Bishop Curry

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There are those standing up for their faith — and truth, and not the idolatry of politics as God. Bishop Curry, who stated that “…. We are Christian leaders bearing moral witness to the teachings of our faith in the public square…. As citizens we want our government to reflect our values. As a Bishop I believe we should follow the teachings of Jesus — who taught us to love God and love our neighbor…. The normalization of lying presents a profound moral danger to the fabric of society. We believe authoritarian political leadership is a theological danger that threatens democracy and the common good — and we will resist it.”

In truth, I never heard of him until the royal wedding; however, since I have watched him protest in front of the White House demanding justice and advocating for human rights. I am one who hates complacency. I have committed myself to defending the weak: homelessness, marginalized, etc.

Let us dedicate each and everyday to being better human beings.

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The Rise of Trump and the End of God

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An August 2007 article in The Economist titled Is America Turning Left? gave a historical draw on the role of the right, especially the Christian right, in shaping American politics. It started off by stating:

 The most conservative president [George W. Bush] in recent history, a man who sought to turn his  victories of 2000 and 2004 into a Republican hegemony, may well end up driving the Western world’s most impressive political machine off a cliff.

In 2004, the Republican Party aimed to distract voters from a slipping United States economy and two foreign wars by making faith a part of its platform. That year many states put issues such as gay marriage on the ballot, urging faith-based voters to cast a vote defining marriage between a man and a woman. Such 2004 right-wing fervor still exist in politics and churches, but the post-Barack Obama era appears to have weakened the base of Christian-Republicans. Traditional Republican candidates quickly dissipated in this past election season. And though Donald Trump promises to appoint conservative judges to the bench, many suspect this is a ploy to maintain Christian Republicans.

If one turned their television to a religious station or attended a church service, they might hear how America is moving down an immoral path to being the next Sodom and Gomorrah. Trump, however, has placed distanced from such language in electing to use nationalism over religion, as noted by his campaign slogan: “Make America Great Again”.

Trump’s jingoistic language differs from the Puritanical faith-based thinking of past, which has garnered historical attention for centuries, starting with Jonathan Edwards and George Whitefield, movers of the First Great Awakening, which also cemented the South as the Bible Belt. Starting in the late 1970s, those who supported Barry Goldwater in 1964, unified to shape mass politics. Goldwater was the standard-bearer of the New Right Republican Party. Goldwater engineered a disgruntled white Conservative population fearing the United States was becoming too liberal. This emerging Republican population consisted of conservative ideologues, fundamentalist Christians, and populist voters who deplored the liberal social, political, and economic trends of the 1960s and hoped to change it. Many of them were against the civil rights legislation, arguing that they were unconstitutional as they undermined states’ rights.

Just like the First and Second Great Awakening of the 18th and 19th century, evangelical leaders were content to combat what they called the forces of Satan, by asking all believers to join in an attempt to save the souls of the lost. This action took place during religious crusades and revivals. By the Fourth Great Awakening, there was no need to rally the troops at revival camp meetings. A quick hit of a TV button had the religious right advocating for political candidates and against what they saw as the sins of liberalism. It was Richard Viguerie, a right-wing publicist, who marshaled the power of the computerized direct-mail advertising as a New Right unifier. This, as well as the message of Jerry Falwell’s Moral Majority, served as an impetus to fighting leftism.

Yet in 2016 the religious right has given their soul to Trump – not God. As I recently noted, Evangelical Christians in America must decide if they really value religious freedom or just the religious freedom of Jesus. If they value the latter — there will be a generational rebellion against them, and thus their purpose of Jesus sharing will die, as far too many right-wing Christian evangelicals have not sided with the love and empathy of Christ, but identity politics.

Black Politics

In an essay I wrote published by the Christian Century Magazine, I noted: Some black Americans have been waiting for a black messiah—the savior of their race…. Eight years later, many are still asking: is Obama the end of black politics? A friend shared an insightful article here that states “….I’ve labeled this phenomenon: Post-Civil Rights Era Progressive Activist Privilege. It is the false belief, in electoral politics, that black Americans have the luxury of choosing individual beliefs over what’s best for the group as a whole. My argument to black progressive activists has been simple: we are not in a position as a black community to vote our individual preferences over our group interests. We are definitely not in a position to not vote and then claim to care about our people. If you claim to be about improving black lives over anything else, you can’t possibly argue Trump’s election helps the cause.”

Dear Faulkner University,

Dear Faulkner University –if moral guidance is the driving force of your faith, I suggest you revoke your invite to Donald Trump Jr. However, if your true God is that of Republican idolatry and the falsity of white evangelical Christianity as moral truth, go ahead and keep the door open. But I ask, who do you worship? President Mike Williams of Faulkner University was at Harding University when I vocally called the Harding out for what I saw as white supremacy in its hiring of professors and beliefs when I was a student. Share this with him, it will not surprise him that I am calling Faulkner out. Go Jesus!!! He likes rich white Christian men.

When the World is Led by a Child

What a great op-ed by David Brooks. Trump’s inherited wealth and privileges prevented him from moving beyond adolescent immaturity. A recent Quinnipiac poll noted that most see him as an Idiot, Incompetent, and Liar. Though I agree, I believe white supremacy is a driving force within his base of supporters. Moreover, his inability to communicate is shaped by his simplistic vocabulary, and lack of analytical and reasoning skills, which are needed to make complex decisions. His wealth masks his limited analytical and thinking skills, which are now on display. Trump’s past tax records showcased a failed businessman; he claims businessmen take risk. I am not convinced of his wealth. He simply is not qualified to do the job, and thus many Americans lack the skills to comprehend and reason in their decision-making.

Trying to Stay Positive and Love Better

I am trying to stay positive; I really am. But damn what rich white men keep doing to the marginalized. Do not ask me why I am always mad. In one week I heard a speech in which one person noted he is blessed to have a family that will assure he graduates from college debt free. And another speech in which a person was noted as having to work two jobs to get by. All of this in the same space. We as humans really do not care about each other.

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Images really are worth a 1,000 words: sexism, racism, classism, homophobia, transphobia, elitism, etc. I am teaching students daily what not to be in life. I am sure these “men” attend church. Gotta keep up the image for your supporters.