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What Is Trump Doing for Religion?

The fact is, no South Dakotan has ever done what I have done for atheism itself!

I would never make such a claim. I have far bigger fish to fry (family, work, writing, exercise, political reform, walking the dog…) than getting other people to affirm my fundamental belief in the natural and nothing else. Even if promoting atheism were my primary mission, I would not need or want want to declare myself the greatest South Dakotan proponent ever of my particular worldview.  Making such an arrogant claim might actually detract from my ability to act as a proponent. It would strongly suggest that I was more interested in promoting myself than my worldview and my fellow believers. Such a claim would demonstrate rhetorical irresponsibility, as I clearly lack complete knowledge of every action that every South Dakotan in history has taken to defend and develop atheism, knowledge which I would need as a basis for my absolute claim.

But if I were to fall into such hyperbole, I would at least show you and logic the basic respect of turning from the Muhammad Ali style book to that of Bertrand Russell or CS Lewis and develop my statement into an essay in which I would humbly attempt to support my claim by providing evidence of my labors on behalf of atheism. I would point to my meager public writings on the topic. I would cite my staunch advocacy for separation of church and state, as protection for secularists and supernaturalists alike to keep our beliefs from being perverted and subordinated to the interests of a corrupt state. I would note my respect for and defense of religious principles and  leaders as evidence that theists need not fear atheists as totalitarians seeking to eradicate opposing beliefs but may count on atheists as willing, moral, and congenial partners in building pluralist civil society on common and consistent practical principles.

Even after all that writing and hyperlinking, I would still know better than to claim that I was the greatest advocate of atheism that South Dakota has ever known. I might note that I don’t know of many other South Dakotans past or present who have spent much time publicly defending atheism, but I would invite my readers or listeners to offer examples of which I may be unaware. However, I would cite that seeming paucity of publicly activist atheists in South Dakota history not as a signal of my own awesomenimnity but rather as a reminder that folks like me who publicly profess our rejection of the prevailing cultural worldview are a minority facing an ongoing uphill battle for acceptance in South Dakota.

Declaring myself the single greatest defender of my worldview would be false, counterproductive, and embarrassing. The same is true of Donald Trump’s declaration yesterday that, “The fact is, no President has ever done what I have done for Evangelicals, or religion itself!” The claim at least false (start with Jefferson and Madison, protecting religion from the State with the First Amendment) and functionally self-contradictory (translation: I am the greatest defender of humility ever!!!) if not entirely undebatable for lack of definition and development. The Tweeter-in-Chief does bother with such rhetorical obligations; he lumbers on in self-intoxicated rage from exaggeration to insult, adding not one brick to public edification. Donald Trump’s statements are not instructive rhetoric; they are airhorn blasts fired by the quarterback in the middle of his own game.

If any debate can be salvaged from Trump’s airhorn blast, we can respond that Trump is actually doing more to harm evangelicals and religion and their moral place in our society than any other president.  The Christianity Today editorial that drew Trump’s absurd claim makes clear the harm that Trump and his excusers are doing to the ability of Christians everywhere in our country to look the world in the eye and make their moral argument:

Consider how your justification of Mr. Trump influences your witness to your Lord and Savior. Consider what an unbelieving world will say if you continue to brush off Mr. Trump’s immoral words and behavior in the cause of political expediency. If we don’t reverse course now, will anyone take anything we say about justice and righteousness with any seriousness for decades to come? Can we say with a straight face that abortion is a great evil that cannot be tolerated and, with the same straight face, say that the bent and broken character of our nation’s leader doesn’t really matter in the end?

We have reserved judgment on Mr. Trump for years now. Some have criticized us for our reserve. But when it comes to condemning the behavior of another, patient charity must come first. So we have done our best to give evangelical Trump supporters their due, to try to understand their point of view, to see the prudential nature of so many political decisions they have made regarding Mr. Trump. To use an old cliché, it’s time to call a spade a spade, to say that no matter how many hands we win in this political poker game, we are playing with a stacked deck of gross immorality and ethical incompetence. And just when we think it’s time to push all our chips to the center of the table, that’s when the whole game will come crashing down. It will crash down on the reputation of evangelical religion and on the world’s understanding of the gospel. And it will come crashing down on a nation of men and women whose welfare is also our concern [emphasis mine; Mark Galli, editor-in-chief, “Trump Should Be Removed from Office,” Christianity Today, 2019.12.19].

