Why Donald Trump is tearing evangelicals apart

Pastor Rick Scarborough has spent 20 years traveling the country to politically mobilize evangelical voters and knows better than most just how un-monolithic they are. In recent years, those differences have just gotten more pronounced, said Scarborough.

 

“In the past when we’d talk about abortion, 90 percent said: ‘You’re right.’”  Now half seem to have experienced it or know someone who has, he said.  And “when Falwell spoke against gay marriage there was unanimity. Now half the congregation has a niece or brother who is impacted.”

 

But the Texas Baptist says he’s never witnessed the bitter divisions among evangelicals that this GOP primary season has unleashed. Read More

The confusion that's driving support for Trump

(CNN) At some level, the 2016 presidential race has stopped being a presidential race and become a fight about who we are as a country. We clearly don't know the answer. We do know one thing, though. People seem confused. Confusion breeds Donald Trump.

 

A caller to a national radio program recently noted that he had been a Rand Paul supporter until Paul left the race. Now he's supporting Bernie Sanders. Paul is a libertarian. Sanders is a socialist. Moving from one to the other is like saying, "I was a vegetarian, but the store was out of broccoli, so I bought a steak."

 

An interviewee on NPR on Super Tuesday was asked who she supports. She's a self-identified Christian and began her answer by lamenting false claims of Christianity by many Republican candidates. I figured she'd be a lock for Ted Cruz.

 

Almost. She was undecided between Cruz or Trump. Yeah, because they'd definitely score the same on a Bible quiz. Read More

 

Cruz and Rubio escalate their argument that Trump is a conservative impostor

 

With Super Tuesday approaching, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz escalated their argument Saturday that Donald Trump is a conservative impostor, trying to make the case to voters they can keep the ascendant billionaire from claiming the Republican presidential nomination. Trump lashed back at his rivals. "Cruz is smarter than Rubio. I will let you know in a few months who's a better liar," he told thousands of rowdy supporters. Cruz went after Trump's positions on immigration and gun control, criticized his ethics and hammered him for his frequent use of profanity."You don't know what he's going to say," Cruz told reporters. "To the parents: Would you be proud of your children if they came home and repeated the words of Donald Trump?" Read More

 

DO WE NOT HAVE ANY MORAL COMPASS ANYMORE?

Dr. Randy Brinson, an evangelical Christian and Montgomery, Alabama, physician

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Why Donald Trump Threatens to Trump the Gospel

 

A large segment of evangelicals look at Donald Trump and his followers and want to run in the opposite direction. The problem is that a lot of Trump’s followers are their brothers and sisters in Christ. Politico reported yesterday on an NBC News/Survey Monkey poll that 37 percent of white evangelical Republicans support his candidacy. Yesterday, Jerry Falwell Jr., president of Liberty University, endorsed Trump, and Dallas megachurch pastor Robert Jeffress spoke highly of him; this following Franklin Graham’s endorsement of Trump’s immigration views in December. Such evangelical support makes that first group of evangelicals really nervous. That’s understandable given many things Trump says and supports. Like banning all Muslims from coming to America. Like shooting the families of terrorists. Like suggesting that if he himself shot someone, his fans would still rise up and rally around him. Donald Trump sometimes acts like he’s a messiah—Ted Cruz calls it his “messiah complex.” But Trump is only a demagogue. This is not meant as a critique as much as a fact: A demagogue is “a political leader who seeks support by appealing to popular desires and prejudices rather than by using rational argument.” Trump does in fact appeal to popular desires, some of which are prejudices, and he tends to scorn rational argument, even eschewing debates now.

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What Wouldn’t Jesus Do?

 

AMONG the most inexplicable developments in this bizarre political year is that Donald Trump is the candidate of choice of many evangelical Christians.

 

Mr. Trump won a plurality of evangelical votes in each of the last three Republican contests, in New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada. He won the glowing endorsement of Jerry Falwell Jr., the president of Liberty University, who has called him “one of the greatest visionaries of our time.” Last week, Pat Robertson, the founder and chairman of the Christian Broadcasting Network, told Mr. Trump during an interview, “You inspire us all.”

