mcsluggo

is Trumpism helping or harming the position of Christianity in America?

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On 8/1/2019 at 5:47 PM, AsburySkinsFan said:

Trolling is hard..you need more practice.

He really doesn’t 

 

he’s got a handful of you spinning in circles on command 

33 minutes ago, PleaseBlitz said:

Not a group I'd want to associate with. 

 

I went to an evangelical church twice. Never again. 

 

First time I told my wife something was off and these people are weird. It caused a gigantic argument where I was accused of many things. One of us actually walked out of the house over it for an hour. I acquiesced and said I’d give it another shot. 

 

Second week she figured it out. We never went back. Friends who invited us to check it out figured it out like 4 months later (they’d been going for 6 months so we’re talking 10 months all in)

 

damn wife never did apologize to me about that... I’ll reminder her at dinner tonight. 

Edited by tshile
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24 minutes ago, tshile said:

damn wife never did apologize to me about that... I’ll reminder her at dinner tonight. 

 

So.... Whose couch is tshile crashing on tonight?

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2 hours ago, No Excuses said:

 

There is hardly anyone in the GOP tent who any decent person would want to associate themselves with. Every sensible conservative I know in the DMV left the GOP in 2016. My only Trumpian contacts are now family members who I have to reluctantly mingle with at family gatherings.

 

Advise you to be cautious about those assumptions.  

 

While it's tempting to think that the only people still with Trump is the idiot with the AR-15 and the pickup truck with the confederate flag and the Qanon sticker, the fact is that arounf 50% of the people voted for the asshole, and a good chunk of the population still support him.  

 

The odds that you don't know any of them is really remote, unless you've moved to Berkeley and haven't told us.  

 

The odds are much more likely that you know several people who are smart enough to keep their mouths shut about Trump, but who will, in the privacy of the voting booth, vote for him anyway.  

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4 hours ago, tshile said:

He really doesn’t 

 

he’s got a handful of you spinning in circles on command 

You know we don't actually take him seriously, right?

We know what he is, and like a piñata we just like to hit it and watch the treats fall out.

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2 hours ago, Larry said:

 

Advise you to be cautious about those assumptions.  

 

While it's tempting to think that the only people still with Trump is the idiot with the AR-15 and the pickup truck with the confederate flag and the Qanon sticker, the fact is that arounf 50% of the people voted for the asshole, and a good chunk of the population still support him.  

 

The odds that you don't know any of them is really remote, unless you've moved to Berkeley and haven't told us.  

 

The odds are much more likely that you know several people who are smart enough to keep their mouths shut about Trump, but who will, in the privacy of the voting booth, vote for him anyway.  

The guy wouldn't have won if he didn't have support from almost 50% of the country and if he wins again, it will be because of that support.

 

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1 hour ago, AsburySkinsFan said:

You know we don't actually take him seriously, right?

 

No Johnny you’re the piñata 

 

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1 hour ago, AsburySkinsFan said:

You know we don't actually take him seriously, right?

We know what he is, and like a piñata we just like to hit it and watch the treats fall out.

 

that's not chocolate coming out of there...

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long read, but interesting/entertaining (obvious doubts as to credibility---will watch the show soon)

 

https://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2019/08/the-family-netflix-review-religious-political-group/596035/


 

Quote

 

The Patriarchal Allure of The Family

 

A new Netflix series delves into a shadowy religious group with long-standing political ties to Washington. Is it as powerful as the show suggests?

 

<excerpts---more at link>

 

In 2007, Senator John Ensign of Nevada was a glittering star in the Republican firmament, with a maple-syrup tan, born-again bona fides, and presidential ambitions. He was one of a handful of congressmen who lived in a C Street row house owned by an organization known as “the Fellowship,” an unorthodox group home that the New Yorker once likened to a frat house for Jesus. The Fellowship’s members crossed party lines, but they had a few things in common. They were male. They were white. They paid a token fee to occupy rooms rented out by a nebulous faith group that encouraged them to believe that they had been chosen as leaders by God himself, and that none but God could judge them.

 

The Family, a five-part documentary series by Jesse Moss that debuted on Netflix earlier this month, makes the case that this shadowy religious organization best known for the moral incontinence of some of its members is actually one of the most nefarious operations in American politics. Based in large part on the 2008 book of the same name by Jeff Sharlet, The Family draws a through line from the Fellowship to President Donald Trump, casting the latter as a crucial component in the Fellowship’s quest for global domination. Members of Congress, Moss and Sharlet argue, are secretly lobbying for an invisible organization that’s been “hiding in plain sight” for the past eight decades. The Fellowship, Sharlet says in one scene, is “the darkest expression of religious life that I’ve found in 20 years.” (It’s hard to hear this quote and not immediately think about a few other potential contenders.)

