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Thread: Will “Christian conservative” be an oxymoron in 2019?

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    tWebber
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    Will “Christian conservative” be an oxymoron in 2019?

    I just read this interesting opinion piece by Matt Lewis who identifies as a (very flawed) Christian and a (somewhat conflicted) conservative. This identification is a little more detailed than the one given in the headline which reads: “I’m a Christian and a Conservative. Trump is Making it Terribly Hard To Be Both.”

    He details how his political and religious views come increasingly at odds under Trump:

    “Trump’s fundamental character deficiencies are part of the problem. We all fall short, but Christians aspire to bring about the fruits of the spirit (love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control). These virtues aren’t just out of step in today’s society—they are utterly countercultural in Trump’s Republican Party.

    Unlike Ronald Reagan’s sunny optimism, rooted in faith in America’s future, Trump motivates via fear. His worldview is rooted in a scarcity mentality that says someone else is stealing your share of the pie. This carnal mindset clashes with a faith that calls us to gladly give to others (I’m speaking here about personal charity, not redistribution via the tax code)—and trusts in God to provide for our daily needs.”

    He sees it from both sides when he says that: “[...] many otherwise decent conservatives entered into this devil’s bargain in 2016—and may do so again in 2020.” but also goes on to say that: “Unfortunately, my Christian conservative friends don’t really have anywhere else to go.”

    Of course the question of abortion is central and he goes on to point out: “As someone who believes protection of the vulnerable extends to the lives of the unborn, switching teams is not an option for me.” Towards the end he goes on to point out that: “Meanwhile, I’m focused on how to align my values and my politics, and that means prioritizing my values—rather than reverse-engineering them to fit my politics.“


    https://www.thedailybeast.com/im-a-c...oth?ref=scroll
    Last edited by Charles; 01-06-2019 at 07:04 AM.

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    tWebber Mountain Man's Avatar
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    And Chuck posts another smarmy scripture-free diatribe from someone who identities as a Christian trying to guilt us into abandoning Trump. And published in the Daily Beast, no less.

  3. Amen Bill the Cat amen'd this post.
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    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mountain Man View Post


    And Chuck posts another smarmy scripture-free diatribe from someone who identities as a Christian trying to guilt us into abandoning Trump. And published in the Daily Beast, no less.
    Be careful, MM. I am sure you have heard about “straw man”, “genetic fallacy” and the like.

    Anyway there is an interesting discussion about Matt’s opinion piece in this video too in case you are interested: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sjeIlE4CeLg

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    tWebber hamster's Avatar
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    conservative isn't a party, it's a philosophy. Does he mean Christian and Republican?
    "Some people feel guilty about their anxieties and regard them as a defect of faith but they are afflictions, not sins. Like all afflictions, they are, if we can so take them, our share in the passion of Christ." - That Guy Everyone Quotes

  6. Amen Charles amen'd this post.
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    Professor Catholicity's Avatar
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    I agree that Trump favoring Evangelicals look NOTHING like Bush II and Bush I favoring Evangelicals. There has been a drastic split even between types of evangelical Christians. Its quite ugly and I know a number of folks who don't even use the word "Evangelical" to identify themselves because of the negative connotations it carries.
    A happy family is but an earlier heaven.
    George Bernard Shaw

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    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by hamster View Post
    conservative isn't a party, it's a philosophy. Does he mean Christian and Republican?
    The Republican Party is composed of several factions. There is a conservative wing in the party.

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    tWebber Mountain Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuckles View Post
    Be careful, MM. I am sure you have heard about “straw man”, “genetic fallacy” and the like.
    Of course I am. Your opening post is a textbook example.

    I'm still waiting for you to provide scripture to support your notion that Christians are acting contrary to their core beliefs when they support and defend the President.
    Some may call me foolish, and some may call me odd
    But I'd rather be a fool in the eyes of man
    Than a fool in the eyes of God


    From "Fools Gold" by Petra

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    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mountain Man View Post
    Of course I am. Your opening post is a textbook example.

    I'm still waiting for you to provide scripture to support your notion that Christians are acting contrary to their core beliefs when they support and defend the President.
    I have provided that several times but we disagree on the interpretation. Or as I would say about current Evangelical "theology": "The text itself got lost in the interpretation".

