CNN Host Baffled Over Charisma Magazine Founder’s ‘Willful Blindness’ in Placing Trump’s Policies Over Personal Character

CNN “New Day” co-host Alisyn Camerota grilled Charisma Magazine founder Stephen Strang on Wednesday in asking why he and other evangelicals continue to unconditionally support Donald Trump and seemingly brush aside or overlook alleged impropriety in his personal life.

Strang is the author of the book “God and Donald Trump,” in which he asserts that Trump is a changed man and ponders whether there was a “supernatural element” involved in the results of the 2016 presidential election.

“Explain to us again how it is that evangelicals are willing to overlook these reports of infidelity and other things to support president Trump,” Camerota began.

“That’s easy for me,” Strang replied. “Donald Trump has had a reputation as a Playboy going back to the 80’s. I didn’t support Donald Trump for a long time because I didn’t approve of what I knew of his lifestyle.”

“So, what changed?” Camerota asked.

“Well, I think he changed. I really do,” Strang opined. “I interviewed him in 2016, and expected sort of the brash personality that you see in the media. [But] I found him to be respectful, to actually be a little bit humble. I was amazed, and other people that deal with him say that he’s a changed man.”

He said that everyone has a past and no one is perfect, which provoked Camerota to note that owning up to wrongdoing and seeking forgiveness is a tenet of Christianity. She pointed to Trump’s statement that he’s never asked for forgiveness.

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“These allegations are from a long time ago, and when we elected him, the Access Hollywood tape had just come out and people knew that he was not perfect,” Strang said. “[W]e Christians know that you have to have forgiveness, and that God can change lives, and that the leaders in the Bible that we read about from King David on were not perfect in any way, shape or form.”

“Yes, understood, and no one’s perfect, of course,” Camerota replied. “But in order to receive forgiveness, don’t you have to confess your sins?”

“Well, that’s between him and God,” Strang replied.

“Isn’t that a tenet of the Bible? I mean, don’t you have to own up to these things?” Camerota asked. “Donald Trump famously said he never asked God for forgiveness.”

Strang repeated that the matter is between Trump and God, and advised that he’s more focused on Trump’s policies that protect religious freedom.

“I’m glad you’re quoting the Bible, but I think the issue is here [is] that’s between him and God,” he said. “The issue for me and for millions of evangelicals is his policies. He supports the kinds of policies that we think are important. He’s become a champion of religious rights, of helping persecuted Christians. I could go right down the line. And then, of course, the Neil Gorsuch appointment is huge.”

“I understand, and I hear you. That one does makes sense,” Cameron replied. “But isn’t that a little bit like saying, ‘I really like Harvey Weinstein’s movies, so I’m going overlook what I know to be true about Harvey Weinstein, and I’m going to support him and give him money for his movies?'”

Strang stated that there were only two people to choose from during the election, and he certainly wasn’t going to vote for Hillary, so he had to pick Trump.

“Well, look. There was an election between two people, and the other person was Hillary Clinton, in my opinion, one of the most corrupt people to ever run for president,” Strang said.

Camerota then asked about the women who accuse Trump of having sexual relations with them, and said that Trump has retorted by saying that he wouldn’t have done so because they are ugly.

“Well, look. It’s not about those kinds of things. It’s about the policies,” Strang replied. “That’s 100 times more important. … Millions of Christians were believing that the country was going in the wrong direction and we prayed, and God raised up a man that we didn’t expect—that we didn’t even like—but he has become our champion in a way that nobody else has.”

“Are you practicing some willful blindness in overlooking all of this and to just look at all the policies?” Camerota asked. “Are you putting blinders on?”

“Not any more than the media did overlooking John Kennedy or Bill Clinton. I mean, what they did in the oval office was much, much worse than whatever is being alleged,” Strang stated. “Plus, we all knew this. We all knew it; we just didn’t know her name.”

Camerota responded that, therefore, evangelicals knew but decided to overlook what they knew. She posited that Strang was consequently copying the media’s behavior that he had decried regarding Kennedy and Clinton.

“Well, I’m also a journalist, so I can do that,” Strang said.

He repeated that what Trump allegedly did happened a long time ago, and that he believes he has come to Christ since then.

“I believe that he accepted Christ,” Strang argued. “[In my book ‘God and Donald Trump’,] I quote people who say that. I don’t know personally if that’s true. And I have no evidence—there’s no evidence at all—that’s he’s cheated in recent years, certainly [not] since he’s been in the White House.”

Camerota asked if Strang believes the 15 women that have come forward to claim that they were victims of improper touching and sexual misconduct.

“I don’t know. I’ve not talked to the 15 women. I only know is what is in the media,” Strang replied.

