Sign of The Unholy Doublecross

Roger Stone gave the sign of Nixon after being released. He looked like he is on The Cross. I was going to post the suggestion the Mega Churches join forces and show Jesus’s Mercy towards the Government Workers, because, they are mainly responsible for their mistreatment by their Illegitimate President.

There are many articles about White Racist Evangelicals, and why they back Trump. Most of them believe that if brown people are not stopped from coming into our country, they will become voters, and vote white people out of office, and thus take over America. The Mega Churches have made stopping the Brown Tide their major agenda, but, in a covert manner so sane non-racist people do not get wind of this, and try to stop them from taking over our Democracy.

When Trump suggested Government Workers go get food on credit at their local Mom & Pop store, he may own images from his youth growing up in New York. Did a ten year old Donald get candy this way, the grocer knowing his rich father would pick up the bill?

Trump then suggests these workers go get a loan at their bank. Why didn’t he call upon all those Evangelical Leaders he meets with in the Oval office, to pass the collection plate?

The only answer, is, Trump sees these Government Workers as his enemy, and the enemy of his followers and the ministers they listen to come Sunday! Charity is for……….


Congress needs to, but will not investigate the Illegitimate Church of the Illegitimate President. I want to sue this church.

John Presco

President Donald Trump hasn’t been to the grocery store in a while or he’s going to a pretty unconventional one where you need to show ID to go shopping — and can negotiate with employees about whether or not you pay.

In a meeting with Republican members of Congress on Thursday, Trump was asked about the ongoing partial government shutdown and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross’s comments earlier in the day that he doesn’t “quite really understand why” federal workers affected by the shutdown are going to food banks instead of taking out loans. Ross’s remarks were widely panned as stunningly out of touch.

The president appeared to try to clean up Ross’s comments, but in doing so, he revealed that he, too, is a little confused about how typical Americans live. He seemed to suggest people can just work out a side deal with the grocery store if they aren’t able to pay.

“Local people know who they are when they go for groceries and everything else. And I think what Wilbur was probably trying to say is that they will work along,” Trump said.

In other words, federal workers on furlough or working without pay because of the shutdown should just strike a deal with the store.

Trump also said banks are “working along” with clients on payments such as their mortgages.

“The folks collecting the interest and all of those things, they work along,” Trump said. “And that’s what happens in times like this. They know the people. They’ve been dealing with them for years. And they work along.”

Congress could conceivably amend the Anti-Deficiency Act to allow agencies to pay essential employees even if Congress hasn’t appropriated them the money to do so. But that would only give lawmakers and the president more leeway to engage in the sort of budgetary hostage-taking that has become all too common in Washington.

Trump’s supporters insist that he had to shut down the government to gain leverage over Democrats who refused to negotiate over the president’s demand for a bigger, longer wall on the southern border. That’s a bit like saying, “I needed to kidnap your dog because you refused to negotiate over my demand to build a garage on your lawn.” Besides that, the shutdown hasn’t given Trump leverage, it’s only aggravated the public and driven down his approval ratings. He needs the shutdown to end more than Democrats do.

Over the past year, questions like these have consumed many of us who study American evangelicalism, and for good reason. The past 35 years have witnessed an outpouring of historical scholarship about American evangelicals, work that has greatly enhanced our understanding. But somehow this scholarship (my own work included) did not prepare us to understand why white evangelicals turned out so strongly for Trump and why they continue to remain his most ardent supporters.

Part of the problem is that in characterizing evangelicals, historians have relied on David Bebbington’s four-pronged characterization: evangelicals are Christians who (1) focus on the importance of conversion; (2) support activism, particularly in missionary efforts to spread the gospel; (3) display a high regard for biblical authority; and (4) stress the centrality of the cross, with an emphasis on Jesus’ work of substitutionary atonement. Bebbington’s definition appears on the website of the National Association of Evangelicals as well as in countless books and lectures about the movement. It suggests that the heart of evangelicalism lies in its beliefs about God, salvation, and the Bible.

