Israel finds a welcome audience with Christian journalists – Josef Federman

 

Israel’s nationalist government may be unpopular with Western liberals and much of its domestic press corps, but it has found a close friend among the world’s evangelical Christians and their media outlets.

The government this week is hosting a first-of-its-kind summit for Christian journalists, featuring softball questions, mutual admiration and a welcome respite for embattled Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. His outreach to evangelical leaders reflects striking tactical parallels to his close ally and fellow media basher, President Donald Trump.

About 130 journalists from some 30 countries are participating in the four-day summit, which ends Wednesday. The world’s largest broadcasters, including the Christian Broadcasting Network, Daystar, Trinity Broadcasting Network and God TV, are all represented.

Nitzan Chen, the director of Israel’s Government Press Office, said he believed the summit was long overdue, and that planners chose the 50th anniversary celebrations of Israel’s capture of east Jerusalem as a fitting occasion for the conference.

For many years, Israel has held a summit for Jewish media outlets, cultivating those journalists as unofficial “ambassadors” to help promote Israel’s image abroad, he said. “Using the same logic,” it decided to reach out to Christian media, in what could become a regular event.

The summit’s agenda includes meetings with top Israeli politicians, most from the nationalist side. Palestinian speakers barely appear on the agenda.

Sessions include discussions on archaeology and Jewish-Christian relations, but also “radical Islam” and alleged media bias, legal “warfare” and Palestinian “incitement” against Israel. While Israel’s West Bank settlements are largely vilified in the West, participants are offered a chance to visit one.

The media summit extends what has become a warm relationship between Israel and its evangelical supporters.

Local charities raise millions of dollars from Christian friends around the world, and evangelical Christians make up a sizeable segment of the tourism industry. Last week, thousands of Christians gathered in Jerusalem for an annual celebration and parade coinciding with the Jewish holiday of Sukkot.

According to Israel’s Tourism Ministry, evangelical Christians account for roughly one-fifth of all Christian tourists visiting the country. Among American Christian visitors, the number of evangelicals is much higher, at nearly 40 percent.

“The evangelical market is one of our main target audiences,” said Eyal Carlin, director of the ministry’s Americas department. He said the ministry advertises in Christian media, sponsors trips for influential community leaders and works with Christian tour operators to offer visits with “faith-based or biblical themes.”

Gordon Robertson, chief executive of the Christian Broadcasting Network and a summit participant, said evangelical support for Israel was deep and heartfelt.

He described Israel’s modern-day history, from its founding in 1948 to its capture of east Jerusalem in 1967 to scenes last week of children laughing and playing in his Jerusalem hotel, as fulfilling biblical prophecy — the bedrock idea seemingly driving the Evangelicals’ support.

He also talked of his strong personal affinity for Israel and the Jewish faith, noting that he enjoys studying the Hebrew Bible. “I like to joke, the longer I’m a Christian the more Jewish I become,” he said.

CBN, known best for its “700 Club” show and which claims a worldwide audience of 360 million people, delivered its first satellite broadcast from Jerusalem’s Mount of Olives in 1976. Today, its Jerusalem operation is “one of our most productive bureaus in the world,” he said.

While Robertson, the son of famed televangelist Pat Robertson, said he did not consider himself to be a direct partner of the Israeli government, he said, “I think we can be a partner with the Israeli people.”

“Israel is obviously in a very difficult position with the Palestinians, with the Arab world, and there needs to be a voice that’s independent from Israel, saying, ‘wait a minute, Israel is actually doing the right thing.'” He said.

That strong support for Israel was evident at Netanyahu’s meeting with the visiting journalists.

Netanyahu, who routinely spars with local media and has accused them of reporting “fake news” in their coverage of a series of corruption scandals, received a warm welcome.

“Good to see you, my friend,” said one journalist before asking a question. “There’s no fake news here.”

Netanyahu’s embrace of the Christian media echoes the strategy employed by Trump.

