Pagan tribalism on steroids

I find the following article disturbing. Falwell has completely abandoned the gospel for the political limelight.

The article describes how Falwell calls on evangelicals to join “the war” against “fake Republicans” and not support candidates just because they may be Christians. It goes on to talk about how this will benefit Trump and make him the “greatest president since Abraham Lincoln.” (But I thought he already was the greatest, Jerry…) Falwell also notes how candidates don’t have to “be the pastor of your church”, clearly a swipe at Cruz whom many Trump-supporting “Christians” mocked because of Cruz’s faith, as did Trump many times who would pretend to hold up a Bible in rallies, and mock Cruz for being “saaa–aaa–ved” in a sing-song manner.

As a Christian, I will certainly consider if a candidate is an evangelical, but more importantly, I consider if the stances a candidate takes are in keeping with biblical principles. Falwell offers up some mishmash of a candidate maybe not being the most conservative, or voting on the issues the right way, and not being part of the establishment. Oh, and being “successful”.

Bright. Shiny. Object. Alert!

But vetting a candidate requires more than just reading candidates’ statements. It involves finding out what makes them tick, going to candidates’ forums or rallies,  hearing them speak, and not just what they say, but how they say it, and the language they use, and how they behave and what they say in unscripted moments.

I see Trump eschewing biblical principles…a lot. The profanity and vulgarity he uses. The mocking of others. The lack of compassion. The lack of a servant’s heart. The focus on himself. Self-aggrandizement and boastfulness. The insecurity of who he is as a person.  The constant reminders of the material things he has acquired in which he apparently finds solace. Three marriages and the brokenness he’s caused families and spouses through it. The attitudes and haughtiness he expresses toward those different from himself. The attitudes and frequent degradation toward minorities, people of different religious and ethnic backgrounds, and women. The spreading of vicious lies with no basis. The total and complete lack of humility.

These things were evident from the very first day he announced and were reinforced every day of the campaign and since the day he was elected.

But hey! He’s “successful” and wants to tear down the establishment. So full steam ahead, according to Falwell. (Never mind four failures in the form of bankruptcies and five deferments for military duty.) Party on, says Falwell. Indeed, the party is Falwell’s new gospel. Let’s make men’s souls right through executive orders.

Never mind eternity.  Never mind the condition of one’s soul. Never mind if someone is right with God. What happened to the Great Commission? Or, is that just so 2016?

https://www.christianpost.com/news/jerry-falwell-jr-evangelicals-dont-vote-faith-back-steve-bannon-204441/#.WfT3rqrsEfA.twitter

Jerry Falwell Jr. to Evangelicals: Don’t Vote Based Upon Faith, Back Steve Bannon’s Effort Instead

By Samuel Smith , CP Reporter |

Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. is calling on evangelicals to join Breitbart Chairman Steve Bannon’s war against “fake Republicans” in Congress, and not support candidates because they are also evangelicals.

Thee 55-year-old Falwell, the son of legendary pastor and conservative political activist Jerry Falwell Sr, praised Bannon, who espouses populist and economic nationalist views, during a recent interview with Bannon’s own news outlet Breitbart, which has been criticized for providing a platform to alt-right views.

During the interview, Falwell was asked what he thought about the former White House chief strategist’s self-proclaimed war against establishment Republicans.

Earlier this month, Bannon, who stepped down from his role in the Trump administration in August, told a gathering of evangelicals at the Family Research Council’s Values Voters Summit about his “war” against the GOP establishment and called on values voters to “finish” the war.

“I love it,” Falwell said of Bannon’s war against the establishment in the Senate.

“I knew when [Bannon] left the administration, he was doing it for a reason,” Falwell was quoted as saying. “A good reason. And now we all know what it was. He sees that for Trump to be successful, those guys got to go. I’m so proud of him for going after them and leading the effort and Laura Ingraham is out there helping the effort too.”

Evangelicals shouldn’t support candidates because they share their faith, Falwell added.

“Don’t look at a candidate on whether he has the same religious background as you do. Don’t look at whether he or she fit to be the pastor of your church. Look at who’s going to vote right on the issues. Look at who’s actually succeeded in real life outside of the political world. That’s who they need to vote for. It may not be the most conservative candidate. But it’s got to be somebody who’s not part of the establishment and has succeeded in real life,” he said.

Falwell, who is one of the president’s most loyal evangelical supporters was one of the first evangelical leaders to endorse the thrice married billionaire in the 2016 Republican presidential primary, claimed that he coined the phrase “fake Republicans” to describe the likes of Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.

Falwell argued that if a handful of “fake Republicans” in the Senate can be replaced during the midterm elections of 2018, then Trump could potentially become one of the greatest presidents in American history.

“I heard somebody on the radio this morning, one of Mitch McConnell’s friends, bragging about how the Republicans have gone 95 percent with Trump’s agenda. Well, the five percent is always the one — the issues that matter,” Falwell explained. “It’s always the issues that matter. They don’t always, the group of ‘fake Republicans,’ they don’t always vote against it. They just make sure enough of their buddies vote against it to kill it. It’s all done behind closed doors. They got to go. And I think if they go, Trump is going to be the greatest president since Abraham Lincoln.”

Falwell added that he was proud of the 63-year-old Bannon for trying to oust the Republican establishment.

“He’s probably the only guy who could organize an effort to primary out these, I keep saying ‘fake Republicans’ because that’s what they are,” Falwell said. “They deceive their constituencies into believing they are something they’re not. I think that’s the worst kind of politician.”

Falwell even asserted that he has “more respect for the Democrats” than he does for “fake Republicans.”

“[A]t least the Democrats admit what they believe. At least they tell their constituencies how they feel on the issues,” Falwell stated. “These moderate ‘Fake Republicans’ – they play the people. They mislead them. They pull the wool over their eyes. I just think that’s the worst type of deceit in politics.”

Falwell added that the days of politicians being able to fool voters is over.

“I think now the people have wised up because they talk to each other on Facebook and they get their news from so many different sources, and they are starting to see how they’ve been fooled,” he stated. “I think that groundswell is what happened to Luther Strange and I think it’s going to happen to a lot of them next year. It’s the only hope for the country. We really don’t have a majority in the Senate, and I don’t think in the House. Paul Ryan is in a lot of ways just as bad as a lot of the senators. He hides it. But it’s a sort of a vicious acquiescence.”

Bannon and his allies have claimed victories in recent weeks as the Bannon-backed Roy Moore defeated incumbent Luther Strange in the Alabama Republican Senate primary and as Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker announced that he would retire in 2018. This week, Bannon claimed another victory after Flake, a Trump critic, announced that he would not seek reelection.

“The establishment Republicans are in full collapse. They’re not even fighting back. They’re out of ideas, guts and out of money,” Bannon told the Financial Times. “Flake was polling like crazy and the numbers were coming back terrible. Flake shows you one important thing. The money is getting turned off. He went down without a fight.”

 

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