The problem with this approach was captured in the headline of an article published by LifeWay, a Southern Baptist news outlet: “Many who call themselves evangelical don’t actually hold evangelical beliefs” (Dec. 6, 2017). Besides reporting that fewer than 45 percent of self-identified evangelicals strongly hold to classic evangelical beliefs, the article stated that the converse is also true: a significant number of evangelical believers reject the term evangelical. So if self-identified evangelicals don’t buy into supposedly evangelical beliefs, and a third of those who do believe those things don’t identify as evangelical, don’t we need a better definition?

The answer is yes. Though Bebbington’s definition has been useful for theologically grouping a diverse set of believers, it is not necessarily the most useful way to mark the boundaries of what is often meant by the term evangelical. In fact, what most distinguishes white American evangelicals from other Christians, other religious groups, and nonbelievers is not theology but politics. White evangelicals in the early 21st century display attitudes about issues such as race, war, and immigration that differentiate them from other religious groups. White evangelicals have also become the most reliable bloc of Republican voters.

Other religious groups voted for Trump as well, but none did so at the 81 percent level that white evangelicals did. Among Protestants, 58 percent voted for Trump; among white Catholics, 60 percent voted for Trump; among Mormons, 61 percent. In April 2017, approval of Trump had dropped among white mainline Protestants to 50 percent and among white Catholics to 53 percent. But among white evangelicals his approval rating stayed high, at 78 percent.

White evangelicals are also outliers on social and political issues. Before the school shootings in Parkland, Florida, only 38 percent of them favored stricter gun laws, compared to 57 percent of white mainline Protestants and 67 percent of Catholics. Exactly 50 percent of white mainline Protestants and white Catholics approved of Trump’s ban on refugees from seven Muslim-majority nations when it was announced last year; an overwhelming 76 percent of white evangelicals supported the policy. Racial minorities display even greater disagreements with white evangelicals than did other white Christians. More than anything else, identifying as an evangelical in the United States denotes certain attitudes about American politics and usually indicates a white racial identity. It’s not that theology isn’t important to white evangelicals; it’s just not the primary thing that distinguishes them from other religious groups.

American evangelicalism emerged in the transatlantic revival movements of the mid-18th century, led by evangelists like Jonathan Edwards, George Whitefield, Sarah Osborn, and John Wesley. The fervor that marked revivalists’ sermons spurred huge camp meetings on the frontier in the early 19th century, leading to massive numerical growth among Methodists and Baptists. These denominations, drawing on the revivalist tradition, prized emotional conversion experiences, which became normative for a wide swath of American Protestants.

The success of evangelicalism was such that by the end of the 19th century nearly all Protestants claimed the label. Even Unitarians called themselves evangelical. In 1912, Unitarian minister L. Walter Mason wrote that Unitarians were more evangelical than the theological conservatives, who spent far too much time poring over the Pauline epistles and the creeds. Unitarians, he said, focused on the good news itself: the teachings of Jesus found in the Gospels. Historian Linford Fisher has argued that evangelical was always a relative identity, dependent on one group’s self-definition over against other religious groups. By the dawn of the 20th century, evangelical denoted a faith focused on the teachings of the Bible—and on this issue nearly all Protestant groups claimed they were more evangelical than everyone else.

The Civil War revealed the fault lines of the movement. As historian Mark Noll demonstrates in The Civil War as a Theological Crisis, race and region divided evangelicals on the paramount question of the day: Does the Bible endorse slavery? White southern evangelicals thought it did, while growing numbers of their northern counterparts thought not. Black Christians identified with the Israelites in Egypt—God’s people enslaved in a foreign land—an identification that contravened white Christians’ understanding of God’s providential actions to make America the home of the free. The center of evangelicalism did not—could not—hold. Evangelicals’ individualism and lack of a theological hierarchy led to a crisis of authority. American Protestantism was not up to the task of speaking with a clear moral voice on the most important political issue in the nation’s history.

The sectional crisis and Civil War divided American Protestants regionally and racially into three groups: northern white Protestants, southern white Protestants, and black Protestants. Black Protestants, located overwhelmingly in the South, left white churches in droves during the 15 years after the end of the war, and they founded scores of new denominations, seminaries, and colleges. The largest white Protestant denominations had split in the lead-up to the Civil War and did not reunify until the mid-20th century (in the case of the Methodists) or the late 20th century (in the case of the Presbyterians). Northern and southern Baptists have never reunified. Each of these groups considered themselves evangelical well into the 20th century, but after the Civil War the regional groups took different trajectories.

