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Old 01-02-2019, 09:53 AM
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ThelmaLou ThelmaLou is offline
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"Why Trump Reigns as King Cyrus"

This is one of the most disturbing things I've read among the many disturbing things I read every day. I'm putting it here in IMHO instead of the pit, because I'm not looking for a fight, but to inform and discuss.

It's about the hard-core, right-wing "Christian Nationalist Movement," which is NOT the same thing as garden-variety Christian evangelism. These are also not the "deplorables," or the MAGAbots. They are something more dangerous to the country, because they believe they are carrying out God's will by backing the president, whom they see as God's instrument.

Source: New York Times, Dec 31, 2018

Here's the punch line:
Quote:
...
I have attended dozens of Christian nationalist conferences and events over the past two years. And while I have heard plenty of comments casting doubt on the more questionable aspects of Mr. Trump’s character, the gist of the proceedings almost always comes down to the belief that he is a miracle sent straight from heaven to bring the nation back to the Lord. I have also learned that resistance to Mr. Trump is tantamount to resistance to God.

This isn’t the religious right we thought we knew. The Christian nationalist movement today is authoritarian, paranoid and patriarchal at its core. They aren’t fighting a culture war. They’re making a direct attack on democracy itself.

They want it all. And in Mr. Trump, they have found a man who does not merely serve their cause, but also satisfies their craving for a certain kind of political leadership.
Backround:
Quote:
...Cyrus, in case you’ve forgotten, was born in the sixth century B.C.E. and became the first emperor of Persia. Isaiah 45 celebrates Cyrus for freeing a population of Jews who were held captive in Babylon. Cyrus is the model for a nonbeliever appointed by God as a vessel for the purposes of the faithful....
Today:
Quote:
...The identification of the 45th president with an ancient Middle Eastern potentate isn’t a fringe thing. “The Trump Prophecy” [a film] was produced with the help of professors and students at Liberty University, whose president, Jerry Falwell Jr., has been instrumental in rallying evangelical support for Mr. Trump. Jeanine Pirro of Fox News has picked up on the meme, as has Ron Dermer, the Israeli ambassador to the United States, among many others.

... But what we don’t get is that Mr. Trump’s supposedly anti-Christian attributes and anti-democratic attributes are a vital part of his attraction.

Today’s Christian nationalists talk a good game about respecting the Constitution and America’s founders, but at bottom they sound as if they prefer autocrats to democrats. In fact, what they really want is a king. “It is God that raises up a king,” according to Paula White, a prosperity gospel preacher who has advised Mr. Trump.
....
Quote:
...The great thing about kings like Cyrus, as far as today’s Christian nationalists are concerned, is that they don’t have to follow rules. They are the law. This makes them ideal leaders in paranoid times...
People who are driven by set-in-concrete religious motives/values will not be dissuaded. By anything or anyone.
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Old 01-02-2019, 10:59 AM
JB99 JB99 is offline
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Originally Posted by ThelmaLou View Post
This is one of the most disturbing things I've read among the many disturbing things I read every day. I'm putting it here in IMHO instead of the pit, because I'm not looking for a fight, but to inform and discuss.

It's about the hard-core, right-wing "Christian Nationalist Movement," which is NOT the same thing as garden-variety Christian evangelism. These are also not the "deplorables," or the MAGAbots. They are something more dangerous to the country, because they believe they are carrying out God's will by backing the president, whom they see as God's instrument.

Source: New York Times, Dec 31, 2018

Here's the punch line:

Backround:
Today:
People who are driven by set-in-concrete religious motives/values will not be dissuaded. By anything or anyone.
I don’t have anything useful to contribute. I’d just like to point out that - given the last 2000 years of human history - this should come as a surprise to absolutely no one.
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Old 01-02-2019, 11:53 AM
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Of course, Cyrus the great and the Persian Achaemenid Empire as a whole were big proponents of multiculturalism and religious tolerance.

Last edited by Alessan; 01-02-2019 at 11:55 AM.
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Old 01-02-2019, 11:57 AM
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And from Newsweek, Evangelicals Who Don’t Support Trump May Be 'Immoral,' Jerry Falwell Jr. Says:
Quote:
When Helm asked Falwell Jr. whether Trump could do anything to lose his support, he responded: “No.”

