Evangelical leaders condemn Capitol protest violence: 'Dangerous for our republic'

"Conservative evangelical supporters of President Donald Trump have condemned the violence that broke out at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday afternoon, describing it as 'dangerous for our republic' and un-American." - CPost

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Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

Sorry, but it's a little late. This is what you voted for. The same reasoning that says "backing Trump is necessary because..." says "storming the capitol is necessary because..."  In both cases there's an overvaluing of (hoped for) ends at the expense of properly valuing means.

There are times in life when people of principle say, "If this is what winning would require me to do, I must accept the loss." Wish more people had made that choice in 2016. More did in 2020, but not enough. Yesterday, 100% of those protesting chose winning over principle. A percentage took it further than the rest, but the ethics of it all was the same.

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.

T Howard's picture

Aaron, I agree. Like I said in a different thread, Trump has done more to harm / destroy the Republican party than any Democrat could have dreamed of doing. And, he did it with conservative Christian support.

So, great way to win the Supreme Court but lose your soul.

 

Larry's picture

Moderator

Aaron, you have been particularly edgy during this election season but this is beyond the pale. Those who voted for Trump did not vote for this. To think that is bad enough. To say that publicly is wrong. Your previous comments have come dangerously close to questioning the Christianity and moral values of those who disagree with you. These current comments accuse them of desiring and encouraging violence and overthrow. If you have words from them to support this, then cite them here. If you don't, I would encourage you to remove this post before anyone else sees it.

Don't do this. It's nonsense and you know it. There is a very large gap between supporting Trump and storming the capitol and you know that. 

You have consistently reminded us that you are not responsible for all the outcomes of your votes. Apply that here. 

Mark_Smith's picture

Aaron Blumer wrote:

Sorry, but it's a little late. This is what you voted for.

No, Aaron. Voting for Trump has NOTHING to do with storming the Capitol. Supporting Trump in the election had NOTHING to do with storming the capitol. Seeing that there were questions about procedures in PA and GA has NOTHING to do with storming the capitol.

I would appreciate you honestly recognizing that.

G. N. Barkman's picture

If you can't see the vast difference between making a thoughtful choice to vote against an ungodly, anti-Christian agenda, and breaking the law by storming the capitol, then you have lost perspective.  The anti-Trumpism of some is every bit as extreme as the pro-Trumpism of others.  It looks like your need to justify a questionable decision to indirectly support Biden and the Democratic Party agenda is blinding you to reality.  You made your decision, you need to accept the consequences and live with it.  Bolstering it by emotional rhetoric does nothing to support the validity of that decision.

G. N. Barkman

T Howard's picture

Larry wrote:
Aaron, you have been particularly edgy during this election season but this is beyond the pale. Those who voted for Trump did not vote for this.

Larry, yes they did vote for this. They voted for a morally corrupt, egomaniacal bully who has repeatedly shown he will do whatever he wants to get what he wants. Because what Trump wanted aligned with what they wanted, they were fine with his character and behavior. Now it has come home to roost. But, now they want to wash their hands like Pilot. Too Late.

Character matters.

Larry's picture

Moderator

Larry, yes they did vote for this. They voted for a morally corrupt, egomaniacal bully who has repeatedly shown he will do whatever he wants to get what he wants.

No, they did not vote for violence. Again, if you have evidence that they voted for violence, then cite it here. Otherwise, don't say it.

Character matters.

Yes, and it starts with telling the truth, even about those you disagree with. 

T Howard's picture

Larry wrote:
Yes, and it starts with telling the truth, even about those you disagree with.

I did. They voted for a morally corrupt, egomaniacal bully who has repeatedly shown he will do whatever he wants to get what he wants.

Mark_Smith's picture

Reminds me of my 8 year old twins fighting with each other.

Voting for Trump was not "supporting an egomaniacal" and "morally corrupt" bully.

Voting for Trump was not a vote to raid the Capitol.

Just because you hate Trump and he went off the deep end doesn't make you a proclaimer of truth.

 

Larry's picture

Moderator

I did.

If you think this is true, then quote someone who says they voted for violence.

 They voted for a morally corrupt, egomaniacal bully who has repeatedly shown he will do whatever he wants to get what he wants.

A great many of them voted for policies and for judges and for cabinet members. A great many of them voted against a morally corrupt, egomaniacal bully who has repeatedly shown he will do whatever he wants to get what he wants.

So again, if you have evidence, then put it here. But I would encourage you to take a moment before accusing people of desiring violence and overthrow. And after a moment, if you still wish to accuse people of that, then take another moment. Give us evidence or don't say it. 