 

Over four and a bit hours, The Family tries to expose an institution whose most prized currency has always been secrecy, delving into its origins at the hands of a Norwegian minister and fervent capitalist, its ties to some of the world’s nastiest autocrats, its more recent amity with Russia, and its eager embrace of Trump as a “wolf-king” who can change the course of history. Moss embraces the stylistic trappings of conspiratorial exposés to tell his story—dramatic reenactments, a plinky and faintly menacing piano score, selective splicing of clips featuring Maria Butina and Muammar Qaddafi.

 

And yet, as the series continues, it’s unclear whether the Fellowship is as powerful as it would like to be, or whether its aura of mystery is its most distinct asset. In one interview, Doug Coe, the Fellowship’s former longtime leader, is likened to the Wizard of Oz, the enigmatic architect of a kingdom. But Oz was also just a man behind a curtain with a prodigious gift for self-aggrandizement. At times, The Family’s willingness to buy into the Fellowship’s mythology to tell a more compelling story seems to distract the show from the core of the real con.

 

In 2002, Sharlet was only beginning to carve out a career as a writer when he applied to live at Ivanwald, a sort of dormitory in suburban Washington, D.C., for young men of faith whose backgrounds implied both privilege and political connections. Sharlet had recently met with a friend, Luke, a “promising guy” with an upper-middle-class upbringing and a “fine trajectory to his life,” who’d abandoned everything to join what his family feared was a cult. Luke told Sharlet that this was nonsense, and that he was simply living with a bunch of other guys who were followers of Jesus. He invited Sharlet to join them. Moss re-creates this interaction with actors, and in the scene, the dramatized Luke has the kind of vacant smile on his face that implies either total spiritual and emotional peace or devotion to Charles Manson.

 

Ivanwald, Sharlet found out, was an enclave where young Christian men could eat meat, study the Gospels, play basketball, and be indoctrinated into a group that promised them exceptionalism. Coe, the purported leader of the Fellowship, had long expressed admiration for the ways in which leaders engendered loyalty through brotherhood, citing Hitler, Mao, and the Mafia as inspiration. The residents of Ivanwald learned to be humble by submitting to God and doing menial work. The Fellowship, in the meantime, was building relationships with people in power, establishing an 8,000-square-foot townhouse in D.C. where Fellowship-affiliated congressmen could live, hosting the National Prayer Breakfast once a year, and making overtures to world leaders with the capacity to advance a Christian agenda.

 

The first episode largely re-creates Sharlet’s account of his exposure to Ivanwald, in scenes that (despite casting James Cromwell as Coe) aren’t nearly as compelling as the talking-head analysis of what’s actually going on. The second breaks down the two scandals that threatened to derail the C Street house: Ensign’s very public affair, and South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford’s admission in 2009 that he’d also been unfaithful, in a speech that outed the Fellowship as a “Christian bible study” group that Sanford had been leaning on for support. (In doing so, Sharlet explains, Sanford violated the first rule of C Street, which is never to talk about C Street.) The revelation that not one but two Republican members of a shadowy faith group had fallen from grace led to feverish speculation about the Fellowship, including a lengthy 2010 New Yorkerfeature that likened the group to “a kind of theocratic Blackwater.”

 

Moss delves into the Fellowship’s history, and along the way provides a fascinating portrait of an organization that seems uniquely motivated by power. The Ivanwald approach to Christianity, Sharlet reveals, is a limited one—the organization has only minimal interest in the Bible and leans on an unorthodox interpretation of Jesus as a brawny avatar of alpha masculinity, a kind of spiritual Navy SEAL or post-career Peyton Manning. Jesus, in the Fellowship’s eyes, isn’t the Lamb of God so much as a license to expand and project patriarchal power.

 

The young men of Ivanwald are told repeatedly that they’ve been chosen by God to be future leaders, significant cogs in a worldwide spiritual offensive. Coe, meanwhile, uses the truism that Jesus sat down with sinners to justify building dubious relationships with genocidal tyrants such as Omar al-Bashir, General Suharto, and Siad Barre. “Most of my friends are bad people,” Coe once said. In the period after the Soviet Union was dismantled, he visited 16 bloc countries in 16 days.

 

In its third episode, The Family explores the recent ties between the Christian right and Vladimir Putin’s Russia. (Doug Burleigh, one of the Fellowship’s current leaders, was interviewed by the FBI about his dealings with the convicted Russian agent Maria Butina.) The fourth details the Fellowship’s previous relationships with dictators, and its ongoing attempts to enforce “Christian” and anti-LGBTQ policies in countries such as Romania, with gay marriage in the United States seeming at this point like a lost battle.

