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Maduka

Why is the media so lazy? Anyone who understands the evangelical community knows that Robertson is not as significant a figure as the media makes him out to be.

People like Rick Warren and T.D Jakes are much more influential amongst younger evangelicals (and pentecostals). The Southern Baptist Leadership folks are more influential amongst more traditional evangelicals.

Pat Robertson has a history of gaffes. To suggest that Evangelicals blindly follow such a person is to insult their intelligence. Pat Robertson supported Mobutu,Charles Taylor and some other unsavoury figures. He is in the habit of making predictions (that never come to pass) and making some REALLY ludicrous claims about benching pressing a ton and protein milkshakes.

Simply put, Robertson is a liability to Rudy.

(Please Rudy - book an appointment with Rick Warren, stop wasting your time with 'has beens' like Robertson, you'll just damage your campaign).

Tim Montgomerie

Thanks Maduka. I largely agree with you.

Steevo

Robinson or no Robinson its obvious Christian Evangelicals are not in a fatwah mood. Man you tried just yesterday Maduka to use one man, Dobson, to claim they were. Its also obvious many of them understand who is in a fatwah mood. Good for them... I'm not the slightest bit surprised.

I'm not part of the "religious right" community but I think this will contribute one factor more important than anything else: prove that Rudy can be quite acceptable with his more liberal social views. Robinson has plenty of problems, I think he's a self-centered jack, but he still holds many legitimate views held by many in the religious community concerned and involved in our political future. There's young and old alike but I think especially the older. He understands the threats of Islamofascism and the Left.

I've talked to a lot of Christians and pretty much on a steady basis as my work being an accountant involves many within our business community. The easiest conclusion I can come to is they know what they want and think for themselves, much more than liberals. And most I know are under 45.

Robinson for the most part is an interesting symbol. It goes to show those damned Christians can actually think beyond abortion.

"Why is the media so Lazy?"

Say what? I've barely heard of Rick Warren and don't know T.D Jakes. Maybe they are known... but, Robinson has had a name in the national spotlight for a long time and with a long standing audience and has simply reached much more of the American public.

"(Please Rudy - book an appointment with Rick Warren, stop wasting your time with 'has beens' like Robertson, you'll just damage your campaign)."

You already said you don't want Rudy. Remember. He's gonna be another bomb-dropper, like Bush.

It is truly an amazing thing to witness some posters here (sorry Tim if I'm being 'mean spirited', I don't happen to be in agreement with your agreement). To carry on any kind of substantive discussion seems impossible without pointing out the utter duplicity and contradictions attempted from one post to the next :-\

Tony Makara

I am a member of the CofE. Nontheless I am often very troubled by the negative image of evangelicalism. I see their TV shows and most of the time all I see are 'Ticker' and 'Info bars' saying 'Donate, donate, donate'. It all seems to be about money. I had occasion to speak to someone from the moral majority in 1986 and he told me that money is used to buy political views.

davod

Tony Makara:

"I am a member of the CofE. Nontheless..."

What does being a member of the CofE have to do with the rest of your comment?

Jonathan Powell

I think Bill Kristol is mistaken here. Robertson is a very well known (some would say infamous) preacher who influences millions of Americans via his TV show etc., whereas Brownback is just another not-very-well-known politician who influences few people. Thus this endorsement has got to help Giuliani more than Brownback's would have.

Plus, the Guiliani-Robertson axis is actually logical in the sense that both think the war against Islamofascism is the no. 1 issue facing America, whereas Brownback seems to be soft on this issue, opposing the surge etc.

I just hope Rudy keeps the religious right at arms-length once he's elected, but you can't blame him for seeking to exploit people dumb enough to listen to Robertson's ramblings if it helps him get the nomination.

Malcolm Dunn

Steevo, who is Robinson? And why are Christians 'damned'?

Maduka

Jonathan Powell,

Pat Robertson may be well known but he peaked in the early nineties. Pat is the host of a very popular programme "The 700 Club". The 700 Club is NOT a political programme - it is a talkshow dealing with Christian subjects.

