Why Evangelicals voted Trump

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Why Evangelicals voted Trump

Postby Stephen Fox » Wed Apr 25, 2018 4:51 pm

http://religiondispatches.org/fear-nost ... -john-fea/

May be the definitive answer to date

In tandem with the Atlantic Cover Story easy google for How Evangelicals Lost Their Way not many stones left unturned.

And Friday April 27, this: http://religiondispatches.org/maybe-its ... e-reality/
Last edited by Stephen Fox on Fri Apr 27, 2018 12:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Why Evangelicals voted Trump

Postby Sandy » Wed Apr 25, 2018 7:57 pm

Great article you found here. I think a lot of people will be wondering about this for a long time. There's been a blending of the feeling of power that comes with the elevation to status of Prophet of some of the celebrity and teevee religion personalities that are self-appointed Evangelical leaders with the fantasyworld creation of extremist right wing media that keeps reality from creeping in that has caused Evangelicals to drift away from dependence on and faith in God to getting what they want by using worldly power. It is an apostacy of Biblical proportions.
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Re: Why Evangelicals voted Trump

Postby William Thornton » Thu Apr 26, 2018 4:16 am

I think John Fea has some good insights (I like his stuff on the historical propagandist Barton) but any piece that purports to explain why 81% of "evangelicals" voted for Trump that has not one mention of Hilary loses a lot of credibility. I'm not impressed but maybe Fea dealt with that in his book. The article was a very limited interview.

Still, maybe this kind of stuff will persuade the dems to run Hil again. That would be a gift.
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Re: Why Evangelicals voted Trump

Postby ET » Thu Apr 26, 2018 7:07 am

Fea has been writing about this for close to two years now. I've been following his blog for several years and I've got his latest/upcoming book on pre-order and have read 3 of his other books so far ("Why Study History?", "Was America Founded as a Christian Nation?" (one of the 'anti-Barton' pieces William mentions) and "The Way of Improvement Leads Home"). I agree with much of what he writes about the folks for whom he coined the phrase "court evangelicals".

However, as William notes, I am still dubious of these columns attempting to explain why supposedly the "81% of (white) evangelicals" voted for Trump. I have had multiple conversations with family and friends on this issue. A few might be considered "supporters" of Trump. Most of the people I know just voted for him because either they considered not voting for him or voting for a third party to be a vote for Hillary or believe the only choice was the standard "lesser of two evils". Trump may be bad, but Hillary was worse. Some took the "we're voting for a politician, not a preacher" route to vote for him.

It seems like EVERY election cycle the media talk about the importance of capturing the (supposedly) important 'independents'. A candidate caters to their base in the primaries, then shifts more to the middle to win the independents and/or moderates in the general primary. I haven't seen nearly as much written about why enough of those folks voted for Trump to give him the victory over Hillary. I'd definitely like to see how many evangelicals would have had to abandon Trump for it to mean anything, but that would have to be computed on state-by-state basis.

Another tidbit - Fea dedicates his book to the "19%"...but if I recall, that 19% doesn't vote Republican anyway, so I'm not sure what merit they deserve for not voting for Trump. I think I shall pose a related question to Fea on his FB page.
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Re: Why Evangelicals voted Trump

Postby KeithE » Thu Apr 26, 2018 8:25 am

I do not believe Fea is right about latent racism being a major explanation for the 81%. Hillary hatred was no doubt a larger factor as William implied.

Tribal following has been a strong trait within “evangelicals" in general for a long time (certainly since 1900 and the growth of fundamentalism). It is not so much that they were following Jesus as their dislike of mainline churches/theological liberalism. We are better than x, y or z, they say. That is what motivated them and they formed a tribe based on that basis (stronger the any denominationalism, imo).

Since 1979, Jerry Falwell, Sr. and his follow-ons have exploited this trait (a ready made tribe) for the joint purpose of conservatism in politics as well as religion. That joint standard has straightened that tribe in both religious and politics fronts and it became (and is continuing to coalesce) into the so-called “religious right” tribe. That is the best explanation for the 81%, imo.

All of this tribalism is ignoring the principles of Jesus. Read 10 Things You Can't Do While Following Jesus (read to the end for the number 1 thing you cannot do - hate - yet that is what this joint political/religious tribe is based on). That tribe is unhinged from its supposed leader.

ET wrote:Another tidbit - Fea dedicates his book to the "19%"...but if I recall, that 19% doesn't vote Republican anyway, so I'm not sure what merit they deserve for not voting for Trump. I think I shall pose a related question to Fea on his FB page.