T Howard's picture

Larry wrote:
So again, if you have evidence, then put it here. But I would encourage you to take a moment before accusing people of desiring violence and overthrow. And after a moment, if you still wish to accuse people of that, then take another moment. Give us evidence or don't say it. 

They voted for Trump because they believed the end justifies the means (at least politically). They can't wash Trump off their hands now. He's just doing what they enabled him to do and what they knew he was capable of and threatening to do all along. So, spare me the moral outrage.

Larry's picture

Moderator

They voted for Trump because they believed the end justifies the means (at least politically).

I can't speak for all of them, but no, I know a great many who do not believe that. And there is clearly a huge difference between a political desire and one that ends up in violence. I think we all know that. The question is, Why not say that? Our nation has a long history of civil disobedience and peaceful protest and Christians have long been a part of it while rejecting the violence that it has occasionally ended in. To do one is not to support the other.

I think this is part of the problem: A great many people have no idea what "the other side" believes because they haven't listened. And rather than listening, they prefer to make charges and accusations that frequently have no basis in reality and truth. But it's a whole lot easier to make accusations.

That's what got us here. The rhetoric has constantly intensified from both sides towards the other and it has resulted in great problems that will not be easily solved. But as Christians, I think we have a higher duty and I would urge us to that the mantle of that higher duty and live it out.

Larry's picture

Moderator

I say all this not because I am a Trump supporter. I am not. I think he has been a bad president who became president by a strange confluence of events including the split of the evangelical vote during the primary in 2016. Remember, most evangelicals voted for someone other than Trump when there was another option. I wish someone had primaried Trump in 2020. 

My concern is for the truth. Making false accusations against people is what Trump does. Why become like him?

Bert Perry's picture

I've got to confess that I've never really voted "for" any candidate for President, going back all the way to Bush in 1988.  I've voted against their opponents a lot, though.  

And really, if Trump voters are said to have voted "for" Trump's egomania, do we get to say Biden voters voted for his corruption and plagiarism?  That Clinton voters were supporting her corruption and failure to heed classified data rules?  That Obama voters were voting for his corruption and weaponizing of the bureaucracy and media against his political opponents?

Going in in 2016, I knew casting a vote for Trump was a risk for exactly this kind of thing.  My understanding, having worked in defense related jobs where the employer made it very clear that you'd be given the bum's rush if you mishandled classified data, was that putting Mrs. Clinton in the White House was a far greater risk because anyone who had those emails (read: Russia, China, and others) would be able to pull diplomats aside and ask whether their boss wanted X, Y, or Z on the front page of the Times or Post.

Due to his son's shenanigans, I've got the same concerns with Biden, and Biden was also an architect of the Obama era weaponization of the bureaucracy against the Republicans.  Plus, he never was that smart, and he's showing clear signs of dementia. Do the math.  When I consider my viable options, I'm not voting "for" either of them.  I'm trying to choose the lesser evil.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

John E.'s picture

A vote for Trump was a vote for deceit, lack of ethics, and violence. You can't separate the man's character (lack thereof) from his presidency. It's a package deal. I, along with others, have been saying since early 2016 that voting for Trump would end very badly because of his lack of character and his penchant for stoking violence via his rhetoric.

This is what the Alinsky-styled pragmatism of evangelical Trump voters was always going to produce. 

T Howard's picture

Larry wrote:

They voted for Trump because they believed the end justifies the means (at least politically).

I can't speak for all of them, but no, I know a great many who do not believe that.

You just said when they voted for Trump, "a great many voted for policies and for judges and for cabinet members." That is called political pragmatism or the belief that the end justifies the means.

You can't have it both ways, Larry.

These individuals enabled Trump knowing his character and what he was capable of. They can't now wash Trump from their hands. All they can do now is commiserate with Lady MacBeth and cry, "Out, damned spot! Out, I say!"

But, the damned spot won't go away...

dgszweda's picture

Many of you who stated that you did not vote for violence, may only be partially true.  You were blinded by the good things he had to say and the fact that you were voting against Clinton.  For those of us who have been very weary of Trump from the beginning, what you see today is the culmination of that worry.  For those of us who were worried about Trump in 2016, it was because we saw the very thing that was carried out yesterday.  He is 100% capable of this and more.  We saw all of these signs from the beginning.  Yet Christians in droves voted for him because of his abortion stance, his stance on Israel.....  They like the tough talking Donald.  This is what that got.  He is not right in the head.  He wasn't right in the head in 2016 and he isn't right today.  He is an extreme narcisist and this is what you get from someone who is an extreme narcisist with power.  My opinion is that he should be removed from power today.  He lost his right to be a president.  Many of us were derided for being hard on Trump.  While I do not want Biden in office for most of the same reasons as everyone else on this forum, I see Trump as a significantly worse scenario.

