Grandstanding, Lying, Praying It Away: Dear God & Hookers For Jesus, Please Send Help
By Abby Zimet
Common Dreams (3/9/20)
Oh man. Apocalypse now or soon: Spreading virus, plunging markets, growing evidence of “gross amateur hour incompetence” by our ill-equipped fake prez and his band of Christian zealots, headed by inept Vice-Pastor Pence. On Monday, WHO confirmed over 108,000 cases of coronavirus around the world, and at least 3,800 deaths. In the U.S., there are at least 500 cases and 22 deaths – despite Trump’s blithe pronouncement a few weeks ago the hoax’s 15 cases would soon be zero – with daily reports of spread. Facing the crisis is a depleted health system thanks to Trump’s oblivious cuts; wildly unprepared hospitals – no masks, tests, info – where barely 1,900 Americans have been tested, often after begging, compared to South Korea’s 10,000 tests a day; “chilling” reports of gaps in screening; horrifying reports of a White House ignoring experts’ advice in the name of PR; panicked financial markets crashing, in part in recognition that Trump is “literally the worst person to be in charge” of this or any other crisis, including a run on Samsung TVs at Walmart; and the growing consensus of the “stunning,” fatal incompetence of Trump, who had since January to get it together and failed, utterly. A pandemic, notes John Pavlovitz, is singularly problematic for Trump. You can’t gaslight, bully, threaten, fire, buy off, rage-tweet, lie about, blame windmills or Obama for it: “You can’t bullsh*t a pandemic—so nothing you know how to do will help you here.” …
Here’s The Strange Truth About The Pro-Slavery Roots Of Christian Nationalism In The US
The History News Network / Commentary (3/10/20)
Right around the time the House began its impeachment inquiry, the homepage of the U.S. Department of State featured a talk by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo titled “Being a Christian Leader.” Only a few weeks had passed since Attorney General William Barr told students at Notre Dame Law School that “secularists” are to blame for “moral chaos” and “immense suffering, wreckage, and misery,” and that “Judeo-Christian moral standards are the ultimate utilitarian rules for human conduct.” Then, at a January campaign rally at a Miami megachurch, President Donald Trump told the largely evangelical crowd that God is “on our side.”
Most of us have a sense that this kind of religious-nationalist rhetoric and behavior got its start with the revolution that Reagan brought to power. A decisive moment was in August 1980, at the Reunion Arena in Dallas, Texas, when Reagan addressed 15,000 thousand pastors and religious activists. “I know that you can’t endorse me,” but “I want you to know that I endorse you and what you are doing,” he said, to wild applause.
Reagan’s speech at the Reunion Arena marked a sea change in the role of conservative religion in American politics. But some of those who had helped organize the event were concerned that the one individual who deserved the most credit for the transformation of the interface of politics and religion was not on the podium. …
Could America’s Largest Evangelical Extremist Denomination About To Get Even More Right Wing?
By Chrissy Stroop
Religion Dispatch (3/10/20)
here is perhaps no easier way to illustrate the history and present realities of white evangelicals’ pluralism problem than by turning to the Southern Baptist Convention. These days, the range of acceptable political opinion among white Southern Baptists ranges approximately from very right-wing to ultra right-wing. But even as the SBC struggles to come up with an effective response to numerous cases of abuse and coverups that have come to light in recent years, some of the prominent ultra-right-wingers are clamoring to suppress the merely very right-wingers, whom they disdain for being “too liberal” and blame for declining finances in the SBC’s central structures.
The primary target of the ultras’ ire is Russell Moore, head of the SBC’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, a body that was formed on the foundations of the older Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty (with which the SBC cut all ties in 1991) and the Christian Life Commission. The ERLC’s founding was part of the culmination of the SBC’s so-called “conservative resurgence,” a purge of liberals from SBC leadership and institutions that dominated SBC life in the 1980s and 1990s. The hostile takeover was led by men like Paul Pressler, who stands credibly accused of molesting boys over decades, and Paige Patterson, who was disgraced in 2018 when audio surfaced of him counseling an abused wife to stay with her husband and to try to change him through prayer. …