LGBTQ Magazine

In the News: "In Many Ways, Donald Trump Is 'White Jesus'" — And "Remarkable Upsurge of Hate-Based Killings of LGBTQ People," Etc.

Posted on the 01 February 2018 by William Lindsey @wdlindsy
I say anti-Semitic things, and then Jews criticize me. What is this conspiracy??? Anyway here’s a list of Jews— Adam Serwer 🍝 (@AdamSerwer) January 30, 2018

Another offering of articles, tweets, etc., that I've read in the past several days, which strike me as worth sharing with all of you:
Greg Price, "Evangelical Christians Support Trump Over Alleged Stormy Daniels Affair, Despite Slamming Bill Clinton Over Monica Lewinsky":
An ABC News/Washington Post survey released last week showed that 68 percent of white evangelical Protestants approve of Trump's work in office, even following the accusation that his lawyer paid off Daniels during the 2016 campaign to keep quiet about an alleged affair. The poll was conducted between January 15 and 18, only days after The Wall Street Journal first reported on the alleged $130,000 payout. 
The results show evangelicals seem to have received the news about Trump's alleged misconduct much differently than they did after news emerged of Bill Clinton's affair with Lewinsky.

Marvin A. McMickle, "What kind of people are they?": 
Ask yourself this question, what would Tony Perkins and Franklin Graham be saying if it had been Barack Obama who had been caught paying hush money to a porn star or making some obscene statements about sexual assault on women? What kind of people are these? Who is their God?

Chauncey DeVega, "Why do evangelicals love Trump? Dumb question: Why wouldn’t they?": 
Conservatism and racism are now one and the same thing in post-civil rights era America. Donald Trump is the human embodiment of that convergence and an avatar for white identity politics and white rage. Right-wing Christianity is central to the triumph of white supremacy over the Republican Party. Right-wing evangelical Christians supported the American apartheid of the Jim and Jane Crow era, and now support Trump's 'Make America Great Again' (i.e., white again) agenda. The global color line is a story of continuity that is often masked by superficial change. Trumpism is not a surprise; it is another iteration of the white rage and white backlash politics that have plagued America since before the founding. 
In many ways, Donald Trump is "White Jesus."

Deborah Jian Lee and Russell Jeung, "'I Think the White Evangelical Church is Dead': Dr. Russell Jeung on 'Guilt' vs. ' Shame' and Decolonizing Asian-American Christianity": 
People of color are a few short decades away from making up the majority of the American Christian population, according to demographers and church growth experts. Yet their stories, theologies and impact on American society often take a backseat to those of white evangelicals (Jeung). . . . 
The white vote just disheartened me… all this effort, all these conversations and conferences… they haven't made a dent. I think the white evangelical church is dead. The hope is that evangelical millennials have very different views from older evangelicals in terms of climate change, in terms of sexuality, in terms of the role of government (Lee).

Sarahbeth Caplin, "Obama Was a Christian President Evangelicals Could Have Embraced (But Didn't)":  
A day of reckoning for Republican evangelicals is coming, if it hasn't already. If there's any sentiment in the Bible that can be applied to secular life, it’s one that is repeated in both the Old and New Testaments: you will reap what you sow
The evangelical exchange of principle for power may have stained their reputation as the "moral majority" for generations down the road, and few people could have predicted this better than former President Barack Obama.. . . 
History will show that Obama's policies and attitudes were ultimately closer to Jesus' message than Donald Trump's will ever be. Despite the religious language used by Obama while in office, he promoted his religious values without imposing his beliefs on all Americans. This administration seems to be doing the exact opposite. 
Even if evangelicals disagreed with Obama's beliefs about abortion, they had multiple opportunities to embrace him and refused. Now they're stuck with President Albatross who will hopefully drag them down for good. 

Daniel Cox to Jana Riess, "New study of Millennials and GenZ points to a “massive religious realignment” in America": 
The country is undergoing a massive religious realignment. We're seeing the Republican Party becoming a predominantly white Christian party, while the Democratic Party has become the party of everyone else. This is not to say there are no white Christians in the Democratic Party, rather their size and influence in the Democratic coalition has fallen precipitously. The Democratic party has shifted in response to these tectonic religious changes—becoming more diverse—while the Republican party has remained rather static. They’re now composed of very different kinds of people, which is why we see such debates over fundamental questions about immigration and who counts as American. It becomes almost tribal. 

