Monday, May 15, 2017

Is the Family Research Council trying to make Trump presidency look like Second Coming of Jesus?

How the Family Research Council sees Trump.
The weekly missteps of Trump as president is bad enough. But they are even more alarming when one takes into account how some right-wing evangelical organizations such as the Family Research Council are bending over backwards to either ignore Trump's missteps (such as his firing of FBI director James Comey or the mind boggling way he sabotaged his Administration's explanation for the firing) or making it seem that in spite of his numerous errors, Trump is as great as the Second Coming of Jesus.

The following from FRC will make you gag:

When President Trump chose the college to deliver his first commencement address, he couldn't have picked a better one than Liberty University. And I'm not just saying that as LU alum! The message he delivered with that decision was just as important as the one he delivered at the podium. Once again, Donald Trump showed how much he values the Christian community and how committed he is to standing with them for the change they voted for in November. But the improbability of his win isn't lost on the president either. With a wry smile, he told the crowd of 50,000, "It's been a little over a year since I've spoken on your beautiful campus and so much has changed. Right here, the class of 2017 dressed in cap and gown, graduating to a totally brilliant future. And here I am standing before you as President of the United States, so I'm guessing -- there are some people here today who thought that either one of those things, either one, would really require major help from God. Do we agree?" 
 And with that, President Trump kicked off a speech that could not have been better -- not just for the graduates, but for every American hungry to see true freedom restored to their nation after eight long years of Barack Obama. The president didn't shy away from those topics either. Throughout his talk, he touched on a number of issues close to evangelicals' hearts. "America has always been the land of dreams because America is a nation of true believers," he said. "When the pilgrims landed at Plymouth they prayed. When the Founders wrote the Declaration of Independence, they invoked our creator four times, because in America we don't worship government we worship God. That is why our elected officials put their hands on the Bible and say, 'So help me God,' as they take the oath of office. It is why our currency proudly declares, 'In God we trust,' and it's why we proudly proclaim that we are one nation under God every time we say the pledge of allegiance."  
To loud applause he promised, "We will always stand up for the right of all Americans to pray to God and to follow his teachings." He wasn't just speaking to Liberty grads, but to his largest base of support: evangelicals -- who remain overwhelmingly supportive of the president. And his comments Saturday are a large reason why. "America is better when people put their faith into action. As long as I am your president, no one is ever going to stop you from practicing your faith or from preaching what's in your heart." And the administration is already taking steps to guarantee it. Not only is his rhetoric encouraging, but so is the record he's building to back it up. We've seen him tackle his pro-life agenda with a passion few expected. We've watched him make good on his vow to defend religious liberty. And we've seen him appoint principled men and women as leaders at every level of government and the courts.

Those paragraphs did everything except for raising Kate Smith from the grave carrying a flag and singing "Glory, Glory Hallelujah." And its flowery rendition of Trump's speech is the third time in a few days the Family Research Council has applauded him in what seems to be an attempt to shine whatever positive light on his disastrous decisions and policies.

On Thursday, by way of a "prayer," FRC backed Trump and the GOP's attempts to repeal Obamacare by focusing on how it could defund Planned Parenthood while issuing the following flippant statement directed towards who would lose healthcare if the repeal was successful:

And may Americans look to God as their healer and not government.

Friday, FRC sent out a generic press release congratulating one of its spokespeople, Ken Blackwell, for being appointed to Trump's Presidential Commission on Election Integrity.

FRC  didn't, and probably won't ever, mention that this "commission" is nothing more than a way for Trump to push his unproven belief of huge voter fraud. In fact, there are valid concerns that the commission could pave the way for voter suppression - something The Washington Post pointed out about Blackwell:

Another commissioner, Ken Blackwell, a Republican who served as Ohio secretary of state in 2004 — and co-chair of the Bush-Cheney reelection campaign in the state. Among other things, Blackwell first insisted that voters could not register unless they did so on super-thick 80-pound card stock, preventing thousands from signing up. Thousands more waited for up to 10 hours to vote. Democrats howled, with a Democratic congressional task force concluding that in “many cases these irregularities were caused by intentional misconduct and illegal behavior” by Blackwell. He heatedly denied the Democrats’ charges.

The point I'm trying to make is what the Family Research Council is doing when it comes to Trump is downright embarrassing. I don't like FRC. I never did and I probably never will. But if the group has any small shred of integrity which I'm not aware of, it really needs to stop following after Trump like a lapdog and making his huge faux pas look like incredible reaches of good policy.

It's one thing to clean up poop. It's quite another to cover it with icing and birthday candles.

But as long as Trump continues to hand the Family Research Council little crumbs, like a weak executive order, expect FRC to treat it like filet mignon and Trump like he is the Second Coming.

Related post - The evangelical courtiers who kneel before the president’s feet

Franklin Graham accidentally shows he knows nothing about persecution

From my friends at Think Progress comes a sad obliviousness regarding actual anti-Christian persecution versus a wrecked sense of entitlement courtesy of Franklin Graham. For the record, the lgbtq community is not targeting so-called Christian businesses.

Think Progress added:

 Christians do, in fact, face persecution in many parts of the world, and militant groups such as ISIS have oppressed and murdered followers of Christ during terrorist attacks and in territories they occupy. But as the Religion News Service pointed out, it is unclear where Graham gets his staggering claim that 100,000 a year are killed because of their faith in Christ. By contrast, the Christian organization Open Doors — which tracks violence against Christians — reports a much smaller number: around 4,000. Regardless, this kind of persecution does not appear to be comparable to the American context, where the majority of citizens still identify as Christian according to Pew Research. To be sure, white evangelical Christians such as Graham have often claimed in polls that they face “discrimination,” sometimes by citing the debate over whether conservative Christians should be allowed to deny service to LGBTQ people. Yet most religious Americans don’t support “religious refusals”: according to a 2016 survey from PRRI, majorities of almost every major faith group in the country — including Mormons, Catholics, and white mainline Protestants — oppose allowing a small business to refuse LGBTQ people service by citing their faith. Only one group — white evangelical Protestants — expressed 50 percent support for the idea.