I would feel like an ass (and you would rightly brand me as one) if I claimed to be the greatest advocate of atheism in South Dakota history. Donald Trump’s claim to be the greatest Presidential proponent of religion deserves similar shame and ridicule. Those very words show what the editors of Christianity Today acknowledge: Trump’s reign and professing Christians’ submission to it are a pox on religion. Trump and his evangelical flackers make Christians look like hypocrites and make God look like fake news. Trump isn’t bringing people to Jesus; he may be driving them away.

We could logically conclude, as in so many cases, that the opposite of Trump’s statement is true: The fact is, no President has ever done what Donald Trump has done for atheism itself!


  1. marvin kammerer 2019-12-21 10:16

    well written cory! the walls are starting to collapse.

  2. Bob Newland 2019-12-21 10:29

    Having wrung about all the use and purpose out of the pseudonym, “Certain Inflatable Recreational Devices,” I shall now be known as the atheistic icon formerly known as “CIRD.”

    An icon? Surely, I jest.

    Haven’t I achieved iconist status for having swayed no one I know from supernaturalist fantastacism to skepticism? Well, maybe not.

    And now, the most objectionable human-like thing to come along this century has stolen what thunder and skepticism I could have banged out. The fact is, no President has ever done what Donald Trump has done for atheism itself!

    I already feel like an ass, and have rightly been branded as one.

  3. Porter Lansing 2019-12-21 11:50

    It’s often said, “The greatest advocate for atheism is religion itself.” However, the greatest human advocate for athiesm was probably Charles Lee Smith (1887–1964): an atheist activist in the United States and an editor of the Truth Seeker until his death. He also founded the American Association for the Advancement of Atheism. Smith was arrested twice in 1928 for selling atheist literature and for blasphemy. Since he refused to swear an oath to God on the Bible, he was not allowed to testify in his own defense.
    Cory. Did you swear on the Bible in Federal court?
    *The impeached Trump is now persona non grata to me and will rarely enter my mind or cross my lips. I had and have the same mindset for Nixon and Bill Clinton.

  4. Debbo 2019-12-21 15:25

    I recently read a PEW poll that showed that numbers of Americans participating in Christianity continues to drop. One of the leading reasons for that is church’s participation in politics.

    The churches known for participating in politics are, of course, right wing evangelical pseudo churches led by charlatans. Sadly, many of the members may believe themselves to be real Christians following the leadership of their charismatic fakirs at the top.

    The PEW report said that some are going to other churches, some are switching religions and some are becoming atheists.

    Faithless Fraud is very possibly the greatest enemy of Christianity to ever infest the WH.

  5. mike from iowa 2019-12-21 15:57

    Doesn’t matter what damage drumpf does or is doing to religion. He will lie and claim he is the greatest kristian of all. He won’t like jesus because he got caught and nailed to a cross (allegedly) so that makes him a loser in drumpf’s view.

  6. grudznick 2019-12-21 16:12

    Bob, I think you could beat the dead inflatable object thing up just a wee bit additional, flagellate it more extensively, however I’ll let the Conservatives with Common Sense know tomorrow that you intend to abandon that moniker and I am certain they will respect your wishes.

  7. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2019-12-21 17:57

    Porter, the court clerk presented no Bible to me at either trial this year. She just asked if I’d tell the truth, and said I would.

  8. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2019-12-21 17:59

    Debbo, the churches should have seen that coming. People are checking out of politics; if they see churches as an extension of politics, they’ll check out of those churches, too.

  9. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2019-12-21 18:03

    I don’t mind if people see their religious beliefs and their social action and political action as part of an integral whole. We can maintain proper legal and moral separations between certain spheres of our lives, but we should also act consistent with our worldviews at all times.

    The CT editorial cited above makes clear that Christians purporting to apply their religious beliefs to their political action must do so consistently to be taken seriously. That consistency requires disavowing and removing Donald Trump now.

