Hillary Clinton has faced her share of sexist attacks in her presidential campaign, and plenty of Clinton supporters have been accused of voting for her “just because she’s a woman,” but attacking Clinton explicitly for being a woman has generally been considered to be beyond the pale. Except, that is, among a small segment of Religious Right activists who believe that God proscribes women from taking political leadership roles and are willing to talk about it.
Back in 2008, when John McCain picked Sarah Palin to be his vice presidential running mate, some Religious Right leaders had muddled reactions to a female nominee who also happened to share many of their policy priorities.
The Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins explained that there was no contradiction in supporting a woman as vice president even though he is a member of a denomination that bars women from serving as pastors because the Bible only prohibits a woman from being a “spiritual leader.” Richard Land, then the head of the Southern Baptist Convention’s political arm, said that it was perfectly fine for Palin to serve in the role as long as her husband was okay with it. Al Mohler said that while he was thrilled with Palin’s politics, if he were her pastor he “would be concerned about how she could balance these responsibilities and what this would mean for her family and her roles as wife and mother.”
Michele Bachmann met some similar reactions when she ran for president in 2012, complicated by the fact that Bachmann herself had declared adherence to submission theology, the belief, as Sarah Posner has explained, that the “husband is the spiritual head of the household, the wife his obedient ‘helpmeet,’ the vessel for their children, devoted mother, and warrior for the faith.” Bachmann deflected those criticisms using logic similar to Perkins’, saying that the presidency “is not a spiritual position, it is a position of authority in our government, it is very different from that of a wife to her husband.”
Not everyone was convinced. While Bryan Fischer, then an official with the American Family Association, wrote early on in Bachmann’s campaign that the congresswoman was “in fact submitting to her husband by running for president ” because her husband had urged her to run, he did not seem completely convinced of his own point. Fischer said on his radio program the very same week that a woman should be allowed to become president only as a last resort “if God can't find any men with the spine and with the testicular fortitude” to lead. In that case, he said, God would “send a woman to do a man’s job.” As the election approached, Fischer went back to stating his belief that political leadership should be “reserved for the hands of males.”
It’s not surprising, then, that the question of whether a woman should be president has bubbled up again this year among some of the same people. Fischer declared this week that he doesn’t “believe that women should be entrusted with high political office,” implying that it would be reasonable to “vote for Trump because he's a man.”
Sam Roher, a former Pennsylvania state legislator who heads the American Pastors Network, which works to organize politically engaged conservative pastors, cited the book of Isaiah this month to argue that having women in political leadership is a mark of judgment upon a nation. “God does raise up women,” he explained, “there is no question about it, but the real condemnation is not the women in office, the condemnation is the disregard and the absolute inability for male leadership to perform as God intended it and I believe that that's the application for us now.”
Gary Dull, a board member of the pastors’ network who also runs its Pennsylvania chapter, used the same passage from Isaiah to argue more firmly that women should not lead nations. “In God's line of authority,” he said last month, “it seems very clear in the scripture that a woman should not be in authority over men, which would limit a woman from being the president of the United States of America or even a queen of some other particular nation.”
And this isn’t even to mention the fringe activists who have said that women shouldn’t even be allowed to vote, including Theodore Shoebat, who recently managed to feed a conspiracy theory about Khizr Khan to the Trump campaign. Jesse Lee Peterson, a frequent guest on conservative talk shows, has also argued that women should never have been given the right to vote.
Those who think a female candidate should be disqualified from the presidency are mercifully few. And submission theology, which deals with a woman’s role in the household and the world, varies greatly among those who preach it. But as the reactions to Clinton’s candidacy have shown, the question of whether a woman should be president hasn’t been entirely settled in the Christian Right. After all, as Phyllis Schlafly says, who needs a woman president when “all our greatest presidents have been men"?
From the moment Donald Trump began racking up wins during the Republican presidential primary race, right-wing author Brad Thor has served as one of the most ardent "Never Trump" voices within the conservative movement, declaring that the election of Trump would be "an extinction-level event potentially for our republic, for democracy."
Thor was so alarmed by the prospect of a Trump presidency that he even briefly flirted with the idea of launching his own third party bid in an effort to prevent Trump from winning the election, though that scheme quickly collapsed.
Despite all of his principled declarations that he could never, ever vote for Trump because of the terrifying dangers that the GOP nominee represents to our nation, Thor is now, predictably, beginning to cave, publishing a post on HotAir yesterday saying that Trump might represent America's last hope for survival.
