Showing posts with label Politicians and Religion. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Politicians and Religion. Show all posts

October 20, 2016

All of a Sudden The Religious Right Believes Morality is Not Important








Throughout its history as a distinct political group, members of the so-called religious right have always made it a point to say that personal morals were important to political leadership. Thanks to Donald Trump’s becoming the Republican Party’s nominee against Hillary Clinton, however, it appears that white evangelical Protestants are changing their opinions.

Just five years ago, in 2011, a mere 30 percent of white evangelicals agreed with the idea that people who commit unethical acts in their personal lives could still behave ethically in their professional capacities, according to a study released today by PRRI, a nonpartisan research organization. Now, with Trump as the GOP standard-bearer, a huge majority — of 72 percent — do.

That immense shift in opinion means that the same types who made up former “Moral Majority” now comprise the religious group most likely to agree that public and private morality can be separate.

People of all demographics have moved toward this opinion since 2011, according to the study, with a majority of white mainline Protestants, Catholics of any race and the religiously unaffiliated all accepting the premise. With just 58 percent agreeing with this notion, Catholics are the group least likely to sign on to a distinction between personal and public ethics.

The opinion shift among regular evangelicals described in the PRRI poll seemingly reflects public statements from religious right activists who have been nearly uniform in their acceptance of Trump despite his long history of personal peccadillos.

“We hired the best lawyers, accountants and financial management we could find without regard to whether they shared our faith, just like a parent would search for the best doctor for their desperately sick child,” he wrote in an op-ed in January. Falwell also seems to view Trump as a penitent man who has walked away from his sinful past.

“He’s been through a change in the last four or five years,” Falwell said earlier this month in a CNN interview.

“He’s been influenced strongly by his children, by his grandchildren,” he said. “And I don’t think he’s the man he used to be.” Falwell also added that he would still be willing to support Trump even if the women who alleged that he sexually assaulted them in the past are telling the truth.

Tony Perkins, the head of the Family Research Council, has also continued to stand by the Republican nominee, saying that he shares the same political concerns as Trump but not the same personal values.

“I can guarantee you what we’ll have under Hillary Clinton — it will not be a government that evangelicals and other Americans who love their freedom will enjoy or prosper under,” he said in an Oct. 9 Fox News interview.

Not all Christian conservative leaders agree with this sentiment. One such person is former Red State editor Erick Erickson, who argued in a Washington Post essay that “while I think Clinton will do long-term damage to the country, I believe Trump will do far more damage to the church, which must be my chief priority.”




December 2, 2015

The Black Ministers Loving Trump {Speaks Volumes}




                                                                       
Donald Trump Courts Black Pastors, Claiming ‘Great Love’ in MeetingNOV. 30, 2015 
It seemed like a powerful counterpoint to the perception of Donald Trump as intolerant: A hundred black ministers and religious leaders would endorse him at his offices in Manhattan, vouching for his sensitivity and broad-mindedness. 
But within hours of the announcement a few days ago, furious backtracking, denials and finger-pointing were underway.

By Monday afternoon, the supposed declaration of support from a cross-section of African-Americans seemed to crumble as several pastors insisted they had never agreed to attend or back Mr. Trump. In the end, his political debut with black leaders was refashioned into a private meeting with a smaller group that played down talk of endorsements.

A few of those who showed up sounded uncomfortable. “It appears as if he’s a possible racist based upon some of the things he said about black America,” said Brehon Hall, a preacher from Toledo, Ohio, as he headed into the meeting at Trump Tower.

Darrell Scott, left, a minister, with Bruce LeVell, publicly endorsed Donald J. Trump after a meeting with the candidate Monday.

The awkward evolution of the event highlights the perils of a haphazard-seeming campaign that revolves almost entirely around a giant personality.  
But it also captures the degree to which Mr. Trump, both the man and the candidate, has polarized African-Americans, a group he is now courting as he tries to shake accusations of bigotry. During the meeting on Monday, black ministers challenged Mr. Trump over his record, and suggested he apologize for his incendiary language, according to those who attended.

In an interview afterward, Mr. Trump described “great love in the room” and a wide-ranging, two-hour discussion of black unemployment, police shootings and deficiencies of urban education. “They liked me, and I liked them,” he said.


