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The cult of Trump escalated my departure from Christianity


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The cult of Trump escalated my departure from Christianity. As I watched dignity, honor, and character take a backseat to the Republican party, I started to realize how many Christians were really just Republicans.

 

Has it always been this way? I tell myself that before Obama, people argued over policy. Am I wrong? Has American Christianity always been a tool to control elections or are we seeing something new under Trump?

 

I'm not naive enough to think politicians don't pander. I just don't know if I'm only just now (since 2015) seeing it for what it is because of Trump, my loss of a Christian world view (2020), or because it is actually getting worse. 

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I agree with Dave and Josh.   Christians and political Progressives/leftists have in common the idea that the human state can be perfected.  For Christians it occurs when Heaven is reached a

What do you call a Trump supporter in a Texas boat parade?       ...       A Proud Buoy.

The cult of Trump escalated my departure from Christianity. As I watched dignity, honor, and character take a backseat to the Republican party, I started to realize how many Christians were really jus

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What you're seeing is not new.  It has been building up since I was a kid back in the 70s and 80s.  9/11 gave it an massive adrenaline rush and Trumpism has sent it into overdrive.  

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When I was a kid, Catholics were staunchly Democrat as were most mainline Protestants. Evangelicals were mostly peitistic and non-poilitical.

 

Legalized abortion was an initial impetus to motivate Christians of all ilks to leave the Democratic party. 

 

Here's an interesting synopsis regarding the development of political feelings within Catholicism. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic_Church_and_politics_in_the_United_States#:~:text=Catholics now comprise 25% to,the 80–90% level.

 

Here is where various types of Christians supposedly fall today, according to PEW Research: FT_16.02.22_religionPoliticalAffiliation

 

Later, when televangelism really caught on with believers and the moral majority simultaneously gained momentum (durning the Reagan-era). the Republican Party integrated many moral majority concerns into their platform. Meanwhile, the Democrat Party went a different direction supporting Gay rights and a women's right to choose (abortion). 

 

And so, after more division along those lines and other lines, here we are today.

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I know several people from my former congregation (Church of Christ) who can't stand Trump, but will vote for him again anyway simply because he is allied with people who are very anti-abortion. That's their main issue. One of them said to me a while back that he would rather support someone with a personality like Jimmy Carter, who he admires personally, but who would make sure to end the practice of abortions. Some of the others I've talked to really thought Obama was a very good man. but he just did not oppose the "baby-killing" that goes on in America. I guess you'd call them "single-issue voters".....

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9 hours ago, Tsathoggua9 said:

I know several people from my former congregation (Church of Christ) who can't stand Trump, but will vote for him again anyway simply because he is allied with people who are very anti-abortion. That's their main issue. One of them said to me a while back that he would rather support someone with a personality like Jimmy Carter, who he admires personally, but who would make sure to end the practice of abortions. Some of the others I've talked to really thought Obama was a very good man. but he just did not oppose the "baby-killing" that goes on in America. I guess you'd call them "single-issue voters".....

 

I used to feel similarly compelled. But years before I became atheist, I realized abortion rates have declined at higher rates under Democrat Presidents than Republican Presidents. Even when presented with the data, pro-life Christians scoff. But what I see with the support for Trump takes the single issue voting to a level of cult behavior. Beside the claim of being pro-life, is there anything even remotely Christian about Trump? 

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17 hours ago, webmdave said:

When I was a kid, Catholics were staunchly Democrat as were most mainline Protestants. Evangelicals were mostly peitistic and non-poilitical.

 

Legalized abortion was an initial impetus to motivate Christians of all ilks to leave the Democratic party. 

 

Here's an interesting synopsis regarding the development of political feelings within Catholicism. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic_Church_and_politics_in_the_United_States#:~:text=Catholics now comprise 25% to,the 80–90% level.

 

Here is where various types of Christians supposedly fall today, according to PEW Research: 

Later, when televangelism really caught on with believers and the moral majority simultaneously gained momentum (durning the Reagan-era). the Republican Party integrated many moral majority concerns into their platform. Meanwhile, the Democrat Party went a different direction supporting Gay rights and a women's right to choose (abortion). 

 

And so, after more division along those lines and other lines, here we are today.

 

Very interesting. I never would have guessed that Catholics would lean Democratic still. Most I know today are Republican.

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5 hours ago, AcrobaticDetective said:

 

Very interesting. I never would have guessed that Catholics would lean Democratic still. Most I know today are Republican.

 

John F Kennedy, a Democrat, was Roman Catholic -- the first ever Catholic president.  It made quite a stir at the time. 

 

Many traditional Catholics still vote Democratic, if you accept the findings of Pew Research as shown in the chart above. 