America, Thor analogized, has a deadly cancer and only three months to live and while Hillary Clinton represents an ineffective drug that "will actually strengthen it and speed our death," Trump is some sketchy, untested and possibly dangerous drug being sold by some unlicensed clinic in Mexico that carries unknown side effects and questionable effectiveness ... but it is also our only hope:
Drug #1 will kill us – no question. Drug #2 might kill us, but it also might:
A) Slow the cancer, or even
B) Cure the cancer
It’s a lot to hope for, I know, but hope is all we have left. We have exhausted every other avenue. Make no mistake – I believe one hundred percent in standing on principle. Principle, in this case though, will not cure cancer.
Sadly, that crappy clinic south of the border is starting to look like our only option.
UPDATE: Thor appeared on Glenn Beck's radio show today to try to defend his shameless flip-flop and it did not go well, as Beck and his co-hosts relentlessly mocked Thor's desperate effort to justify supporting a man that he admits bears all the hallmarks of a dictator:
Donald Trump’s presidential campaign announced this morning that it was shaking up its leadership in midst of terrible polling, bringing on Breitbart chairman Stephen Bannon as its CEO and pollster Kellyanne Conway as campaign manager. The choice of Bannon, whom former employee Ben Shapiro has described as a “vindictive, nasty figure” and “a smarter version of Trump,” is likely to take the Trump campaign yet another step in the direction of unabashed, racist nationalism.
GOP consultant Rick Wilson told the Washington Post: “If you were looking for a tone or pivot, Bannon will pivot you in a dark, racist and divisive direction. It’ll be a nationalist, hateful campaign. Republicans should run away."
Shapiro, who resigned as an editor at Breitbart after Bannon sided with Trump’s campaign in a dispute with then-Breitbart reporter Michelle Fields, said afterward that Bannon had “shaped the company into Trump’s personal Pravda.” Now that Bannon is officially working for Trump’s campaign, that transition is complete.
Breitbart’s role as a propaganda arm for Trump’s campaign goes beyond boosting the candidate. The outlet also fuels the racial panic that is the subtext of much of what Trump says. Breitbart’s editor-in-chief told Bloomberg last year that the outlet focused less on specific stories than on creating long-running narratives with heroes and villains—many of them painting immigrants and people of color as the latter:
[Late Breitbart founder Andrew] Breitbart’s genius was that he grasped better than anyone else what the early 20th century press barons understood—that most readers don’t approach the news as a clinical exercise in absorbing facts, but experience it viscerally as an ongoing drama, with distinct story lines, heroes, and villains. Breitbart excelled at creating these narratives, an editorial approach that's lived on. “When we do an editorial call, I don’t even bring anything I feel like is only a one-off story, even if it’d be the best story on the site,” says Alex Marlow, the site’s editor in chief. “Our whole mindset is looking for these rolling narratives.” He rattles off the most popular ones, which Breitbart News covers intensively from a posture of aggrieved persecution. “The big ones won’t surprise you,” he says. “Immigration, ISIS, race riots, and what we call ‘the collapse of traditional values.’ But I’d say Hillary Clinton is tops.”
It could easily be a description of Trump’s campaign.
Breitbart recently published a lengthy defense of the Alt-Right, claiming the white nationalists such asRichard Spencer and Jared Taylor who created the ideology “have been accused of racism,” choosing to ignore the well-documented openly-racist views.
But Breitbart’s open defense of the Alt-Right didn’t appear out of thin air.
Over the past year the media outlet has been openly promoting the core issues of the Alt-Right, introducing these racist ideas to its readership – much to the delight of many in the white nationalist world who could never dream of reaching such a vast number of people.
Breitbart has always given a platform to parts of the radical right, most notably elements of the organized anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant movements. Breitbart has also organized conferences featuring nativist speakers and published op-eds and interviews with movement leaders. But since 2015, Breitbart began publishing more overtly racist diatribes about Muslims and immigrants.
SPLC noted that Breitbart also traffics in panic about “black-on-white crime,” something that Trump has also dabbled in:
Another popular racist conspiracy theory that Breitbart has propagated is the trope that African-Americans are committing crimes against whites at alarming rates.