                                                                         


With a history of racially divisive remarks dating back decades, Mr. Trump had alienated many black leaders long before his current presidential campaign espoused what some viewed as coded language about “a silent majority” and overt dismissiveness of the swelling Black Lives Matter movement.

By the time African-American ministers like Corletta J. Vaughn of Detroit saw their names listed on a flier as attendees of a meeting that would end with an endorsement of Mr. Trump, a number of them expressed outrage. 

“You’ve got to be kidding me,” Ms. Vaughn, the senior pastor at the Holy Spirit Cathedral of Faith in Detroit, said she remembered thinking when she saw the document. “That would kill me. My constituency would murder me. There is no way in the world I can do that.”

Despite the flier’s claim that she would meet with Mr. Trump, Ms. Vaughn said she had declined the invitation. So did Bishop Clarence E. McClendon of Los Angeles, another minister mentioned on the flier. 

Darrell Scott, left, a minister, with Bruce LeVell, publicly endorsed Donald J. Trump after a meeting with the candidate Monday. Credit Richard Perry/The New York Times
On Monday, the mounting frustration had boiled over. In New York City, a planned meeting on gun violence earlier in the day turned into a public scolding of Mr. Trump and the ministers in Harlem.

Invoking Mr. Trump’s charged language about immigrants (he has previously claimed Mexico was sending “rapists” across the border), the Rev. Al Sharpton wondered why black religious leaders would seek to bask “in the glow of a billionaire” while “offending their congregants and offending their cloth.”
“Let us not forget,” Mr. Sharpton said from the pulpit of his National Action Network, “Jesus was a refugee, and they are meeting with someone who has taken a mean stance against refugees. I don’t know how you preach Jesus, a refugee, on Sunday and then deal with a refugee-basher on Monday without raising the question.”

In a sign of his newly conciliatory tone on racial matters, Mr. Trump, who relishes rhetorical battle and leaves no attack unanswered, offered warm words to Mr. Sharpton on Monday afternoon.

“Deep down inside, Al likes me a lot,” Mr. Trump said in the interview. “That I can tell you.”

He gently added, “Al is doing his thing.”
History suggests that each party’s eventual nominee will emerge from 2015 in one of the top two or three positions, as measured by endorsements, fund-raising and polling.
For many African-American ministers, Mr. Trump remains a mystifying and sometimes inflammatory figure. As far back as the 1970s, when Mr. Trump was president of Trump Management, a giant New York City landlord, the company was accused by the Justice Department of using racially discriminatory rental policies. (It settled the case.)

In 1989, in the days after the brutal assault on a jogger in Central Park, Mr. Trump paid for a newspaper advertisement that warned of “roving bands of wild criminals” and called for the return of the death penalty — language denounced by some city leaders as racially provocative.

But he could also show flashes of sensitivity: He donated office space to the Rev. Jesse Jackson, the civil rights leader, inside a building he owned on Wall Street.

Today, Mr. Trump’s campaign puts little emphasis on black voters and has, at times, defended his supporters even when they have displayed hostility and physical violence toward black protesters. In the latest episode, the crowd at a Trump rally in Alabama turned on a black demonstrator who tried to interrupt the candidate’s speech, in some cases kicking and punching the man, according to videos.

Afterward, Mr. Trump sided with his supporters. “Maybe he should have been roughed up,” he said in a television interview. “It was disgusting what he was doing.”

Inside the closed-door meeting with Mr. Trump on Monday, black ministers pointedly mentioned the violent exchange, said George G. Bloomer, senior pastor of Bethel Family Worship Center in Durham, N.C. 
“He said he didn’t know if it was a Black Lives Matter or white lives matter protester,” said Mr. Bloomer, who declined to endorse Mr. Trump but said he understood Mr. Trump’s frustration with the protester.

Pressure to endorse Mr. Trump hovered over the meeting, according to attendees, who said that cards pledging support were handed out for them to sign while Mr. Trump was in the room.

Mr. Trump brushed off the brouhaha over the meeting, and said he received “many, many endorsements” from the ministers. But the campaign declined to offer a list of either the ministers who attended or those who had endorsed him. After the meeting, a single religious leader, Darrell Scott, a Cleveland-area minister who helped organize the session, publicly endorsed Mr. Trump in the lobby of the building, overlooking Fifth Avenue.

