Monday, March 12, 2018

Quote of the Day

The moral convictions of many evangelical leaders [and many of their followers] have become a function of their partisan identification. This is not mere gullibility; it is utter corruption. Blinded by political tribalism and hatred for their political opponents, these leaders can’t see how they are undermining the causes to which they once dedicated their lives. Little remains of a distinctly Christian public witness.

As the prominent evangelical pastor Tim Keller – who is not a Trump loyalist – recently wrote in The New Yorker, "'Evangelical' used to denote people who claimed the high moral ground; now, in popular usage, the word is nearly synonymous with 'hypocrite.'"

. . . It is remarkable to hear religious leaders defend profanity, ridicule, and cruelty as hallmarks of authenticity and dismiss decency as a dead language. Whatever Trump’s policy legacy ends up being, his presidency has been a disaster in the realm of norms. It has coarsened our culture, given permission for bullying, complicated the moral formation of children, undermined standards of public integrity, and encouraged cynicism about the political enterprise. . . . For a package of political benefits, these evangelical leaders have associated the Christian faith with racism and nativism. They have associated the Christian faith with misogyny and the mocking of the disabled. They have associated the Christian faith with lawlessness, corruption, and routine deception. They have associated the Christian faith with moral confusion about the surpassing evils of white supremacy and neo-Nazism. The world is full of tragic choices and compromises. But for this man? For this cause?

– Michael Gerson
Excerpted from "Trump and the Evangelical Temptation"
The Atlantic
April 2018

Related Off-site Links:
Trump Evangelicals Have Sold Their Souls – Michael Gerson (The Washington Post, March 12, 2018).
What the Christian Right Sowed, Trump Reaped – Ed Kilgore (New York Magazine, March 12, 2018).
Evangelical Theologian to Evangelicals Supporting Trump: "Stop Defending the Indefensible" – Julia Manchester (The Hill, January 19, 2018).
White Evangelical Women, Core Supporters of Trump, Begin Tiptoeing Away – Michael Tackett (The New York Times, March 11, 2018).
Following Jesus and Supporting Donald Trump Are Utterly Irreconcilable – Zack Hunt (Patheos, January 26, 2017).

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Quote of the Day – February 6, 2018
A Profoundly Troubling and Tragic Indictment
Global Condemnation for Trump's Latest Ignorant and Racist Comments
Hope in the Midst of Collapse
With Republicans at the Helm, It's the United States of Hypocrisy
Donald Trump: A View from Australia
Trump's America: Normalized White Supremacy and a Rising Tide of Racist Violence
Quote of the Day – April 6, 2017
Quote of the Day – March 26, 2017
On International Human Rights Day, Saying "No" to Donald Trump and His Fascist Agenda
Progressive Perspectives on the Election of Donald Trump
Election Eve Thoughts
Carrying It On
Progressive Perspectives on the Rise of Donald Trump
Trump's Playbook
Hope, History and Bernie Sanders

Image: Mark Wallheiser.

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