Benjamin L. Corey

Benjamin L. Corey

BLC is an author, speaker, scholar, and global traveler, who holds graduate degrees in Theology & Intercultural Studies from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and received his doctorate in Intercultural Studies from Fuller. He is the author of Undiluted: Rediscovering the Radical Message of Jesus, and Unafraid: Moving Beyond Fear-Based Faith.

Core Values the Religious Right Taught Me, But Abandoned in the Age of Trump

I was a child of the Religious Right.

From my 777 “To Hell With The Devil” t-shirt, to reading Like Lambs to the Slaughter so I could explain to my English teacher how her guided “relaxation” technique was demonic, I was programmed well.

I grew up and eventually became an adult in the Religious Right.

I left Gospel tracts with my tip at restaurants, was the town chairman of the Republican party, and even had a bumper sticker that said “I accelerate for liberals.”

Throughout my years in the Religious Right, especially as a child, I was taught a specific slate of values– some I still hold, and some I do not. Ironically, the same can be said for the Religious Right itself; core values and principles which once were seen as unshakable, have now been discarded in the Age of Trump. Here are some of these values that this Leftist Apostate learned from the Religious Right, but that only I believe now:

Simply claiming to be a Christian doesn’t mean that one actually is a Christian

Growing up in the Religious Right, we used to have a go-to saying for people who claimed to be a Christian but whose life clearly didn’t reflect it. We’d tell them, “I can sit in the garage all day long and claim to be a car, but that doesn’t make me a car.” We rightly believed that simply claiming the title “Christian” did not necessarily mean that an individual actually was one.

However, in the Age of Trump, this belief has been totally abandoned. Instead, the most un-Christian president one could possibly imagine is now seen as a bold Christian who boldly defends Christian values– simply because… well, he says so.

Me? Well, I might be a Leftist Apostate, but I still believe that the true evidence of whether or not one is a Christian is found in the type of life that they lead.

Character counts

Here’s an inconvenient truth: during the Clinton presidency we coined the term “character counts” because, so we believed, the individual moral and ethical character of a leader directly impacted their ability to lead.

This core belief of the Religious Right firmly existed until the day they realized remaining true to this value would mean voting against their own candidate. In the Clinton Era, this value meant taking out a democrat– but in the current era, remaining true to that value would have meant actually electing one. With the election of Trump I thought I had seen my former tribe at their worst, and wondered if this was a one-time deal they’d eventually repent of, but came to see that this value change of the Religious Right was permanent in nature when they supported child-predator Roy Moore for Senate.

Me? Well, this Liberal Apostate believes that character still counts, and won’t be supporting candidates in either party who can’t pass a basic morality test.

Truth and morality don’t change simply because surrounding culture changes.

When I was a kid the Religious Right sat us down and taught us that simply because culture may change, it doesn’t mean that truth or morality changes with it– that just because all of our friends might become accepting of something, doesn’t mean it’s right or true. Instead, we were taught that truth is absolute and that what is moral or immoral never changes either.

In the Era of Trump, this belief changed dramatically. While they still of course hold to some of their original moral convictions, truth and morality in many areas have all of a sudden become much more fluid. Sexual assault became “locker room talk”, lies became “alternative facts”, folks like Franklin Graham responded to the Russian meddling in the U.S. election with “so what, everyone is doing it”, and the moral failings of their own political leaders all of a sudden became somehow excusable.

Me? Well, I remain firm in my conviction that truth and morality don’t shift with the seasons of culture. What is a lie today doesn’t magically become truth tomorrow. What is immoral today doesn’t instantly become acceptable tomorrow. Apostate or not, I’ll keep holding this conviction long after they have walked away from it.

It is impossible to serve two masters

Jesus famously said that it’s impossible to serve two masters, and when I was a member of the Religious Right we actually believed this.

We were taught that you can love God or love the things of this world, but you cannot love both. We were taught that you can follow God’s way, or follow the world’s way, but not both. Back in those days, being a Christian actually meant you had to make some choices that might result in personal sacrifice.

These days? While I still believe it is impossible to swear allegiance to God and something or someone else, the Religious Right seems to have changed their tune. Instead, I’ve actually seen many leaders on the Religious Right argue that serving God, by definition, meant one had to also serve Donald Trump.

Yes, in the old days we believed that one had to pick between Jesus and Barabbas, but in the Era of Trump it appears that you can choose them both at the same time.

Me? Well, I actually still hold to the belief that you can follow God, or follow the crowd.

Yes, I spent many years as a member of the Religious Right and made a rather public exit from that tribe.

But what is also true is that I learned some values and principles during my time in the Religious Right, that were good and true.

These values remain true to me…

I only wish these still remained true to them.

Benjamin L. Corey

Benjamin L. Corey

BLC is an author, speaker, scholar, and global traveler, who holds graduate degrees in Theology & Intercultural Studies from Gordon-Conwell, and earned his doctorate in Intercultural Studies from Fuller.

He is the author of Unafraid: Moving Beyond Fear-Based Faith, and Undiluted: Rediscovering the Radical Message of Jesus.

It's not the end of the world, but it's pretty #@&% close. Trump's America & Franklin Graham's Christianity must be resisted.

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  1. This is from the newspaper Independent . “Jeffress, who was was an early supporter of Trump, has said that after sharing Wendy’s cheeseburgers in Iowa, he believed Trump would be the next president and that it would be because God placed him there. ” Question for Evangelicals. Who chooses your leaders to represent what Evangelicalism is in America ? What percentage of these leaders endorsed Trump?

