Reading the Headlines through a Gospel worldview | August 10, 2020
Leading off with a redemptive headline about the goodness and grace of God. Dateline: Beirut, Lebanon
“We felt the grace of God” – Lebanese priest who survived the blast that killed hundreds, injured thousands and brought down a nation’s government.
Jerry Falwell, Jr. is on an indefinite leave of absence from the position of President of Liberty University
- from David French: https://frenchpress.thedispatch.com/p/the-decline-and-fall-of-jerry-falwell
On LGBTQ/identity issues:
- Amazon is selectively limiting what people can buy and their decisions reveal a deep worldview bias.
- Archdiocese of Detroit throws out two LGBTQ Catholic groups
Pro-life headlines (if you know how to read between the partisan lines)
From the Entertainment and Society pages of the paper…
- Bieber is baptized
Kanye West for President? Kanye2020.country vision is worthy of your consideration (even though he’s not going to make it onto the ballot). And here’s why your Republican friends are going all in to help.
Religious voters are in the cross-hairs of both Presidential campaigns
- Trump’s outreach to faith voters – the plan is to cast Democrats as the enemy to evangelicals
- Biden’t outreach to faith voters
- Trump attacks Biden claiming he “hurt God” and Biden snaps back accusing Trump’s comments as shameful
And, why the overwhelming majority of Americans who identify as evangelical Christians, are going to vote for Donald Trump in 2020 just as they did in 2016. NYTimes: “Christians will have the power” (paywall)
Here are few selected excerpts from the piece by Elizabeth Dias for those who don’t have an account with the NYTimes.
Reminding readers of the speech given by then candidate Trump just before the Iowa Caucus in 2016, Dias quotes from Trump’s speech at Dordt College:
“I will tell you, Christianity is under tremendous siege, whether we want to talk about it or we don’t want to talk about it,” Mr. Trump said.
Christians make up the overwhelming majority of the country, he said. And then he slowed slightly to stress each next word: “And yet we don’t exert the power that we should have.”
If he were elected president, he promised, that would change. He raised a finger.
“Christianity will have power,” he said. “If I’m there, you’re going to have plenty of power, you don’t need anybody else. You’re going to have somebody representing you very, very well. Remember that.”
Nine days later, the Iowa caucuses kicked off the most polarizing road to the White House in memory. Mr. Trump largely lost the evangelicals of Sioux County that day: Only 11 percent of Republicans caucused for him. But when November came, they stood by him en masse: 81 percent of the county voted for him. And so did 81 percent of white evangelical voters nationwide.
To the outside observer, the relationship between white evangelical Christians and Donald Trump can seem mystifying.
Dias lists speculations often heard about why evangelicals support Trump and then observes: Evangelicals did not support Mr. Trump in spite of who he is. They supported him because of who he is, and because of who they are. He is their protector, the bully who is on their side, the one who offered safety amid their fears that their country as they know it, and their place in it, is changing, and changing quickly. White straight married couples with children who go to church regularly are no longer the American mainstream. An entire way of life, one in which their values were dominant, could be headed for extinction. And Mr. Trump offered to restore them to power, as though they have not been in power all along.
The testimonies Dias captures could belong to almost anyone I know in rural America. Certainly to anyone who is white, married, and traditionally Christian. It is not a world inhabited by the media and Dias is attempting to help the readers of the NYTimes understand the vast majority of people who feel under threat across America’s heartland. One such testimony:
“I feel like on the coasts, in some of the cities and stuff, they look down on us in rural America,” Jason Mulder said.
The American’s Dias interviewed sound like my neighbors. Mr. Driesen says of Trump’s 2020 prospects: “I still think he is going to blow Biden away.”
When it comes to conversations about race and the riots in the cities, those interviewed acknowledge they love all people and feel animus toward no one.
Ms. Schouten remembered a song she taught her children, called “Jesus Loves the Little Children.” She quoted the lyrics, which have been sung in churches for generations but would be considered racially insensitive today: “Red and yellow, black and white, all are precious in his sight.”
“We are making this huge issue of white versus Black, Black Lives Matter. All lives matter,” she said. “There are more deaths from abortion than there are from corona, but we are not fighting that battle.”
“We are picking and choosing who matters and who doesn’t,” she said. “They say they are being picked on, when we are all being picked on in one shape or form.”
And what did the Schoutens think when they saw the path cleared of protesters so the President could walk across Lafayette Park to stand in front of an old Episcopalian church and promise to keep Christians safe?
“To me it was like, that’s great. Trump is recognizing the Bible, we are one nation under God,” Mr. Schouten said. “He is willing to stand out there and take a picture of it for the country to see.” He added, “Trump was standing up for Christianity.”
If you want to understand the fundamental worldview divide in American politics today, the Attorney General Bill Barr gave a good 4 minute primer when he was on air with Mark Levin:
I’m talking about this and the DNC platform with Dr. Mark Caleb Smith, Tuesday, August 11 on Mornings with Carmen. Join us!