Sunday scriptural realities: “Apparently, America is only a Christian nation when it’s convenient.”


In less than two weeks, Donald Trump has done more to highlight the perennial pervasiveness of Christian hypocrisy in America than any freethinker or atheist of whom I’m aware. It has been like a nationwide litmus test. Those of us who’ve been making these points for our entire adult lives are feeling something along the lines of shock and awe.

As most readers are aware, my anti-Trumpolini credentials date to the second Reagan Administration, but a proper sense of intellectual (in this instance, anti-intellectual) honesty compels me to give credit where credit’s due.

Now, pop open a locally-brewed beer, and let’s listen to the outraged rebuttals from the comfy white evangelicals whose votes for Trump were cast from a position they insist resembles fundamental decency.

(crickets chirp)
(pins drop)
(somewhere, a dog forlornly barks)
(the flutter of this passing moth’s wings is deafening)

But seriously: I know there are many Christians who don’t merit inclusion in this hyperbolic rendering. I know that you, too, are dismayed, and furthermore, many of you will be speaking to these issues from the pews on your side of the aisle. If you’d like to write about it here, in this blog space, let me know. I’m happy and eager to make space available for your thoughts — after all, the newspaper will ask you to keep it to 200 words, and I won’t.

These Prominent Evangelicals Are Pretty Sure Trump’s Refugee Ban Is Perfectly Moral, by Carol Kuruvilla (Huffington Post)

Apparently, America is only a Christian nation when it’s convenient.

Some of President Donald Trump’s top evangelical advisors have reached a troubling, and somewhat baffling, theological consensus about a restrictions he’s placed on refugees entering the country.

Based on The Huffington Post’s interviews with a few leaders who have the president’s ear, the consensus is this: The Biblical command to welcome, clothe and feed the stranger applies only to churches and individuals. The government doesn’t have to abide by that standard.

In essence, for these evangelicals, their traditional Christian values should have an impact on how the president makes decisions about abortion and same-sex marriage. But on the matter of refugees fleeing war, it’s perfectly fine for the president to turn his face away from suffering, because safety comes before being a Good Samaritan to those in need.

White evangelical Christians’ overwhelming support for Trump helped put him in the White House. As a whole, members of this spiritual tradition have a high regard for the Bible as the source of ultimate moral authority. But beliefs about how to apply Biblical principles to politics can vary greatly ― and the debate about Trump’s “extreme vetting” plan is bringing up some of that tension.

Trump signed an executive order on Friday that establishes new vetting measures to keep “radical Islamic terrorists” out of the country. The order blocks refugees from Syria indefinitely and temporarily bans people from a few unnamed countries from entering the U.S.

The National Association of Evangelicals, which has helped refugees for decades through the resettlement agency World Relief, called Trump’s plans “alarming.” Other Christian aid groups have also criticized the temporary ban.

But some prominent evangelicals, including a few who were part of Trump’s evangelical advisory committee, find no problem with it.