IN 2009 AND AGAIN IN 2012 THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION ENGAGED EVANGELICAL LEADERS BEHIND CLOSED DOORS. FOR 2020 THE EVANGELICAL DEEP STATE IS WORKING OPENLY WITH THE OBAMA FOUNDATION FAITH AMBASSADOR COORDINATING THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION FOR THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY.
Rev Thomas Littleton 1/3/2020
Christianity Today made itself the topic of political news just before Christmas as editor Mark Galli (heading out the door for the holidays and leaving for good) echoed the Democratic House leaders impeachment results as Galli and CT called for President Trump’s “Removal”. A closer look Michael Wear’s follow up below on the CT’s editorial and the partners involved in it provides a compelling case for a carefully coordinated effort to grab headlines and further the appearance of deep division in the conservative Evangelical camp over Trump.However Wear is clearly revealing the election strategy behind both the CT story and his own work among Evangelical leaders with his & Campaign.
A host of Christian leaders, most of whom are promoted heavily by Christianity Today, have been colluding and community organizing against Trump since the 2015 primaries. These modern day “political prophets” nestled themselves among trusting conservative evangelicals wearing conservative branding, while in reality it appears that men like Tim Keller and members of his organization The Gospel Coalition and Southern Baptist ethicist Russell Moore have been engaged in an ugly game of political seduction, collusion, and counter – conservative treason for over a decade.
In 2012 Keller and his “Good Faith ” (see the book by the same name ) partners met in the Oval office to agree on a strategy to offer the the church up on a silver platter to the President during his radical second term. The effort was all in the name of the “civility” and “for the common good”.
In 2015 /2016 Keller and partners like the ERLC’s Russell Moore took their rhetoric of betrayal a bit too far. They were too open about it to retain plausible deniability as they campaigned against GOP nominee Donald J Trump. Moore took heat from his own SBC bosses for a time and even became a topic on the Real Donald Trump Twitter feed. Trump called the subversive SBC ethicist Moore “heartless”. Moore has mask his rhetoric in theological jargon and steadily reminded Christians that his politics are a “Gospel Issue”. Still few evangelicals knew the close relationship Moore had maintained with the Obama Whitehouse even during the 2016 election cycle.
(Huffington Post photo- “US President Barack Obama (L) talks to Dr. Russell Moore, Southern Baptist Convention…during a meeting with faith leaders in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, DC on April 15, 2014”)
FAST FORWARD TO 2020 AND & CAMPAIGN/OBAMA FOUNDATION’S MICHAEL WEAR.
NOW in the 2020 election cycle the progressive evangelicals thin layer of theological veneer has worn off and these brazen betrayers have no shame in their public alliances, while acting in fierce opposition to the convictional political engagement of their own base. With heavily funded partners like & Campaign – a Paul Singer allied organization -these Evangelical leaders are openly coordinating their efforts to defeat Trump working with a Democratic Party Strategist and the Obama Foundation Ambassador in the & Campaign.
You can read more on the Evangelicals the & Campaign and Just Gospel 2020 here :
RUSSELL MOORE AND & CAMPAIGNS MICHAEL WEAR NOVEMBER 2019
Pictured above is Russell Moore of the Southern Baptist ERLC with Obama Foundation’s Michael Wear on stage at the Fall 2019 Trinity Forum event pushing for more VERY liberal immigration reform as part of the Evangelical Immigration Roundtable funded by Open Borders political interest. “A Civil Discourse” was the topic of their presentation which is another way of saying “True Conservatives make nice and shut up while we transform your faith and the world” .
Further information on how the Obama Foundation Ambassador Wear is working with TGC and Southern Baptist North American Missions Board urban pastors is documented here :
WHO IS MICHAEL WEAR
“Michael Wear serves as Chief Strategist and a member of the executive team for The And Campaign. He is a leading expert, speaker and strategist at the intersection of faith, politics and American public life.”