  10. Hadassah Miller 2019-12-21 18:38

    I would that Trump be gone as well, problem is we would end up w/Pence, you think Trump is bad…As a Jew, I’ve taken great offense at so many of Trump’s remarks and those of the talking heads that support him; like Mark Levin. Calling Trump a Jewish President is most vile, I mean did he convert? I can’t speak for all of my fellow Jews, nor would I presume too but many of us Orthodox Jews DO NOT support Trump and we also don’t support Bernie and others. Trump has a nasty habit of lumping all folks into one pile of ….I would also like to see the removal of the Aseret ha-Dibrot (Ten Commandments for you non Hebrew speakers) from Courthouses and the like; for they are religious in nature and have no place in the public square. All sorts of people from all faiths are moral folks, without acknowledging that which us Jews consider sacred unto ourselves. For Christians to want to impose this on anyone but themselves is to infringe upon your right to worship G-d or not to worship G-d as you see fit. Separation of Church and State is so important for a free society. I would never presume to impose my beliefs on anyone…I just wish the many Christians who support Trump would extend the same courtesy. Beware the rise of Christian Nationalism…

  11. jerry 2019-12-21 20:36

    Pence is due for an impeachment inquiry as well. That slithering snake is a common threat to whatever is left of this republic. We are losing it fast kiddo’s, make no mistake. Here in “The Sunshine State”, we’re broke. Crystal will tell ya the same thing. No revenues, we got natta. Even Chubby told Crystal to take a hike when she asked for some pittance disaster money. Genuflecting to Chubby didn’t help her or us, a damn bit.

    Even the baby Jesus has left the building. Get off your knees and get to work!

  12. Mary D 2019-12-21 23:31

    The Evangelicals and Fundamentalists hung on to Trump so they could get control of the Supreme Court. Now that they have their anti-abortion judges in place they’ll have control for a couple generations and can now kick him to the curb. Trump might even get to name another judge if Ruth Gator Ginsburg health keeps failing.

  13. mike from iowa 2019-12-22 07:45

    Above any and everything else, drumpf will lie about it and himself. Never fails.

  14. Porter Lansing 2019-12-22 09:56

    Agreed … beware the rise of “evangelical” Christian nationalism!

  15. Robin Friday 2019-12-22 11:53

    Not the proper place for it, maybe, but

    Happy Winter Solstice, everybody!!

  16. John Kennedy Claussen, Sr., 2019-12-22 15:00

    Because of Trump, I started a Christianity Today subscription this week. That’s what he has done for my Christianity. ;-)

  17. Robin Friday 2019-12-22 15:01

    Today (Sunday) an American Jewish group, sorry I missed the name, demanded the removal of Stephen Miller from the White House. I’m with them. But I don’t believe he’s the only Nazi in the White House. And certainly not the only white supremacist.

  18. Robin Friday 2019-12-22 15:12

    Upon googling, I find that several groups including Jewish members of Congress have done the same for several months. And good on them.

  19. Robin Friday 2019-12-22 15:17

    Love it, Cory. Fully intend to steal it. But I’ll always give you credit.

  20. mike from iowa 2019-12-22 15:31

    Drumpfbots are pushing the narrative that Dems are the anti-semitic party. Seeing this quite regularly this week.

  21. Debbo 2019-12-22 17:46

    Happy Solstice to you too Robin, and everyone else!

    Yeah, Stephen Goebbels Miller is the worst, but not the only. He’s Rancid Racist’s brain when it comes to monstrous actions.

    No doubt there are a few anti-Semites amongst the Democratic Party. Anti-Semitism masked by rabid pro-Zionism is part of the unofficial GOP platform. The GOP and their evangelical counterparts must work together to make Israel take over most of Lebanon, chunks of Syria and Jordan and a little more here and there so Jesus can return. They think he’s going to “rapture” their deluded souls off the planet. Of course, Jesus/God is so weak and ineffectual HE can’t just do this whole thing without humans setting it all up for HIM. But don’t forget, HE’s all powerful.

    Excuse me, I have a headache. 🤕🙄

  22. grudznick 2019-12-22 17:51

    BAH to the solstice. It is but a natural occurrence, and these fake godly pissantisms just play into Mr. Trump’s brain. Mr. Trump thinks there is a god. All who agree with Mr. Trump about this fake god are as ignorant as he.

  23. Robin Friday 2019-12-22 18:46

    The return of the light is more than important, yes, natural, something to be revered to me, but not worshiped. I’m thinking of adopting the pseudonym “supernaturalist” from Cory’s comments. So don’t be surprised.

  24. Robin Friday 2019-12-22 18:53

    “It is but a natural occurrence”? And this is not the most powerful force in our world? Sorry, Does Not Compute.

  25. Robin Friday 2019-12-22 18:56

    And in reality, very little gets through to Mr. Trump’s brain. Not so much there with which to take in new information.

  26. leslie 2019-12-22 19:15

    His minders have been feeding trump big words lately. Does he do ANYTHING of the nation’s business as President, ever?