Mr. Trump’s campaign initially boasted that 100 black ministers would gather with him. But photos provided by his aide on Monday afternoon showed a crowd of about half that size, including Trump staff members. (Among them: Omarosa Manigault, a memorable guest on Mr. Trump’s show, “The Apprentice,” who is now an ordained minister.)

Despite the public expressions of skepticism, Mr. Trump insisted that several of the ministers expressed admiration for him. After the meeting, the Trump campaign said it would connect a reporter to an attendee who could testify to Mr. Trump’s sincerity. At that point, Bruce LeVell of Atlanta got on the phone.

“It was very successful,” Mr. LeVell said of the meeting. “It was like sitting in his living room having a conversation. There was no tension.”

Other than the organizer of the event, Mr. LeVell was the only participant to provide a quote for a news release issued by Mr. Trump after the gathering.

It turns out, however, that Mr. LeVell is not a minister. He is a local Republican politician in Georgia. The campaign later apologized for the confusion, saying Mr. LeVell “is a prominent member” of his church.

On Monday night he was headed home to Atlanta on Mr. Trump’s private plane. Mr. Trump, he said, had invited him aboard.

“I got a free ticket,” Mr. LeVell explained.

October 7, 2015

U.S. Sen. Candidate under fire for sacrificing goat, drinking its blood in pagan Sacrifice


It’s a good thing he had no humans available to volunteer….. Religion is an all powerful thing for those immersed in its waters….

   
                                                                   

                                                                       

Two years ago, Augustus Sol Invictus walked from central Florida to the Mojave Desert and spent a week fasting and praying, at times thinking he wouldn't survive. In a pagan ritual to give thanks when he returned home, he killed a goat and drank its blood.
Now that he's a candidate for U.S. Senate, the goat story is coming back to bite him.
The chairman of the Libertarian Party of Florida has resigned to call attention to Invictus' candidacy in hopes that other party leaders will denounce him. Adrian Wyllie, who was the Libertarian candidate for governor last year, says Invictus wants to lead a civil war, is trying to recruit neo-Nazis to the party and brutally and sadistically dismembered a goat.
Its an awkward situation for the small party that's trying to gain clout.

"He is the absolute exact opposite of a Libertarian. He's a self-proclaimed fascist. He's promoting a second civil war," Wyllie said. "It's absolute insanity. We must explain to people this is the opposite of Libertarians. This guy has no place in the Libertarian Party."
Invictus, a 32-year-old lawyer who changed his given name — which he declines to reveal — to a Latin phrase that means "majestic unconquered sun," says Wyllie is just running a smear campaign and is twisting his words into lies. No, he says, he's not a white supremacist, pointing out his four children are Hispanic — though he acknowledges that some white supremacists support his campaign. No, he says he isnt trying to start a civil war, but he says the government already is at war with its citizens and that it's certain to escalate.

"The only question is when are the citizens going to start fighting back?" he said in a phone interview Friday. "I don't think I'm the only person who sees a cataclysm coming, but I think I'm the only person saying it, and I think that scares people."
Sacrifice? Yes. Brutal and sadistic? Not according to Invictus.

"I did sacrifice a goat. I know that's probably a quibble in the mind of most Americans," he said. "I sacrificed an animal to the god of the wilderness ... Yes, I drank the goat's blood."
He admits he's been investigated by the FBI, the U.S. Marshals and other law enforcement. He is confident they're still watching him, in part for a series of YouTube videos and other writings in which he discusses government. He renounced his citizenship in one paper, and in another he prophesied a great war, saying he would wander into the wilderness and return bearing revolution.

"I guess it makes me feel flattered that they think I am a threat to the stability of the system. It makes me think one man can make a difference," Invictus said.
He insists, though, that he doesn't advocate violence.
"You do not initiate force," he said.  f the government is waging war on citizens, we as citizens have the right to self-defense on government."

Invictus knows running as a Libertarian is a longshot — Wyllie was easily Florida's most well-received Libertarian candidate and he only received 3.8 percent of the vote — and he acknowledges that being a pagan will hurt him with an electorate that tends to support Christians. But he said he is running with the hope of speaking on the Senate floor.
"If not elected, I still think there is a purpose for all of this and that is to get a message out there, waking them up," he said.  hey are the ones that control the government and not the other way around."

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