“As one of President Obama’s “ambassadors to America’s believers” (Buzzfeed), Michael directed faith outreach for President Obama’s historic 2012 re-election campaign. Michael was also one of the youngest White House staffers in modern American history: he served in the White House faith-based initiative during President Obama’s first term, where he led evangelical outreach and helped manage The White House’s engagement on religious and values issues”
“Michael is the author of Reclaiming Hope: Lessons Learned in the Obama White House About the Future of Faith in America. He also writes for The Atlantic, Christianity Today, USA Today, Relevant Magazine and other publications on faith, politics and culture. Michael is a Senior Fellow at The Trinity Forum,”
WEAR AND TGC
Wear has worked with The Gospel Coalition openly since 2017.
In this video, Michael Wear, founder of Public Square Strategies, explains how Christians should think about politics. How does the Bible shape my reaction to who wins and loses? ”
RATHER THAN GIVE LOADS OF COMMENTARY LET’S ALLOW WEAR TO SPEAK TO THE CHRISTIANITY TODAY EDITORIAL AND THE & CAMPAIGN’S GOALS FOR 2020.
EXCERPTS FROM WEARS RECENT NEWSLETTER IS BELOW
More on the CT editorial, thoughts on 2020 and other ideas.
Michael and Melissa Wear January 2nd 2020
“Happy New Year, friends!”
“My hope is to write an *official* State of the Race overview over the next few days as an exclusive for subscribers, but here I want to provide some thoughts concerning a number of different events and discussions that have percolated over the last couple of weeks.”
“Also, the image above is from the Piedmont region on our recent trip. It was taken early in the morning while at the top of a vineyard, and the rising sun hadn’t totally cleared the fog.”
“Christianity Today Editorial on Removing Trump”
“When the CT editorial by Mark Galli came out, I wrote to you that it was a big deal, and the fact that there was such a big debate over whether or not it is a big deal, is evidence that it is, in fact, a big deal. It provoked several tweets from President Trump, and I’m sure some anxious phone calls from White House staff that resulted in statements and op-eds in response. Mark Galli was everywhere for 72 hours, including major newspapers, cable news and the editorial was even discussed on at least one of the Sunday morning shows.”
“As I suggested in my previous post on this, how we define “big deal” is important. If skepticism that this is a big deal amounts to doubt that now 40%+ of white evangelicals are going to vote Democratic in 2020, then count me a skeptic! Politically, the import of this editorial begins with the effect it will have on the Christian leadership: does it provoke conversations that would otherwise not occur? Are certain leaders and organizations making plans and acting differently because of what the editorial opened up in terms of explicit opposition to Trump? I think the answer to these kinds of questions is yes. It can already be seen publicly, if you pay attention to who is sharing the editorial. But I’ve been most attentive to the quiet conversations, of which many I’ve heard or been a part of and have to assume there are exponentially more to which I am not privy.”
“Electorally, I think the environment is such that Trump can be limited to 70-78% of the white evangelical vote, and receive less support from Hispanic evangelicals than he did in 2016. This editorial can be a part of that, which makes it a “big deal.” This is especially true if the Democratic nominee actually makes a case to these voters as well.”
“Then, of course, as I explained in my previous post, part of what makes this a big deal has little to do with electoral outcomes directly, and more about the Christian witness in relation to those outcomes.”
“Pushback on some of the pastoral pushback”
“One bit of pushback I’ve heard, both privately and publicly, particularly from pastors, but also others, suggests that the CT editorial’s direct pronouncement was overly prescriptive and too directly political. Christians should not get involved in such a partisan scuffle, but should focus on God, on higher things, the argument goes.”
“I have been very public and clear in my defense of pastors who feel it is off-mission to speak to day-to-day political machinations, and I stand by that conviction. I believe—again, generally—the frequency and flippancy of calls to “leave your church if your pastor doesn’t mention (x)” is misguided.”
