultery and even sexual assault, and has been inconsistent over time on the kinds of moral issues—abortion, homosexuality—that exercise evangelicals. His own expressions of faith seemed pro forma; he generally gives the appearance of being the most godless candidate in living memory.

As a result, some evangelical leaders, like Russell Moore, were firmly in the #nevertrump camp, seeing the candidate’s moral flaws as disqualifying. (Moore declined the opportunity to comment on this story.)

Millions of evangelicals were able to get past this, in part, because of their fear and loathing of Hillary Clinton. Clarkson says they voted from similar sentiments to many other voting blocs, choosing, as they saw it, the lesser of two evils.

“One candidate was beyond the pale and another candidate was acceptable to them.”

Despite Trump’s apparent “lack of a serious religiosity,” and a very mixed record on abortion and homosexuality, Clinton was more feared on the grounds of policy.

“She was not just pro-choice but seen as pro-abortion, she was seen as pro-marriage equality, she was seen as pro-gay rights, she was seen as anti-family. She represented the kind of demonized feminism that has animated their movement for a couple of decades now. It’s hard for liberals to see how people are affected by those issues, but they are.”

Clinton has held her place as a bete noire of the Christian right for decades.

Carin Robinson, a political scientist who coauthored Onward Christian Soldiers? The Christian Right in American Politics recalls that when she was studying the Christian right in the 1990s, “On numerous occasions I received mailings from these groups that said Hillary Clinton was going to take away my Bible. She has been used as a means of mobilizing, inspiring fear and getting evangelicals to vote.“

Having her appoint a Supreme Court justice was the worst prospect of all. Robinson says that “The evangelicals I have spoken to, it just came down to that Supreme Court nomination, and having that crystallized by the death of Scalia. It was all about that empty chair.”

But even with this hostility to Clinton as a baseline, how did they come to terms with Trump? How did they come to select him in the primary above candidates with other Christian candidates? Jones thinks it was because his campaign messages were not in fact at odds with evangelicals’ values—in fact he was speaking straight to them.

“It was really this bigger argument Trump was making about turning the clock back. If you’re a white evangelical your numbers are slipping due to immigration, and because your children and grandchildren are leaving the church. Trump’s rhetoric gave a sense of turning the clock back to a time when your values, your demographic had sway in the country.”

“He converted values voters into nostalgia voters.”

He says “the data doesn’t really support” the idea that these voters were holding their noses as they voted for Trump. In pre-election surveys, white evangelicals expressed opinions that chimed with Trump’s key messages. The evinced hostility to migrants, and a belief in pervasive “reverse” racism and a sense that the country is adrift.

“When you look at him on the stump, he was saying to evangelicals, ‘your numbers used to be increasing, now they’re decreasing. If you elect me, you’ll have a friend in the white house who will restore power to the Christian churches. I’m you’re last chance, folks.’

But Clarkson instead points to Trump’s concrete offerings.

“To some extent it didn’t matter who the non-Hillary candidate was. The question was, what kind of deal could they strike? This was the most openly transactional electorate for the Christian right we have ever seen. What did they get? We don’t know the answer exactly, but let’s look at the results so far.”

During the campaign, Clarkson said, Trump made all the right noises about easing Christians’ sense of persecution in an increasingly liberal cultural and legal climate. One key issue carried a particular weight. “He said he was going to be very forceful about religious liberty, and particularly the Johnson Amendment.”

This was a change President Johnson made to the tax code, preventing certain kinds of nonprofits, like churches, from endorsing or opposing political candidates. Trump has called for its repeal.

It’s not just the tax code that concerns them, though. “There’s a deeper agenda” for the big evangelical organizations, according to Clarkson.

“They don’t want to comply with civil rights and labor laws, or “complicit,” as they see it, with abortion in any way, or see taxes go into things they don’t support.”

These beliefs frame attitudes from everything from healthcare to gay marriage. Evangelical organizations and their adherents don’t want to participate in healthcare plans that fund birth control or abortion, any more than they want to bake cakes for gay couples or be forced to consider them for employment.

Religious liberty so defined “is a banner they are willing to follow. If he is prepared to appoint Supreme Court justices that support that view, cases like the Bob Jones decision would be vulnerable.”

That was the decision made back in 1983, where the Supreme Court ruled that the IRS could revoke Bob Jones University’s tax-exempt status for banning interracial relationships.

Trump’s promises on these issues have been taken very seriously by Christian right leaders.