 

Along the way, Fellowship-affiliated congressmen seem depressingly eager to embrace strongmen under the pretense of Jesus’s name. Senator James Inhofe tells the Nigerian dictator Sani Abacha that he “loves him.” Representative Mark Siljander travels to Libya, where he asks Qaddafi for forgiveness for the U.S. bombing that killed his daughter. (Siljander was later sentenced to a year in prison for accepting stolen funds from a charity with ties to terrorism.)

 

 

 

 

 

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https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/could-trump-drive-young-white-evangelicals-away-from-the-gop/

 

Could Trump Drive Young White Evangelicals Away From The GOP?

 

Quote

A central message of President Trump’s insurgent candidacy in 2016 boiled down to this: Millions of Americans are losers — economically, culturally and even demographically. Perhaps no group needed less convincing of this proposition than white evangelical Christians, who have long felt embattled. “Make America Great Again” was the perfect slogan for Americans who had already embraced the notion that the country’s culture and way of life had been deteriorating since the 1950s. Indeed, white evangelical Christians voted for Trump over Hillary Clinton in large numbers, and Trump has maintained their support to an impressive degree.

 

But there are increasing signs of a generational rift: Younger white evangelicals have not fully bought into Trump’s politics and are less receptive to Trump’s message of cultural decline. The age gap among white evangelicals in some ways just mirrors the age gap among the public overall with regards to Trump, but in conversations with a number of younger white evangelical Christians, many said they are reexamining the way their faith informs their politics and whether the two have become too tightly intertwined.

 

If you drill to the center of Trump’s political base, a big chunk of those voters are white evangelical Christians. Evangelical leaders are among the first to defend him from criticism and the most ready to forgive his personal behavior. Roughly seven in 10 white evangelical Christians approve of the job Trump is doing as president, and many have been delighted by Trump’s first term.

 

Younger white evangelical Christians, however, express far less enthusiasm for Trump, even if they haven’t completely abandoned him. According to the 2019 Voter Study Group survey, only six in 10 younger white evangelical Christians (between the ages of 18 and 44) view Trump favorably, whereas 80 percent of those age 45 or older have a favorable opinion of the president. The intensity gap is even more pronounced. Only one-quarter (25 percent) of younger white evangelical Christians report having a “very favorable” opinion of Trump, compared to a majority (55 percent) of older white evangelicals.

...

For many older white evangelical Christians, Trump’s vigorous public defense of conservative Christians remains the most compelling reason to support his reelection. At the Road to Majority Conference, an evangelical grassroots summit, for example, Faith and Freedom Coalition chairman Ralph Reed affirmed evangelicals’ unwavering commitment to President Trump. “There has never been anyone who has defended us and fought for us, who we have loved more than Donald J. Trump.” Jerry Fallwell Jr., head of Liberty University and a staunch Trump supporter, recently suggested that Christians needed to stop electing “nice guys” in favor of “street fighters” like Trump. Facing what they see as an increasingly hostile cultural climate, many older white evangelical Christians view Trump as their last and only option.

 

But this sentiment makes many younger evangelical Christians profoundly uncomfortable and strikes them as practically unnecessary. Aryana Petrosky, an evangelical and recent graduate from a nondenominational Christian school in California, worries about Christians aligning themselves with those in power. She also challenges the notion that conservative Christians need politicians to defend their beliefs in the public square. “We shouldn’t be looking to political leaders to defend our faith,” she said. It’s a view that is entirely consistent with the way younger white evangelicals understand politics. A 2017 Voter Study Group survey found that while nearly three-quarters of older white evangelical Christians agree that “politics is ultimately a struggle between good and evil,” younger white evangelicals are far more evenly divided on this issue.

 

So what about 2020? Few young white evangelical Christians who I’ve spoken with express enthusiasm about the coming election. For most, Trump is not their preferred candidate, but an increasingly secular and liberal Democratic Party does not present an attractive alternative. Given evangelicals’ strong pro-life commitment, the Democrats’ vocal support for abortion access makes the possibility of defection even less likely.

 

At this stage, a couple of predictions are easy. White evangelical Christians will strongly back Trump’s reelection bid, following a decades-old pattern, while young adults will rally to the Democratic nominee, as they have done in every presidential election since 2004. In a two-way contest, Trump is still likely to make off with the majority of young white evangelical votes. A tepid vote counts just as much as an enthusiastic one. Yet Trump is redefining the relationship young evangelical Christians have with the Republican Party. The long-term implications for our politics and evangelical Christianity could be profound.

 

Kate Stewart was raised in a very civically minded family and had been excited about the prospect of voting in the 2016 election long before her 18th birthday. But she became dismayed and disillusioned by her options. “Having to choose between these lesser of two evils was really disheartening,” she said. Looking ahead to 2020, Stewart for the first time in her voting life has started to look at candidates outside the Republican Party. “I’m cautiously optimistic that the evangelical vote, or at least my evangelical vote, might find a home outside the party of Donald Trump.”

 

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when you kill your offspring and import replacements that tends to happen.

 

but have faith , us Hispanics breed like rabbits and love kids.

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15 hours ago, twa said:

when you kill your offspring and import replacements that tends to happen.

 

but have faith , us Hispanics breed like rabbits and love kids.

Even Hispanics are less religious than years past. Don't count on them to man the next crusade.

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19 minutes ago, gbear said:

Even Hispanics are less religious than years past. Don't count on them to man the next crusade.

 

How about the next Inquisition?

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preface:

1 - I'm focusing on christianity because it's the topic of the thread

2 - they're the majority and have been the majority influence on the entire country, so their problems are more important (to recognize) than others

 

the problem with christianity in this country is there's no self-policing. Any idiot can stand up and make awful statements under the guise of "being a christian" and most will either agree or just say nothing and let it be.  the only ones it seems to bother... have stopped identifying as christians by now, in part (if not entirely) because of this reason. as a demographic they've allowed themselves to be co-opted by racists, sexists, and con artists.

 

i mean, look at the support they give trump. 

 

they'd be better respected, less attacked, and have fewer people leaving their ranks if they just did some honest, genuine self-policing.

 

and it wouldn't even be hard. there's so many ridiculous people to pick to go against it's not like they'd have to compromise their values (hell they'd be compromising them less...)

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16 hours ago, twa said:

when you kill your offspring and import replacements that tends to happen.

 A certain percentage of your posts (99), make me wonder if you intended for them to be in the random thought thread. I then wonder if you’re conflating ‘random’ with ‘non-sensical’.

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he was just trying to incite someone.

no one took the bait yet.

 

i don't know if you count as taking the bait. i don't think that qualifies as 'falling for it'

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7 minutes ago, Sacks 'n' Stuff said:

 A certain percentage of your posts (99), make me wonder if you intended for them to be in the random thought thread. I then wonder if you’re conflating ‘random’ with ‘non-sensical’.

 

Am I wrong that a declining birthrate and increased immigration from non christian populations have that effect?

 

I certainly could have worded it more PC,but the fact remains.

 

tshile makes valid points as well

 

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22 minutes ago, tshile said:

preface:

1 - I'm focusing on christianity because it's the topic of the thread

2 - they're the majority and have been the majority influence on the entire country, so their problems are more important (to recognize) than others

 

the problem with christianity in this country is there's no self-policing. Any idiot can stand up and make awful statements under the guise of "being a christian" and most will either agree or just say nothing and let it be.  the only ones it seems to bother... have stopped identifying as christians by now, in part (if not entirely) because of this reason. as a demographic they've allowed themselves to be co-opted by racists, sexists, and con artists.

 

i mean, look at the support they give trump. 

 

they'd be better respected, less attacked, and have fewer people leaving their ranks if they just did some honest, genuine self-policing.

 

and it wouldn't even be hard. there's so many ridiculous people to pick to go against it's not like they'd have to compromise their values (hell they'd be compromising them less...)

 

There is a ton of policing, it just goes in the opposite direction.  If you don't tow the company line, you get ostracized by the people at the top of the pyramid (who make the most money off of keeping people in line).

 

 

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30 minutes ago, twa said:

Am I wrong that a declining birthrate and increased immigration from non christian populations have that effect?

I mean, yeah. Even if that were what you said. US birth rates were steady, slightly on the rise until about 10 years ago. Not a factor in this poll. Majority of immigrants ARE Christian.

 

But what you really said was "killing your offspring" to which one response would be, "what the **** are you talking about?" or, if I were to assume you meant people aborting their children, another response could be "damn Christians and their abortions."

 

 

What I suspect is the primary reason for the decline in Christianity in our country is that young people aren't as stupid as a lot of people like to think & when they see how full of **** many of the supposed Christians are, it kinda turns them off to the whole deal.

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I thought immigration was being driven by latin america (christians), and abortions were mostly coming from the godless athiests?   

 

 

wouldn;t those combined factors have the opposite effect from what was being trolled?

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9 minutes ago, mcsluggo said:

I thought immigration was being driven by latin america (christians), and abortions were mostly coming from the godless athiests?   

 

 

wouldn;t those combined factors have the opposite effect from what was being trolled?

 

The answer you seek lies in the source.  

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it does beg a possible question.... when is the desire to prop up christian numbers in the USA going to start to outweigh the racist underpinnings of the anti-immigration zeal for the evangelicals? 

 

I expect "at least they aren't towel heads, right?"  to be the beginning salvo of many heart warming introspective discussions in near future

Edited by mcsluggo

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