  2. When you look at the history of the early church you see that there were times of severe persecution and times of relative toleration and support for it, the church . During the persecution the church actually grew. This is counter intuitive but, hey, that is how God works. During times of acceptance of the church the church became lazy, fat and lost its power to attract people. One of those times was during the reign of emporer Constantine. After that whenever the church joined itself to power, ie, political objectives or kings and emporers then it became virtually useless. It also became corrupt. Is this what is happening today in the American evangelical churches?

    1. Definitely. The definition of insanity is to repeat the same actions over and over again, expecting a different result. This is basically what the church has done for 1700 years. They commingled church and state under Constantine expecting to create the Kingdom of God by force, with little success. They are still trying to do it.

  3. I too grew up in fundamentalism, but now as I reflect on my five decade long theological study, I must say that fundamentalism by and large does not have values that parallel those of Jesus. At the core of their beliefs is the notion of violence. They support it by their continual support of the NRA and it’s agenda. They support it by elevating military service and killing the “enemy” to a level of holiness. They support it by preaching that Jesus will return to commit mass genocide on the human race by destroying them at Armageddon. They support it by not acknowledging the incongruity between Jesus and the 1000 times in the Hebrew bible where it is mentioned that God slaughters humans, including women and children as well or that God brings horrific (and I mean absolutely horrific) suffering on his/her supposed beloved people for their failures. They permit this because they choose to accept an inerrant bible which dictates that they endorse God as a psychopathic murderer and exclude the one who taught us in his living and dying and unparalleled appeal to the poor and marginalized, “blessed are the peacemakers, for they are the children of God.”

  4. I live in East Texas, the middle of the evangelical world. These people will give the shirts off their backs to help you….then turn around and do some of the most hate filled things. Often involving people who are of another race….or religion…..often a religion that also follows Christ. How do I explain these actions to a non-Christian? Seriously?

    1. I’d say it’s “tribalism”. Any congregation of people, whether it’s religious or secular, is susceptible to succumbing to the mentality “us vs. them” – those who hold the same beliefs as you vs. those who don’t. People with tribalistic tendencies will treat the members of their own tribe generously, but often do the opposite to those who are outside the tribe/group, especially when their culture/beliefs conflict with theirs.

    2. I’m from East Texas as well. What you describe is accurate. How to explain it? I’ve been trying to my whole life. Only lately are people from the rest of the country seeing what the religious right is REALLY like. But even then they act like this is a new development. It’s not. These are the same people who were polite in public and went to lynchings at night. Same people, different decade.

    3. its a bizarre dichotomy… here in rural PacNW… the kindest good xian folk (toward those whose skin is “white”) can suddenly go off on a venomous rant on the topic of “lazy drunk” Indians or Mexicans. their kindness is genuine as far as it goes- but it sure doesn’t encompass all people. their “christian love” is painfully shallow, very much only “skin deep”. i cant fathom how they reconcile such racism and hate with “the God of Love” they love to invoke.

      i DONT mean to say this describes every pale-skinned Christian person of faith, it absolutely does not.
      But it is as miserably common among “white Evangelicals” here in rural PNW as it is down south in the Bible Belt 🙁

    4. “These people will give the shirts off their backs to help you….then turn around and do some of the most hate filled things.” I would say their behavior is done out of the sense of ” perceived privilege” that they see themselves in and not out of any kind of Spiritual transformation, Christian or otherwise. Authority to to behave in such a dichotomy does not come from God, it comes from a sense of perceived privilege based on, color of skin, economic status, political belief, level of education, gender, specific Theology combined with Church denomination, and so on.

      1. The color of skin and the fact ” God is an American” is how many of these people think….

        1. What you describe in East Texas sounds like self-worship, thinly veiled under white nationalist idolatry.

  5. Thank you Dr. Corey for affirming Jesus, no matter how offensive it is to U.S. Evangelicals following Trump’s hate-filled gospel.

  6. That part about serving two masters…wasn’t it supposed to be God and Money? Gotta love how the religious right conveniently ignores that part (looks directly at Pat Robertson and Joel Osteen).

  7. It is interesting that even “back in the day” “I accelerate for liberals” was an acceptable bumper sticker.Maybe a lot of this stuff was just simmering below the surface before it boiled over…

    1. yes a ton of bile has been bubbling there all along. and the fires been stoked for at least 20-30 years… probly a lot longer
      (i’m a former fev, grew up in the church)

  8. If you left tracts with your tip, it seems you never were a proper fundie: the usual practice is to leave a tract instead of a tip, as I understand it.

    1. Yep. Back in my own waitressing days when I was a financially strapped university student, my experience with fundies (especially those who typically showed up in groups of 8 or more on Sundays after church, insisting on separate checks for each diner, as well as menu modifications and other requests that made considerable extra work for the waitstaff) was that they either tipped very poorly ($1 or $2 at most for the entire table) or else left only a tract or a “Jesus loves you” note on the ticket in lieu of a tip. Which tempted a coworker of mine to write on her Sunday tickets: “Your tips are appreciated–because Jesus doesn’t pay my f—ing rent!”

      1. Here’s an effective sales pitch: “We have just demonstrated we are tight-fisted, entitled, selfish, self-centered jerks, happy to cheat you out of your proper tip. Here’s a leaflet to explain how our god can help you to become exactly like us.”

