Tag Archives: Evangelical Christians

Donald Trump promises gay publication “forward motion” on gay rights issues

This is from Bay Windows, which bills itself as “serving New England’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender communities”.

Here’s what they wrote:

The frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination today promised “forward motion” on gay and lesbian equality if he is elected.

In an interview with NECN’s Sue O’Connell just days before the crucial New Hampshire primary, Trump cast himself as a uniter on LGBT issues.

O’Connell, who is also Bay Windows’ Publisher, identified herself as a lesbian in a question that noted the progress the LGBT community has made in the last two decades and asked Trump if voters can expect him to continue that momentum if elected

“When President Trump is in office can we look for more forward motion on equality for gays and lesbians?” O’Connell asked him.

“Well, you can,” Trump answered. ” And look, again, we’re going to bring people together, and that’s your thing and other people have their thing. We have to bring all people together and if we don’t we’re not going to have a country anymore.”

Recall that during the Iowa primary, Trump declared how much he loves evangelicals, and even held up a Bible he supposedly got from his mother as evidence of his genuine, authentic Christian faith.

Trump holds up Bible he "received from his mother" to evangelicals
Trump holds up Bible he “received from his mother” to evangelicals

CBS News reports on how Trump pandered to evangelicals in Iowa:

Just two days ahead of the first nominating contest in Iowa, Donald Trump is making a final attempt to court evangelical Christians.

In a new video posted to Facebook Saturday, the billionaire businessman thanked evangelicals and promised to “never let you down.”

“I really appreciate the support given to me by the evangelicals,” Trump said. “They’ve been incredible. Every poll says how well I’m doing with them.”

Trump then held aloft a worn Bible, which he said his mother had given to him “many years ago.”

“In fact, it’s her writing right here,” he added, flipping to the first page of the book. “She wrote the name and my address and it’s just very special to me.”

This is not the first time the GOP front-runner has used the Bible as a prop on the campaign trail.

In September, Trump waved the same copy of the book while giving a speech at the Values Voters Summit hosted by the Family Research Council in Washington, D.C.

Trump has also repeatedly named the Bible as his favorite book — though he has often faced criticisms for his inability to name his favorite Bible verses.

He’s never going to let us down. That’s what he said in Iowa. But in New Hampshire, he is saying something else. That was then, this is now.  His entire case to evangelical Christians was:

  • I’m ahead in the polls
  • I can hold up a Bible and say my mother gave it to me
  • I can wave a Bible around
  • “Two Corinthians” – that’s your favorite verse, right?

Here is the real Donald Trump, for those who have eyes to see, and ears to hear:

As everyone knows, evangelicals are under attack from gay activists, who want to use the power of government to punish those who decline to celebrate gay marriage and participate in gay weddings. When religious liberty and freedom of conscience come up against a gay activists desire to not be offended by dissent, religious freedom and freedom of conscience are losing. Gay people have a right to live how they want, but they shouldn’t be able to redefine marriage for all of us, and then force us to salute the new definition of marriage through coercion.

What about Marco Rubio?

I already blogged on Marco Rubio’s billionaire donor Paul Singer, who donated to the Human Rights Campaign, the largest gay rights group in the United States. Here is an article by Maggie Gallagher that gave Marco Rubio a D rating on the gay marriage Supreme Court decision:

Marco Rubio: Grade D

Issuing only a pro forma statement, Rubio ran away, not towards, the media on this one: “While I disagree with this decision, we live in a republic and must abide by the law. As we look ahead, it must be a priority of the next president to nominate judges and justices committed to applying the Constitution as written and originally understood.” He promised to “strive to protect the First Amendment rights of religious institutions and millions of Americans whose faiths hold a traditional view of marriage.” But he appears to have laid out no concrete plans for doing so…

Cruz gets an A- rating from Gallagher and The Pulse – this is the highest rating of any candidate still running in the Republican primary.

What about Ted Cruz?

