Faux Piety Within GOP

In an article for National Review, George Will writes, “Trump is a marvelously efficient acid bath, stripping away his supporters’ surfaces, exposing their skeletal essences.”

One of those skeletal essences is the faux piety found among Donald Trump’s supporters.

From Yahoo! News, 10/08/16:

“Leaders of religious conservative groups largely stood behind Donald Trump on Saturday, the day after vulgar sexual comments he made about women surfaced online, but some expressed concern that the U.S. Republican presidential nominee’s remarks could depress evangelical turnout on Election Day.

Most evangelical leaders did not condemn Trump, and instead pointed to an urgent need to prevent Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton from winning the presidency, reshaping the Supreme Court and implementing liberal policies.

The latest blow to Trump’s campaign came after a 2005 video surfaced of the then-reality TV star talking on an open microphone about groping women and trying to seduce a married woman. Vice presidential running mate Mike Pence said he could not defend Trump’s words.

Gary Bauer, chairman of the Campaign for Working Families, said Trump’s “grossly inappropriate language” does not change the choice facing the country in the Nov. 8 election and that “I continue to support the Trump-Pence ticket.””

What the above-quoted story doesn’t mention is that Gary Bauer is currently president of an organization that named itself American Values.

Considering all of the vile things that Donald Trump has said, one might wonder just what values that Bauer considers to be American values.

Here more from that Yahoo! News story:

“Still, politically active Christian conservative leaders across the country said they were worried that Trump’s comments could depress turnout among evangelicals. “Evangelicals are not going to vote for Hillary,” said religious political activist David Lane. “But this could cause them to stay home. This could be a big deal. Things like this matter.””

Why would so-called “Evangelicals” be supporting Trump? Rebecca Cusey explains in a commentary published by The Hill:

“Who knew obscure Biblical knowledge would be so handy in this election? With Evangelicals remaining, at least as far as we can tell in the rapidly changing environment, a solid block for Trump, those stories of old echo into today.

Evangelicals are a funny bunch, prone to tease points out of – to all others – irrelevant Biblical passages and apply them to current events.

To this point, an idea has been circulating in Evangelical circles that paints Donald Trump as a modern day Cyrus — the ancient king of Persia who sent Jews home to Israel from captivity as told in the book of Ezra (among other passages). By accounts in and out of the Bible, Cyrus was a generous and just ruler, instituting (relatively) fair laws and religious freedom in his vast empire.

Cyrus was a pagan and yet God used him to restore the people of Israel, so the pro-Trump argument goes. Though Trump is not a Christian in the way Evangelicals would prefer, it continues, God is raising him up to fulfill God’s purposes.”

In short, Trump can act like a pagan, but that doesn’t matter as long as he isn’t Hillary Clinton.

An ABC News story elaborates:

“Cracks have appeared in evangelical support for Donald Trump over the video of his sexually predatory comments about women. But backing from some of his highest-profile conservative Christian endorsers, such as Liberty University president Jerry Falwell Jr., is holding…

… But James Dobson of Family Talk radio condemned Trump’s comments but called Clinton’s support for abortion rights “criminal.”

“Mr. Trump promises to support religious liberty and the dignity of the unborn. Mrs. Clinton promises she will not,” Dobson said in a statement Monday.

Falwell, an early endorser of the real estate magnate, said Trump’s remarks were “reprehensible.” Still, Falwell said, “we’re never going to have a perfect candidate,” and suggested the video leak was engineered by Trump’s enemies in his own party.

“I think it was timed,” Falwell told WABC-AM radio in New York. “I think it might have even been a conspiracy, you know, among the establishment Republicans who’ve known about it for weeks and who tried to time it to do the maximum damage.”

Others who stood by Trump were Ralph Reed, a member of the campaign’s evangelical advisory board and the founder of the Faith & Freedom Coalition, which aims to mobilize conservative Christian voters. Televangelist Pat Robertson dismissed Trump’s remarks as an attempt by the candidate “to look like he’s macho.””

The above-mentioned Trump supporters would have everyone to believe that piety requires one to support Trump over Clinton.

In the opinion of this writer, they are promoting faux piety.

First of all, the so-called “evangelicals” mentioned in the above-quoted articles aren’t promoting the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Instead, they are promoting a hybrid of religious legalism and political philosophy.

Sure, Dr. Dobson rails against abortion, but the Bible never mentions abortion. The Bible is silent about that subject.

Actually, the Bible is silent about plenty of things that Trump’s religious supporters rail about.