  9. I understand these Fundies are selling out all their values, but what I don’t get is this–why for Trump, of all people? If you’re going to sell your soul for an authoritarian leader, couldn’t you pick someone better than Trump? Or Roy Moore? If I knew I was going to have to stand before Jesus and explain who I turned my back on him for, I wouldn’t want to have to point to a 6-ft. cardboard figure of Trump. Jesus would have to control His giggling while He threw you in the Lake of Fire. If they were selling their souls for, say, even Putin (which I guess they are)–it would make sense. At least Putin is smart and attractive. Both Putin and Satan are probably laughing hysterically behind these Fundies’ backs, going, “Trump? Seriously? Can you believe how easy these people were to fool?”

    Fundies, show some self-respect. Sell your souls for someone worthwhile–like Ted Cruz! 🙂

    1. 52% of Republicans who responded to a poll by Washington Post suggested they would consider postponing the 2020 elections and effectively democracy itself in the United States.

      I think we have to consider the possibility that a chunk of people are drawn to fascism in this country, and they latched on to the person who finally spoke the language of autocrats and dictators without filter.

    2. I have an idea for a new bumper sticker: “If you voted for Trump, you won’t get raptured!” 🙂 Maybe that would help people understand the distance between Trump and Christianity.

    3. I understand these Fundies are selling out all their values, but what I don’t get is this–why for Trump, of all people?-ashpenaz

      That’s easy to explain.
      The Republican hopefuls were Christians of various types (all authoritarians) and Trump.
      The specific versions of Christianity that Trump’s adversaries were promoting made them unpopular with many Christian voters.

      Trump offered a more generic version of authoritarian politics.
      That generic version got him the Republican nomination.

      1. I think it would be more accurate to say that it was many of the other candidates accidentally leaving a few vestigial bits of actual Christianity in their authoritarianism at all that cost them the nomination.

    4. I suspect it’s all about validation. Cruz, Ryan, Pence, etc. are slick enough to know there are certain things they and fundamentalists *think* but shouldn’t say. Trump, however, will shout validations on every bigoted/fearful/resentful feeling they have.
      For the most part, I think Trump is really just unmasking who they really are, not changing them.

    5. Jesus would have to control His giggling while He threw you in the Lake
      of Fire.-ashpenaz

      Your comic-book Jesus is a man of hate, arrogance and contempt.

      1. Note the use of “would have”: it is a deliberately unreal comic-book Jesus (of the fundie type) which is being described for rhetorical effect. I don’t think ashpenaz is actually anticipating this as really happening.

    6. 81% of U.S. White Evangelicals have cemented themselves to Trump. They will not be raptured, but will live the remainder of their years attempting and failing to explain themselves to the world. This is how history will remember them.

      1. Loath as I am to defend white evangelicals, the 81% figure is unfair. 81% of those who voted, voted Trump, but this represents only 40-odd% of them as a whole, since only about half of them voted at all. Sadly, since those who didn’t vote for the man are instead keeping quiet and doing nothing, “white evangelicals” as a whole will still be remembered as those who put Trump into power.

  10. Me? Well, I remain firm in my conviction that truth and morality don’t shift with the seasons of culture. What is a lie today doesn’t magically become truth tomorrow. What is immoral today doesn’t instantly become acceptable tomorrow.-Benjamin

    No, not magically or instantly.
    But in time, these changes come.

  11. Well said Mr. Corey. Far too often we see people jettison their standards for the sake of political “wins.” But in the long run, these wins don’t last. Many supposed feminists who made excuses for and even defended Bill Clinton are now facing accountability. Christians who excuse Donald Trump’s behavior will eventually be held accountable. It will take time, but it will happen.

  12. At the end of the day , I feel that the leaders and gatekeepers of the religious right seen Trump as someone who would preserve their “privileged culture” that they feel is under threat. I don’t feel the support they gave Trump was based on any kind of Spiritual reflection, but more on self preservation of their privileges within society .

  13. Luke 23:1-25, John 19:1-16, Matthew 27:11-26, Mark 15:1-15

    But they shouted, “Take him away! Take him away! Crucify him!”

    “Shall I crucify your king?” Pilate asked.

    “We have no king but Caesar,” the chief priests answered.

    John 19:15 (NIV2011)

    Ben, this is not new. The chief priests knew only to appease Caesar to protect the sanctity of their religious beliefs. To do so they incited their flocks to sacrifice the only Rabbi who could teach them to be children of God, faithful only to the perfect will of their Father in heaven.

    In order to protect their religious beliefs (e.g.: no equal civil rights for gays and no right for a woman to choose how her body is utilized for the propagation of mankind), the evangelical fundamentalists today will appease any Caesar, benevolent or not, righteous or not, by sacrificing their Teacher over the will of their chief priests.

    I could go on and on, as too many here know, but the sum of the law says nothing about selling out God in the name of God. Caiaphas, as the reigning high priest, had the privilege of going directly to counsel with the Holy Spirit relative to the credibility of Jesus being the prophesied Christ. He would have learned from the Spirit of truth directly that he would be, if he continued on as he did, crucifying a beloved child of God in God’s name only to appease the politics of his party (the Chief Priests and Pharisees) and the will of Caesar.

    As it was written then, it remains true today. We still are barbarically, in essence, sacrificing our virgin daughters to appease the wrath of our volcano god just as we were taught from birth by our religious leaders. I choose not to be in the lynch mob masses as the source to find my pride of righteousness through my tribe’s traditional sacrifice of God’s daughters and sons, simply because I did not check with the available Spirit of truth first, no longer behind the curtain. There is only one Way for us all to end our self righteous appeasement of our parties, our religions, our families, communities and our nations of mankind by sacrificing children of God >>> Matthew 23:8-12 … John 16:13 … Matthew 7:12

    I truly do unconditionally love (with and in empathy, tolerance, passion, forgiveness, …) all of Man and God, of whom each I am a son, born of water and of Spirit. I hurt for President Trump, for all those who follow his lead and for all the innocent children of Man and God who are crucified by those who know not what they are doing. This is not new and there is no sign that it will end as long as Man is the steward of life on this earth.

