Although it is the Christmas season, MSNBC doesn’t seem to have much “goodwill toward men,” as the network spent an entire segment denouncing white evangelical Christians as “the most un-Christian” segment of American society.
“We have … evangelical[s], who are supposedly ‘the most Christian people in the country,’ who practice the most un-Christian ways,” said MSNBC contributor and short-lived candidate for lieutenant governor of Texas Matthew Dowd. He claimed that conservative Christians “don’t believe in common decency, don’t believe in the common good,” and have embraced “the exact opposite of what Jesus preached in the gospels.”
“I actually think we’re in a spiritual-soul crisis in this country,” and evangelical support for President Donald Trump “is the most direct evidence of it,” said Dowd. “We have a fundamental soul problem when we have an entire segment of our society who no longer believes in the fundamental message of Jesus Christ about loving one another and respecting one another, and treating everybody as you want to be treated. They don’t believe that anymore.” Dowd did not use the same standard to evaluate MSNBC personalities who said “there’s an idiot percentage of this population that just needs to be told what to do” and compared Trump voters to Nazis.
Dowd went on to say that “every single spiritual faith in the history of the world” has taught the same ethic of selfless love, “whether it’s a Muslim, a Buddhist, a Jewish person”; all religions have “taught the same fundamental thing.”
Evangelical leaders said Dowd’s criticism rang a familiar bell.
“Let’s not forget that almost every time Jesus taught, some hated Him so fiercely they wanted to kill Him. Jesus warned that same baseless hatred would be hurled at His followers, to which Mr. Dowd is a case in point,” Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, told me in an exclusive statement.
Dowd’s comments came during a segment of Tuesday’s “Deadline: White House” in which the host, Nicolle Wallace, made three factual errors — two within one minute. She offered no retraction on Wednesday’s program.
In the segment, Wallace highlighted an article from Peter Wehner, who also joined her.
Wallace, a former advisor to George W. Bush and John McCain, lamented that evangelical Christians now support Donald Trump when, she claims, they used to support such issues as “climate change,” fighting poverty and malaria, and pushing the U.S. “toward more aggressive action globally.”
“A lot of people who describe themselves as evangelicals have subordinated faith to politics and to partisan passions … and decided that they want to use the Bible to defend things that I think ultimately are indefensible,” said Wehner. White evangelicals’ political sensibilities are driven by an “overblown” sense of “grievances and resentments over decades of being … mocked and ridiculed by the elite [and] the Establishment,” he said without proof.
Christian scholars said it is Dowd and Wehner who have conflated their politics with the Gospel.
“The suggestion that American evangelicals don’t believe in ‘common decency’ or ‘the common good’ reflects a fundamental misunderstanding about the concept of ‘the common good’ and of Christianity,” said Trey Dimsdale, J.D., executive director of the Center for Religion, Culture, and Democracy, a think tank that focuses on religion’s positive contribution to society. “From the very earliest days of the American republic, American Christians have strived to make our culture one that is open, free, and one of mutual support and affection in which non-Christians and non-Americans can flourish.”
Conservative Christians reject sweeping, top-down, government-centered policies precisely because they believe those policies do not contribute to the common good, which is better served by private philanthropy. The fact that conservative evangelicals hold “a different vision based on different conceptions of ‘the good’ is not something that should be surprising or even scandalous, but a byproduct of a plural society and should be welcomed,” Dimsdale, who is an evangelical Christian, told The Daily Wire exclusively. “Christians of different persuasions and those of other religious commitments are welcomed to participate in our common civic life and pursue the good that is common to all of us.”
Dowd seemingly misquoted Jesus during the interview, claiming that Jesus told people to “forget about the kingdom of God, and forget about Heaven, just love one another.” In reality, Jesus told people to “seek first the kingdom of God.” The Bible mentions the terms “kingdom of God” or “kingdom of Heaven” 101 times.
“If we talk about Jesus, let’s make sure it’s the Jesus of the Bible, who said, ‘If you love Me, keep My commandments,’” said Perkins. “America’s soul problem results from its truth problem: a denial of God, His Word, and its application to our lives.”
The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.