    Billy Graham’s son’s religious magazine called for dumping trump as the pathetic leader he is, if i got the story close.

    Immigrate hate is White House policy. “What Stephen Miller sent to me in those emails has become policy at the Trump administration,” McHugh told Hatewatch.

  27. Debbo 2019-12-22 20:17

    Yes Robin, to everything. 😊 Natural occurrences are the most powerful things on our planet– earthquakes, volcanoes, landslides, storms, tsunamis, etc.

    Natural phenomena are also the most beautiful– waterfalls, auroras, births of babies, sunsets, rainbows.

    There would be no life on this planet without natural phenomena.

    I have 2 Wiccan friends. They don’t worship the Solstice, but they believe it is an especially significant time, marking the return of light and hope. I think that’s a very good and encouraging way to think of it, very similar to the way northern Scandinavian Christians do.

  28. Robin Friday 2019-12-22 20:46

    Debbo, even when it’s bad to us, nature is awesome in its power. Up here in the Northland, as you know, we get anxious for the end of winter, even when it’s only just begun. But we also know that winter can be beautiful and necessary to the Earth, and a necessary part of nature, even if it’s hard on us humans. That’s why we have winter celebrations, and why the solstice is welcome. It means we’re heading in the right direction. All is well. Happy Holidays. :-)

  29. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2019-12-22 21:09

    We can only hope that Trump gets more people to read reasonable Christian writing as he has gotten JKC to do. Maybe Trump will get lots of evangelicals to revisit their right wing thinking and realize that Jesus had something very different in mind, something that would not lead them to bow down before a moral menace like Trump.

  30. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2019-12-22 21:29

    I dig the solstice. I enjoy contemplating the astronomy. I enjoyed going outside this weekend looking at the angle of the sun and the shadows and thinking this is what the land and sky look like in Antarctica right now.

    The problem with celebrating the solstice is that the holiday doesn’t neatly universalize. For the 10% or so of humanity who live south of the Equator, this solstice means the longest daylight, the highest sun, and the beginning of the long slide back to autumn and winter, the opposite of what it means for us. Christmas may be weird without snow, but it plays well at any latitude… and even around the Moon!

  31. Debbo 2019-12-22 23:10

    My cousin, an Army colonel, is stationed in Hawaii with her husband and 2 children. Their Xmas photos show them standing in the surf and sunshine. Sigh.

  32. mike from iowa 2019-12-23 07:58

    Mother Nature has that female prerogative to change her mind on a whim, but, much to the detriment of stoopid effing wingnuts, she does not like to be ridiculed or ignored.

  33. john 2019-12-23 08:54

    yawn… Merry CHRISTmas!!!

  34. Robin Friday 2019-12-23 08:54

    And while we’re celebrating winter holidays, those south of the equator are celebrating summer holidays, so it all works out. Actually, humanity has recognized and celebrated the seasons, otherwise known as nature, for many thousands of years, long before Christianity. That’s why the argument about Merry Christmas vs. Happy Holidays is phony.

  35. John 2019-12-23 11:48

    So if you’re big into celebrating seasons, wouldn’t you say season’s greetings? Just a thought.

  36. Debbo 2019-12-23 13:13

    John, you know that “X” is the Greek letter “chai,” the first letter of the word “Christ.” Hence, it’s been used as a common abbreviation for “Christ” since the time of Christ. Therefore, “Xmas” = “Christmas.”

    Season’s Greetings, John! ☃️☃️☃️

  37. John 2019-12-23 14:15

    Yes, I did actually, I just like to say Christmas, cuz I don’t know that many people who speak Greek, and I’m a big fan of baby Jesus. Merry Christmas and a happy new year, we may not always agree, but that’s what makes the world interesting.

  38. Robin Friday 2019-12-23 15:23

    People have celebrated the seasons for millenia. So you can say it however you want, unless you really want to say “go jump in the lake”. Yesterday was also the first day of Hannukah, so to say Season’s Greetings or Happy Holidays is inclusive, while to limit oneself and friends to Merry Christmas is exclusive. But if that’s what you want, who am I to critique? Whatever tops your tree. Smiles and good wishes and season’s greetings to you!

  39. Debbo 2019-12-23 16:59

    I verbally say the entire word. I write Xmas.