Following the August 2015 murder of a white journalist and a cameraman live on air by a disgruntled African-American former co-worker, Breitbart published the race-baiting headline, “Race Murder in Virginia: Black Reporter Suspected of Executing White Colleagues – On Live Television!” The headline is remarkably similar to ones seen on the website of the white nationalist group Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC), which is dedicated to spreading the falsehood to the public about the “epidemic” of black on white crime.
Shapiro writes that since Bannon has jumped on board the Trump train, “Breitbart has become the alt-right go-to website, with Yiannopoulos pushing white ethno-nationalism as a legitimate response to political correctness, and the comment section turning into a cesspool for white supremacist mememakers.”
Last week, anti-choice activist and Fox News contributor Alveda King appeared on “The Jim Bakker Show,” where she warned that Hillary Clinton is paving the way for the Antichrist.
During a discussion about how ISIS imposes the discriminatory jizya tax on Christians in its territory, King interjected to claim that Clinton “said basically, Christians and religious people in America need to set aside their religious beliefs and serve secular humanism, and in that point she was saying abortion or the thing with ISIS, and she really has said that we are going to have to learn in America to set aside our religious beliefs. And so I was saying, what she’s really saying is, usher in the Antichrist. She actually did say that.”
Clinton, of course, actually did not say that.
Here is the excerpt of the speech that King referenced:
Yes, we've nearly closed the global gender gap in primary school, but secondary school remains out of reach for so many girls around the world. Yes, we've increased the number of countries prohibiting domestic violence, but still more than half the nations in the world have no such laws on the books, and an estimated one in three women still experience violence. Yes, we've cut the mortality rate in half, but far too many women are still denied critical access to reproductive health care and safe childbirth.
All the laws we've passed don't count for much if they're not enforced. Rights have to exist in practice, not just on paper. Laws have to be backed up with resources and political will. And deep seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed.
As I have said, and as I believe, the advancement of the full participation of women and girls in every aspect of their societies is the great unfinished business of the twenty-first century, and not just for women but for everyone — and not just in far away countries but right here in the United States."
Right-wing pseudo-historian David Barton spoke at an Arkansas Tea Party conference last weekend, where he repeated his claim that you only find atheists living in cities because people who live in the country can see proof of God's existence revealed everywhere in the laws of nature.
Barton claimed that God has given us the laws of nature to show us how to live by simply watching how things like ant hills operate, which demonstrates how the government should guide the economy. Just as ants store up provisions for lean times, Barton said, so too should the government save in preparation for economic downturns instead of relying on deficit spending.
Lessons like this are found everywhere in the laws of nature, he declared, which is why you don't find any atheists among those who live out in the country.
"Do you know how hard it is to find an atheist in the country?" Barton asked. "You find atheists in the city. You find atheists in areas that don't get to see God. If you spend time looking at creation, you just don't find atheists out there."
As part of the Trump campaign’s latest shake-up, which brought in Breitbart’s Steve Bannon as chief executive, Republican pollster Kellyanne Conwaywas named campaign manager. During the Republican National Convention, Conway spoke on a panel at an event organized by the American Conservative Union; her remarks there give some indication of how she views Trump and this year’s campaign. Of course, her comments were made before Trump’s recent drop in the polls.
Conway was introduced as a “pollstress” who serves on ACU’s board and as a senior adviser to Mike Pence, and she reminded people that she had also run a pro-Ted Cruz super PAC.
Conway said Obama’s rising approval rating is “not relevant” to the campaign, because his ratings on specific issues like national security and the economy were under 50 percent. “Cool is not transferable,” she said. Obama does not, she said, have a mandate from the American people for his “decidedly left-of-center agenda.” Neither, she said, does Clinton. She said most Americans are opposed to Obamacare and that as more problems emerge in the state exchanges, Republicans should be going after it hard.
Conway said there is little ideological diversity within the Democratic party and that has made its leaders disconnected from average Americans:
Where are the boll weevil Democrats? Where are the blue dog Democrats? Where are the pro-life Democrats? Where are the pro-Second-Amendment Democrats? They are gone, particularly at the federal level…When you don’t have that in your membership, in your elected officials, particularly at the federal level, you forget that the country doesn’t agree with you. And I think that’s what’s happened to the modern Democratic Party. As it has shifted leftward, completely unrecognizable from Bill Clinton’s Democratic Party ... they believe they’ve shifted in response to the country, but that’s not true.