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On 9/1/2020 at 10:44 PM, AcrobaticDetective said:

 

I used to feel similarly compelled. But years before I became atheist, I realized abortion rates have declined at higher rates under Democrat Presidents than Republican Presidents. Even when presented with the data, pro-life Christians scoff. But what I see with the support for Trump takes the single issue voting to a level of cult behavior. Beside the claim of being pro-life, is there anything even remotely Christian about Trump? 

 

No, he certainly isn't christian. Although I have seen people on the internet saying that the Trumpster is a "baby christian". Nobody I know personally has actually said that around me, though....

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It's the cherry on top of all the observations of how willy-nilly American Xian theology is, as the central agenda is always simply political. Pastors will literally make the opposite interpretation/argument of a passage one day to the next depending on what trendy Republican position it seems to support. "We are at war with Oceania, we were always at war with Oceania".

 

Ethical consistency? There was never such a thing. There is instead a constant testing of political fealty through your willingness to swallow blatant theological and logical inconsistencies. In this sense the "believer's" willingness to flaunt hypocrisy becomes not only acceptable but a matter to be proud of, to these people, as it demonstrates unreserved political loyalty.

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The political choices the country faces, in the upcoming election, are disturbing to say the least. An over the top narcissist or a senile old man that can barely utter two coherent sentences consecutively. And that can’t remember what he said from one minute to the next. 
 

This is likely the most important election in the countries modern history. No matter who wins the probability of a civil war is likely. If the Democrats win there appears to be an excellent chance that the United States will be fundamentally changed maybe forever. It isn’t likely the losing side, no matter who that is, will accept the winner as the legitimate President. Chaos, civil unrest, and all out anarchy appears to be our Countries immediate future.

 

Which candidate is most likely to preserve the Union, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights? I think that has become pretty clear. The Republicans are fighting to preserve the United States, the Democratic Party, at least those that now control it, seem to favor a Marxist Communist style Dictatorship. They seem to be convinced total central government control is a better form of government, or at least the best way to control the population. 
 

That kind of sounds like a religion doesn’t it? It’s kInd of ironic most Christian reject that form of government, but have no problem letting religion, and religious leaders, control their lives. 

 

It’s disturbing to think the ultimate fate of the Unites States may very well rest in the hands of Donald Trump. If Biden and the far left wins the Presidency will the Joint Chiefs of the armed forces allow the destruction of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights? They have taken oaths to protect and preserve the U.S. and the Constitution.


Will the U.S. become a third world country where the military decides who runs the country?  If you are ever going to vote in an election this is the time to vote. Dark days appear to be ahead of us. 


  
 

 

 

 

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58 minutes ago, Geezer said:

The Republicans are fighting to preserve the United States

Really? I must have been in a coma the past three years.

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56 minutes ago, florduh said:

Really? I must have been in a coma the past three years.


Apparently I’m the delusional one. I’ve got the distinct impression it’s the radical left that has initiated riots, burning & looting businesses, intimidating, beating, and shooting anyone that disagrees with them. And, from what I’ve seen, read, and heard it’s the liberal news media that is supporting them. 
 

So, it’s really the Republicans and political conservatives that are the real culprits doing this? I confess that I did not know that.

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5 minutes ago, Geezer said:

I’ve got the distinct impression it’s the radical left that has initiated riots, burning & looting businesses, intimidating, beating, and shooting anyone that disagrees with them. And, from what I’ve seen, read, and heard it’s the liberal news media that is supporting them.

 

Where is this happening? I live just outside Portland, Oregon, and very few of the protesters are violent. Most are there about the racial issues. There seems to be a handful or two that are dedicated to starting fires, smashing windows, looting and some of them have been arrested, and are now facing federal charges. Apparently (according to posts I've seen today) at least a few were white supremacists doing it to cause chaos.

One guys posted a video of himself driving through a totally lovely downtown Portland and said "Here's a video I took this morning driving around the central downtown blocks of Portland, Oregon - the city that Donald Trump portrays as if it were a war zone - a city brought to its knees by protesters and weak Democrat politicians. Granted, it is not so peaceful on these 4 blocks late at night when relatively small groups of bad actors and, lately, anti-demonstrators take the opportunity to cause trouble. But just for perspective, this is what it looks like the rest of the time."

 

On the flip side, there is video of the Portland police letting a very aggressive Trump truck caravan through town, blocking traffic to keep them together while the goons in the trucks fired paintballs at those they didn't like. The guys on the right are carrying actual firearms to the protests, and the authorities seem fine with that. Meanwhile the Orange One fans the flames and says that Portland is burning, which is utter bullshit. A couple of blocks are the target of the violent protesters, the rest of the rather large city is fine. The federal troops they sent were using tactics like unmarked vans snatching people off the street (really they could have been anyone in the vans, and that's supposed to be ok). So pretty much all you said seems backwards from my perspective locally. 

