THE LAST TEMPTATION (MICHAEL GERSON)

THE LAST TEMPTATION (MICHAEL GERSON)

THE ATLANTIC (.COM)

APRIL 2018 ISSUE / POLITICS

COMMENTARY BY CHARLES SULKA

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Michael Gerson give us a brilliant analysis of the mess the religious right has made of Christian Evangelism, and while doing so, he reminds us that we need to rediscover the core values of our faith.

This is the best expression of Christian values I have ever heard coming from a self-professed Christian Evangelical. I am not suffering under the delusion that the so-called religious right will some day see the light and rediscover the true meaning of the Christian faith. Sad to say, it would appear that this generation is lost. But there is hope that younger Christians will be inspired to a deeper faith and a renewal in the Church by following the lead of men like Gerson.

If I find any fault with this man’s views, it would be his tolerance with respect to feminism, homosexuality, and the murderous religion of the false prophet Mohammed. Let me briefly address each point.

* The Trump administration’s discrimination against people of the Muslim faith might indeed run counter to the U.S. Constitution, as Gerson suggests. If so it is time to rewrite the Constitution. You don’t embrace — or even tolerate — the most evil, destructive force in the world because it would be inconvenient or illegal to oppose it. You change the laws.

* Homosexual marriage is wrong. The homosexual lifestyle is wrong. Homosexual acts are wrong — harmful to the individual spiritually and bodily, and harmful to society as a whole. Look at the social cost of AIDS, just one problem associated with homosexuality. Moreover, the cost of America’s moral decay is incalculable.

Homosexuality is a predisposition to unnatural lusts and inappropriate attraction to members of the same sex — more often than not, children. Individuals so afflicted struggle with this condition — a condition for which there is currently no medical cure — all of their lives. A confused sexuality is a disordered state that not only impacts the individual, literally shaping their lives, but it carries with it serious social ramifications. It is difficult to deal with the issue — to strike a balance between firm resolve, personal liberty, and limited government. But for the good of society, responsible action must be taken. Repressing homosexual activity through social opprobrium and restrictive measures is the only responsible course of action.

But remember … all of God’s children have the right to live and the right to work. That being said, homosexuals must be kept away from children, for obvious reasons. Homosexual ‘marriage’ is the first treacherous step down this slippery slope. Homosexual unions can never be tolerated; the concept of homosexual marriage must be opposed and outlawed, even if doing so puts one in direct opposition to the government, for it legitimizes homosexual acts and the homosexual lifestyle.

* The nuclear family is the building block of society, and must be protected against the assaults by the forces of liberalism. The women’s movement is actively (and quite openly) hostile to the concept of the nuclear family. The women’s movement has won significant victories in the struggle for equality and justice. But at this point it is fair to say that the women’s movement has run its course; feminism (now in its fourth iteration) has become a violent and volatile force in society — and not a force for good. To the extent that it is possible, radical feminists should be brought back into the fold. This is a challenge every Christian must face.

In all of the above examples, the law has been — and increasingly will be — weaponized. We will see our tax dollars being used against us by a government that has been commandeered by subversive elements in society. Being unable to impose their views on society through logic or sheer numbers, the subversives use force (the power of the state) by abasing the law, literally weaponizing the law and demeaning the concept of justice. Speaking the truth and standing up for what is right is increasingly being criminalized, with harsh measures enacted against dissenting viewpoints. Freedom of expression is everywhere violently suppressed, and not just in America. The power of almighty government will be brought to bear on those who stand for good morals, good sense, and good government.

Two other points the writer makes in this article should give us pause. The writer pays lip service to the Christian concept of subsidiarity — that being that decisions affecting people’s lives should be made at the lowest level (closest to the individual) to provide the greatest degree of freedom and self-determination. The typical hierarchical structure of government should be turned upside-down, in other words. The decisions affecting people’s lives should be made first in the family, then at the local, or community level, rather than at the level of state or national government (or at the supranational level envisioned by the globalists in their vision of one-world government.)

Gerson’s position is that subsidiarity should be the guiding principle … until it is not. Gerson’s formula is to have the national government step in when local government fails. While this might at first sound reasonable, the devil is in the details, as they say. Who, exactly, is to determine when lower decisions, actions (or inaction) have failed? By what measure is the decision to override local and state authority to be made? Who is to decide the point at which action by a higher government is to be taken? Who, exactly, has the final say on the rights of the individual, or the group, or the community? Should the Federal government have all power, with the States having none?

In other words, should the government be accountable to the people, or vice versa? Why don’t we ask the Founders?