They (evangelicals that did not vote for Trump) deserve “merit” for bucking this tribe be they nominal Dems or Reps or Indys.
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Re: Why Evangelicals voted Trump

Postby Sandy » Thu Apr 26, 2018 9:21 am

I'll have to read the book. While these interviews do shed some light on the content, the books have the details that usually answer all the questions. Fea is a credible author, because he builds his thesis on documentation of facts.

KeithE wrote:Tribal following has been a strong trait within “evangelicals" in general for a long time (certainly since 1900 and the growth of fundamentalism).


I agree with that. Though they claim belief in the inerrant, infallible Bible, most white Evangelicals are prone to believe their well-known, celebrity preachers, and that has isolated them inside a right wing media bubble, preventing facts from getting through without spin or interpretation. The groupings and denominations of Evangelical Christianity are still the most segregated religious institutions in American Christian culture, even among the Northern branches, to the point of where we are having this discussion in the context of "white" Evangelicals as opposed to "non-white", who have identical theological beliefs and church practices, and who are almost as numerous as their white brethren, but who generally don't allow politics to supplant the mission and purpose of their churches, and who, for the most part, vote differently. Connect that thought with the fact that white, Evangelical churches and denominations are now declining in attendance and membership at rates that rival the mainline churches in the 60's and 70's, but the "non-white" branches and denominations in the same theological and practical vein are growing numerically, seeing baptisms increase, and are responsible for the lion's share of new church plants.

William Thornton wrote:I think John Fea has some good insights (I like his stuff on the historical propagandist Barton) but any piece that purports to explain why 81% of "evangelicals" voted for Trump that has not one mention of Hilary loses a lot of credibility. I'm not impressed but maybe Fea dealt with that in his book. The article was a very limited interview.


I'm not sure he doesn't mention it in the book. Evangelical culture as a whole is resistant to the idea of an intelligent, aggressive, self-confident, accomplished woman assuming a major leadership role in anything, whether it is business or politics, and certainly not the church. But right wing media, especially the secular pundits who don't understand that culture, have painted Hillary as the incarnation of the Biblical antichrist, the consummate corrupt, self-serving politician whose goal is to line her own pockets, or turn the country over to the Muslims, or to the Communists, or to the Chinese, depending on the source and the audience. The contradictions of their own stories are laughable, the lack of credibility so obvious that you wonder about the education level and intelligence of anyone who believes it. Combine that with the fact that she is the most investigated politician in history, and thus is the most exonerated, with millions of pages of evidence to document it, and you have a start for figuring out "the Hillary factor."

The fact that Hillary Clinton is the second highest vote getter in American Presidential history flies in the face of a lot of theories. A lot of Republican candidates for office in special elections since 2016 have gone down to defeat because they chose to "run against Hillary" instead of running against their opponent, the most notable of those being Roy Moore. A lot more Republicans are going to experience the folly of attempting to do the same thing in November. She won't run again, but I'd be willing to bet that if she did, and Trump were her opponent, she'd win in a landslide and have a two thirds majority Congress behind her.
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Re: Why Evangelicals voted Trump

Postby Jon Estes » Thu Apr 26, 2018 10:01 am

To respond to Stephens thread title...

Because he was the best choice of the two candidates.
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More to think about, espeically in Bama

Postby Stephen Fox » Fri Apr 27, 2018 12:21 pm

With Rick Burgess, Baptist Church of the Highlands and their 14 campuses and the new lynching complex in Montgomery about which the NY Times did a spectacular job last week. I had friends present yesterday but didnt make it myself.

Keep an eye on Marshall County Bama Will Ainsworth, a prayed up slick version of a morphed George Wallace with Tim Tebow!!!

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Helms, Criswell and Pressler gave us Trump in Six Steps

Postby Stephen Fox » Fri Apr 27, 2018 12:34 pm

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Re: Why Evangelicals voted Trump

Postby Sandy » Fri Apr 27, 2018 2:24 pm

The Conversation wrote:Two of our contributors pointed in particular to a fast-growing Christian movement, that aims to bring God’s perfect society to Earth by placing “kingdom-minded people” in “powerful positions at the top of all sectors of society.”


This is mostly a group of Charismatic/Pentecostal pastors and churches, but not exclusively. Many of its philosophical underpinnings are rooted in Freemasonry. The Mormons also teach the same thing about themselves, which is why, after decades of being identified and labelled as a cult almost universally by Evangelicals, Mitt Romney's presidential candidacy resulted in wide acceptance of Mormons, and either ignoring the false teachings or sidestepping the issue by prominent Evangelicals, including Jerry Falwell Jr. and Robert Jeffress. This influence has resulted in something that would have been unthinkable 15 years ago, and that is the appearance of Mormons, spouting Mormon doctrine contrary to the gospel, speaking in Convocation at Liberty University and from the pulpit of First Baptist Church of Dallas. Moving from Romney to Trump, the acceptance has gone from false teaching to accepting the ungodly immoral hedonism of Trump.