 

The governor is pushing the protest leaders to stop the violence and vandalism, and to separate from those doing it. Otherwise the cause is drowned out by chaos. 

 

It does sometimes get hard to tell who is telling the truth anymore. Facebook is 99% political, so I tend to post recipes and music instead. 

 

Biden... I still can't believe that was the best the DNC could come up with. The DNC is scared shitless of the progressives, so they picked someone they think is a safe bet. Time will tell. Biden is so damn middle, there should be no fear of him even being "left" much less Marxist. 

 

 

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Very few are violent?  How many violent acts does it take to change a protest into riot? If you believe these “protest” taking place in various parts of the country are about racial injustice, then we have just interpreted the evidence differently.

 

I’m neither a Republican or a Democrat. I can agree and disagree with elements of both parties agenda’s. I’ve never been a fan of Trump until the Democrats allowed the radical left to take control of their party. As far as this election goes I’m solidly in the Republican camp because, IMO, the Democrats have lost their minds. 


The #walkaway movement is gaining members because others seem to think so too.

 

Anticipating your response. When it comes to religion and politics folks are often convinced everyone that sees these issues differently have been brainwashed. I’m basing my position on evidence, not emotion. But, of course, most folks say that don’t they? :wacko::49:


 

 

 

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On 9/1/2020 at 6:27 AM, webmdave said:

When I was a kid, Catholics were staunchly Democrat as were most mainline Protestants. Evangelicals were mostly peitistic and non-poilitical.

 

Legalized abortion was an initial impetus to motivate Christians of all ilks to leave the Democratic party. 

 

Here's an interesting synopsis regarding the development of political feelings within Catholicism. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic_Church_and_politics_in_the_United_States#:~:text=Catholics now comprise 25% to,the 80–90% level.

 

Here is where various types of Christians supposedly fall today, according to PEW Research: FT_16.02.22_religionPoliticalAffiliation

 

Later, when televangelism really caught on with believers and the moral majority simultaneously gained momentum (durning the Reagan-era). the Republican Party integrated many moral majority concerns into their platform. Meanwhile, the Democrat Party went a different direction supporting Gay rights and a women's right to choose (abortion). 

 

And so, after more division along those lines and other lines, here we are today.

 

I'm surprised at the SDA stat's. Down here in the south SDA's tend towards conservative. But I suppose nation wide, considering the north and all of the liberal cities, the balance must change. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Geezer said:

When it comes to religion and politics folks are often convinced everyone that sees these issues differently have been brainwashed. I’m basing my position on evidence, not emotion. But, of course, most folks say that don’t they? :wacko::49:

 

I'm working through a train of thought about politics. My thought is that politics should be very objective, not as subjective as it is. Religion is subjective. It has to be.

 

But with politics there's something solid to stand on. There are real stats to consider. Policy. And generally objective issues on the table. For instance, taking a situation where let's say 100 people are shot in a years time from mass shootings. And people are claiming that we're facing a major problem. That's a subjective claim, not an objective claim. Objectively, it's a small potatoes issue along side of how many people die annually from any number of things. It could be last on the list of everything people are dying from annually. That would be the objective truth. A 'major problem' would be the first several things on the list, obviously, and objectively. Things that would be very difficult to cure. And so often overlooked in favor of focusing on partisan, subjective based political points. 

 

The same with black men dying at the hands of police as a major happenstance. Or any similar subjective, political claim. If it's not objectively valid as a claim, then it's just as subjective as religion. This all seems pretty cut and dry. Evidence, not emotion. Because only emotion is driving claims to the effect that a handful of deaths mean that a major problem is taking place. Emotional, subjective based, partisan focused, politicizing. Now trying to wean people off of subject political views is likely as difficult as weaning them off of subjective religious views, for the same reasons. 

 

What you are saying is that you want to try and be objective about your position taking, not subjective about it. I can't agree more. I'm not even dogging being subjective, I'm just pointing out that it's the realm of religion and spirituality to be subjective, by default. It doesn't have objective fact going for it. But politics can. There's no chance of being objective with religion and belief.

 

But there's every chance and opportunity to be objective with politics. And if both sides of a two party system are being subjective about it (which they both often are), you can disagree with both of them at the point of parting ways with objectivity. This isn't a pipe dream, it's possible to remain objective. And to label subjective things as such and make clear that one understands the difference between the two. 

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4 hours ago, Geezer said:

The Republicans are fighting to preserve the United States, the Democratic Party, at least those that now control it, seem to favor a Marxist Communist style Dictatorship.