White evangelicals were a core constituency that propelled Trump to victory in last year’s election. And even after the tumultuous start to his presidency, they remain staunch supporters. Trump, along with members of his administration and his family, have appeared regularly on CBN.

Robertson said that Christian voters were drawn to Trump in part because of his strong support for Israel. “It’s absolutely an issue. It will absolutely determine a vote,” he said.

Ahmad Majdalani, an aide to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, said evangelical support for Israel is well-known but difficult to understand. He said that both Palestinian Christians and Muslims are harmed by Israeli policies.

“I think those evangelical people are deluded by the Israeli propaganda,” he said. “I recommend they go to Bethlehem and see the large swatch of Christian land that was confiscated and turned into Jewish settlements.”

Robertson echoed the Israeli claim that the Palestinians have rejected repeated peace offers and refused to recognize Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state.

He also rejected a common “accusation” in Israel that evangelical Christians are here to convert Jews or prepare for the End of Days.

“We really truly stand with Israel, and we really truly want to be dear friends,” he said.

Not everyone agrees. Jeremy Ben Ami, president of J Street, a liberal pro-Israel group in Washington that is often critical of the Israeli government, said the evangelicals do not necessarily have Israel’s best interests in mind.

“Israel should be wary of embracing extreme Christian Zionist groups that may be more concerned with their own theological agendas than with Israel’s long-term survival as a secure, democratic homeland for the Jewish people,” he said.

Advertisements

Faith’s Influence on Politics: Why it Will Not be Going Away – Rob Schwarzwalder

“Social issues to return to the forefront on GOP trail”

 

That’s the title of an article in a recent edition of the Washington Post. It discusses the North Carolina legislation prohibiting men from using women’s bathrooms, Donald Trump’s dismissiveness of the issue, and Ted Cruz’s support of the Tarheel State’s commonsense efforts to sustain privacy and security in public accommodations.

 

What is striking about the article is its title.  “Return to the forefront?”  First, from the earliest days of the current presidential campaign to the present, social issues – protecting the unborn and their mothers, religious liberty, the radical agenda of LGBT activists, etc. – have been in the top tier of issues the candidates have been discussing.

The debate over the North Carolina measure, as well that over issues like dismemberment abortion and protecting the free exercise of religious conviction, are not sudden intrusions, as if unwelcome and unruly guests had burst into a sedate dinner party.  These concerns are at the heart of the kind of country we want to be.  Will we honor life at all its stages, uphold religious liberty as our most essential freedom, esteem marriage as the union of one man and one woman, for life, and strengthen families to better enable every child to be raised in a home with a mom and a dad?  Or will we exalt radical sexual autonomy, continuously redefine human sexuality, treat the unborn as mere collections of blood and tissue and dehumanize their mothers through abortion-on-demand, and encourage the fracturing of families through laws that foster divorce, cohabitation, promiscuity, and pornography?

 

Second, secular journalists seem perpetually amazed that issues like abortion and religious liberty are actual concerns of real people.  It is natural that like-minded people talk mostly to others with the same perspectives and don’t engage as much with those whose outlook is fundamentally different than their own.

 

Yet over the past several decades, has it not become apparent that a massive, even preponderant number of Republican voters are socially conservative and that, as the country undergoes profound social turmoil, the convictions of these voters will inform what their party’s candidates discuss in their campaigns?

 

As Terry Mattingly has convincingly documented for many years, most reporters “don’t get religion.”  Mike Cromartie, long-time director of the Ethics and Public Policy Center’s Faith Angle Forum, has spoken of once being called by a journalist at a premier publication who “asked for the name of the author and publisher when Cromartie mentioned the book of Ephesians.”

 

Christians should not belittle journalists for their ignorance, but nor should journalists fail to recognize the significance of the traditional religious faith of tens of millions of their fellow citizens and its implications for American public life.  As the Pew Research Center on Religion and Public Life documented in a study released last year, more than 70 percent of the American people identify as Christians and many Jews and Muslims carefully observe the tenets of their faiths.