“I know that I am Donald Trump’s friend as much as I can be,” he concluded. “But even in my book ‘God and Donald Trump,’ I make clear that he is not a perfect person. It is not a defense of him. It is just grappling with the spiritual issues that have brought us to this point, and raised this very unlikely president who is making huge, huge changes, and I believe in a positive way—everything from trade deficits to tax cuts. We could go on and on.”

View the interview in full here.

2 Samuel 23:3 reads, “The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake to me: He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God.”

Proverbs 14:34 also warns, “Righteousness exalteth a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.”

1 Timothy 2:1-3 teaches, “I exhort therefore that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings, and for all that are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty, for this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior.”


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  • Susan Perelka

    The bible says that we ought to confess our sins one to another so that we may be healed. (James 5:16). We are exhorted to accurately handle and divide Gods Word of Truth. Not to add to or delete from ANY of His Word. God is not mocked, what we sow, we shall reap. If we ignore parts of His Word and then get called out publicly on it, the response should be to REPENT, turn back to God and follow ALL of the instructions in His Word. We are not an Ambassador for Him, if we aren’t following Him ourselves and that means obeying all the instructions in His Word. Yes, we are capable of stumbling at times, King David stumbled BIG TIME, but when he was confronted about his sin, he repented and you don’t see him repeating it. That’s the response of someone who is a man or woman after Gods own heart. Selah- pause and think about that.

    • Elca

      Trump has said on more than one occasion he has done nothing to ask God’s forgiveness.
      Yet hs is seen as the Savior of America by many on the religious right. Go figure…

      • LynnRH

        And what do ya think Hillary would have done for true Christians? Ha!

        • Elca

          True Christians meaning white. Evangelicals? Hahahahaha…

          • LynnRH

            I ABSOLUTELY do not believe that only whites can be true Christians! God created all of us no matter what color our skin is. What I meant by true Christians is that their are many that claim to be born-again Christians but care NOTHING about honoring Him with their lives or choose to only obey Him when it suits them and ignore the parts of the Bible that they don’t like. None of us are perfect and we fail Him miserably. But a true Christian will have a changed heart and mind and will try daily to live a life that honors God……..not dishonor God.

          • Elca

            Yea none of us are perfect but you would never extend the same to Obama. You despise the man __ right?
            Trump is a convenient christuan. Had no use for Evangelicals until his brilliant idea to tell them what the wanted to hear to win their support. And he did…he won.

          • LynnRH

            If he wanted support he didn’t have to lie to get it from the conservatives. He could have acted just like the liberals and got their support. He could have run as a Democrap instead of a Republican.

            You don’t know me at all. I don’t despise Obama and his family. I just don’t believe in their liberal agenda’s. I was proud for Obama when he got elected as President (not because I wanted a Democrap for president) but because It was another mile stone, victory for people of color. I agreed with Michelle Obama on her campaign to improve nutrition standards. I was irked at the time the media had said something derogatory about one of the Obama children. I am NOT a prejudice person at all. God created all people of color and I do not believe one is any better than the other.

          • Elca

            Ok…agree with you here.

          • Tristan Fry

            YES! Thank you!

          • Elca

            I see…at least you aren’t only nuts you are honest as well.

          • Tristan Fry

            What? I was thanking you for what you said.

          • Elca

            Sorry ….i thought you meant “yes” white evangelicals are the true Christians.

          • Tristan Fry

            Well that’s the statement I meant but I agree with you it’s totally ridiculous. The ones who say “true Christians” always seem to be white evangelicals.

      • Susan Perelka

        This comment is to all commenting on this topic, not just to ELCA- Each one of us is instructed to test the spirits (of man) to see whether or not they are from God. Evaluate everything by His Word, test the spirit of a man or woman, and if they are in rebellion against God, then don’t listen to them. If they are speaking Gods truth accurately, then do Gods Word yourself, accept it. I don’t care who it is, test it! We also have to consider that God has used people in the past, who are recorded in the bible, who were not believers, for His purposes. God is the one in control, not man. EACH one of us is exhorted to test. To show ourselves a workman approved by God, who accurately handles and divides His Word of truth (Old and New Testament). Each one of us will answer to God ourselves on what we did with His Word. We are warned not to add to or delete from all of His Word or He will prove us a liar. So, test. Do as God instructs. If someone is pointing out an error to someone, simply check the Word of God to see if it is error or not. If you point out the error to them and they won’t listen or search the Word themselves to see if it is true, it is God they will have to answer to. If they are the Lords, he will discipline them. If they are not the Lords, judgement awaits them.

    • John O

      youe opinion are always bible based. keep up the good work. God Bless.