Jim Daly, of Focus on the Family, wrote in a newsletter the day after the election, “We are grateful for Mr. Trump’s pro-life pledge and look forward to his promise of a pro-life administration, which includes de-funding Planned Parenthood. We’re also optimistic about the president-elect’s pledge to champion pro-religious liberty policies and once again welcome faith in the public square.”

The elevation of Mike Pence as Trump’s running-mate was a big reassurance to leaders like Dobson, and his millions of followers. Pence identifies as an evangelical Christian, and according to Robinson, “has great credentials among Christian right leaders.” Clarkson says that during the campaign, Pence “personally reassured” evangelical voters. “He spoke to voters at the values voters summit and reassured of them of Trump’s bona fides. He told them that he is in favour of religious liberty. And he had the standing to say that.”

Trump has put Pence in charge of the transition team, giving him enormous power over determining the shape of Trump’s cabinet. His decisions have already pleased the faithful.

The Faith and Freedom Coalition has issued statements welcoming the appointment of Tom Price as Health and Human Services Secretary, anticipating that, “he will lead the effort to repeal and replace Obamacare and its unconstitutional mandate.” Similarly, they welcomed Jeff Sessions as someone who would “to make our country a better place and ensure that the concerns of people of faith are upheld at the highest level of our government.” (AlterNet reached out to the Faith and Freedom Coalition for further comments, but its spokesman did not respond to emails before the deadline for this story.)

As for Jerry Falwell Jr., who heads up the evangelical Liberty University, he says that the transition team offered him the Education Secretary gig, before handing it off to billionaire ideologue Betsy DeVos. He was a strong backer of Trump during the campaign, and even censored anti-Trump material in the University’s newspaper.

But Pence may wind up with even more heft after Inauguration Day.

Reports that Trump offered John Kasich a slew of hitherto presidential powers when he was wooing him as a potential running mate gives Frederick Clarkson pause. If Pence got the same offer, “that would make him the most powerful vice president in American history.”

Meanwhile, the things the administration doesn’t do might be as significant as its positive moves. For example, any relaxation of enforcement of the Voting Rights Act by a Sessions Department of Justice will only give white Christian voters greater relative sway. And refusing to fund Planned Parenthood will just make it harder for women to maintain control over their reproductive rights, especially in red states that aren’t inclined to make up the shortfalls.

Trump owes evangelicals, and the early signs are that he will deliver. He will need them again in 2020, and again they might be crucial to the election result.

While it’s true that America is no longer a majority white Christian country, and is grinding toward a minority-majority future, what counts in elections is voters. While Jones thinks that white Christian America is on the slide, Clarkson points to their resiliency, and the way that in spite of population changes, they are still able to make themselves a part of winning electoral coalitions.

“There is a certain wishful thinking that has attended the rise and continuation of the religious right.”

“Pentecostalism is the fastest-growing sector of American Christianity. It is a grouping of people who have gone from being the least political to the most political. They are organized.”

They may be a much more serious long-term danger than the outright fascists, because one of the things they are best at organizing is the vote.

Jason Wilson is a writer and photographer based in Portland, Oregon. His internationally published work has appeared in many outlets including The Guardian (where he is a columnist), AlterNet, The Atlantic, and Religion Dispatches. 

IMAGE: Members of the clergy lay hands and pray over Donald Trump at the New Spirit Revival Center in Cleveland Heights, Ohio.

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69 Comments

  1. Mama Bear December 19, 2016

    It does figure, actually. These rightwing nut evilgelicals are interested in anything from abortion denial to downright sharia law based on their interpretation of their holy book. You know, the one that says women should “learn quietly” and subject themselves to their husbands as head of the household…and don’t forget the part about the world only being 5000 years old…and one and on it goes. These people are more fear inspiring to those of us who love freedom than Trump himself.

    Reply
    1. charleo1 December 19, 2016

      Plus, if the end of civilization does occur, it will most likely be one of these illogical, self appointed “Christian warriors,” who pushes the button first.

      Reply
      1. Budjob December 20, 2016

        BOOM!!! It is going to happen!

        Reply
  2. Lynda Groom December 19, 2016

    Neither christian or right, but they do turn out to vote in a block.

    Reply
    1. Gailtclancy December 20, 2016

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      Reply
    2. Budjob December 20, 2016

      Christians?? My balls are more Christian than any of these bible thumping Bastards!

      Reply
  3. Otto T. Goat December 19, 2016

    Without the votes of low IQ blacks there would have been no President Obama.

