Golden Calf vs Orange Pig

I’m not a big fan of Michael Gerson, former GWB aide and current Post columnist, but kudos to him for calling out the Reverend Franklin Graham in a recent column:

In their day of prayer [for Trump], Graham and other Trump evangelicals have used a sacred spiritual practice for profane purposes. They have subordinated religion to politics. They have elevated Trump as a symbol of divine purposes. And they are using Christian theology as a cover for their partisanship.

So: This is blasphemy, in service to ideology, leading to idolatry, justified by heresy. All in a Sunday’s work.

Most Christians are familiar with Jonathan Edwards’s sermon, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.” In Graham, we are seeing God in the hands of an angry political toady.

A cynic might note that people like Gerson didn’t seem to mind the politicization of the church when the partisan object of evangelical devotion was less overtly vulgar and grasping, such as Ronald Reagan or Bush II. But lines must be drawn somewhere, I suppose, so way to defend the faith, Gerson.

Speaking of defenders of the faith, remember Trump’s appearance at a Virginia church last Sunday to be prayed over, an appearance that was notable at the time mainly because 18 holes of golf had flattened Trump’s iconic triple-combover and because Trump waddled across the church stage in golf spikes? Turns out that preacher had to deal with some fallout from the visit:

Pastor David Platt of McLean Bible Church in a statement posted on the church’s website wrote Sunday that his prayer was not an endorsement of the Trump administration and its policies.

“Sometimes we find ourselves in situations that we didn’t see coming, and we’re faced with a decision in a moment when we don’t have the liberty of deliberation, so we do our best to glorify God,” he wrote. “Today, I found myself in one of those situations.”

“My aim was in no way to endorse the president, his policies, or his party, but to obey God’s command to pray for our president and other leaders to govern in the way this passage [from 2nd Timothy — or “Two Timothy,” as Trump might put it] portrays,” Platt continued… “I wanted to share all of this with you in part because I know that some within our church, for a variety of valid reasons, are hurt that I made this decision,” he said. “This weighs heavy on my heart.

“I love every member of this church, and I only want to lead us with God’s Word in a way that transcends political party and position, heals the hurts of racial division and injustice, and honors every man and woman made in the image of God,” he wrote.

A couple of things struck me when reading about this incident. The first was the post-hoc justification for Trump’s appearance. Trump’s spokespeople said it was related to the mass shooting that occurred in Virginia a couple of days before. But the preacher makes no mention of the shooting and says he was surprised by a call that came out of the blue just a few minutes prior to Trump’s arrival — the preacher says he was asked if he would “pray for the president.”

What the preacher did allude to in his remarks onstage with Trump was the call (by Franklin Graham and other Trump-humping evangelicals) for a special day of prayer for Trump. Platt was meticulously nonpartisan in his remarks and semi-apologetic afterward, as you can see in the full remarks he posted to the church website here, excerpted above.

The conflicting information about the purpose of the visit sounds like typically sloppy advance work by Trump’s people, who can’t put together a two-paragraph press release that isn’t riddled with errors. Trump probably muttered something about “that prayer thing for me” during the round of golf, and the toadies leaped into action, Googling nearby “evangelical churches” and landing on Platt’s.

They probably figured a “Bible-believing” evangelical church in a mostly white Virginia town would be Trump friendly, and if the churches up there are anything like the ones down here, they’d usually be right. But it turns out the church they randomly selected was less white and less Republican than expected.

So, the bullshit about Trump showing up to pray about the shooting was probably made up after the fact by Trump’s crack team of incompetents, either to stave off criticism about Trump’s non-response to now-routine gun massacres, explain his disheveled appearance, or provide cover for the less-than-enthusiastic welcome he received. This is how bad the Trump people are at their jobs — they couldn’t even find a pro-Trump congregation of white evangelicals in Dixie.

Anyhoo, church attendance and religious affiliation have been declining in this country for decades, and white evangelical Christianity’s embrace of Trump will likely accelerate that trend. It’s up to Christians who don’t worship the Orange Pig to call out the heretics among them. It’s good to see some of them are up to the challenge.

100 replies
  1. 1
    germy says:

    This … is incredible.
    American televangelist Kenneth Copeland never foresaw that buying a private jet with money raised by his church would prompt difficult questions.
    Reporter does an AMAZING job.
    The man actually looks unhinged.— Jeremy Vine (@theJeremyVine) May 31, 2019

    The interviewer is taller than him, so he made sure to stand on his limo so he could tower over her.

  2. 2
    kindness says:

    I don’t like everything Gerson writes. But he does have a much better grasp on integrity than Franklin Graham or any of the other (antichrist) evengelicals out there. Mostly because he is honest from time to time.

  3. 3
    germy says:

    Thanks for sharing our @InsideEdition interview.“Kenneth Copeland, preacher, defends lavish spending in tense interview: 'I'm a very wealthy man' – Washington Times”— Lisa Guerrero 💃🏽 (@4lisaguerrero) June 4, 2019

  4. 4
    cmorenc says:

    While visiting with some relatives, I went along with them to their church one Sunday morning to their Evangelical-flavored Baptist church – in the parking lot on the way in, I spotted several Trump bumper stickers still there a year post-election. The preacher gave a fine-sounding sermon about proper values in life and grace focusing on a handful of Bible passages, and then spoke about an imminently upcoming missionary trip to India some members of the congregation were undertaking, led by him, bringing members of that party forward for the congregation to pray with. The preacher mentioned that based on a past mission he had undertaken to India, they might face a somewhat difficult, reluctant reception by the locals. No shit, Sherlock – before worrying about the motes in the un-baptized Hindu eyes of people halfway around the world, it might help to be more self-aware of the huge log blocking the view from your own eyes.

  5. 5
    Kay says:

    It is just so gross that the low quality Trump hires made it about Trump.

    They have bad manners. They don’t know how to act. You know, they’ll say it’s elitism but it isn’t- it’s ordinary decent behavior and lots and lots of people manage it but NONE of the Trump people are capable of it.

    Why can’t they do the simplest things in a somewhat normal manner? He couldn’t at least change his shoes? He’s too stupid to figure that out?

  6. 6
    TomatoQueen says:

    Betty, I mentioned this earlier in another thread, and I’ll continue to disagree. This one is tricky;: McLean, VA is a hugely affluent NoVA suburb, and this church is hugely influential in the area, insofar as a church of this type can be, as we’re a remarkably diverse community and growing evermoreso. McLean Bible has a goodness streak (catering to congregants and community members with disabilities) that I suspect allows it to get away with other less acceptable things, and was not a theologically determined thing but exists thanks to donations from a local wealthy family whose daughter had severe disabilities. Of the protestant churches that the Inept Mob would pester, this is the one at the top of the list that I would expect them to contact first, although now that the pastor has complained in public, maybe they’ll pick on somebody else, and there are plenty of candidates around here, NoVA having more than its fair share of loonbuckets.
    Gerson, I am pretty sure, is Jewish.

  7. 7
    Another Scott says:



    But what can just one of us do
    Against all that money and power trying to crush us into roaches?
    We won’t destroy society in a day
    Until we change ourselves first from the inside out

    We can start by not lying so much
    And treating other people like dirt
    It’s so easy not to base our lives on how much we can scam
    And you know it feels good to lift that monkey off our back

    I’m thankful I live in a place where I can say the things I do
    Without being taken out and shot
    So I’m on guard against the goons trying to take my rights away
    We’ve got to rise above the need for cops and laws

    Let kids learn communication instead of schools pushing competition
    How about more art and theater instead of sports?
    People will always do drugs, let’s legalize them, crime drops when the mob can’t price them
    Budget’s in the red, let’s tax religion

    No one will do it for us, we’ll just have to fix ourselves
    Honesty ain’t all that hard
    Just put Rambo back inside your pants
    Causing trouble for the system is much more fun

    Thank you for the toilet paper, but your flag is meaningless to me
    Look around, we’re all people, who needs countries anyway?
    Our land, I love it too, I think I love it more than you
    I care enough to fight the stars and stripes of corruption

    Let’s bring it all down
    Let’s bring it all down, let’s bring it all down
    If we don’t try, if we just lie
    If we can’t find a way to do better than this, who will?


  8. 8
    Lapassionara says:

    @germy: I’m thinking about a saying from the gospels, something like “easier for a camel to get through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to get into the kingdom of god.” Heh.

  9. 9
    MattF says:

    The problem is that evangelicals are the core Trump supporters. Trump and the evangelical pastors know it– Gerson knows it too, but does his best to shift the blame to the pastors. Ugly situation for Gerson, but my sympathy for him is limited.

  10. 10
    Kay says:

    It’s also gross just to barge into that church and pull rank and make everyone accommodate him. Again- these are not high level thoughts or actions. It’s ordinary thoughtfulness. None of them have it. Are they from another planet? They’re not familiar with ordinary polite behavior? Have they always been like this? They’re real fucking outliers. People shouldn’t have to tell them these things.

