Monday, November 19, 2018

God Damn America? (When a black man said it, it was a problem....)

Yeah, he's happy to put that on tape. And we should, of course, be very concerned, even if we aren't aligned with Dr. Young's politics (or theology):

 Matthew Wilson, an SMU associate professor of political science, is a leading expert on evangelical Christian voters.

“We should not underestimate the extent to which many evangelicals feel that the church faces existential threats in America today,” he wrote by email.

“The Democratic Party now embraces legal abortion, same-sex marriage, gender fluidity, and a secularized public square … Given all of that, it is not a stretch from the evangelical point of view to think of the Democratic Party as ‘godless.’ "

Where "godless" means "not right-wing enough, and too friendly to non-whites":

At Culberson’s post-election gathering, according to video from Houston television station KHOU, Young claimed a Pittsburgh-area Democratic Party chairman had been forced out over a Facebook repost about how Americans should “kneel at the cross.”

The post actually criticized NFL players’ anthem protests, one of several that seemed more like racial insults.

But Young took it out of context, telling the Republican gathering the Democratic Party is “no longer a party. It’s some kind of religion that is basically godless, and as long as America — and this is represented by every Democrat I know — does not believe in the sacredness of the life in the mother’s womb, God will not bless America or make us a great nation.”
In other words, the more like Trump we all are, the closer to God we all are.  Because: reasons.  And fear of a brown planet.

I wish I was exaggerating this.

Praising Donald Trump as a paragon of Christianity and bringing of blessings on the nation is curious, considering the blessings would flow from a racist misogynistic xenophobes who thinks the letter of Paul is to 2 Corinthians and communion is just a little water and a sip of wine and besides he has nothing to confess or regret, including never attending church.

Come to think of it, people like Ed Young don't think too much of the sacraments either, consider attendance at revivals a greater sign of personal holiness than attendance on Sunday morning, think "God helps those who help themselves" is from the book of Proverbs, and don't really care about confession or even moral responsibility, since once you're saved you've got it made, And church attendance is mostly to see who's NOT there or what condition they're in before noon on Sunday morning.  So yeah, I guess Donald Trump is religious by those standards, since his politics are to the right of Atilla the Hun, and that's what really matters..

Never thought much of Ed Young, and now I'm more than convinced the old man needs to retire. (He's almost 20 years older than me, it's time he shuffled off the stage.)

What's going on here is a political fight, pure and simple.  Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who won re-election without a sweeping mandate and saw Democrats make gains across the state, was honest enough to say the people who defeated Texas Republicans (or nearly did, like Beto) scare him.  He is a true believer in his right-wing fantasies, and the evidence that he's not supported by 90% of Texas has shaken him.  It's shaking religious "leaders," too (Young heads the largest Baptist church in Houston, but as a local mover and shaker he really doesn't even show up on the radar screen).  There's enough foolishness to go around here; for example:

This is where I usually turn to Professor Darrell L. Bock of the conservative Dallas Theological Seminary, the author of the 2016 book “How Would Jesus Vote? Do Your Political Views Really Align With the Bible?”

“I think the issue of abortion is an important one,” he wrote by email, and some Republicans consider Democrats godless because they dismiss debating other options and seem indifferent to taking any responsibility for a developing life.

Texas has refused to expand Medicaid, and has some of the most stringent measures for qualification for Medicaid in the country (basically you have to be homeless to qualify, and then you hardly get any help for medical needs).  that is a measure of how little Texas does to help the poor.  So Texas, under Republican control for over a quarter of a century, is "profoundly indifferent to taking any responsibility for a developing life."  And the Baptists in Texas aren't exactly known for their charity hospitals, orphanages, or other efforts to care for those whom Jesus spoke personally to.  (Is this the appropriate place to put in a plug for the German Evangelical church, which established a hospital, an orphanage, a mental asylum, and a mission for river workers on the Mississippi, shortly after the immigrants themselves got here?  These institutions still exist, some of them still explicitly tied to the successor United Church of Christ.  Baylor has a hospital in Dallas, a school of medicine, but no ties to the Baptists that I know of.)  So this is not a case of mixing religion in politics; it's much more a case of mixing politics in religion.

That's not a mixture that harms the state; it is an admixture that harms religion, though.

1 comment:

  1. That's the reason I can't stand it when people talk about "Evangelicals" as if they are all Republican-fascists who are devotees of a variation on the Roman Imperial state religion in which Jupiter is renamed Jesus and the Republican presidents are gods, not to mention money (their chief deity). It is stunning how for even people with college credentials, the distinction between them and Evangelicals who are in line with Paul and the Gospels is too complex to navigate.

    It occured to me while reading this that, regionally, such "Christians" serve kind of the same purpose as atheists and secularists do in New England, at least in terms of acting as a foil to people who try to follow Paul, the Gospel, the Law and the Prophets. Which should seem like more of an irony than it seems to me, now.