This is the bridge too far for evangelicals?


Many evangelicals have been perfectly willing to overlook all of Donald Trump’s appalling acts but apparently there is one thing that he did recently that has seriously rankled some of them. What could possibly be worse than all those other things, you ask? It was something Trump said at the recent rally in North Carolina where his supporters made the infamous ‘send her back’ chant about congresswoman Ilhan Omar while Trump smugly smiled

Paul Hardesty didn’t pay much attention to President Donald Trump’s campaign rally in Greenville, N.C., last month until a third concerned constituent rang his cellphone.

The residents of Hardesty’s district — he’s a Trump-supporting West Virginia state senator — were calling to complain that Trump was “using the Lord’s name in vain,” Hardesty recounted.

“The third phone call is when I actually went and watched his speech because each of them sounded distraught,” Hardesty, who describes himself as a conservative Democrat, said.

Here’s what he would have seen: Trump crowing, “They’ll be hit so goddamn hard,” while bragging about bombing Islamic State militants. And Trump recounting his warning to a wealthy businessman: “If you don’t support me, you’re going to be so goddamn poor.”

To most of America, the comments went unnoticed. Instead, the nation was gripped by the moment a “send her back” chant broke out as Trump went after Somali-born Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar, an American citizen. But some Trump supporters were more fixated on his casual use of the word “goddamn” — an off-limits term for many Christians — not to mention the numerous other profanities laced throughout the rest of his speech.

So racism, xenophobia, cruelty, lying, sexual abuse of women, vulgar language, cruelty, pettiness, greed, narcissism, and pretty much all the other awful behaviors of Trump are looked on indulgently by evangelicals but say a few goddamns and they get all of a doo-dah. It looks like these evangelicals only really care about the third of the Ten Commandments that tells people not to take their lord’s name in vain, and all the other prohibitions such as bearing false witness, adultery, coveting, and stealing are seen as dispensable.

Comments

  1. flex says

    Well, when the only thing on your list that they don’t do themselves is taking god’s name in vain ….

    And if they did that, god may not forgive their other little peccadillos like greed, cruelty, and abuse. Because we all know that god will forgive anything except lack of respect toward god.

  2. says

    Fred Clark over at Slacktivist says that the Third Commandment really isn’t even about swearing:

    Here again is what the book of 1 John says about blasphemy and the empty invocation of God’s name: “Those who say, ‘I love God,’ and hate their brothers or sisters, are liars; for those who do not love a brother or sister whom they have seen, cannot love God whom they have not seen.”

    Here’s the link: https://www.patheos.com/blogs/slacktivist/2019/08/12/when-the-racist-chants-are-cool-but-the-cussing-concerns-you/

  3. jrkrideau says

    What is the third amendment to the US constitution?

    I am far too lazy and disinterested to look it up.

  4. machintelligence says

    Quoted without comment:
    Luke 14:26 New International Version (NIV)
    26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple.

  5. machintelligence says

    I am far too lazy and disinterested to look it up.
    Uninterested, I think. And it involves quartering soldiers in times of peace. 😉 Always willing to be of assistance.

  6. benedic says

    “So racism, xenophobia, cruelty, lying, sexual abuse of women, vulgar language, cruelty, pettiness, greed, narcissism, and pretty much all the other awful behaviors of Trump are looked on indulgently by evangelicals”
    Christian doctrine has developed in the past and perhaps what one does not notice is that perhaps it has done so again; Mr Trump is ,in this case, a light bearer of the future covenant. The faithful glimpse this, their leaders know it and rejoice.

  7. says

    They’re just bearing false witness. They don’t actually believe any of that stuff -- rather obviously. They’re just power-mad nihilists who’ve been lured out into the daylight by the sweet smell of victory.

    That’s what’s worrying me: they’re so sure they’ve won that they are shedding the pretenses. That usually means that they are ready to start killing the unbelievers, turning women into cattle, and anathematizing eachother. It’s basically their only goal.

  8. Holms says

    jrkrideau if you are referring to catman’s comment, he referenced second amendment and third commandment.

  9. Ridana says

    5) @ machintelligence:

    “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple.”

    Heh, that sounds a lot like the Buddhist koan, by way of the manga Saiyuki: “If you meet Buddha, kill him. If you meet your father, kill your father. Free of everything, bound by nothing. You live your life simply as it is.”

    As to the topic at hand, blasphemy riles them up because it’s easy to censor what you say (unless it’s “politically correct,” then it’s too much of a burden), and requires no sacrifice. All that other stuff is hard, because you either have to give up doing things you don’t want to stop doing, or care about someone besides yourself and your family.

  10. blf says

    Ridana@10, Suggested improvement: “…or care about someone besides yourself and your familypossessions.” Note that too many fathers seem to consider the wife / consort, and children, as property / slaves; and /or value other, generally tangible, property “more” highly.

  11. file thirteen says

    racism, xenophobia, cruelty, lying, sexual abuse of women, vulgar language, cruelty, pettiness, greed, narcissism

    We’re all sinners, can’t blame us for our tiny faults. But fucking jesus christ on a popsicle stick, you’re either for gawd or against him. And christ on a crutch, if you take his name in vain, you’re against him! Oh my fucking gawd, the devil has possessed the president and I only just noticed!! (swoons)

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