I also agree that all of these evangelical leaders are a bit late to the party. 

Larry's picture

Moderator

You just said when they voted for Trump, "a great many voted for policies and for judges and for cabinet members." That is called political pragmatism or the belief that the end justifies the means.

You can't have it both ways, Larry.

No sooner do I say something than someone comes along and proves it true. 

Immediately following this I said, "And there is clearly a huge difference between a political desire and one that ends up in violence. I think we all know that."

Why not include that and respond to it? It just seems like you are not listening to what is actually being said.

This is why political discussions are frequently useless. People are going to say whatever they want regardless of what is true. They are not attempts to gain understanding but to demagogue the other side. People will refuse to interact on actual beliefs and instead paint their opponent in the worst possible light. Why? Are we not better than that?

Every election is a choice about better or worse and people might see that differently. It is political pragamatism in a sense, but every vote is political pragmatism. That's the nature of life. 

T Howard's picture

Larry wrote:

You just said when they voted for Trump, "a great many voted for policies and for judges and for cabinet members." That is called political pragmatism or the belief that the end justifies the means.

You can't have it both ways, Larry.

No sooner do I say something than someone comes along and proves it true. 

Immediately following this I said, "And there is clearly a huge difference between a political desire and one that ends up in violence. I think we all know that."

Why not include that and respond to it? It just seems like you are not listening to what is actually being said.

Because that rationalization rings hollow given what they knew about Trump's character and past behavior, Larry.

It's like bringing a poisonous snake into your house to kill the mice in the kitchen, then refusing to take responsibility when the snake strikes one of your children.

Larry's picture

Moderator

Because that rationalization rings hollow given what they knew about Trump's character and past behavior, Larry.

Might that say something about your judgment?

I support those who rally against racial injustice. I do not support those who participate in violence and looting. I assume you would do the same. Is that a hollow rationalization as well? I assume you agree with me that it's not. The unwillingness to distinguish what seem like obvious difference is troubling. Where is that coming from?Is there no basis in your mind to vote for outcomes and policies?

T Howard's picture

Larry wrote:
I support those who rally against racial injustice. I do not support those who participate in violence and looting. I assume you would do the same.

Wrong analogy. The better analogy to Trump is antifa. Would you ever support an antifa rally? Why or why not?

Larry's picture

Moderator

Wrong analogy. The better analogy to Trump is antifa. Would you ever support an antifa rally? Why or why not?

First, why is that a better analogy?

Second, no, I would not and I wouldn't support a Trump rally either. But I think antifa has a pretty clear social and political position, do they not? That would keep me from supporting them. 

The reason I chose the analogy I did is because I would support, in general, the principles of fighting against racism, policing problems, judicial disparities, etc. I would think you would as well. I might disagree with them on the best approach to it but that is beyond the point of the analogy.

Darrell Post's picture

Bottom line is, like it or not, our country is in Civil War II. Thus far it has been mostly a cold war. Civil War I easily turned into a hot war because the lines of division were also along state lines. Civil War II has geographic lines that more or less are urban versus rural, making it difficult to turn into a hot war. 

One side in this war wants a socialist state that will seize most of your income and most of your assets and then scatter your means to the winds of foolish spending. The other side wishes for a small government that facilitates growth and opportunity. 

Its easy to ridicule those who are upset, but people are afraid that the new administration will do what they said they will do, which is eliminate people's jobs by executive order, leaving them with no means to provide for their families. 

I am not advocating that Christians should or should not engage in this war, but at least we should be sensitive to the real needs and hurts of those who will helplessly watch their livelihoods disappear before their eyes.

 

dgszweda's picture

Darrell Post wrote:

One side in this war wants a socialist state that will seize most of your income and most of your assets and then scatter your means to the winds of foolish spending. The other side wishes for a small government that facilitates growth and opportunity. 

This might paint the extremes of the side.  I agree, that this is the fear, but the reality is probably not there.  Much saber rattling and narrative pushing has created a view that both sides are as extreme as this.  But that is not quite the case.  Having lived in a Nordic socialist state, I can tell you that the extreme is not what it is painted as in this country.  Yes we can point to Venezula, but that is really not what anyone is truly pushing, regardless of what they are saying.  They use the term socialism to represent countries like Denmark, but those countries are truly not socialist.  While the other side wishes for a small government, in the last two republican led White Houses the government has expanded.  Most recently we saw this with Trump asking not for just $600 a person, but lets triple it to $2,000 a person.  That was definitely not a historical conservative approach.  If you have lived long enough, we go through the same thing about how radical the next democrat will be and reality is, that it is never really that radical.