Conway said that while Clinton has built a traditional campaign, Trump built a movement and has done a good job at making people feel like they are part of it. People believe, she said, that he’s making a sacrifice to make this run. She believed that Trump family operations like The Apprentice reality TV show and Ivanka’s clothing line have helped him tap in the cultural zeitgeist. And she praised his use of direct language, like complaining during the primary of a “rigged, corrupt system” that was robbing people of their votes.
Conway said that Trump is the first national politician in a long time to talk to people who are hurting economically. The Republican Party she said, had become “dangerously close to becoming the party of the elites,” but Trump has moved it to becoming “the party of the worker.”
“We need to be the party of the job holders,” she said, not just the wealthy job creators.
Conway said that a year or a year and a half earlier, she had said in response to a question that her major criterion for the GOP candidate was that he be “unapologetically, unflinchingly unafraid” of the Clintons and their networks—“all the king’s horses, all the king’s men, all their money, all their stock, all their lies, all their corruption, all their distortions, all their name-calling.” Trump is not afraid of them, she said, and voters find him refreshing. And they like that he “occupies rented space in Hillary Clinton’s head.”
As we have noted, most Religious Right leaders supported Ted Cruz in the Republican presidential primary, while Trump’s “amen corner” consisted primarily of prosperity gospel preachers (like Paula White, who says Trump is “hungry in his heart” for God) and dominionist “prophets” and “apostles.”
And the Lord spoke very clearly to me, and he said to me, ‘This man is going to win the nomination and I want you to be ready to serve my cause when I call you.’…In this instance, it’s not because Donald Trump has heralded his faith or the name of God, but the Lord has put His favor upon him, and how amazing it is that the favor of God can overcome so many mistakes, so many bumbles, so many things that otherwise we would think would destroy somebody in business, destroy them in politics, destroy them in relationships. But yet it’s very evident it was the will of the Lord to do this and here we sit now.
2. God is using Trump to get pastors to fightfor religious freedom
Pastor Michael Anthony, president of Godfactor and founder of the National Week of Repentance, attended Trump’s June meeting with evangelicals and said he is convinced God is using Trump to move Christians to act to defend their religious freedom. “I think God was speaking through him at that moment, to the church, to tell us why are you being silent about the most important thing about your lives?”
3. Trump could make America worthy of God’s blessing
The Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins was a big Ted Cruz backer and has publicly been a somewhat reluctant supporter of Donald Trump. He told radio host Sandy Rios that Trump has made plenty of mistakes, but that if he “walks in that grace that is available” and surrounds himself with good people, he could “cast a vision that moves America back to the country that honors God again and therefore would be a recipient of His blessing.”
4. Trump would make America friendlier to Israel
Many conservative evangelicals have embraced a theological approach to Middle East policy, interpreting Bible verses to suggest that in order to enjoy God’s blessing, America must unconditionally support the Israeli government. Says Pastor John Hagee, head of Christians United For Israel, “we have a mandate from the Bible and that mandate is to be supportive of Israel and the Jewish people.” Even though Trump said earlier this year that he would be “neutral” regarding the Israel-Palestine dispute (a position he later backed away from), right-wing leaders have long denounced Obama as an enemy of Israel. The Times of Israel notes that Hagee, “has all but endorsed Trump by name.” Indeed, Hagee told his viewing audience that God would hold them accountable for their vote, saying, “I’m not going to vote for the party that has betrayed Israel for the past seven years.” Hagee has complained that “three million evangelicals did not vote in the past election,” saying “God forbid that happen again. We are going to storm the voting booths of America this time around.”
Southern Baptist pastor Robert Jeffress, one of Trump’s strongest Religious Right allies and a member of the campaign’s evangelical advisory board, declared that it is “biblical” to support a “strongman” to lead the government. Jeffress said he would run “as far as possible” from a candidate who said he would govern according to the principles of the Sermon on the Mount. “Nowhere is government told to forgive those who wrong it, nowhere is government told to turn the other cheek. Government is to be a strongman to protect its citizens against evildoers. When I’m looking for somebody who’s going to deal with ISIS and exterminate ISIS, I don’t care about that candidate’s tone or vocabulary, I want the meanest, toughest, son of a you-know-what I can find, and I believe that’s biblical.”
Wallnau: "Donald Trump's got this like Elijah mantle on him.” In the biblical book of 2 Kings, the prophet Elijah passed both his physical cloak and spiritual authority to his disciple Elisha when Elijah was taken to heaven in a flaming chariot. The reference to Elijah’s mantle is another way for Wallnau to express his belief that Trump is carrying out a divine mission. Elisha also seems to have had a Trumpish temperament when it comes to accepting criticism; the Bible reports that when some boys jeered at him and called him Baldy, he called down a curse on them and two bears came out of the nearby woods and mauled 42 of the boys.
