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How the Bible Belt lost God and found Trump

By BayAreaObserver   Apr 18, 3:08pm   61 links   3,615 views   33 comments   watch (1)   quote      

He’s a divorced adulterer who ran a gambling empire, so how did America’s Moral Majority get so evangelical about Donald Trump?

I went down to Alabama a few weeks ago and had a religious experience. A man of God welcomed me into his home, poured us both cups of English tea and talked about what has been happening to Jesus Christ in the land of Donald Trump.

My host was Wayne Flynt, an Alabaman who has made the people of the southern US his life’s work. A 76-year-old emeritus professor of history at Auburn University, he has written empathetically about his region in books such as Poor But Proud. A Baptist minister, he still teaches Sunday school at his church and delivered the eulogy at last year’s funeral of his friend Harper Lee, author of To Kill a Mockingbird.

I took my place in the book-lined study of Flynt’s redwood house in Auburn, Alabama, to hear his thoughts on the local economy, but the conversation turned to a central mystery of US politics. Trump would not be president without the strong support of the folks Flynt has chronicled — white residents of the Bible Belt, raised in the do-it-yourself religious traditions that distinguish the US from Europe. I wondered how a thrice-married former casino owner — who had been recorded bragging about grabbing women by the genitals — had won over the faithful.

Flynt’s answer is that his people are changing. The words of Jesus, as recorded in the Gospels, are less central to their thinking and behaviour, he says. Church is less compelling. Marriage is less important. Reading from a severely abridged Bible, their political concerns have narrowed down to abortion and issues involving homosexuality. Their faith, he says, has been put in a president who embodies an unholy trinity of materialism, hedonism and narcissism. Trump’s victory, in this sense, is less an expression of the old-time religion than evidence of a move away from it.

“The 2016 election laid out graphically what is in essence the loss of Christian America,” Flynt says, delivering his verdict with a calm assurance that reminded me of Lee’s hero, Atticus Finch, as played by Gregory Peck in the 1962 film of her novel.

“Arguably, what has constituted white evangelical Christian morality for 200 years no longer matters, which is to say we’re now a lot like Germany, a lot like France, a lot like England, a lot like the Netherlands, and what we have is a sort of late-stage Christian afterglow.”

The irony is that evangelicals turned to politics to prevent that very outcome. Fearing that so-called secular humanists would impose a moral order of their own through government action, born-again Christians began flocking to the polls in the late 1970s. Their impact was undeniable. They were the shock troops of the Reagan Revolution of 1980. They rescued Trump last year after many political analysts had counted him out, reckoning that the changing demographics of the US had made a white conservative like him unelectable.

When the Christian right burst to prominence, its calls to defend the unborn were a rallying cry. But unyielding opposition to abortion was not a traditional evangelical position. In 1971 — two years before the Roe v Wade Supreme Court decision legalising abortion — the evangelical Southern Baptist Convention, the largest US Protestant denomination, endorsed abortion in cases of rape, incest, “severe” foetal deformity or where there was “the likelihood of damage to the emotional, mental and physical health of the mother”. As recently as 1976, it said it believed government should play a “limited role” on abortion matters.

Abortion only became a leading concern of the religious right when the late firebrand Jerry Falwell and other leaders of the Moral Majority seized upon the issue towards the end of the 1970s. In the decades that followed it became a sure-fire way to mobilise conservatives unmoored by a variety of political and social changes that followed from the 1960s — ranging from federal efforts to take away tax breaks from racially segregated Christian schools to movements promoting the rights of women and homosexuals. (“God made Adam and Eve,” Falwell liked to say, “not Adam and Steve.”)

By any measure, Trump was an odd vessel for evangelical hopes. He had described himself in the past as pro-choice. When he was growing up, his parents took him to church in New York, but it was one presided over by Norman Vincent Peale, a non-traditional pastor who wrote the 1952 bestseller, The Power of Positive Thinking. Before he married any of his three wives, all of whom are still alive, Trump spent the early years of the culture wars taking in the scene at the Studio 54 disco in Manhattan, where he told a biographer he once watched seven “well-known supermodels getting screwed on a bench in the middle of the room”.