“That’s the shortest answer we’ve had so far,” Heim commented, before Falwell Jr. added: “Only because I know that he only wants what’s best for this country, and I know anything he does, it may not be ideologically ‘conservative,’ but it’s going to be what’s best for this country, and I can’t imagine him doing anything that’s not good for the country.”
Jesus Fucking Christ. (Or should it be Donald Christ, now?)
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Old 01-02-2019, 01:03 PM
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Additional points made by a HuffPost article:
Quote:
...Robert Jones, CEO of The Public Religion Research Institute, told HuffPost that Whitehead’s study is consistent with his own research. In The End of White Christian America, Jones wrote that evangelicals have recently grown anxious about the declining dominance of white Christianity in America, both demographically and on such culture war issues as same-sex marriage.

It’s important to acknowledge that the nationalism Whitehead documents in the study is not just Christian, he said, but specifically white Protestant Christian.

“The idea of a Christian nation in American history has always been wrapped up with protecting the power of whiteness and Protestantism,” Jones said. “The KKK, for example, targeted not just African-Americans but also Catholics and Jews as threats to their ideal of American society. And this study presents one more important piece of empirical evidence that this idea is still with us.”
....
Thump's character doesn't matter at all to these people, so pointing out his moral failings is not a way to change their minds.
Quote:
...“For Christian nationalists, the end goal is a society that favors Christianity in various aspects and at a number of institutional levels,” Whitehead told HuffPost. “How that project is achieved is of little consequence to them. They believe God can use anyone, ‘even a thrice married, non-pious, self-proclaimed public playboy,’ as we say in the paper.”
...
It makes one wonder what would change their minds? People who use religion and what they believe to be "God's will" as their foundation are pretty immovable. Certainly as a group. Individuals might have personal experiences that cause them to leave the cult--and I do see this as a cult.

The whole article is pretty interesting.
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Old 01-02-2019, 01:44 PM
Ashtura Ashtura is offline
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I've heard about this, but not like a literal "God was sent by and is controlling Trump", just in a metaphorical "he's a bad man, but he's getting our agenda moving so who cares if he's a bad guy on a personal basis." A metaphorical Cyrus, not a literal one.

Last edited by Ashtura; 01-02-2019 at 01:46 PM.
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Old 01-02-2019, 01:45 PM
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Meanwhile, that rumbling sound you hear? It's Cyrus rolling in his grave.
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Old 01-02-2019, 01:56 PM
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Okay. IF and only if Trump decrees modern Aramaic as our new national language and Zoroastrianism as the state observed( but non-mandatory )religion, I will vote for him in 2020. This should include all ceremonial government prayer-services and mandatory Aramaic instruction in all primary schools, with a stated goal of full translation of all government documents to that language by the end of his second term.

I could get nitpicky and insist on Elamite or even Old Aramaic. But frankly I think that would be unfair to Trump . Modern Aramaic as a lingua franca also makes more sense than Farsi in this particular context. At least IMHO.

So, sure - I'm totally on board.
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Old 01-02-2019, 01:58 PM
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The idea behind "Trump = Cyrus" is that Trump's personal character and history is no longer baggage to worry about.
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Old 01-02-2019, 02:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Malleus, Incus, Stapes! View Post
Meanwhile, that rumbling sound you hear? It's Cyrus rolling in his grave.
Or the soundtrack of Miley Cyrus's new video.

So what percentage of the electorate are "Christian Nationalists"? Even if they're all agog over Trump, just increasing turnout infinitesimally among sane voters would easily cancel them out.*

*the linked article doesn't substantiate that "Christian nationalists" are making a "direct attack on democracy", just that they'd prefer not to live in one.
  #11  
Old 01-02-2019, 03:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jackmannii View Post
...
So what percentage of the electorate are "Christian Nationalists"? Even if they're all agog over Trump, just increasing turnout infinitesimally among sane voters would easily cancel them out.*
...
That is the question. Mike Pence is one for sure (but we knew that).
Quote:
...Ralph Drollinger, who has led weekly Bible study groups in the White House attended by Vice President Mike Pence and many other cabinet members, likes the word “king” so much that he frequently turns it into a verb. “Get ready to king in our future lives,” he tells his followers. “Christian believers will — soon, I hope — become the consummate, perfect governing authorities!”... (from the original NYT article linked)
Further, from the HuffPost article:
Quote:
...Before the election, the Trump campaign put together an advisory board of some of the nation’s top evangelical leaders to provide feedback on issues that are important to evangelicals. After the election, the group has taken on a more informal role, but key leaders maintain close ties to the administration and are regularly asked to provide their opinions. ....
This is the group thump is dog-whistling at.

