Here’s A Pastor I Respect

Talking Point Memo is one of the sources I visit regularly for political news; I trust its accuracy and find posts by the editor, Josh Marshall, insightful.

I have also been impressed with several comments provided by regular readers, and that leads me to the observations shared by a reader who is also a Christian pastor.

He began by distinguishing himself from the MAGA crowd:

At the ripe old age of 68 and as one living in the southern U.S., I am the prototype Trump supporter. Problem is, I can’t stand the man; I can’t stand to see him and I can’t stand to hear him. Put simply, he makes my skin crawl!

After noting the characteristics that appall him, the commenter says he is ” worn out by the constant lies, obfuscation, misdirection, and destructive policies” — a sentiment a lot of us share.

Then he gets to the issue of so-called “Christian” support for our very unChristian President, and in my opinion, hits the proverbial nail on the head.

I am also a Christian (a preacher, actually) who sees those with whom I should be in agreement as enemies of truth, morality and integrity. Christian principles? Pshaw! The teachings of Jesus? Fugetaboutit! The words of Bill O’Reilly from 2007 echo in my memory: “But do you understand what the New York Times wants, and the far-left want? They want to break down the white, Christian, male power structure, which you’re a part, and so am I, and they want to bring in millions of foreign nationals to basically break down the structure that we have.” Is that what this is all about? Is this why Bill Barr is willing to sell his soul to the devil? Is this why subservient Republicans bow down to “Dear Leader” and allow the president to embarrass them (and himself) in service to white supremacy? I wonder. Could it be that protecting the “white, Christian, male power structure” takes precedence over all other considerations? Is that what this is all about?

Yes, it is increasingly obvious that protecting the white, Christian, male power structure is EXACTLY what this is all about. But having a female Jewish college professor say so is highly unlikely to change any MAGA-lover’s perceptions or behaviors.

On the other hand, having a southern, male, Christian pastor point to the increasingly obvious motivation of those who are turning a blind eye to the destruction being done by an immoral and unChristian President and his enablers just might make a few people pause and think.

Those who are fighting to retain their white male Christian privilege, and the others who’ve drunk the kool-aid, are probably too far gone to really hear him, but the pastor’s final words are worth quoting:

Yes, I am frustrated and depressed, but I am not ready to give up on the “American Dream.” I am ready and willing to fight for the promise of America! Beating Trump in 2020 is not enough. We must work to totally obliterate everything he and his criminal enablers stand for; from the destruction of the environment to the undermining of our most cherished political traditions to the very concept of truth itself. I pray I am not alone! And I pray, in the words of the Great Emancipator, “that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” To which I can only say, “AMEN!”

Amen indeed.


  1. What scares me is the fact that Rev Pence and the Republican Christian Cabal has been stuffing the Federal Judiciary with people created in their image. Confirming Right Wing Christians seems to be the main focus of these people. That does NOT bode well for us going forward.

  2. Those “prototype Trump supporters” appear to me to be in two groups; those appointed to the administration by himself or elected to the Legislative Branch who believe his hype or are simply hanging onto their high-level, high-paying positions or the MAGA hangers-on wearing their red ball caps and tee shirts who are the true believers. All fall into the evangelical grouping who support the Bible thumpings, based in fairy tales, not recognizing or not admitting Trump is the ogre in every tale.

    The Christian preacher quoted by Sheila today is the boy in the fairy tale who had the bravery and the guile to point and shout, “Look, the emperor is wearing no clothes.”

    “Those who are fighting to retain their white male Christian privilege, and the others who’ve drunk the kool-aid, are probably too far gone to really hear him,…” This quote can apply to the Trump supporters and the Christian preacher who spoke the truth as no Republican has yet to do.

    If Trump’s bare ass is not in the wind after conversing with our long-time archenemy, Vladimar Putin, regarding Special Counsel Mueller’s long-awaited report…which our own Congress has not yet seen in full…it never will be. The Christian preacher’s words and his and Sheila’s “Amens” should be ringing from sea-to-shining-sea in America today and continue until after the 2020 election when, God willing, Trump will be gone from our White House.

