Trump vs. Christians, and Democrats vs. Christians

Mario Murillo:

There are Christians who hate Trump.  Let’s call it for what it is: hate.  It is their hate—which is very strange for those who name the name of Jesus—that dulls their ability to see the inaccuracy of their comments and their myopic views.

One sanctimonious ranting Christian said, “There’s nothing Biblical about Trump.”  Actually, there’s nothing Biblical about that statement.  The prophet Daniel served Nebuchadnezzar.  Daniel recognized the role that this pagan king played in God’s unfolding drama.  The church’s ability to work with Trump is totally Biblical.

Now, I must clarify something, lest I incur the wrath of Trump supporters.  I am not calling Trump a pagan king—I’m sure he is much more moral than his enemies realize—I am saying that if Daniel could work with the Nebuchadnezzar how much more can we work with the Donald.

I have tried very hard to figure out what causes believers to hate Trump.  Our side won a long overdue and miraculous victory at the polls, and yet these believers choose to aid and abet the other side.  Is it because their favorite “Christian” didn’t win? Is it a case of sour grapes?They didn’t require any President to be a squeaky clean pastor, until Trump.

Yes, his tweets can be a bit much.  And okay, President Trump is not as smooth as Reagan…but, we don’t need smooth right now.

Here is something else that is really strange, (hypocritical is more like it): why didn’t these guardians of morality speak out against Obama?  Franklin Graham was attacked for questioning Obama’s Christian Faith.  They told him not to judge a brother.  Hold that thought as we explore another question…

How could you not question Obama’s Christianity?  Obama begged the question by dropping the Christian-card whenever it suited him (something Trump never does).   Meanwhile, Barack fought for same sex marriage, late term abortion, gave billions to Iran, and was the most Biblically hostile President in our history.

Click on this link to see a list of 89 acts of hostility toward Christians:  

So why do so many Christian leaders—who said it was wrong to judge Obama—judge Trump?

Trump is not a pastor.  He is a businessman who loves America.  As far as his faith?  I am not qualified to determine his spiritual depth, since I’ve never had the chance to meet the man. But there are many photos of Christian leaders laying hands on the President, praying for him, and he is cooperating.

“He is like Hitler and the church is being fooled,” said another comment.  At this time, those of you who are wearing tinfoil hats, please remove them, and listen.  Hitler never had 98% of the media against him.  Trump has never called for a new constitution.  Hitler never tried to protect Israel.  I could go on and on.

Maybe if Trump had addressed the March for Life.  Maybe if he had chosen an on fire born-again Vice President.  Maybe if he had rescinded executive orders that banned federal funds from Christian organizations.  Maybe if he overruled the Johnson Amendment that banned the free speech of pastors.  Maybe if he had moved the American Embassy to Jerusalem, and shown himself to be a true supporter of Israel.  Maybe if he had put someone on the Supreme Court who helped Christian bakers to exercise their right to freedom of religion.  Maybe then you would support him.  Oh wait…he did all those things…

God has done a miracle and the enemy wants to make short work of the amazing breakthroughs we are witnessing by dividing the church.  Instead of being a religious outlier you should be thanking God, praying for and supporting the President. And voting for righteousness, and against the enemies of freedom.

This may seem a bit much for those who count themselves as Christians and are not fans of Trump. Books have been written about the evangelical movement’s apparently noncritical support of Trump in violation of my favorite Bible verse, Psalm 146:3: “Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help.”

But what are Christians supposed to think of this? Miranda Devine:

Anyone wondering why religious people still support Donald Trump, despite his flaws, need only watch a recording of the Democrats’ fanatical LGBTQ town hall last week.

From Elizabeth Warren mocking religious males as incapable of finding a wife to Beto O’Rourke’s promise to strip tax benefits from religious institutions, or Cory Booker’s assertion that Catholics use religion to justify discrimination, you see the ugly face of militant secularism and coercion.

It is frightening that every one of the nine Democratic candidates who took part in the CNN event has signed up to extreme policies that attack religious liberty and radically redefine gender.

But it is also baffling as a political strategy designed to win hearts and minds next November.

Warren’s insult to religious voters was an echo of Hillary Clinton’s disastrous characterization of Trump supporters as “deplorables … racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic, you name it.”

Asked what she would say to a supporter who opposes same-sex marriage, Warren replied: “Well, I’m going to assume it’s a guy who said that,” as if no woman believes in traditional marriage.

