Christian Right

Trump Turns To Christian Right To Fund His Campaign

Having already adopted the language of the anti-abortion movement and received the endorsements of its leaders such as Operation Rescue’s Troy Newman, Priests for Life's National Director Frank Pavone, and Susan B. Anthony List president Marjorie Dannenfelser, along with culture warriors such as Phyllis Schlafly, Donald Trump will now do what Donald Trump does best: get paid.

Bloomberg News reports that Trump has set a goal of soliciting 200,000 contributions from the evangelical community.

The article goes on to describe some odd contortions that some of Trump’s conservative Christian supporters are going through to justify their endorsements of the thrice-married New York businessman.

Bloomberg’s Kevin Cirilli and Jennifer Jacobs write:

At one recent meeting with Trump, evangelical leaders noted how he often flashes a signature hand gesture, with a thumb out and a finger point to the sky, as he enters and exits rallies.  

"You see athletes do it all the time and it's their chance to point to the sky, to thank God for their success," said Pastor Mark Burns, CEO of a Christian television network based in South Carolina. "Trump does this all of the time, too. He's giving reverence to the man upstairs."

"Even with Mr. Trump's billions of dollars, he too still submits himself to God," said Burns, who has become a top Trump surrogate and a staple on the campaign trail, frequently introducing the candidate at rallies. "We should all chip in to help him out. You know, even a billionaire needs some cash flow."

The article also notes that according to Burns, he sees “Mr. Trump's personal and professional connection to his faith at every rally where I introduce him."

The truth is these justifications should be unnecessary. Politically, Trump has bent over backwards to please the Christian Right, which initially had been quite skeptical of his candidacy.

Since becoming the Republican nominee Trump has adopted the language and policies of the antiabortion movement. He also hired former hill staffer John Mashburn as his policy director, to the rave reviews of anti-abortion leaders, and he recently released a slate of Supreme Court picks, any one of whom would shift the court far to the Right and all of whom anti-choice activists seem to be confident would help them to roll back reproductive rights.

Furthermore, Trump’s declaration that “we are going to staring saying Merry Christmas again” is drawn directly from the rhetoric of the Christian conservative movement, which has taken to claiming that sales clerks wishing their customers “happy holidays” amounts to a “war on Christmas.” He also promised to create a Christian "lobby" by removing IRS regulations that prevent churches from engaging in partisan politics. 

This all makes sense in the context of Donald Trump. If he is going to have to cite “two Corinthians” in a speech, he might as well profit from it.

Irony Alert: The AFA Is The Epitome Of The 'Ugliness Of Christian Activism'

Is it possible that Tim Wildmon, president of the American Family Association, has never heard AFA spokesperson Bryan Fischer’s radio show?  Of course not. But that leaves only less charitable explanations for the level of a) cluelessness and b) disingenuousness revealed in the October issue of AFA’s magazine.

In his column, Wildmon describes a disagreement he had with Christian author Os Guinness during a recent interview:

He said that Christian young people are leaving the faith because of the “ugliness of Christian activism.” I asked him for an example of what he was talking about, and he cited a video that went around the Internet a couple of years ago that included clips from President Obama’s comments which would lead the viewer to believe Obama is a Muslim. Os said basically that this video was slanderous.

I told him I believed his example to be weak because that video was not produced by an mainstream pro-family or Christian group. My personal opinion is it is Obama himself who has created the suspicion among one out of four Americans that he is a secret Muslim. I have no idea if he is or not. I just know that many of his statements and actions have been extremely positive and sympathetic toward Islam.

So, Wildmon has “no idea” if Obama is a secret Muslim, but says the idea that he might be was not put out there by a “mainstream pro-family or Christian group.” 

Now, where in the world would people get the idea that Obama might be Muslim? 

"Is President Obama ... taking advantage of that doctrine of taqiyya?" Fischer asked. "Is he pretending to be a Christian, falsely and taking cover under the doctrine of taqiyya because his role as the president is advancing the cause of Islam? I mean, who knows?"

Tim Wildmon, meet Bryan Fischer, who has told his listeners that he believes the discredited right-wing theory that Obama’s wedding ring contains an inscription reading “there is no God but Allah” which, Fischer says, the mainstream media has ignored because it could raise the possibility “that Barack Obama may, in fact, be a closeted Muslim.”

There’s more. Fischer  says President Obama is heading “the most virulently anti-Christian, anti-Christ, anti-God administration we’ve ever had in American history” and is leading “a purge of Christians from the military.”  Fischer has accused President Obama of having a “visceral dislike of America” and a desire to destroy America.  Fischer says “whether he’s a Muslim or not, we may not know that until it’s too late to matter, but he clearly has Muslim sympathies, far more sympathetic to Islam than he is to Christianity…”  In the same show, Fischer said an Egyptian foreign minister claims that Barack Obama confided that he is a secret Muslim. 

For good measure, Fischer has also accused CIA Director John Brennan of being a devout Muslim who is funding terrorism.

Back to Wildmon, who says later in his column,

To be fair to Os, his main point in our conversation was that as Christians we should be doing “the Lord’s work in the Lord’s way.” Meaning, we need to be honest and treat our philosophical and political detractors as the Bible commands us to treat any other person – with love and respect.

I agree with that.

Wildmon also asserts that “there is nothing ugly about the Christian activism that American Family Association engages in.”

Really? Honesty, love and respect are not exactly hallmarks of the Bryan Fischer oeuvre. In fact, as our in-depth report on Fischer and our ongoing coverage of his rantings document, AFA spokesman and radio host Fischer is one of the biggest purveyors of dishonest, divisive, disrespectful, and outright bigoted rhetoric in the public arena today. 

Romney to Share Stage with Bryan Fischer; PFAW Urges Candidates to Denounce Bigotry

At next week's Values Voter Summit, Mitt Romney is scheduled to take the stage immediately before Bryan Fischer, an American Family Association (AFA) spokesman with a long and shocking record of bigotry against gays and lesbians, American Muslims, Native Americans and other minority groups. Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, Herman Cain and Rick Santorum are also scheduled to speak at the event, which is sponsored by the anti-gay Family Research Council, the AFA, and other Religious Right groups. PFAW is urging these candidates for our nation's highest office to condemn bigotry.
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