  3. When you’re higher power is money–idolatry of money–we’re seeing how difficult t is in walking away from the riches to serve the common man.

    The churches talking about politics…tax them. Churches with real estate in excess of $3 MIL, tax them.

    Same goes for universities who send mouthpieces to the local TV shows to espouse a system of economic corruption…tax them!

    The source of the problem — greed and money — are the core, even Einstein could recognize the solution was also at the core. We dilly dally with the symptoms. Go right to the source of the problem and start attacking it there.

    Those unwilling….have a motive/agenda. 😉

  4. Todd,

    “Go right to the source of the problem and start attacking it there. Those unwilling……have a motive/agenda.”

    Right on the money. Anything less will amount only to “pissing into the wind.”

  5. 45 was right on National Prayer Day when he said that more people are saying God’s name since he became President. I can’t count the number of times I’ve said, “God help us,” or “Oh my God. how did this happen?”

  6. Peggy,

    “Oh my God. how did this happen?”

    You have to start with the source. Not in general terms, but specifically. You have to be able to physically touch it. Anything less is a waste of time and energy.

  7. Thank you Sheila for sharing this wise pastor’s words. It is uplifting to know that there is a sane pastor who is willing to call out his fellow pastors for who they really are and who/what they actually worship.

  8. At the beginning of W.W. II, German U-boats or submarines were in control of the seas. They were doomed with the development of SONAR. The allies could then PHYSICALLY touch them.

    Consequently, we were able to, successfully, ATTACK. It cost Germany the war.

    Our present dilemma is very, very, similar. The source of our problem operates SUB-SURFACE much like the German U-boats.

  9. As a white, male Baptist minister, I must say that I fully agree with him. We must put an end to the Trump disaster!

  10. Extreme authoritarianism and Christianity have long history of inter dependency. Going back only to WW ll, Christianity was the predominant religion in Germany and without their, at least tacit support, Hitler could not have continued in power and waged the war. I would also submit that without the long Christian tradition of Jewish persecution the holocaust would not have been possible.

    The relationship was much more visible and pronounced in Mussolini’s Italy and with the Catholic church. In particular, the complicity of Pope Pius Xll directly aided not only Mussolini but benefited Hitler.

    In 2016, protestants voted for Trump 58-39%, white Catholics 60-37%, and evangelical support still hovers around 75%.

    National Prayer Day!
    Mike Pence!

    Amen indeed.

  11. Democracy is funny stuff. The majority of the governed get what they want. If I thought that a majority of us were Trumpublicans I’d be packing now. There’s no indication that’s true though. 2020 is the next benchmark.

    The fact that the Trumpublicans that we do have, have come out of the closet IMO is an artifact brought about by absolutely pervasive entertainment media paid for by advertising aimed at making more money now regardless of the impact on all others ever. Trumpublicans are a product to be sold like cars and trucks and slip and fall lawyers and Evangelical preachers.

    First we have to return to liberal democracy then we have to deal with what got us here.

  12. The only way this gets resolved is if enough white Americans get outraged and get in the game to push back by paying attention, turning out to work for decency, engaging the Trump voters/evangelicals who otherwise never hear a different point of view, running for every office from dog catcher up – in other words, stop sitting by and wringing their hands and wasting energy fixated on Trump, subjective symptom, not the cause, or the disease of racism. LGBTQ rights were won by engaging the culturally homophobic and showing them they have no reason to be afraid. In the long run, only personal connecting of fearful whites with immigrants and people of color, so they stop going along with white supremacists, will get us safely past this periodic eruption of xenophobia and racism. In the meantime, Above all, VOTE!

  13. Greed and corruption are nothing new in the human experience, but this package is usually foisted off on us by more subtle means than via a sick man and tweetstorms. Perhaps our problem as recipients of such social and political insults is that Trump does his emolument and obstrucion and other crimes in broad daylight while attacking his attackers and we are so caught up by his daily grab of media attention that we are left in fuming rather than impeachment mode.

