Friday, February 12, 2021

Sojourners: "When Christian Media Peddle Lies"

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Adam Taylor, president of Jim Wallis's "Christian Left" Sojourners organization, is lamenting that much of what is going on in the Senate this week would have been unnecessary had the evangelicals been honest Christians.

In a letter yesterday, he outlined what happens when conservative Christians and their media "peddle lies."

Not only is our nation deeply divided politically, but the Christian church in America is also deeply divided, as Taylor affirms.

While calling for healing, he calls Franklin Graham, the 700 Club, and other evangelicals: "liars."

Be informed, not misled.

Yesterday, Sojourners published Taylor's letter to their several hundred thousand subscribers saying, "History has its eyes on the Senate this week as it conducts the impeachment trial of former President Donald J. Trump on the charge of inciting insurrection."

He says, after viewing the videos which are "jarring to watch," there "is damning evidence that Trump was directly responsible for inciting the criminal actions," and he thinks the videos "should be shown in every high school civics class, maybe even to adults in every church."

Taylor says we as Christians cannot separate the siege of the Capitol from the "big lie" promulgated by former President Trump and his enablers before and after the election, that the election was stolen.

He calls that idea "a lie rooted in our nation's original sin of white supremacy."

"This lie has not gone away with a new administration; thanks to Trump's co-conspirators and the silence of far too many within the church, it has spread. In fact," he says, "over 70% of Republican voters still believe the election was stolen."

"None of this would have happened if Christians and the Christian media would have spoken out against the lie."

Taylor, speaking for the Christian left, says "All of this could have been avoided: More prominent conservative Christian leaders and Christian media could have spoken out against the lie and reported the truth."

"Instead," he says, "many of them fanned the flames that led to this tragedy."

He doesn't list a lot of "enablers who fanned the flames," but he names Franklin Graham and Research Council's Tony Perkins who both signed a letter in December that stated, "There is no doubt President Donald J. Trump is the lawful winner of the presidential election."

Pat Robertson and his 700 Club are also bothersome to the religious left. Taylor quotes Robertson: "We must declare that God Almighty is not going to let this great nation of ours be taken over by fraud...the Lord himself will intervene before this country turns into something socialist."

Taylor says Robertson's Christian Broadcasting Network [CBN] claimed that Trump won by "millions of votes" and Dove TV "aired a segment the morning after the Capitol insurrection with a right-wing conspiracy theorist who praised the 'restraint' of the insurrectionists."

He notes that Fox News has fired Lou Dobbs and is facing a lawsuit for its "egregious election lies" and we, the religious left, "should also be holding Christian media that likewise peddle dangerous disinformation to account."

What exactly is the "big lie?"

The "big lie" seems to be that some believe that there was fraud in the presidential election. 

It's the consequences that are bothersome to Taylor. He says if not dealt with properly, "The big lie will continue to infect our churches and our body politic, mutating into even more efforts to restrict the sacred right to vote, targeting communities of color and other vulnerable voters under the guise of preventing voter fraud."

The big lie seems to be anything that does not match-up with the beliefs and non-beliefs of the religious left.

He concludes: 

"At the end of the day, it is not just the health and future security of our democracy   [actually America is a republic] that is at stake in this trial. It is the credibility of the church and the integrity of the Christian witness."

That's a statement that is made over and over by the religious left. "The integrity of our witness."

But finally, Taylor's true feelings are revealed; 

The Religious Right's blind loyalty to Trump has already inflicted lasting damage on the integrity of Christian witness. Our nation and the church must continue to grapple with why the majority of Republican voters, most of whom identify as Christian, remain loyal to a former president who so callously abused his oath of office.

He says:

Christianity is too closely associated with conservative politics. It comes down to desperate grab for power---the waning influence of white evangelicals is clear, as the US share of white evangelicals dropped from 21 percent in 2010 to 15 percent by the end of the decade. The alignment with Trump achieved an illusion of power at the cost of credibility of the Christian faith.

He doesn't know much about evangelicals. Evangelicals do not adapt to the "conservative" policies of the Republican Party. Evangelicals are transformed by a personal faith in Christ to the fundamental teaching of Scripture. It is from this that our beliefs are formed and we align politically with those who advocate for those beliefs---particularly the sanctity of life, the biblical model for marriage and family, human sexuality, and freedom. 

How is support and loyalty to Biden more spiritually acceptable than supporting Trump?

The religious left prides itself in its support of the LGBTQ agenda, "women's healthcare" (abortion), and other moral issues that are clearly anti-Christian and anti-biblical. President Biden supports all of the above.

I'll be talking more about what the religious left actually believe on our live radio program this morning. Please join me

Taylor makes a clarion call to impeach Trump, convict him of a crime, and prevent him from ever holding office again.

And he says, "History has its eyes on all of us. The most pressing question facing all of us this week is: 'What role will we play as this history is made'."

This while he, Jim Wallis, President Biden, and other leaders on the religious left are calling for a national healing to begin.

Be informed. Be Discerning. Be Vigilant. Be Prayerful.