  11. 11
    Scott says:

    As part of our liturgy (Episcopalian), we have “Prayers of the People” where, among many things, we pray for our leaders. Each Sunday, Trump’s name is invoked. I can’t imagine the internal gagging that goes on along with the guilt that many feel because they know they are not sincere at that point in their prayers. It is an interesting time for people of faith.

  12. 12
    germy says:

    @Lapassionara: His reply: “But God also said all things are possible” (from the interview)

  13. 13
    MattF says:

    @TomatoQueen: According to Wikipedia, Gerson has a Jewish grandparent, but was raised as an Evangelical.

  14. 14
    rikyrah says:

    It’s the Prosperity Gospel HUSTLE….

    make no mistake about that.

  15. 15
    Plato says:


    Gud gawd. What a dodgy pos.

  16. 16
    Eljai says:

    Pastor David Platt prayed that Jesus give the president wisdom and guidance and stuff like that. Now I’m wondering if he was throwing shade.

  17. 17
    Another Scott says:

    Gerson is a hack of the worst sort. 2015:

    The president’s frustration, after delivering a sad series of similar speeches, is understandable. But his argument is still indefensible.

    Even if you support “common-sense gun legislation” (as I do), there was nothing in Obama’s speech that effectively argued for it. No policy proposals or serious justifications. No one listening to the speech would be persuaded to take a position he or she did not already hold. Obama was saying, in essence, that it is obvious what we should do about mass gun violence, that evil people are blocking it, and that they have innocent blood on their hands.

    This is apparently what some liberal people think when anger releases them from civility and rationality. Obama speaks as if the gun laws he wants passed would put an end to these killings — a position for which there is no evidence. I believe that more thorough background checks and further restrictions on the type and firepower of weapons, along with improved health services for the severely mentally ill, would be good for our society, apart from mass killings. I hope that, in the long term, this system might, just might, intervene before a prospective mass killer strikes (though such causality would be very hard to demonstrate). But I have no basis for the calumny that people who disagree with me are choosing to allow mass murder.

    This is the politics of moral posturing, not an argument rooted in social science. With his last election behind him, Obama is free to be Obama. And it appears that he is, deep down, a liberal commentator of the MSNBC variety — perhaps providing a preview of his post-presidency. The only apparent purpose of his gun speech was to incite the faithful by expressing a seething arrogance.

    Obama would surely blame the other side for the sorry state of our politics. Didn’t Kentucky’s U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell have it out for Obama from the beginning? Hasn’t every attempted compromise been slapped away?

    But it matters when the president of the United States decides that democratic persuasion is a fool’s game. It encourages the kind of will-to-power politics we see on the left and right. In this view, opponents are evil — entirely beyond the normal instruments of reason and good faith. So the only option is the collection and exercise of power.

    When the main players in our politics give up on deliberative democracy, it feels like some Rubicon is being crossed. Our system is designed for leaders who make arguments for their views, seek compromise and try different policy angles to break logjams. And when they lose, their proper recourse is … to make more arguments, seek other compromises and try different policy angles.

    At this time, gun control legislation would probably not pass. Because such a law would not directly prevent mass murders (even if the law had useful purposes). Because Obama doesn’t know how to work with Congress. Because the National Rifle Association would oppose it. Because the political environment is not right. But someone who supports gun control should still argue for it, because that is what we do in a democracy.

    And so forth.

    Gerson is a hack. A lazy, disingenuous, hack. Life’s too short to waste time reading what he writes.


  18. 18
    cliosfanboy says:

    What Tomato Queen said. Although I suspect in Texas or some other such desolate place this McLean church would seem too squishy. But it’s still a fairly conservative evangelical church.

    Now if only his staff had f’d up and accidentally gone to the Unitarian church instead. Heh

  19. 19
    trollhattan says:

    @Another Scott:
    They intermittently run Gerson in the local paper and he’s always annoying as fvck. The above would seem to be a blind squirrel-acorn event.

  20. 20
    NotMax says:


    The Divine Wrong of kings.

  21. 21
    Betty Cracker says:

    @TomatoQueen: Gerson says he’s a Christian in the linked column and cites the Book of Common Prayer as the scriptural source of his intercessions with the Almighty on Trump’s behalf. I take him at his word. I don’t know anything about that church Trump parachuted into other than the impression I took away from preacher’s own words and the reaction of the congregation — which appeared to be pretty diverse. I can tell you that if Trump walked into the Baptist church down the road from me, he’d get a better reception than Jesus.

  22. 22
    chris says:

    Tax the churches. Hard.