Let’s take a look at Ted Cruz’s position on marriage, now:

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, today released the following statement regarding a report in the New York Times addressing his support for traditional marriage:

“It speaks volumes that the New York Times considers it newsworthy that a Republican who believes marriage is between a man and a woman would meet with people who hold a different view. The purpose of the meeting and the primary topics of conversation were national security, foreign policy, and America’s commitment to standing with Israel. On the subject of marriage, when asked, I stated directly and unambiguously what everyone in the room already knew, that I oppose gay marriage and I support traditional marriage.

“One person further asked how Heidi and I would react if we found out one of our (4 and 7-year-old) daughters were gay. My reply: ‘We would love her with all our hearts. We love our daughters unconditionally.’

“A conservative Republican who is willing to meet with individuals who do not agree on marriage and who loves his daughters unconditionally may not reflect the caricature of conservatives promoted by the left, but it’s hardly newsworthy.

“I know it’s been a long time since we’ve seen it, but this is what it means to truly be a ‘big tent Republican’ instead of a panderer. I’m happy to go anywhere to anyone to champion conservative values. We’re not always going to agree on everything, and I’m not going to change my fundamental values. But at the same time, I’m hoping to offer enough bold leadership on a broad slate of issues that many voters will decide we agree on far more than we disagree.”

Vote for Ted Cruz, if you are tired of politicians who say one thing, then do something else.

Francis Beckwith responds to New York Times executive editor Bill Keller

On Catholic Thing. (H/T Lex Communis)

Excerpt:

Today’s Gnostics are secular, but just as determined to make sure that their intellectual powers remain neatly sequestered from engaging contrary points of view in a serious fashion. This is why when they opine on matters religious their works seem to many of us as products of automatic writing channeled through uncurious literary zombies who aimlessly roam the Internet to traffic in shallow bigotries.

Take, for example, a question Keller poses to Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann in a follow-up blog post: “You have recommended as meaningful in your life works by leading advocates of Dominionism, including Nancy Pearcey, whose book Total Truth warns Christians to be suspicious of ideas that come from non-Christians. Do you agree with that warning?”

First, Pearcey is not a Dominionist, a term that refers to a very tiny group of Reformed Protestant writers (who are more accurately called “Theonomists”) who advocate the institution of Old Testament law in American jurisprudence.

Second, Pearcey’s Total Truth is not a brief for theonomy or “being suspicious of ideas that come from non-Christians,” as Keller clumsily puts it. How do I know this? I have not only read the book, but I published a review of it seven years ago in First Things. Although I think she gets some things wrong, such as her take on St. Thomas Aquinas’ view of nature and grace, my overall opinion of the book is that it is a needed corrective to those who insist that theology has no cognitive content. (I would also part ways with her on Intelligent Design, which I critically assess in an article I published two years ago in the University of St. Thomas Journal of Law and Public Policy).

What Pearcey suggests to her readers is that the Christian should treat his beliefs seriously, and not as if they were merely matters of taste that we should keep out of public view, as Keller thinks we should (which, ironically, puts him in the position of being suspicious of ideas that come from Christians, just as one would expect from a secular gnostic).

How did a New York Times editor make such simple mistakes? He didn’t do any research. He didn’t read the writer he wrote about. And for that reason, he didn’t try to understand what clearly would have seemed culturally peculiar to him if he had actually taken the time to read Pearcey’s book and show some intellectual curiosity about it.

Instead of elevating his inquiry and pursuing the research agenda of the average college sophomore – Googling – he relied on sources such as The New Yorker and The Daily Beast – whose reputations had already been dispatched by scores of writers by the time Keller had published his follow-up questions online.

I removed his links from my excerpt.

This is the problem with people on the secular left. They don’t have enough respect for the intellectual life to stop and read about issues, and then dialog long enough to understand the arguments for and against differing views. Their intent is to defame and marginalize, not to gain knowledge.

Here is a post with my advice for Bill Keller.

Does New York Times executive editor Bill Keller understand Christianity?

Hey look! The executive editor of the New York Times, the most liberal “newspaper” in the country is comparing conservative Christian beliefs to belief in space aliens!

Excerpt:

If a candidate for president said he believed that space aliens dwell among us, would that affect your willingness to vote for him? Personally, I might not disqualify him out of hand; one out of three Americans believe we have had Visitors and, hey, who knows? But I would certainly want to ask a few questions. Like, where does he get his information? Does he talk to the aliens? Do they have an economic plan?

Yet when it comes to the religious beliefs of our would-be presidents, we are a little squeamish about probing too aggressively.

[…]Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann are both affiliated with fervid subsets of evangelical Christianity — and Rick Santorum comes out of the most conservative wing of Catholicism — which has raised concerns about their respect for the separation of church and state, not to mention the separation of fact and fiction.

Got that? If you’re a conservative Christian, then Bill Keller thinks that your view should raise concerns about whether you are able to separate fact and fiction – like the people who believe in space aliens.

Well – I am going to help Bill Keller with this problem. In fact, I’ll address the rest of this post to him.

Bill Keller – I know that in New York, you might never have to face questioning by anyone who disagrees with you. I understand that. But you really need to be more careful about hearing both sides of debates before you start talking about the issues in public. I can help you, Bill. I can point you to the debates where you will hear both sides. Many people get their impressions of Christianity from movies like “Jesus Camp”, “Footloose” and “Inherit the Wind”, and we don’t want you to be one of those people.

Below are some actual academic debates featuring an actual Christian scholar debating on topics like whether God exists, whether Jesus rose from the dead, and whether atheism is an adequate foundation for morality. You can watch those to find out what Christians really believe and why.

Formal academic debates for New York Times executive editors

William Lane Craig vs Christopher Hitchens on the existence of God:

William Lane Craig vs Bart Ehrman on the resurrection of Jesus:

William Lane Craig vs Sam Harris on morality:

And here are a couple of extra ones on social issues: (yes, we’ve thought about those issues, too)

You recognize those prominent atheists, don’t you Bill? Hitchens, Harris, Ehrman? That’s right – those are the people you’ve read about in Time magazine and in Newsweek! But you don’t know who Willliam Lane Craig is, do you? Well you won’t read about him in popular magazines, Bill. Yes, he’s a scholar. You have to read about him in academic presses, like Oxford University Press, where he is published. Yes, Bill – evangelical Christians even publish on social issues in prestigious academic presses, like Cambridge University Press, too. No, I know you don’t read academic books right now. We’ll get there, Bill. Baby steps. Baby steps.

Well, now. Wouldn’t you like to watch those debates and learn how the ideas of prominent atheists ideas hold up under questioning? You wouldn’t? Oh, that’s just being intolerant and close-minded, Bill. Just watch them anyway. No, your side doesn’t win. No, the outcomes are not even close. But that’s good Bill – that’s how people form accurate views – by listening to both sides, not just one side. That’s how you gain knowledge, Bill. It’s good for you to know what you are talking about, instead of just forming your entire worldview based on mockery and prejudice, and isolated from all logical analysis and empirical validation.

And when you’re done with the debates, we’ll find you some nice books on these topics featuring evangelical Christians from top academic presses, like Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press, and so on. Just let me know when you’re ready, Bill.

Further study

To my regular readers: I’ve written before about what scientists know about bias in the mainstream media.

How President George W. Bush helped to create South Sudan

New Map of Africa including South Sudan
New Map of Africa including South Sudan

From Investors Business Daily. (H/T Muddling Towards Maturity)

Excerpt:

As South Sudan joyfully celebrated its independence from Sudan, President Obama hailed it as the fruit of partnership, togetherness, hope and unity. South Sudanese, however, hailed President Bush.

Proudly wearing the black cowboy hat given to him by President Bush, South Sudan’s new president, Salva Kiir Mayardit, couldn’t have made a stronger statement about who made his country’s independence possible after 50 years of warfare.

“It was George Bush and the Christian fundamentalists who heard the cry of South Sudan,” affirmed a South Sudanese man quoted by the Los Angeles Times.

[…]In 2005, President Bush put South Sudan at the top of the U.S. foreign policy agenda. Knocking heads, he forced the murderous Islamofascist government of Sudan to negotiate with the South Sudan rebels, including their right to secede. That hard work led to today’s result — and with it, the first chance South Sudan has ever had to break free of its oppression.

No President since Reagan cared more about the freedom of people in other countries than George W. Bush. And a lot of that is owing to his evangelical Christian convictions – he cared about the freedom of other people.