Trump also had a long history — before business reversals prompted his exit — in casino gambling, an industry that evangelicals ostensibly abhor. As recently as 2014, the Southern Baptists condemned government-sponsored casinos and lotteries, saying they “promote and perpetuate the mentality of getting something for nothing, which is contrary to scripture and replaces biblical teachings of working for a living”.

Trump’s efforts to reach evangelicals during the campaign were marred by technical difficulties. After an appearance at Liberty University in Virginia, which was founded by Falwell, Trump was lampooned for quoting from a section of the Bible he called “Two Corinthians”, rather than “Second Corinthians”, as would customarily be done. Ultimately, Liberty University split over Trump. Its current president, Jerry Falwell Jr, endorsed his candidacy. But Mark DeMoss, a member of the university’s board of trustees and a former chief of staff for the elder Falwell, objected and resigned as a trustee. In a Washington Post interview last year, DeMoss described Trump’s rhetoric as antithetical to Christian values.

“Donald Trump is the only candidate who has dealt almost exclusively in the politics of personal insult,” DeMoss said. “The bullying tactics of personal insult have no defence — and certainly not for anyone who claims to be a follower of Christ. That’s what’s disturbing to so many people. It’s not [the] Christ-like behaviour that Liberty has spent 40 years promoting with its students.”

Nonetheless, Trump was backed by 81 per cent of white voters who identified themselves as evangelical Christians, more than recent Republican candidates such as Mitt Romney and John McCain, according to the Pew Research Center, and more even than George W Bush, whose strategist Karl Rove made wooing them a priority of the campaign. Analysts say Trump made evangelicals an offer that they could not refuse. Unlike his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton — who was both disliked by conservatives and uncompromising in her support of a woman’s right to choose — Trump pledged to appoint an anti-abortion justice to fill the vacancy on a Supreme Court that was split between conservatives and liberals.

The white evangelical flight to Trump has caused “deep heartbreak” for “evangelicals of colour” who see him as a bigot, says Jim Wallis, a progressive evangelical leader in Washington. “It’s the most painful divide I have seen in the churches since the beginning of the civil rights movement.”

But white evangelicals appear to be getting what they wanted from their man in the White House. President Trump quickly filled the Supreme Court vacancy created by the death of conservative Antonin Scalia with Neil Gorsuch, a jurist revered on the religious right who was confirmed by the Senate this month. Even as Trump’s approval ratings were falling below 50 per cent in national surveys, 74 per cent of white evangelical Protestants viewed him favourably in a poll conducted in mid-February by a PRRI, a non-partisan group that specialises on research on religious matters.

One such admirer is David Jeremiah, a Southern Baptist pastor in El Cajon, California, who hosts a 30-minute radio programme, called Turning Point, heard on 2,200 stations around the world. “It’s still all about the Supreme Court,” he wrote recently. “President Trump told the American people that he would nominate a Supreme Court justice in the mould of Scalia. In Judge Gorsuch, a strict originalist, he has succeeded marvellously and honoured his promise to evangelicals.”

But that’s not the way things look at the house on a hill in Auburn, Alabama, where Wayne Flynt lives with his wife of 55 years, Dorothy. As evangelical Christianity has grown more successful in the political realm, Flynt fears that it has been reduced to a sum of its slogans. Lost in the transition, he says, is the traditional evangelical standard for sizing up candidates — “personal moral character”, which includes such criteria as marital fidelity, church attendance and kindness.

“No one I know of would argue that Donald Trump inculcates moral character,” Flynt says. “What has happened to American Christianity is there is this afterglow of what a candidate is supposed to represent. It’s no longer moral character. It’s policy positions on things that bother evangelicals.”

Flynt says evangelical Christians are mainly mobilising against the sins they either do not want to commit (homosexual acts) or cannot commit (undergoing an abortion, in the case of men). They turn a blind eye toward temptations such as adultery and divorce that interest them. In 2010, the Southern Baptist Convention passed a resolution calling the rising incidence of divorce among its members a “scandal”. A Pew Research Center study in 2015 found that evangelical Protestants in the US were more likely to be divorced or separated than Catholics, Jews, Muslims or atheists.

