White Evangelicals Must Ask, “Why Does Our Theology Lead to Republicanism?”

Comments (41)
  1. Annonymous says:

    I’m so thankful for Jemar Tisby and many others who are at the forefront of fighting for racial justice in the church. I’m very saddened to learn that Jemar has recently had to leave the Reformed Evangelical world, not because I don’t think it is the right decision, but for the pain and disappointment that led to this decision.

    I have been wrestling through my own theological position in light of realizing the harms of White Evangelicalism. This article has helped clarified some things for me, but I’m still not sure if I understand Jemar’s position when it comes to how he believes the AA community would contribute to reformed theology. If I understand correctly, Jemar is Reformed because he agrees with the core doctrines of the tradition and sees them as Biblical Truths. He is not advocating to change doctrines, but rather for the contextualized application of Reformed doctrines to the Black experience. What I’m understanding is that these “tool kits” are areas of theology that he sees as being under theological imperialization by the dominant White culture and need to be corrected/ adjusted in light of considerations from the context of the marginalized and oppressed. If this is so, then my question is: how can you really parse out the “objective truth” in reformed theology? How can you be sure that the core doctrines and even how the Gospel itself is articulated are not also influenced by White culture? And what would this mean for other minority groups who bring different challenges to the Reformed tradition?

  2. Shamusi Balogun says:

    This article is spot on. Spot on. Also, Eliyahu your post, along with a few others, was refreshing.

  3. Diane says:

    My demographic is white, female, evangelical, baby-boomer Republican, and I have a few considerations to add.

    First of all, the battle against racism is VERY important to me and I support an integrated society that gives equal opportunity to all. Yes, I believe that sometimes the battle against racism must involve specific intervention (such as forced school busing in the 70s and affirmative action for a number of years), but overall I believe that racism and other issues are a matter of the heart and its alignment with biblical truth as we love one another. (Busing was a disaster in my high school in Dallas in 1972, mainly because it was not well thought out, although I understand that action was necessary after endless procrastination.)

    Although a person’s right to life is also extremely important to me, I have other issues of significance that cause me to fall on the Republican side of things.

    First of all, I have seen that the further that issues and their resolutions are removed from the people whose wallets (and lives) are directly affected, the more corruption and waste occur. Nowhere is this more evident than in our “healthcare” system, which has devolved into a scheme between attorneys, insurance companies, and unscrupulous administrators and healthcare bigwigs who “negotiate” to rip off the vast majority of the American people with accountability so far removed from themselves that it is rarely uncovered and punished. I favor upfront and consistent pricing within (not from entity to entity) any clinic/hospital/doctor/pharmaceutical unit and a complete ditching of these so-called negotiated prices that tend more than anything to rip off younger working people (who now cannot afford exorbitant $12,000 deductibles under their very expensive insurance policies). Does anyone negotiate the posted price of a burger at a restaurant? Should anyone eat a restaurant meal before knowing the cost and considering the value?

    I believe we have also stripped away the dignity of work by divorcing welfare from holding a job. I know that even disabled people and incarcerated persons are generally able to perform some kind(s) of helpful service that will give them dignity and purpose, even though they will likely also need help from outside sources.

    As a society we have also redefined “family” according to our own (ever-changing) worldview, developing our concept independent of our Creator. With regard to African Americans, this likely has its roots in the abhorrent policies of slaveholders who emasculated men (and abused everyone) and sold husbands/fathers off from their families, contributing to a matriarchal culture in the process. In America today, hooking up of the population at large is rampant, fathers in the home are optional, Grandma can raise the baby while Mom is busy cheerleading in high school and playing on the soccer team, and a parent’s “rights” trample the responsibility of adults to sacrifice themselves for the sake of those precious children they have brought into the world.

    In Christ, however, we are new creations and can develop a worldview in line with Scripture if we would teach it, model it, and pray and act it in. I have seen hundreds of drug-addicted teens of all races (as well as people in all kinds of trouble) completely transformed by the power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Unfortunately, as a culture (and even as Christians) we have come to believe that WE know best and have also denied the power of God to sanctify lives to the praise of His glory. (We are largely a people of pathetically little prayer, relying instead on programs, policies, and politicians.)

    We have chosen to believe that unrestrained sex, drug usage, and the pursuit of personal and instant gratification matter and yield more than the plan of our wise and loving Father, our obedience to Him, and our pursuit of a humble and satisfying relationship with Jesus Christ, who is more than sufficient (and willing) to meet all our needs.