 

If this embrace strikes you as discordant, it should. This visionary and inspiring man humiliated his first wife by conducting a very public affair, chronically bullies and demeans people, and says he has never asked God for forgiveness. His name is emblazoned on a casino that features a strip club; he has discussed anal sex on the air with Howard Stern and, after complimenting his daughter Ivanka’s figure, pointed out that if she “weren’t my daughter, perhaps I would be dating her.” He once supported partial-birth abortion and to this day praises Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider. He is a narcissist appealing to people whose faith declares that pride goes before a fall.

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Romney: Trump's tax returns may contain 'bombshell'

 

Donald Trump's tax returns may contain a "bombshell," according to 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.

Phoning into Fox News on Wednesday, Romney called for the top three Republican presidential candidates to release their tax documents — especially Trump.

Romney accused Trump of “dodging and weaving” on the issue, noting that he had been vague about when he would make the records public.

“We’re gonna select our nominee. We really ought to see from all three of these fellas what their taxes look like to see if there’s an issue there,” Romney said. “I think in Donald Trump’s case, it’s likely to be a bombshell.”

Romney, a co-founder of private equity company Bain Capital, came under severe pressure during the 2012 race to disclose his tax returns, which revealed that his tax rate was much lower than that of most Americans.

 

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Meet the Evangelicals Who Hate Donald Trump

 

Donald Trump lost the evangelical vote to Ted Cruz in Iowa Monday night, shattering the facade that the loud-mouthed, thrice-married casino owner who's joked about dating his own daughter could own the legacy of the Moral Majority. Cruz won 34 percent of the evangelical vote in Iowa to Trump's 22 percent, according to entrance polls, showing that while Trump and some of the pre-caucus polls may have overstated his potential share of the evangelical vote, his final tally was not inconsequential.

 

Anti-Trump evangelicals, aware the race for the GOP nomination is far from over, are not retreating from their efforts to paint him as a candidate hostile to their interests.

 

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Wear your support!

Why Donald Trump’s glitzy style is attracting evangelical voters

 

Donald Trump seems to be the unlikeliest Republican candidate for evangelical voters, with his three marriages, his ownership of casinos and beauty pageants, and his belated opposition to their core issues of abortion and marriage. Yet he captured the votes of 33 percent of evangelicals in South Carolina on Saturday — a big factor in his win, because evangelicals made up a whopping 72 percent of Republican primary voters there. Sen. Ted Cruz of (R-Tex.) seems to be the quintessential evangelical candidate: a pastor’s son who can strut a campaign rally stage as though it’s a revival and who pledged to inspire millions of supposedly apathetic evangelicals to vote for a resurgent Christian America. Cruz amassed the endorsements of more than 300 pastors and other religious leaders in South Carolina. TheBlaze founder Glenn Beck, one of Cruz’s most high-profile supporters, told voters at a South Carolina rally that the senator was “raised for this hour” by the “hand of divine providence.” Cruz was supposed to be a messianic figure to save Christian America from its downward secularist spiral.

 

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Rubio Not Only Candidate With 'Billy Graham' Evangelicals, Cruz Campaign Says

 

After leading Baptist ethicist Russell Moore stated earlier this month that Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio is "leading in the Billy Graham wing" of Evangelicals, Bob Vander Plaats, a leading Iowa conservative and co-chair of Ted Cruz's national campaign, asserted that it wrong to "pigeonhole" Christians into "different lanes."

 

In a Roll Call article published Jan. 8 focusing on whether Rubio can appeal to Evangelicals, Moore, the head of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, was quoted as saying that the Florida senator is leading among Billy Graham Evangelicals.

 

Moore added that Cruz, a senator from Texas, "is leading in the Jerry Falwell wing," while billionaire Donald Trump "is leading in the Jimmy Swaggart wing."

 

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Politics 2016: Evangelicals can pick the president, period

 

The first votes of the 2016 presidential election are being cast today in Iowa, but with ten months to go until the general election, a lot of my fellow evangelicals are already frustrated with this campaign.

 

I get that. Every election season brings with it the highs and lows that come with passionate, democratic discourse. There’s no mistaking, though, that this one feels different.

 

It’s not just that “this is the most important election in American history” (don’t we always hear that?). Instead, you can sense it in the air and on the airwaves: this time it’s more serious, more consequential. Much is at stake during the term of our next president.

 

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