“Yet, in the same way I would urge advocates and activists to not place the burden of their calling on pastors, I would also suggest that pastors ought not place the burden of their calling on others. In fact, they should be grateful for institutions like Christianity Today, and organizations that are directly in the political fray. It might be wise for a specific pastor, and even pastors generally, to be more hesitant to use the authority of their position to speak into discrete public policy challenges. I tend to think there’s room for a number of different approaches here that all can amount to a faithful stewardship of the pastoral vocation and leadership of a local church. However, pastors should be careful not to impose their approach—one that factors in unique responsibilities that are not shared by every Christian leader and certainly not every individual Christian—on others and therefore make a general theological edict with the pretense of open-mindedness and being “above the fray.” Third way approaches still amount to a way, and are often no less prescriptive or limiting than any other approach. Additionally, when we suggest that all Christians in positions of influence should stay out of speaking directly and clearly on political issues, what does that suggest to those who actually work in politics? To those who serve in public office? To the Christian in the voting booth? I’ve argued that the message they receive is that politics is an area that is cordoned off from God, the one square inch over which God looks and says “all yours.” This is why so many are ready to put their faith to the side when they vote and when they think about politics. If pastors aren’t supposed to speak to political issues of the day, and leaders associated with Christian institutions aren’t supposed to speak to political issues of the day, can we blame Christians for getting the message that they’re better off taking their political cues from cable news and talk radio hosts?”
“In a healthy environment, we would have churches and pastors partnering with organizations and Christian leaders who have a specific mandate to work in politics. This is consistent with, for instance, C.S. Lewis’ discussion of politics in Mere Christianity. It is also a major driving idea behind The AND Campaign. We hope to alleviate some of the burden local churches and pastors feel to be involved in day-to-day politics. This requires a certain transfer of legitimacy and leadership in the area of politics that has to be more or less explicit. In some denominations, this is embedded in the denomination itself, even if it is not always honored practically—this is essentially the role of the ERLC in the Southern Baptist Convention, or the Methodist Church’s General Board of Church & Society. This happens regularly in other areas. Local churches might decide they care a great deal about, say, access to water or serving immigrants. But the local church’s expertise is most likely not in drilling wells, or helping immigrants navigate the legal process, so a church will throw some of their weight behind an organization or effort that does have that specific mandate. The local church can’t do everything, even in areas it thinks is important, but local churches can find ways to point to the leadership of those it trusts to lead in those areas.”
“All of this is to say: you might not think weighing in on impeachment is appropriate as a pastor, but if you hold that view, it is does not answer the question of how an institution like Christianity Today should act. Furthermore, such a view might even put additional weight on the imperative of institutions like Christianity Today to provide a clear point of view on political issues like impeachment.”
“Joe Biden’s RNS Op-ed”
“On New Year’s Eve, I did a segment on NPR’s Morning Edition about Joe Biden’s op-ed for Religion News Service. The op-ed is not revolutionary, but it is a great example of how faith can fit in a campaign’s mission. It is a textbook example of the power of communicating about faith…..”
“The op-ed is a powerful tool for faith outreach. It’s the kind of thing that will be referenced in Christian media, and circulated among people who consider faith when they vote. The references to Pope Francis’ encyclical on the environment, the scriptural references, and importantly, to his own respect for and experiences with religious institutions, and the way the op-ed describes faith as central to and affirming, to quote the op-ed, his “whole idea of self,” is really powerful for many Christians and Catholics, in particular.”
“But I would also suggest that we view this kind of communication as not just a matter of faith outreach, but about helping voters understand who the candidate is as a person and what guides them. There are obviously many ways to do this, but faith is a powerful one, and an op-ed like this helps to fill in that picture in a way that’s resonant.”
“It’s just one more example of how Democrats are emboldened on faith in 2020. There are a number of reasons for this, including the increasing focus on base constituencies and a judgment that the party’s lack of attention to faith in 2016 was a mistake. However, the biggest reason is Donald Trump, and the unique opportunity and challenge he presents. The challenge, of course, is what Democrats see as Trump’s rejection of fundamental American values, or what Biden would refer to as Trump’s testing of the soul of the nation. The opportunity is Democrats feel like they no longer have to be defensive in the values debate, and that includes the opportunity to sort of actively test Republican dominance when it comes to talking about values.”
“Of course, the op-ed will not be sufficient for some, and it probably shouldn’t be. It certainly doesn’t answer my every question, or erase every disagreement I have with Biden. I’m not arguing here that the op-ed is a silver bullet, but rather that it a) is an indication someone like Joe Biden is at least prepared to not make the same mistakes regarding faith that the party made in 2016, and b) exemplifies that faith outreach is not mystifying or ethereal. In 2017, I wrote for The Atlantic about what faith outreach on a presidential campaign entails for the purpose of demystifying faith outreach.”