    We have devalued fatherhood, sexual purity, and spiritual leadership, even as we exalt female-ness and gender choice, but we do even this in a completely hypocritical way. Why is it that “feminists” decry sexual innuendo and forwardness (as well as rape and many horrid outrages) but turn a deaf ear to their own culpability in embracing Islamic culture, which completely denigrates all women (with its rigid rules, views of women, honor killings, female genital mutilation, and much more) and all sexual deviation? Why do women turn a blind eye and deaf ear to sexist commercials such as the current Ronaldo Cristiano commercial for Sudden Link in which a woman secretly snaps a picture of him in his underwear and then posts it on YouTube for gawkers while Ronaldo (and the audience, supposedly) laugh? Why should Hollywood sell seductiveness and then cry foul when men buy it in unrighteousness? Does anyone truly believe that we haven’t known for years that in a business that sells and worships physical beauty (film/TV) the public DIDN’T know that most of the successful women (and possibly men as well) were sleeping their way to the top, whether by coercion or choice?

    You see, I have MANY issues as a Christian that concern me, sadden me, and call me to my knees and to radical obedience to the truth of the Bible and God’s plan. And, yes, we are sinners and HAVE no candidates that could possibly be called perfect. Moreover, in a time when almost every sin is public record because of cell phones and the Internet, those would-be public servants who pursue moral purity are genuinely concerned about putting themselves and their families at risk of exposure and ridicule by all the nasty people in the press and the public at large (and WE are those nasty people!).

    As a Christian, I am accountable before God for my choices and actions, even though outside forces have certainly influenced them (less and less as I rely on the wisdom of God and reject the doctrines of men). My Father calls me to go and make disciples, and that is what I am seeking to do every day by pursuing a relationship with Him through His Word, fervent prayer, and the ministry and teaching of a Spirit-filled church; through extravagant and sacrificial giving; by sharing the Gospel and mentoring young believers; through engagement with and service to people of other cultures (internationals and others), ages, and circumstances; by sharing my own gifts and resources (such as teaching, hospitality, and music) to serve and minister to others; and by being open to seeing where HE is working and joining Him in His work. The response of individual Christians will look different according to the call of God and one’s season of life, but ALL of us should be about our Father’s business of making disciples. And Jesus made it clear the the most salient feature of Christians should be our love for Him and for others.

    1. Jack says:

      A very thoughtful (and biblical) response. Thank you Diane.

  4. Curt Day says:

    I think that the 3 factors identified in this article for how white evangelicalism leads to voting Republican are very helpful. and observable.

    There is yet another factor that goes unidentified in this article. That factor has to do with how Christians believe they should share society with others where others equals unbelievers, especially those who are counted as being undesirable. Those who believe that we should share society with others as equals are more than just social libertarians. They are collaborative and believe that those others have something to bring to the table when it comes to determining how society should function. Those who don’t believe we should share society with others as equals are looking for authority figures who offer protection from the others..

    There are those from all of the political ideological sides–that is the conservative, liberal, and the left–who do not believe that we should share society with others as equals and they do so, in part, out of fear.. Conservatives fear multiculturalism and thus foreigners, sometimes non-whites, and the LGBT community. Liberals fear conservatives, especially evangelicals. And the Left fears the bourgeoisie. These fears are strong enough to motivate people to push for controls on others that they want their own groups to be free from.

    The Republican Party has been stoking the conservative fears of others while offering protection from them. This last factor should be looked only as an additional factor to the ones mentioned in the article above.

  5. Jeremy says:


    Your post states that white evangelicals must ask “Why Does Our Theology Lead to Republicanism?” but it never explains what “republicanism” is or what the problem of it is, it just presupposes it. Your case comes across as question begging because of these unstated premises. It would be helpful if there were even just a few lines explaining what “republicanism” is and then what’s wrong with it from a biblical perspective. The debate about how your brothers and sisters in Christ vote can’t be whether you like it or not, but instead must ask does it reflect a thorough going biblical world view, in context of the voting options we have today and what voters believe to be at stake.

    What would be helpful to readers is a more nuanced view. Talk to those who you disagree with. Talk to black conservatives, have them on a show, learn and let your listeners hear exactly what they believe and why they believe it. If you truly believe that “White evangelicals have to untangle why those beliefs usually form and shape people to be politically conservative and Republican”, explain WHY they must untangle those beliefs.