Also from the linked HuffPost article:
Quote:
...Social scientists have a number of theories on why President Donald Trump captured the votes of 80 percent of white evangelical Protestants in the 2016 election, much more than his support from any other religious group. And the president still enjoys the approval of 78 percent of white evangelicals, according to a recent Pew Research Center survey.
...
My emphasis. Would "increasing turnout infinitesimally among sane voters would easily cancel them out"? One hopes so.

This movement answers the questions, "Why aren't <some percentage of> Christians offended and put off by thump's lack of moral character? How can anyone calling him/herself a good Christian support a lying, cheating, unprincipled adulterer?" It's not the economy for this group. It's not primarily immigration, racism, abortion, keeping women/minorities in their places. It's that thump is the instrument of God chosen by God to bring about their white-Protestant-Christian goals, as defined by Christian Nationalism.
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Old 01-02-2019, 05:34 PM
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I'm willing to bet the number of Americans that literally believe Trump was sent be God, even evangelicals, is vanishingly small. Like "influenced by Russian Facebook memes" small.
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Old 01-02-2019, 05:41 PM
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Not that I've been to "dozens" of Christian Nationalist meetings like the article's author , but I suspect that Christian Nationalist ≠ white evangelical Protestant.

In any case, this subgroup is way way down my list of Threats To Democracy, overshadowed by such things as hackable voting machines, hostility to the First Amendment and rejection of due process in legal and quasi-legal proceedings.
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Old 01-02-2019, 06:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jackmannii View Post
Not that I've been to "dozens" of Christian Nationalist meetings like the article's author , but I suspect that Christian Nationalist ≠ white evangelical Protestant.

In any case, this subgroup is way way down my list of Threats To Democracy, overshadowed by such things as hackable voting machines, hostility to the First Amendment and rejection of due process in legal and quasi-legal proceedings.
I agree that it's not at the top of the list, and those other things are more immediate threats. But this movement shouldn't be ignored or scorned either. Especially if, by some twist of fate, Mike Pence becomes president. People who believe that God Sent Them cannot be reasoned with.

I was trying to think of what might attract mainstream evangelical Christians to the Christian Nationalism movement (and I also agree that these are two different groups). It might be turn out to be an immovable issue like abortion. Mainstream evangelicals might hold their noses and get on board if the CN-ers look like the only group holding the line on abortion.
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Last edited by ThelmaLou; 01-02-2019 at 06:32 PM.
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Old 01-03-2019, 12:09 AM
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Maybe I missed it upthread, but I haven't seen anyone yet mention that Cyrus was considered to be a messiah by the Israelites. I'd like to dangle that in front of them to see if they bite.
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Old 01-03-2019, 01:00 AM
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Originally Posted by MEBuckner View Post
And from Newsweek, Evangelicals Who Don’t Support Trump May Be 'Immoral,' Jerry Falwell Jr. Says:

Jesus Fucking Christ. (Or should it be Donald Christ, now?)
He does have a J for his middle initial.
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Old 01-03-2019, 02:49 AM
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Of course, Cyrus the great and the Persian Achaemenid Empire as a whole were big proponents of multiculturalism and religious tolerance.
Cyrus the Great was a particular inspiration for Thomas `All Men are Created Equal' Jefferson, as well as other Founding Fathers including Benjamin Franklin.

That Cyrus is being compared to Trump demonstrates that this truly is the Reign of Idiots and Hypocrites.
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Old 01-03-2019, 04:06 AM
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Originally Posted by 600 Unread Emails View Post
The President still says "God bless America" at some point during multiple speeches including the State of the Union.

Not "Allah bless America."

Not "Buddha bless America."

Not "Satan bless America."

Not "Zeus bless America."
The President doesn't say "Jesus bless America" though. At least not yet.
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Old 01-03-2019, 04:48 AM
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Originally Posted by 600 Unread Emails View Post
As for this bit....