  40. Donald Pay 2019-12-23 17:21

    Funny how Christians get on these toots now and then. I don’t think Jesus would give a rats ass if you said Happy Holiday or Merry Christmas. He’d probably be taken aback that some people try to use that flimsy whine as a means to divide people. Since Jesus was a Jew and was about respecting everyone, he would probably appreciate you Christians being more inclusive.

    Why is it that Christians are so insecure about their faith? They always have to be whining and complaining, apparently. It’s as if Jesus said, “Blessed are they that whine and complain, for they shall forever be unhappy.”

    Back when I was a teenager the big complaint of the Christian whine brigade was that stores were putting out Christmas stuff before Thanksgiving. Back then they thought the Christmas season should be limited to the advent calendar. You know, I agree with that whine. There’s way to much Christmas for me. Thanksgiving hardly exists anymore. The Pilgrims would be pissed. They hated Christmas.

    Even before that, it was that Christmas was “too commercial.” The Christians thought presents and Santa had overcome, not Jesus. As a kid, I thought that was nuts. “Gimme more presents” was my thought. Now I sort of agree with the 1950s Christian whiners, more for environmental reasons, though. I hate presents. As my daughter says, “Stuff is the enemy.” But if you want to give me something, you can write out the check to Donald Pay. Thank you very much, and Happy Holidays.

  41. Gayle 2019-12-24 08:12

    I grew up in a Christian household. I actually enjoyed going to church and Sunday school. I’ve read the Bible cover to cover many times and often took comfort in Jesus’ words. So I get the Christian world. But what these rabid evangelicals are spewing is not even close to a Christ like platform. I don’t hear the words of Jesus; forgiveness, inclusion, feeding the poor, caring for the sick. Trump’s theocrats are unrecognizable to me. I’m an atheist now, but I always understood why people cling to their faith. When it’s pure and loving and comforting to them, I get it. But I have no idea what this hate spewing crowd is. The claim that trump is the third coming, is terrifying to me. It is a cult. And the fact that a cult is keeping a mad man in office, under the guise of Christianity, should cause us all to fear. VOTE!

  42. John 2019-12-24 10:09

    You’re a mean one, Mr. Grinch,
    You really are a heel
    You’re as cuddly as a cactus
    You’re as charming as an eel
    Mr. Griiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiinch!!!

  43. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2019-12-24 10:23

    John, weren’t you told it’s impolite to yawn in people’s faces…especially when they happily celebrating all sorts of nice things?

    If you dig Jesus, you should be deeply concerned that Trump’s hypocrisy, and the hypocrisy he has inspired among many professing Christians, is drowning out the real message of the Nazarene carpenter and teacher.

  44. John 2019-12-24 10:35

    Yes Cory, I am, and I really enjoy how all of you assume that, because I disagree with you, I think that Trump is great. You talk of how we should all be inclusive and accepting of other beliefs, but you and everyone on your little wall of vanity here jump all over everyone who doesn’t march to your drum. The people on here ooze hypocrisy with almost every other sentence they write. You are just as divisive, if not more, than the people you deride on a daily basis. I celebrate Christmas because I am a Christian and it is what I know. I enjoy the serenity, the forgiveness, the love, the charity, and the miracle of the Christmas season. I think that you do to some degree as well, but you have a lot of bitterness and anger in there too, and I hope and pray that that is alleviated to some degree this time of year. I look at this wall because I like to get a sense of differing opinions. That is why I look at cnn, fox, ap, and other various news outlets, but I now have the sense that no one actually reports unbiased, unsullied, actual news anymore. Trump’s claimed “Christianity” is not my Christianity and it never will be. Try the middle of the road once in a while, it’s easier to stay out of the ditch. Here endeth the lesson.

  45. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2019-12-24 10:48

    John, I didn’t assume that. I noted that you were drifting from the focus of the article and not calling Trump to task for his harmful hypocrisy.

    I am not “just as divisive”; that’s lazy what-aboutism that similarly avoids the salient fact that Trump told another lie and is actaully bad for the religion you say you hold dear. I am in the middle of the road, like the editorial board of Christianity Today, in acknowledging simple, indisputable facts about Donald Trump’s immoral and unconstitutional behavior.

    Let’s not fight. Why not join us in acknowledging that Donald Trump is bad for Christmas, for Christians, and for Christianity?

  46. mike from iowa 2019-12-24 11:02

    Christ did not and does not, to this day, exist except in fevered minds. And many books that contradict each other. Moar people’s lives have been surrendered in the name of someone that doesn’t exist than any cause you care to name.