      • Susan Perelka

        My heart is Psalm 119 and I strive to accurately handle and divide Gods Word of truth. His ways are greater than our ways and His thoughts are greater than our thoughts. So to me, the wise thing to do is to hold fast to His ENTIRE council in His Word. I’m not perfect and I stumble at times, but my heart longs to follow Him. I ask Him for wisdom, I ask Him to open His Word to me so that I may not sin against Him. I ask Him to put a guard over my lips so that I will not cause someone to stumble. My heart is to build up the body of Christ, by way of reminder of what His Word instructs us to do or not to do. To encourage them to follow Jesus. I pray that He will sanctify us by His truth. I pray that He will enlighten our hearts through His Holy Spirit who will teach us His Word and bring it to our remembrance when needed. I pray that He will strengthen us to stand boldly for His truth. Brethren, we are family in Christ and we are to help one another to fight the good fight of faith. To tell the lost His truth so that they can escape the judgement to come. Follow Jesus and only Him, He is for our good and not our harm. He is our Creator. Love God with all your heart and love one another, this is our Lord Jesus commandment. The ten commandments are split into two categories- love God and love people. Speak His truth in love. When we do this, we fulfill the whole law. May God bless you and keep you and make His face to shine upon you, In Jesus mighty Name. AMEN

  • Robin Egg

    The media can attack all they want. I love how non believers are always telling Christians how we should behave. I did not vote for President Trump for my pastor. I voted for him for President because I liked his policies and I still do. I believe he has America’s best interests at heart. I pray for him and his administration daily as directed by the Word of God. If anyone has a problem with that, it is their problem, not mine. Find something better to do with your life.

    • Elca

      So you believe in Making America White Again? Do you also prefer white people from Norway than people from “$hit hole ” countries? If so, you are not alone. A lot of white Evangelicals also agree that we need to MAWA.

    • LynnRH

      I’m like you Robin Egg; I voted for him because of his policies. I too believe he has America’s best interests at heart. From what I’ve gathered he is a new born-again believer in Christ Jesus. As many true Christians know it takes time for a Christian to grow in their faith and walk with the Lord. Some grow faster than others. But I am proud that President Trump has immediately started surrounding himself with many people at the White House and Supreme Court that are true Christians and make no bones about it. Not ashamed of it and not worried about if it “offends” anyone. Instead of being like the liberal media and constantly “beating” him down we instead need to be busy constantly lifting him up in prayer. God puts our leaders in charge. Do we really have the right to bad-mouth this leader when he is trying so hard to fight for our Christian rights?

      • Robin Egg

        It is a constant beat down, Lynn. I have never witnessed anything so over the top in my life. The media gave a pass to Obama for 8 years, but bashed Bush and even this is worse than Bush bashing. It is obsessive and I fear people have become mentally unhinged with their obsession. I did not like Obama or his policies, but I certainly did not think of him 24 hours a day and center my entire life around him and what he was doing. In fact, just the opposite. I have a life. I am busy. And the constant comparison to Bill Clinton and what people said twenty years ago is getting tiresome and very old. I think that was handled badly at the time too. America became a laughingstock to the whole world while exposing the President and his indiscretions. It should have been handled more discretely in my opinion. I, too, am grateful that President Trump has surrounded himself with spiritual leaders and especially am grateful of his support for Israel.

        And I agree with you, that we do not have the right to bad mouth our leader who is trying very hard to stand for our rights. God help us all.

        • LynnRH

          I agree that it is so totally over the top!!! As far as the media is concerned Obama and his family could never do any wrong. I’ve never seen the liberal media so out of control and just down right disgusting! The liberal media and liberal society are soooooo angry that we now have a President that is working as hard as he can to reverse some of these anti-Christian morals that have just taken over our society.

          • Elca

            What kind of anti -Christian morals just take over?
            Before Obama, it was a Republican President that gave us abortion on demand . SSM started before Obama and cinservative greed was long before Obama became President.
            White supremacy was a dying evil now thanks to Trump it has been revived.
            At least Obama have one wife…and was never ? heard talking lewd junk or seen on playboy or porn magazines.

            Trump is …..well he is you lord.

          • LynnRH

            I only have one Lord and that is Jesus Christ my Savior! Trump is just a man. But a man who is busy trying to change policies toward a more Christian conservative side. If he wasn’t a changed man (saved) WHY in heavens name would he be doing that? For the liberals? I think not.

            “What kind of anti-Christian morals just take over?”
            abortion, every kind of sexual perversion you can imagine, gay marriage, big government ruling everything in our lives and allowing anybody and everybody to cheat the system and live off others who do the right thing and works their butts off to provide for their own and are forced to pay in taxes that allow the loafers to keep on cheating the system.

            Those kinds of anti-Christian morals.

          • Elca

            And Trump is your champion For that which you seek?
            Trump has boasted about cheating the system and don’t pay taxes. He said it is because he is smart. Yet he is your champion?
            What Trump has done is to expose the bias and racist ideal that’s in the heart of most white Evangelicals.
            Most have correctly understood that MAGA is code for MAWA….and that is most appealing.
            Nevermind the Russians help to elect him.
            Evangelicals have sold their soul to Trump because he promise them repeal of Roe v Wade.