The President still says "God bless America" at some point during multiple speeches including the State of the Union.

Not "Allah bless America."
But Allah and God are the same thing. So is JHVH, or Jehovah. Christianity, Judaism, and Islam were pretty much born of the same root; that is monotheism. Or, one God, as oppesed to polytheism, which is multiple gods, such as the Greeks and Romans had. Judaism came first, and Jesus Christ mentioned the Jewish prophets in the Gospels. Later, Mohammad mentioned Jesus as a prophet in the Koran. God's nomenclature may have changed between religions, but all agree that there is only one God, no matter what you call Him: God, Allah, or Jehovah. So, "God bless America" is the same as "Allah bless America," which is the same as "Jehovah bless America."
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Old 01-03-2019, 07:11 AM
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Jerry Falwell Jr. is a lawyer and not an evangelist like his father, so I would take just about any of his religious yarbling with a large dose of salt.
You and I agree on that, sure.

However, as President-For-Life of what evangelicals regard as one of their flagship evangelical universities, and as the son of Jerry Falwell Sr., evangelicals regard what he says as gospel - certainly in the metaphorical sense, and just this side of the literal sense.

Unless it turns out that he was sexually involved with that pool boy, they are not going to take his religious yarbling (I like that term!) with the tiniest grain of salt. And that's what matters, unfortunately.
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Old 01-03-2019, 02:55 PM
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Maybe I missed it upthread, but I haven't seen anyone yet mention that Cyrus was considered to be a messiah by the Israelites. I'd like to dangle that in front of them to see if they bite.
That wouldn't work either, at least among any who know what that word means in context. Cyrus was (and is) considered a small "m" messiah - in religious parlance a person sent by God for a specific purpose at a specific time and place, AKA an anointed one. There are several examples of messiahs in the Old Testament. Jesus is considered by Christians as the big "M" Messiah - God incarnate sent to establish the new covenant. Big letter = big difference.

Last edited by Doctor Jackson; 01-03-2019 at 02:55 PM.
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Old 01-03-2019, 03:17 PM
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Unless it turns out that he was sexually involved with that pool boy, they are not going to take his religious yarbling (I like that term!) with the tiniest grain of salt. And that's what matters, unfortunately.
Even the pool boy won't make a difference. Even if there are videos. God works through imperfect instruments, don't you know.
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Old 01-03-2019, 11:10 PM
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But Allah and God are the same thing.
HAHAHAHAHA No.

Yes, I acknowledge that Christians, Jews, and Muslims are all 'people of the book,' as they say. But finding someone who actually knows - much less cares - about that enough to stop hating their perceived enemies is like looking for a needle in a haystack. Most 'Christians' I've met are barely familiar with their own religion and are hardly inclined to consider Muslims as actual human beings, much less co-religionists.
  #24  
Old 01-04-2019, 01:42 AM
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Originally Posted by ThelmaLou View Post
It's not the economy for this group. It's not primarily immigration, racism, abortion, keeping women/minorities in their places. It's that thump is the instrument of God chosen by God to bring about their white-Protestant-Christian goals, as defined by Christian Nationalism.
I think those are their "white-Protestant-Christian" goals.
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Old 01-04-2019, 08:22 AM
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Originally Posted by foolsguinea View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThelmaLou
It's not the economy for this group. It's not primarily immigration, racism, abortion, keeping women/minorities in their places. It's that thump is the instrument of God chosen by God to bring about their white-Protestant-Christian goals, as defined by Christian Nationalism.
I think those are their "white-Protestant-Christian" goals.
Not sure what you mean by that comment, but I want to make it clear that Christian Nationalists are an extremist group, and that mainstream Protestants do not subscribe to their extremism.
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Old 01-04-2019, 09:14 AM
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Not sure what you mean by that comment, but I want to make it clear that Christian Nationalists are an extremist group, and that mainstream Protestants do not subscribe to their extremism.
Thank you.
  #27  
Old 01-04-2019, 11:43 AM
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You REALLY want to be scared? You should watch "Reversing Roe" on Netflix.

That shit is scary. The Hold these guy have had over former Presidents is disgusting.

Hell, Reagan used to be pro choice until these fuckers got a hold of him. Same with a bunch of other presidents too.
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