If prominent Evangelical leaders are already engaged in a discussion about staying away from the word "Evangelical" as a descriptive term for those who hold that particular set of beliefs in common, then that's a clear recognition of the fact that support for Trump is having serious consequences interfering with the Biblical mission and purpose of the church. The idea that a group of "kingdom minded people" occupying powerful positions in order to influence for the gospel is contrary to Biblical teaching, and sounds like what used to be labelled as "postmillennialism," which Evangelicals for the most part would call "heresy."
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Re: Why Evangelicals voted Trump

Postby Haruo » Fri Apr 27, 2018 7:45 pm

What Mormon doctrine contrary to the Gospel was actually spouted at Liberty? I'm not clear on the details, and would like to be. Dallas ditto.
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Re: Why Evangelicals voted Trump

Postby Tim Bonney » Fri Apr 27, 2018 9:57 pm

Sandy wrote:
This is mostly a group of Charismatic/Pentecostal pastors and churches, but not exclusively. Many of its philosophical underpinnings are rooted in Freemasonry.


Not really. Their founders stole Masonic ritual but they remade and reimagined the symbolism giving those symbols different meanings than are found in Masonry. What they believe isn't what is taught in Freemasonry.

For many years a Mormon in Utah was not allowed to join a Utah Masonic lodges because of how Freemasons feel about the theft and twisting of the Masonic material.
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Re: Why Evangelicals voted Trump

Postby Sandy » Fri Apr 27, 2018 10:28 pm

Haruo wrote:What Mormon doctrine contrary to the Gospel was actually spouted at Liberty? I'm not clear on the details, and would like to be. Dallas ditto.


http://www.businessinsider.com/heres-th ... ess-2012-5

I believe the article I linked will give you a good idea. Romney is a member of the Mormon priesthood, a bishop, and a stake president, which makes him the spiritual leader of Mormons equivalent of a pastor, or the Catholic equivalent of the Bishop of a Diocese. "Spouting Mormon doctrine" may be a more common term than "preaching the Mormon gospel," but being able to do that during the graduation ceremony at Liberty is quite an aberration. I can't find a transcript for his address at FBC Dallas. But what else would he preach about?

Glen Beck apparently fancied himself as the spiritual link between Mormons and Evangelicals when he appeared at Liberty.
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Re: Why Evangelicals voted Trump

Postby Haruo » Sat Apr 28, 2018 12:25 pm

Virtually all adolescent and adult Mormon males are priests, and a bishop is not quite at the level of most (senior, lead, or sole) pastors in Protestant Christianity, let alone a Catholic bishop. But I still haven't read the link... will come back to this...

Also, a lot of Mormon doctrine is couched in the same terminology as Protestant doctrine, but the terms are defined differently. So a lot of it can be swallowed entire by an Evangelical audience, but the meaning it imparts to them is not what it does, in some respects at least, to a Mormon.

But when I went to the link just now, I have to say, the words (if that's the term) that BusinessInsider puts into Romney mouths are stranger than anything I ever saw come out of Utah. Here's a verbatim quote:
BusinessInsider wrote:The prepared text of Romney's remarks focus on culture and family, but includes some very key remarks about religious liberty, marriage, abortion, and American Exceptionalism.

Here are some excerpts.

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Re: Why Evangelicals voted Trump

Postby Sandy » Sat Apr 28, 2018 10:05 pm

Haruo wrote:Virtually all adolescent and adult Mormon males are priests, and a bishop is not quite at the level of most (senior, lead, or sole) pastors in Protestant Christianity, let alone a Catholic bishop. But I still haven't read the link... will come back to this..


Well, not exactly all. Many of those who come into the church as proselytes never get to the point of being in the Aaronic Priesthood, by being sealed in the Temple. But the Aaronic Priesthood is the more common level. Romney was a high priest of the Melchizedek Priesthood, and not just a ward bishop, which would be the equivalent of a senior pastor in a Protestant church, but was a stake president, over a dozen or so wards. The priesthood structure in Mormonism is borrowed from degrees of masonry, and Romney is pretty high up in the structure.

At any rate, there's no way to reconcile the theological beliefs proclaimed by Liberty University with those preached by Mitt Romney, even as the latter has been endorsed by Liberty's leadership.
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