  47. Porter Lansing 2019-12-24 11:18

    John needs some love, today. Christmas can be the loneliest week of the year.
    – People say a child is “acting out” when they exhibit unrestrained and improper actions. The behavior is usually caused by suppressed or denied feelings or emotions. Acting out reduces stress. It’s often a child’s attempt to show otherwise hidden emotions.
    We understand you, John. When using the collective term “you people”, it’s really a way for your subconscious to tell the world you feel like a victim. It’s you against “us people”, isn’t it? I won’t be trite and tell you everything will be ok. It probably won’t. But, Cory is here for a place to unload.

  48. Gayle 2019-12-24 11:45

    I take your point, Mike. Religion has played a sad and destructive role in our history. The Crusades, multiple wars all started because of some religious belief, these are a tiny slice of the damage that comes from strong beliefs in one direction or another. But just as I don’t want someone to tell me that I have no right to choose what is right for my body or my circumstances with regard to reproductive decisions, I don’t want to tell anyone what or who they can believe in. America is the dream that you can be who you want to be and do what you want to do (within the law), without fear. I just see the GOP as trying to control everything they disagree with. I wish they’d spend more time focusing on how to help everyone in the US to have a better life, not just the rich.

  49. jerry 2019-12-24 11:55

    Evangelicals are simply white racists. Pure evil. Actually, they have put false Gods before themselves, idols. Fake Christmas for fake Christians. Merry 25th of December to all.

    “Trump has simply revealed the large majority of white evangelical Christians for who they are: Not people motivated by sincere faith, but people who see “Christian” primarily as an identity marker that accompanies being white, a disdain for urban or metropolitan areas, and their self-identification as “conservative.” All of which is used to justify their belief they and members of their tribe are the only legitimate Americans, and deserve to hold and wield a vastly disproportionate share of political power.”

    I could not agree more. The more you hear them shriek of being a “Christian” the more you know what they really mean, white power, racism and hate. The irony of which is far from the teachings of Jesus Christ. When they put Chubby on a pedestal, that should tell you of the falseness of what they stand for and the dangers they are to this country. Shame on them.

  50. mike from iowa 2019-12-24 11:56

    Thanks, Gayle. I don’t want to tell anyone what to believe, but , seriously, these tools in the wingnut party claim to be kristians and they aren’t. Not even close and yet, evangelicals give a wink and nod and excuse their behavior because wingnuts are forcing religious views into our government.

    I missed the part of the bible where jesus abandoned his principles to get in bed with Satan. But, then, I don’t claim tobe a religious scholar let alone anyone seriously interested in kristian hypocrisy.

  51. Gayle 2019-12-24 13:18

    Thanks Mike. When you’re right, you’re right. That is very hard to argue with. Does anyone have a solution to this? How do we get back to separation of church and state?

  52. Debbo 2019-12-24 14:35

    Gayle, I don’t have all the answers, but…… I’ll give it a shot.

    Begin with fully funding the IRS and empowering it to investigate various “Christian” and other nonprofit 501(c)3 orgs to ensure that they’re actually fully observant of applicable tax laws. If not, jerk that tax exemption ASAP.

    Follow that up with a Democratic Congress and WH along with an impartial judicial to write, pass and enforce laws that support the separation.

    Every religion, including Christianity, will be better for it, as will nonbelievers.

  53. jerry 2019-12-24 18:27

    On the evening of the celebration of Jesus Christ’s birth, It’s easy to see the parallels between King Herod the Great, client Roman king of Judea and Chubby trumpy. client Russian king from Putin. Both are not only willing to snatch the refugee babies from the arms of their mothers, that has already been proven. Through those actions, it’s not a difficult stretch to also see that they both were and are, waging a war on Christianity itself.

    Now pass the eggnog and the fruitcake, while we get ready for some ball games.

  54. Debbo 2019-12-24 18:35

    A 3rd shoe drops.

    A Baptist publication says the Christian Church needs to make 7 apologies. (Mostly excludes the Mainlines, as they’ve already done so.)

  55. Robin Friday 2019-12-24 19:17

    Find myself agreeing with Jerry, re ultra-Christians and their motivations. Seems to me their “faith” is secondary to their political me-and-mine-first political feelings. Evangelical “faith” is just a place for selfishness, self-gratification and nose-in-the-air white supremacy to hide. Sorry about that this evening, but that’s the truth as I’m seeing it.