 

Of course, not all of these self-identified believers share the same convictions about the doctrines and practices and political implications of their faiths.  But faith does have implications, real and compelling ones, for one’s beliefs about and conduct regarding the kind of government we should have and the kind of culture we should be.  To dismiss them or pretend they are inconsequential shows a certain contempt for one’s fellow citizens and a measure of intellectual dishonesty when reporting about law, politics, social life, and so forth.

 

Writing of that great 19th century French observer of our then-new republic, Alexis de Tocqueville, historian Alan Kahan argues that “Tocqueville rejected the militant secularism that saw religion as the enemy, and there is no reason to believe he would have changed his mind today. He rejected equally the claim of some religious people that freedom was the enemy of religion. For Tocqueville, the only way for either freedom or religion to prosper in the long run was by recognizing that they were mutually necessary, and mutually beneficial.”

 

When journalists, on television or in print or online or on the radio, miss this central insight – that religion and liberty are entwined not only in the fabric of our country but the hearts and hands of scores of millions of Americans – invariably they will be surprised by social issues that just keep “returning” to the fore of public concern.

 

And that should be no surprise to anyone.

‘Baby’ Versus ‘Fetus’: Why Terminology Matters – Rob Schwarzwalder

 

“Jurors in stolen unborn baby trial won’t hear about cause of death.”

 

This is the headline of the Associated Press story carried on the website of the NBC affiliate television station (KXAN) in Austin, Texas.

 

It’s about a woman named Dynel Lane, who slit open the womb of Michelle Wilkins and removed her unborn baby girl.  The baby died shortly thereafter.  According to the AP, “Lane is charged with attempted first-degree murder, assault and unlawful termination of a pregnancy in the March 2015 attack on Michelle Wilkins in Longmont (Colorado).”

Here’s the moral irony: “District Attorney Stan Garnett said earlier that prosecutors couldn’t charge Lane in the baby’s death because a coroner found no evidence the fetus lived outside the womb. That angered conservatives in the Colorado Legislature, who had previously tried but failed to enact a law making it a crime to kill a fetus. Colorado’s law against unlawful termination of a pregnancy was a compromise that stemmed from earlier debates on the issue.”

 

It’s a “fetus” until removed from the womb, right?  No: She was a baby whether in or out of the womb.  The only thing that changed was where she lived.  For the first eight months of her life, the baby lived inside her mother.  For a few hours, she lived outside of her mother’s womb.

 

Yet even the AP or NBC headline writer couldn’t admit to the ridiculous terminological gymnastics demanded by a society whose unwillingness to acknowledge the personhood of unborn children requires it to retain the embarrassing legal fiction known as the “fetus.”

 

The writer of the headline called the child what she was: A baby.

 

Why do advocates of abortion on-demand insist on using this obscure, dehumanizing term (“fetus”)?  Because if they acknowledge the personhood of the unborn child, suddenly the unavoidable reality of what abortion is – the killing of a tiny child at his or her most vulnerable stage of existence – roars into full view.  And that they must bypass at all costs, stepping around “baby” like it is a rhetorical and, more importantly, a moral landmine for their cause.  Which, of course, it is.

 

For all their professed care for women, the predatory abortion industry has a sordid record.  As FRC recently document with our allies at the American Center for Law and Justice in a Supreme Court legal brief, “No one expects to see an ambulance pulling away from a dermatology or dental office. Yet ambulances are a frequent sight at abortion facilities.”

 

But there has been good news over the past few days concerning babies (unborn, that is) in Wisconsin and Ohio:

 

“(Wisconsin) Gov. Scott Walker signed two bills Thursday (February 18) that cut by several million dollars a year the amount of public money that goes to Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin … One bill restricts how much Planned Parenthood can be reimbursed for prescription drugs, stripping it of an estimated $4 million a year, according to Planned Parenthood. A second measure is expected to cut another $3.5 million in government payments to Planned Parenthood because it provides abortions.”