    Our response can be changed, and I propose that we the insulted go full bore after his impeachment as well as that of his AG (and I use the term “his” advisedly), refuse to fund his border initiatives, and in general to frustrate his plans one by one. To the argument that such a response would amount to shutting down the government, take a look. It’s shut down anyway except for agency momentum now led by former lobbyists what with an incoherent president who doesn’t agree with his own policymakers, where even John Bolton and Mick Mulvaney are at odds with their boss who tells Putin more about the Mueller report than our congressional representatives know, and where the several bills the House has passed and sent over to the Senate are not brought up for a vote by a McConnell whose chief job these days is apparently to ensure that Trump morphs into a Big Brother figure. Have we the people no tipping point?

    It is time for us to end our shock and fuming at this masquerader in the Oval Office and instead apply our time and energy to excision of this cancer on our democracy. The Constitution has handed us the scalpel. Let’s use it. Now.

  14. I don’t think Christian support for UnChristian candidates/politicos is much different than Democrats supporting candidates that are Democrats in name only. Hypocrisy abounds and is not exclusive to Republicans and their supporters.

  15. To be more specific, the Democrats are not little “d” democrats. If they were we wouldn’t be “up shit’s creek” like we are right now.

  16. How could it be otherwise? We’ re not even considered a DEMOCRACY. It’s hard to be one, even Sweden is being attacked from the inside.

  17. Here’s a pastor I respect:

    “I also came to see that liberalism’s superficial optimism concerning human nature caused it to overlook the fact that reason is darkened by sin. The more I thought about human nature the more I saw how our tragic inclinations for sin causes us to use our minds to rationalize our actions. Liberalism failed to see that reason by itself is little more than an instrument to justify man’s defensive ways of thinking. Reason devoid of the purifying power of faith, can never free itself from distortions and rationalizations.”
    ~Martin Luther King, Jr.

    That makes a lot of sense to me. Does anyone disagree?

  18. A discussion on NPR the other morning reminded me of the run up to the second Bill Clinton Presidential election. I was sitting in a classroom with lots of much younger people. When discussing the impeachment and its impacts, the professor asked us each what we thought would be the outcome and why. Many of the students either didn’t have any opinion because they “didn’t do politics” or had philosophical/moral/cultural reasons to choose Clinton or his opponent. When it came to me, I replied that it would be Clinton based solely on the fact that the economy was humming along very well. It sounds cynical even now but proved to be true.
    As long as people who vote are the ones who are prospering, the alt-right will stay in power, both in the Executive and in the Congress.

    Indiana is aptly described as North Alabamastan. The white, mostly MALE, Christian power structure have done and will do whatever it takes to keep that power. Lying, cheating, stealing, fraud, exploiting fear of the “other” are time-tested and proven tools of authoritarian rulers throughout history.

    When it comes down to the voters’ choices in the secrecy of the booth, money is truly the root of all evil. DT supporters will continue to back him as long as they believe their prosperity is entitled and insured or their victimhood justifies their vote.

  19. Now that Trump has indulged himself in his broad-daylight, mutual masturbation session with his BFF Vladimir over the Mueller report, has it ever been plainer in American history that we are ruled by a traitor? While I understand Nancy Pelosi’s unwillingness to spend the next two years on a mission impossible, the time for impeachment has clearly arrived. Handled adroitly, it represents an opportunity to to explore and expose the depth of Trump’s commitment to fascism, and to shine a light on how totally committed Barr/McConnell and their fellow travelers are to providing Trump with all possible support. If it achieves nothing else, perhaps impeachment will keep Demented Donald so busy (he will also soon go into full-time campaign mode) as to minimize the everyday damage he does to our country. In the process, some Republican Senators may wake up to the sedition they are abetting and opt for America rather than Russia.

    We are at war (and have been since 2016) as certainly as if Russia were lobbing missiles on New York City. Trump is acting as a fifth column to undermine the rule of law and as a forward observer to aid Putin in accurately targeting American institutions. He exalts in his version of open-air treason that he believes makes him untouchable. It is Congress’s job to prevent him from placing America on the auction block. It is our job to motivate Congress. “Do you hear the people sing? Singing a song of angry men? It is the music of a people who will not be slaves again.” Or are we to let democracy die with a cable news whimper?