I guess you must be familiar with TBN (Trinity Broadcasting Network - the premier evangelical network). It is true that Pat has a place there but there are other more prominent figures such as Creflo Dollar, T.D Jakes, Rod Parsley (who was instrumental tipped OK over to Bush in the last presidential election), Joel Osteen,John Hagee and Joyce Meyer.

Rod Parsley and "Battle Cry" are very tough on abortion. (You can google up "Battle Cry" to understand what they are about). It is unlikely that they will follow Pat on Rudy.

T.D Jakes, Creflo Dollar and Eddie Long represent a growing number of African Americans (Evangelical and socially conservative). They have a large following outside the black community though. They are not as political as Robertson et al.

Then there are (what I term) "Gen X" evangelicals. Prominent among them are Joel Osteen (Pastor of the largest Church in America) and Rick Warren (a boomer but he appeals to this generation). They tend to be less judgemental and more concerned with issues like poverty and social justice (this does not mean that they automatically support gay rights and abortion). They do not automatically identify with the Republican Party.

(Rick Warren sold 40 million books!)

There is also the Catholic league led by William Donohue. Rudy will be a very tough sell to these people. They may accept him with gritted teeth.

Arguably, the most influential group is the Southern Baptist Leadership conference (led by Al Moehler). Southern Baptists are largest protestant denomination in America (16 million). They are White, Republican and Socially Conservative.

Pat used to be very influential, but I think his influence is wildly over-estimated. Today, he is as much of a media creation as Al Sharpton.

Also remember that the Evangelical Movement was hit by sex scandals last year, many evangelicals feel betrayed by their leadership (you can google "Ted Haggard"). The Evangelical Movement is going through a period of intense soul searching.

Jonathan Powell

Maduka:

I didn't say Robertson was the most influential Christian leader, just that he was more influential than Brownback, who couldn't even influence many people to vote for him, let alone someone like Rudy.

It seems to me that Rudy is never going to be the candidate of the religious right in the way that Bush was, and in my view that's a good thing. But so long as he gets a critical mass of support from evangelical primary voters he should get the nomination. Robertson's endorsement HAS to help in this regard.

The schisms within the evangelical community which you refer to can only help Rudy, since it means they won't all coalesce behind a "stop Rudy" candidate, as happened to McCain in 2000. I think Rudy's nationwide support is strong enough to withstand some evangelicals staying at home in the general election, although I expect the prospect of Hillary in the White House might get them to back Rudy anyhow.

atheling

"There is also the Catholic league led by William Donohue. Rudy will be a very tough sell to these people."

You mistake Donohue's organization. It's the Catholic equivalent to the ACLU. Donohue is an attorney who goes after people and organizations who practice bigotry against Caholics and the Catholic Church. He does not engage in political endorsements.

american politics geek

Brownback is not an evagnelical his a catholic so how can he be a face of "evangelacisim"?

Joanna

Both Catholics and Protestants can be "evangelical." But I don't know that I'd call Brownback a "face of evangelicalism," though I'd have voted for him if I thought he could win. Actually, I half-agree with Tim. Even though I'm going to a school that Robertson founded, Brownback's endorsement of McCain means more to me than Robertson's endorsement of Giuliani. The problem is that it's Robertson's endorsement that is making headlines, and thus what frustrated Christian conservatives who don't spend all their time watching election news are more likely to remember.

Maduka

Atheling,

But the ACLU tends to be more sympathetic to the Democratic party.

atheling

maduka:

So what is your point? Your placing the Catholic League among the other religious groups is like putting an orange in the apple cart. William Donohue is a Catholic ATTORNEY, not a religious leader like the other people you listed.

Steevo

I think much of this comes down to perception.

Robertson is well known for his political involvement. I think with the possible exception of Gerry Falwell the most prominent figure. He also created the Christian Coalition in the 90s which has to be considered a factor in how voter turnout for the Christian community went.

I agree with many others who've discussed this on the net. His endorsement shows that Rudy's social views are not as critical within the Christian community.

