I can’t remember anything quite like this. Political loyalties have reduced self-styled Christian leaders to public wars. Witness Jerry Falwell, Jr.’s tweet today to Russell Moore.
The arrogance here is obvious. His reaction isn’t relevant to Moore’s comment. Moore didn’t even mention Trump but Moore’s concern about the treatment of migrant children implied enough disapproval to throw Falwell into a frenzied attack.
Falwell is the president of a Christian university. I cannot imagine the president of my college doing anything like this. I can’t imagine the president of any reputable college or university comporting himself/herself in this way.
Moore said what many are feeling. I suspect there are numerous Trump voters who want to see children take care of. Moore did nothing wrong and a lot right.
I feel very sad tonight for Liberty staff and faculty, at least those who would like to speak out but can’t because their jobs are on the line. Students, parents, and alums probably have the most leverage. Apparently the board is MIA or in complete accord with Mr. Falwell.
In any case, this is a new low and I don’t think there is a bottom.
In a Washington Post/ABC News poll taken from April 22-25, 59% of white evangelicals say they will “definitely” vote for President Donald Trump in the 2020 election. Another 23% say they will consider voting for him. Only 15% say they definitely will not vote for him.
Despite widespread coverage of the Mueller report, evangelical voters seem fixed on Trump. Perhaps white evangelicals don’t believe there is much to worry about. In the same poll, 57% of evangelicals said they don’t think Russian interference will be a threat to the 2020 election. Nearly 8 in 10 (78%) didn’t think the interference had an impact on the 2016 election. Compared to other groups, evangelicals led the way in skepticism about the influence of Russian meddling.
Evangelicals are with Trump on immigration as well. They are the leading group to say his immigration policies make them more likely to support him in the next election. Sixty-three percent believe Trump’s immigration policies are good compared to 16% who oppose them. Among all voters the breakdown is 34% who support Trump due to his immigration policies versus 42% who oppose him for that reason.
I don’t think it goes too far to say that white evangelicals as a group see the world about like Donald Trump. This is a frightening and sobering thought.
I don’t even know if I am allowed to write that at Patheos. I guess we will find out.
By now, most of my readers will have heard that Donald Trump yesterday expressed preference for Norwegian immigrants over Haitian and African immigrants. The original report came from Josh Dawsey in the Washington Post. When discussing immigrants from El Salvador, Haiti and Africa, Trump reportedly said, “Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?” According to the Post and Reuters, he then said we should take more immigrants from Norway.
Earlier today he denied saying those words, but Senator Dick Durbin — who was in the meeting — confirmed that he said those words and more. Others in the meeting have confirmed it and White House staff have not denied it.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Rev. Dr. Samuel Rodriguez, President of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, issues the following statement: “Every single person is created in the image of God. Without exception. Therefore, as it pertains to immigration, we must provide a legal avenue, with rigorous vetting, that enables individuals from both Norway and Nigeria, from Holland and Haiti, to come to our nation if they embrace our values, commit to self-reliance and to enriching our collective American experience. “In addition, and with great due deference, I believe that the comments attributed to our president can best be described as wrong, inappropriate, and hurtful. Why? Because when God looks at these nations, He sees His children.”
### Rev. Samuel Rodriguez is president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, executive producer of The Impossible with 20th Century Fox, and bestselling author of “Be Light.” He has been named by CNN and Fox News as “the leader of the Hispanic Evangelical movement” and TIME Magazine nominated him among the 100 most influential leaders in America. The National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference is recognized and identified by Time Magazine, New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Christianity Today, Charisma Magazine, NBC, Telemundo, Univision, Fox News, CNN, and a number of additional media outlets, publications, and periodicals as America’s largest and most influential Hispanic/Latino Christian organization with 40,118 certified member churches in the United States and chapters in Latin America.
President of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention Russell Moore tweeted a comment which can only be taken as opposition to the president’s comment.
The church of Jesus Christ is led by, among others, our brothers and sisters from Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean. They are us.
Wilberforce and Bonhoeffer biographer Eric Metaxas just can’t bring himself to find fault with Trump. I just can’t imagine Bonhoeffer reacting this way.
If @POTUS said that word, it's lamentable. But it's certainly not racist. Have we lost all perspective on what real racism is? And when Reagan called the U.S.S.R. an "evil empire" was he saying the PEOPLE were evil? Can't we please leaven our outrage w/some context & perspective?
He doesn’t seem to understand why his fans are upset with him.
The extraordinary nastiness & vileness of the comments being directed at me on Twitter right now only proves what I'm saying. People are in love w/feeling morally superior & w/hating & dehumanizing those they accuse of hating & dehumanizing. Did Jesus not say "Love your enemies"?
Eric, it’s racism when he equates the people of a country with their systems of government. People from Haiti and Africa? Not welcome. Norway? They’re welcome! What’s the difference? Think ethnicity and skin color.
Thabiti Anyabwile at The Gospel Coalition takes a negative view of Trump’s comments. He talks about his immigrant family. A quote:
On the drive home from our family meeting last night, I learned that in the Oval Office, that hallowed ground of American political power and aspiration, President Trump reportedly made racist and troublesome comments regarding immigrants and their countries of origin. My family.
I’m a pastor, not a politician. But I am a pastor of particular people with diverse and rich backgrounds. They contribute to our church family in indescribable ways. They are our church family. My job is to shepherd them, which means I am to feed them, lead them, and protect them.
As a shepherd, I cannot abide the comments our President makes regarding immigrant peoples and their countries of origin. I cannot leave them alone to hear racist barbs, evil speech, incendiary comment, and blasphemous slander against the image and likeness of God in which they are made.
Ed Stetzer has a nice column on the comments at Washington Post.
I will add reaction as I find it.