On a lot of the cultural questions around race and immigration, young white men look really different than young white women and people of color. We saw that again and again in this survey.

William J. Barber II, "Evangelicals defend Trump's alleged marital infidelity. But his infidelity to America is worse":
For Trump's personal failings, he needs help. For his mean and vulgar use of power, he and his allies in Congress need public critique and moral resistance. No matter how high the Dow Jones average, it is not a sufficient payoff for us to keep quiet when our president uses DACA students and sick children as bargaining chips for a racist, useless wall. 
Every movement to expand democracy and strive toward a more perfect union in America’s history has required a public moral witness that holds up the best of our religious and Constitutional traditions. When we come together across divisions in the human family and commit to fight together for love and justice, we can win. It’s how we ended slavery and child labor. It’s how we won the right to vote for women and African-Americans. And it is what this moment demands: a moral movement to save the soul of this nation and revive the heart of democracy.

Rachel Denhollander to Morgan Lee, "My Larry Nassar Testimony Went Viral. But There's More to the Gospel Than Forgiveness": 
Church is one of the least safe places to acknowledge abuse because the way it is counseled is, more often than not, damaging to the victim. There is an abhorrent lack of knowledge for the damage and devastation that sexual assault brings. It is with deep regret that I say the church is one of the worst places to go for help. That’s a hard thing to say, because I am a very conservative evangelical, but that is the truth. There are very, very few who have ever found true help in the church.

Jennifer Finney Boylan, "Is America Growing Less Tolerant on L.G.B.T.Q. Rights?" 
For the first time since the poll began, support for L.G.B.T.Q. people has dropped, in all seven areas that the survey measured. . . . 
The poll, now in its fourth year, shows that in many areas, the statistics measuring uncomfortability with L.G.B.T.Q. people are right back where they were in 2014, as if all the progress made during the second Obama administration never happened. And in the past year, the number of L.G.B.T.Q. people reporting discrimination on the basis of their sexuality or gender identity has jumped 11 percent — to 55 percent in 2017 from 44 percent in 2016. 
The reason for the change is not hard to discern. Since Day 1, Donald Trump and his administration have sent out the signal that division and prejudice are now the coins of the realm. Week by week, tweet by tweet, Mr. Trump has normalized all of our worst impulses — and the routine expression of homophobia and transphobia not least.

The poll Boylan is citing is GLAAD's annual "Accelerating Acceptance" survey.
Daniel Lohr, "Report Shows Massive Increase In Anti-LGBTQ Violence Since Trump Took Office": 
The New York City Anti-Violence Project's annual Crisis of Hate report shows a remarkable upsurge of hate-based killings of LGBTQ people. 
According to the report, an 86 percent increase in hate violence homicides in the U.S. last year makes 2017 the deadliest year yet for the LGBTQ community. The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs, a coalition of 40 community-based anti-violence groups, noted the escalation toward the end of the presidential election cycle, and it shows no signs of slowing, according to Beverly Tillery, executive director of the project.

Molly Olmstead, "The Suspect in the Killing of Blaze Bernstein Belonged to a Neo-Nazi Group Allegedly Connected to Four Other Murders": 
Police have not yet given a motive for the murder of Bernstein, who was gay and Jewish, or determined whether it should be considered a hate crime. But Woodward told police that Bernstein tried to kiss him when they were in his car together. And, one source told ProPublica, Woodward "was as anti-Semitic as you can get."
ProPublica revealed Friday that Woodward was a member of a neo-Nazi group called Atomwaffen Division, considered to be relatively small but outsize in its hatred. With that revelation, those monitoring far-right hate groups noted that members of this specific neo-Nazi group are alleged to have committed five murders nationwide in the past year.