  20. Terry,

    “We are at war (and have been since 2016) as certainly as if Russia were lobbing missiles on New York City. Trump is acting as a fifth column to undermine the rule of law and as a forward observer to aid Putin in accurately targeting American institutions. ”

    It has the terrible smell of the German-Russian Pact of the late ’30s. We’ll probably have to learn as the Germans did from their tragic mistake.

  21. Russian collusion of the 2016 election is much more worse than what happened on 9/11.

    It’s obvious we must go to war against Russia. We must unify and elect a Democrat to lead this war as our president. The sons and daughters of the deplorables must be drafted to fight this war as we enjoy the comforts and safety of staying stateside to enjoy having brunch.

  22. Reason infected and diluted with the corrupting power of faith, can never free itself from distortions and rationalizations…for faith is the original source of distortion and rationalization.

  23. Larry,

    No disagreement here. What a “screwed-up” situation, both on the “right” and the “left.” If there is a God, please save us all.

  24. Thank you Sheila, as always,

    This preacher’s commentary basically sums up how I, as a Christian myself, feel about this Administration, with its utter lawlessness, its moral decadence and its complete incompetence. He’s right and what a lot of Christians are doing and saying, particularly those that preach from pulpits, that defend what this administration is doing and wants to do borders on being heresy. While I’m not a theologian by any stretch I do read the Bible and I do know what Jesus came here to do so very long ago and is still trying to do through us if we let Him.

    Add to that my academic exposure to our system of governance and how it’s supposed to work, something every citizen of this country should have a basic and working knowledge while so many obviously do not. A big part of that academic experience was looking at other countries and their systems of governments and seeing so many where they were ruled by despots that presided over rampaging correction and where the everyday citizens of those countries never had had anywhere close to anything beyond short shrift. I use to be able to look at this country, even with its flaws, some being obvious and some being not so obvious, the inequalities that we have in this country that still need to be rectified, but I never thought that I would see that a man or woman come to power as the President of the United States that would have a moral outlook akin to that of a combination of Al Capone and Joseph Mobutu.

    Unfortunately for all of us, that’s exactly what we have right now-what amounts to a criminal enterprise running this country that is trying with a certain level of success to ride roughshod over our system of checks and balances and our system of separation of powers within the government at the Federal level that heretofore we have never had to deal with. While the Republican Party wants to continue to back this coup d’état the Democratic Party is still fumbling around trying to figure out what to do about this heinous situation with both parties focusing more on the reelection prospects of their Members of Congress than the good of the country.

    This is a catastrophe, a true catastrophe that will just grow worse if not confronted directly and forcefully very soon. We have a President that is acting like a king and subverting everyone and everything that he comes in contact with, turning them all into sycophants and court jesters with them interfering into very legitimate investigations regarding that President’s behavior and conduct. What we have going right now is essentially a coup d’état that Donald Trump has basically pulled off with the help of a whole bunch of people, a lot of them being evangelical Christians and should know better if they truly do read their bibles, just how horrific this all is. Add to them, all those folks that voted for him instead of Hillary Clinton because they thought she was corrupt and voted for this clown who makes Mrs. Clinton look like Mrs. Milk Toast in comparison.

    I’d be very interested to see what Marv Kramer very succinctly and very directly would describe this thing as being. There is a term that I learned a very young age while serving in the Navy with the Marine Corps that begins with the word “Cluster” that fits of the very well where all the various inputs that we have come to depend on buttress our society and our government that just don’t seem to work anymore when in the end they have to.

  25. Tom,

    “I’d be very interested to see what Marv Kramer very succinctly and very directly would describe this thing as being.”

    As a former Army artillery officer, I would also describe it as a “cluster,” but more, specifically, a TWO-HEADED TROJAN HORSE: Christians fronting for the State of Israel, along with Jews fronting for the Religious Right. It’s a, seemingly, impenetrable wall much like the one that was, finally, penetrated in the movie “Independence Day.”

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