9. Trump has a Cyrus anointing
“Donald Trump is more prophetic than people think,” Wallnau has said. “There is a Cyrus anointing on this man. He is like a Reformer in secular garb." In a video posted on his Facebook page following a meeting between Trump and religious leaders, Wallnau recounted telling Trump that he would become the 45th president of the United States because he has a "Cyrus anointing" upon him as proclaimed in Isaiah 45, referring to the Persian king who freed the Jews from captivity. “And I believe God had put His hand on you as a Cyrus to be a governor and that the Bible talks about this critical 45th chapter, as the 45th president, it is the decisive moment in American history for leadership,” Wallnau said. He has also explained his Cyrus theory in an interview with Steven Strang.
Trump shall become My trumpet to the American people, for he possesses qualities that are even hard to find in My people these days. Trump does not fear man nor will he allow deception and lies to go unnoticed. I am going to use him to expose darkness and perversion in America like never before, but you must understand that he is like a bull in a china closet. Many will want to throw him away because he will disturb their sense of peace and tranquility, but you must listen through the bantering to discover the truth that I will speak through him. I will use the wealth that I have given him to expose and launch investigations searching for the truth. Just as I raised up Cyrus to fulfill My purposes and plans, so have I raised up Trump to fulfill my purposes and plans prior to the 2016 election...
Note: In February Johnson said his prophecy had been misunderstood and that it did not mean Trump would become president, simply that it provided “prophetic insight and direction for the body of Christ,” something Johnson also said about the prophetic dream he had in which the Holy Spirit told him, “Marco Rubio is carrying a Thomas Jefferson anointing for this generation. He will break the back of tyrants and restore the patriotic spirit in America.” It must be said, the Holy Spirit gives Johnson a lot of messages about Republican politicians, telling him in May that South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley is “my Esther of the hour.”
10. Trump has a ‘breaker anointing’
Trump “Christian policy” adviser Frank Amedia told Steven Strang that there is “a skirmish going on” in the “heavenlies” right now that “is the beginnings of the preparation of the way of the coming of the Lord.” As part of this preparation for the Second Coming, he said, a “breaker anointing” has taken place, giving Trump the power to break up “established norms” that have not served the “Kingdom of God.” Amedia said, “I perceive that Donald Trump has been raised up with that breaker anointing to just begin to crush all of the strangleholds that have been placed upon this country.”
11. Trump is a divine ‘wrecking ball to the spirit of political correctness’
12. God has picked Trump to ‘beat down the walls of the New World Order’
Rick Wiles aired his “Trunews” radio show from a Trump rally in Kissimmee, Florida, in August. Wiles was excited about Trump accusing President Obama and Hillary Clinton of having founded the terrorist group ISIS (this was before Trump described the comments as sarcasm). “Donald Trump is telling the truth: Obama and Clinton are behind ISIS. This is what ‘Trunews’ has said for years,” Wiles said, adding later in the show, “It’s like he’s a battering ram, it’s like God has picked him up and used him as a battering ram to beat down the walls of the New World Order.”
13. Trump is fulfilling a 2011 prophecy that he will fight Satan
In April, “Trunews” host Rick Wiles invited self-proclaimed prophet Mark Taylor on to his End Times news program to discuss “his amazing 2011 prophecy that Donald Trump has been marked by God to lead America.” Taylor, a retired firefighter, explained that God told him that Donald Trump will be the next president and that anyone who criticizes him will be struck down, explaining that God has been preparing Trump for his entire life to become an extraordinarily successful president who will fight Satan. “The kingdom of darkness is attacking this man like never before,” Taylor said. “God is using this man—he’s not rattling the gates, because when you rattle the gates you don’t make entry—this man is literally splitting the kingdom of darkness right open.”
14. Trump is fulfilling a 2012 prophecy that he will bulldoze the White House
In January, Lou Comunale published a YouTube video (which now has more than 400,000 views) promoting a videotape he uncovered of late “prophet” John Paul Jackson interpreting a woman’s dream in 2012. A key element in the dream was a big bulldozer going “right through the White House just like it was a deck of cards.” “Only when you look at it now,” says Comunale “does it look like he’s actually talking about Donald J. Trump in the White House.”
