Evangelism in America-Part II

It was previously established that a majority of evangelists continue to support Donald Trump. In doing so, they have violated the central tenets of Christian doctrine,  and by their own standard of judgment―as delivered by Jesus Christ during the Sermon on the Mount― are on the short track to hell.

If it were only false piety like that exposed by Sinclair Lewis in Elmer Gantry that mainstream America had to deal with, most people would just chuckle and walk away.  But this doctrine-ignoring breed of evangelist deals in the currency of pure, unbridled hate; hate for everyone, and everything, that is “different.”

Each year the so-called Values Voter Conference meets. The gathering attracts evangelists and the brightest stars in the constellation of extreme right wing activists; it is hailed as an event staged for the purest of the pure.

This year the meeting at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C provided a glimpse into the minds of the organizers, for the invitees included the likes of Donald Trump, Steve Bannon and Sebastian Gorka.  The trio presented their well-known spiels, much to applause and standing ovations from the conference attendees.  Journalist Sarah Jones covered the event for the magazine National Review. At the end of her report, she stated:

“At the heart of this drive for purity, and the overweening resentment it produces, is not Christian spirituality, but a fear of being eclipsed by people who are not like them―a fear of replacement. The underlying similarities with the white supremacists who marched in Charlottesville ―those who chanted, “You will not replace us”―are hard to ignore.”

In sum, this annual event is a gathering of white anarchist haters who despise liberals, prefer propaganda over a free press, and seem unconcerned that the White House has been turned into a branch office of the Kremlin. They have turned the word “values” on it head.  Indeed, their diseased campaign against diversity, and what they consider as values, is not anything decent people would teach to their children and grandchildren.

Not every evangelist is a bible-thumping hate-monger. Take former president Jimmy Carter, for example. Carter wore his religion on his sleeve, but he lived it also. He was and is a major influence on the Habitat for Humanity project―a housing development plan for low-income, diverse populations.  In 2002, Carter was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his work with the Carter Center, which focused on advancing human rights throughout the world. Unlike Carter, the current evangelist majority seeks to take rights away from anyone who is different.

The most famous evangelist of them all, the Reverend Billy Graham,―if he were young and healthy again―would never stand by idly while his brethren support a mentally ill man, or join in the lies and hypocrisy that are so evident in the evangelist movement nowadays. For it was Graham who repudiated segregation and created the former view held by evangelicals; which was to appreciate and tolerate the differences in diverse populations.  And what was the tribute by modern evangelists to Graham’s life of exemplary service to God and humankind?  Again, HATE.

Then there is evangelist Jim Bakker. Bakker used his PTL (Praise The Lord) enterprise and a sappy, tear-jerking television ministry to encourage donations from people who could ill afford to part with money.  It was estimated that he was pulling in one million dollars per week. His empire crumbled after he was accused of rape by his secretary. The ensuing investigation revealed that he was running two sets of books, and he was ultimately convicted of mail fraud, wire fraud and conspiracy. He was sentenced to 45 years in prison by an irate judge, and fined $500,000.00. The 45 years and fine were reduced to eight years in 1991 by a federal appeals court. This evangelist was not so different from the current wave of evangelists… Bakker admitted that the first time he actually read the Bible all the way through was while he was in prison. So there you have it―an ignorant evangelist using lies to defraud octogenarian widows of their last dollar so he could install gold fixtures in the bathroom of his mansion, and likewise ignorant Trump evangelists spewing hate in an attempt to deprive “different” people of their legal rights.

On the scale of humanity, these evangelists rank alongside pedophiles ―although pedophiles might be a bit embarrassed at being associated with hate-mongers who masquerade as Christians.

Compared with evangelist hero Donald Trump, Attila the Hun would be a candidate for sainthood. Nevertheless, these evangelicals have a constitutional right to support the vilest person they can latch unto; in this instance, a thrice-married sexual predator.  However, they do not have a right to use their tax-exempt status for political ends, which, strictly construed, is exactly what is happening. If evangelists continue to commingle politics with what they refer to as “religion,” then it is high time for them to pay taxes on the tainted proceeds they receive from tithing.

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