For example, when it comes to rights, the New Testament describes only one right that belongs to believers in Jesus, that being “the right to become children of God.”

As much as members of the religious Right claim that certain rights are given by God, they don’t bother to cite any religious texts that support their claim. Perhaps that is because they can’t find any such support in either the pages of the Tanakh or the pages of the New Testament.

What irks me about the faux piety within the GOP is the fact that I have known plenty of devout practicing Christians who are Democrats and who would never support Donald Trump. Am I to believe that they are somehow less pious than Republican Christians?

As I have stated in previous posts, the Christian faith is politically neutral. Thus, I am abhorred by any attempt to mix Christianity with politics.

If Donald Trump’s supporters want me to support Donald Trump, too, then they will have to cite non-religious reasons for doing so. A promotion of faux piety won’t work.

Republican Party

Personal Note: I have no piety of my own. I am well aware that I have no innate righteousness.

Political Atheism Within The GOP
Trump Takes Round Two
  • Paul Hooson

    One of my favorite moments of the last couple days was a Christian conservative woman who said that Trump may have been a strip club owner, casino owner, brag about sexual assaults and other less than Christian activities, but that God can use him. Trump’s strip club was a giant 33,000 square ft. and valued at $25 million while my lowly strip club was only 12,500 square ft. and valued at $2 million. If only I could afford a larger and more expensive https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/8bf9ce3bbbb7c496a26d17b4e522230b4a251a8cecad62d6c42ad624dc2c2670.jpg strip club like Trump, then maybe I could win the respect of Jim M and Scalia around here…

    • LiberalNightmare

      So, you have more respect for women trump does, because your strip club is smaller?

      riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight.

      • Paul Hooson

        Another big difference between me and Donald Trump. I always respected the sanctity of the women’s dressing room at the club and the dancer’s right to privacy. Trump on the other hand, bragged on Howard Stern about using his “authority” as the event organizer of beauty pageants so he could walk into the dressing rooms at any time to see the contestants topless or nude including the teen beauty pageants, so Trump could view girls as young as 15 nude.

        I’m sure none of the guys around here who love Trump won’t mind having him walk in to see your daughters nude in some dressing room? He’s Donald Trump, right? He can do no wrong, walk on water and change water into wine you know…

        • Scalia

          I’m sure none of the guys around here who love Trump won’t mind having him walk in to see your daughters nude in some dressing room? He’s Donald Trump, right? He can do no wrong, walk on water and change water into wine you know…

          That’s news to me. Please provide a link, ANY LINK, which shows “the guys around here” saying those things. What we’ve rather said is that we think Trump is a boor, a faux conservative, etc. The vast majority of us are voting for him solely because there’s a greater chance of getting a more conservative judiciary than with Clinton.

          You’re a regular here, Paul. The fact that you keep getting our arguments wrong is rather suspect, no?

          • I further note the absence of actual endorsements…

          • I endorse Trump for President.

            Because as iffy as he may be regarding the fairer sex (and recalling how the ’80s and ’90s were a bit more libertine than today’s PC scolders would like) he’s NOT Hillary.

            And at this point, that’s good enough for me.

          • Interesting company you keep…

          • The ’80s were a lot of fun. But with time comes wisdom and perspective, and you realize the stupid stuff was… kinda stupid and stop doing it.

        • LiberalNightmare

          And if someones daughters was shaking their ass in your strip club, i’m sure everyone would feel just a little bit better about it knowing about your respect for the sanctity of the dressing room.

        • WHO’S THE BUSTER

          Well he openly bragged on Howard Stern how he used his power as pageant owner to walk into the dressing rooms. Even more troubling is he did the same thing when he owned Miss Teen America.

          • Which changes his boorishness in what way?

          • Scalia

            And Hillary trashed women who accused her husband and political allies of sexual assault.

            Was that Trump’s bravado or have women said that he walked in on them while they were undressed?

            As to words, Giuliani said he played lots of golf with Bubba and Clinton said far worse than Trump about women. Are we having a little faux or selective outrage, Buster?

          • Brucehenry

            Not only have several women said it, HE said it, to Howard Stern.

            https://www.buzzfeed.com/jessicagarrison/we-were-all-naked-when-donald-trump-walked-in?utm_term=.va9LQAXwL#.iyOoND7bo

            https://www.buzzfeed.com/kendalltaggart/teen-beauty-queens-say-trump-walked-in-on-them-changing?utm_term=.jbndMn79d#.ylne7MEje

            As for Giuliani, he was lying er um I mean he “made a mistake” about what Hillary said about where she was on 9/11. Maybe he was lying er um I mean making a mistake about what Bubba told him on the golf course too.

            http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/giuliani-clinton-9-11-apology

          • Thank you for the update from the Clinton Campaign.

