Evangelicals Are Sticking With Their ‘Prince of Lies’

06 Oct

Read the whole.  The most telling bits are

Fundamentalists now have an all-access pass to the highest levels of government, and Trump made their wish list a priority. One of his first acts as president was to order the IRS to lay off monitoring political donations to churches. Political pastors and billionaires alike loved it: Conservative donors can now bleach dark money donations through churches.

His other big concession to his devout army was picking Pence to be his running (and kneeling) mate. The uxorious Hoosier, whose political career seemed deader than Lazarus or Myspace two years ago, is now a heartbeat—or a Robert Mueller indictment— away from being leader of the free world.

Trump’s chief spiritual adviser is not his veep, that pious silver fox who says he never dines alone with a woman not his wife. That sacred duty falls to White, chair of the White House evangelical panel. She is thrice-married (currently wed to Journey rocker Jonathan Cain, whose “Don’t Stop Believin’” was an ’80s rock anthem) and preaches to millions on TV and, when she’s back in Florida, to her smaller flock at the New Destiny Christian Center church in Apopka. White and her fellow prosperity theologians have put some white-out over the New Testament line that it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God. She prefers another biblical passage, “When you enter the land I am going to give you and you reap its harvest, bring to the priest a sheaf of the first grain you harvest” (Leviticus 23:10 NIV). Her webpage First Fruits 2017 is an online collection plate, decorated with a photograph of grapes, pomegranates and oranges, and click buttons labeled “Give your best first fruits offering today!” and “Send your prayer request today!” lead to forms for credit card payments.

The next most prominent godly voice in Trump’s White House is the Cabinet Bible study pastor, Ralph Drollinger, who preaches that Jesus—contrary to several millennia of church teaching—didn’t really think you had to help the poor if you happen to be a member of Congress. In “Entitlement Programs Viewed Through the Lens of Scripture,” a sermon from one of his weekly Bible study sessions, which he delivered last year on Capitol Hill, he told his high-level political congregants that the Bible “is clear” that caring for the poor is the responsibility of the family and the church, not the government. “Nowhere to be found in the NT is an explicit command for the Institution of the State to assume such a function,” he wrote. “Jesus was only a role model to emulate.”


Now comes the most presumptuous—perhaps even heretical—question a journalist could pose: What does God think of Trump, who, according to The Washington Post, has already told over 1,000 lies since he moved into the Oval Office and is on a trajectory to hit 2,000 by the end of the year?

The same digital voice analysis that measured Trump’s comfort level when talking about God and the allegedly godless New York Times shows that when the president tells an obvious lie (a statement PolitiFact has determined is false) he is more relaxed than he is at most other times during his speeches and interviews.

That would seem to be a vexing problem for the faithful, since the Bible repeatedly associates lying with the devil. To cite just one of many examples in Scripture, John 8:44 (NIV) refers to Satan thusly: “When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” Now recall that millions of white conservative fundamentalists who take the Bible literally are awaiting the fulfillment of its prophesy about the apocalypse—the end of days—which will feature the rise of an evil force that will briefly rule the world. He goes by many names, among them the Prince of Lies.

No one does religion reporting better than Burleigh.  No one.

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Posted by on 6 Oct 2017 in Modern Culture


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