            I guess Trump was right when he said he can ? shoot a man in the middle of 5th avenue and will never lose votes from the base including white Evangelicals.
            Its a sad state of affairs….

          • LynnRH

            If Trump truly has broken the law and cheated the system and broken the law by not paying taxes he is not above the law and would be in prison. He is a businessman and if he has found a way to keep from paying taxes than he has done it legally. otherwise he would be in prison like anyone else.

            And lumping ALL evangelicals into one “pot” as biased and racist is like lumping ALL blacks, or Hispanics, or islamics into one “pot.” Totally unfair and unjust. There are a few bad apples in the evangelical group no doubt (because everyone is not a true Christian). But there are bad apples in EVERY group.

            IF Russians did help to get him elected (and we still do not know that for sure) he isn’t responsible for it and he SURE isn’t praising them for it with the sanctions and other consequences he has put in place because of their interference.

            I have never heard Trump say he can shoot a man in the middle of 5th avenue and will never lose votes from the base including white Evangelicals. Had to have been the liberal media putting words in his mouth AGAIN!

          • TheKingOfRhye

            I have never heard Trump say he can shoot a man in the middle of 5th
            avenue and will never lose votes from the base including white
            Evangelicals. Had to have been the liberal media putting words in his
            mouth AGAIN!

            No, it’s not anybody putting words in his mouth, he said those exact words, pretty much. Heck, you can probably find it on YouTube. The exact quote from a January 23, 2016 campaign rally:

            “I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody, and I wouldn’t lose any voters, OK? It’s like, incredible.”

      • Tristan Fry

        He threw his backing behind Roy Moore. Are you willing to turn a blind eye to pedophilia when it’s practiced by a Christian?

        • LynnRH

          As far as I know the supposed incident by Roy Moore has not even been proven. I don’t tend to take here-say as the absolute truth. Maybe President Trump feels the same way. If that here-say IS true then of course not……I do not condone pedophilia by anyone not even a Christian. Anytime someone decides to run for political office you can count on all kinds of “dirt” (true or not) to be dug up. But it doesn’t mean it’s all true.

          • Tristan Fry

            Well, he admitted to dating Debbie Wesson Gibson when he was 34 and she was 17. He admitted that right to Sean Hannity.

          • LynnRH

            Yea there are many stupid and immature people within that age bracket (17 to 34). The good thing is that many people as they get older and wiser they regret those stupid mistakes. And even better is that when they come to the Lord Jesus for forgiveness and salvation they are forgiven by Lord Jesus for those stupid decisions. But for some reason they just can’t be forgiven by many humans here on earth. So sad.

  • Lumen

    If you’re truly repentant, you’d own your mistakes/sins and admit that you did something wrong. Trump paid the women hush money and didn’t report it (violation of the federal election law) and now he’s calling them liars … so, how exactly he’s a changed man now?

    • Bea Hall

      Violation only if it came out of campaign funds.

      • Lumen

        The Trump campaign transferred $130K to the Trump business a month after the election.

  • Amos Moses – He>i

    “Strang repeated that the matter is between Trump and God, and advised that he’s more focused on Trump’s policies that protect religious freedom.”

    you do not have to be a cessationist to know that when a false prophet speaks falsely ……….. that makes him a false prophet …….. why does the christian world accept guys like this …… Strang has compromised his christian witness for Trump ……. when the best thing for Strang to do in this case is shut up ……. he just blathers on in defense …. /SMH ….. and we wonder why the pagan world looks at this and are agog ………

  • Lumen

    These are what so-called Christian leaders said in regards to the Clinton/Lewinsky scandal. (I lament their blatant hypocrisy. Jesus taught against hypocrisy.)

    Franklin Graham asserted that if a president “will lie to, or mislead, his wife … what will prevent him from doing the same to the American public?”

    Gary Bauer reported his distress about the scandal then dominating the headlines: “I walk around my home with the TV remote in my hand for fear that [my children] will come in the room when a story about the president comes on. [Thanks to Clinton] our kids have been taught that fidelity is old-fashioned, that adultery is the norm.”

    Jim Dobson lamented, “As it turns out, character DOES matter. You can’t run a family, let alone a country, without it. How foolish to believe that a person who lacks honesty and moral integrity is qualified to lead a nation and the world! Nevertheless, our people continue to say that the President is doing a good job even if they don’t respect him personally. Those two positions are fundamentally incompatible. In the Book of James, the question is posed, ‘Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring” (James 3:11 NIV). The answer is no.”

