If you twist the Bible into enough knots, you may be able to persuade some people to believe anything you want them to. You can certainly convince the gullible your actions are somehow justified and even to the glory of the lord. I’ve listened to plenty of preachers who could list this skill on their resumes.
Many, many fundagelical leaders sold out this election for a promise on one or two issues. Obviously they are just as naive as their flocks, however, buying a bill of goods from an entire team of serial liars.
The worst offender in the group is lifelong self-righteous Religious Reich legislate my personal beliefs and shove them down your throat Mike Pence.
Although Jesus never specified anything anywhere about sexual orientation, Pence and his fellow fundies run entire campaigns on discrimination against LGBTQ. “Love thy neighbor” is such a difficult concept, and the fact that Jesus never turned anyone away goes right over their ego-inflated heads. Pence took himself from a strong presidential contender to one of the most hated governors in the country with one piece of legislation: Senate Bill 101, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, signed into law March 2015. It tanked Indiana’s economy, and I have yet to hear a decent or coherent argument for how this helps further the ministry. No matter how much I search, I simply cannot find a Biblical justification for turning anyone away because of their personal beliefs.
However, in the finest and most popular of fundagelical traditions, Mike Pence has blatantly come out against an overt biblical teaching; “Thou shalt not lie.” The New Testament covered this one multiple times, but my favorite is Revelation 21:8. “But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.” (ESV)
Pence had no compunction about lying straight-faced throughout the vice presidential debate. And this morning, he offered a KellyAnne Conway-esque excuse for Trump’s continuing lies about voter fraud.
“Well, it’s his right to express his opinion as president-elect of the United States,” Pence said. “I think one of the things that’s refreshing about our president-elect and one of the reasons why I think he made such an incredible connection with people all across this country is because he tells you what’s on his mind.” (HuffPo)
So now lying is an opinion, and that makes it okay?
Pressed again for evidence, Pence said Trump has “expressed his opinion on that. He’s going to say what he believes to be true and I know that he’s always going to speak in that way as president.”
Hypocrisy is what sent me screaming in the opposite direction from religion to begin with. Many scholars and religious leaders have written about this election and the negative impact it will have on the church for years to come. But from the point of view of a woman whose ass was in a pew the better part of thirty years, and who lives in a state that prides itself on religious bigotry, the campaign itself will have nothing on the next several years of governance.
Remember all the online Christian Patriots? They are just more colorful, slightly bolder versions of their leaders. Nothing says Christian love and witness like:
- If you don’t like it, leave!
- You stupid liberal!
- We’re in charge now, and we don’t care what you think!
Yeah, amen and pass the wine. We’re gonna need it by the case.