      1. Well, it looks like 2 books have just been released dealing with this very subject. Might be worth a read. Bart Ehrman’s latest book, How Jesus Became God: The Exaltation of a Jewish Preacher from Galilee, and a rebuttal, How God Became Jesus: The Real Origins of Belief in Jesus’ Divine Nature—A Response to Bart Ehrman, by a team of five Bible scholars. Jesus never directly says “I am God.” The Jewish leadership felt he was claiming “equality” with God but equality doesn’t necessarily mean “the same,” i.e., one can be equal to God but not the same. However, Pauline theology suggests a replacement of YHWH centered theology with a Christ centered theology and worship, in practice Christ fills the “God void.” Whether Jesus saw himself as God, or knew himself to be God, I’m not sure we can know. Certainly he saw himself as representing God fully and was somehow aware of and claimed preexistence.

      2. Steven, my relationship with and in God is no more an opinion than was my relationship with and in my carnal family of birth.

        I did teach the study of God (theology) before I accepted to be with and in the Spirit of truth. The Jesus, known theoretically to theological Christians as the Christ, is today my brother, my Rabbi, my high priest, my Lord with all authority in heaven and on earth and an equally loved child of God, with and by all his siblings, and especially by our Father.

        Those who had arrested Jesus took him to Caiaphas the high priest, where the teachers of the law and the elders had assembled. But Peter followed him at a distance, right up to the courtyard of the high priest. He entered and sat down with the guards to see the outcome.

        The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for false evidence against Jesus so that they could put him to death. But they did not find any, though many false witnesses came forward. Finally two came forward and declared, “This fellow said, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God and rebuild it in three days.’ ”

        Then the high priest stood up and said to Jesus, “Are you not going to answer? What is this testimony that these men are bringing against you?” But Jesus remained silent.

        The high priest said to him, “I charge you under oath by the living God: Tell us if you are the Messiah, the Son of God.”

        “You have said so,” Jesus replied. “But I say to all of you: From now on you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.”

        Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, “He has spoken blasphemy! Why do we need any more witnesses? Look, now you have heard the blasphemy. What do you think?”

        “He is worthy of death,” they answered. Then they spit in his face and struck him with their fists. Others slapped him and said, “Prophesy to us, Messiah. Who hit you?”

        Matthew 26:57-68 (NIV2011)

        I testify under oath by the living God that Jesus is and remains the Messiah, my only instructor (Matthew 23:10), and that I am his student (disciple) sibling (Matthew 12:50), a son of God born of the Spirit. I carry my cross (Luke 14:27) in Jesus’ example led by our Father’s will and our love for those who would accuse us of blasphemy; those who know not what they are doing for, in your heart and mind, who would honestly crucify a child of God in God’s name?

        God is not the most divine authority that your question suggests. God is spirit (John 4:23, 24) bound in all love as a divine family administered to the end of eternity by our Lord Jesus, according only to the perfect will of our Father.

        I did not teach this relationship when I taught the study of God for I did not know it from the inside. I, now, can simply testify, as an infant child of God to what I shared above as truth while pointing you to the only reliable Teacher who can teach you exactly as you can bear (John 16:13). He just showed me where it is written and how to best use it to communicate with you. Don’t believe me, ask Him!

        Love you!

        1. Bless your heart Herm!!

          John 4:
          23 But a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth, for the Father is seeking such as these to worship Him.
          24 God is Spirit, and His worshipers must worship Him in spirit and in truth.”

        2. Herm, did you answer my direct question? The question was, is Jesus God? I asked it that way so that you could answer the question with a yes or with a no.
          Let’s say a 6 year old boy came to you and asked, is Jesus God? I’m sure you could answer that question with a yes or no, right?

          Herm, is Jesus God?

          1. Steven, no, I cannot answer with a simple no, or yes, to the question you ask. Your concept of God is skewed to even believe that I can. I would certainly not answer a 6 year old boy with a yes or no answer to that loaded theological question.

            My answer would begin with, if you were that hypothetical six year old boy, are you Haupt?

            Steven, are you Haupt?

  14. I love your passion and fire for God. And while I mostly agree I can’t help but think, as noted below, really, nothing has changed. The history of religion from the Old Testament and on demonstrates the very nature of sin in the corrupt thirst for power that is inherent in man and subsequently the church. Isn’t that ultimately why we have the story of the Christ? To provide life to the ideals of God. I, you and those who are able to be humbled must stand the charge and lift up continually the values that Jesus life represents.

    1. I think if the best either side had to offer was another Clinton and a Donald Trump, then American politics is in serious trouble. It shows that both parties are in bad shape. The democratic campaign was dirty politics, the DNC was unfair. The Republican Primary debates were nauseating, mean spirited, and in the end chose the least qualified candidate. I am a believer in bipartisan politics and a strong 2 party system. America has not been this deeply divided since the American Civil War. And, no, the Reblican Party we have now is not representative of the Party as a whole. If it is, then it is in major trouble. As Christians let’s try to drop the whole “lesser of two evils” nonsense. Voting for a lesser evil is still voting for evil. Our vote should say something about who we are as Christians first, Americans second.

      If American politics cannot give us leadership we can feel good about…don’t vote or use a write in. It’s that simple.

  15. As usual you are conflicted and confuse politics with religion. The Presidential election was between a Democrat and a Republican not Jesus and Satan. The Left is for God with their lips but anti-God with their actions. The Right is also for God in their rhetoric but less so in their actions. But this is politics not church. We elect a President to keep us safe and to grow the economy among other things; not to be an image of Jesus.

    1. “As usual you are conflicted and confuse politics with religion,” that is the very definition of Western Christianity. A mere cursory read of Christian history shows that, from the 4th century on, the church has attempted to create the Kingdom of God via military/political means. What do you get when you mix religion and politics? Politics! American Christianity, both liberal and conservative is a prime example. Btw, your claim of only 45% of evangelical support for Trump reflects the lack of support amongst black evangelicals. Why is that? The crux of Corey’s article is about the dramatic 42 point swing or about face white evangelicals have made in the past few years, on the question of whether moral integrity matters in choosing a political leader.

      “A 42-point swing. 42! Evangelicals, who, pre-Trump, said that by 61-30 personal/private moral failings would be a strong predictor of public moral shortcoming in a candidate for president, in 2016, by 72-20 percent, now say that if a candidate’s personal behavior is immoral, that is no reason to assume that his or her public behavior will be also.” (1)

      You know, it may be that the mantra of “voting for the lesser of two evils,” will become less defensible amongst serious Christians who realize our kingdom is not of this world. I struggled with whether or not to vote for Clinton last election and in the end, the actions of Debby Wassermen, Donna Brazil, the DNC and the thought of Bill Clinton chasing aides in the White House again…well, I just couldn’t do it. I voted for a man with integrity, even though he didn’t stand a chance of winning the White House. And, no, it wasn’t the Donald.

      These are the kind of struggles I think Christians on both sides need to be having, rather than merely reflecting party line agendas.


      1. ” I voted for a man with integrity…” Integrity in a President is simply Keeping Campaign Promises – nothing more nothing less can be or should be anticipated. What President has their been in your lifetime that had integrity over self preservation? None. Since no President manages to keep his campaign promises then President Trump should be a refreshing surprise for you. He is keeping them one at a time despite all possible interference.

        While you wait for a man of integrity among politicians, Christians were becoming an endangered species under Obama. But no more! Our freedoms are now being restored despite the howls of the Progressive Left (Communists by another name). Our police and military are being honored not compromised. Our churches are being supported not punished. Imagine that Obama decided to punish the Little Sisters of the poor because they refused to participate in any way in the killing of babies in the womb. And this is his Christian, man of integrity, position? Outrageous.

        Blacks vote Democrat like lemmings without reason; christian or evangelical. And the most amazing turn of events is Black Christian tacit agreement with the Democrat position on abortion: killing babies until they are fully out of the womb. This is what Jesus meant when He said, ” …it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town (read Democrats – Black or White).

        Corey excoriates Fundamentalists while supporting Progressives without thought of their complete anti-Christian positions.

        1. I wonder why Blacks don’t vote for a party which considers them stupid?

          Still have that slavery mentality hey Bob…..

          1. right? opining that “Blacks vote like lemmings without reason” is extremely telling of his character & belief system…

        2. You: “Integrity in a President is simply Keeping Campaign Promises – nothing more nothing less can be or should be anticipated.“

          Actual definition:
          “Integrity is the qualifications of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness. It is generally a personal choice to hold oneself to consistent moral and ethical standards.
          In ethics, integrity is regarded by many as the honesty and truthfulness or accuracy of one’s actions. Integrity can stand in opposition to hypocrisy,[2] in that judging with the standards of integrity involves regarding internal consistency as a virtue, and suggests that parties holding within themselves apparently conflicting values should account for the discrepancy or alter their beliefs. The word integrity evolved from the Latin adjective integer, meaning whole or complete.[3] In this context, integrity is the inner sense of “wholeness” deriving from qualities such as honesty and consistency of character. As such, one may judge that others “have integrity” to the extent that they act according to the values, beliefs and principles they claim to hold.” (1)

          You: “Blacks vote Democrat like lemmings without reason; christian or evangelical.”
          Let me guess, you’re a white, male evangelical? Guess it’s a purely black and WHITE issue for you!

          I agree with Bones, you are exhibit 1A for evangelical hypocrisy.


          1. Black vs White is what Obama left us with; the uglier part of his legacy.

            Fact: 2016 black voters didn’t coalesce behind Clinton the same way they did Obama, with Clinton earning 88% of their vote (to Trump’s 8%) as compared to Obama’s 93% in 2012. Exhibit A for Lemmings!

    2. This from a guy who’s still looking for Obama’s birth certificate and thinks Trump is the messiah.

      You are exhibit one proof of this thread.

    3. I disagree, Republican and the Right/Evangelical are the same. Trump just brought them out into the open. The three pictures at the top of this blog speak volumes confirming this fact.

      1. Apparently that is not true in the least; even among evangelicals:
        “How did American evangelicals vote in the 2016 election?

        Based on polling data and news sources, you might be under the impression that an overwhelming number of evangelicals—more than 80 percent—voted for Donald Trump. But this isn’t quite accurate. There isn’t any way to truly know what percentage of evangelicals voted for our president-elect. But using a more nuanced analysis we can reasonably estimate that somewhere between 35 percent and 45 percent of all evangelicals in America voted for Trump.”

        1. Well, he’s your messiah……

          I mean you’re continued posts are an astonishing indictment against evangelicals and make Ben’s point for him.

          Well done!

        2. “In his sermon on the morning of Trump’s inauguration, Jeffress, senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Dallas, compared Trump to the story of the biblical leader Nehemiah who helped rebuild the city of Jerusalem” Read the article here . Evangelical leaders routinely claim Trump operates on behalf of God. Probably in a way your right, there is no Republican party anymore. It’s Democrats and Evangelicals.

  16. Another great article. After Conservatives endorsed Roy Moore, they should be told to shut up and sit down when they try to push their “moral values” on the rest of us. They have absolutely nothing to say to me.

    1. U.S. White Evangelicals have indeed cemented themselves to White male sexual predators Roy Moore, Josh Duggar, and Trump. This is how history will remember them.

      1. I have only a slight disagreement with this one.

        I think when Roe v Wade is overturned, and women in some states are forced to have children they don’t want. That will be their defining moment. When Roe v Wade is overturned, they will be celebrating in the streets over something that will cause suffering in others.

        1. Yes, U.S. White Evangelicals do support GOP policies which actually increase abortion rates, and they do indeed work against the flourishing of their neighbors. At least White Evangelical Trump is currently loosing his Transgender Military Ban.

          Will Evangelicals repent, or will they instead hide behind more insults and condemnation? Let’s observe:

  17. I possibly agree with Corey more than disagree. What he and others like him, however, do not understand that the religious right simply had enough of the intellectual bigotry (using whatever intelligence to be narrow minded and self-righteous) from the leftists. I take it God will use imperfect leaders.God used Churchill and is using Trump – in both cases, no thanks to leftists.

    1. “God… is using Trump”
      as one bird to another…i am greatly disappointed to hear this opinion from you…

    2. Btw did God use Churchill when he sent young ANZACS on the most stupid mission possible in invading Turkey which was a complete disaster claiming many young lives?

      Or Greece in WW2?

      Or when he unleashed the black and tans against Irish Nationalists?

      Or when my country had to fight Churchill to get our forces back to defend our homeland from Japanese invasion (Churchill refused to release our Rats of Tobruk)?

      1. You presumptuous prig. The leaders did not back Churchill, therefore brought him disgrace. Besides that, after reading many of your replies, you live in a world where things seem to be neatly packaged, everything in order, like a good English gentleman. You fight what you are. Oh no, I think I sounded like Churchill.

        1. Huh, Churchill brought disgrace upon himself. The Gallipoli campaign was his own invention and was a ridiculous farce. He was the one responsible for hoarding Indian rice, while Indians starved.

          From the Secretary of State for India

          “”Winston may be right in saying that the starvation of anyhow under-fed Bengalis is less serious than sturdy Greeks, but he makes no sufficient allowance for the sense of Empire responsibility in this country,””

          Yeah God was using Churchill to reduce the population of India. Like wtf!!

          And the real winner of WW2 was Uncle Jo Stalin. So I suppose God worked through him.

          Actually the one who thinks in terms of black and white is you.

    3. You mean like God used Churchill to starve millions of Indians……

      You people need to grow a brain….Your political leaders don’t care about the kingdom of God.

      1. That could be that some leaders do not care, but they are still used by God. God has a habit of using many that are dead in the bare bones. VICTORY. There I go again, or was that Churchill?

        1. raven please at least TRY to step back far enough to see what a F-EV Moral Majority talking point that really is…
          the entire framework of that toxic attitude in america comes from a specific set of writings developed by & for the use of an extremely authoritarian culture of antiquity. Then, as now, it works very well for Authoritarian Leaders to absolve sheer horror & abuse by claiming “GOD’S USING THIS LEADER”

        2. Yeah, like God used Josef Stalin to destroy German divisions in the East.

          But then maybe God used Imperial Japan to destroy western empires in the Pacific.

          The simple fact is you don’t have a clue as to what you are talking about.

        3. There is nothing to justify saying that God used Churchill more than any other world leader. Its easily reduced to absurdity. I really can’t see why you are justifying this position because its serving no purpose.

    4. Why do you say God used Churchill? You could point to Cyrus and other leaders whom God is said to have appointed but in those cases you know the mind of God because its written down. But Churchill was just another leader whom the British electorate rejected emphatically when the war had finished. It wasn’t leftists you need to thank for Trump, it was centrists who gave America a false choice. Trump is the logical outcome of 30 years of growing corruption within the political system. He is the puss that erupted out of the boil that is Congress.

      1. It’s because an authoritarian leader recently compared Trump to Churchill.

        There’s some irony in this, since I can’t recall Churchill being very fond of Nazis, or vice-versa.

      2. God utilizes people through their abilities. God uses the imperfect so that people know it is God in charge. Look for the big picture. Trump will be the greatest US President in US history, to date.

        1. By any metric Trump is the most useless president of all. Its crazy we are having to say this because the article is not evaluating Trump’s abilities which just happen to be minimal even as a businessman, for which he claims to be an expert.

          1. any metric except the one measuring his popularity among $$$conservatives – those making $$$ via this corrupt Admin along with those who are illogically convinced that $$$ will start trickling to them any day now…

    5. Do you believe God “takes sides” with nations, one over the other, and if so on what grounds? It’s interesting to note that both the north and south viewed God as on their side during the American Civil War. In fact, that has been a general theme in Christianity for 1700 years.

      1. Yes, I think God takes sides for particular reasons, always for the greater good and/or to remove an evil people. However, because some think they are doing right no matter what, does not negate what God is doing. We ought to be careful what we claim for God. That’s reasonable.

        1. You mean like how God was on Josef Stalin’s side.

          So in a democracy, God is on the side of whoever gets voted in – like Obama, GW Bush, Reagan, Carter, Nixon, LBJ……

          You’re not too bright hey.