    Mellman: Evangelicals meet partisanship
    the hill dot com /opinion/white-house/380566-mellman-evangelicals-meet-partisanship

  • Wibur Smith

    I am a conservative Christian and in the primary I supported Ted Cruz because Trump spewed profanity in his campaign speeches, based his candidacy on the personal destruction of his opponents rather than on the issues, had a history of infidelity, had been shown on video that he supported abortion, was extremely egotistical, and I didn’t trust him to actually do what he said he would do. In the general election I voted for Darrell Castle of the Constitution party because in America we DO have more than two choices. If I could have voted for Mike Pence without voting for Trump, I would have. I am sick and tired of the Republican Congress not just caving to the demands of Liberals but actually exceeding the hopes and dreams of Liberals as was evidenced in the recent Omnibus Budget bill sneaked through without giving the members time to read it and more importantly not giving the voters time to react to it. The fact that God allows corrupt people to become President does not mean that God endorses them; He allowed Obama, Clinton, and Kennedy to become President. At some point God will allow the Anti-Christ to become the leader. As Christians we should support the best available candidate, not the one most likely to win. If given the choice to vote for Hitler or Stalin, should we vote for either one of them or should we write-in or abstain?

    • Lumen

      Many of my family and friends voted for Trump – I voted for McMullin in protest – because they just couldn’t stomach Hillary becoming the president. But they did so with holding their noses. Most of them are not really supporting Trump, but supporting the party agendas. I don’t take issue with that, I get it. But I’m extremely puzzled by the people who vigorously and passionately support/defend Trump … How can you actively endorse Trump’s character/behaviors as something admirable if you’re a Christian?

      • LynnRH

        I wanted to vote for Ted Cruz too. But I had been told by someone I trusted that if I just write someone in like that it won’t be counted but instead it would be given to the winning candidate. And I just COULD NOT stand the idea that I might have helped Hillary win by doing that. So of the two candidates we had to choose from in the end I chose the one that campaigned on the issues I supported. And now i’m glad I did. If Hillary had won we would be having more of the same crud we’ve been having for wayyyyyy to long.

        • Lumen

          I understand how you feel. But I happen to believe Trump’s win was the case of “win the battle, but lose the war” for Republicans. When the political pendulum swings extremely to either Right or Left, it tends to swing back just as extremely to the other side next … Anti-Trump wave is coming.

          Now Democrats are more than ever galvanized (e.g. AL, VA, NJ, WI, KY, and PA) and have a good chance of taking over the House … My view is that “frightened” anti-Trumpers (and which are the majority of the voters, since Hillary won the popular vote) will come out and vote in large numbers in the mid-term election trying to retain as much control as possible over Trump to keep him in check.

          Republicans are now losing women’s, minorities’ and Millennials’ votes. Millennials are the biggest voting bloc now, and the majority of them dislike Trump. I lament that all the efforts good Republicans have made to get more people to join the party (especially minorities and youth) and fight back against the accusation that we’re heartless bigots have been completely ruined by Trump.

          • LynnRH

            I have to remember that God still performs miracles. Everyone just knew Hillary was going to win the presidency but woke up the next morning and found it was Trump by a land slide. Left most of us dumb founded. Shocked and bewildered. God provides our leaders for reasons only He knows. I believe if our nation starts turning back to Christian moral values that actually honors God instead of dishonors Him He will continue providing miracles concerning our nation.

            2 Chronicles 7:14
            If my people who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, them I will hear from heaven and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

            Going in the socially liberal direction is definitely NOT turning from wicked ways in my opinion.

          • Lumen

            Perhaps you may want to read this article.

            No matter the outcome of today’s special election in Alabama for a coveted US Senate seat, there is already one loser: Christian faith. When it comes to either matters of life and death or personal commitments of the human heart, no one will believe a word we say, perhaps for a generation. Christianity’s integrity is severely tarnished

            . . . “The Christian leaders who have excused, ignored, or justified his [Trump’s] unscrupulous behavior and his indecent rhetoric have only given credence to their critics who accuse them of hypocrisy.” — Mark Galli (editor in chief of Christianity Today)

            christianity today dot com /ct/2017/december-web-only/roy-moore-doug-jones-alabama-editorial.html

          • LynnRH

            His opinion is not everyone’s opinion. But he’s certainly welcomed to his own opinion. I will continue to have faith in our President to do what’s right.

          • Lumen

            This is the rationale for how I voted.

            Hillary, Trump, and an Almighty God
            youtube . com/watch?v=l1H3xvtGUbs

  • Reading this interview it was constantly on my mind that, apparently, millions of evangelicals simple don’t care about economic prosperity believing that god will provide if you send money to the prosperity Gospel preachers.

    It appears, too, that most care little to nothing about Wall Street’s ownership of Congress and the White House, or lifting up millions out of poverty by raising the minimum wage to a living wage so that corporations are not subsidized by the taxpayer by providing their employees with healthcare, or actually working to create a truly economically just society. Of course, that would include not caring about voting for the most honest candidates (actually reading reports about the candidate’s past and verifying those reports through fact-checking sites like Politico and OpenSecrets).