  23. 23
    TomatoQueen says:

    Scrolling at present is more like hiccupping so forgive me if this is redundant. Gerson also has a regular gig as a substitute for Bobo on the Friday navel-gaze on the Snooze Hour. He’s only slightly less squishy than Bobo, too. Oh hey, I know what. FIRE ALL THE MEEJA! Every single one of them is the hack’s hack.

  24. 24
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Another Scott:

    Life’s too short to waste time reading what he writes

    But not too short, apparently, to dig up eight paragraphs of his from four years ago and paste them here to try to trick us into reading what he writes.

  25. 25

    @Betty Cracker: Pigs are cute and intelligent, the Orange One, is not cute nor intelligent.

  26. 26
    mrmoshpotato says:


    Why can’t they do the simplest things in a somewhat normal manner? He couldn’t at least change his shoes? He’s too stupid to figure that out?

    Don’t you know their God Emperor is the most luxorious and classy – at being a massive pile of shit?

  27. 27
    Another Scott says:

    @Gin & Tonic: I’m sneaky like that, sometimes.



  28. 28
    Dan B says:

    @Another Scott: Gerson is projecting enough to run a drive in theater. He sees liberals as attackers and preachers because that’s his only frame for engaging in public discourse. It also reinforces the conservatives are victims trope.

    Conservatives’ view = winners or losers.

    Us = everyone deserves opportunity because it lifts us all.

    Gerson = I’ll show you the right way, weaklings.

    Us = thanks, but no.

  29. 29
    EthylEster says:

    @kindness wrote:

    I don’t like everything Gerson writes.

    Me, neither. But compared to lots of former GWB fluffers, he is bearable.
    Unlike professional asshole Max Boot, for example.
    I have doubts about David Frum also.
    Mostly I would like all of these folks to crawl into a hole and never come out.

  30. 30
    Betty Cracker says:

    @schrodingers_cat: I suspect you did not grow up on a farm that counted pigs among the livestock.

  31. 31
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Another Scott: If life is too short to waste reading Gerson, why did you quote 47 paragraphs of his writing? As an exercise in phone scrolling?

  32. 32
    BlueGirlFromWyo says:

    @TomatoQueen: I’ve been to a career counseling group run by this church’s members and you nailed it. IMO, the pastor didn’t mind Trump’s sudden visit and was on board until he got called out. Much like the career counseling group had to make clear that no one had to stay for their “I was saved” stories at the end of their sessions.

  33. 33
    Baud says:

    Any God that supports Trump does not support me.

  34. 34
    Gelfling 545 says:

    @Eljai: Somehow any mention of virtue in Trump’s presence seems like shade throwing. Somehow.

  35. 35
    Dan B says:

    @Betty Cracker: You mean Trump wouldn’t be dragged through the strert and hung from the highest tree?
    We could hope for some bruising at least.
    Nope. Gospel of blame and judgement Trumps gospel of Jesus.

  36. 36
    Dan B says:

    @Gelfling 545: Virtue or looks. Both equal shade. And that’s just the beginning of the list.

  37. 37
    Steeplejack says:


    Can’t remember where I saw it, but somewhere on Twitter there were several comments from Dubya-era Republicans that McLean Bible Church was where they went when they were “stationed” in D.C. Makes sense—a lot of them probably lived in McLean.

  38. 38
    EthylEster says:

    @TomatoQueen wrote :

    McLean, VA is a hugely affluent NoVA suburb.

    Yes. Anybody who has lived in the DC area for the last 40 years would testify to that.

    …as we’re a remarkably diverse community

    But, but McClean is one of the whitest places I have visited in NoVA. So I’m not getting your point.
    What kind of diversity are you referencing? Queers? I doubt it. Oh, yeah, people with disabilities. Bravo. But Jesus’s constituency is quite a bit broader than that.

  39. 39
    Pat and Mike O'Bama says:


    Tax the churches. Hard.

    Yep. And disallow tax breaks for donations to them (although, admittedly, with the GOP tax law change, that may be less of a big deal these days).

  40. 40
    Plato says:

    Please stop labeling bishops who sexually molest children as men of God. I gave you sexual intimacy for reproduction and pleasure between consenting adults, but your entire religion is rife with pedophiles. Stating this truth is not anti-Catholic, it is simply reality.— God (@TheTweetOfGod) June 3, 2019

  41. 41
    sdhays says:

    I’ll start taking religion seriously when the most “devout” actually act like they’re afraid of what their god will think of them when they supposedly meet it.

    If you actually take it seriously, you should be concerned over what the Bible actually says and that you’re following it properly. The Gospels are pretty clear that Jesus took a dim view of wealth, so if that doesn’t concern you much, you clearly don’t take your religion seriously and neither should I.