    1. Jeff says:

      Jeremy, I think you’re probably asking too much.

      Trump-bashing is all the rage, and it takes many forms. This article is one of them.

      Trump-bashers never seem to get around to looking in the mirror either. What better option than Trump did evangelicals have? Hillary – the woman who attacked the women her husband raped? An old, white, incredibly corrupt pro-abortion candidate?

      Shoot, gimme somebody like Condi Rice to vote for, and I won’t have to keep doing Third Party Write-ins!

  6. Donald H says:

    Thanks to all those who commented. Agree or disagree with the article and change, at least it’s now a discussion.

    I understand where both sides are coming from, and it is true healing needs to take place.

    Special thanks for those that mentioned B.A.R. I suppose they changed from black to biblical in their name. My concern is that everyone can debate but not divide.

    See yourselves as brothers and sisters in Christ. In the debate and discussion, in addition to making a point, try seeing the others’ perspective in light of now. It’s true that many of us that are black feel we have done that, in light of current events many blacks feel slighted.

    Again both sides need to step back, breathe. I’m very curious about what happened to Beau? The podcast were refreshing when the three of you were included. I will keep checking back from time to time, but no longer listening Take care.

    1. Jeff says:

      How has Trump being elected President affected you personally, and in a negative way?

      I’m curious to know, because I live in the urban-poor black are of my city and have been asking my friends that question. When pressed, none of them can give an actual answer. There’s a lot of, “He hates Mexicans!” or “he’s a racist!” or “he only cares about rich people!” All fair points. But when pressed for a real answer, not one of them can come up with one single way that the Trump Presidency has harmed them personally.

      What it comes down to is this: Your candidate didn’t win.

      My candidate didn’t win either. In fact, in only 4 of the 11 Presidential Elections I’ve voted in did my candidate win. I’ve learned three things: 1. It’s not the end of the world. 2. I survived. 3. I don’t need to scapegoat people.

  7. Eliyahu BenYsrael says:

    Conservative white dominance over society for so long has shaped the values of it’s religion, and that religion in turn supports it’s patron society’s values. Those values center on it’s white constituents’ interests, not the Black ones who historically had none anyone cared about. Neither position has actually changed much. The white church turns out acceptable, white citizens who reflect it’s and it’s civil patrons’ values and interests, not someone else’s; so Blacks are again, out of luck there.

    It’s not going to change because the largely homogeneous base of both the Republican party and their corresponding churches have historical, cultural, economic, political and religious interests which do not include Black people, and in fact conflict with theirs.

    And addressing one earlier point a few commenters made, today, white evangelicals’ convenient concern over abortion is their central organizing principle, which they believe means must be Black peoples’ as well; failing to understand that Blacks have other priorities we are actually forced to worry about everyday which much of the white community can’t, and simply won’t, relate to. The horrible candidates, organizations, policies and belief systems the Republican party offers remain simply unacceptable to most Blacks. We simply aren’t going to turn over our freedom and interests by living on the Republican plantation, under their “pro-life” overseer, intended to make us subservient to the worst policies, organizations and people the party can muster, in the name of “anti-abortion”.

    1. Jeff says:

      Sorry you’re such a victim. It must really stink to live that way.

      By the way, do you have any close friends who are white Christians? Not acquaintances, but close friends. I’ll bet my last dollar that the honest answer to that question is, “No.”

    2. Shamusi Balogun says:

      Exceptional response.

  8. Jim Hopkins says:

    Because Democrats murder children.

    ~ Tim Dukeman

    1. George Canady says:

      If you have decided that life begins at conception, and I think you have, then I agree that that a woman is at that point responsible for a life. So In our justice system then those who decide and arrange that someone else life should end without cause from penalty are convicted as a “murderer”. Are you willing to confront those women? Until we republicans address our unwillingness to call women murders then we are only accusing the hit man (democrats) of someone else’s decision to end a life and are guilty of complicity. If children are really being murdered for these past several decades then we who know it are cowards.

  9. Arthur Sido says:

    I guess we ought not hold our breath for an article declaring “Black Christians Must Ask, “Why Does Our Theology Lead to Democratism?””

    1. Paul N Larsen says:

      Great point.

      Is it worse that 80% of white evangelicals voted for Moore or that 96% of black evangelicals voted for Jones?

      Should Jemar be addressing the following as well: Why does the theology of black evangelicals lead to the Democratic party.