    Reply
    1. jmprint December 20, 2016

      When are you going to get over it that we had a Black President who is a gentleman and a scholar, not a fraud and pussie grabber.

      Reply
      1. RED December 20, 2016

        Jm, take a moment to imagine how empty and worthless one’s life must be to either believe the ignorance goat child believes or possibly even worse to possess so little morals or conscience that you are willing to sell yourself out to whoever might pay you. Can you imagine what a sad empty little shell one must be. Was he abandoned by his mother? I have no need to question how his romantic pursuits failed, that is already quite obvious. One might have a small bit sympathy for such a pathetic soul. But as we must sometime do with children when their childish behavior endangers others, sympathy is secondary.

        Reply
      2. Jinmichigan December 20, 2016

        Likely never. That would take a certain level of intellect and insight that the goat will never possess.

        Reply
      3. Otto T. Goat December 20, 2016

        Just stating a fact.

        Reply
        1. jmprint December 20, 2016

          Those low IQ white voters that voted for Trump are going to be disappointed. Now that’s a fact.

          Reply
  4. FireBaron December 19, 2016

    Ironically, everything Teflon Donnie has done in his personal life since Kindergarten has been 180 out of phase with the Christian Right’s stand on things, yet they still supported him. Why? Because he wasn’t Hillary. The GOP and their Christian Right allies have spent since 1992 painting her as the “Handmaiden of Satan”. There ain’t no way any of them would have considered voting for her, even though everything Teflon Donnie stood for and promised was about as unchristian as it is possible to be.

    Reply
  5. Budjob December 19, 2016

    The so “Christian Right”,is every bit as evil as the Fascist/Nazi pigs that they voted for! They are extremely dangerous,evil Bastards!

    Reply
  6. Tony Mac December 19, 2016

    So much was made of President Obama being a secret Muslim who also went to a Christian church run by Rev. Wright…the man was vilified and demonized for being both a brainwashed Christian and a Muslim at the same time…which is not possible.
    So has anyone ever seen Trump in a church or near a church or even heard him say what “Christian” denomination he is? He not only conned these religious voters, Trump has even conned God. Way to go Donald you serial adulterer, Sex predator and inveterate liar…now — where the hell are your tax returns…???? We were warned …and now we have to fight back…

    Reply
    1. dbtheonly December 20, 2016

      No, you’re assuming that winning the Presidency is a success in God’s eye.

      What is Trump’s goal?

      Political policies? Snort of derision.

      Making money? The Presidency already is limiting his income.

      Getting laid by beautiful women? Ya think Secret Service protection makes that more or less likely?

      His image? Already it looks like the Trump Administration will give Warren Harding a run for most corrupt. How long will the crowds cheer when he crashes the economy? How many will cheer a trade war with China? How many will cheer a shooting war with China? Add the talk of an impeachment?

      I am already convinced that the Presidency will cost Trump the one thing that’s truly important to him.

      Reply
      1. jmprint December 20, 2016

        “I am already convinced that the Presidency will cost Trump the one thing that’s truly important to him.” One can only hope.

        Reply
        1. dbtheonly December 20, 2016

          Hope?

          It seems a pretty solid bet.

          What does Trump value?
          How does he get or keep it?

          If Trump values popularity, and if you wish to argue differently, okay, how does he keep his popularity through the daily grind of governing?

          I submit he’ll never be significantly more popular than now. He’s lost already.

          Reply
    2. itsfun December 20, 2016

      Lets see the Christian right elected him, then you say he has no religion at all. Next you will be telling us he is the devil himself.

      Reply
      1. jmprint December 20, 2016

        BINGO!

        Reply
      2. Jinmichigan December 20, 2016

        You do catch on. Apparently it just takes a while.

        Reply
        1. itsfun December 20, 2016

          Donald Trump 3 Democrats 0
          Trump won election, recount, and electoral college. Democrats won nothing.

          Reply
          1. Jinmichigan December 20, 2016

            Depends on the definition of “won”.

            Reply
          2. itsfun December 20, 2016

            you mean like Bill Clinton answering questions from a grand jury saying it depends on what you mean by the word “it”

            Reply
          3. Jinmichigan December 20, 2016

            At least you could try to get the story right. It was the word, “is”, that Clinton had trouble with.

            Reply
          4. itsfun December 20, 2016

            poor ole Bill

            Reply
          5. itsfun December 20, 2016

            Coming in first in any contest is winning. I will bet you are one that believe in participation awards for everyone and telling the last place losers how wonderful they are and winning means nothing. Winning may not be everything, but second is nothing.