  42. 42
    Another Scott says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: It was to give some evidence, in his own words, that he’s a hack. I guess I over-did-it.


  43. 43
    Mnemosyne says:


    Narcissists think that politeness is for suckers. They take advantage of other people’s politeness ALL THE TIME because they know everyone else will be too stunned to say anything.

    And the Large Adult Children were raised by this guy. No home training, as I’ve heard my Black friends say.

  44. 44
    Butch says:

    @TomatoQueen: I’m trying to remember where I saw it, but apparently the Trump nazgul just googled to see whatever church was on the way from the golf course and found this one.

  45. 45
    TenguPhule says:


    Are they from another planet? They’re not familiar with ordinary polite behavior? Have they always been like this?


  46. 46
    TenguPhule says:


    Tax the churches. Hard.

    Sure, why not. If Republicans can ignore “well trained militia” in the Second, we can restrict their freedom to bullshit in the First.

  47. 47
    sdhays says:

    @TomatoQueen: What’s frustrating about that segment is that Bobo is better spoken and often more insightful than his jowly “liberal” counterpart, Mark Shields. Mark is basically incapable of making a quick, coherent point without meandering into boring Beltway drivel and doesn’t even pretend to have thoughts of his own; he’s basically “Beltway Insider Man” (* with a modest liberal preference). Brooks at least attempts to analyze the situation; Shields cries sloppy tears for John McCain (who, I hear, is dead).

    Ezra Klein substitutes for Shields, but he often doesn’t get to say much since Bobo likes to hear himself talk and Judy Woodruff wants to have his babies.

  48. 48
    TenguPhule says:


    Pigs are cute and intelligent,

    Obviously you’re not very familiar with adult pigs.

    Given the chance, they will eat human beings. And by chance, I mean if you make the mistake of falling down among a large number of them on a farm, there is a good chance they will eat you while you are still alive.

  49. 49
    Steeplejack says:


    Meant to add that this is probably why it showed up on the White House list of churches to hit for a drive-by.

  50. 50
    Mike in NC says:

    My God, I’ve seen several photos today of Trump at the State Dinner wearing that tux with the white tie and vest, and unlike the baggy blue suits or black overcoat he loves, there was no hiding just how grotesquely fat he’s gotten in the past couple of years. They’re going to need a crane to get him on and off of Air Force One.

  51. 51
    JPL says:

    @rikyrah: First you have to get your online certificate and then you can proceed to writing your book about how god wants us all to achieve his goodness and grace. For only $25.00 plus shipping and handling, you can learn the secrets behind gods love.

  52. 52
    sdhays says:

    @Butch: My wife has gone there a few times for free job interview training which they give weekly. It’s a huge complex. I’ve never been inside, but I wonder if the size played a part of it too. Some politicians would want to make an intimate splash at a small church where they knew they would be welcome. Dollhands must go to the biggest, most convenient church so he can take his usual dump on everything and then get back to executive time or whatever.

  53. 53
    Betty Cracker says:

    Elizabeth Warren dropped a plan that will I suspect will be controversial in some quarters.

  54. 54
    TenguPhule says:


    Any God that supports Trump does not support me.

    Baud 2020: FUCK GOD. DOG IS KING.

  55. 55
    TomatoQueen says:

    @EthylEster: Always gonna be somebody to deliberately mislead to make a non-point. Do you shop in Falls Church? Arlandria? South of Old Town along Rte 1? McLean is a power center and is full of what Steeplejack referred to–people who were ‘stationed’ and they all know each other (that one date I had with that one guy who didn’t tell me about his church affiliation until the last minute) and they’re all devoted to the status quo. By remarkably diverse, I mean anywhere in NoVA outside McLean/Great Falls where you can find all sorts of folk if you open your eyes.

  56. 56
    JPL says:

    @Mike in NC: It was quite noticeable. FOX News should have to issue a warning that sitting on your butt and watching the broadcast will cause weight gain.

  57. 57
    Mnemosyne says:


    They do act like they’re afraid … at the very end of their lives. There is no one more dedicated to keeping people on life support as long as possible as an evangelical, exactly because they’re terrified of the judgment that awaits them.

    The whole “Rapture” obsession is a desperate attempt to avoid the reality that we will all die eventually, so they fantasize being able to get to heaven without that messy process of judgment and decision.

  58. 58
    TenguPhule says:

    @Betty Cracker: Most of her proposals look good, if a bit broad in scope.

    Though I think her proposal that we try to control the value of the dollar is perhaps not one of the better ideas in it.