      Strongly recommending the B.A.R. (Black And Reformed) pordcast and, especially, their most recent Just Thinking Podcast (#7), for a respectful but rigorous critique of Jemar’s one-sided argument.

  10. Thomas W. says:


    I’m okay with single issue voters, though I don’t think many of them in reality are single issue.
    Some things like abortion and slavery should be heavily weighed and prioritized against other things that may be more subjective.

    Abortion lower? By what measure and how much? Are you talking 1 million less a year, because if not, I doubt were close on something we should be using as “significant strides”

    As to your examples:

    As you mention the intent of a law like criminals not being able to vote may have other repercussions, like preventing minorities from voting, it’s not necessarily the party platform or intention. (In political realms this is a failure on both sides though in how far a few will go, but should we assume Rob Creamer is the norm or just an isolated case?) I think there are other ways to look at reducing the effect that at least the drug war has had on minorities here. Whereas I’m sure some idiots pertain to using it to their advantage on voting, the law itself as you mention isn’t racist, nor would I think it would be fair to extrapolate that to the whole of party’s supporters for their intent or reasons to continue it.

    The immigration executive order is not explicitly racist. It largely affected terrorist supporting countries concerning Islam…which is not a race. He may be anti-islam or xenophobic, but the irrational extrapolation to racist is not correct. On top of that, the Supreme Court upheld it recently which means it doesn’t violate the constitution on the basis of race. Much of this type of thing gets lost in the irrational bias of people and the narrative spins they read on both sides. The law doesn’t prevent any ethnicity from entering the country legally.

    As with disenfranchisement, I certainly think we need to reform how we look at the criminal system, esp in light of the drug war. I certainly think whites and others from both parties are how we got here, but I don’t think the way out is assuming an opposing party is racist over it now or that their intentions weren’t necessarily good to begin with. We can always find those who make each party look terrible, and in our bias we have the tendency to assume its more of the whole.

    Tax policy – I’m against class warfare, and have no desire to covet what the rich have or force them to redistribute it. I don’t believe equality means tearing down any other class, race, or genre of people in order to achieve it. This is the false god of equality the world posits.
    health policy – For me being libertarian I do not find government being the only vehicle or even an efficient vehicle. They’ve shown they can’t handle it well, even the GOP.
    Ultimately, I’m a low taxation guy who desires to maximize the capacity of his community and the individuals ability. And personally, I think this ultimately benefits african americans.

    Education and housing still assumes an intent. I think there are certainly issues and would agree that education needs to be able to break geography. I think that’s starting to happen. But I don’t think many of these things are on the platform with an intent to deprive anyone. School choice in MS has been entirely aimed at special students and the poor to give them more options.

    In talking with the mayor from canton the other day, he wants more residents in housing, not apartments, primarily because it means more on the tax roll for the city. Some have argued that Ridgeland doesn’t want apartments in order to keep black people out (lower income housing), but I imagine it’s more of the property tax issue.
    What much of the inability to get a home though centers around is the lack of credit of which many poor do not have an exemplary score on. The entire credit system isn’t a racial thing to me, but a glaring example of America’s materialism in general. But perhaps this is an area that communities would have a better opportunity to rectify than say the federal government.

    I certainly agree that some policies will have racial repercussions if for nothing else than how they end up being used or abused by some. However, I hope you can see the difference in that many of these things are subjective to an assumption of intent or the fractions of a few at this point rather than an outright policy platform statement like abortion is.

    1. Adam Shields says:

      I am not going to address all of your points. But I think one big issue of where we will disagree is that I don’t think that there has to be racist intent for an action to be racist.

      Many will say they have no intent to racially discriminate against minorities. But policies are designed in ways that result in discrimination. Recently the courts have shift to require intent. But I think that is the wrong standard (and was not the standard until relatively recently). Intent matters, and if there is clear intent we should note that. But even if there is unintentional result that is racially bias, we should acknowledge and change.

      I think biblically this is true as well. In the Old Testament there was sacrifices for unintentional actions. And in Hebrews there is reference to these same sacrifices in relation to Jesus. There are other NT references to unintentional sin as well if you want to explore them.

      I am also not saying that unintentional and subjective are the same. Data can show result. So for instance, the recent court cases about gerrymandering often have racial implication and some seem to have intent. But it isn’t subjective when there is data. There is some things that may be subjective based on economic or political theory. But even most of those have data that can be investigated to see whether the result really is racially different.