          • Scalia

            Good to know they’re looking in, but they’re just as incompetent as ever. I never asked for women who heard Trump say that.

          • Scalia

            We’re on the map!

          • Brucehenry

            The question was “Was that Trump’s bravado or have women said he walked in on them while they were undressed?”

            The answer is, yes, women have said that. AND yes, that is Trump’s “bravado.”

            And Giuliani will say anything.

          • Scalia

            I was sincerely asking Buster the question because I didn’t know. I never doubted Trump said that, and even if he didn’t say it, I know that’s something he’s capable of, so that was never the question. Buster didn’t say whether Trump actually did it; he simply cited what Trump said on Stern’s show.

            As to Guiliani, I don’t think any of us is exempt from saying we heard somebody say something s/he didn’t. That’s a “mistake” most if not all the people I know have made in their lives. For politicians, who speak publicly on a continual basis, it’s not surprising that they would make similar errors. For conservatives, we highlight such things to counter the media break-dance celebration every time a conservative makes a verbal faux pas, but they give a pass to liberals (e.g. Obama’s numerous verbal and textual errors). That’s also far cry from making up sniper fire in Bosnia and lying about it repeatedly when asked about it, etc., etc.

          • Brucehenry

            Yes it’s true it was probably unfair of me to characterize Giuliani’s thingie as a lie, you’re right that we all remember things as we are predisposed to remember them.

            I posted the links to the beauty pageant things to show that indeed women are saying it, that’s all.

          • Thank you for the additional talking points from the Clinton Crime Family.

    • Commander_Chico

      When Hillary puts you in Man Camp #13 for gendercrime (lookism, promoting Male Gaze), and you get pegged by Captain Sheila, you will have even more respect for women.

  • Scalia

    David writes,

    The above-mentioned Trump supporters would have everyone to believe that piety requires one to support Trump over Clinton.

    In the opinion of this writer, they are promoting faux piety.

    First of all, the so-called “evangelicals” mentioned in the above-quoted articles aren’t promoting the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Instead, they are promoting a hybrid of religious legalism and political philosophy.

    Sure, Dr. Dobson rails against abortion, but the Bible never mentions abortion. The Bible is silent about that subject.

    You later state:

    Personal Note: I have no piety of my own. I am well aware that I have no innate righteousness.

    First, your claim that you have no piety of your own is undercut by your claim that your interpretation of the Bible is superior to those you criticize. In other words, you’re the truly pious one because you’re being faithful to the Bible, whereas they are not.

    Did you ever take basic logic, David? Any first-year logic student can see your verbal train wreck a mile away.

    Second, you fail to see that your interpretation is critical in sustaining your argument. In other words, if you’re incorrect, then your argument collapses. The objects of your contempt ardently and sincerely believe their interpretation of the Scriptures as much as you do yours. So, unless you’ve appointed yourself the Pope of evangelical Christianity, you should recognize that they are being consistent with their views. If they believe that the Bible condemns abortion, etc., then it is no surprise that they will vote for a candidate that is closer to their views.

    So, if you are not saying that your interpretation and only your interpretation is correct, then you would grant fellow Christians the latitude to follow their sincerely-held beliefs without castigating them as phonies. And if you recognize that others sincerely interpret the Bible differently than you, then your charge of “faux piety” is nothing but a juvenile, ignorant rant.

    Going back to the first point, if you insist that The Authorized David Robertson Version of the Holy Scriptures is the only one true Christians can follow, then your claim that you don’t lay claim to piety is a baldfaced lie.

  • Vagabond661

    I laugh at all those trying to make hay about Trump’s comments. They insist we drop Trump for something Trump said 11 years ago (and yet Joy Behar calls Bill’s victims “tramps” and *crickets*). They said he is not pure enough, not smart enough, not qualified enough, not presidential enough.

    Truth is. He’s not Hillary. In fact he’s not any politician. He also didn’t create trillions of debt and obamacare like our “professional” “qualified” politicians. He hadn’t started one war, killed any ambassadors or voted himself a raise.

    I’ll take my chances Sir David the Pious.

    • That he’s NOT a politician is a real plus at this point, as far as I’m concerned.