“Jesus says four times in four different places: do not divorce,” Flynt says. “Does divorce bother evangelicals? No, absolutely not. Does adultery bother evangelicals? No, not really, because if so they wouldn’t have voted for Donald Trump. So what bothers them? Abortion and same-sex marriage. Beyond that, there’s no longer an agenda.”

Flynt, who left the Southern Baptist Convention in 1979 to protest its turn to the right, notes ruefully that his former denomination has lost members for nine years in a row.

Into this religious void, he believes, stepped Trump, an unabashed materialist and hedonist — “What is right to Donald Trump is what gives him pleasure,” Flynt says — who thinks that he alone can make America great again.

“To be sure, every politician has some element of narcissism, but he has perfected narcissism, he has made it the supreme element of his life, and not only that, evangelicals have responded in an almost messianic way that he is the saviour, which makes him feel really good because he does believe he is the saviour,” Flynt says. “It is kind of curious evangelicals would not be offended by this. I am as an American Christian. I’m offended because I already thought following Jesus was going to make us great again.”

I did not have much to offer in response because I am not a Christian, or a religious person in a formal sense. My paternal grandfather used to call my father a “cardiac Jew”, meaning he felt the religion in his heart, but did not follow its rules, and the same could be said of me. If we do need help to become great again, I’m not sure who, or what, is going to get it done.

But I do know that it felt good to spend some time with Flynt. For all his talk about the loss of Christian America, I came away from our conversation with the faith that I had found at least a little piece of it in the Flynt home in eastern Alabama.

Even the design of the room where we met left me with that impression. When Flynt and his wife decided to add a study to their house a few years ago, he wanted as much space as possible for his books. But Dorothy dreamt of a spot where she could look at her wild flower garden in the backyard. A compromise was reached, and a floor-to-ceiling window now bisects the shelves.

While Mr Flynt spoke, I sat in Mrs Flynt’s seat, in the sun.

http://currenteventsii.yuku.com/topic/25209/How-the-Bible-Belt-lost-God-and-found-Trump#.WPaMYcLD_mI

Also at Financial Times for Subscribers. https://www.ft.com/

Note: Shorter Versions at various web sites as well.

#Trump #Evangelicals #Politics

Comments 1-33 of 33     Last »

1   Tenpoundbass   Apr 18, 3:24pm     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

Forest didja find Jesus?

2   errc   Apr 18, 3:38pm     ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike   quote    

May the best Snake Oil salesman win

3   Dan8267   Apr 18, 4:27pm     ↑ like   ↓ dislike (1)   quote    

BayAreaObserver says

Flynt’s answer is that his people are changing. The words of Jesus, as recorded in the Gospels, are less central to their thinking and behaviour, he says.

That's a sack of bullshit. Christians have always been hypocrites when it comes to morality. You have to pay lip service to family values and being "moral", but how many republican politicians have committed adultery and not lost a bit of support from evangelicals? Pretty much all of them.

4   TwoScoopsMcGee   Apr 18, 5:34pm     ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike   quote    

Now, how about some self-reflection on the Democratic Party?

5   someone else   Apr 18, 5:50pm     ↑ like (7)   ↓ dislike   quote    

The Democrats need to keep on losing over and over before they will deign to consider that it may well be their own attitude that is costing them elections.

6   Dan8267   Apr 18, 5:53pm     ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote    

Patrick says

The Democrats need to keep on losing over and over before they will deign to consider that it may well be their own attitude that is costing them elections.

That won't change the Democratic insiders. The public needs to start directing your protests at the DNC and kick out the old guard. That's the path to reform.

7   Fucking White Male   Apr 18, 7:41pm     ↑ like   ↓ dislike (1)   quote    

I just wanna go on record as saying OP is seriously abusing freedom of speech.

8   TwoScoopsMcGee   Apr 18, 7:46pm     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

Lashkar_i_Trumpi says

The Democrats need to keep on losing over and over before they will deign to consider that it may well be their own attitude that is costing them elections.

Dan8267 says

That won't change the Democratic insiders. The public needs to start directing your protests at the DNC and kick out the old guard. That's the path to reform.

The problem is that the DNC's view of the country is made from a Bread Line - Panera's.

