We’re all afraid of everyone else. That’s pretty much what I take away from a new survey on the intersection of religion and politics in America – along with the affirmation that the so-called intersection is getting increasingly congested and prone to ugly collisions.
President Donald J. Trump captured 81 percent of the evangelical vote on election day. Since then, many political pundits have grappled with the question of how a lecherous and biblically illiterate candidate whose relationship with the truth is casual at best could have done so well with this constituency of alleged “values voters.”
We’ve watched from afar the devastation and tragedy brought by Hurricane Harvey to the Gulf Coast of Texas. Our hearts are with those who are just beginning the recovery process. As difficult as the past week has been, there is some comfort in watching, as we often do, Americans coming together to aid those in the area through donations and volunteering.
On May 4, President Donald Trump signed a “religious liberty” executive order that, he boasted, would free up houses of worship to endorse political candidates.
It makes sense that President Donald Trump’s spiritual adviser is Paula White, whose garish TV ministry promotes the controversial “prosperity Gospel,” the idea that Jesus, who in much of the Gospels sounds like a socialist, really wants you to become filthy rich (and the best way to do that is to donate – surprise! – to someone like Paula White).
Religious Right groups have argued for a long time that a president has to do more than oversee the economy, direct international relations and run the Executive branch. He or she is also expected to set a moral example. During the presidencies of Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, Religious Right groups frequently complained – unfairly, in the view of many Americans – that these two men had failed in that regard.
Today more than 4,000 faith leaders from a diverse background of religious traditions and from all 50 states and the District of Columbia came together to support the Johnson Amendment. They signed a letter, which was delivered this morning, calling on members of Congress to resist any attempts to undermine current law.
Members of Congress will be returning home to their districts in August, and it’s a perfect time to remind them why the Johnson Amendment is so important.
A few months ago, when news broke that President Donald J. Trump had given classified information to the Russians, I asked why Religious Right groups were remaining silent. They surely would have spoken up if a Democratic president had done that.
Today I have to ask that question again, in light of two recent incidents – Anthony Scaramucci’s profanity-laced rant to The New Yorker and Trump’s completely inappropriate speech to the Boy Scouts.