Monday, July 23, 2018

I Don't Recognize White Evangelical Political Christianity

Why do white evangelical Christians remain by Donald Trump's side? I don't recognize this version of Christianity.

As a kid, I went to church on a regular basis. The denomination is irrelevant at the moment. But the one thing I learned is to love others. I specifically remember going to a youth rally in Spokane, Washington where I believed the Gospel and received the gift of eternal life. An immense sense of love washed over my being. A love like I'd never felt before or since. And I remember love and peace of mind constituted some of the best gifts of Christ, at that time in my life. Being sent from foster home to foster home wasn't easy. I questioned a lot of things during that time, but I remained, as much as possible, focused on God's love - especially when I didn't see it.
I wasn't interested in hating gays or projecting anger; I wanted, as I do today, people to know God's love.

Getting older, I noticed the anger of Christian preachers, who wanted gays executed and prayed for the death of elected officials. Christianity became something unfamiliar. It made no sense; why hate people you don't even know? The answer: The Bible says it, I believe it, that settles it. Without any context as to what the Bible means. The historical, cultural & philosophical context is void. The Bible is a complicated book, and it's not easy to decipher some verses without context. Since I am a Christian, the changing radical transformation of Christianity is vital!

Some believers in Christ remain convinced God hates interracial marriage. If marriage is between a man and a woman, yet the right for straight couples to marry is forbidden, we have indeed become that which the religious right claim to hate. The point: we cannot deny straight people marriage and then say gay people cannot marry because God approves of traditional weddings. It's complete hypocrisy.

If Jesus is love, which I believe He is, we cannot portray hatred while claiming the name of Christ. It's a direct contradiction. And, people who disparage Christians, in this case, do so rightly.  The hatred of right-wing Christians regarding undocumented immigrants defies the love of Christ. Sure, reforming immigration is a must, but condemning illegal immigrants is not Christlike. Illegal immigration has always been an issue in the United States. Jailing employers who hire illegal immigrants would curb people from coming to the US. However, demeaning people of color helps no one. Throwing asylum seekers in cages is immoral.

The election of Donald Trump, an ultra-right-wing bigot, proves partisan polarization is alive and well. Usually, the folks who know the least overcompensate for their lack of knowledge with the partisan divide. Those who know the least tend to be the most biased. What's worse, people not knowing they know nothing. The right-wing, in particular, overcompensate for their lack of knowledge utilizing conspiracy theories, like the Pizzagate one, where Clinton supposedly ran a pedo ring inside a pizza shop. Or, the Russian hacking is a hoax. People knowing the least with kernels of misinformation promote fake news. And the Christian Right caught in the middle of partisan hackery. Blindly supporting their pastors, who support Donald Trump. Overlooking Trump's infidelities, scams, thievery, bombastic egotistical racism explains their lack of knowledge regarding policies & creates a lack of honest actors in the Religious Right.

The religious rights' love has waxed cold. The arrogant millionaire pastors support Donald Trump and encourage followers to do the same. This lack of knowledge on behalf of voters creates thoughtless debate and meaningless conversation about problems facing America, which is precisely what Trump wants. The more people fight, the easier it is for Republicans to raid social security, Medicare, Medicaid & anti-poverty programs, which help young mothers.

The Overton Window, or what the electorate deems appropriate behavior among elected officials has slid to the edge of overdramatic. Our comfort level has shifted to the right in a way previously unfathomable. In fact, the partisan scale has moved so far; we embrace politicians we previously labeled far right. The fantastical phenomena suggest the gaslighting and irrational behavior of the president has recalibrated the view concerning Republican politicians. People, who pushed the Iraq War now seem sensible, which is irrational yet the current state of affairs.

Christians, who used to reject bigotry, openly accept racism in exchange for a supreme court seat. The values of Christianity have shifted to compromise the love of God for lies, anger, deceit, racism, bigotry, war and arrogance. This Christianity, I don't recognize.

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