      The whole concept of a culture of white supremacy is that many, if not most, things will actually end up having discriminatory results because the inputs were discriminatory. Housing for instance was legally segregated not too long ago. But generational wealth transfer takes many years to work out. Those that grew up under segregated school systems are only recently moving toward retirement or have recently retired. It would not be surprising that there are still implications from segregated schools that continue today because of the long term effects of housing policy, education and legal segregation. And that doesn’t take into account the ways that whites were assisted in gaining wealth through housing programs in ways that were blocks by most minorities.

      1. Thomas W. says:

        I wouldn’t disagree with you on that. At least in the sense that it’s possible to kill without having the intent to murder. Though, my point is primarily that we wouldn’t necessarily call someone a murderer where the intent was lacking.

        That we can be nuanced in our understanding especially if the consequences of an action were unintended. Gerrymandering is a good example and perhaps a great discussion, because assuming the lack of intent (which I’m sure some in the past intended) what is the racist or non racist actions in drawing up district lines? Do we want district lines that encompass all residents, regardless of color, or do you want district lines that ensure specific races have representation?

        The unintended consequences, their interpretation, and results become far more subjective to our bias, perceptions, and personal visions. This is where judgmentalism can creep in, and where it gets supported heavily by the few with intended consequences. I’m not meaning to excuse any of it here, but expand how quickly and easily it gets subjective to our perception once we get past intent.

        Many of the reasons things are improving in Mississippi in my opinion are because there are plenty of white people who are listening to the consequences of poor, bad, intended or otherwise policies, and how better to represent and serve across racial lines going forward.

        Keep in mind though, my main point has been that abortion is a flat out policy on the Dem platform, and you won’t find housing or gerrymandering racial policies on the GOP platform.

  11. George Canady says:

    Hey Jemar.
    Please keep sharing your insights. Praying for us now.

  12. Thomas W. says:


    Hopefully, I can provide some insight into a couple of pitfalls that you’re in danger of contributing to. One of these is the world’s false sense of equality in which it believes that inorder for equality to be obtained it must tear down something in return. Another is the overt dismissiveness of white evangelical concerns, especially in regards to abortion.
    Why do evangelicals and their theology end with them residing in the Republican party?
    60 million dead, many of them from the poor, many of them African American is why. Modern day human sacrifice to the false god of convenience and in the name of the idol of equality.
    You should be able to grasp the weight of this. For the evangelical, abortion is on par with slavery and segregation as abominable, evil practices. I assume you know this though, but don’t give it the weight you should. Our dissonance likes to devalue what others consider important, rather than accepting the diversity. (It’s not a competition; it’s entirely okay to be about ending racism, abortion, and any combination there of. We are nuanced, dynamic people capable of valuing more than one interest at a time, and our society gives us at least the means of voting by which we can peacefully respond. And we should afford that to others who value their concerns differently than our personal selves.)
    But there’s this one major party that makes abortion their ACTUAL platform (Democrats). Racism, slavery, segregation are not on the Republican platform, and the vast majority of Republicans do not espouse those things, esp most of their voters, candidates, and representatives. It would be a “single issue” reason to not vote for if it were. (Yes, you can always find one who is a racist in any party, but a person or few here or there doesn’t conflict the conscience for anyone.)

    Thus, the Christian finds himself/herself confronted with two major parties, and one of them has a platform position that espouses what is evil to them (Give value and validity to this worldview, don’t be dismissive of it’s weight to promote your own cause.). Thus, they are left with the options of voting against that party via the other major party not affiliated with declared evil, voting third party, or abstaining.
    Could you understand this if the issue was a party that regarded slavery as apart of their platform? You would never vote for it, right? You wouldn’t trust that candidate regardless of what they said or whatever else of actual value was in their platform, right?
    You have argued in the past that voting for Trump and Trump’s message (at least as you heard it) was emboldening the extremists like the KKK/alt right? That white evangelicals would be complicit in that. Then what on earth is voting for any democrat who aligns with the ACTUAL party platform but a vote for the continued slaughter of the unborn? At least be consistent and display that consistency so you are above reproach.
    60 million dead. SIXTY million. 60,000,000…and counting.

    This is not a message Republicans/white evangelicals send in response to your weight and concern for racism in society. It’s not a declaration they haven’t heard your concerns. It’s not a declaration of white supremacy. They just abhor abortion as much as you abhor racism. That’s OKAY.

    In the case of Moore, the irrationalism and the ensuing judgment you place on evangelicals is detrimental to your cause, and though the chorus you join is loud, it’s wrong. The irrational position is in deciding Moore’s guilt or innocence from a position in which we only see in part as we lack the information necessary. “Credibility” isn’t enough. There is no admission. There is no judicial conviction. None of us were there 40 years ago.
    And thus, you must hold that in tension regardless of your personal view on the matter (which may be right about Moore) and respect the rational position many evangelicals have held by either refraining from an irrational judgment of innocence/guilt or deciding that innocence is the default unless proven rationally otherwise. (If nothing else, I would point you to the weaker brother argument Paul espouses because I think it’s a great example of how not to judge even if were right.)
    The only Christian sect we can hold rational judgment over concerning Moore are the Christians that believed Moore to be guilty, but voted for him anyway without consideration to a Democrat who believes in abortion. (Would you, Jemar, vote for Moore if it meant preventing a proponent of slavery?) And though your poll last week wasn’t scientific, only 2% said they would vote for Moore believing he’s guilty, probably because that’s what they still weight it against. And I think that’s probably reasonable. The vast majority of white evangelicals did NOT vote for Moore on the framework that he’s guilty (regardless of their rational/irrational personal judgment). Same reason many liberal Christians felt they could vote for a Clinton.
    Same reason the vast majority of evangelicals could vote for Trump. They didn’t believe he was Hitler. And the evidence for that was predominately built on irrational arguments. Understand the framework, the filter, the worldview.
    Speaking of which, as much as you like to throw out how many white evangelicals vote for Trump, it shows in the graph he did about the same as Romney in that area. You seem to leave out that he also had more African American and Hispanic voters than Romney. But gaining more of those votes probably doesn’t appeal to your bias, because it starts to topple that concept that he and his message was racist.

    For full disclaimer, I’m not a republican. I think it’s entirely fair and wise to be critical of the parties we are apart of or align with in general. It’s also entirely fair to be critical of Jemar Tisby (and myself) so that we avoid the same pitfalls. I would encourage you dear brother that you don’t have to tear down white evangelicals or anyone else to gain equality. And I would encourage you to validate and listen to their concerns without taking it personally or as a lack of listening to your own concerns, but assume they are as nuanced as you in your beliefs.

    And I would be glad to sit down and have a good conversation that challenges your own world view on these matters anytime you’re willing and able. I want my own challenged, and challenged by those like you.

    1. Jeff says:

      I was an election judge for the 2016 Presidential Election. The precinct I worked is over 85% black. By state law we are required to do a mid-day count, in order to make sure we have the same number of ballots as voters. As we counted ballots, I was absolutely DUMBFOUNDED by how many had voted for Trump. Not a bunch of white evangelicals, but black voters. I was shocked.

      Democrats need to stop scapegoating white evangelicals (unless they want to keep losing elections), and admit that the problem was Hillary Clinton. A secondary problem was the Democrats’ pro-abortion stance.

      Give me a pro-life Democrat, who is not a corrupt career politician, and I’ll gladly vote for him/her.

      1. tom carter says:

        The democrat party has no room for pro-life Christians that will not toe the party line. Democrat strength is strict adherence but is also there weakness. More real diversity in the conservative/republican party.

  13. Paul N Larsen says:

    I’ve moved on from the grievance-oriented BCC to the much more redemptive, edifying and gospel-centric B.A.R. podcast. Just a year ago, Jemar was appropriately putting the naive Tyler in his place when he tried to jump ugly on Russell Moore. Now he’s throwing his former comrades under the bus. Trump is not a good enough reason to jettison the rest of us. Now all you get to do is stew in your own juices, which is not good for anyone. I’m very sad about it and hope y’all will be able to break back out of it in the near-future.

  14. Bruce Knowlton says:

    This is ripe for further exploration, isn’t it?

    Specifically, how does this accountable freewill individualist, relationalist, and anti-structuralist gospel, which whatever its virtues, isn’t anything Jesus ever talked about, relate to the white American myth of rugged individual self-sufficiency, which itself bears only a tenuous connection to actual history?

  15. Jeff says:

    Wow. Yet another, “white evangelicals are the scum of the earth” article. This started getting old over a year ago.

    Let me ask you a few questions:

    1. Do black Christians see no problem with abortion? Do you believe it’s okay to slaughter unborn babies – a disproportionately high number of which are black? Where is the outrage of black Christians about this?