 

Of note is that Walker signed the measures publically at a local pregnancy care center, one that provides life-affirming options for women and their unborn children.

 

Ohio Gov. John Kasich also “signed legislation Sunday (February 21) to strip government money from Planned Parenthood in Ohio.”  However, unlike Walker, “The governor did not sign the bill in public. His office made the announcement in a statement.”

 

At least, though, Kasich did sign the measure.  According to LifeNews.com, “Planned Parenthood runs three abortion centers in the state and every Planned Parenthood clinic refers women for abortions.”

 

This comes after Ohio Attorney General and former U.S. Senator Mike DeWinefound, in December of last year, that “Fetal remains from three Planned Parenthood facilities in Ohio were sent to companies that then disposed of them in landfills in violation of state administrative rules.”  Quoted in Reuters, DeWine said at the time, “Disposing of aborted fetuses from an abortion by sending them to a landfill is callous and completely inhumane. It is important the public be aware that these practices are taking place at these Ohio facilities.”

 

Parents.com features a wonderful site called, “What My Baby Looks Like.”  In it, all 40 weeks of an unborn child’s development are portrayed and described.

 

And the site says, as plain as day, “What My Baby” – not “Fetus” – “Looks Like.”

Imagine that.

 

 

To learn more about Planned Parenthood’s notorious abortion business and its ongoing harvesting of baby body parts, read the important new study, “Investigating Planned Parenthood and Research Using Aborted Babies,” by the Director of FRC’s Center for Human Dignity, Arina Grossu.

Kids Who Read the Bible More Likely to Practice Faith as Adults – Veronica Neffinger

 

recent study has revealed that kids who read the Bible growing up are more likely to continue in the faith as adults.

The study, called “Nothing Less: Engaging Kids in a Lifetime of Faith,” was conducted by LifeWay Research. It found that the biggest factor in predicting whether or not a child would continue in the faith as an adult after being raised in a Christian home was based on whether or not the child read the Bible regularly growing up.

Other factors which influenced whether or not a child grew up to be a practicing Christian were whether or not they spent time in prayer, whether or not they served in church, whether or not they listened to Christian music, and whether or not they participated in mission trips or projects.

Researchers surveyed 2,000 Protestant and nondenominational churchgoers for the study. The goal of the study was to learn what parents can do to encourage their children in the faith so that they will remain faithful as adults.

“Churchgoing parents want to pass on their faith to their kids—and to see their children make that faith their own,” said Scott McConnell, the executive director of LifeWay Research. “But they don’t always know how best to make that happen.”

NEW MUSIC: TIM GODFREY – WALKING MIRACLE


Off the much anticipated Fearless Wrship album by Tim Godfrey comes another powerful and and soul lifting single “Walking Miracle” produced by SMJ for Rox Nation.

The song is the 3rd and final single off the Fearless Wrship album which drops very soon but while the wait for the album continues, Walking Miracle is an absolute beautiful single to help revive your spirit. As we walk to the end of the year 2017, everything we touch and do will be a miracle, in HIM we move, Live and have our being. Continue to walk in miracle!

List, download and share


DOWNLOAD 

Also available on iTUNES

VIDEO: MasterDon – Overflow

This is coming from a Nigerian gospel artist based in the diaspora, MasterDon is a multiple awards winning gospel artist who has this new song and video “Overflow” this season to bless you.

He has this to say:

“overflow means full above capacity and this has been the testimonies coming from the song.

Get it here as you watch the inspiring video and as you download. Share to bless your love ones this season. See you in 2018 as you continue to overflow.”

Video directed by TTYFilm


Watch the video below




NEW MUSIC: WONDER – MICHAEL KING


Michael King who just recently released the amazing single “I Just Wanna Praise” is out with yet another awesome delivery titled “Wonder” and it’s already making the rounds all over social media. This song will bless you.