    But I assume that most evangelicals are single issue voters (in terms of social issues) and give Trump a pass for his past profiteering from office and a history of scamming workers and students out of their money and committing, almost daily, the cardinal sin of lying and deceiving.

    Are Christians really persecuted in this country? Ask the Jews about that.

    Is the abortion issue the sole reason for this Faustian Bargain? It does seem to me that if Evangelicals truly cared about the well being of the fetus, they would care about them after they are born as well. But the care seems to end at birth.

    These are my opinions, of course. But I struggle with comprehending the root cause of what I see as profound hypocrisy. Perhaps some of you will help me understand. Surely economic justice would be followed by social justice, at least to a greater degree than leaving millions in poverty–a condition that creates a great many more single mothers (and the great majority also are Christians)..

    • Ben Welliver

      Happy Easter, Sunshine!

      God is my Judge.
      And you aren’t.
      Hallelujah!

      • My word. What a brilliant, well thought out reply. Have you anything of substance say? Perhaps a civil answer to my questions?

    • LynnRH

      2 Chronicles 7:14
      If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

      We need to first turn away from our sins (individually and nationally) and turn to Him for guidance in our lives and nation. And THEN He will prosper our nation.

      • I’m sorry my friend, but the worst “sin” from which we should turn is indifference to the “least of these” in the nation.

        Quoting biblical passages to me is the same as sending the children and parents of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School a tractor-trailer load of thoughts and prayers, which would add not a nanogram of weight to the tractor-trailer and nor would they stop another murderous attack somewhere in the nation very soon.

        • Susan Perelka

          Sin is rebellion against Gods Ways, all of them that are revealed in the entirety of His Word. The sin in the garden of Eden was not believing God and acting upon that “unbelief” by eating of the fruit, which He told them not to. They thought they could disobey God and not die. Each one of us should evaluate ALL things according to the instructions in His Entire Word. The worst sin is “unbelief” and manifests in many ways. I would council all of us, including myself, to always keep that truth before our eyes. As God brings opportunities into our lives, respond as the good and faithful servant, and handle each one as His Word instructs us to. We all need to read His Word ourselves, without ceasing, and do as it says, ALL of it. For each unique situation we come across, there is a specific instruction in His Word on what to do and what not to do. We either respond in “faith” and do it, or we respond in “unbelief” and refuse to do it or not do it, depending on the situation.

          • Let’s see first if you can extricate yourself from the horns of the three dilemmas that “Garden of Eden” story presents.

            The sin in the garden of Eden was not believing God and acting upon that “unbelief” by eating of the fruit, which He told them not to or they would surely die.

            (Actually, that isn’t exactly what is written that Yahweh said, which I’ll explain below.)

            First dilemma: In order to know that the serpent was deceiving her, she had to know the nature of sin (Which also begs the question; how did the serpent know deception? Didn’t Yahweh make him too?). But since she HAD NOT eaten “of the fruit,” how could she have known that she was being deceived? She didn’t know deception. All she could possibly have known was that Yahweh had changed his mind.

            Second dilemma: Now, if it was Yahweh’s intention that humans have free will (a choice between good and evil actions), how did he accomplish that?

            Third dilemma: It appears that the serpent was correct. According to Genesis 2:17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

            According to the story, they did not surely die. So, was God lying? It seems that Mr. Serpent was the truthful one.

            A final question: Why does Yahweh create sin in the first place?

      • Susan Perelka

        Amen!

    • John O

      the root cause is original sin. in my lifetime it is unbelievable the Nazi’s were in America b4 the gi’s came home. history that was covered up until recently. much of your opinion is true but only God can fix it. your concerns are honest but u might have the Peace of God if u focus more on eternity where none of this matters. get your ducks lined up with God.

      • I appreciate your answer, but it did not address my questions. There are both conceptional errors and logical inconsistencies in the concept of original sin (how it came about and for what purpose).

        The Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Islam, and Christianity) have blamed Eve (extended to all females) for original sin, per the creation story. A logical analysis of the story coupled with the Creator’s desire that humans have free will presents a true logical dilemma.

        You are correct in that I am sincere in wanting a logical explanation. I’ve said for quite a number of years since I left religion behind, that “the unexamined belief is not worth believing.” To follow a belief without question, despite evidence to the contrary, is to betray the function of the very brain the believer believes the Creator gave him.

        I think that any logical examination of the creation story—if it is to be taken seriously—must conclude that it could not have happened as written without the explanation that Adam and Even were simply unwittingly playing a part in a play scripted by the Creator and the Garden of Eden was the stage set for the creator to introduce the evil he created in order to have humans have free will.

        But then, of course, we have the problem of a deceiving Creator—having woman blamed for what he intended to have happen in the first place. Women have suffered for many millennia because of that unexamined story.