Dear friends: Since it's public, in the interests of transparency, and to help you understand what is happening in our church, I want to share why a Lenten talk on Jesus Christ was forced to be cancelled at an NJ parish by "Tradition, Family and Property."— James Martin, SJ (@JamesMartinSJ) January 28, 2018

Meanwhile, at Fordham University, in an event sponsored by Religion News Foundation and The Center on Religion and Culture at Fordham University with Salt + Light as its media partner, two men — Massimo Faggioli and Ross Douthat, debated the legacy of Pope Francis yesterday.
With another man, David Gibson, moderating the discussion.
Three men. All white. All heterosexual. All heterosexually married. 
"Catholic" conversations are . . . interesting . . . aren't they?
My dispatch from last night’s debate between @DouthatNYT and @MassimoFaggioli.
It was pretty civil, but fascinating.— Jack Jenkins (@jackmjenkins) February 1, 2018

What may be most astonishing of all is how taken for granted it is, how unreflective, how unapologetic this narrowing of the conversation space defining Catholic identity in the American public square to heterosexual white males. How recurring — it goes on all the time — and how in-your-face the choice to continue structuring the public conversation defining Catholic identity in this way is, after the vote of 6 in 10 white Catholics for the moral monstrosity occupying the White House should surely make us ask whether this conversation desperately needs to include more voices, ones representing the rich diversity of U.S. Catholicism.
Suman Raghunathan, "Trump's Xenophobic Vision of America Is Inciting Racist Violence": 
Attacks against Muslim, South Asian, Sikh, Hindu, Arab, and Middle Eastern communities in the US were up a staggering 45 percent in 2017.

Damien Sharkov, "Anti-Semitism Is on the Rise, Germany' Leader Warns on Holocaust Remembrance Day": 
Speaking on the official government podcast, Merkel stressed the prescience of highlighting intolerance because of a recent rise in anti-Jewish and other hate crimes. Merkel's remarks come on the International Holocaust Remembrance Day. 
"Anti-Semitism, racism and the hatred of others," are rising, Merkel said, adding that she plans to introduce a government commissioner role to deal specifically with anti-semitic issues.

AP, "Poland risks rift with Israel and US over Holocaust speech law":
The proposal, which exempts artistic work and research, has raised concerns that the Polish state will decide what it considers to be facts. 

N_B in response to the claim of GOP political candidate Paul Nehlen that he's being attacked by Jews on Twitter: Paul Campos, "The Jew is the Jew of right wing fascism": 
I mean, really: who doesn’t keep an enemies spreadsheet with a Jew/non-Jew column?

Aaron Rupar, "Republican congressman invited notorious Holocaust denier who is banned from Twitter to SOTU":
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) invited notorious right-wing internet troll and Holocaust denier Charles Johnson to be his guest at President Trump’s State of the Union speech on Tuesday night, according to a Daily Beast report.

Alt-right activist who has denied Holocaust attends State of the Union as GOP lawmaker's guest— The Hill (@thehill) January 31, 2018

Never in my lifetime have I seen one of our two major political parties so embrace its most extreme elements, which usually are an embarrassment.— Thomas E. Ricks (@tomricks1) January 31, 2018

John Pavlovitz, "Progressive Christians are Saving Jesus from Extinction": 
American Bible Belt Evangelical Christians have gone all-in with this Presidency, and in order to do so, they've had to sell their souls, abandon their namesake, and remove any semblance of Christlikeness from their corporate faith expression. 
He has been rendered largly nonexistent in their midst. 
Conservative Evangelical Christianity in America is now marked by a poverty of compassion and an abundance of cruelty; inextricably tied to this Administration, purposefully disfigured and remade in its own ugly image. It has become synonymous with hostility to outsiders, with contempt for the poor, with privilege and supremacy, with rabid nationalism, with a Christianity of might. 
In other words, practically speaking, Jesus of Nazareth is extinct in this supposed community of Jesus followers—and I've fully grieved it all. . . . 
But there is a quieter, more loving, less self-seeking, less headline grabbing expression of faith in this country, that is everything Jesus said he would be: good news to the poor and the disenfranchised, hope for those feeling tossed by the storms of this life, refuge for the oppressed—and trouble for the wolves who come to devour them. 
In these progressive Christian communities all over this country, the peacemaking, neighbor loving, foot washing, leper-embracing Jesus is not only still present, but being multiplied by kind people determined to perpetuate him here. 
There is a Jesus here who elevates women in ministry, who feels compassion and not contempt for the poor; one who calls disparate people to join him, one who destroys all barriers. 
There is a Jesus here of justice and mercy; one championing diversity and equality, one committed to altering the planet in a way that gives voice to the voiceless and resistance to the hateful.

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