“And I’m going to say, ‘Then just marry one woman.’ I’m cool with that. Assuming you can find one.”

It’s such a cheap insult, as if no man with socially conservative views could be appealing to a woman, when the opposite so often is the case.

The answer encapsulated the nasty, condescending tone of the candidates toward the one-third of Americans who believe in traditional marriage.

But it was tame compared to the gender-related aspects of the proceedings, with interjections from the floor by transgender activists. There was a woman who talked about her “9-year-old transgender daughter,” as if the child spontaneously had made such a life-changing decision.

Another transgender woman berated CNN’s Nia-Malika Henderson for inadvertently mispronouncing her name: “It’s violence to misgender or to alter a name of a trans person.”

When Kamala Harris introduced herself with the pronouns “she, her and hers,” as if there were any doubt, the comical element of mainstream candidates tying themselves up in knots to pander to gender ideology proved irresistible for CNN host Chris Cuomo.

“Mine too,” he quipped, ensuring the wrath of the rainbow gods and an abject apology on Twitter later.

It just went to show that you can never be woke enough to meet the rapidly escalating demands of modern identity politics.

Every candidate dutifully did what was expected in that forum, affirming the notion of gender identity as unmoored from biological sex and embracing a transgendered reordering of society far removed from the real lives of most voters.

In the meantime, the candidate who created the most consternation in conservative circles was O’Rourke.

Asked if religious colleges, churches and charities should lose their tax-exempt status if they oppose same-sex marriage, Beto answered “Yes!” without a moment’s reflection.

“There can be no reward, no benefit, no tax break for anyone … that denies the full human rights and the full civil rights of every single one of us,” he said.

To his credit, Pete Buttigieg, the only gay candidate and the most rational, later said Beto didn’t understand the implications of “going to war not only with churches, but I would think with mosques and a lot of organizations that may not have the same view of various religious principles that I do.”

But for all Mayor Pete’s common sense, the extreme intolerance against religion and social conservatives that Beto unthinkingly embraces suddenly has become the default Democratic position.

The illiberal left is not even hiding its desire to impose its will on the majority.
The antidote to all this nonsense was a brilliant speech Saturday by Attorney General Bill Barr at Notre Dame.

The militant secularism on display at the Democrats’ town hall is what Barr calls “organized destruction … an unremitting assault on religion and traditional values.”

We see “the steady erosion of our traditional Judeo-Christian moral system and a comprehensive effort to drive it from the public square … By any honest assessment the consequences of this moral upheaval have been grim.

“Virtually every measure of social pathology continues to gain ground …

“Secularists and their allies have marshaled all the forces of mass communication, popular culture, the entertainment industry and academia in an unremitting assault on religion and traditional values.

“These instruments are used not only to affirmatively promote secular orthodoxy but also to drown out and silence opposing voices and to attack viciously and hold up to ridicule any dissidents.”

The irony, he points out, is that militant secularism is a form of religion, with “all the trappings of religion, including inquisitions and excommunication.”

Whether the Democrats know it or not, Barr was describing how socially conservative and religious Americans feel about their policies.

It’s why President Trump received a rapturous welcome Saturday night from religious conservatives who underpinned his 2016 election victory and are even more rock solid today, despite the scandals and “potty mouth” for which Warren likes to scold him.

“They’re coming after me because I’m fighting for you,” Trump told the Value Voters Summit in Washington, DC. Ain’t that the truth. The Democrats spelled it out Thursday night.

About Barr, David Blaska writes:

The Constitution prohibits establishing an official, favored government religion contra the U.K., where the Queen is the head of the Church of England. But the Freedom From Religion party has largely succeeded in turning that freedom upside down. The day is coming when Capitol guards will demand you deposit your rosary with any firearms you may be carrying.

“Beto” O’Rourke, for instance, demands religious adherence to the Democrat(ic) party platform. Denounce same sex marriage at risk of a knock on the door from the IRS.

Attorney General William Barr gave a speech at Notre Dame, that Catholic university in Pete Buttigieg’s village that has the Left writhing in conniption fits.

Of Barr’s speech, McGurn writes that the waning of religion’s influence in American life has left more of her citizens vulnerable to what Tocqueville called the “soft despotism” of government dependency.