Michael Kelechi Agu popularly known as Michael king is a talented singer who hails from Ebonyi.

Started out with the church choir but in the year 2008, he commenced his professional career and the rest like they say is history. At present, he’s working on his debut album titled MIRROR with songs inspired from the heavens.

Download, listen and share.


DOWNLOAD 

NEW MUSIC + LYRICS: OSA – ‘AMAZING GRACE” 

Sensational worship leader OSA has released her debut single titled ‘Amazing Grace’, produced by talented singer and producer Johnny Drille.

God’s grace truly is amazing! Grace is undeserved favor. We’ve done nothing to deserve salvation or any other good thing from God, but He gives it anyway.

“Amazing Grace”, was inspired by the holy spirit and was written as a reminder of the Jesus’ love and the sacrifice that he paid to bring a dying world back to Jehovah”. – OSA

Her style of Music is a unique combination of Rock, Country and Ballad. She has written quite a number of songs– “Always Remember”, “Look to You”, “Tell the World”, “I Will Trust in You” and many more, to be recorded and released subsequently. She plans to keep writing and recording spirit filled songs to heal our world.

Download ‘Amazing Grace’ below;

DOWNLOAD

‘Amazing Grace’ is also available on iTunes and other digital stores;

iTunes

Apple Music

Amazon Music

‘Amazing Grace’ Lyrics

Verse 1:
Oh what a filthy wretch I was
Until you saved me at the cross
For me, you walked the dusty road to Calvary
Because of you, I’ve been reborn
Where would I be without your love?
I have a new life ‘cause you shed your precious blood for me

Chorus:
Amazing grace, amazing grace
That rescued me from sin and shame
Washed in your blood, saved by your grace
And now I know, I’m not the same
Oh oh oh… oh yes! I know I’m not the same.

Verse 2:
You took me up and changed my name
Now I am free from every blame
Your light in me shines bright for all the world to see
Protected in your loving gaze
Lost in the warmth of your embrace
Every day, your steadfast love and new mercies I see

Chorus:
Amazing grace, amazing grace
That rescued me from sin and shame
Washed in your blood, saved by your grace
And now I know, I’m not the same
Oh oh oh… oh yes! I know I’m not the same.

Vamp:
Na na na na na….
Your amazing grace makes me sing
Na na na na na….

(Repeat Chorus)

New Music + Lyrics: Tosin Bee – Yes Sir

Talented music minister, Tosin Bee has just churned out a song titled ‘YES SIR’that may well turn out to be one of the best soul lifting songs of 2017.

Today, Tosin Bee is arguably one of the sensational voices to have taken the Nigerian music scene by storm. His new single goes a long way in proving that the ratings he has been getting are well deserved, despite still being quite young in the industry.

The song which was produced by fast rising music producer Tyanx, is an excellent delivery of high tempo but melodious praise jam. The vocals in it alone is sure to make you keep pressing that replay button.

‘Yes Sir’ is a praise jam, the singer expresses gratitude for all that God had done, he recognises that he is the only commander over his life. The artist who is signed to One Haleluyah Records, has one more time proved to the world that he is the prince of praise.

Worship along as you listen, download and share with your friends. It’s quite easy to sing along too.

 

Download, Listen, Enjoy and Share!


DOWNLOAD 

Lyrics

 

Chorus:

I salute the only commander o

Yes sir 2ce

Jesu ni commander o

Yes sir 2ce

Mighty God in battle

Yes sir 3ce

Glory to your name

 

Verse1:

Attention Attention

No tension when I praise

All of my troubles will bow down when I praise

I’ve made a choice to use my voice o

So give me chance I want to dance o

Glory honor majesty

Haha ha

Majesty

Mojubare

Kabiyesi

Haha ha

Kabieyesi

Am dancing before the king ninu palace

Dandan ni praise and worship

E  na tulasi

 

Chorus:

I salute the only commander o

Yes sir 2ce

Jesu ni commander o

Yes sir 2ce

Mighty God in battle

Yes sir 3ce

Glory to your name

 

Verse2:

Ah ah ah mori

Mori nkan mori

Ye e e se ori

I see blessing

Se ori

No story

Mogbe Jesu sori

Holy 3ce

I give you the glory

Glory honor majesty

Haha ha

Majesty

Mojubare

Kabieyesi

Haha ha

Kabieyesi

Am dancing before the king

Ninu palace

Dandan ni praise and worship

E atulasi

 

Chorus:

I salute the commander

Yes sir 2ce

The only living God

Yes sir 2ce

Mighty man in battle

Yes sir 2ce

Yes sir 2ce

Glory to your name

 

I have a living God 

Yes sir 2ce

The only true wise God

Yes sir 2ce

Ooooo

Yes sir 2ce

Yes sir 2ce

Glory to your name

 

Bridge:

Oya commander in chief

Gbogbo orun Gbogbo aye

Ogbeni nija

Ke ru o ba onija

Ajagun ma fi tibon se

C in C

Yes sir

Okunrin Ogun

Yes sir

Arogun Maya o

Yes sir o

Arogun ma ti

Yes sir

Man of war

Yes sir

Mighty man in battle

Yes sir

Oga ogo oo

Yes sir o

Yes sir

Glory honor majesty

Haha ha

Majesty

Mojubare

Kabieyesi

Haha ha

Kabieyesi

Am dancing before the king

Ninu palace

Dandan ni praise and worship

E na tulasi

 

Chorus:

I salute the commander

Yes sir 2ce

The only living God

Yes sir 2ce

Ajagun ma fi tibon se

Yes sir 2ce

Yes sir 2ce

Glory to your name


Trump’s unlikely Christian covenant – Anthony Zurcher

Evangelicals form a powerful voting bloc

 

 

Donald Trump loves evangelical voters, and they love him.

That much was clear on Friday, as the president basked in one standing ovation after another during his speech before the Values Voter Summit in Washington, DC.

How the thrice-married New Yorker, despite his sometimes salty language, brash demeanour and documented boasts of sexual belligerency, has formed such an unlikely bond with social conservatives is a complicated question.

In the end, it comes down to power. Mr Trump has it – and, if he wants to keep it, he needs the support of the kind of social conservative activists who show up every year at the Omni Hotel to organise and preach about the need to restore Christian values in the US government.

For evangelicals, Mr Trump may be an unlikely vessel – but so far, he has delivered the goods.

“He’s not perfect, but his heart is in the right place,” said summit-attendee Teresa Ledesma, a health industry worker from Lansing, Michigan. “We believe him to be God’s champion. God needed a fighter, someone who was unapologetic. He’s gone into the lion’s den for us.”

God, flags and Merry Christmas

In his speech, the president offered a two-paragraph catechism for this newly minted alliance – a shared embrace of the “customs, beliefs and traditions that defined who we are as a nation and as a people”.

It includes protecting the “sacred dignity of every human life” (read: opposing legal abortion), observing traditional family values, defending religious freedom, honouring soldiers and law enforcement, and respecting our “great American flag”.

Mr Trump followed it with a litany of promises he said he has kept to these religious voters.

He nominated a reliable conservative, Neil Gorsuch, to the Supreme Court. He loosened government mandates that health-insurance plans include free contraceptive coverage. He eased restrictions on political activities by religious organisations. He increased restrictions on government support for international organisations that provided family planning and abortion counselling.

And, drawing some of the biggest applause from the crowds, he said “we’re saying Merry Christmas again”.

“I could see right away that there was something in him, but I didn’t believe it could be as good as it’s been,” said Clifford Rice, a lawyer from Valparaiso, Indiana, who was attending his first Value Voters Summit.

It was just two years earlier when candidate Trump, seeking his party’s presidential nomination, stood before the summit and held up his childhood bible, telling the crowd: “I believe in God. I believe in the Bible. I’m a Christian.”