    With regard to family separations I pointed to Matthew 25:

    34Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35For I was hungry and you gave Me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave Me something to drink, I was a stranger and you took Me in, 36I was naked and you clothed Me, I was sick and you looked after Me, I was in prison and you visited Me.’
    I am aware that you and others like to think about this as something solely intended for the individual in order to give yourself the freedom of not having to care about it in a political context. I think it is far more complex than that, and what you vote for is ultimately a thing you chose as an individual knowing the consequences it will have for other people. It is correct that no society can solve all problems. But that does not justify crossing the lines of simple basic humanity as it happened with the family separations. Those were the children Jesus identified himself with. Even if the USA is short of money, unwilling or unable to help all of them there is absolutely no need, and it goes against the idea of being unto others, that you try to justify the cruel ways in which they treated these poor children or that you remain silent and still support them though they are obviously doing what is wrong. Jesus identified himself with these children. It may be politically legitimate to say you cannot help all of them. Any inhuman treatment of them is obviously against the idea of doing unto others what you would like them to do to you. It is also in contradiction with the idea that all human beings are of equal worth and are created in the image of God.

    With regard to Trumps "body slam" rhetoric I think, once again, it is rather obvious that this goes against the spirit on how Jesus told us to live (turn the other cheek, do unto others and the like). I am sure you have your interpretations ready to somehow make it all add up but I think you continue to compromise, compromise and compromise. I just posted a thread on Jerry Falwell Jr. in which you can see how I also think he justifies Trump by contradicting scripture.

    You could also look at it from another perspective:

    If protecting yourself, your own country, taking care of your own needs, making a joke of violence, taking innocent children from their parents with no plan on how to reunite them, lie when convenient (and also when not), treating others in ways you would not like to be treated yourself was all perfectly in line with what Jesus said, then why on earth would anyone pay any attention his teaching?

    I know you are probably going to point to the thing about it being an obligation for the individual. But the individual is also a voter. Politics and rhetorics is also about how you treat other people. The idea that you can be a saint in church on sunday and build walls and talk about shithole countries monday to saturday and use harsh rhetorics on anyone you disagree with does not make much sense to me.

    Talking in a broader perspective a very fundamental idea in Christianity is that all people are made in the image of God. Thus no matter their national status, no matter whether they are famous, successful, rich or poor, they are all of equal worth. The idea that God was born as a human being under humble conditions puts even more significance to this idea. Talk as much as you like about separation of Church and state but this basic idea that humans basically are of equal worth is so fundamental in many countries all over the world and I have not found a more consequent description of it than in Christian tradition (that is not to say it is not expressed elsewhere). The broad terms in which refugees or other people in need are described by the Trump administration is the first step towards crossing this line, or in some cases it simply crosses it. It is not only about what they are doing, it is also about how they talk about others. It is a sell out of what is perhaps the most significant and most beautiful part of Christian tradition (it has managed to live on even in countries that may still define themselves as Christian but are more so in a cultural than religious sense).

    I predict this is going to cause me some trouble but I would like to end my post by quoting Bruce Springsteen who said it quite well even before Trump was president (I do realise his words are not Scripture):

    I got God on my side
    And I'm just trying to survive
    What if what you do to survive
    Kills the things you love
    Fear's a powerful thing, baby
    It can turn your heart black you can trust
    It'll take your God filled soul
    And fill it with devils and dust
    Last edited by Charles; 01-06-2019 at 10:47 AM.

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    tWebber
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    Well, having once called myself a 'liberal Christian,' I feel the same way about the Democratic party and the left today. I did have a Catholic friend who ceased his support for the Republicans over the election of Trump. But neither of us have switched sides because there aren't great options, politically, for Christians.

  12. Amen Catholicity amen'd this post.
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    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeaC View Post
    Well, having once called myself a 'liberal Christian,' I feel the same way about the Democratic party and the left today. I did have a Catholic friend who ceased his support for the Republicans over the election of Trump. But neither of us have switched sides because there aren't great options, politically, for Christians.
    Interesting perspective. I would add that you don't even need to be a Christian in order to find yourself without great options politically.

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