Patterico's Pontifications

7/19/2017

Christian Leaders Pray For President Trump

Filed under: General — Dana @ 9:45 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Last week, a photo of President Trump being prayed for by evangelical leaders and Vice President Pence made the rounds.

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In a Facebook post, Pastor Rodney Howard-Browne, who was part of the prayer group, shared this:

Yesterday was very surreal for @ahowardbrowne & I. 30 years ago we came from South Africa to America as missionaries. Yesterday I was asked by Pastor Paula White-Cain to pray over our 45th President – what a humbling moment standing in the Oval Office – laying hands and praying for our President – Supernatural Wisdom, Guidance and Protection – who could ever even imagine – wow – we are going to see another great spiritual awakening…

Howard-Browne further clarified that what took place “was normal, what a lot of us pray when we pray for elected officials. It was like a meeting of friends.”

When I first saw the photo, I reacted with cynicism: Evangelicals. Pfft. Trump. Pfft. All sorts of nuttery rolled into one photo. But then I thought about it. Say what you will about evangelicals, President Trump, and prayer, but I don’t know why anyone would object to prayers going up for a president. Particularly this one. While only God can say if these were the prayers of righteous men, I think it’s a positive thing when anyone, anywhere asks God to grant Trump wisdom. How could it not be?

Anyway, as a reminder, Trump’s claims of Christianity have been questionable and conveniently timed, in light of an impending election. Consider when asked about seeking God’s forgiveness in this life, then-candidate Trump said,

“I have great relationship with God. I have great relationship with the Evangelicals,” Trump said in the interview before pivoting to his poll numbers among Evangelical voters.

“I like to be good. I don’t like to have to ask for forgiveness. And I am good. I don’t do a lot of things that are bad. I try to do nothing that is bad.”

Trump told Republican pollster and focus-group guru Frank Luntz that when the real-estate mogul has done something wrong, he tries to correct his error without getting God involved.

“I am not sure I have,” Trump said when asked if he’d ever asked God for forgiveness. “I just go on and try to do a better job from there. I don’t think so,” he said. “I think if I do something wrong, I think, I just try and make it right. I don’t bring God into that picture. I don’t.”

To me, his comments revealed an individual completely unfamiliar with the Christian faith, mankind’s fall from grace, and the personal relationship between the believer and God. And yet, he somehow managed to con(vince) any number of leaders in the Christian church that he was the real deal.

But to answer the question of whether anyone objected to the president being prayed for, it appears they did. The Washington Post dug up a pretty dumb example from a supposed Christian, because why choose a robust and challenging objection intelligently articulated by a solid Christian when you can instead choose a dumb one because every cosmopolitan knows that Christians = dumb:

The White Wing Evangelical Christians visit the White House, laying hands on Trump. Now Trump thinks he’s Jesus. Sacrilegious.

They also included the objections of a well known Protestant pastor. This in spite of his rank hypocrisy. Consider the Rev. William Barber II, who serves as North Carolina’s NAACP chair and the leader of the protest group, Moral Mondays, which protests against President Trump’s policies:

On MSNBC’s “AM Joy” Saturday morning, Barber called the now-viral photo “theological malpractice bordering on heresy.”

“When you can p-r-a-y for a president and others while they are p-r-e-y, preying on the most vulnerable, you’re violating the most sacred principles of religion,” Barber told host Joy Reid.

Barber considers Trump (and Republicans) hypocrites, because their views and policies are not representative of Jesus’s words about how people are to treat “the least of these.”

When we have this extremist Trump Republican agenda that takes health care, transfers wealth to the greedy, that’s hypocrisy and sin. Seven hundred billion dollars, Joy? You haven’t seen that kind of transfer of wealth on the backs of bodies of people since slavery. Claiming to care about life, but then passing a bill when you know thousands will die — 22 million people, poor, working people will be hurt — that is hypocrisy and sin. When you know it will hurt children, the disabled and veterans, that is sin. That is hypocrisy.

Further, he accused Trump-Ryan-McConnell’s agenda as one of rank “hypocrisy and sin.”

Let me just cut to the chase: Rev. William Barber II exhorting Republicans and the president about Jesus’s commands on how to treat the most vulnerable among us is the same Rev. William Barber II who stood in solidarity with Planned Parenthood to protect the rights of women to have an abortion. This says all anyone needs to know about how much he really cares about who lives and dies and the most vulnerable among us.

These “Christians”. As a believer (albeit one who no longer attends church and has no intention of taking up the practice again), this is really frustrating. The hypocrisy of Trump, the hypocrisy of Barber, the seedy efforts of church leaders to convince voters that Trump was someone that he really wasn’t brought to mind a question that filmmaker Ken Burns asked during a recent interview. And it’s one that I’ve been chewing over. (Yes, I’m talking about that Ken Burns. The one about whom we can say much regarding his politics, historical views, etc., but this post isn’t about that.) He has simply articulated a compelling question, and one that I wish I could answer. But I can’t.