            Reply
          6. Jinmichigan December 20, 2016

            Stealing is not winning.

            Reply
          7. itsfun December 20, 2016

            Come on: Its time to stop whining and move on.

            Reply
          8. jmprint December 20, 2016

            Coming in first in ANY CONTEST is winning. Hillary won by votes.

            Reply
          9. itsfun December 20, 2016

            She lost by number of electoral votes. That is the system the United States uses and always has used.

            Reply
          10. The lucky one December 20, 2016

            I don’t know about second being nothing in this case. Since I don’t expect Hillary will be refunding any of the big checks (based on the expectation she would win) she received for her bankster speeches I’d say she did pretty well. Plus she won’t even have to endure the full court press the right wing would have unleashed. Seems to me she is the ONLY real winner here.

            Reply
          11. Thoughtopsy December 21, 2016

            Dumbass doesn’t understand the concept of the Pyrrhic Victory.

            Luckily: Reality is an excellent teacher.

            Reply
          12. The lucky one December 20, 2016

            You’re being redundant. The election and the electoral college are the same thing. But if you meant the popular vote the fact is that no he did not win that. Clinton won by nearly 3 million votes in that category.

            Reply
          13. itsfun December 20, 2016

            She lost get use to President Trump.

            Reply
          14. The lucky one December 21, 2016

            I’ll never get used to Trump. If you ignore an infection it only gets worse.

            But you do realize you were being redundant, right?

            Reply
          15. itsfun December 21, 2016

            Yep and I will continue to be

            Reply
          16. The lucky one December 22, 2016

            No doubt.

            Reply
          17. charleo1 December 21, 2016

            Sure! Trump won. And so did the Plutocrats, and Kleptocrats win. Vladimir Putin, Bashar Assad, and Iran, and their proxies in Lebanon Hezbollah won. Big oil won, the climate denier crowd won. Hate won a battle. And ISIS won a propaganda bonanza. So congratulations right?

            Reply
          18. itsfun December 21, 2016

            Don’t you mean the JV team when you say ISIS? Did you see where Obama just fired a scientist that disagreed with him on climate change? I hope big oil won. We need the energy to be independent from the Arabs controlling our gasoline supply.

            Reply
      3. The lucky one December 20, 2016

        Did you read the article. The Christian right acknowledged that he is not one of them but were convinced by the conman par excellence that they could deal with him to get what they want.

        Reply
      4. Thoughtopsy December 21, 2016

        “Two Corinthians? Two Corinthians? Is that the one you like?”
        – Pres-Elect Loser pretending to be “Religious”.

        LOLz

        Reply
      5. charleo1 December 21, 2016

        Ironic eh? That the Evangelicals elected the AntiChrist. Too funny!

        Reply
    3. jmprint December 20, 2016

      God can’t be conned. Their day will come, hopefully those that didn’t vote for him, won’t be hurt too much.

      Reply
  7. Aaron_of_Portsmouth December 19, 2016

    The “Christian Right” it would appear have abandoned the ideals of Christianity and fashioned yet another version of Christianity.
    That this confused group of so-called adherents could on the one hand agree about the immoral behavior of Trump, and then look for ways to make some deal with Trump to persuade him promote a political agenda garbed in religiosity speaks volumes of the corruption of this enormously large group of “Christians”.
    The “Christian Right” see no problem with making a deal with a person of Satan-like stature to promote their point of view rather than remain true to what Christianity stood for.
    Jesus did not make deals with with those Jewish clerics of His time, and for that He had to pay the price. Today, that’s all forgotten and the faithful seem more willing to worship mammon than God, no matter what Season of the Year it is.

    “And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s. And they marvelled at him.” — Mark 12:17

    This statement by Jesus pertains to that which is secular and dealing with governance, and it’s appropriate that He chose to use the most corrupt entity(The Roman Empire) as something that stood apart from the spiritual realm and spiritual attitudes espoused by Jesus.

    The so-called “Christian Right” no longer marvels at Jesus and chose instead to tread a different path, away from The Straight Path.

    Reply
    1. Dominick Vila December 20, 2016

      The schism between the teachings of Jesus, and the example he established throughout his life, and the immorality, inhumanity, and greed of the so-called Christian right is wider than the Grand Canyon. The fact that they supported, and continue to support, a greedy narcissist, and a man whose despicable behavior is an embarrassment for the human species, does not surprise me. They are two peas in a pod.