9   TwoScoopsMcGee   Apr 18, 7:48pm     ↑ like (4)   ↓ dislike   quote    

There are 193 Democrats. 105 means more than half of all Dems are opposed to Medicare for all.

10   jazz_music   Apr 20, 12:18am     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

Sleepers awaken!

A new Gallup poll out this morning, however, strongly suggests that an increasing number of Americans just don’t believe Trump’s spin about his presidency anymore. It finds that only 45 percent of Americans think Trump keeps his promises, down from 62 percent in February, an astonishing slide of 17 points:

It doesn't matter much but it should smooth his removal from the presidency for any of several charges.

11   YesYNot   Apr 20, 4:12am     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

The congregation looked around and saw the masses of money grubbing divorcees with drug addled children and said, 'we have seen the enemy, and he is us.' Then, they hopped off their high horse and had a second helping of pulled pork, mac&cheese, and red velvet cake. The only ones left to yell at to make themselves feel better are the homosexuals and fetus murderers. Soon, the 37 sexual identities issue will work it's way through the sermons until it seeps through the floorboards. Some still rail on the Jews and Muslims, and Islam is a fertile territory these days.

12   bob2356   Apr 20, 6:16am     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

How did the resident right wingnut/trumptards manage to turn an article on trump and evangelists into a discussion of democrats? Amazing.

13   Tenpoundbass   Apr 20, 6:27am     ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike   quote    

Liberals talking about Religion is like Rednecks talking about Chris Brown's latest fresh track.

14   marcus   Apr 20, 6:31am     ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike   quote    

BayAreaObserver says

How the Bible Belt lost God and found Trump  

Hate. Which is ironic.

Also gullibility to right wing media, i.e., Bietbart, Alex Jones, Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, talk radio etc.

15   jazz_music   Apr 20, 8:27am     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

bob2356 says

/trumptards manage to turn an article on trump and evangelists into a discussion of democrats?

They traffic in non-sequiturs after their bully teachers load them full of insult tactics in lieu of rationality.

Either you high-five the winning formula or you are member of the losers to be punished and ridiculed.

It's all about winning, and winning formulas, not provoking thought on a subject.

The only thought is that you are urged to feel is shame for NOT giving the socially prescribed response signifying that you are a member of the team of winners.

Our downward spiral is mandated by the ruthless, always pushing against legality, search for shareholder value in a country of hurt, insecurity and fear that has the biggest advertising budget in the history of the human race that ever sold poison to the masses.

Our doom is kind of as simple as that.

And conquering illegality, i. e. regulation, is the bailiwick of the thousands of lobbyists who offer career growth to representatives who NEARLY ALL find their temptations irresistible.

USA is now forty years downstream in a social death spiral to transfer ALL CAPITAL to the remaining 25-50 families who descended from the original railroad, oil, AND MEDIA tycoons, and investors in slavery such as cotton, mining, tobacco, and the Nazi camps. Each of those families has so much money they can afford to own aircraft carriers full of lawyers and live in locations that nobody can find.

16   HEY YOU   Apr 20, 8:53am     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

Lashkar_i_Trumpi says

There are 193 Democrats. 105 means more than half of all Dems are opposed to Medicare for all.

STUPID FUCKING DEMOCRATIC VOTERS!
REPEAL & REPLACE!
Force the lefties to take responsibility,PAY CASH or DIE!

17   jazz_music   Apr 20, 8:59am     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

Tenpoundbass says

Liberals talking about Religion is like Rednecks talking about Chris Brown's latest fresh track.

Liberalism is the only way for people to prevail over the ruling class. The basics were well-articulated by John Locke a couple hundred years ago.

You get many team kudos for creating yet another stinking straw man to shame those who see that basic fact.

18   jazz_music   Apr 20, 9:01am     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

@Tenpoundbass be honest: how much right wing media do you consume in a typical day?

19   Dan8267   Apr 20, 9:22am     ↑ like   ↓ dislike (1)   quote    

jazz music says

Sleepers awaken!

