Religion

Bannon Bashes Romney Over His Religion

“Steve Bannon bashed Mitt Romney for, as he put it, hiding behind his religion to avoid getting drafted into the Vietnam War,” CNN reports.

Said Bannon: “Mitt, here’s how it is, brother: The college deferments, we can debate that — but you hid behind your religion. You went to France to be a missionary while guys were dying in rice paddies in Vietnam.”

First Read: “After Bannon’s vicious attack on Romney and his sons, how does Romney – who’s a competitive guy – respond? Does he think about potentially challenging Trump in 2020? Does he consider running for the Senate, even with Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) looking like he’s gearing up for another term? Or does Romney back down?”

“Remember, Romney and Trump are pretty much the polar opposites of the Republican Party. And if 2020 started tomorrow, Trump would probably get a primary challenge from someone like a Romney or a Flake or a John Kasich.”

Why Evangelicals Stick with Trump

Stuart Rothenberg: “I’ve been watching evangelical voting behavior since I worked for Paul Weyrich’s Free Congress Foundation in the 1980s, and I’ve come to believe that, in most cases (though certainly not all), white evangelicals get their religion from their politics, not their politics from their religion.”

“That is, many evangelicals are first and foremost political conservatives drawn to a church (or a pastor) that confirms their worldviews and, in turn, their political views.”

“They gravitate to evangelical, fundamentalist and Pentecostal churches that are spread across the American landscape, particularly in rural and small-town America, because those churches hold views about the Bible and human behavior that are traditional rather than pragmatic. Not surprisingly, most of those church members are politically conservative, particularly on social/cultural issues but increasingly also on the role of government.”

GOP Tax Bill Would Politicize Churches

Think Progress: “The newly unveiled Republican tax reform bill includes a provision that will likely make leaders of the Religious Right very happy—by amending a part of the tax law that keeps churches from engaging in explicit political advocacy.”

“Embedded within the bill’s more than 400 pages is a small provision that would change an aspect of the so-called ‘Johnson Amendment,’ a provision of the tax codes that prohibits churches, faith communities, and other non-profits from outright endorsing political candidates.”

The Dawn of the Evangelical-Nationalist Alliance

Politico: “For many evangelicals and conservative Catholics, ‘Make America Great Again’ meant above all else returning to a time when the culture reflected and revolved around their Judeo-Christian values. When there was prayer in public schools. When marriage was limited to one man and one woman. When abortion was not prevalent and socially acceptable. When the government didn’t ask them to violate their consciences. And yes, when people said ‘Merry Christmas’ instead of ‘Happy Holidays.'”

“Anyone expecting the evangelical right to shy away from Trumpworld’s hardball approach to politics hasn’t been paying attention the past 18 months. Many Christian voters embraced Trump not despite his provocative style but because of it, betting on a brash street brawler to win the culture battles they had been losing for generations. And their faith has been rewarded: From abortion policy to religious liberty to judicial appointments, Trump has delivered for social conservatives more than any other constituency, making them the unlikely cornerstone of his coalition.”

Bannon Blasts Church Response to Trump’s DACA Plan

Stephen Bannon criticized the response of the Catholic Church to President Trump’s plan to end DACA after the decision was condemned as “reprehensible,” CBS News reports.

Said Bannon: “They need illegal aliens to fill the churches. That’s– it’s obvious on the face of it.”

He added: “I totally respect the pope and I totally respect the Catholic bishops and cardinals on doctrine. This is not about doctrine. This is about the sovereignty of a nation. And in that regard, they’re just another guy with an opinion.”

Trump Calls on Religious Leaders to Thank Him

Mediaite: “So, remember that one time when President Donald Trump held a Cabinet meeting and everyone at the table outdid themselves when it came to heaping praise on POTUS? Well, we got a similar situation today during a signing ceremony in the Oval Office in which Trump had a bunch of religious leaders surround him and profusely thank the president for his response to Hurricane Harvey.”

“With the president proclaiming that this coming Sunday will be a day of prayer for Harvey victims, he began going around the room and calling on different faith leaders to give remarks. And, wouldn’t you know, they all tripped over each other to express their gratitude for all the president had done so far.”

