I was sent away to religious schools when I was young. There was some form of service every day. Divinity was a mandatory class. And during school breaks, I was deposited once weekly at the local church for a maintenance dose of God, His Son, and the Holy Spirit.

I mention this only to establish that, while the Church and I have since parted ways, the Bible loomed large in my youth. And I was inculcated in all things mainstream Christianity had to say about faith and morality — with a special emphasis put on attending to the poor and needy. Also addressed was the qualifications for leadership.

On that subject, Paul had this to say in a letter to Timothy.

The overseer then must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, an able teacher, not a drunkard, not violent, but gentle, not contentious, free from the love of money.

He must not be a recent convert or he may become arrogant and fall into the punishment that the devil will exact. And he must be well thought of by those outside the faith, so that he may not fall into disgrace and be caught by the devil’s trap. Deacons likewise must be dignified, not two-faced, not given to excessive drinking, not greedy for gain.

Paul reiterated the qualifications for leadership in a letter to Titus

An elder must be blameless, the husband of one wife, with faithful children who cannot be charged with dissipation or rebellion. For the overseer must be blameless as one entrusted with God’s work, not arrogant, not prone to anger, not a drunkard, not violent, not greedy for gain. Instead he must be hospitable, devoted to what is good, sensible, upright, devout, and self-controlled.

It’s a clear message and comports with the teachings of Jesus. But the qualifications are completely and cynically ignored by the evangelicals in their promotion of a hedonistic, money-grubbing, arrogant, intemperate, undignified, multi-married buffoon.

None more so than Pastor Robert Jeffress. Here’s his philosophy

“Evangelicals knew they weren’t voting for an altar boy when they voted for Donald Trump. We supported him because of his policies and his strong leadership.” 

It is conservative evangelicalism’s core hypocrisy that while they claim biblical literalism underpins their philosophy they also literally ignore the Bible.

“Porn star, what porn star.”

And Jeffress, in an interview with Fox News, makes it perfectly clear that in his estimate Trump’s sins are irrelevant to his suitability as a leader.

“Evangelicals still believe in the commandment: Thou shalt not have sex with a porn star. However, whether this president violated that commandment or not is totally irrelevant to our support of him.”

It’s one thing to say that you don’t believe the accusers – or that a man has a right to due process. (Trump’s favorite ‘outs’). But Jeffress bulldozes through those niceties to reveal the cynical expedience of his position — the Bible be damned.

How can he square his support for the unChristian Trump with his supposed adherence to all things biblical? He can’t. And that points to the essential truth of today’s conservative evangelicals. They are not a religious movement. They are a political faction. Their Bible isn’t an instruction manual. It is a blunt tool to accumulate power.

Robert Jeffress has long been a political gadfly. He has no core value beyond “just win baby”. In 2012, he dismissed the Mormon Mitt Romney as a cult member, until his boy, Rick Perry oops’ed himself to failure. At that point, he became a Mitt man in hopes of defeating the thoroughly biblical Barack Obama.

In 2016, he was a Ted Cruz cheerleader. Then on Ted’s political demise, he threw his support to the least Christian man to run for President since we started keeping score. Without shame or hesitation, he embraced the biblical illiterate as his standard bearer. No Trump sin was too large to be expiated — while no Clinton sin was too small to avoid damnation.

This perversion of Christianity doesn’t stop with leadership selection. The poor get knocked down. The foreigner is scorned and spat on. Christ’s demand that his followers shed their wealth is dismissed and the ‘prosperity Gospel’ is created from whole cloth.

Conservative evangelicals support the transfer of wealth to the already wealthy. They despoil God’s creation. They despise the ‘least of these brothers and sisters’. They answer violence with violence. And value war over peace. Jesus spoke no word of nationalism – his was the Kingdom of Heaven. Evangelicals are America Firsters and clutch the symbols of white supremacy.

Conservative evangelicals have wandered so far from the tenets of Christianity that if Jesus were to return today they would dismiss him as a swarthy, foreign socialist.


How Do Evangelicals Get from Jesus to Trump?

January 29, 2018

Why do evangelicals want bakers to be able to deny gay couples wedding cake? They say it is their ‘sincerely held religious belief’. And as justification, they point to biblical verses saying homosexuals are an abomination — or words to that effect. But the same book has laundry lists of other things that are abominations and deserve punishment […]

Read the full article →

Tony Perkins Gives Trump a “Mulligan” for Adultery with a Porn Star.

January 23, 2018

Tony Perkins, President of the Family Research Council, has reacted to the revelation that Donald Trump was shtupping a porn star a year after he married his third wife, and months after son Barron was born, with a yawn. He told Politico in a podcast: “We kind of gave him—‘All right, you get a mulligan. You get a […]

Read the full article →

Conservatism Cannot Make America Great

November 27, 2017

Conservatism is not the future of America. It is instead a backward-looking philosophy – which dreams of recreating some imaginary Edenic past in today’s America. But thinking folk know that today’s America will never be yesterday’s. And besides yesterday’s America wasn’t so good for millions. Things have changed. We’re not nearly as white as we used […]

Read the full article →

It’s not just Moore, Alabama Has a Long and Dishonorable Political Tradition.

November 14, 2017

Everybody is following the Roy Moore teen molestation saga and wondering if all the backwoods stories they have heard about Alabama could possibly be as bad as they dared not imagine. And yet the more we hear, the more we realize that Alabama is “you might be a redneck if…” territory. Let’s consider how we got into this […]

Read the full article →

Roy Moore Is Still Alabama’s Most Likely Next Senator.

November 12, 2017

Republicans have to deal with a Senate candidate, Roy Moore, who has been accused of plying girls with alcohol and touching them up. In Alabama the local GOP’s answer is simple. They deny he did it and besides most of the accusers were at least 16 – so fair game for a 30-something. And that’s if the […]

Read the full article →

Michigan Rapist Gets Joint Custody of Child.

October 7, 2017

Raped and impregnated at 12, she must now permit her rapist to visit her child. If you thought this was a story out of Pakistan or some other Islamic theocracy you would be forgiven your error. Surely this cannot happen in America — in 2017? Apparently, it can. As reported in the Detroit News: A Sanilac County Circuit […]

Read the full article →

After 2,000 Years Evangelicals Should Have Come Up with a Better God.

September 15, 2017

When you look at the evangelical’s God, you have to ask: Is that the best we can do? With all the invention, discovery and intellectual advances since the birth of Christ, you would have thought they could have come up with a better model. The God of the evangelicals is no more than an old brick […]

Read the full article →

How Religion Uses Hate to Make Money

March 12, 2017

Years ago I went to rural Ohio years ago because my girlfriend’s family lived there. It depressed me. It was flat, and there were holes in the stop signs that someone told me were bullet holes. It was also winter – so that didn’t help. Her father was a hospital administrator, and her mother played golf. They […]

Read the full article →