  • Hank_M

    My first reaction reading this was wondering if a Nun had taken a ruler to your hands when you were young and you still haven;t recovered.

    Then there’s this: “devout practicing Christians who are Democrats” Seems like an oxymoron to me, *cough*…abortion…*cough*….

    Still, vote Hillary, her piety is always sincere.

    • I was thinking he was reposting for our former holier than thou author…

  • pennywit

    Sometimes, I think American politics would be a bit more harmonious if the Supreme Court had left abortion to the states under their power to regulate intrastate commerce (including medical practice). I think that both sides would have tired themselves out in state legislatures before arriving at broad compromises on the issue. As things stand today, Roe is a great big windmill that pro-lifers can charge at again and again.

    • Vagabond661

      Or pro baby killers can defend again and again.

      • pennywit

        The most likely scenario, I think, is that there would be a legal regime that approximately reflects what we see in the Gallup opinion polls — a legal system that permits abortions in the first trimester, but makes abortions progressively more difficult to obtain as a pregnancy progresses.

        Of course, in a non-Roe world, we would reach that point through the democratic process rather than through judicial fiat.

        • WHO’S THE BUSTER

          Abortion was illegal when I first entered high school and there was an abortion “facility” next to my Father’s printing shop, which was stereotypically in the back of a barber shop in a rough part of Detroit (it is the same place all of the prostitutes of Cass Corridor, a notorious part of town, used). The same place serviced much of the region, which resulted in an interesting cross section of people as it was also close to a very affluent area. Let’s just say it was nowhere close to hospital standards.

          In 1970 abortion became legal in New York, which led to a unique form of medical tourism. A few girls in high school became pregnant and chose to go to New York, but this required a few hundred dollars, which is no easy feat for a high school girl, especially in 1970 dollars.

          How is this relevant? Well if it is state by state, many will have to travel a great distance, which will, in essence, make it unavailable. This has already happened in regions of Texas as many clinics closed while the Texas legislation wound its way through the courts (Texas being a big state).

          If you are pro-life, I am sure this is of no consequence, but it certainly took any semblance of choice away from many poor people in rural areas of Texas.

          I have no desire to debate the abortion issue (to what end?), but am merely highlighting that most states at this time are GOP-controlled and people in the middle of the country will have to travel a great distance.

          • pennywit

            My concern is constitutional and political. I’m certainly not a strict textualist like Justice Scalia was and Justice Thomas is. But I do have trouble extrapolating a constitutional right to abortion from the right to privacy, which is extrapolated from the penumbras of the Bill of Rights. While I prefer a legal regime that permits abortion, I do not believe that the Constitution mandates such a regime. There’s also an argument that the right to an abortion springs from a more general recognition of the right to marry, procreate, etc., etc., but I don’t find that argument particularly persuasive, either.

          • Vagabond661

            What is the legal right of a human with a beating heart?

          • pennywit

            In my preferred regime, you get to debate that in the legislature.

          • pennywit

            A couple more points:

            In my opinion, it would be unconstitutional for the federal government to either make abortion legal or illegal, as I would ajudge abortion an issue unrelated to Congress’s enumerated powers.

            Second, in this regime, abortion would most likely become a contentious issue in statewide elections — and it is right and proper that such a thing happen in legislative elections. And it would be far more desirable than a regime in which a judge’s opinion on Roe is the deciding factor in whether he’s seated.

          • Scalia

            That’s an argument to be made to your state representatives. The federal constitution has nothing to do with it.

          • pennywit

            Small disagreement, now that I think about it. I think federal gov’t would be able to outlaw “transporting individuals across state lines to obtain an abortion” if it wanted to.

          • Scalia

            Respectfully, disagree.

          • pennywit

            Not entirely surprised. And this would get us into an argument that our betters have been having for a couple centuries now.

          • Wild_Willie

            In the abortion cases I would substitute the word ‘choice’ with ‘temptation’. It fits much better. ww

  • pennywit

    I am unsurprised that political Christians are able to rationalize their support for the candidate who purports to agree with them on issues they consider important. But I will also be unsurprised if he does not deliver.

    • Scalia

      I, too, will not be surprised if Trump does not deliver, but with him there’s a chance. With Hillary, forget it.

      • Yeah, there’s her ‘private stance’ and her ‘public stance’.

        Public? “I support the 2nd amendment!”

        Private? “Heh. Give me a chance, and it’s gone.”

      • pennywit

        Well, Hillary never promised you anything. But she’s promised me a Labradoodle.

  • Ha, ha!