        • John O

          u remind me of my younger brother. at 13, he wanted to be like Jesus Christ. after years of study and he was an academic he told me he was agnostic. i didn’t even know what that was. the point is we can never understand a Sovereign God.

          • Couldn’t it be that a “Sovereign God” doesn’t exist? I fully understand the ID hypothesis, but there have been very interesting advances in theoretical physics that indicate that the mulitiverse/string/brane hypothesis may very well be true.

            So far, evidence that appears necessary for the mulitverse to exist has been observed. However, these models are in their infancy relative to what must be found true in order for any of them to become a valid scientific theory.

            If proved to be true, however, then it would destroy any argument supporting ID. The point is that the hypothesis that a intelligent being existed before anything else existed (a hypothesis that is very problematic in itself) is not the only hypothesis.

            A note about my history:

            Now, the thing that set me on my journey away from religion was a logical argument I developed independently. I realized when I was in Army AIT and after a debate with three Mormons who were trying to convert me to Mormonism, that what I believed to be THE TRUTH, I believed because it was what I’d been taught from tot-hood to believe and then nurtured by society. Same with the Mormons.

            While that sounds on the surface to be a normal thing, the logic struck me as fundamental to why the great majority of believers in the other religions (e.g., Hindu, Muslim, Judaism, plus all the different sects of each) are so tenacious in refusing to convert to Christianity).

            It is for the exact same reason the great majority of Christians refuse to convert to one of the other religions: Because it was what we were taught to believe and their refusal is because of what they were taught to believe.

            In other words, had I been born into a family embedded in one of those other religions, I would be one of them and believe it every bit as strongly as I believed Christianity.

            Bottom line; no religion can logically say that it has THE TRUTH.

          • LynnRH

            One big difference between Christianity and the other religions is that none of the other religions have a Savior. None of those religions died a cruel, cruel death (willingly) in order to offer anyone salvation and eternal life in Heaven. If He wasn’t truly God but only a man do you really, really believe that man would have willingly gone to the cross to die for a bunch of people he didn’t even know?

          • Actually, that isn’t quite true.

            From Quora:

            In Islam, the Savior is called Imam Mahdi, the one who was born at the time of dawn, on Friday the 15th of Shaban 255 A.H. in the city of Samarrah . . .

            At the end of time, Imam Mahdi who is the savior and the awaited one, will raise. Prophet Essa (Jesus) will also come with him. They will bring justice and unity around the globe.

            It is true of Judaism as well. After all, Islam was born of Judaism as was Christianity, which I’ve found to be a hybrid religion with both Zoroastrian (which also has its savior) and Hebrew major links.

            There are other such “saviors” in other religions as well. The idea that the Christian god required a blood sacrifice (of any kind) is not necessary. Nor do I find “evil” (in the theological sense) necessary and not an aspect of any “loving” god.

            (Which brings back questions you’ve not answered; Why does God, who is supposed to be a loving god, create evil and why did he introduce it to the world in the first place?)

            The human condition is, logically, exactly what one would expect from a creature evolving from a “state of nature.” Our impulses to territoriality, xenophobia and aggression, then, are natural aspects that, before evolving the power of reason, were instincts that most species possess.

            And, BTW, if the story were true, Jesus’ suffering was no worse than many innocent people tortured in Dick Cheney’s archipelago of black-site torture camps–many for YEARS.

          • John O

            like i said, u remind me of my younger brother. u both took the same path. gnostic bible is available on line. i will guarantee u there is a living God. u have searched everywhere, now just ask HIM to make himself real. when he talks to u, don’t run to the doctors, they will say u are crazy. 1 John 4. test the spirit. ask him if he believes Jesus Christ is God. might be to simple for an acedemic. TRUTH

          • Oh yes, and if I believed that there are unicorns in the woods behind my house, I’d see the proof of their existence whenever I walk through the woods.

            “TRUTH?” Every person of every religion on Earth has the “TRUTH.”

            There are two kinds of truth; objective and subjective.

            Examples of objective truth are mathematics/physics and the heliocentricity of our Solar System (something the Bible disputes). This is independently verifiable and irrefutable.

            An example of subjective truth is religious certitude. Another example is in the following anecdote:

            A recovering alcoholic is at a party. He suddenly has an episode of the DTs (Delirium Tremens). He sees snakes slithering around the floor. He shouts a warning to all at the party. Everyone looks around and clearly see no snakes.

            It is TRUE that the man saw snakes. It also is TRUE that, by independent observation, there were no snakes.

            The recovering alcoholic knew for certain, but that certainty was purely subjective–an existential construct.

            The point is that no religious experience can be objective because objectivity requires independent verification.

          • John O

            forgive me, i thought u were seeking truth. u are only trying to create doubt in Christians. we all make a choice.

          • Did you not read my entire post? I do seek truth–objective truth. In doing so, I am very curious as to how today’s Christians approach the inconsistency in their theological concepts which once were mine.