“The secular project has itself become a religion, pursued with religious fervor,” Barr said. “It is taking on all the trappings of religion, including inquisitions and excommunication. Those who defy the creed risk a figurative burning at the stake — social, educational and professional ostracism and exclusion waged through lawsuits and savage social media campaigns.”

Mr. Barr blamed secularism for social pathologies such as drug addiction, family breakdown and increasing numbers of angry and alienated young males.

“Whereas religion addresses such challenges by stressing personal responsibility, Mr. Barr argued, the state’s answer is merely to try to alleviate “bad consequences.”

“So the reaction to growing illegitimacy is not sexual responsibility, but abortion,” he said. “The reaction to drug addiction is safe injection sites. The solution to the breakdown of the family is for the state to set itself up as an ersatz husband for the single mother and an ersatz father for the children. The call comes for more and more social programs to deal with this wreckage — and while we think we’re solving problems, we are underwriting them.

Barr’s apostasy undermines the entire Bernie/Warren/Pelosi/Satya/Maduro enterprise. (Full text of his speech)

Bernie fanboy John Nichols’ colleagues at The Nation are livid. Writer Joan Walsh pulls out all the Catholic conspiracy libels. “William Barr Is Neck-Deep in Extremist Catholic Institutions,” The Nation screams. Barr’s “extremist talk body-surf[ed] the fever swamps of Catholic paranoia.” 

Barr is “a paranoid right-wing Catholic ideologue who won’t respect the separation of church and state.” Barr holds “global grudges.” The attorney general didn’t warn, he “intoned darkly.” 

Those “extremist conservative Catholic institutions” include the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty (perhaps best known in recent years as the firm behind the Hobby Lobby case) and (believe it or not!) the Knights of Columbus, a fraternal order of Catholic men. 

Hans Bader adds:

Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke expressed the deep, heartfelt desire of many progressives: to punish conservative religious people for their beliefs. At a CNN Town Hall on Thursday, he was asked if he believed that “religious institutions like colleges, churches, charities” should “lose their tax-exempt status if they oppose same-sex marriage.”

“Yes,” said O’Rourke, an answer met with raucous applause and loud cheers from the Democratic crowd. “There can be no reward, no benefit, no tax break for anyone or any institution, any organization in America that denies the full human rights and the full civil rights of every single one of us.”

Although the progressive audience enthusiastically and overwhelmingly supported O’Rourke’s proposal, it was later criticized by legal experts and religious people. Progressive commentators responded by going into damage-control mode. Recognizing that O’Rourke’s proposal might be unpopular with the broader public, commentators aligned with the Democratic Party sought to downplay its significance. They pointed out that O’Rourke is a second-tier presidential candidate with little hope of becoming president.

But O’Rourke’s proposal plainly is popular with the progressive base of the Democratic Party, and other candidates at the CNN Town Hall made no effort to distance themselves from O’Rourke’s position. In response to the same question, Sen. Cory Booker said that religious institutions would face “consequences,” and that he would “press this issue.” Booker avoided “saying” whether he would take away their tax-exemptions, “because … this is a long legal battle.”

Most legal commentators said that O’Rourke’s proposal is unconstitutional under Supreme Court rulings like Speiser v. Randall (1958). Those rulings forbid withholding tax exemptions based on the viewpoint advocated by a person or organization. Such viewpoint discrimination is forbidden by the First Amendment.

But O’Rourke’s unconstitutional proposal plainly appeals to many Democratic voters, judging by their defenses of it on Twitter, and enthusiasm for it at the CNN Town Hall. A Twitter user named Travis Bell defended it by saying:

Taking away tax-exempt status is not forcing anyone to believe anything. If people wanted to hold outdated, bronze-age beliefs, then that is their right. But we as a society don’t need to subsidize it. Tax-exempt status is a privilege, not a right.

Bell had plenty of company. An Episcopalian feminist wrote that “churches should lose nonprofit status if they are exclusionary.” “They can continue their backwards beliefs if they want, they just won’t get indirect subsidies anymore,” Miguel Chavez said. “I agree” with Beto, said Sallie Hopper. “Absolutely — religion is not to be used as a crutch to” justify bigotry, said a Louisiana Democratic activist. A self-described member of “The Resistance” praised O’Rourke’s comments, calling him the “one candidate consistently speaking truth to power.” A Democratic dentist in New Jersey praised O’Rourke, for sending the message to churches “that it’s wrong to have prejudicial views and use the Bible & ‘religious beliefs’ as a veneer to justify them.” “Taking away the tax exempt status of ‘politically motivated’ religions is a great start,” raved Peter Swisher. A New York Democrat enthused that opposing same-sex marriage is one of the “excellent reasons for churches to lose tax-exempt status.” “Finally!! The debasement of human beings according to one’s religion is coming to an end,” agreed a liberal psychologist. “I am with Beto on that,” said a progressive YouTuber.