Many feel that the big problem in America today is all-intrusive, all-powerful national government — a government which might soon be subordinate to a one-world system, part of the globalists’ New World Order. America’s government today is demonstrably under the sway of dark forces and foreign powers — just look at the deleterious influence AIPAC and the Zionists have on America’s political system. Think how bad it will be when America is nothing more than a protectorate under the communist government of this emerging New World Order. This possibility looks more and more likely every passing day under the nation’s inept leadership. Gerson’s passing reference to this core Christian principle needs further explanation.

Finally, Gerson is careful to avoid any meaningful discussion of economics. America is being torn apart by the pure evil of neoliberal economics — an economic system designed by Satan himself. This economic model is a core principle of Republican politics. There can be no talk of meaningful change in the Evangelicals’ political program so long as they subscribe to the economic system from hell.

Of special note is Gerson’s reminding us of the emphasis on activism and good works that formed the basis of the faith for so many of the early American Protestants, the forerunners of modern day Evangelicals. American Protestants have completely forsaken the teachings of our Lord and have instead embraced selfishness, greed, hypocrisy, and disdain for their fellow man. None could be further from the Truth of the Gospel than American Evangelicals today. Pray for the evangelicals.

The underlying message in Gerson’s essay is that by embracing the Republican party and that party’s exemplar and Commander-In-Chief, Donald Trump, the Christian right made a pact with the devil. In this Faustian bargain, they attainted political power which they have used to empower psychopaths and spread some unspeakably evil doctrines. In this arrangement, the Devil made out like a bandit. The devil always does.

But ask yourself, what choice did America’s Christians have? The Democrat Party, dominated by perverts and flakes — many of whom make no effort to conceal their contempt for this country — and led by the Clinton organized crime family? The tragedy of politics in America’s two-party duopoly is that the lesser of two evils is still evil. This is the sad reality of politics in America today. No matter which path one chooses, one is still doing the devil’s work by participating in America’s electoral politics.

American politics is a sham, not a democracy. It will take more than just choosing between Jerk “A” and Jerk “B” at the voting booth to have a meaningful impact on the future of this once-great nation. Yes, it is necessary that we ‘throw the bums out.’ Hopefully, violent action can be avoided. But if reasonable and prudent men like the Founders could not avoid the use of force to oppose the evil of overweening government, can we?

The real problem is that America’s political system has failed; many are coming to realize that it is beyond repair. America’s existing political system will never produce responsible government, or government responsive to the people. The Founding Fathers could not have foreseen the developments that have brought the nation to its present deplorable state. But in their wisdom the Founders did devise a system which allows for regeneration, for change, for course correction. Now is the time the real genius of America’s founders will be proven.

We need to make America great again — by reordering society in accord with Christian principles. This will probably take a new Constitution. It will definitely take a new political system. It will take some drastic changes, that is for sure. This is what the Founders would have done. It is what they did. Are we squander their legacy?
 

Read The Last Temptation by Michael Gerson. There is a lot of insight here along with some fascinating history.

(chs 07-11-2019 2000 -0500)

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The Last Temptation

How evangelicals, once culturally confident, became an anxious minority seeking political protection from the least traditionally religious president in living memory

by Michael Gerson April 2018 Issue Politics


One of the most extraordinary things about our current politics — really, one of the most extraordinary developments of recent political history — is the loyal adherence of religious conservatives to Donald Trump. The president won four-fifths of the votes of white evangelical Christians. This was a higher level of support than either Ronald Reagan or George W. Bush, an outspoken evangelical himself, ever received.

Trump’s background and beliefs could hardly be more incompatible with traditional Christian models of life and leadership. Trump’s past political stances (he once supported the right to partial-birth abortion), his character (he has bragged about sexually assaulting women), and even his language (he introduced the words pussy and shithole into presidential discourse) would more naturally lead religious conservatives toward exorcism than alliance. This is a man who has cruelly publicized his infidelities, made disturbing sexual comments about his elder daughter, and boasted about the size of his penis on the debate stage. His lawyer reportedly arranged a $130,000 payment to a porn star to dissuade her from disclosing an alleged affair. Yet religious conservatives who once blanched at PG-13 public standards now yawn at such NC-17 maneuvers. We are a long way from The Book of Virtues.

Trump supporters tend to dismiss moral scruples about his behavior as squeamishness over the president’s “style.” But the problem is the distinctly non-Christian substance of his values. Trump’s unapologetic materialism—his equation of financial and social success with human achievement and worth—is a negation of Christian teaching. His tribalism and hatred for “the other” stand in direct opposition to Jesus’s radical ethic of neighbor love. Trump’s strength-worship and contempt for “losers” smack more of Nietzsche than of Christ. Blessed are the proud. Blessed are the ruthless. Blessed are the shameless. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after fame.

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Read the full article at The Atlantic:

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2018/04/the-last-temptation/554066/