            But you are correct. I would like to see Christians realize, as I did, that most people of other cultures and religions, like Christians, are good people and trying to live by the “religious truths” that they were taught to believe, just as good Christians were taught their religious truths.

            I’d love to see a world (it will never happen in our time) where our primary motivating force is not self-interest or religious dogma, but universal empathy and benevolent reciprocity.

            That is the ONLY path to world peace. But before that path can be taken, the high, thick walls of exclusive religious dogma that block the path must be torn down. I tore down my walls and now have a free mind with ethical values, trying to follow the Golden Rule. I encourage others to do the same.

          • John O

            i have never had any doubts. all creation points to a Creator. my grandparents were homesteaders so i heard stories about the indians early on. indians all worship a Creator. i just didn’t think HE could watch everybody. i no longer think that. astrologers don’t doubt a Creator. its just too big. God bless

          • Yes, believing in a Creator or creators is common throughout the world. That is understandable given that the evolution of Reason necessarily brought with it Curiosity. I can well understand that humans need to have explanations for the inexplicable.

            The late, great mythologist, Joseph Campbell, opined something to the affect that religions are like masks that we humans place against the unknowable. We need to have some explanation even for the unknowable.

            As for astrologers, I think that James Randi put them to bed years ago.

            For me, I think the only possible avenue to mysticism, if such a thing exists, would be at the quantum level (still physical, but outside the realm of Newtonion Physics).

            Be well, my friend.

          • LynnRH

            I would rather believe than not believe. if there really wasn’t a God then what would we have to lose by choosing to believe? Nothing that I can think of. It makes life worth living and Heaven is something to look forward to after death. And I can’t even imagine the pain I would have to bare if one of my children died before me and I had no hope of seeing them again and living eternally with them. But I know in my heart and soul that He is real. So I am just pretending here about what if God wasn’t real. And if He wasn’t real and then we die well……….we wouldn’t know anything after that anyway.

          • Yes, I fully understand, Lynn. We humans do need something to give us comfort in very stressful times. When the three Mormons were trying to convert me, I asked them; “What makes you so sure that you are right.” All three said that they believe in their hearts they are right. That became the seed of the logic that grew in my mind–so does everyone else.

            That was the very reason I decided to go to college and study philosophy, world religions, and anthropology (I knew practically nothing about biological evolution at the time). My curiosity to know what was objectively true about the world and our place in it was stronger than my desire for the comfort of religion.

            Before I entered College, I pledged to myself that I would follow the arguments wherever they lead me, and that I would accept the conclusion no matter how uncomfortable it made me feel.

            Thus, I’ve replaced what I found to be an untenable belief for life as an ethical atheist. This worldview has led me to bridge all religions and, as far as possible, follow only one tenet: Do unto others as I would have them do unto me. I sincerely do not believe any “loving” god would disapprove of that.

  • Guest✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

    I don’t believe he is born again, but I do believe he is trying to do what’s best for the country. I pray for him daily.

    • LynnRH

      But were you immediately perfect after becoming saved? I’m not saying he is and I’m not saying he’s not. Only God knows for sure. But I do know that after being saved some people grow in their faith and walk with the Lord slower than others do. Perhaps he never did grow up in church where he has been learning all along about God. Perhaps he never had a good example as a child as to how to live a Christian life and what Christian behavior looks like. Give the man the benefit of doubt for goodness sake. I pray for him and his family too. 🙂

      • Guest✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

        I didn’t discuss perfection. I believe Donald Trump believes in God and is very sincere. He used to go to church daily back in NY. That’s how his mother raised him. I just don’t know if that constitutes being born again. We shall see.

        • LynnRH

          No just being in church doesn’t constitute being born again that’s for sure. I know many who have been raised in church but never did turn to the Lord for salvation. I was raised in church but I did not come to the Lord for salvation until after I was grown, married, and had two children. I knew about the Lord God all those years and truly believed He was real. I just didn’t come to the realization of what He did for me. When I finally did then I turned to Him for forgiveness and salvation. I started out full force with total enthusiasm……..got involved with several ministries, reading and studying the Bible, trying to live my life honoring Him and witnessing to others. I did that for a few short years and then started missing church here and there, not studying the Word, etc, etc. Finally I was back to living my life not very honoring to Him. I allowed myself to fall back into the ways of the world although I never did agree with abortion or homosexuality even then. In other words I got my eyes off Jesus and fell back into the ways of the world. Had no time to give my Lord. It was all about me again. That went on for about 10 years or so. Then thanks to my momma coaxing me back into church again I got my eyes back on Jesus and that passion I use to feel in my heart and soul started returning. And I never, ever want to go backwards again. I will fight it tooth and nail!

          • Guest✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

            Praise the Lord! What a beautiful testimony!

          • LynnRH

            Thank you. You have a beautiful Easter day! 🙂