“Star Wars and our politics”
“So I haven’t seen the new one yet, but I’ve read some of the reviews. Everyone knows I think Alissa Wilkinson is the best movie critic out there, and I can watch a movie, think it was bad, read her review and go, “I get it now. That movie was great, I’m just a doofus.” I’ll also be excited about a movie, read her review of it, see the movie, and shake my fists in the air because she was right again. She’s just that good.”
“So this is not a critique of Alissa’s critique of Star Wars (I haven’t seen it yet!), but there was something in Alissa’s review of Star Wars that sent me on a thought trail.”
I could say some other stuff about The Rise of Skywalker. About its insistence on a morally simple universe where you’re either dark or light, but you only get to be on one side. About its continued mixing of gnostic and biblical imagery, but without a lot to say about either. About how it could have said something intriguing about our contemporary culture, power, or empires, but just doggedly insists on broadcasting the same two messages that Disney movies fall back on time and time again: first, that you have to believe in yourself, and second, that the real Force was the friends we made along the way.
But The Rise of Skywalker isn’t good enough to earn that kind of discourse.
“Ouch. But I’m mostly concerned here with the line in italics, which struck me because it’s a criticism I’ve heard of the movie from others, and it’s often pitted directly against what so many thought was great about The Last Jedi. And what people thought was so great about The Last Jedi is that it was evolved storytelling, that included “morally complex” characters. It modernized the Star Wars franchise, many thought.”
“Here, though, it seems, morally complex characters and evolved storytelling are often just euphemisms for the kind of plot, tone and characters popularly associated with the 1990s HBO series, The Sopranos. It’s the much-praised sophistication of the anti-hero, of the protagonist who has dark secrets, of the villain who we learn is more complicated and can’t really be blamed for how he is. It’s mature art that gets beyond the binaries of good and evil, of pretending like there are always consequences for the bad guys and that the good guys always win out. Scratch that, the real maturity is to know that there are no good guys.”
“This makes me think of two things. First, I thought of the challenge of building a just moral universe as a storyteller in an environment like this. The most compelling recent example of a show wrestling with this has been the final season of The Affair. Showrunner Sarah Treem was interviewed by Deadline after the final episode aired, and spoke directly to this idea regarding the character of Noah Solloway….”
“This, to me, feels like a healthier prism for storytelling. Not suggesting good and evil do not exist, or being content or even reveling in the fact that characters are both good and evil, but setting the pursuit of moral improvement as a good (this is at the center of one of the greatest sitcoms of the last decade, The Good Place). Of course, I do not think we should require any specific moral vision on art in order to appreciate it, but I do think we should stop pretending like the height of sophistication is moral confusion.”
“Which leads me to the second thing I thought about in relation to these ideas, predictably, which is politics. Read this response to the CT editorial on Trump from Trump-supporting Christians like Robert Jeffress, and I think you’ll see more than a bit of praise for the rationalization of the anti-hero in it. I think you’ll see more than a bit of moral confusion in it. Everything bad about Trump can be ignored in light of everything that is good about him. These rationalizations represent a Sopranos ethics where Trump doesn’t lack integrity, but is just a leader with “a different kind of integrity.” Trump is some folks’ anti-hero: maybe they had some reservations during the first few episodes, but it’s now season 4. Too much is riding on his success, and they’re way too invested to change the channel now.”
(END OF THE WEAR JANUARY 2ND NEWSLETTER )
THIRTY PIECES OF SILVER COMMENTARY
To keep it short and to the point -the open collaboration of evangelical leaders with the Obama Foundation and the Democratic Party Strategist of the & Campaign is 100% political and 100 % originating from the FAR LEFT. There are no political, let alone Biblical CONSERVATIVES INVOLVED in & Campaign’s leadership.The NAMB “WOKE pastors” who help provide leadership for & Campaign admit to their support of wedding the Gospel with Social Justice while taking support from their alliance with GOP activist funding of Paul Singer and his American Unity Fund.
3 Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders,
4 Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that.
5 And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself.