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Doug Giles dares to ask the controversial question “Would Jesus Vote for Trump?” and gives a challenging and nuanced answer leading us to appreciate our roles as voting citizens.
God chooses the base and corrupt to shame to ..
As white nationalists planned to gather in front of the White House on Sunday to mark the anniversary of last year’s violent rally in Charlottesville, Va., President Trump denounced “all types of racism,” but did not specifically condemn the supremacists.
“Riots in Charlottesville a year ago resulted in senseless death and division,” he wrote on Twitter on Saturday morning. “We must come together as a nation. I condemn all types of racism and acts of violence. Peace to ALL Americans!”
When foreign affairs are, literally, personal.
He’d been received tepidly in his campaign to retake the presidency from his ally, Dmitry Medvedev, and he needed an enemy. So his proxies falsely argued that I had been sent by President Barack Obama to fund the opposition and foment revolution
.. During his two-hour one-on-one meeting with President Trump, Putin made his American counterpart an offer: He would permit U.S. law enforcement officials to witness the Russian interrogation of 12 Russian spies accused by the United States of interfering in the 2016 campaign, if his own agents could observe the interrogation of a similar number of American intelligence officers who, Russia alleges, committed crimes on Russian soil. In the fantasy Putin spun during the joint news conference, U.S. intelligence officers had helped American-born British citizen Bill Browder launder money out of Russia, which Browder then gave to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. It was a ludicrously false equivalency that linked the documented efforts of Russian hackers to tilt the election to Trump with a host of completely imagined offenses by U.S. government officials. Amazingly, Trump called Putin’s crazy proposal “an incredible offer.”
The resignation of A.R. Bernard from the White House Evangelical Advisory Board was nearly ignored
.. More extreme members made headlines by defending the president, and echoed his blame of “both sides.” Robert Jeffress, pastor of First Baptist Church in Dallas, told the Christian Broadcasting Network, “the media has painted, the liberals have painted—a false narrative that the president is a racist.” Jerry Falwell Jr. claimed the president “does not have a racist bone in his body,” and in a tweet praised his initial statements regarding Charlottesville as “bold” and “truthful,” saying that he was “so proud of Donald Trump.”
.. Johnnie Moore, a lay pastor on the council, has said, “We believe it would be immoral to resign.”
.. the media attention given to this story is part of a larger, ever-tightening narrative connecting racism and the evangelical church.
.. Evangelical voters were never expected to support Trump in the first place—a candidate who, for countless reasons, seemed antithetical to their traditional values. But they did.
.. Dan Cox, the research director at the Public Religion Research Institute, described white evangelical support as “incredibly consistent and incredibly loyal,” and said that “it’s hard to conceive of an event or an action taken by Trump that would lead them to abandon him at this point.”
.. During that time, support for the ban declined across every religious category, except among white evangelicals
.. Pew has also reported that Trump’s support was strongest among evangelicals who attend church most frequently. Among those who attend church at least monthly, 67 percent “strongly approve of Trump” as opposed to 54 percent of those who “attend less.”
Right-wing extremists committed 74 percent of the 372 politically motivated murders recorded in the United States between 2007 and 2016. Left-wing extremists committed less than 2 percent... Meanwhile, one white supremacist and Ku Klux Klan leader, Chris Barker, said last month that his movement would destroy immigrants: “We killed 6 million Jews the last time. Eleven million is nothing.” As Paul Blest wrote in the Outline, “To pretend that the alt-right and Antifa are comparable is like equating the danger of playing Russian roulette with taking a walk.”.. “Who is the Corey Stewart of antifa?” (Stewart is the Virginia politician who unfurled Confederate flags at rallies as he ran unsuccessfully in the recent Republican primary for governor and who says he will challenge Sen. Tim Kaine next year.).. There certainly was no question that the alt-right had political ties — at the highest level. Stephen K. Bannon, the chairman of Breitbart News, who would would become Trump’s chief strategist, once described his news organization as the “platform for the alt-right.”.. The best thing journalists can do is to relentlessly explain the beliefs, scope and scale of antifa, and to resist conflating it with liberal groups
ordinary Americans are waking up to that reality and rather than looking to the alleged conscience-in-chief to beat back the rising tide of racism and bigotry, they are taking matters in their own hands. This may well prove to be a healthy development that will strengthen national morality by decentralizing it.
.. The two fixed lodestars in America’s moral map were set by its great struggles against slavery and Nazism. One can question the means that the nation deployed against these two evils but not that they were worth fighting. After all, they represent an affront to every sacred principle this country stands for — equality, liberty, and justice. America sacrificed over 750,000 soldiers (not counting the Confederate casualties), more than all its other conflicts combined, in the service of these two causes.
.. Moreover, he implied that there was no big moral divide between Thomas Jefferson and George Washington, on the one hand, and Robert E. Lee, on the other — never mind that Jefferson and Washington despised slavery whereas Lee, the confederate general, fought to preserve this cruel institution nearly a century later. Nor was Trump simply making a slippery slope argument when he warned that tearing down Lee’s statue would inevitably visit the same fate on America’s slave-owning founders. Indeed, since his original comments, he has gone even further, lamenting on Twitter the removal of “our beautiful statutes and monuments.”
