Category Archives: Religions

Donald Trump, the Christian Warrior

by Lawrence Davidson, To the Point Analyses, 10/9/19

Part I— A Top Religious Advisor

It turns out that President Donald Trump has a “top religion advisor.” This is surprising because there is no evidence that President Trump has a “top religion,” or any religion at all. The only regular activities to occupy this president’s church-going Sundays are rounds of golf and the composing of malicious Twitter messages.

To understand just how irregular his lack or religion is, keep in mind that Trump is president of a country, the leaders of which have been proclaiming for 200 years that God is the national copilot. So, how does a faithless president handle this discrepancy? Well, he finds a frontman—a Trump-team religious ambassador. You need someone with sufficient religious credentials to argue that a Christian deity is among the president’s “base.” You need someone who can “authentically” declare that if you’re not for President Trump, you’re not for God.

Given Trump’s unethical lifestyle, you would think it would be difficult to find such a God-connected spokesman. However, it is exactly President Trump’s utter lack of ethics that has made this possible. The man is an opportunist extraordinaire: and unencumbered by ethics he can claim adherence to any belief whatsoever. Thus, it turns out that Donald Trump has made himself appear “the most pro-life president” the United States ever had, even as he simultaneously gives unqualified support to the National Rifle Association. He has turned himself into the “most pro-Israel president” while at the same time giving unqualified support to Saudi Arabia. And, Trump is now also mistaken for the “most pro-religious” president ever, even though, arguably, he is the most impious and profane of modern Oval Office occupants….

continue reading at To the Point Analyses

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Anti-Semitism in the Age of Trump

by Laurie Zimmerman, The Progressive, February 1, 2019

A new U.S. embassy. A snapshot of high schoolers giving the Nazi salute. A march of chanting Neo-Nazis. A shooting at a synagogue on Shabbat. What does anti-Semitism look like in today’s America?

“I have a message for the rabbi,” sputtered the voice as I picked up the phone.

“I am the rabbi,” I responded.

Surprised to be speaking directly to me, the caller continued: “I want to tell you what I think about what you said about those boys in Baraboo.”

He was referring to the talk I gave at Baraboo High School in south-central Wisconsin on November 19, after a photograph circulated on social media of a large group of boys posing in a Nazi salute. I had been invited to speak at a community gathering. My congregants were the school’s only two Jewish students.

“They weren’t doing a Nazi salute,” the caller argued defensively.

“Actually, some of them were.” I explained that several boys had already come forward to apologize.

“Well, they didn’t mean anything by it.”

“Maybe, but real harm was still done.”

“They were having fun. Can’t you just laugh it off? It wasn’t like they were wearing brown uniforms.”

It’s true, they weren’t wearing brown uniforms. But my, how our standards have fallen, I thought.

The next day, an old friend sent me a link to an op-ed, “Europe’s Jew Hatred, and Ours,” by Bari Weiss, a conservative New York Times writer.

Weiss begins by addressing European anti-Semitism and then pivots to the United States. While she briefly acknowledges that the biggest threat to American Jews comes from the far right, she spends far more time highlighting Muslim attacks on Jews and deplores the “hatred from the left, which comes cloaked in the language of progressive values.” Weiss concludes by vaguely insinuating that this is what will lead to another Holocaust.

While some Muslims, like others, hold anti-Semitic views, and conspiracy theorists have historically found a political home on the left, I believe that white supremacy poses a far greater threat to American Jews. At a time when President Donald Trump is condoning anti-Semitism and imparting legitimacy to white nationalists, we should focus our efforts to fight anti-Semitism on those who have the potential to cause us the greatest harm….

continue reading at The Progressive

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The Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooting Is the ​Inevitable Result of​ Trump’s Vile Nationalism

By Sasha Abramsky, The Nation, October 27, 2018

Shame on all those who have been silent—or, worse, supported the president’s agenda.

We don’t yet know everything that motivated the Pittsburgh synagogue shooter Robert Bowers. And, truth be told, we may never know exactly what psychological aberrance led to his deadly rampage this Saturday morning.

Bower’s twitter postings, however, give at least a partial window into his soul. The man is a rabid nationalist. He believes that Jews seek to control the world. He is convinced that Jews, via HIAS, the refugee-rights and -resettlement organization formerly known as the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, are bringing in “invaders”—such as the caravan of destitute and terrified Central American families walking their way north through Mexico.

Bowers is a Nazi sympathizer. And, unlike Cesar Sayoc, the man suspected of mailing more than a dozen pipe bombs to political and media figures around the country over the past week, he hates Trump, believing that Trump isn’t nearly nationalist enough and, in fact, is controlled by a cabal of globalist Jews.

But here’s the thing: While Bowers might fashion himself as an anti-Trump figure, the reemergence of deadly anti-Semitic violence perfectly fits the awful political moment Trump himself is presiding over. The viciously nationalist rhetoric Trump now uses at his rallies, his onslaught against “globalists”—the word itself, along with “cosmopolitan” has always been anti-Semitic code for “Jewish”—his demonizing of immigrants, of refugees, of asylum seekers, his accusation that George Soros is somehow behind the caravan of Hondurans and Guatemalans, this is quite simply fodder for anti-Semites. “Soros” to anti-Semites in 2018 is a similar slur to “Rothschild” in the previous century….

continue reading at The Nation

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Trump to ease enforcement of limits on church political activity

By Naomi Jagoda and Lydia Wheeler, The Hill, 5/03/17

President Trump is set to sign an executive order Thursday to make it easier to for churches and other religious groups to participate in politics without jeopardizing their tax-exempt status.

Trump plans to sign an order in the morning that attempts to overcome a provision in the federal tax code prohibiting religious organizations from directly opposing or endorsing political candidates. This prohibition is known as the “Johnson amendment,” because it was proposed by then-Sen. Lyndon Johnson (D-Texas) in the 1950s.

Easing restrictions on church political activity has been a longtime priority for Trump, social conservatives and a number of congressional Republicans. They argue the Johnson amendment stifles churches’ First Amendment rights….

continue reading at The Hill

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