    2. Have you never looked in the proverbial mirror long enough to know that it’s the Democrats fault that Trump is President? You ran the most wretched and corrupt career politician in recent history, after she swindled the nomination away from Bernie, and forced Americans to vote for “the lesser of two evils.” Bernie Sanders would have beaten Trump. Barack Obama would have beaten Trump. Joe Biden would have beaten Trump. Dozens of nominees would have beaten Trump, but you ran Hillary Clinton. You DESERVED to lose.

    3. Why is it okay for black Christians to bash white evangelicals, but it most certainly would be called out as RACIST if white evangelicals were bashing black Christians? Why the double standard?

    I did not vote for Donald Trump, and if he runs in 2020 I won’t vote for him then either. But I sure as heck wasn’t going to vote for the Epitome of Corruption. Instead, my wife & I voted 3rd Party Write In. Perhaps if black Christians would join me in voting for better candidates, we’d all be better off.

    1. Karen says:

      How do you know Black Christians aren’t outraged by abortion? I believe life is precious from the womb to the tomb. If life is so precious why is there so little concern for All life once born?

      1. Jeff says:

        Karen – Black Christians overwhelmingly vote for pro-abortion candidates. And the tired old “why is there so little concern for all life once born?” argument holds no water. You simply cannot be pro-life if you are pro-abortion.

      2. Thomas W. says:

        I’ll add that there are more Christian pregnancy centers than abortion clinics in America. That is just one of the many ways in which Christians are serving the living. The presumption they aren’t is an argument that has gained traction in the last few years due to its nature that allows you to fill in an ambiguous blank and assume it’s true.
        It isn’t. Christians all over are ministering to the living. They are above reproach by comparison and are always pursuing more effective ways to accomplish those ministries.

  16. William Douglas says:

    You are too intelligent to believe everything you have written in this article. First taking at face value the spiritual self-identification of the white population in Alabama — or any US state — is a difficulty, no? Second Moore lost. And one factor was that enough voters chose “other” rather than vote for Mr. Moore or for an opponent whose views on abortion they considered a deal breaker. (De facto votes for Jones?)

    The election of Mr. Trump is another matter. I have sympathy w/ your fears regarding him and share many of them. But it is too convenient to label those who did vote for him as racists. The alternative in Nov. 2016 has to be considered. Especially since many who pulled the lever for Trump in 2016 had pulled in in 2008 and 2012 for Pres. Obama. Did these voters remember they were white supremacists all of a sudden? It is sadly true that for many self styled “evangelicals” the political litmus test is primary. Let those of us who are better taught and think more clearly avoid such idolatries.
    In the Lamb. William Douglas

    1. ADam Shields says:

      Democrats weren’t the ones who voted for Trump. You can’t blame Democrats for the voting patterns of other people.

      1. Jeff says:

        Democrats were the ones who fielded such a horrible candidate that millions of people gritted their teeth and voted for Trump – who, in their minds, was the lesser of two evils.

        President Donald Trump is a direct result of Candidate Hillary Clinton.

      2. Adam Shields says:

        That really makes no sense. Democrats could have put up a better candidate. But our system you vote for someone. Republicans were coming off 8 years of Deocrsts. Historically it was their election to win. There were good candidates in the Republican primaries. At some point there has to be responsibility taken. Everything can’t be the Democrats fault.

        And about your comment about African Americans and prolife voting above. African Americans have not been single issues voters. They are not single issue voters because there are other things that matter as well. That doesn’t mean they are not prolife. Polling says they are.

        They do not however, as I do not, think that GOP is actually interested in accomplishing anything real with abortion. Some individual GOP candidates really are prolife. But many have other priorities.

        For instance this tax bill is a priority. But the GOP has not made passing CHIP a priority. So it hasn’t. And multiple GOP legislators have not said they are not sure that we can afford CHiP.

        I know the not prolife enough charge can be too easily thrown around. But this is a perfect example of why my that are Democrats are Democrats. Children’s health care should be more important than tax cuts.

      3. Jeff says:

        ^ Adam, I’ll let this post speak for itself. And it does. Loudly.

      4. William Douglas says:

        Actually they were. And it has been shown that Trump got a lot of votes in swing states from people who voted for Obama twice. Racism might have been a factor — when is it not — but not THE factor. William

  17. Jeff W says:

    Hey Jemar thanks for the thoughtful article. I would be considered a typical white evangelical, but in the 20% that would not pull the lever for Trump.