Muad'Dib

20   BayAreaObserver   Apr 21, 1:33am     ↑ like (3)   ↓ dislike   quote    

Known as ‘Mr. Conservative,’ Barry Goldwater embodied conservative values throughout his service as a Senator from Arizona, but he would oppose much of what conservatives have been doing today. Present day conservatives take many of their marching orders from the Christian right, also known as social conservatives, but Barry Goldwater resoundingly rejected them as extremists who disgrace the word ‘conservatism.’ Like present day conservatives, Goldwater supported the free market, but as much as he supported business, he rejected those who pollute the environment. Many conservatives today claim Barry Goldwater as one of their own, so it may surprise them to know that he rejected many of their present day core values.

Barry Goldwater rose to prominence as a man of deep conservative convictions. Liberals called him an extremist (which he was in his time) and his often colorful and controversial rhetoric cost him the Presidency in 1964. But Goldwater, as controversial as he was back then, also had the guts to call out his own party. For example, ‘Mr. Conservative’ rejected the Christian right-wing element of the party. As a firm believer in personal liberty, he saw their views as a violation of personal privacy and individual liberties. In fact, he believed in this creed so much that he voted to uphold legalized abortion and supported gay rights. He also rejected the use of God in political discourse and refused to vote in Congress the way the religious right wanted him to. Here is a portion of what Goldwater had to say about the religious right.

On religious issues there can be little or no compromise. There is no position on which people are so immovable as their religious beliefs. There is no more powerful ally one can claim in a debate than Jesus Christ, or God, or Allah, or whatever one calls this supreme being. But like any powerful weapon, the use of God’s name on one’s behalf should be used sparingly. The religious factions that are growing throughout our land are not using their religious clout with wisdom. They are trying to force government leaders into following their position 100 percent. If you disagree with these religious groups on a particular moral issue, they complain, they threaten you with a loss of money or votes or both.

I’m frankly sick and tired of the political preachers across this country telling me as a citizen that if I want to be a moral person, I must believe in “A,” “B,” “C” and “D.” Just who do they think they are? And from where do they presume to claim the right to dictate their moral beliefs to me?

And I am even more angry as a legislator who must endure the threats of every religious group who thinks it has some God-granted right to control my vote on every roll call in the Senate. I am warning them today: I will fight them every step of the way if they try to dictate their moral convictions to all Americans in the name of “conservatism.”

~Barry Goldwater

Much More: http://www.addictinginfo.org/2012/05/13/barry-goldwaters-war-against-the-religious-right/

21   jazz_music   Apr 21, 12:46pm     ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike   quote    

@Tenpoundbass be honest: how much right wing media do you consume in a typical day before you load it up with your bullshit, because it's not fucked up enough yet, and post it here ALL FUCKING DAY LONG EVERY DAY?

22   BayAreaObserver   Apr 21, 12:55pm     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

"how much right wing media do you consume in a typical day" How much is really enough ? Might the answer be...

**Once a day, everyday, all day long ! Now featuring alternate news and facts from the Gateway Pundit...

** Look up the song on YouTube, my ears couldn't deal with the twangy voices and steel guitar to post a link here

23   someone else   Apr 21, 12:58pm     ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike   quote    

If the mainstream media were not so ridiculously partisan, pushing leftist ideas all day every day, no one would read the right-wing sites.

The mainstream media has only itself to blame.

I've taken to ticking off a checklist every time I listen to NPR for articles praising:

* hispanics
* blacks
* women
* gays or transgenders
* Muslims

I get to at least 3 every hour, usually 4 or all 5. The identity politics agenda is 24/7 with them. It divides us so that we do not even think to resist the real powers controlling everything, ie Wall Street and the 0.01%.

24   jazz_music   Apr 21, 1:02pm     ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike   quote    

BayAreaObserver says

Might the answer be...

You referenced country singer Connie Smith's first song, August 1964

25   BayAreaObserver   Apr 21, 1:07pm     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

What has been the GOP agenda/party platform for the last few elections? Gays, Abortions, Guns and Minorities but primarily the first two, oh and Traditional Family Values but only prescribed not as practiced by those clutching the flag and bible to their bosoms.

The right is equally as partisan

Carlin was the only honest one of the bunch and called it years ago but he's dead now. I would love to hear his thoughts on the current state of things especially El Conquistadoro de Mar a Lago.

26   Tenpoundbass   Apr 21, 1:08pm     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

jazz music says

@Tenpoundbass be honest: how much right wing media do you consume in a typical day?