Although I don't watch the Trinity Broadcasting Network I know its been controversial. Very. People need to understand televangelists are criticized by Christians possibly even more than non-believers. Like Tony said, money appears to be the bottom line. And, adulation. Most Christians I talk to don't bother with such an outlet for their "spiritual" well being.

Maduka

Just to add.

Pat Robertson did not attend (or was not invited) to the last Values Voters Convention.

Whether this is significant or not, I do not know.

TBN may be controversial, but Evangelicals prefer it to the MSM. The TBN viewers are the "MegaChurch" crowd. The MegaChurch people are a significant and growing demographic.

Will

TD Jakes is, even by the standards of American televangelists, a remarkably bizzare theologian. The begin with, Jakes belives that Jesus was rich, and much of his ministry is devoted to teaching people the importance of being wealthy themselves. I can't decide if his is a consious attempt to 'bling' the Western intellectual tradition, or evidence of a complete ignorance therof.

I am not making this up.

Really

None of this should imply that Jakes isn't influential. He's managed to get his broadcasts special positioning in nearly every prison in Florida.

Link ,

link

Jeb Bush, the governor of Florida, and, like Brownback a Catholic convert, brought Jakes into the prisons. Bush also has been very active in efforts to prevent abortion and euthanasia, frequently cites the Catholic Encyclical on Life, yet ran election ads critisising his opponent for failing to execute enough prisoners.

Rick Warren is a whole different kettle of fish. He built one of the first (and largest) megachurches, combining house-of-worship and suburban lifestyle center. He tends to stay out of partisan politics, too.

Of course, the Robertson endorsement isn't that surprising. McCain and Robertson have been fueding for years. There's no surprise that he would endorse the candidate most likely to hurt McCain.

atheling

"Bush also has been very active in efforts to prevent abortion and euthanasia, frequently cites the Catholic Encyclical on Life, yet ran election ads critisising his opponent for failing to execute enough prisoners."

What is it about Liberals who seem unable to differentiate between an innocent unborn child or an innocent sick person with a convicted murderer? Is there something missing in their brain?

atheling

Never mind. I know what's missing:

a sense of justice.

Steevo

"TBN may be controversial, but Evangelicals prefer it to the MSM."

Those of the "Christian community" I relate with prefer honest information on world events and without a doubt an honest minister who is sincere and knowledgeable acting according to the scriptures.

If they are smart enough they will despise duplicitous and dishonest manipulations. They want to trust in someone who is indeed true to his/her word, Maduka.

They trust in their own sources for politics, whether specific individuals on television, MSM, talk radio or the net. They trust on a more personal level with those in their own church community as well as family and close friends. For spiritual matters - with their minister in their church. That's fact for the overwhelming majority. TBN is usually an afterthought outlet, one to pick and chose.

Maduka

Will,

T.D Jakes did not create the "prosperity Gospel" and neither is he the most prominent exponent of that theology.

Prosperity theology may have its excesses, but it encourages individuals to be more responsible, work harder and form businesses.

Even though many Evangelicals may not agree with Pastors owning million dollar homes and aeroplanes, there is a common consensus that christians should not be poor. (You will never hear of ANY evangelical taking a franciscan vow of poverty).

That has not always been the case.

One of the reasons why evangelicals support the Republicans is because of social conservatism, another important reason is because the "Prosperity Gospel" is more compatible with "Thatcherism/Reaganism" than Liberal/Progressivism.

We tend to forget that the roots of the British Labour Party and the Abolition movement were Evangelical Christianity. When the theology was heavy on social justice, Evangelicals rarely sided with the rich. Prosperity Gospel proclaims that "to get rich is glorious", so evangelicals naturally follow the party that protects the rich (Conservative party in the UK, Republican Party in the US).

However, the Prosperity Gospel is getting a bit tired, more emphasis is now being placed on social justice (Darfur, Inner Cities). Bush understood this, hence the tag "Compassionate Conservative".

Evangelicals are not true conservatives (in the Burkean sense). Their support for Israel and US policy in the Middle East is informed by their views on "Armageddon". (You can watch John Hagee).