The near-absence of black believers in white churches was the condition for the development of a distinctly white evangelicalism. As historian Ed Blum has demonstrated, the popular revivals of Dwight Moody and the growth of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union in the late 19th century encouraged a solidarity between northern and southern Protestants that was built on a shared whiteness. When the African American journalist Ida B. Wells railed against WCTU leader Frances Willard for exhibiting racism, Willard responded that she did not see how characterizing whiskey supporters as “dark-faced mobs” or expressing fears of drunken black rapists strengthened a racist stereotype. Like many of her white evangelical compatriots, Willard could not see how her religious views centered on whiteness. Though African American believers largely shared the biblical and theological views of white Protestants, white and black Christians did not worship together or view the world or the faith in the same way.

The racial segregation of American Protestantism facilitated deeper commingling of racist beliefs with evangelical religion. Historian Joe Creech has shown how white southerners’ ethos of honor, which in the antebellum era had clashed with evangelical teachings about, say, humbling oneself at the foot of the cross, fused with evangelical religion in the decades after the Civil War. Defending white women’s honor became a primary justification for lynching, which received theological cover from southern ministers who insisted on the centrality of sexual purity to evangelical religion. Allegations of sexual impropriety doomed thousands of black men to extralegal killings, committed by white vigilantes in the name of honor and Christian faith.

Racism was not confined to southern evangelicalism. Henry Crowell, chairman of the board of Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, backed off from his early commitment to interracial education around the turn of the century. As historian Timothy Gloege has shown, Crowell wanted MBI to become more professional, and the cost of that professionalization was complicity with Jim Crow segregation. He began conducting revivals and recruiting students in the South, signaling his commitment to Jim Crow by segregating his crusades and deploying crude racist imagery. MBI forced black students to live off campus beginning in 1909, claiming that interracial dormitories were embarrassing to the institution and dangerous for the students.

Among white Protestants, the early 20th century was marked by the struggle between fundamentalists and modernists over issues such as the authority of scripture and evolution. Theological conservatives adopted the term fundamentalist to describe their commitment to what they deemed the fundamentals of the faith. The two factions battled for control of denominations and seminaries. As modernists slowly gained control over established institutions, fundamentalists left to form their own, leading to the creation of a sprawling fundamentalist subculture.

In the 1940s, a new generation of white fundamentalists began to reclaim the term evangelical to mark a more open, less defensive stance toward mainstream culture. The National Association of Evangelicals was formed in 1942, the same decade as other transdenominational parachurch organizations like Youth for Christ, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, and World Vision were started. This umbrella of “neo-evangelical” institutions produced important leaders who shaped white evangelicalism, most notably the evangelist Billy Graham.

Graham grew up in the South and started his college education at Bob Jones College, the leading institution of southern fundamentalists. He finished his schooling at Wheaton College in Illinois, where he tapped into networks of northern evangelicals that would launch his ministry. Graham’s rhetorical dexterity at sidestepping the doctrinal disputes that divided theological conservatives won most of them over. Historian George Marsden once quipped that an evangelical was “anyone who likes Billy Graham.”

Beneath the widespread celebration of a figure like Graham, however, conservative Christians remained theologically divided over such issues as predestination, sanctification, and the importance of speaking in tongues. As Molly Worthen demonstrates in her history of evangelicalism, Apostles of Reason, the lack of a central authority among evangelicals has meant the flourishing of a wide variety in evangelical beliefs.

Still, what most distinguished the evangelical coalition from other Protestants was not the substance of their theological infighting but their political alignments. As Matthew Sutton and Daniel Williams have described, evangelicals have been fighting a “culture war” for a long time. In the 1920s, evangelical preachers railed against liberated women and loosening sexual mores, and they attacked socialists and labor activists as agents of a worldwide communist revolution. In the years after World War II, white evangelicals became the most stalwart supporters of the military and some of the most vocal anti-communists in the nation.

About Royal Rosamond Press

I am an artist, a writer, and a theologian.
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