Thursday, August 3, 2017

Evangelicals--Remember: "Pass by on the Other Side"?

collage by Gabby-Facciani / flickr
(She writes: "On one side of my collage, I put pictures of homeless people living in poverty. On the opposite side, I put pictures of rich people and very expensive things rich people can buy.I sometimes think it is ridiculous how much some people have and others so little.")

I have been amazed at the horde of Evangelicals that have fallen into line with Donald Trump. I almost wrote love. Jerry Falwell, Jr. has said Trump is our dream come true. Huh? Not only do I decry many of the President's policies: immigration, assault on our National parks, climate change--and his continual lies. George Washington is definitely not in the White House. President Trump will say something and deny that he said it or smother his words with semantics. 

I think the Evangelical embrace of Mr. Trump  is flat-out heresy. Ethics seem to have  
Evangelicals at White House
completely flown out of the window. One of Jesus' cardinal stances was his care for people--all people. Remember the story of the Good Samaritan. Jesus particularly stopped and talked lovingly to the outsiders. Women and even with women with shabby reputations. Samaritans that were considered half-breeds. Tax Collectors. Those just written off as sinners. Even lepers and poor people. Even rich young rulers. They all loved him greatly. 

 I have just appalled at the President's cruelty. He seems to be utterly insensitive to everyone except himself and his own blood kin. He had a perfect right to fire James Comey. But days later to keep badgering him with what a poor job he had done and how he had left the FBI in chaos was a little too much. His attacks on the Attorney General Jeff Sessions have been monstrous. Whether we agree with Mr. Sessions' directives on many things--he has been verbally abused several times by the President. This is cruel. To dismiss all immigrants as rapists and murders is just wrong. And to send millions back to the other side of the border without even asking about these folk is heartbreaking. A case in point: the dreamers--the finest of immigrants who only dream of a better chance--are sent away without feeling. His treatment of former President Obama and his opponent in the election, Hillary Clinton is just mean. Mr. Trump won the election--is this not enough? But the President's opinion of health care for millions that would lose their coverage bothers him not at all. He has said that if we cannot pass his health care bill--let the Affordable Care Act fail. Fail? What of all those folk in Nursing Homes or with Home Health care or children that receive help. His stance on his enemies is cruel indeed. 

This is why I appreciate a fine prophet who keeps his finger on the moral pulse of our time. Agree with him or not--he really does speak truth to power in ways that all the rah-rah Evangelicals cannot understand. Read Ken Sehested's fine words about cruelty. You might want to subscribe to his blog: Prayer and Politics.


There are at least four ways to normalize cruelty, to make it appear routine, inconspicuous, unnoteworthy.
            One is to make it a statistic. It was the Soviet butcher Joseph Stalin who said, “The death of one man is a tragedy. The death of millions is a statistic.” So, talking about 15 or 20 or 30 million people without health care, as the various Republican plans have stipulated, isn’t a stretch when there are no faces or names.
            Eh, a million here, a million there. . . .
            A second way to normalize cruelty: Use the word “freedom.” (And if you can stuff it in, insert “religious” as an adjective.) That’s what Vice President Mike Pence did in an interview with Fox News host Tucker Carlson. Asked if repealing the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) would be “worth it” if the outcome led to “millions fewer Americans” having health insurance, Pence responded by saying “the very essence of living in a free society is people get to make their own decisions. . . .” —for more see Oliver Willis, Shareblue 
            A third way to normalize cruelty: Call it colorful language. That’s what short-term White House communications director Steve Scaramucci did in his non-apology after being called out for using a squalid stream of profanities to describe West Wing colleagues, plus promising to “f***ing kill all leakers.” Tacitly, by his silence, Trump had no qualms with such behavior.
            A fourth way to normalize cruelty: Say it’s a joke. Just kidding. That’s the response from the White House after Trump did one of his famous wink-wink saying-something-without-actually-saying-it comments, this time, in a speech to law enforcement, an endorsement of police brutality. His suggestion was so bald that police chiefs across the country publicly disassociated themselves and their officers from the president. (For the White House press secretary to say it was all in good fun is actually worse.) —for more see Ray Sanchez, “Police push back against Trump’s law-and-order speech,” CNN

--Roger Lovette /

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this, Roger, and thanks for making us aware of Ken Sehested's Prayer & Politiks blog.