A common enemy

Many were sceptical at the time, seeming more in tune with the Senator Ted Cruz, a preacher’s son from Texas, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee – an actual Baptist minister – or Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, who has his own evangelical roots.

A straw poll after that year’s event had Mr Trump a distant fifth place – with only 5% of the vote.

Evident even then, however, was the anti-establishment fervour that had gripped much of the right, including social conservatives. They cheered, for instance, when they learned on the first day of the conference that House Speaker John Boehner had resigned.

Mr Trump would go on to become the voice of that anti-Washington anger and ride it to his party’s nomination – and the presidency. In fact, he would win a larger share of the evangelical vote (80%) than Republican Mitt Romney in 2012 (78%) or John McCain in 2009 (74%).

Now Mr Trump holds the highest political office in the land, but he’s not done railing against the political establishment. This time, it’s Senate Republicans who have been insufficiently supportive of his agenda – and social conservatives throwing their support fully behind him.

In an opinion piece in Breitbart News, the website of record for Trumpism, summit organiser Tony Perkins called Senate Republicans “the promise-breaking caucus”.

“We’ve been given an opportunity by God that not every generation has had; to turn the nation, to change the trajectory of this country and revive our Republican from the spiritual, moral and economic decay brought on by the radical policies of the left,” he writes.

In other words, it’s time to “make America great again” – with God’s help.

Missing from this year’s summit were any Republicans senators, in fact. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Mr Cruz, Mr Rubio and South Carolina’s Tim Scott, who were once listed on the organiser’s website as possible speakers, were nowhere to be found.

The new face of the party

Instead, the line-up was dotted with Mr Trump’s team, present and past. Senior White House aide Kellyanne Conway spoke on Friday. Former advisers Sebastian Gorka and Steve Bannon, considered the mastermind of Mr Trump’s ethno-nationalist populism, took the stage on Saturday.

One after another, they touted this administration’s efforts to advance issues dear to evangelical voters – and railed against a Washington establishment that they said was conspiring against their collective agenda.

Media captionBannon’s “war” on Republicans

It wasn’t too long ago that the leaders of this Washington establishment – the pro-trade, tax-cutting Wall Street fiscal conservatives and their big-business associates across the country – were the ones who broke bread with the evangelicals. It never was a completely comfortable alliance, and at times social conservatives groused that their issues took a back seat to other Republican concerns.

The ties held through the Ronald Reagan years, however, and appeared stronger than ever when born-again Christian George W Bush became president in 2001.

Now that Mr Trump is the top dog, however, it’s clear it was always a marriage of convenience – and if Mr Trump, for all his flaws, can deliver for them, that’s what matters. Even if it means the president is followed on the Values Voter stage by Bill Bennett, the former education secretary who has made a career of preaching the importance of personal morality on the part of US political leaders. Even if it means listening to Mr Bannon talk about kicking ass and going to war or Mr Gorka saying they would “damage” their left-wing opponents.

Mission unaccomplished

US President Donald J. Trump (R) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (L) speak to the media after meeting for lunch at the White House in Washington, DC, USA, 16 October 2017

Image copyright EPA

 

On Monday afternoon Mr Trump appeared with Mr McConnell in the White House Rose Garden and professed his “fantastic” relationship with most of the Republicans in the Senate.

“The Republican Party is very, very unified,” he said.

A more sincere expression of the president’s feelings about Republicans in Congress probably came earlier in the day, in comments to reporters during a presidential cabinet meeting.

“I’m not going to blame myself, I’ll be honest,” he said. “They’re not getting the job done.”

If the Values Voter Summit is any indication, evangelical voters largely agree.

And when mid-term primaries and the general election roll around next year, a lot of Republican politicians who once counted on the support of social conservatives could come to the unpleasant realisation that the party they once knew has been remade in Mr Trump’s image.

 

SOURCE