Tuesday, March 27, 2018


i) I'm ambivalent about commenting on the Stormy Daniels kerfuffle. The only reason I do so is the need to constantly reframe the issue to prevent the liberal establishment from defining the issues. Since accusations are habitually hurled about the "hypocrisy" of evangelicals who supported the Trump candidacy or support his presidency, it's necessary to speak for ourselves rather than letting the enemy speak for us. Not that the critics are listening, but you sow seed. Keep in mind that I didn't vote for Trump. 

ii) I've been studiously avoiding the Daniel's coverage. I don't take my cue from the priorities of the liberal media. I have my own priorities. The controversy is gossipy and irrelevant. Virtually everything I know about it I got from watching Ben Shapiro's analysis of the 60 Minutes interview. That's all it deserves. I'll grant the accuracy of his presentation for discussion purposes.

iii) The exchange consisted of one degenerate interviewing a second degenerate about a third degenerate. Sodomite Anderson Cooper interviewing porn star Stormy Daniels about horndog Donald Trump. Two debauchees denouncing the sex life of another debauchee. It's funny to see the liberal establishment feign disapproval over Trump's Hollywood/Upper Manhattan sexual mores when the liberal establishment has identical sexual mores.  Have you ever noticed that the people who attack Trump's licentiousness are the same people who mock Pence for following the Billy Graham rule? The ruling class increasingly resembles the pagan Roman aristocracy. 

iv) Apparently, Daniels had a consensual tryst with Trump in hopes of getting a slot on The Apprentice. So it's mutual exploitation. 

v) This might be damaging to Trump if there was a smoking gun. Problem is: Trump has brandished the smoldering revolver for decades. He's a braggadocio about his playboy lifestyle. He marries trophy wives. So none of this moves the needle from where it was during the campaign, or before the campaign. Trump was a known quantity in that regard going in. That's one reason among many that some of us supported other candidates during the primaries. But that's water under the bridge. 

And Democrats can never seize the high ground in this debate because they have accommodations in the same bordello. This is like a morality play in which all the characters are pimps, hookers, and madams. And that's not just metaphorical–unfortunately. Post-Christian culture reverts to Saturnalia. 

Who among us hasn't had unprotected intercourse with a porn star & playmate while wife #3 (the one you had intercourse with while still married to wife #2, the woman you slept with while still married to wife #1) was home nursing child number five? #StormyDanielsDay

Is promiscuity contrary to secular ethics? I guess Richard Carrier didn't get the memo:

I’ll be doing an event in New York in May. And traveling with one of my girlfriends. We’re interested in knowing if anyone has a guest room to put us up for three nights.
vi) However, while it's a necessary corrective to flag the duplicity of Trump's liberal critics, conservatives must have standards of their own. The depravity and dissimulation on the left doesn't automatically make the other side virtuous. So I'd like to segue to substantive issues by interacting with some criticisms by Victor Reppert:

I suspect we will see a crisis in evangelical support for Trump, if, as I suspect, Stormy Daniels comes out and says that Trump paid for, and encouraged her to get, an abortion.

Did your prediction come true?

That would make him in the eyes of the pro-life movement, a baby-killer not in the sense of being pro-choice and opposing government efforts to stop abortions, but actually being a contributing cause of an abortion, or even several abortions.

i) Correct, that would make him a babykiller. 

ii) However, the way you frame the comparison is morally slippery. Proabortion politicians are complicit in murder on a far larger scale.

Would this be a bridge too far?

i) Again, there's a problem with how you frame the issue. This isn't, or at least it shouldn't be, a question of supporting Trump. Rather, it's a question of supporting or opposing the policies of the Trump administration. Likewise, it's about comparing the policies of his administration with policies of a Democrat in the White House.

ii) In addition, it's morally twisted logic to say that if Trump is guilty of facilitating murder (i.e. abortion) in the past, but the policies of his administration are more protective of babies, he should be replaced by a Democrat president who actively supports policies that promote murder (abortion) on a wider scale.

He is already a known womanizer, so this shouldn't really surprise anybody, should it?


As to forgiveness, it's not my place to either forgive Trump or withhold forgiveness. Since he never wronged me personally, i'm not entitled to forgive him. And in any event, forgiveness is conditional. Contingent on contrition. Trump is proudly impenitent.

I am tired of hearing that the public policy bottom line is all that matters.

You may be tired of that, but your fatigue is beside the point since the reasons people had for voting for Trump or generally backing the policies of his administration are their reasons, not yours. Their reasons were never designed to satisfy Democrats. Trump voters have different priorities. 

I think the presents a problem for Christians who oppose gay marriage. You can either oppose gay marriage because you believe in marriage, or because you hate gays. But if you support someone who by his example says that he does not respect the institution of marriage, doesn't that make you kind of a hypocrite?

No, it doesn't. I suspect you don't understand how Trump voters think because you don't read conservative outlets. And I don't mean the canard of Fox News. 

A major reason Hillary lost is because the Democrat party has become a threat to the liberty and livelihood of anyone who doesn't embrace the secular progressive agenda. When gov't shuts down mom-n-pop businesses because they have traditional Christian beliefs, when judges terminate custody because parents who refuse to let their "transgender" adolescent son or daughter be subjected to puberty-blockers and irreversible sex-changer operations, then many Americans will vote defensively just to survive. As David French explains (and he's a NeverTrumper):

...and jeopardized the autonomy and liberty of the institutions Christian parents choose to train and educate their kids.

Why would Obergefell “raise fears” of coercion? Perhaps because of these actual words from President Obama’s solicitor general during oral arguments:

Justice Samuel Alito: Well, in the Bob Jones case, the Court held that a college was not entitled to tax-exempt status if it opposed interracial marriage or interracial dating. So would the same apply to a university or a college if it opposed same-sex marriage?

