Lies and Power-Evangelicals

Yet another tragic result of the so-called evangelical vote is just how much some professing Christians would rather believe lies than truth. Let us consider all the false information on-line from fake news sources and discredited hacks that Christians cling to because it serves their power-hungry political appetite for believing what is evil regarding their political (and even religious) opponents. Some of them prefer fueling the fire of their political angst against someone like Hillary Clinton by adopting as truth any claim, no matter how bizarre or how heinous, that she allegedly committed.

For example, a right-wing professing Christian (and I am in no sense whatsoever suggesting that everyone who claims the name of Jesus is actually a regenerate follower of Christ) who was a contact of mine on Facebook posted the following "news" article: "Report: Hillary Became 'Physically Violent In Psychotic Drunken Rage' After She Realized She Had Lost the Election." The site originating this outlandish claim is GOP The Daily Dose. The article is supposed to contain "inside" information on Hillary's reaction to her loss to LOTUS (Liar of the United States) Donald Trump.

Who is the source of this "inside" information? Tabloid writer and gossip columnist Ed Klein (pause momentarily and contemplate Klein's title) is interviewed in a video by Steve Malzberg, neither of whom are taken seriously, neither of whom represent actual news sources but, rather, opinion rants and screeds. Ed Klein, on the other hand, writes a book about Hillary Clinton in 2005: The Truth about Hillary. The problem with the book, immediately at least, is in the title: the book claims to present truth about Hillary Clinton and yet is riddled with inaccuracies, misrepresentations, and overt lies.

This should bother true Christians; lies should always trouble true Christians with a Spirit-given conscience. One conservative columnist, John Podhoretz, writes: "Thirty pages into it, I wanted to take a shower. Sixty pages into it, I wanted to be decontaminated. And 200 pages into it, I wanted someone to drive stakes through my eyes so I wouldn't have to suffer through another word." (link) We know that a work is poor when members of one's own worldview and politic insist on its lack of credibility and its unmistakable inaccuracies -- or, better, overt and sensationalistic lies.

Another conservative columnist, James Geraghty, critiques Klein's fable-sold-as-truth work thusly: "Folks, there are plenty of arguments against Hillary Clinton, her policies, her views, her proposals, and her philosophies. This stuff ain't it. Nobody on the right, left, or center ought to stoop to this level." (National Review: source lost) Ed Klein (and Steve Malzberg) are featured "sources" for Sean Hannity -- who is not a journalist but merely an opinionated talking head -- of FOX so-called News, Rush Limbaugh, extreme right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, and Glenn Beck.

This indicates, then, that these so-called "news sources" have been feeding the public misinformation and lies; and, even though Ed Klein is a discredited hack by his own conservative peers, some professing Christian evangelicals laud the news that Hillary Clinton allegedly became physically violent in a psychotic drunken rage having learned of her electoral defeat. They want to believe this; they need to believe this; and I will tell you why I think that this is, tragically, so.

In our current religio-politico climate, to the typical evangelical who is politically power-hungry (à la religious hypocrites like Robert Jeffress, Franklin Graham, Jerry Falwell, Jr., James Dobson, Eric Metaxas, and, tragically, too many others to name), lies are subjective and easily dismissed when deemed inconvenient:
  • never mind that Donald Trump is a godless reprobate who sees no need to ask God to forgive him of any fault or sin (link);
  • never mind Trump's assault on women (link/link/link);
  • never mind his overt co-mingling of religion with politics in order to garner the abominable evangelical vote (link);
  • never mind his alleged support of LGBTQ persons (link) but then fills his administration with anti-LGBTQ bigots (link/link/link/link/link);
  • and, of course, many evangelicals support Trump in any semblance of an anti-LGBTQ agenda;
  • never mind that he (and Sean Spicer and Kellyanne Conway and the rest of his clan) continually lies to the American people (link/link/link/link/link);
  • never mind that Trump lied about firing James Comey because of how he mishandled Hillary Clinton's email scandal 11 days prior to the 2016 election but then confessed to his real reason -- Comey and the FBI's investigation to a potential Trump-Russia collusion (link).
The ease with which many evangelicals maintain regarding GOP lies is disturbing to state the least. But this is the price that many evangelicals are willing to pay in order to advance their Religious Right agenda. Southern Baptist pastor Robert Jeffress, for example, proudly confesses that he is not concerned about Trump's lies, which, mind you, is a character and an integrity issue; but, rather, "all that he has accomplished for evangelicals" (link); and, of course, when he mentions "evangelicals," he is referring to the Religious Right, many of whom evince that Republicanism is their true religion/faith. Ethics and morals, then, do not really matter to these evangelicals; what matters is power, affluence, position.

Like Franklin Graham and his ilk, many conservative evangelicals maintain an "us vs. them" mentality, insisting that only conservative evangelicals who vote pro-life (rather pro-birth) are the anointed of God. Donald Trump whistled the tune that white evangelicals wanted to sing: make America like we want it -- fags in the closet, white men in leadership, women by the side of men helping them to succeed, foreigners Muslims not allowed in so that we can worship our American god.

The likes of Hillary and Democrats will never whistle this tune -- and I, for one, thank God for that integrity. They refuse to manipulate Christians in order to advance politics. So, the self-appointed duty of some evangelicals is to smear the name and reputation of their enemy, whether or not the information is true. These evangelicals care nothing of truth -- only power, only position, only their agenda. This is not Christianity.


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My name is William Birch and I grew up in the Southern Baptist tradition but converted, if you will, to Anglicanism in 2012. I am gay, affirming, and take very seriously matters of social justice, religion and politics in the church and the state.