    I find myself in the republican party primarily because I’m a single issue voter. I have more moderate views on the government and social issues. I try to start with scripture and think through my politics that way, and not decide my politics and apply scriptures.

    My struggle with voting democrat is my struggle with abortion. I have heard the counter-argument that “you need to care about cradle-to-grave also” and I totally agree. My issue with that argument is that it does not address the validity of voting for candidates that are actively seeking to increase abortion rights and not limit them. How have you dealt with thinking through that issue? I want to be clear that I am seeking to ask this question from a place of humility and not aggression. I listen to a lot of PTM and have been challenged in my thinking often. This has been a question I have had for a long time and would appreciate your thoughts. I also follow you and Tyler on twitter and. again, am challenged by what you post.

    Thank you brother, I appreciate the work you are doing.

    In Christ,

    1. ADam Shields says:

      Is the bible only concerned with one sin? Is abortion more important in scripture than all other sins?

      You don’t have to reject abortion as important to pay attention to the fact that other issues matter. Abortion rate is lower than at any time since Roe V Wade, but there are lots of other issues that are also important, or should be to Christians as they vote. But still White Evangelicals as a whole are unwilling to consider how their support of the pro-life cause has allowed the GOP to support openly racist policies and policies that harm many groups of people.

      It is not simply that you should consider cradle to grave issues, but that by only supporting the GOP and being a single issue voter you are not paying attention to the implications of the other policies that the GOP is pushing. Votes has consequences. And those consequences matter not just to abortion policy but other polices as well.

      1. Thomas W. says:

        I don’t think it’s a matter so much as a single issue, but as certainly a major issue. In the same way many have racism as their top priority, others have abortion.

        We don’t have to have competition for which is worst. And tho other issues matter too, I’m not sure any of us would continue to vote for blatant atrocities fully described and supported by a party platform.

        I agree with you that the GOP has its share of abusing its voter base to its own gain, but what precisely do you see as racist in its stated platform policies?
        This is where it becomes not an objective statement, but largely subjective in how someone might view those policies versus the outright statement of Dems that will promote the slaughter of African Americans and others thru abortion.

        It should be a major concern, just as much as any other major concern like racism that directly degrades, devalues, and harms people. And if both parties are guilty, perhaps we should be moving toward a 3rd.

      2. Adam Shields says:

        I am all for third party response. That is I think reasonable and can be less objectionable.

        I am not trying to create a ‘which is worse’ sin comparison. I am trying to say that abortion is not and should not be the only ethical concern of Christians. But just glancing at the comments here you can see that for many it is the only thing that matters.

        Abortion rates are now lower than in 1973. So while abortion is not zero, there have been significant strides made.

        When you at policies it matters what the results are not just the stated policies. So disenfranchisement laws are usually not usually explicitly racist in stated intent, but are racist in result. And there have been a number of examples of private communication that has leaked that makes it clear that there was an intent on suppressing minority voting.

        Immigration under Trump (not GOP as a whole) is explicitly racist. You can have a policy of limiting immigration that isn’t racist, but what is being proposed and the way it is talked about, is explicitly racist.

        Prison and crime policy is often not explicitly racists, but the result is often significantly disproporate. Democrats are not great at this, but there was a bipartisan movement toward prison and crime reform before Trump. And not the stated policy is back to the racist result again.

        Tax and healthcare policy is pro-rich and not paying attention to the needs of empowering poor.

        Education system is based on geography, and when tied with discriminatory housing policies the result is often racially different.

        I could keep going on. Is every GOP policy explicitly racist. No. Are all Republicans racist. Absolutely not. But it matters that many in the GOP are willing to give some sinful policies a pass while holding up just one as ethically something that can’t be crossed.

  18. Scott Roney says:

    While evangelicals are the worst offenders, there appears to be a broader problem with conservative white churches. Both White evangelicals and White Catholics are more likely to support Trump the more often they attend church.

    “And among white Catholics – as with white evangelicals – those who attend religious services at least once or twice a month are more approving of Trump’s job performance than are white Catholics who attend Mass less often (61% vs. 44%).” – Pew Research


    Perhaps this is due to the logic that opposition to abortion trumps all other political concerns?

    1. Chris says:

      thank you!!! i feel the abortion focus (tool) is such a scapegoat. it trumps all political concerns because its less of a gray area for politically defining yourself as a christian. .compared to education, healthcare, or systemic discrimination or racism which are gray areas politically. yay politics

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