Here We Go Again

Religious Freedom seems to be the topic of the day in many circles (after the impeachment, of course). Especially since our esteemed President signed the recent Executive Order which he said was aimed at “reducing discrimination against people and groups of faith.”

(Ironically, Trump ended his above comment with … “There’s nothing more important than that.” I can’t help but ask … more important that impending impeachment?)

One writer in an article about the EO seemed giddy with excitement:

President Trump acted in the best interests of the American people Thursday when he signed an executive order to bolster and protect the rights of students to pray and discuss God in their schools. The order champions and reinforces the freedom of religion guaranteed to us in the Constitution as one of our most important rights.

He went on to say (undoubtedly without prejudice) …

We’re not looking to coerce or force anyone to accept our beliefs – we simply want government to respect our constitutionally derived right to freely express our own deeply held faith.

Of course the question then arises … WHOSE “deeply held faith” are you referring to, sir? The deeply held faith of the Muslim? The deeply held faith of the Mormon? The deeply held faith of the Sikh? The deeply held faith of the Jew?

Oh wait! His next remark seems to make it quite clear:

My own organization has been encouraging students to exercise their religious freedom by bringing their Bibles to school on the first Thursday of every October. (emphasis added)

Maybe I’m off-base, but aren’t Bibles the textbook for Christians?

He goes on to mention how terribly some (Christian) students are treated because they were …

… prohibited from praying during non-instructional time, denied participation in faith-based student clubs on campus, and chastised for expressing biblical points of view in class assignments.

IMO, his first two complaints have some validity, but that last one? Borderline if you ask me. I mean, isn’t “expressing biblical points in class assignments” an example of crossing that line?

In another article on the same subject, the Rev. Johnnie Moore, a member of Trump’s informal evangelical advisory board contended that …

the “White House isn’t saying whether one should pray or to whom or what they should pray to” with the announced changes but that “they are simply making it clear that in the United States students have First Amendment rights also, and our ‘separation of church and state’ wasn’t intended to suppress a vibrant religious life in America but to facilitate it.”

Sounds good, but if this guy is on the evangelical advisory board, there’s little doubt the entity “to whom” he’s referencing.

It never ends. Instead of allowing people to be who and/or what they want to be, certain groups insist upon molding everyone to their way of thinking/believing.

Doesn’t anyone ever wonder why “God” (who is supposed to the All-Wise One) didn’t design his creations to all think the same way? It sure would have saved us humans a lot of grief!

Heaven Forbid! Trump is Upsetting the Evangelicals

A Trump-supporting West Virginia state senator who represents many evangelicals got three phone calls from constituents complaining about Trump’s profanity after a recent rally.

Oh my! It seems the residents of this senator’s district are upset that Trump was “using the Lord’s name in vain” when he …

  • Bragged about bombing Islamic State militants: “they’ll be hit so goddamn hard.”
  • Warned a wealthy businessman: “If you don’t support me, you’re going to be so goddamn poor.”

While it’s not uncommon for Trump to use numerous profanities in his speeches, it seems some of his supporters are more fixated on the off-limits and casual use of the word “goddamn.” 😲

As many of us know, Evangelicals played a key role in Trump’s 2016 win, yet it now seems some of them are growing fatigued with the irreverent language that often seeps into his rallies and official events. Some believers have even threatened to stay home during the 2020 elections rather than vote if Trump “doesn’t tone down the rhetoric.”

Interestingly, although Trump has …

  • Been divorced twice
  • Faced constant allegations of extramarital affairs
  • Previously supported abortion rights
  • Stumbled when trying to discuss the specifics of religion (once saying “two Corinthians” instead of “Second Corinthians”)

… he has maintained broad support from evangelicals, including the unwavering backing of prominent conservative Christian leaders. Even Jerry Falwell, Liberty University President, says he wishes Trump would be a little more careful with his language, “but it’s not anything that’s a dealbreaker and it’s not something we’re going to get morally indignant about.”

Wow.

Although Evangelicals tend to agree with Trump’s social policies, praise his appointment of conservative judges, and extol his commitment to Israel — when it comes to “using the Lord’s name in vain” … gasp! … many draw the line.

They’re also not too happy with his use of “bullshit.” Or saying we should keep radical Islamic terrorists the “hell out of our country,” and that we should throw undocumented immigrants “the hell out.”

And yet … and yet … even though many are appalled at Trump’s irreverence, they continue to support him and are “inclined to extend grace to him” when he swears or makes inappropriate comments.

One can’t help but wonder … where do Evangelicals and other God-fearing individuals draw the line? Are they so certain that Trump is going to usher in a Christian Nation* that it’s O.K. to put aside the standards of their beloved religion for a future utopia?

Then again, as many of us know, Christians have been known to ignore/overlook the teachings of their Leader when it’s convenient for them to do so. Why should it be different this time?

 

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(Material and excerpts for this post came from here.)

*A country that recognizes a form of Christianity as its official religion and often has a state church which is a Christian denomination that supports the government and is supported by the government.