      Reply
      1. Aaron_of_Portsmouth December 20, 2016

        Sooner or later, the Christians(or Muslims, etc) who say they believe, and in the blink of an eye act and speak in o[pposition to their ideals, will have to reexamine their relationship to Jesus(or Muhammad) and see the contradiction between their belief and their actions. Such contradictions nullify one’s assertion of being a Christian, Muslim, Jew, or even a Baha’i.

        Reply
        1. Beethoven December 26, 2016

          Unfortunately, I have had to deal with many of the “Christians” you are talking about, and the will never reexamine their beliefs, because they are totally unwilling to see any contradiction, no matter how clearly it is shown to them.

          Reply
  8. mary.vaden December 20, 2016

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    Reply
  9. itsfun December 20, 2016

    Without the Christian right there would be no United States of America. We would still be a English colony bowing to the Queen.

    Reply
    1. jmprint December 20, 2016

      WRONG

      Reply
    2. Jinmichigan December 20, 2016

      Only in your mind.

      Reply
    3. The lucky one December 20, 2016

      Please explain because though not a history scholar I am currently reading the Oxford collection of books detailing American history and am just about finished with Reconstruction. I have seen nothing that would indicate your thesis is even close to being accurate.

      Reply
      1. itsfun December 20, 2016

        I couldn’t care less what you find or don’t find. You sound like another do nothing academic.

        Reply
        1. Thoughtopsy December 21, 2016

          “Knowledge is bad!”
          “Learning is stoopid!”
          “Ignorance is holy!”
          “Feelings and Beliefs are better than Facts!”
          “Educated people know less than me!”
          – The five things “Itsfun” believes in.

          Sure buddy… you stick with your willful ignorance. I hear it works great when dealing with power tools, poisonous substances and reality.
          Best of luck.

          Reply
        2. The lucky one December 21, 2016

          Obviously you couldn’t care less about American history or you wouldn’t make such an absurd statement. Not sure what you mean by “academic”. Yes I have been to college, taught in a professional training program in a community college and like to read non-fiction.

          I realize that the more knowledge someone has the less people like you and your hero Donnie respect them but that reflects poorly on you/him not them.

          Reply
          1. itsfun December 21, 2016

            Yep those that can’t – teach

            Reply
          2. The lucky one December 22, 2016

            A very lame response. So you learned how to read by yourself I suppose. If you do have any other skills someone helped you learn them too. I taught in and directed a professional training program which means I have to be able to do all the things they are learning.

            Maybe you had some poor teachers. I have had a few of those and also some that changed my life. Your prejudice against a group which contains some of the finest people in the country, and some deadbeats as in all professions, doesn’t reflect favorably on you.

            Reply
          3. itsfun December 22, 2016

            I don’t have anything against good teachers. I had some very good ones and sadly some poor ones also. My niece is a elementary school teacher with a additional degree to teach handicapped children. I also taught some IT classes after working in the field for over 30 years. My problem is with those that try to teach things like economies with no experience in the real world. Theories don’t work in the real world. Experience does. I don’t like teachers or professors that bring their political leanings to the classrooms and try to shape the minds of young people.

            Reply
          4. The lucky one December 24, 2016

            “Theories don’t work in the real world.” I don’t think you really mean that but the real world is where theories are tested. Like “trickle down” economics which was shown to be completely false although it looks like Trump is going with that failed theory once again.

            I agree that teachers should not try to indoctrinate students. Critical discussion is what opens minds but I also think that not all opinions should be treated equally and all participants in a discussion need to be able to see their ideas challenged, respectfully of course, by evidence and reasoning.

            If for instance, as has happened in my classes sometimes, a student questions evolution and presents creationism as a viable alternative they should expect to be able to defend their position against overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Incidentally, as I point out to them, an acceptance of evolution as a biological fact does not mean negation of belief in a creator. The two “theories” can easily co-exist as long as one can get by some religious dogma such as the absurd belief that the world was created 10,000 years ago or that man was created full blown rather than through evolution.

            I don’t remember the exact quote or who said it but I firmly believe that “The worst thing we can do for a child’s education is to teach him/her to respect those who think alike more than those who think differently”

            Reply
      2. Thoughtopsy December 21, 2016

        Don’t even bother.
        This special snowflake just has “things he believes but never bothers to check or justify”. “Truthiness” at its extreme worst.

