Media v Evangelicals –2018 part 9

Tribalism.

Yes, that stale accusation is making the rounds once again. After a diversion of several weeks, Big Media is now in panic mode since early voting has started. Big Media was distracted by Kavanaugh confirmation hearings, and used that as the launch pad for attacks on white women, in an attempt to shame and bully white women who were leaning towards Republican candidates. They showed how desperate they are to wedge voters away from the GOP and President Trump. Now they are returning to more familiar ground, which is continued attacks on white Evangelicals in an attempt to wedge them away from President Trump’s GOP.

Of course the New York Times is leading the charge. They ran an article that purported to provide a political history of Evangelicals: “Religion and Right Wing Politics: How Evangelicals Reshaped Elections.” It is mostly forgettable. It contains several howlers, such as “American evangelicals had long steered clear of politics,” which is silly. It would be better to say that American evangelicals had long been politically divided. This article incorrectly cites the Moral Majority as the beginning of political realignment of Evangelicals. I think that is really clueless. The Moral Majority got its start and gained traction because the Democrat Party started kicking traditionalists and conservatives out and embraced moral confusion. Along the way, the NYT quotes Michael Gerson as part of the “Religious Right.” Ha.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/28/us/religion-politics-evangelicals.html?action=click&module=RelatedLinks&pgtype=Article

The New York Times also did a feature where they invited young Evangelicals to comment on their personal politics. They said they received 1500 comments. They printed ten or so. It was pretty much what you would expect. The New York Times’s favorite Evangelicals are actually ex-Evangelicals. The young Evangelicals the NYT chose to quote expressed quite a lot of confusion and dissatisfaction with their Christianity.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/01/us/young-evangelicals-politics-midterms.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage

NeverTrumper David French wrote a column at National Review in which he riffed on the NYT comments from young Evangelicals and blamed this youthful religious confusion on Donald Trump. He charged “tribalism.” How tedious.

https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/11/the-two-different-temptations-facing-young-evangelicals/?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=NR%20Daily%20Monday%20through%20Friday%202018-11-01&utm_term=NR5PM%20Actives

My favorite media critics noticed all this, but in this case they are very clever but ultimately less than helpful. They are pro-life Democrats, though, so it is not surprising that they are not up to the challenge of giving this mess the thorough mocking that it all deserves.

https://www.getreligion.org/getreligion/2018/11/2/thinking-about-donald-trump-young-evangelicals-the-new-york-times-and-screwtape

They did manage to pass along this nice observation:

it’s amazing the degree to which the voices in this unscientific survey that ended up in print — in the world’s most powerful newspaper — sound exactly like you would expect young evangelical Times readers to sound.”

Exactly.

Elsewhere, NPR is rooting for liberal Evangelicals, hoping that they will persuade some traditionalist Evangelicals that Trump is so immoral that they should not vote for him.

https://www.npr.org/2018/10/25/660375278/finding-common-good-among-evangelicals-in-the-political-season

So, as you might expect, a last-minute flurry of attempts to wedge Evangelicals away from President Trump. All of this is oriented towards the midterm elections.

Nothing new; I just thought I ought to put out an update before election day.

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6 thoughts on “Media v Evangelicals –2018 part 9”

  1. 10 Cents:
    Who do you include in the term Evangelical?

    For the purpose of this series I am defining loosely, because that is how Big Media works.   They call any Christian who is not Catholic, Mormon, or a member of one of the Protestant legacy denominations (mainline) as an Evangelical.

    Some of the polling services use a few key questions to decide whether a respondent is or is not an Evangelical.  But they use different definitions, so I find that Gallup thinks I am an Evangelical but Barna thinks I am not an Evangelical, even though I give consistently Lutheran responses to both.

    To me you have to be a Christian in order to be an Evangelical, but Big Media like to include post-Christians and ex-Evangelicals in their discussions of “evangelicals,” just because they are trying to promote those.   Big Media has been anti-Christian for decades, but only in the past 20 years has this become really obvious.

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  2. 10 Cents:

    Bryan G. Stephens:
    They hate all Christians

    It depends, Bryan. They like the ones who tell them what they want to hear.

    I think it is more a case of the media like people, especially with clerical credentials, who are no longer Christian but claim to be Christian.

    Big Media are big fans of the post-Christians who still fly the “Christian” flag.   That has worked for them for decades.   It is only since the rise of Christian niche news internet sites that there has been any effective way to establish that those “Emergent Christians” were “emergent” because they had emerged “beyond Jesus.”   They had arrived at a spiritual place called “universalism,” but are still claiming to be Christian and brag about their Christian seminary credentials as evidence of their standing as “Christians.”

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