Trump’s Denial of Election Reality: Will Court Evangelicals Play Along?

Last night Donald Trump said he believed the election was being stolen from him and today tweeted this:

As in every other election, mail in and absentee ballots are being counted today and will be added to the totals. There are more of them this year due to record numbers of ballots being cast in this manner. Ballots haven’t appeared in a “surprise ballot dump.” Either Trump is ignorant or deliberately attempting to destabilize the nation.

Will evangelicals who support Trump buy into this?

Charlie Kirk of Liberty University’s Falkirk Center does:

Franklin Graham is lending credibility to this delusion:

Paula White, of course:

John Fea has a post on this same topic, check it out.

Greg Thornbury has this reaction:

Owen Strachan jumps in:

And of course Etic “Punch and Run” Metaxas punches and runs:

Metaxas in particular is melting down.

Evangelical leaders who have made their bed with Trump will not go quietly into the night. No matter what the damage is to the faith, they will continue to enable Trump’s delusions. It is shameful but predictable given where they have been for the last four years.

In my view, preachers don’t have any specific expertise to add to what is going on with election counting. It is taking place as it always has. What they should do is simply reinforce the beauty of our system that we count every vote. What they shouldn’t do is rebroadcast and reinforce baseless conspiracies about stolen elections.

If you see other evangelicals promoting this delusion, put a link in the comments.

Blog Theme: Trumpism – Interview with Greg Thornbury

A feature of the evangelical world since Trump was nominated and elected has been the inability of many of Trump’s evangelical supporters to see Trump’s flaws. John Fea (who will be one of my guests in a future interview) coined the term “court evangelical” to describe these evangelical leaders. Robert Jeffress, Franklin Graham, Jerry Falwell are often named among these court evangelicals. Another evangelical figure which has puzzled many observers due to the strength of his dedication to Trump is Eric Metaxas.

I have written several articles about Metaxas’ historical claims, notably his book If You Can Keep It.  His errors are similar to David Barton’s which is understandable once you learn that Metaxas thinks Barton is a credible historian. Perhaps the most popular blog posts about Metaxas’ approach to history are the ones where I attempt to track down the source of this quote:

Silence in the face of evil is itself evil. God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.

Metaxas once attributed the quote to Dietrich Bonhoeffer but it doesn’t appear in any of his works or speeches. Instead of acknowledging this and making a public correction, Metaxas has just stopped attributing the quote to Bonhoeffer. Consequently, hundreds, if not thousands of people continue to cite Metaxas as the source of a bogus Bonhoeffer quote.

In our interview, Thornbury analyzes Metaxas, but that is not the most riveting part to me. When Greg describes his journey from evangelical college president to where he is now, I believe many evangelicals will relate. There has been pressure to adopt Trumpism as an evangelical and those who don’t go along lose social capital in that world. Students of American religious and political history will be interested in hearing about Greg’s experience. Greg was in the inner circle and describes what it was like to see conservative Christians first tolerate then venerate an unworthy President.

Trumpism is the newest theme in my 15 years of blogging but in a way it is an extension of many themes I am familiar with. The narcissism of celebrity pastors, the false history of Christian nationalism, the anti-science dogmatism of many evangelical leaders, and the single-mindedness and bias of culture warring all come together in Trumpism.

So as a new friend in this struggle, I thank Greg for his time and talents.

Gregory Alan Thornbury, Ph.D., has been a college philosophy and theology professor, dean, and president of The King’s College in New York City. In addition to several books on theology and culture, he is the author of Why Should The Devil Have All the Good Music: Larry Norman and the Perils of Christian Rock (Random House, 2018) – a critically acclaimed biography that has been reviewed by The New York TimesThe New Yorker, National Public Radio, and was awarded as the most influential book in arts and culture by Christianity Today for 2019. A popular writer and speaker on philosophy, religion, and the arts, he currently serves as Senior Vice President at the New York Academy of Art in Tribeca, founded by Andy Warhol. He is also a consultant for Good Country Pictures, who is currently working on film adaptations of the short stories and novels of Willa Cather, Walker Percy, and Flannery O’Connor for film and television.

You can see all posts about these interviews by clicking this link.

Also subscribe to my Psychvideos Youtube channel where I am posting them.

What Happened to Eric Metaxas? We May Finally Find Out!

Tomorrow, I will post an interview with former King’s College president Gregory Thornbury. Thornbury who is friends with Eric Metaxas offers a theory about why Metaxas has turned into a Trumpist. Watch:

Come back tomorrow to wthrockmorton.com for the rest of the interview with Greg. We take on Trumpism, Christian celebrity, and court evangelicals. It is a revealing and fascinating interview.

UPDATE: To see the interview, click the link.

You can see all posts about these interviews by clicking this link.

Also subscribe to my Psychvideos Youtube channel where I am posting them.

Robert Jeffress Invokes Threat of “Civil War Like Fracture” in Defense of Trump

Donald Trump just tweeted the following quote from Baptist pastor Robert Jeffress:

This is of course is an outrageous statement from Jeffress and a sign of panic and desperation from Trump. It is one more sign that Trump is unfit for office that he would incite such divisive rhetoric to try to keep himself in power.

For Jeffress to equate the impeachment of Trump to slavery as a reason for a “Civil War like fracture” is absurd. While we are in the minority, there are many evangelicals who want to see respect for the rule of law.

You can see the interview below:

Court Evangelicals in Attendance at the August 27, 2018 State Dinner

Above from left to right: Robert Morris, Paula White, Melania Trump

A reader sent some photos of the dinner which document some in attendance which I have not seen on other lists. The most comprehensive account thus far I have seen has been put together by professor Andy Rowell (see the link below)

Evangelicals meeting with Trump at the White House August 27, 2018 – Andy Rowell

To his list, I can add Gateway Church pastors Robert & Debbie Morris, James & Betty Robison, and Marcus & Joni Lamb also from Gateway Church. Robert and Debbie Morris took a picture with Darryl Strawberry and his wife as well.

Here’s a cross section of the room showing Jerry Falwell, Jr, Paula White, Franklin Graham, Jentezen Frankin and many others.

And here are Joni and Marcus Lamb and Gateway Church pastors Robert and Debbie Morris after flying on somebody’s private jet – the Lamb’s I believe. Court evangelicals truly suffer for Jesus.

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Image: All images are fair use for the purpose of commentary and news reporting. Featured image – Melania Trump’s Instagram page. 

This is What a Court Evangelical Sounds Like

Messiah College’s chair of the history department John Fea coined the phrase “court evangelical” to describe evangelical leaders who defend Donald Trump no matter what he does. Even Republican Senators have expressed confusion and negative reactions to the firing of James Comey, but not the court evangelicals. Watch:


Robert Jeffress is most certainly a court evangelical. Actually, the Comey controversy is real and for more reasons than Trump fired the head of the agency investigating him. Trump sent his surrogates out with a cover story and then changed it the next day. Somewhere in there is a lie and it doesn’t seem very evangelical to lie; except that for the court evangelicals, lying is just one of those political things that strongmen do.
According to Fea (I agree with him), court evangelicals “have put their faith in a political strongman who promises to alleviate their fears and protect them from the forces of secularization.” Fea’s list includes:

Jerry Falwell Jr.
Paula White
James Dobson
Mark Burns
Ralph Reed
Robert Jeffress
Eric Metaxas
Franklin Graham