Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Today's New Religion

Evangelist Franklin Graham has called Islam a “wicked and evil” religion.”  He has said that the legalization of same-sex marriage is orchestrated by Satan.  He has attacked laws which give civil rights to transgender people.  He calls homosexuality a “sin and an abomination.”  He falsely stated that Barack Obama was “born a Muslim.  He said presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg’s homosexuality is “something to be repentant of…” His homophobic and Islamophobic comments have prompted seven venues booked for his summer UK tour to cancel his appearances.

Pastor Robert Jeffries said last week that “it’s hypocritical” for people like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to say she prays for President Trump.  Jeffries was responding to Trump’s remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast on "Fox & Friends.”  At the Prayer Breakfast, Trump castigated his perceived opposition as “some very dishonest and corrupt people.” He said he did not “like people who use their faith as justification for doing what they know is wrong. Nor do I like people who say, ‘I pray for you,’ when they know that that’s not so.” 

Jeffries said that Trump “was completely right in what he said.”  “This president, he absolutely hates phonies; he can smell it a mile away.”  He suggested that "the Bible supports Trump’s skepticism,” quoting James 3:10:  “Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing.  My brothers and sisters this should not be.”  Jeffries supported Trump’s not loving his enemies, telling Trump “to love your enemies means to want God’s best for them, but it doesn’t mean you’re going to be unified with them.  Truth divides people.”  Jeffries criticized Mitt Romney’s vote in the Senate Impeachment trial, suggesting that Romney’s vote “seems more based on self-promotion than religious beliefs.”

This new “Trumpian Religion” with its dogmatism, biblio-idolatry, and “rightness” is dangerous, both to our democracy and to the Christian way .  It tolerates no dissent.  No differing views are allowed.  All opposition is to be vanquished.  This “religion” is not Christian and is so far removed from the teachings of Jesus as to be ludicrous. 

I am reminded of Harry Emerson Fosdick’s words,  “…but there is one thing I am sure of:  courtesy and kindliness and tolerance and humility and fairness are right.  Opinions may be mistaken; Love never is.”

The darkness shall not extinguish the light.
Truth shall prevail.

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