  59. 59
    TomatoQueen says:

    @Betty Cracker: I like it, or something very much like it, especially the bit about consolidating agencies.

  60. 60
    Steeplejack says:


    I sent off for the (free) miracle spring water. Waiting to donate until after it cures all my problems. 😉

  61. 61
    Ksmiami says:

    @Mnemosyne: I’m pretty much done with the civility approach- now I just point and laugh at Republican suckers

  62. 62

    @TenguPhule: @Betty Cracker: Guilty as charged. I have only seen them on TV or in pictures. I am city cat at heart.

  63. 63
    JPL says:

    @Steeplejack: OMG that was a real thing. Somehow I missed it, praise the lord.

  64. 64
    JeannT says:


    Obviously you’re not very familiar with adult pigs.

    Given the chance, they will eat human beings. And by chance, I mean if you make the mistake of falling down among a large number of them on a farm, there is a good chance they will eat you while you are still alive.

    Why shouldn’t they? We eat them, yeah? Fair’s fair.

  65. 65
    Steeplejack says:


    Hey, if you work the mean streets of late-night cable you’ll see it, believe me.

  66. 66
    Betty Cracker says:

    @TomatoQueen: Agree. I think she’ll get some flak for this part:

    The prevailing view in Washington — from both political parties — has been that our government should not aggressively intervene in the markets to boost American workers. (This “rule” goes out the window when it comes to subsidizing Wall Street and multinational corporations.) We have tried that approach, and it has failed spectacularly. From our own experience and the experience of other countries, we know what types of government actions actually work to promote sustainable job growth and industrial development. It’s time to have the courage to pick up the tools we have and use them.

    I think she’s right, but it will set off “OMG populism” and “OMG both-sides!” alarm bells, I’m guessing…

  67. 67
    JeannT says:


    Obviously you’re not very familiar with adult pigs.

    Given the chance, they will eat human beings. And by chance, I mean if you make the mistake of falling down among a large number of them on a farm, there is a good chance they will eat you while you are still alive.

    Why shouldn’t they? We eat them, pretty often, I think? Fair’s fair. They can be omniverous and still be cute and smart.

  68. 68
    J R in WV says:

    Betty C said:

    “…church attendance and religious affiliation have been declining in this country for decades, and white evangelical Christianity’s embrace of Trump will likely accelerate that trend. It’s up to Christians who don’t worship the Orange Pig to call out the heretics among them. It’s good to see some of them are up to the challenge.”

    All anyone needs to do is read the Scriptures for themselves, as opposed to having selected bits spoon fed to them by people using religion to become wealthy. I’m still amazed that people can read the Book, see Matthew 6 where Jesus tells his people to pray in private, and still want to get together as the hypocrites are:

    Matthew 6:5-7

    5And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites [are]: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
    6But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
    7But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen [do]: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.

    IF I were Christian in the sense that church-goers are, this set of verses would give me big pause. How does the fellow buying his private jet square that wealth with all the commandments of his Christ to give it all to the needy? Can’t be done, he’s no more Christian than Saddam was!

    That bit of Matthew is copied from Wikipedia, I don’t pretend to have much of it memorized, but I know how to look up what I want to find. Hard to forget Matthew 6:5-7! And I feel no need to interpret these verses “in light of other verses” like so many preachers seeking wealth and power want to do, either!

  69. 69
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Steeplejack:Well the preacher kept right on saying that all I had to do was send
    Ten dollars to the church of the Sacred Bleeding Heart Of Jesus
    Located somewhere in Los Angeles, California
    And next week they’d say my prayer on the radio
    And all my dreams would come true.

  70. 70
    Steeplejack says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    [. . .] it will set off “OMG populism” [. . .].

    Forget that. They’ll go straight to “OMG socialism!” That’s their new boogeyman for everything.

  71. 71
    Steeplejack says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Splitters! Heathen splitters.

    Never trust anyone with a faraway look in his eyes.

  72. 72
    J R in WV says:


    Obviously you’re not very familiar with adult pigs.

    Given the chance, they will eat human beings. And by chance, I mean if you make the mistake of falling down among a large number of them on a farm, there is a good chance they will eat you while you are still alive.

    Wife once saw local farmer carrying a bucket of feed across his hog lot, surrounded by large ready to butcher hogs. She was more than a little upset by the framer’s other arm, which was holding his infant child ~!!~ Horrified, because the hogs would have thought infant child was the best possible morsel farmer could have brought them !!! Unbelievable that was!!!