This position by progressives isn’t surprising. Most progressives support forcing churches to marry gay couples, and long have. Even back in 2013, when support for gay marriage was much lower than it is today, Democrats mostly supported coercing churches to perform gay marriages. A poll by the “center-left” think-tank Third Way found that 28% of voters felt that churches should not “be able to refuse to perform” same-sex marriages, while 61% felt that they should have that right. That 28% amounted to most of the Democratic Party, which comprises less than half of America’s population. And that was back in 2013, when public support for same-sex marriage was at least 14% lower than it is today.

Progressives also often view opposition to same-sex marriage as hate speech. Democrats overwhelmingly want to ban hate speech. Fifty-one percent of Democrats supported banning “hate speech,” while only 21% opposed such a ban, in a widely-cited You.Gov poll. Under campus speech codes and social media rules aimed at preventing hate speech and “harassment,” people have been punished just for criticizing “homosexuality, gay marriage, or transgender rights.”

The Supreme Court struck down a hate-speech ordinance as a violation of the First Amendment in R.A.V. v. St. Paul (1992). But progressives are much more hostile to free speech today than they were back then. So a future, more progressive Supreme Court might be willing to reconsider that decision, which many progressive legal scholars passionately condemned.

Some progressives define even single-instances of “hate speech” as a civil-rights violation: New York City recently warned residents that it may fine them up to $250,000 if they use the term illegal alien in the workplace or rental housing, even if they do so only once. New York City views illegal alien as a pejorative term that constitutes illegal discriminatory harassment when it is uttered to offend or demean such immigrants — even though the term is found in federal laws.

Even if the courts wouldn’t let churches be stripped of their tax exemptions based on their beliefs or statements about same-sex marriage, they might let churches be targeted for some of their actions in not facilitating same-sex weddings. Legal commentator Walter Olson persuasively argues that current Supreme Court precedent does not allow churches to lose their tax exemptions based on refusal to marry gay couples.

But the Supreme Court did allow Bob Jones University to be denied tax-exempt status by the IRS for discrimination against interracial couples, even though interracial relationships were against its religious beliefs. LGBT rights groups cite this ruling to argue that churches can be punished for not recognizing gay marriage in religious schools they operate,  or for not hosting same-sex marriage ceremonies in public accommodations such as pavilions that they own. CNN quoted “Camilla Taylor, director of constitutional litigation for Lambda Legal, one of the oldest organizations focused on LGBT rights.” She told CNN, “In the past, the Supreme Court upheld the IRS when they issued a revenue ruling that educational institutions that discriminate on race do not qualify as charitable institutions given that they are acting contrary to public policy.”

In the years to come, LGBT groups will argue that religious schools (and perhaps even churches) do not qualify as tax-exempt charitable institutions, if they don’t recognize gay marriages between their students or parishioners (for purposes of decisions like where to house or seat them). They have already sued religious colleges for not allowing gay couples to live in housing specifically reserved for married students. One such lawsuit was successfully brought by an unmarried gay couple in liberal New York City, over a religious college’s refusal to let them stay in housing for married couples. They objected to being in housing for unmarried students.

Similar challenges to churches over their membership practices are likely to fail. That’s because the Supreme Court’s Bob Jones decision suggested in a footnote that churches are different from religious schools in terms of when they can be denied a tax-exemption based on discrimination.

At some point someone (sometimes a Christian, always a liberal) would intone “Judge not, lest ye be judged,” misunderstanding what Jesus Christ said in Matthew. (Short version: The sin is not in judging someone; it’s in hypocrisy.) Christians are supposed to call out sin. (The story of the woman about to be stoned for adultery but forgiven by Jesus includes five words you usually don’t hear: “Go and sin no more.”) If conservative Christians are not supposed to call homosexuality a sin, liberal Christians should not judge for themselves how Christian someone is who doesn’t have the same views.

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