        Like Trump you can prove his maunderings to be obviously wrong and he refuses to believe you.

        Lost cause.
        Useless space-filler.

        Reply
    4. Thoughtopsy December 21, 2016

      “Without [fill in the blank] there would be no United States of America.”
      – Example of a stupid person justifying something.

      Guess what you could put there?
      – Slavery
      – The Evolution of humanity from the great apes
      – Columbus
      – Britain and its Empire
      – Killing nearly all the American Indians
      – The Invention of Ships

      So so dumb.

      Reply
  10. jmprint December 20, 2016

    These christian right members are not pro-God they are pro-men.

    Reply
  11. Dan S December 20, 2016

    It would appear the Christian Right which I can’t identify with because the God I worship doesn’t favor people with an evil agenda. By supporting Trump & getting him into the WhiteHouse is the equivalent of making a deal with the Devil. There will be a heavy price extracted for making that deal & we’ll all pay for it. Even my own Pastor wouldn’t vote for someone who would sooner do a bidding with Satan himself than to be a force for good

    Reply
  12. RED December 20, 2016

    Awfully long article for something that could be summed up in a few words: People who believe is sky fairies are obviously extremely gullible. And we now know they are also lying hypocrites too. Done!

    Reply
    1. Aaron_of_Portsmouth December 20, 2016

      No one believes in sky fairies, RED, except those who take everything they read literally.. The images portrayed in the Bible, the Qur’an, the Baha’i Writings are metaphors and not to be taken literally, except when it’s clear what the context is. This is something one learns by practicing critical thinking.
      Unfortunately, your abilities to discern the difference and lack of keenness to see the underlying meaning, or the inability to distinguish between contingent terminology and allusions and alliterations is the source of your confusion. For example—When I say that someone is as strong as a bull, I don’t mean that literally. Or when we say someone is an angel, that refers to a pleasant and lofty character—not someone with wings and a halo flitting around as in “Fantasia”.
      Happily, there’s a way to move beyond that—one way is to start using your mind’s ability to understand allegories, similes, etc.by reading more poetry and other forms of literary works by scholars of literature, etc.

      Reply
      1. RED December 20, 2016

        Ahhh, Aaron, I always appreciate your comments, they usually reflect that you are well studied and have taken interest and been exposed to a diverse and large world. However, in this case, your very first sentence is a contradiction, “No one believes in sky fairies, RED, except hose who take everything they read literally.” Uh well DUH!! Yes, the people who take the Bible quite literally, in other word CHRISTIANS, man. Perhaps you yourself digest the Bible in a metaphorical way but I find it difficult to believe that you would think the many supplicants to the almighty sky fairy do so as well? If so, then I must say it is yourself who is not dealing in reality.

        Reply
        1. Aaron_of_Portsmouth December 27, 2016

          OK, I erred by implying that fanatics and those who don’t understand metaphors don’t believe in fairies in the sky. I should have moderated my tone and been more reasonable.
          I have since learned from my earliest exposure to the Baha’i Faith as a junior in high school that Religion by choice resorted to use similes, parables, metaphors, as a way of challenging us.
          Somewhere in the Old Testament, and again by Jesus, there are references to parables being employed.
          In Surah 2:26, I came across a verse some time ago to kindly refute a claim by a Muslim I met in the Boston area one year regarding this subject—“Allah disdains not to use the similitude of things, lowest as well as highest. Those who believe know that it is truth from their Lord; but those who reject Faith say: “What means Allah by this similitude?” By it He causes many to stray, and many He leads into the right path; but He causes not to stray, except those who forsake (the path),…”
          I have also come across the same idea stated in a slightly different way in Baha’u’llah’s Writings( see Kitab-i-Iqan but I don’t have the page handy right now).

          So, in Islam, Judaism, in Christianity, Hinduism, etc. there have always been those who, for reason of not knowing better, chose to interpret literally. This is a challenge for you and me to try to “politely”[I speak of myself] show such people a different way to read and understand.

          Reply
  13. Beethoven December 26, 2016

    Whenever any journalist writes about the Christian right, they should, to be accurate, put “Christian” inside quotation marks, because the “Christian right” is not composed of true Christians, but “Christians” or “CINOs” (Christians in name only), who claim to be Christian but who don’t have even a fundamental understanding of what Christianity should be, or should represent. True Christianity does not attempt to kill, or destroy, or suppress, all people who do not share the views of the “Christians” who proclaim the divinity of the Christ but refuse to live by his teachings.

    Reply

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