16. Trump is like Jesus (and Martin Luther King and Jerry Falwell)
Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. is one of Trump’s strongest supporters on the Christian Right. When he introduced Trump on campus in January, Falwell compared Trump to his father, who was proud to be “politically incorrect,” and to Jesus and Martin Luther King, who said radical and unpopular things that upset the religious and political establishment.
17. Trump is like King David
During the primaries, Falwell responded to evangelicals who were critical of his endorsement by saying it’s wrong to be worried about electing the “most righteous” candidate. “God called King David a man after God’s own heart even though he was an adulterer and a murderer,” Falwell said. “You have to choose the leader that would make the best king or president and not necessarily someone who would be a good pastor. We’re not voting for pastor-in-chief. It means sometimes we have to choose a person who has the qualities to lead and who can protect our country and bring us back to economic vitality, and it might not be the person we call when we need somebody to give us spiritual counsel.”
18. Trump is like Saul/Paul
At Liberty Counsel’s “The Awakening” conference in March, televangelist James Robison literally screamed at participants that they must vote even if Trump was not their preferred candidate. Robison said he hoped that people who are close to Trump, like Falwell and Jeffress, will lead him to a “road to Damascus experience” like that described in the biblical story of Saul, who persecuted Christians but who became Paul the evangelist after an encounter with the risen Jesus. For the world to see God transform someone “who so obviously needs changing,” said Robison, would demonstrate God’s power even more effectively than if the Religious Right had been able to play kingmaker and get their preferred candidate the nomination.
19. Trump is like Samson
Anti-Islam extremist Walid Shoebat has decried Trump critics as “scum” and mocked Fox News’s Megyn Kelly as a “Delilah” sent by Trump’s enemies to try to take him down. “I thought that while this Samson (Trump) sinned, he must have God’s blessings since he is destined for a purpose.” Shoebat said Trump’s rejection of the GOP’s “autopsy report” was a sign that perhaps “God finally intervened.” Samson and Delilah are another scriptural reference, this time from the book of Judges. Samson was a warrior granted super-human strength by God; his unshaven hair was a sign of his commitment to God. But the duplicitous Delilah badgered him into revealing his secret and shaved his head while he was sleeping, allowing him to be captured by the Philistines. God eventually granted him the strength to bring down the pillars supporting the Philistines’ temple, killing himself and thousands of them.
20. Trump is like Churchill and Lincoln
Wallnau again: “When God wants to move in history, he doesn’t always pick the favorite evangelical.” He explained that God brought Abraham Lincoln and Winston Churchill to power at crucial moments in history, and that God is now raising up Trump for our time. He knows this, Wallnau said, because God told him so.
21. Trump is like George Washington
Wallnau again, citing the apocryphal story of George Washington supposedly surviving in battle despite his coat and hat being riddled with bullet holes thanks to the protection of God, told Trump that he too is being protected by God. "You've said things and done things that should have put the equivalent of a bullet in your coat," Wallnau said that he told Trump, "but they've passed through you because of the anointing. God is really watching over you.”
22. Trump is like Oscar Schindler
“The thing is, Trump’s supporters know that Trump is an Oscar Schindler, who did not mind bribing the Nazis to get to do what is good,” says Walid Shoebat. “No President can get elected without playing the game. They know that like Obama, who said he ‘loves Israel’ to only gain votes, Trump has to kiss dogs to get to the seat of power. Smattering of moderate-to-liberal policy positions he will gain the votes from democrats. Just as Obama did it, Trump will do the same trick.”
23. 2016 is a battle between good and evil
In June, Jeffress declared of the 2016 election, “This is not a battle between Republicans and Democrats. It’s a battle between good and evil, righteousness and unrighteousness, light and darkness, and I think it is time for people who say they are conservative Christians to get off the fence and go to the polls and vote their convictions.” Jeffress said that unlike President Obama, who he said “hates” conservative Christians, Trump will be a “true friend in the White House” and “appoint conservative justices to the Supreme Court.” Said Jeffress, “This isn’t about partisan politics. This is about good and evil.”
24. Hillary Clinton is motivated by the spirit of the Antichrist
American Family Association radio host Bryan Fischer declared in August that Hillary Clinton must not be allowed to become president because she is driven by a “profound anti-Christ impulse.” Said Fischer, “Hillary Clinton is motivated by the spirit of the Antichrist because she is against Christ, she is against Christianity, she is against the free exercise of the Christian faith, she doesn’t want the Christian faith to be a part of the public square, to influence public policy in any way, she is against everything that Christianity stands for…She is an opponent of all that is good and right and noble.”