  56. Debbo 2019-12-24 19:23

    Shoe #4. CT opines on response to the first editorial. Doesn’t back down.

  57. Robin Friday 2019-12-24 19:23

    And as Edith Ann used to say “and that’s the truth. . .thwiiiiit” (No, really, I’m ok, just catching up.) Happy Holidays!

  58. Debbo 2019-12-24 20:29

    And to you too, Robin. 😊

  59. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2019-12-25 06:48

    Mike, you know I agree with you on the contention that there was no Divine Christ, no God incarnate who descended by virgin birth from a supernatural realm to save us by sacrifice from our sin.

    However, I do accept the historical Jesus, a carpenter, teacher, and, most importantly, troublemaker from Nazareth. Jesus challenged power. Jesus upset empire. For the most part, I dig this underdog radical (I still oppose his surrender to the authorities and the death penalty. He had a team, he had followers; he could have gotten out of town, done more teaching, and sustained a Jewish resistance by other means. Going to the cross, like drinking the hemlock, is not the right choice when there are practical options).

    Jesus would have been disgusted with Trump. His first followers would have resisted Trump, as the CT editors are doing. Jesus’s movement was antithetical to everything Donald Trump represents—irresponsible wealth, power, narcissism. Jerry rightly likens Trump to Herod, to empire.

  60. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2019-12-25 06:55

    Gayle, if you want to get back to separation of church and state, elect me Governor. I’ll give you four years of no prayers from the Governor’s office, no public invocations of God’s will to justify policy decisions, no pastors getting to proselytize at the beginning of any meeting I chair, and explicit mentions of the fact that I find the prayers at the beginning of public meetings to be uninclusive and unconstitutional. I will gladly work with church leaders and supernaturalists to address public policy problems, and I won’t unnecessarily attack any religious organization, but I will make clear that religion is not to excuse bad behavior (Pringle Mormon separatists and polygamists?) or serve as a sole justification for public policy (discrimination against LGBTQ parents in adoption). I will make no secret of my pure naturalism and disagreement with the majority religion… and I will offer the public a four-year example of the fact that an elected leader need not believe in the supernatural to govern morally.

    I will also serve as a better role model for Christian children and for all children than Donald Trump. When pressed, I will talk about Christian doctrine and tell perverters of the faith what their Scripture actually calls on them to do in the public realm.

  61. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2019-12-25 07:02

    Debbo, I could in full honesty speak every word from that Baptist essay, especially the final point about being to put one’s religious faith in politics. We need Christians to stop fighting propped-up and imaginary enemies without (socialists, gays, Antifa, radical Islam, vaccines, liberal higher education…) and engage in the self-examination and self-critique that Jesus and Socrates demanded (hmmm… should I spend my Christmas reading up on and developing the Socrates/Jesus parallels?). Christians need to, as your Baptist author says, drop their absolute certainty and get back to the divine mystery of Scripture.

  62. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2019-12-25 07:12

    Hmm.. maybe there’s a contradiction—or at least a remarkable irony—in my suggestion to Gayle that the way we reëstablish the separation of church and state is to elect an atheist like me to lead the state. I would use my secular pulpit in part to exhort the professing Christian followers of Trump, Falwell, Noem, et al. to abandon their theocratic impulses and adopt a Christian worldview more in line with Jesus’s actual teachings. Could an atheist leader of a secular state actually help supernaturalists become better Christians?

    I say yes. As your next Governor, I will do more good for religion than Donald Trump ever has, and I will work to undo the damage Trump has done in order to make Christianity and other religions healthier and safer from the corruption of mingling with the state.

  63. Gayle 2019-12-25 09:08

    If you run for Governor Cory, you have my vote. I’d love for this state to be governed by someone interested in helping the people to have a better life. Unfortunately, Grifty Kristi has a lot of time left. She and her family can grift a lot of money from the state yet. I’m sure she’ll hire more of her relatives in the next few years and pay them well for their lack of qualifications.

  64. bearcreekbat 2019-12-25 09:39

    mfi, Krugman’s article really provides food for thought. It identifies the first factually defensible rationalization I have read for why people support and advocate for policies that cage children, tear babies and infants from their mothers, prosecute and jail young people who use marijuana, deny sick people access to CBD, deny women medical help if they need to terminate a pregnancy, as well as the policies that Krugman mentioned.

    If people supporting such policies would simply defend that support by admitting they take joy in hurting others, it would be essentially impossible to challenge them factually on two critical points: (1) the policies in fact hurt other people, and (2) the people supporting these policies desire to hurt other people. Discussion over.