I'm feeding them Baby!
BahLeeb Meh!
I feed them Bigly!

27   Tenpoundbass   Apr 21, 1:11pm     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

You guys know your self, I catch shit before anyone says anything. But Fox news will be screaming about it by the next day.
I'm sure part of Trump's campaign game plan strategy came from him watching how I masterfully slay fools here and elsewhere on the internet.
During the campaign if you wanted to get a message to Trump. All you had to do was be the first post on Breitbart Disqus comment.

I get my rage from listening to NPR, now you can believe that or not.

28   Tenpoundbass   Apr 21, 1:13pm     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

Who do you think Trump calls late at night after Preibus and Bannon go home?

29   BayAreaObserver   Apr 21, 1:14pm     ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike   quote    

I get my rage from listening to NPR, now you can believe that or not.

I thought it was from flying coach, not being able to go to Panera Bread, living in Florida and not having gotten as far as you wanted to in life because the man kept you down. Oh and last but not least - Obama, the Clintons and Benghazi

30   Tenpoundbass   Apr 21, 1:19pm     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

There's to many Panera bread shopping centers next to too many goddamned gated communities, in too many good school districts.
Get your facts straight.

31   BayArea   Apr 22, 4:56am     ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike   quote    

Patrick says

It divides us so that we do not even think to resist the real powers controlling everything, ie Wall Street and the 0.01%.

Spot on

32   CA   Jun 10, 3:19am     ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike   quote    

I am sorry that our government is so dysfunctional. Is it a reflection of our own lives.??

33   BayAreaObserver   Jul 17, 7:13am     ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike   quote    

Potus is rewarding the Faithful of the base with a little lagniappe...

Sessions says Trump has directed him to issue guidance on religious liberty protections. President Trump has directed Attorney General Jeff Sessions

to issue new guidance to government agencies for interpreting federal religious liberty protections.

The attorney general revealed the directive on Tuesday in a speech to the conservative Christian legal group Alliance Defending Freedom. The Federalist on Thursday released Sessions' prepared remarks from the event, which members of the press were barred from attending.

"The president has also directed me to issue guidance on how to apply federal religious liberty protections," Sessions said. "The department is finalizing this guidance, and I will soon issue it."

The fact that Sessions has been directed to issue such guidance fulfills a key provision of Trump's May 4 executive order granting religious organizations and churches greater leeway in their political activities, such as endorsing candidates.

It also offers "regulatory relief" to religious groups that object to the Affordable Care Act's provision mandating that employers offer certain health services to their employees, such as access to contraceptives.

That executive order calls for the attorney general to "issue guidance interpreting religious liberty protections in Federal law."

More: http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/341950-sessions-says-trump-has-directed-him-to-issue-guidance-on-religious

On a related matter - In debate over political speech, pastors say they fear the IRS ‘pulpit police
As Washington struggles to come up with a new health care insurance system, Jim Garlow believes he has a solution, but he worries about sharing it publicly — simply because he is a pastor.

Garlow, lead pastor of Skyline Church in La Mesa, Calif., blames a provision in the federal tax code known as the Johnson Amendment for what he calls the “self-censorship” of pastors across the nation. It forbids 501(c)(3) nonprofits, a category that includes most of the nation’s churches and other charitable organizations, from getting directly involved in elections. (It is not a criminal statute; violators face only the loss of the organization’s tax-exempt status.) Many hail it as a protector of Thomas Jefferson’s famous “wall of separation” between church and state, but to Garlow and other outspoken pastors around the nation, it is an unconstitutional restriction on free speech.

“Morally and theologically, I don’t believe the government has any role in dictating what a church or faith community says or does not say in the pulpit at all,” Garlow said. “It a matter of conscience, based on that particular pastor and that congregation.”

More: https://www.yahoo.com/news/debate-political-speech-pastors-say-fear-irs-pulpit-police-090005721.html

When you see the words religious freedom etc. and a Supreme Court that will allow your tax money to go to fund things for tax exempt churches who can and will campaign (and eventually solicit collect donations for candidates as well, that will be the second time the basket comes around or even a third time) probably a good time to have more than a passing concern over where we are headed as a country.

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