The New York Times reported Tuesday that former Fox News chairman Roger Ailes, who resigned from the company after he was accused by multiple women of sexual harassment, “is advising Donald J. Trump as he begins to prepare for the all-important presidential debates this fall.”
While the Trump campaign denies the story, the fact that the current GOP nominee and the former network chief are in contact with each other is not in dispute. And to anyone who understands the career of Roger Ailes, there is also no doubt that he is chiming in with advice for his friend.
Ailes received widespread criticism in 2002 after Bob Woodward wrote that he had sent President George W. Bush ''an important-looking confidential communication” advising him on the course of action to take in the wake of 9/11. This was widely considered to be out of bounds for head of a news network whose job it was to cover the president, but Ailes apparently couldn’t help himself.
This is likely because he didn’t leave politics by choice. While Ailes cultivates the myth of being a campaign Svengali, he was forced out of politics after his racially divisive tactics became toxic to his clients. After he helped defeat Michael Dukakis in the 1988 presidential campaign, creating the notorious “Revolving Door” ad, Ailes ran Rudy Giuliani’s first New York mayoral race in 1989. He lost that election and then lost again when he was a consultant for a 1990 Senate race in Illinois, where he smeared his candidate’s opponent as a “complete fraud” and a “weenie.” Campaigns and Elections Magazine wrote at the time that Ailes was “a problem because he’s become an issue in so many campaigns. In any campaign where he’s involved, the editorialists are quick to point out that it’s Ailes doing the mudslinging. [Illinois Senate Candidate] Lynn Martin definitely got hurt by it. He really became a distraction and a bit of an albatross.”
While Ailes was undoubtedly brilliant at the stagecraft of campaigns, preparing candidates for debates and media interviews is where he excelled. He prepped Ronald Reagan for his 1984 debate against Walter Mondale, setting up the president with his most memorable line from the evening, “I am not going to exploit for political purposes my opponent’s youth and inexperience.” In 1988, he set the stage for a live interview with Dan Rather that helped clear George H.W. Bush’s path to victory.
Ailes’ advice to candidates he prepped—like Ailes himself—could be blunt and bigoted. He reportedly told Bush, “You can't wear a short sleeve shirt—you'll look like a f**king f**got.”
Given the reins of a campaign, Ailes would incorporate the same racially divisive tactics over and over again: for Nixon in 1968, Bush in 1988 and Rudy Giuliani in 1989, when he tried to win by stoking tensions between New York’s black and Jewish communities. Under Ailes’ leadership, Fox News has followed a similar pattern, consistently pushing the most racially divisive stories.
After his role in the losing 1990 Senate campaign in Illinois, even Ailes worried that his presence would sink Bush’s reelection effort. He left politics and produced a television show for Rush Limbaugh before heading to CNBC and eventually founding Fox News with Rupert Murdoch.
Trump’s campaign could offer Ailes one last chance to prove his mettle. The GOP nominee's embrace of racially divisive tactics is right out of Ailes’ 1968, 1988 and 1989 playbook: draw white voters to the polls by stoking racial fears and grievances. With Ailes’ dramatic flair and his talent for live television, it would only make sense for Donald Trump to turn to him for assistance.
But while Ailes' stink of defeat from the early 1990s might have worn off, the American electorate has significantly changed, leaving in doubt whether a strategy that is fully dependent on drawing out a certain segment of white voters could still lead to victory.
Paul Hair says that "Democrats have a moral duty to do evil" and warns that "should this coalition succeed in electing the communist Hillary Clinton to the White House, don’t be surprised when things become worse. After all, it’s the only possibility from a politician whose party openly supports terrorists and attacks Christians."
Joseph Farah asks if there is "even one so-called 'progressive' civilization in the history of the world that has offered 'gays' the kind of safety and security they have achieved, outside of the Judeo-Christian, Western, limited-government model?"
Apparently, Dinesh D'Souza thinks that he is a lot like Gandhi and Nelson Mandela.
Hans von Spakovsky says that those serving in the Obama administration, "if they weren't working in government, would be leaders of the Black Lives Matter movement, because they have exactly the same false beliefs that the Black Lives Matter movement does."
Finally, Lance Wallnau says that "God Sent Donald Trump to Wage War Against Destructive Spirits."