  73. 73
    Harbison says:

    A day of prayer for Trump? I am reminded of Al Swearengen’s thoughts on God at the conclusion of Deadwood.

  74. 74
    trollhattan says:

    @Betty Cracker:
    What’s with that crazy ten-point list of “more aggressive tactics” when she really meant to write, “Tariffs, and tariffs on all the tariffs until we win all the trade wars and take Sunday off.”

  75. 75
    The Moar You Know says:

    A cynic might note that people like Gerson didn’t seem to mind the politicization of the church when the partisan object of evangelical devotion was less overtly vulgar and grasping, such as Ronald Reagan or Bush II. But lines must be drawn somewhere, I suppose, so way to defend the faith, Gerson.

    I cannot be the only person here to remember the videos of people literally praying to cardboard cutouts of George W, can I?

    Fuck Michael Gerson. He doesn’t give a shit about anything save that Trump is finally showing the public what the GOP always has been, a bunch of low-class, perverted, incompetent morons..

  76. 76
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    @kindness: David Platt attended the SoBaptist Seminary in NOLA. He then was on the faculty of the seminary. In 2014 he was elected president of the SBC International Mission Board. Under his watch they lost a lot of money and had to let many foreign missionaries go.

  77. 77
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    @germy: Copeland was an early student at oral Robert’s U. While there he was a pilot for Oral.

    2 other televangelists with private jets–Jesse DePlantis and Creflo Dollar.

    If like me you now and then like to see what these guys are doing, DePlantis can be quite an entertaining teller of tales.

    Yrs ago Copeland could be entertaining too. Now, however, his manner of preaching is just creepy.

  78. 78
    JPL says:

    @Steeplejack: I am waiting for a democrat to say, although I don’t agree with trump’s haphazard approach to trade, I do agree with his policy of protecting our farmers, even though that is socialism.

  79. 79
    Steeplejack says:



  80. 80
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    @Steeplejack: An Evangelical colleague visited her daughter in DC and was super excited to visit that church and see W cabinet members there.

  81. 81
    The Pale Scot says:

    Jonathan Edwards? Yea he’s written some great songs,

    White Line

    PPL w/ Vince Gill is a great version also

  82. 82
    Barbara says:

    Northern Virginia is not Dixie and has not been for a while now, but they definitely could have found a more suitable congregation if they had been willing to head further out, and I am sure they were returning to DC from Trump’s golf course.

  83. 83
    NotMax says:

    @The Pale Scot

    Considering his – um – HANDicap, another Jonathan Edwards still soldiered on.


  84. 84
    germy says:

    More journalism from Haberman:

    The Kennedys have long occupied the American political culture as the unofficial royal family. But on President Trump's visit to Britain, a different opportunity seemed to present itself: his family as the American answer to British royalty— New York Times World (@nytimesworld) June 4, 2019

    Soledad O’Brien


    More Soledad O’Brien Retweeted New York Times World
    Haha. I try not to name her, but I believe Maggie has outdone herself with this blurb. Seriously.

  85. 85
    O. Felix Culpa says:


    More *journalism* [ED: Hahahahahahaha!] from Haberman

    The comments are priceless. Is it possible TFTFNYT will ever get a clue? Or are they neck-deep and permanently in hock to Pooty-poot or other fascist handlers?

    ETA: the block quote looks like it’s closed correctly, but apparently not. Sigh.

  86. 86
    debbie says:


    Sickening. Almost as sickening as that preacher up top. “Weighs heavy on my heart.” As if he even has one. That’s the equivalent of the vaunted GOP non-apology apology.

  87. 87
    Jay says:

    @J R in WV:

    It all depends on how you raise your pigs.

    Are they warehoused in stall pens with excluders, autofed with a conveyor bringing in food, clearing away crap, which is hosed off the concrete they sleep on?

    Yeah, don’t fall down.

    Are they free ranged in family breeder herds, interacted with, in shelters with clean soft bedding, allowed to poop outside, given names, have mud to wallow in, clean water. Are they fed by hand, given toys to play with, is their intelligence challanged? Are they given treats, skritches, used as a backrest while you read a book? Is their herding, seperation and culling done humanely, not just for the pigs in question, but the remainder of the herd? I’m not afraid of my pigs.

  88. 88
    Omnes Omnibus says:


    But on President Trump’s visit to Britain, a different opportunity seemed to present itself: his family as the American answer to British royalty

    Fuck that shit.

  89. 89
    M31 says:


    I raised pigs when I was a teenager (just a few at a time), and one day a chicken flew in their pen and started pecking in their trough and the pigs ate it.

  90. 90
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    Holy crap.