          1. I can always expect you to be presumptuous. Based upon what I said does not arrive at your conclusions. Do you think before hitting those keys? No! I think I hear Hitler’s ghost rattling.

    6. At least your honest and admitting the election was about a religious belief versus everyone else , and for the Right, Religion and Politics are the one and the same.

    7. the religious right simply had enough of the intellectual bigotry (using whatever intelligence to be narrow minded and self-righteous) from the leftists.” – My Right-Wing Authoritarianism (RWA) detector just overloaded and had to re-boot…

  18. But they were always like this. A good recent case in point: Paul Pressler.* This was widely known 25 years ago in Houston but everyone at both 1st and 2nd Baptist Churches (2nd Baptist is larger for some reason) there was happy to let him continue in important lay leadership positions in the Southern Baptist Convention. Trump isn’t new. It’s just out in the open. That’s the only change.


    (Also, note that as early as 1989 an unspecified ethics charge disqualified him from a position in the Bush (41) administration: )

    Things like this always went on. It was just easier to cover your tracks before the internet.

    1. Yes, the religious right have been corrupting American politics for many decades. If its leaders had understood Jesus’ rejection of political power when questioned by Pilate, they would have accepted the separation of church and state that underpins the Constitution and saved Christ’s church from the squalid mess she now finds herself in. The moral majority were no better than political pimps. You only have to look at the last few presidential elections where a man’s faith was a litmus test to see that many had sold their souls to the American flag.

      Trump simply tapped into the rottenness at the heart of much of US evangelicalism. The people had mistakenly seen the USA as an extension of their Judeo-Christian faith but where their treasure was, so was their heart. In the words of Revelation, they have forsaken their first love and thrown their lot in with a harlot.

        1. Lol…..yes and have done.

          You are aware that most countries don’t vote for the most religious candidate but for the ones with the best policies.

        2. For at least the last 30 years Britain has elected a government with a Prime Minister who professes to be Christian but none of them has ever claimed their faith to be in any way relevant to their electability. Furthermore I’ve never heard anyone talk about faith being relevant in my countries politics (apart from fascists). Its ironic that we have the Church of England as an established church, bishops get to sit in our upper house, the Prime Minister has a say in appointing bishops and yet the question of faith rarely comes up and never gets mentioned in general elections. Yet in America where church and state are constitutionally separated, the President is continually challenged on his or her adherence to the Christian faith.

          Its intellectually dishonest to have faith as a test in any US election. Its also quite unsafe. I would be happy to be ignorant of a candidate’s faith or lack of.

  19. There was a poll awhile back which showed that Christians believed, firmly and ardently, that a person’s individual character was pivotal to how well they could perform the duties of their office.

    Then in 2015, that poll showed a sharp reversal. Suddenly a person’s character didn’t matter one bit. And guess who had announced his candidacy for president around that time?

    There’s statistical evidence to back up #2 if I can dredge it up again.

    1. Found it courtesy of Public Religion Research Institute:

      No group has shifted their position more dramatically than white evangelical Protestants. More than seven in ten (72%) white evangelical Protestants say an elected official can behave ethically even if they have committed transgressions in their personal life—a 42-point jump from 2011, when only 30 % of white evangelical Protestants said the same. Roughly six in ten white mainline Protestants (60%) and Catholics (58%) also believe elected officials can behave honestly and ethically in their public roles regardless of their personal behavior. In 2011, only about four in ten white mainline Protestants (38%) and Catholics (42%) held this view. Notably, religiously unaffiliated Americans have remained constant in their views; six in ten (60%) believe elected officials who behave immorally in their personal lives can still perform their duties with integrity, compared to 63% in 2011.

  20. About Hillary–I think she is a flawed human being and a corrupt, ambitious politician. I also think her resume shows her to be an intelligent, capable manager. As evangelicals now say, I wasn’t voting for a pastor–I was voting for someone who I felt had the skills to be President. Clearly, of the two candidates whose resumes were on my desk in the last election, Hillary was without any doubt whatsoever the person I would hire to run my company/country. Her flaws, though many and deep, did not pose a threat to the overall mission of the company/country. She would be an effective manager until we had the chance to put in someone better. Trump, from everything on his clearly limited resume, showed that he would be a danger to the mission of the company, and I felt it was even possible that the company would go out of business if I voted to put Trump in a position of leadership. I still think that.

    Now that evangelicals have clearly stated that someone’s personal flaws do not render them ineligible for public office, I can vote for candidates like Hillary, or Elizabeth Warren, or Cory Booker, or Joe Biden. Thank God, there’s now a Biblical defense for electing sinners! 🙂

    1. And Trump exposed those flaws….

      The problem was she was not a good candidate….and just expected to win.

      1. It’s not like she sat at home waiting for the votes to come in. People act like she was obviously unelectable, but her showing should disprove that. Shift just 40,000 of those three million popular votes to a couple different states and we’d be busy talking about the Republicans’ latest attack on President Clinton instead of wondering if Donald Trump actually has any idea what health insurance is or does (spoiler: he has no clue).
        But for statistic record:

        55.5% of turnout, the third highest since 1968 (which is when turnout dropped below 60% and hasn’t risen above it since)

        65,844,610 votes, third highest in US history behind Barack Obama’s 2008 and 2012 results.

        All that despite a decades’ long smear campaign, Russian interference in the election, disenfranchising of countless people…

        It’s time to put this idea to rest. I didn’t care that much for her, but she earned more than enough votes to prove that there’s no reason she couldn’t have ended up in the White House.

        1. She neglected the Rust Belt….that cost her the election….and enough mud stuck on her.

          Also Trump won the blue collar vote and rural US.