 

Quote:

Its easy to ridicule those who are upset, but people are afraid that the new administration will do what they said they will do, which is eliminate people's jobs by executive order, leaving them with no means to provide for their families. 

Hopefully we as Christians, are not afraid.  Again, having lived in a nordic social state, this is not that painted picture.  In fact, when your job is eliminated, there are significant protections in place that allows you to continue to provide for your family.  Not that I am advocating for this type of state.

 

Darrell Post's picture

The nordic countries are much smaller, and have a long history of their brand of socialism. I grew up in NY state, where it used to be a place of opportunity. Now you can drive through the state and see property after property where a rotting old framed house sits boarded up, and next to it is a ratty trailer where people live. Don't make the assumption (and I am not saying you are) that just because there are places in the world where small countries have been able to make some sort of success out of a micro-version of socialism that the new administration we face will be skilled at making it work at a large scale. We have already seen examples where no 'provision' has been made for people who lose their jobs. 

Andrew K's picture

I voiced concern about Trump's character from the beginning as well, and refused to vote for him in either election.

But this rhetoric is not helpful. Most people who supported Trump did not "vote for this."

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

Mark_Smith wrote:

Aaron Blumer wrote:

Sorry, but it's a little late. This is what you voted for.

No, Aaron. Voting for Trump has NOTHING to do with storming the Capitol. Supporting Trump in the election had NOTHING to do with storming the capitol. Seeing that there were questions about procedures in PA and GA has NOTHING to do with storming the capitol.

I would appreciate you honestly recognizing that.

Honesty requires to me to say...

  • Many Trump voters had no intention of voting for the deterioration of law and order in the country
  • Nevertheless, voting for a man known to have the character Trump was well known to have was, nonetheless a vote for the deterioration of law and order in the country

It was also, as I pointed out in my first post, an expression of the same kind of moral reasoning that leads to storming capitol buildings.

Few intended that consequence. I grant that. And intent matters a lot. I fully appreciate the good intentions of the vast majority of Trump voters. But character has consequences and those consequences often are, or should have been, anticipated. There's nothing I or any of us could say that could change that reality.

It's not my intent to judge. I've made bigger mistakes than voting for an unqualified presidential candidate. Many Trump backers are probably better human beings than I am on balance. But it was a mistake to put such a man in high office. I hope the many who saw Trump as the best of bad options will have a very different point of view on whatever options we have in the future. Lessons learned. It's all any of us can do.

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.

dgszweda's picture

Aaron Blumer wrote:

Few intended that consequence. I grant that. And intent matters a lot. I fully appreciate the good intentions of the vast majority of Trump voters. But character has consequences and those consequences often are, or should have been, anticipated. There's nothing I or any of us could say that could change that reality.

I agree.  I think the problem is that most Christians focused on policy points, compared them with the other side and voted along policy lines, while never stopping to consider character.  Most of my family is ardent Trump supporters, and there thinking, even today is that he was better than Clinton.  Or he was against abortion, or......  You hear it today.  "I will never vote for a candidate that supports legalized abortion".  So if that is the line that is drawn, than character is not nearly as important of an issue.  Now what we are seeing is the reprucussions of that approach.  A dictator that is against abortion is better than a civilized leader that is for abortion.  The warning signs were all there from the very beginning, but it wasn't a key policy requirement.

Darrell Post's picture

Either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump was going to be president in 2016. Many like myself had other ideas in the GOP primary, but when it came to the general election, it was ONE out of those TWO if you wished to have any say in the outcome. I do not blame anyone for wanting to have a say in the outcome. If others wanted to sit out, that was their privilege. 

Even though I did try to have a say in the outcome, I was overruled anyway by the electoral college as all the electors in my state went to Hillary Clinton. 

But there is not more nobleness in sitting out versus trying to get the best one can with the info available at the time. 

AndyE's picture

Pushing through the ACB nomination before the election was a good call.  It never would have happened afterwards.

I'm not sure I've seen a crash and burn in American politics as bad as this.  Trump could have left on a very high note -- confirming his third Supreme court justice, working hard to get the vaccine distributed, and giving regular updates on that and the economy, but instead he poisoned the GA senate runoffs with his attacks on fellow Republicans and torpedoed and any chance he had on re-election in 2024,   I'm not sure it is fair to say we should have seen this coming, but now that it has come, we ought to see it for what it is.

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