Soliticitor General Verrilli: You know, I, — I don’t think I can answer that question without knowing more specifics, but it’s certainly going to be an issue. I don’t deny that. I don’t deny that, Justice Alito. It is — it is going to be an issue.

Just after the presidential election, David Bernstein highlighted that exchange and called the Obergefell argument the “oral argument that cost Democrats the presidency.” While there are many things that cost Democrats the presidency, that moment is certainly one of them. Think, for a moment, of the cultural and legal implications.”

Culturally, this is the president’s lawyer casting traditional Christians outside the boundaries of mainstream American society, placing them in the same category as racists for upholding a biblical definition of marriage. Legally, he’s raising the possibility that the schools and institutions educating young Christian kids by the millions could face the choice between compromise and financial crisis.

And, keep in mind, this statement occurred against a generation-long campaign of elite demonization of Evangelical Christian belief and practice. In my own law practice, I witnessed more than 100 colleges and universities attempt to bar one or more Christian student groups from campus — mainly on the grounds that it was “discriminatory” for Christian groups to reserve leadership positions for Christian students. I represented Christian students who were told they had to change their religious beliefs to earn degrees from public universities.

Moreover, the solicitor general made his statement mere weeks after Christians watched, aghast, as our nation’s largest and most powerful corporations gang-tackled the state of Indiana for having the audacity to enact a Religious Freedom Restoration Act that did little more than re-instate traditional legal protections for religious liberty. This corporate gang-tackle featured an absurd media pile-on as reporters on the hunt for anti-gay bigotry fixed their eyes on a previously unknown pizza store simply because it hypothetically wouldn’t serve pizza at a gay wedding.

Do I also need to mention that the Obama administration attempted to force nuns to facilitate coverage for contraceptives? Do we need to remind America that Hillary Clinton called for ending the Hyde amendment? This term the Supreme Court is considering two major compelled-speech cases. In one, the state of California is attempting to compel pro-life pregnancy centers to advertise for free and low-cost abortions. In the other, the state of Colorado is attempting to force a Christian baker to use his artistic talents to custom-design a cake to help celebrate a gay wedding.

Thus, there were very good reasons why it was rare indeed to find even a Never Trump Evangelical who was tempted in the slightest to vote for Hillary Clinton. It’s easy to see why so many Evangelicals — given the choice between a morally corrupt enemy and a morally corrupt ally (or at least someone who promised to be their ally) — chose the ally.

This is no longer the ”we'll have to agree to disagree” truce. The liberal establishment demands unconditional surrender to its agenda. Dissent is punished. Take compelled speech on pain of imprisonment:

Take the farmer banned from the public market simply because he has traditional Christian beliefs about marriage:

I could multiply examples. 


  1. Very well balanced. Thanks, Steve.

  2. There's a paragraph that begins, "A major reason Trump lost..." Maybe it should "...Trump won..." or "..Hillary lost.."

  3. I voted for Trump (a) because he's not Hillary, (b) because I thought he would enact the Reaganesque platform that he's been working to enact (judges, tax cuts), an (c) because he's a bludgeon and a brawler, he's single-handedly taking on "the left" at the level of their agenda. So far, he appears to be winning, or at least holding his own. I wouldn’t be surprised if Republicans hold the Congress this year and if Trump wins again in 2020.

    He is certainly no "Christian witness", but then again, Romans 13:1 was most likely referring to Nero. In our day, like it or not, "the authorities that exist (in this case Trump) are instituted by God". The whole concept of “President Trump” was architected by God.

    Throughout its history, the Christian church has been either the whipping boy of bad leadership, or it has been able to kinda-sorta flourish under so-called "benevolent" government structures (4th Century Rome under Constantine, the middle ages under the papacy, or in the era opened up by the Reformation). It seems to me that Trump is a new kind of thing, but at least he is the “flourishing” kind of era and not the “whipping boy” kind. He is “God’s servant for our good”.

    I think that we Christians, at the very least, can use the time (and the cover he is providing) to do something productive; if not to actually observe how he’s dealing with “the left” and learn something from him.

    1. i) Thus far his administration has been surprisingly conservative. And his appointments keep improving.

      ii) He was able to reach into blue states off limits to conventional GOP candidates. We'll see if he is able to pull that off a second time.

      iii) Because he's such a wrecking ball, he's probably doing some things, like deregulation, that a more cautious GOP politician would avoid. Because he doesn't care what critics think, that makes him bolder. Although he's thin-skinned, that doesn't affect his actions. He's not intimidated by critics. That can be useful, compared to more timid politicians.

  4. Reppert says: "But if you support someone who by his example says that he does not respect the institution of marriage, doesn't that make you kind of a hypocrite?" The implied premise in his enthymeme is that if you support a candidate who has ever said or done anything inconsistent with your values, you're kind of a hypocrite. However, the analysis is not limited to Christians and the institution of marriage.

    Who among us has ever had the option to support a candidate who has never done or said anything inconsistent with or disrespectful to our values? Eo ipso, each of us is "kind of a hypocrite," including Reppert. As for the 2016 presidential election, realistically, one of two people was going to be the next POTUS, and neither of them is Jesus Christ.

    In every election I have voted in, the set of all candidates who never said or did anything inconsistent with my Christian values is the empty set. In fact, I would be "kind of a hypocrite" if I had voted for myself. For all are sinners; some are saved by grace through faith. Eph. 2:8.

  5. Steve, i agree with Ben Carmack above. Succinctly and intelligently stated. Thank you~

  6. Carrier wants someone to house him for three days but yet he's also opposed to torture. Hypocrisy!