Every election season, politicians focus hard on romancing the evangelical christian churches everywhere. Surely, whenever the politicians come around-you will find song singing, praise and worshipping, a little pulpit preaching, and you may even find some baby kissing.
Then, like routine clockwork the visiting politician encourages the congregation to vote for them. Why, the politician then breaks out the routine lines such as, “God would be pleased,” or I’m listening to Jesus and the Church,” or “ they maybe they say the very popular “what would Jesus do.” Well, this trend is not only disturbing but it suggest that there has to be a better filter between politics and the church.
Why? natural impulses of Christianity and the role of the church may suggest that the average person in the congregation may not be educated about the real issues that confront the community, but because the Pastor, or Bishop seems to favor the Politician-then instantly, no questions asked-votes are ready and popping!
Let’s Look at a few examples; Evangelist Franklin Graham son and heir apparent of the Legendary Minister Rev. Billy Graham. Franklin was quoted as saying “Trump won the election by the hand of God.” Pastor Graham defended President Donald Trump’s response to the Charlottesville riot, calling the violence Satanic and Trump’s critics absurd.
Graham directly refuted Charlottesville Democratic Mayor Michael Signer’s claim that Trump was to blame for the violence of the white supremacists in a Facebook post. Graham went on to question “What about the politicians such as the city council who voted to remove a memorial that had been in place since 1924, regardless of the possible repercussions?”
Graham asked in his post. “How about the city politicians who issued the permit for the lawful demonstration to defend the statue? And why didn’t the mayor or the governor see that a powder keg was about to explode and stop it before it got started?”
“Instead they want to blame President Donald J. Trump for everything,” Graham added.
In truth, the contrast and contradiction to Graham statements come, from most Americans who believed the statements that Donald Trump made from Trump Tower in New York City, when the President defended his decision to delay responding to the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia-were one sided and outside of public interest, to say the least.
During a national news conference, President Trump defended the comment he made- when he said “many sides” were to blame for the violence in Charlottesville, Va., that left one woman dead.
Trump’s insistence that both sides were at fault in the clash between white supremacists and protesters caused a major uproar on social media. Comments ranged from the comical to the outraged, and many Americans believed these comments were entirely racist.
What about Pastor Darrell Scott, A local Cleveland pastor with close ties to President Donald Trump’s political operation who says he is now considering challenging U.S. Rep. Dave Joyce in the 2018 Republican primary. Hmmm?
Well, Pastor Scott made national news when he was at the White House for Donald Trump’s meeting honoring Black History Month (pic, below). Scott made some newsworthy comments that strained credulity: he stated- he’d been in contact with gang leaders in Chicago who told him that “they’re going to commit that if they lower the body count, also if we come and do some social programs.”
Scott then mentioned he was planning a “gang intervention summit with Chicago Gang Leaders.”
Trump responded: “If they’re not going to solve the problems, what you’re doing is the right thing, then we’re going to solve the problem for them. Because we’re going to have to do something about Chicago. ‘Cause what’s happening in Chicago should not be happening in this country.”
The Rev. added: “They want to work with this administration.” Two weeks later-the Rev. Darrell Scott said the summit was postponed because certain people he invited to speak couldn’t make it. Scott said the meeting would be rescheduled for a later date. Later, Scott mentioned-that he “mispoke,” and did not meet with leaders but one ex-gang member?
Pastor Darrell Scott told FOX 32 that a lack of sleep caused him to tell President Trump that Chicago gangs had offered to “lower the body count.” He said he actually spoke to one former gang member, and not to any gang leaders.
Perhaps, we could go on with more incidents from the past 12 months alone but the point of the matter is here there has to be a better separation of church and state. We understand that American churches have a long history of changing the dynamics of causes that effect the community but politics & policy are confusing enough to those in the know. Keep in mind we are seeing a growing daily, roundup of misinformation campaigns and fake news.
For example evangelical support for Trump did best among evangelicals who are never, almost never or only occasionally in the pews. Meaning they supporters where only following because it was trendy among their congregation.
Simply put, it is the deliberate planting of false or misleading political information to influence either ... It is not just misinformation, or mistaken information-but in most cases it’s bad information and bad influence. Second, the concept of “the separation of church and state” is found in the First Amendment- the relevant part of which simply reads, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”
In other words, the state needs to stay the hell out of the church’s business. With this in mind-maybe Rev. Scott and Pastor Graham and others who follow should use that great ole historical question “What would Jesus Do.” (glg)
Gregg L. Greer a Public Speaker, Minister, Social Activist, and the Editor of the One World Internet journal. Greer is the Founder of Freedom First International a International Human Rights NGO. He writes extensively about American Politics, Civil rights, and the intersection of Economics and Civics. His stories have also appeared in The Huffington Post, CNN, Apolitical America, and he is a frequent commentator on MSNBC online. Listen to Greer’s radio podcast at OneWorld Talks -if you are interested in interviews from him, you can view his website at www.gregglgreer.com