7/17/17

Doggie style



From evangelical prayers to a Pat Robertson interview, Trump is blowing all the dog whistles he can

Whistling in the obedient little evangelical dogs.

Now, most evangelical Christians aren’t dispensationalists. Few people are likely to be convinced that Trump is a divine instrument who weren’t already prone to thinking so. But by conflating religious identity, a narrative of legitimacy on the part of Trump, a narrative of delegitimization of the press, and biblical interpretations through which those already prone to defend Trump can bolster their existing defense on a cosmic scale, Trump is doing more than holding on to his base. He’s mobilizing them. If the worst happens, and Trump does find his presidency under threat, he can rely on supporters who not only think the media is peddling fake news but also see that news as an apocalyptic threat to their fundamental identity as believing Christians.

Yeah, but there's enough of 'em.

Yet in both Protestant and Catholic circles, some — including representatives of Pope Francis — are wary of this kind of rhetoric. In an article last month by two allies of Pope Francis, the Jesuit Antonio Spadaro and Presbyterian pastor Marcelo Figueroa in La Civiltà Cattolica, both warned against an easy binary division of politics or religion “that divides reality between absolute Good and absolute Evil.” Referring to apocalyptic evangelicals, they write:

“Theirs is a prophetic formula: fight the threats to American Christian values and prepare for the imminent justice of an Armageddon, a final showdown between Good and Evil, between God and Satan. In this sense, every process (be it of peace, dialogue, etc.) collapses...And the community of believers (faith) becomes a community of combatants (fight).

Here's a great article, the one referenced in the preceeding paragraphs:

EVANGELICAL FUNDAMENTALISM AND CATHOLIC INTEGRALISM IN THE USA: A SURPRISING ECUMENISM