It’s Sunday morning in America.
Sunday School classes put their Bibles down and watch highlights from FOX and Friends while enjoying donuts and coffee. After discussing what the bible says about the flat tax, they head to the sanctuary for the worship service.
Everyone in the congregation is excited because they see on the program that they are singing “Amazing Grace” this week – including the new sixth verse.
“Amazing grace, Trump’s tweets resound
Russia beat Hillary
The race was lost, no emails found
No collusion! You will see.”
Evangelical churches haven't started singing that version of the old classic yet, but if the current administration and its evangelical enablers have their way, that might change.
There are many reasons that evangelicals align with the conservative movement. Abortion policy is the top priority for many voters and the conservative movement has been a home for pro-life voters for at least the four decades since Roe v. Wade became established precedent.
The influence of the evangelical movement can be seen on the socially conservative wing of the Republican Party.
Unfortunately, the Republican Party is now returning the favor. Evangelicals gave up the moral high ground and became opportunists once Donald Trump became the Grand Old Party’s nominee in 2016.
Republicans voting against Hillary Clinton was no surprise. Clinton is a smart woman, but there has been a lot of water under many bridges that she burned to the ground. Her time as Secretary of State wasn’t exactly scandal free and her husband helped launch the Drudge Report with his dalliances and thus changed the tone and tenor of partisan disagreements forever.
The real surprise has been how far evangelicals have moved away from the moral high ground. Gone are the days of biblical principles and judging issues as right or wrong on a moral basis.
Morals have become a partisan issue. Pastors used to hold up the words of Jesus as the plumb line to define right and wrong. The new faces of the evangelical movement have determined that whatever President Trump and his cronies do and say are the new red letters in the newest testament.
Trump tried to repay evangelical pastors for their unbending support during his scandals where he bragged on video about sexually assaulting women, paid off multiple mistresses and porn stars during the campaign and seeing multiple members of his campaign staff and administration charged and convicted of crimes. No matter what the charge, their support is resolute because they want to see pro-life judges who might overturn Roe seated on the Supreme Court.
Franklin Graham actually said this week that he didn’t believe the woman who accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault. Graham said attempted rape wasn’t a crime and if Kavanaugh let his accuser up after groping her and smothering her screams that he merely “respected her and walked away.” I don’t think I want my kids in the youth group at Franklin Graham’s church.
Trump issued an executive order that promised churches they would not be targeted for violating the Johnson Amendment that says tax deductible charity status of churches, colleges and other 501c3 organizations was dependent on not taking political action. Trump promised to overturn the Johnson Amendment, but that would take an act of Congress and it has failed many times in the past several years.
It’s funny how Republicans are so anxious to let evangelicals violate the law as summarized in the Johnson Amendment that they don’t realize that the main law they would be violating is the law of unintended consequences.
Sure, your Southern Baptist pastor could stand at a lectern and tell you not to vote for Hillary Clinton or whoever the next candidate is. Has anyone considered that there are other denominations with other political persuasions?
The Republican Party is becoming a rural party. That is as true in Oklahoma as it is in New York or California. Some people don’t seem to recall that there are Muslims in America too. That is true in Wichita, Kan, Dallas, Tex. and Boston, Mass.
Is it really so important to Republicans to have pastors become lobbyists that they are willing to let mosques funnel money from across the globe to candidates here? Because repealing the Johnson Amendment would do that.
Paula White recently stood up at a recent political rally - or worship service, it was hard to tell - and misquoted the apostle Paul before literally beseeching those in attendance to vote for Republicans to stop the Blue Wave that is expected to take away the republican majority in Congress and jeopardize President Trump politically – and possibly criminally.
The political rally with a brief sermon was being held at the church of Kenneth Copeland, whose daughter was on stage with White echoing her political concerns for Trump.
“There is so much at stake in this,” Terri Parsons said. She went on to say that pro-life judges are their key issue. “That’s what your vote means, so we’re going to vote for the team that will most press that agenda through because it’s the judges that have brought so much of the ungodliness into our nation.”
From offstage, Copeland – one of the original new era moneychangers in the temple – was heard to say, “Thanks to the Lord and Donald Trump we can talk about these things on a Sunday morning.”
You can thank Donald Trump all you want, but I’m pretty sure that isn’t what God wants preachers talking about during Sunday morning services.