“After he was finished going around the room to get his praise, Trump turned it over to Pastor (and Fox News contributor) Robert Jeffress to lead the room in prayer, with some placing their hands on the president.”

Trump Voters See Discrimination Against White Christians

Public Policy Polling: “Asked what racial group they think faces the most discrimination in America, 45% of Trump voters say it’s white people followed by 17% for Native Americans with 16% picking African Americans, and 5% picking Latinos. Asked what religious group they think faces the most discrimination in America, 54% of Trump voters says it’s Christians followed by 22% for Muslims and 12% for Jews.”

Why Is Marco Rubio Tweeting Bible Verses?

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) has been tweeting Bible verses every day since May 16, Politico reports.

“Almost all of them come from the Old Testament, and specifically the book of Proverbs. Proverbs is notable in that is presents a fairly consistent view of the world: The righteous are rewarded, and the wicked are punished. In the understanding of Proverbs, everyone gets what is coming to them; behavior is directly linked to reward or punishment. This worldview has social consequences: Those who succeed in life must be more righteous than those who struggle.”

“Some of the statements in Proverbs look strikingly similar to those made by modern-day conservative policymakers… In short: Proverbs is probably the most Republican book of the entire Bible.”

Gianforte as Jesus Christ

Peter Linzmaier of Thompson Falls, MT writes to the Missoulian in response to a letter to the editor which asked if it was acceptable with Christians that Rep.-elect Greg Gianforte (R) assaulted a reporter the day before the election:

Jesus assaulted and bodily threw the money changers out of the temple who were trespassing in Gods’ house.

Greg Gianforte emulated Jesus by assaulting Ben Jacobs, who was trespassing and invading his privacy. He also proved to be a real Montanan to his supporters who are not self-proclaimed Christians but abide by the teachings and actions of Jesus.

Spicer Left Out of Vatican Visit

President Trump’s entourage at the Vatican “included his wife, his daughter, and an array of staffers—but not White House press secretary Sean Spicer, a devout Catholic who told reporters earlier this year that he gave up alcohol for Lent,” Politico reports.

“Both sides, according to a White House official, agreed to limit the number of staffers who attended. Two other senior communications aides from the White House were included: Hope Hicks, who like Melania and Ivanka Trump wore a black veil over her hair, and Dan Scavino, the White House director of social media and a longtime Trump loyalist.”

Indonesian Governor Jailed for Blasphemy

“Jakarta’s Christian governor was sentenced to two years in jail for blasphemy, a harsher-than-expected ruling that critics fear will embolden hardline Islamist forces to challenge secularism in Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim-majority nation,” Reuters reports.

“Tuesday’s guilty verdict comes amid concern about the growing influence of Islamist groups, who organized mass rallies during a tumultuous election campaign that ended with Basuki Tjahaja Purnama losing his bid for another term as governor.”

Trump Will Sign Order on ‘Religious Liberty’

President Trump “has invited conservative leaders to the White House on Thursday for what they expect will be the ceremonial signing of a long-awaited—and highly controversial—executive order on religious liberty,” Politico reports.

“The signing would represent a major triumph for Vice President Mike Pence—whose push for religious-freedom legislation backfired mightily when he served as governor of Indiana—and his allies in the conservative movement.”

Has Trump Found God?

President Trump “has increasingly infused references to God into his prepared remarks — calling on God to bless all the world after launching strikes in Syria, asking God to bless the newest Supreme Court Justice, invoking the Lord to argue in favor of a war on opioids,” Politico reports.

“He’s also taken other steps to further cultivate a Christian right that helped elect him, granting new levels of access to Christian media and pushing socially conservative positions that don’t appear to come naturally to him.”

King Refuses to Say Muslims Contribute Equally

Rep. Steve King (R-IA) refused to say on CNN that Muslim Americans are equal to German Americans in their usefulness to society — doubling-down on recent comments that white people have made greater contributions to Western civilization than other “sub-groups.”

Said King: “I’d say they’re all created in the image of God and they’re equal in his eyes. If they’re citizens of the United States, they’re equal in the eyes of the law. Individuals will contribute differently, not equally to this civilization and society. Certain groups of people will do more from a productive side than other groups of people will.”