“The Republican Party has been extraordinarily successful at getting many groups of people to vote against their self-interest. Evangelicals are voting for Donald Trump. What part of Donald Trump reminds you of Jesus Christ? Trump lusts after his own daughter on national radio, talks about women’s bodies and breasts in such a disparaging way, and mocks them. How is this in any way Christian? When you make the “other” the enemy, how is that Christian?”

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)

–Dana

John McCain Diagnosed With Brain Cancer

Filed under: General — Dana @ 7:15 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Prayers for Sen. John McCain and his family tonight:

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) has been diagnosed with brain cancer, the Mayo Clinic Hospital in Phoenix said Wednesday.

The tumor was discovered after the senior Arizona senator underwent a minor procedure last week to remove a blood clot from above his left eye.

“Subsequent tissue pathology revealed that a primary brain tumor known as a glioblastoma was associated with the blood clot,” the hospital said in a statement.

“The Senator and his family are reviewing further treatment options with his Mayo Clinic care team. Treatment options may include a combination of chemotherapy and radiation.”

If anyone has shown himself to be a tenacious fighter in this life, it’s certainly been Sen. McCain.

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)

–Dana

This Means WAR: The ObamaCare Betrayal by Senators Capito and Murkowski Can Never Be Forgotten or Forgiven

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 5:00 am

As I mentioned yesterday, I am astounded that so many people want to blame the GOP’s failure to repeal ObamaCare on those who are least to blame: folks like Rand Paul and Mike Lee. As I said, the real villains are the people who voted for the ObamaCare (partial) repeal bill in 2015 — but oppose it today.

Well, Mitch McConnell will soon call for a vote on a reanimated version of that same bill. And now we’re starting to learn who the scoundrels really are.

At the top of the list of giant hypocrites, you’ll find Senators Shelly Moore Capito of West Virginia and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska — who have both declared their intention to vote against the ObamaCare repeal bill that they both voted for in 2015. As Phil Kerpen said:

They have no excuse for this, and their betrayal will save ObamaCare.

This means war.

Capito and Murkowski are the most worthless type of hypocrites imaginable. They have postured as being against Obamacare, but they never really were. They voted in favor of the (partial) repeal in 2015 — and yet they claim they cannot vote for the same bill today, in 2017.

What is the difference between 2015 and 2017? Yesterday afternoon I sent emails to the press offices of Senators Capito and Murkowski, asking them why they would choose not to vote for the exact same bill they voted for in 2015. I received no response from Senator Capito, and a canned statement from Senator Murkowski that does not remotely begin to address the questions I had asked.

So what is the difference between 2015 and 2017? I’ll tell you what the difference is. The difference is that today, in 2017, we have a president who would sign that repeal bill into law. In 2015, we did not.

Senators Capito and Murkowski knew this. They lied to their voters, straight up.

Now: we all know that there are surely plenty of other cowards hiding behind the skirts of these two senators. (Hi, Rob Portman!) I suspect that Capito and Murkowski were chosen to be the primary fall guys (or fall gals, as it happens) because they’re not up for reelection for four years (in the case of Capito) and six years (in the case of Murkowski). I think the GOP establishment is hoping that you will forget about their treachery in the intervening four to six years.

I, for one, am not going to forget. I will never forget.

I hereby pledge to donate money to the strongest conservative challenger willing to primary either of these senators on the basis of their refusal to vote to repeal Obamacare. I don’t care if I have to wait until 2020 or 2022, I am doing it. And I will vocally support that person against these Senators, and do everything I can to see that these women are unseated.

So if there are others, why pick on Capito and Murkowski? Oh, I’m willing to do the same for anyone who votes against the repeal bill. We just don’t know who they are yet. But yes, I am focused on these two senators, because they are the ones who came out against the bill first, and will give political cover for others to do the same. We have to make an example out of somebody, so we might as well start with them — pour encourager les autres.

So here’s what we do. We primary them. We never, ever forget this betrayal. This goes for anybody else who votes against having this legislation going forward. All of them get the same treatment. No more donations for any of the turncoats. If they appear on the radio, we call in and rip them to shreds for this vote. We confront them wherever and whenever we can. We pull out all the stops.

Some, I expect, will go further. Some will simply stop voting for the GOP or donating money to the GOP. If you choose to go that route, I suggest you tell them exactly why.

One final point: some of you may be asking: why am I not screaming at Susan Collins? Am I mad at Susan and Collins? Well, sure. Of course I’m mad at Susan Collins — for being a complete economic nincompoop who is furthering a disastrous socialistic healthcare regime that is going to drive health care costs into the stratosphere and bankrupt middle America. But she didn’t vote for the 2015 bill. She didn’t pretend to be for repeal when it didn’t matter. (If you want a full list of who did vote for the bill in 2015, together with an analysis of who is still in the Senate today, I did that work for you here.)

Yes, Susan Collins might be an economic illiterate and the functional equivalent of a Democrat. But Susan Collins didn’t lie to her voters with her 2015 vote. Capito and Murkowski did. Capito and Murkowsi lied. They lied — and they must pay the price for lying.

I can’t make them pay a political price by myself. You have to join me. So I ask you:

Who’s with me?

[Cross-posted at RedState and The Jury Talks Back.]


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