 

Thanks for your perspective, Geezer. I have to say that you are the first non-religious person I've met who has this point of view, so I am very interested in hearing more from you on this. I see it exactly the opposite of you (just replace Marxism with Fascism). What is it exactly about the Democratic party that has lead you to this conclusion? 

 

Protesting is fundamental to a free society. I am completely against violence, but I see Trump and Fox trying to blow the violence out of proportion specifically for the purpose of bringing in police to show who's boss. This seems fascist to me. From the Democratic leadership I see them calling for an end to racism, sexism, and bigotry. I see Biden (I'm not fan) calling for uniting the country while Trump (also not a fan) trying to create a divide by pandering to the religious right.

 

Please correct me with your take. I am honestly interested in it--a rational take from a perspective opposite of mine.

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It is my understanding that the majority of people arrested in these riots are not locals, but people who come in from outside to stir up trouble.  Things are not always as they seem at first glance.  And it is obvious to me that Trump enjoys stiring up trouble.  His suggestion today for people to vote by mail, and try  again at the polls, will cause severe problems. He is a master at causing division.  He grew up in a household that promoted winner take all, and no holds barred. 

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45 minutes ago, AcrobaticDetective said:

From the Democratic leadership I see them calling for an end to racism, sexism, and bigotry. I see Biden (I'm not fan) calling for uniting the country while Trump (also not a fan) trying to create a divide by pandering to the religious right.

 

Please correct me with your take. I am honestly interested in it--a rational take from a perspective opposite of mine.

 

They are pandering to an audience, both of them. Calling for an end to racism, sexism, and bigotry, means running contrary to a constitutional republic where citizens are free to think and have their own respective opinions. It's part of a call for bigger government and more government control over individual people. This isn't very different than christianity coming at you as goodness. It's not a bad thing, it's a good thing. But that good thing wants to control you. It spews hate speech toward anything that differs with it. And by the end of it all, you're forced to question how good of a thing it actually is in reality. 

 

How is the democratic party going to end racism, sexism, and bigotry? 

 

Through what methodology can this be achieved by a political party seeking power? Let's think about this really hard and see what comes of it from a purely objective take. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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This is somewhat of a side issue, but figures into some of these riots. Through the years I have tried to look into the background of people who get shot by police.  Black or not.  I am convinced that many of them are "suicide by proxy."   Many are drunk or on drugs, and are having serious problems in life.  They aren't thinking straight, and at that moment don't care what happens to them, or may even want to die, but don't have the guts to do it themselves.  So they are defiant  and too often the police are happy to oblige them.  We need to train police for this, and to look at the big picture of why people get to that point of despondency. 

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6 minutes ago, Joshpantera said:

 

How are they going to end racism, sexism, and bigotry? 

 

Through what methodology can this be achieved? Let's think about this really hard and see what comes of it. 

 

 

How about using the social sciences to see what promotes healthy human beings and social systems.  Our present system only seems to be interested in making a quick buck, winning the next election, and maintaining power.   And do you know why I think people don't want to go there?  Anytime you start looking at the well-being of humans, people scream SOCIALISM!   And I can partially understand why.  In the past it has been to simply use monetary "give away" programs that foster dependency and entitlement.  There are scientific answers, but anytime you mention psychology, sociology, human/social development, again people scoff and yell SOCIALISM! 

But it is okay to study economics, and How to make more money.  We even have the freedom of speech to teach how to cheat people.  And to tell lies.  Laws against those things have been relaxed in recent years. It is all geared for the powerful to maintain their power.  We need another look at our constitution.  To redefine our "rights."  We need to examine our "mind sets."  To look at the big picture of what we want for our planet. We need to temper our individual and tribal egos with some humanity.  Again, some will say that is socialism, and the division goes on!

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Something else just crossed my mind, and I think will start researching tomorrow.  Is there any country in the world that seems to be moving toward true peace, humanity, and equality?

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9 hours ago, Joshpantera said:

I'm not even dogging being subjective, I'm just pointing out that it's the realm of religion and spirituality to be subjective, by default. It doesn't have objective fact going for it. But politics can. There's no chance of being objective with religion and belief.

 

But there's every chance and opportunity to be objective with politics.


I’ve never known a time when politics (in the US and the English-speaking world in general) has been more subjective, more driven by emotion and irrational thinking.  It’s become much more about hating the other tribe than about policy.  Social media and TV news magnify this, rewarding snark and sound-bites.  Never have people had so much factual information at their fingertips, and rarely have people acted so irrationally.  
 

The one bright spot is the long-form podcasts from the likes of Joe Rogan, Michael Shermer and Sam Harris.  All is not lost.  

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