    Thanks mfi for this link to Krugman’s provocative, sad and apparently accurate piece.

  65. Debbo 2019-12-25 14:38

    “Could an atheist leader of a secular state actually help supernaturalists become better Christians?”

    “Christians” who complain about taxes going to aid folks in need say that Jesus never said we should be taxed for that purpose. However, they will say that taxes should go to the private religious school of their choice. I have yet to find where Jesus advocated that. In fact, Jesus placed the burden of teaching the faith on families. Martin Luther and John Calvin said the same. Not governments, not politicians, not political parties. Families. Families pooling their resources to hire teachers and rent or buy facilities seems to fit the bill. Taking the tax $ of the unwilling has no place. Proselytizing the unwilling in government settings is anti-Christian.

    You can look it up.

    “Could an atheist leader of a secular state actually help supernaturalists become better Christians?”

    Absolutely yes! So could a faithful Mainline Christian. In fact, it’s the latter that has created the traditional US separation as described in the Constitution. It the the Mainline churches upholding the Establishment Clause today.

    The thing is, either a nonbeliever or Mainliner will require a vocally supportive populace for ongoing support. I believe current Americans have learned a very valuable lesson about complacency that will serve us well for the next 40-50 years.

    (I think the current teens, 20s, 30s generation will earn a new nickname as the generation that saved the USA from despotic failure. Greatest Generation II?)

  66. Debbo 2019-12-25 14:38

    Mike, great link. Krugman is one of my heroes.

  67. Debbo 2019-12-25 14:39

    MERRY CHRISTMAS! ya filthy animals.

  68. Debbo 2019-12-30 14:16

    So I clicked on Mike’s link and who’s photo do I see? Nope, not Despicable Dotard. Minnesota’s own loony, Michelle Bachmann! 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

    It’s a good article and the info is not surprising. Overall conservatives aren’t nimble thinkers, but are fearful thinkers, which is why they are conservative.

  69. Debbo 2020-01-07 15:03

    Economic Oaf’s plan for tariffs has been just as effective as his efforts on behalf of religion. From Axios AM by Mike Allen:

    A new report from the National Bureau of Economic Research says the cost of President Trump’s trade war has been paid almost entirely by American businesses and consumers, not China. Experts and economists from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Columbia University and Princeton said analysis of tax levies found “approximately 100 percent” of import taxes fell on Americans, despite the president’s assertion the country was “taxing the hell out of China.” Some of the implemented tariffs on Chinese goods are as high as 25 percent. [New York Times]

  70. Debbo 2020-01-07 15:08

    From the same source:

    New research confirms what economists have said for years: State and local economic incentives for megacompanies are a waste of money, Axios Markets editor Dion Rabouin reports.

    A new paper from researchers at Princeton and Columbia found “no evidence” that state-and-local tax incentives to individual companies increased economic growth.
    The study found that a quarter of all business tax incentives go to a very small group — less than .01% of firms that opened new locations in 2014.

    It estimates that state and local governments spend at least $30 billion a year on business tax incentives.

  71. Debbo 2020-01-10 14:20

    There is another crack appearing in the deformed Evangelical Christian monolith and I am very glad.

    It’s called the Lincoln Project. It’s headed by genuine political conservatives who recognize that Lying Lunatic is neither conservative nor Christian. They’re running ads aimed at delusional evangelicals.

  72. Debbo 2020-01-10 14:29

    Mikes Pompeo and Pence are big fans of Christian Zionism and strongly pushed Cadet Bone Spurs to kill Soleimani. They believe the whole armageddon lie promoted by John Hagee, founder of Christians United for Israel. They’d like to see the Middle East go up in flames to satisfy Hagee’s bogus claims about Jesus’ 2nd coming.

  73. jerry 2020-01-10 16:09

    Russia occupies Crimea to separate Crimea and Ukraine so then sanctions were put on Russia by the United States and others. The United States occupies Iraq and is told to leave and we, like Russia, say no. Who puts sanctions on us? Why are we different than any other rogue nation that occupies a country that no longer wants us.

    Chubby said that he was gonna take us out of Iraq and Afghanistan because he never supported W’s goal. Of course a boot in your arse kicking you out the door, is probably not exactly the way they intended, but he claimed that was what he was gonna do. Bring the troops home and let’s use that money for domestic programs here, like passable county roads and bridges that are not falling apart.

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