    Maggie, are you fucking serious?

    (Look, I make no secret of the fact that I have been besotted by the British Royal Family since 1947 when I was five years old and listened to the radio broadcast of Princess [now Queen] Elizabeth’s wedding. And yes, I liked and was rather fascinated by the Kennedy family. But this … thisTHIS!!)

  91. 91
    Jay says:


    Pigs are social herd animals. If their herd includes chickens, they won’t eat chickens.

    For thousands of years, most pigs were raised as a mixed herd/flock in a household compound, sleeping at night on the ground floor, under the family in the loft of second story, walled off from the family garden, occasionally herded out into the fields to act as rototillers, under supervision.

    When “commercial” pig production started, ( 15th Century, Serbia mostly), they were “free range” herded like sheep or cattle through forests and meadows, by herders and dogs.

    Most commercial production is on an industrial scale, barely enough room for the pig in the stall, no exercise, nothing to stimulate the brain, no companionship, which for a highly intelligent, highly social, highly affectionate creature, has the impacts you would expect.

  92. 92
    JustRuss says:


    I’m not afraid of my pigs.

    For some reason I feel that this needs to be added to the rotating tags at the top of the blog.

  93. 93
    Dan B says:

    @Betty Cracker: Flag wavers and CEOs will be thoroughly offended. What is more patriotic than accumulating as much wealth as possible?

    Economic Patriotism, excellent frame!

  94. 94
    cain says:

    It’s going to be even worse this time with the BJP in power. There will be some serious shit going down for missionaries. Start proselytizing and I think there will be violence – it’s just like Trump, the Hindu culture warriors are going to be out in force. Proceed with caution. Although personally, I have no idea why any could be snookered into joining Christianity given the sheer amount of turmoil Christians have caused around the world. Nearly every act of war, colonialism, and what not can be pointed people who follow this religion.

  95. 95
    cain says:

    Maggie is just trolling all of us. She knows what she is doing. This is just to generate more clicks.

  96. 96
    Tehanu says:


    Look, I make no secret of the fact that I have been besotted by the British Royal Family since 1947 when I was five years old and listened to the radio broadcast of Princess [now Queen] Elizabeth’s wedding. And yes, I liked and was rather fascinated by the Kennedy family. But this … this … THIS!!

    Me too, though my fascination started around the time Princess Margaret got married. At least some of the Kennedys and most of the royals actually served in the armed forces and have run real charitable organizations while Fake Hair Fuhrer and his vile offspring have been dodging the draft and cheating their way out of donating a penny to anyone since the 1890s or so.

  97. 97
    Zelma says:

    I have become – to my amazement – the proverbial “church lady.” I rarely miss a Sunday, am on church council, and head the women’s organization. My small local ELCA congregation does much to help those in need in our county and beyond. (Although not as much as the local Episcopal church which runs a very successful homeless ministry.) Every Sunday, Pastor Rachel preaches about God’s love and grace and calls on us to live Jesus’s message. And most Sunday’s we pray for our leaders to be wise and just.

    I am saddened by the fact that in the above posts, so many equated “Christian” with the so-called “Evangelicals.” (I use quotes because these people are Fundamentalists who have hijacked the term Evangelicals.) And I am appalled at the damage that people like Graham and Falwell and the like have done to the reputation of Christianity.

    It has become so bad that my denomination – The Evangelical Lutheran Church of America – hesitates to use the name it adopted 50 years ago in some parts of the country! The ELCA does so much good: Lutheran World Relief is one of the strongest non-governmental presences in many parts of the world; Lutheran Social Services provides help to many people and communities around the US with no strings attached. Lutheran Disaster Relief is often on the ground before the Red Cross or the government and 100% of its donations go to those who need it. My church tries to live Christ’s message.

    But somehow in today’s media obsessed world, we only hear about the “Evangelicals” as Christians. They have become the spokesmen for American Christians. And, as Gerson notes, they are heretics, preaching a “gospel” that is antithetical to Jesus’s message.

  98. 98
    zhena gogolia says:


    I agree with you completely.

  99. 99
    The Pale Scot says:

    @NotMax: WOW

  100. 100
    Original Lee says:

    @Zelma: I heard an interview of Christy Thomas yesterday while driving , where she said that the churches she visited that were growing the fastest were the ones where the members essentially just had to write checks and get their friends to come to church with them, plus they were spoon-fed rules wrapped in snippets of Gospel. Almost every single one of these “evangelical” churches had only male leadership and were authoritarian. And these are the ones that have the biggest megaphones for the Protestant side. Argh.

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