          Don’t forget Republicans not only won the presidency but the Senate and House of Reps.

          Democrats have to work out what and who they actually represent and what they offer people living in rural areas and the working class.

          1. I wasn’t surprised she lost Michigan; although the state tends to vote blue, I figured out a long while ago that it isn’t liberal, it’s libertarian, and Trump’s burn-it-down approach to politics appealed heavily to the same folk who organized militias and prepared for doomsday throughout the Obama administration. Having finally encountered a politician who spoke to their crabs-in-a-bucket culture, the state was destined to go red. Last I heard, they were seriously itching for Kid Rock to run for office so they could vote for him too.

            Nonetheless, you could fit the number of voters who cost Clinton the election in a small sports stadium. Even in the places she supposedly neglected, the margin of loss was slimmer than reports make it sound.

            Of course, I do think the Democrats need to up their game, if only because the stakes keep getting higher. We now have an open white supremacist (Paul Nehlen) preparing to run for office who makes Steve King sound like he’s blowing in a dog whistle, and Moore proved that the Republican party will back anyone wearing red and heiling an elephant. Taking Alabama and potentially Virginia is a good sign; the base is more energized than it’s been in a long time and it’s going to need to be to overcome gerrymandering (holy crap, North Carolina, that state legitimately scares me) and voter suppression. Most of the Republicans’ big plans are unpopular with the majority of voters, but when nearly twice as many Democrats need to vote as Republicans in order to win an election, odds are good that most red states are going to stay red.

            1. I still don’t think youre getting it. it does sound like excuses.

              The Gop have majorities in all the houses and trump decimated Clinton in working class whites and the rural vote.

              The dems have to win them back and only a character like Sanders will do that.

              One thing is for sure: Trump will smash any politician produced by the Democrat establishment.

              1. nope unfortunately, the nationalists would never accept Bernie… they say he’s a dreaded “Commie”… lol…
                they hate him because he fights for ALL on the lower rungs, not just themselves. there are a lot of folk going around w/o noses these days. most of them are still claiming its a great new look

          2. tossed Bernie under the bus too, lost a ton of Milennials & Indys w that stunt… whereas if she’d named him her running mate after the Primary… was there a rule barring that? becoz he was the logical choice…

        2. Subtract the hate campaign, and the hacking sourced in Russia from our social media and Wikileaks, and Hillary Clinton would have clearly been President today, elected popular and electoral. I don’t think she, in any way, just sat on her butt and waited to accept the prize.

          1. Yeah. Exit polls did show that a substantial number of people changed their minds at the last minute when Comey publicized his findings on the last batch of e-mails, and the number of people polls found who said it had given them incentive to change their vote did outweigh the margin of error she needed to take enough electoral college votes to win the election.
            At this point, Mueller is also having to look at the RNC and the timing of some of its actions when the hacked voter information was published, since it’s not out of the question that they used that info to target swing state voters.

            It was a pretty thoroughly FUBAR election. I wish we could wipe the slate clean and do it again, but the chain of succession is clear: Trump -> Pence -> Ryan -> Hatch.

            Personally I wouldn’t be surprised if we wind up with President Hatch after the dust settles. He’s a conservative through and through, but at least he seems to be remotely rational and not filled with petty contempt and a desire to hurt people.

          2. If you don’t acknowledge the flaws in clinton’s campaign, you’re going to be doomed to more Trump.

            The fact is Clinton wasn’t liked on the Left either. Nor by country folk and the working class.

            Also GOP now controls all branches of legislature. You can’t blame Russia for that.

            Dems have to respond with offering a decent alternative of government. Maybe starting by examining why people who voted for Obama voted for Trump.

  21. Moral superiority isn’t a religious value; it’s a matter of ego. If you had to vote with your feet and leave your church due to its hypocrisy, note that Jesus said, “The love of the greater number will cool off,” and wait for further Orders. Never mind, gloating. We who find the Church wanting have nothing to gloat over.

  22. What is immoral today doesn’t instantly become acceptable tomorrow.

    Sure it does. This is not even hard to find examples.

  23. We’ve (America) religiously reached what I often call “Ambient Religion.” There’s no longer any connection between our religion and our behavior, but instead our religion is solely connected to our environment. Religion doesn’t flow out from us, but is expected to come as support from things around us. We can’t allow anyone to offend our religious “ambiance” by saying “Happy Holidays” or serving us coffee at Christmas time in plain red cups, or speak in foreign languages, or wear foreign clothes or openly follow a religion we don’t follow. The attitude is that “everyone else is responsible for my religion except for me.”
    I don’t see any point to such entitled religion, we need to follow the admonition to “First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.” I hope American religion has a reformation and returns to personal responsibility.

  24. Great post, but I think a better word than the garden-variety hypocrisy we all indulge at times is IDOLATRY — Christians who put party or tribe (whether on the Left or the Right) over God and their faith are simply worshiping false idols. Thank God there’s a significant minority of both evangelicals and Republicans who are appalled at the ‘devil’s bargain’ some Christian on the Right are making with morally execrable demagogues . For example here’s a column by prominent evangelical Republican Peter Wehner titled, “Why I Can No Longer Call Myself an Evangelical Republican” …

  25. “Me? Well, I might be a Leftist Apostate, but I still believe that the true evidence of whether or not one is a Christian is found in the type of life that they lead.”

    Of course, a large part of the problem here is that what it actually means to be a real Christian to the average American Evangelical has become so convoluted, they wouldn’t (and often don’t) recognise a real Christian when they see one. Likewise, they equally have trouble spotting a counterfeit like Trump.

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