They supported the Iraq war because they believed it would open opportunities for proselytization of the Middle East. (Franklin Graham is active in Jordan and Iraq). They supported Southern Sudanese rebels because the South of Sudan was predominantly Christian.

If Evangelical influence on American foreign policy grows, British foreign policy in Sub-Saharan Africa is in deep trouble. In Oil-rich West Africa, British policy has been to support the (typically Muslim) ruling elite. However, West Africa is one of the major battlegrounds between Islam and Evangelical Christianity. American Evangelicals are encouraging African Evangelicals to be more active in leadership (this is happening in Nigeria). This is going upset the order that the British are used to.

They might also influence American policy in Saudi Arabia.

Steevo

"Even though many Evangelicals may not agree with Pastors owning million dollar homes and aeroplanes, there is a common consensus that christians should not be poor. (You will never hear of ANY evangelical taking a franciscan vow of poverty)."

A lot of Christians see right through this. They know where these televangelists are going with it. And as usual you revert to extremes to make your case. I've known Christian families who haven't had much at all - but their lord. He's their ultimate blessing and its his will whether rich or poor. Taking a vow of Franciscan poverty is for a monk, Makuka, its not relevant.

You like to have a convenience of 'definitions'. You like to simplify and categorize peoples.

"Evangelicals are not true conservatives (in the Burkean sense). Their support for Israel and US policy in the Middle East is informed by their views on "Armageddon". (You can watch John Hagee)."

Christians I know of, who are indeed typical believers understand Israel is surrounded by people who want their genocide. They understand not like the Left, Israel is indeed a victim here. They understand Israel is a democracy in the midst of totalitarianism and terrorism. They are motivated through the earnest desire for humanity and justice.

"They supported the Iraq war because they believed it would open opportunities for proselytization of the Middle East. (Franklin Graham is active in Jordan and Iraq). They supported Southern Sudanese rebels because the South of Sudan was predominantly Christian."

What a load. Of course they would like to spread the gospel but I get the full gamut on views about Iraq. Many have agreed with Bush, many have not. They do know the evil, the raw inhumanity and threat of Islamofascism, unlike the Left Maduka.

"If Evangelical influence on American foreign policy grows."

That's news to me. I'd say, with confidence, news to most conservatives and Christians.

Will

Maduka,

I never said Jakes was the most prominent or original expositor of the prosperity gospel, only that the prosperity gospel is antithetical to xtian thinking over the last 2000 years. If you're a Burkean, as I think you imply that you are, that should scare you. Moreover, because it attempts to reconcile crass materialism and christianity, trying to find parallels with the belivers in Rich Jesus and a branch of HM Established Church, or even one of the many sane evangelical groups is a waste of time. A splinter group of the Moonies or Scientologists might be a better shot.

I'm more than a little bit contemptuous of them precisely because religion has done so many wonderful things in public life, from the abolition of slavery here and in the US (though Lincoln was an atheist) to all of the nuns arrested alongside MLK. But having a BMW and having legal equality with one's fellow citizens are on different moral planes.

Steevo, much of your argument seems rooted in interpreting American actions after assuming the worst motives. Did we have a 45 year war with the Soviets because they too suppressed christian missionaries? It is the policy of the Government of the United States (and, I suspect, HM Government) to support religious freedom around the world. What's wrong with that?

-Will

Steevo

Hi Will.

You'll have to elaborate more. You've misjudged my intent completely but I'm interested why. I'm scratching my head.

I've given some examples contradicting Maduka's, my points being the US gov has not pursued policies that I know of through priorities associated with the religious motivations of Evangelicals.

Maduka has not wanted to be very clear in many of his implications making arguments. I've also pointed out from my considerable experience with the Christian community that their motivations are from the heart with considered assessments concerning the very difficult problems facing this world. They are not to be viewed as simple-minded followers because "scripture says so."

Steevo

Just wanted to add this Will. If you go back to previous discussions listed in this site you'll see me challenge and dispute others who've smeared and falsely judged US policy and actions. I think you're a first... ;)

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