On Thursday, the Pew Research Center released a study showing that most Americans don’t think the top-tier Democratic presidential candidates are particularly religious… even though they’re all religious. Even Bernie Sanders.
While Pew only gave numbers, not reasons, it’s easy to speculate on why so many Americans are misinformed.
Maybe they’re not paying attention to the election yet.
Maybe they hear the candidates talk about policies a lot more than meaningless tripe about how much they love God.
Maybe they can’t understand why someone like Pete Buttigieg, who’s gay, is a Christian. Or how a liberal like Elizabeth Warren could be a Sunday School teacher.
Maybe it’s because Republicans lie about the religiosity of Democrats.
Speaking to FOX Business Channel last night, Pastor Robert Jeffress — a conservative preacher who defends GOP cruelty and ignorance no matter what’s going on — offered a different reason. He said Democrats weren’t real believers, because only his conservative beliefs were Jesus-approved.
… A couple of the candidates could spout off some Bible verses [during the recent debate], but in their answers, they all demonstrated they’re on the wrong side of just about every faith issue, whether it’s school choice, religious freedom, Israel, and certainly the abortion issue…
Jeffress says that with all the arrogance we’ve come to expect from white evangelicals. Their faith, and their political positions, are the only acceptable ones. Everyone else (even among Christians) is either Hell-bound or a traitor to God.
Apparently believing in the divinity of Christian isn’t enough to be a True Christian™. You have to force women to give birth against their will. You have to hate LGBTQ people. You must support U.S. foreign policy in Israel. You must be willing to sabotage public schools.
It’s what Jesus wanted.
Speaking of which, Jeffress went on to reject the notion that Jesus was a “socialist”:
… a lot of people want to argue that Jesus was a socialist. They’re worshipping an imaginary Jesus, not the Jesus of the Bible. I mean Jesus did say we ought to care for the poor, yes we should, but He also said, “The poor, you will have with you always.” You don’t hear that quoted very much. There’s a better way than socialism… to care for the truly needy.
The man who believes in an imaginary God says Democrats are worshipping an imaginary Jesus because they want to help the poor. Meanwhile, Republicans have exacerbated the problem because all those Jeffress-like Jesus followers don’t give a damn about anyone but themselves and protecting their own power.
Jesus saying “The poor you will always have with you” isn’t meant to support the continued existence of poor people.
Jeffress may be right that a higher percentage of white evangelicals will support Donald Trump in November than the 81% who did in 2016. That group is mostly a lost cause, hell-bent on screwing over the country because they’re obsessed with fetuses. But it’s also possible that more sensible Christians will recognize that the GOP has used their faith to justify hurting as many people as possible, including those who are already suffering, and vote against Trump instead. (Bonus: Voting for Democrats is a proven way to reduce the number of abortions.)
Jeffress represents an ever-decreasing slice of Christianity. If a fraction of those Christians realize he’s a despicable human being who does more damage to the Gospel than anything atheists could ever do, and vote for the eventual Democratic nominee, they would be doing the entire country a huge favor.