.. Stunningly, he is no longer even claiming — as some Southerners have the decency to do — that Lee’s statues are warts that need to be preserved to remind us of our ugly history. No, they need to be maintained because they are “beautiful.”
.. PayPal has invoked a clause in its contract that reserves the right to deny access to anyone who promotes “hate, violence, and racial intolerance” to cut off outfits like Richard Spencer’s National Policy Institute, a white separatist think tank. Meanwhile, the Cheyenne Mountain Resort in Colorado Springs cancelled a conference that VDARE, a nativist outfit, was planning to hold there next April.
.. But precisely because there is a cost to businesses themselves when they shun someone, they have an inherent incentive in not going too overboard in quashing dissenters, unlike ideologically motivated Social Justice Warriors.
morning papers were full of stories demonstrating that his political legitimacy, or what small reserves he had left of it, was steadily draining away. After days of prevaricating, America’s business leaders were finally abandoning him en masse.
- Top generals from all five military branches were issuing statements implicitly rebuking him.
- Many White House staffers were despairing of him.
- And even some members of the Society for the Protection of Spineless Conservative Politicians, otherwise known as the leadership of the Republican Party, were starting to distance themselves from him, albeit hesitantly and anonymously, via leaks to journalists and statements from well-connected intermediaries
.. “I see no equivalence between those who propound fascist views and those who oppose them,” Theresa May, the British Prime Minister, said in a statement.
.. It is now clear that when Trump announced on Wednesday that he was disbanding two White House advisory councils made up of C.E.O.s and other business bigwigs, he was telling another one of his tall tales. One of the groups, a council on manufacturing, had already agreed to disband itself, because its members could no longer justify (to their employees, stockholders, and customers) coöperating with the cretin who said there were some “very fine people” among the torch-wielding protesters who marched through Charlottesville on Friday night, chanting “blood and soil” and “Jews won’t replace us.”
.. As of this writing, none of Trump’s aides has resigned in protest at the President’s statements. But a number of them have been busy getting the story out that they are mad as hell.
- Three different sources told the Times that Gary Cohn, Trump’s top economic adviser, who is Jewish, was incensed by the President’s remarks. The Washington Post reported that
- John Kelly, the former Marine general who took over as the White House chief of staff a couple of weeks ago, with a mandate to impose some order on all the chaos, had been left “deeply frustrated and dismayed;
- Bloomberg reported that Steve Mnuchin, the Treasury Secretary, who was standing next to Trump at Tuesday’s Trump Tower press conference, had gathered his staff together and assured them that he had no idea that the President was going to say what he did.
.. Before composing his ode to the statues of Confederate leaders, he tore into two Republican senators who had dared to criticize him by name for what he said about Charlottesville: Lindsey Graham, of South Carolina, and Jeff Flake, of Arizona. In one tweet, he described Graham as a “publicity seeker.”
In another, he endorsed a little-known Republican politician who is challenging Flake in a primary race: “Great to see that Dr. Kelli Ward is running against Flake Jeff Flake, who is weak on borders, crime and a non-factor in Senate. He’s toxic!”
.. Bannon described the Unite the Right marchers as “a fringe element” and “a collection of clowns.” But that seemed like an effort to have it both ways, which is a familiar Bannon tactic. As the head of Breitbart News, he gave an influential platform to elements of the alt-right but vehemently denied that the site was racist.
.. “If the left is focused on race and identity, and we go with economic nationalism, we can crush the Democrats,” Bannon told Kuttner.
..“Trump is using the precious capital of the bully pulpit to talk about confederate monuments in between savage attacks on fellow Republicans,” Holmes, the former aide to McConnell, told Politico Playbook. “Just think about that.
- Not tax reform.
- Not repeal and replace.
- Not North Korean nuclear capabilities.
- No focused critiques on extremely vulnerable Democrats who have opposed him at every possible turn.”
.. While McConnell and Paul Ryan, the Speaker of the House, have both put out statements saying that racism and white supremacism have no place in the G.O.P., neither of them has explicitly criticized Trump. Even now, most Republicans are too intent on pursuing their regressive policy agenda, and too frightened of incurring the wrath of the Trump-supporting hordes going into the 2018 midterms, to do what almost all of them must know, deep down, is the right thing.
.. Outside the arena of national security, the Presidency is a weak office; to get anything substantial done, the person in the Oval Office has to put together coalitions, bringing along powerful people and interest groups. As the health-care fiascodemonstrated, Trump wasn’t very good at that stuff to begin with—forgive the understatement—and he has just greatly compounded his difficulties.
.. By dint of his pigheadedness, or prejudice, or both, he has moved onto political ground that makes it virtually impossible for other people in influential positions .. to stand with him, or even to be seen to coöperate with him. That is what happens when a President throws away his own legitimacy.
.. Trump may have convinced himself that he doesn’t need political allies, or corporate advisers, or anybody else—that he can bully his opponents into submission and succeed through simple force of will. Maybe he thinks that invoking the memories of Lee and Jackson, the Southern battlefield commanders, will help his cause. It won’t: the fate of the Confederacy was settled more than a hundred and fifty years ago, and right now, Trump’s Presidency seems headed to a similarly ignominious ending.