Why This Old White Christian Abandoned the Republican Party

You can Love God &your neighbor, or you can watch Fox News, but you cannot do both.

This is not an educational blog and video like most of my blogs and videos, this blog is a script for a testimonial video on why I left the Republican Party, which will be submitted to the Republicans Against Trump website, as they are asking for more people to tell their story:

https://rvat.org/

Originally, I was a Democrat, in part because in the mid Seventies the Democratic Party was still the majority party by far in Florida, though after the election of Ronald Reagan as President in 1980 the Republican Party would slowly gain in strength, taking over the former Confederate states. The Monica Lewinsky scandal, and the libertine attitude of the Democratic Party, along with its support for gay rights and apparent disregard for Christian values, compelled me to switch to the party of morals at the time, the Republican Party.

See YouTube video: https://youtu.be/94_2OYuZpJs

My ultimate re conversion to the Democratic Party was preceded by an increased awareness of our country’s ugly Jim Crow racial history as I read the American history that I was not taught in school, and I can point to the exact passage that provided the drastic jolt to my moral complacency, which is included in my video on how the Nazi lawyers used the Jim Crow legal precedents when drafting the Nazi Nuremberg Jewish Race Laws after Hitler was elected as chancellor of Germany:

KRISTALLNACHT AND THE ANTI-LYNCHING BILL

The Nazis on the night of the Kristallnacht, or night of broken glass, greatly increased their persecution of the Jews by burning, looting, and vandalizing Jewish businesses, synagogues, and residences, and soon after sent most Jews to their deaths in the concentration death and work camps. This same type of violence had been practiced in the Deep South by the KKK and other racist terrorists, likely tens of thousands of Negroes had been lynched in the years since the end of the Civil War in the Deep South and mid-West.

Mine eyes were opened when I first read about the history of the defeat of the anti-lynching bill in 1938. Eleanor Roosevelt and the black leaders were pushing FDR and Congress to pass the anti-lynching bill when the entire world was witnessing the horrors of the Nazi persecutions of the Jews. FDR was sympathetic, he explained to a colleague that “the southerners by reason of the seniority rule in Congress are chairmen of the key Congressional committees. If I come out for the anti-lynching bill, they will block every bill I ask Congress to pass to keep America from collapsing. I just can’t take that risk.” So, FDR had a choice, he could fight the Nazis, or he could fight lynching, but he could not do both. And, defeating the Nazis was an attainable goal.

Eleanor persisted in public speeches and her newspaper column in support of the anti-lynching campaign, constantly badgering her husband. Once she asked FDR, “Do you mind if I say what I think?” FDR replied, “You can say anything you like. I can always say, ‘Well, that is my wife; I can’t do anything about her.’” This supposed conflict was a good political way to push for civil rights without unduly antagonizing the powerful Deep South Senators and Congressmen.[1]

What is distressing about this history was that the bill was not against lynching itself, but it put legal pressure on Southern judges and policemen to enforce the law and punish those who were guilty of lynching, instead of just ignoring the crime.

WHY I AM NOW A BLOOD-RED, BLEEDING HEART, LIBERAL DEMOCRAT

Although I did not vote for John McCain for President in 2008, as I thought that Alan Greenspan and the Republican Administration’s criminally libertarian hands-off approach to regulators over many years led to the subprime mortgage crisis and near collapse of the world economy, I could not vote for Obama because of the gay rights position of the Democratic Party, a stance with which I am still uncomfortable, but then the Democratic Party is not a religion, I can be a card carrying Democrat without adopting all of its planks.

The absolute disrespect shown to our President Barack Obama by many Republican Congressmen, Fox News, and the Tea Party movement was both deeply offensive and also reminded me of similar insults thrown about during the Jim Crow lynching years of our ugly history. It was the rise of the Tea Party movement that meant I now had an ugly choice, I could either support the party of morals, or I could support the party of compassion, but the choice was not really that ugly, because if you are not compassionate, than any morals you wear on your sleeve for show are fake morals, because compassion and morals go together.

Gaslighting is the order of the day for the Republican Party and Fox News, and the prophet Isaiah condemns gaslighting,
“Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil;
Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness.”[2]

It is so disheartening to go to church and hear the preacher comment on how the election was stolen from Joe Biden, and how Democrats are bound for perdition for their sinful ways. It is so disheartening that so many of my Christian friends listen to Fox News and Newsmax and OANN and Alex Jones babble about the fake news media, saying that CNN and MSNBC and the Wall Street Journal and the New York Time and the Atlantic and practically every newspaper in the country are fake, when in reality it is the right wing-nut news media who are the fake gaslighting news media. And if you listen to Fox News, you will not hear the truth that it was the fascist white-supremacist domestic terrorist Proud Boys and their ilk who invaded the Capitol on January 6th that led to death of numerous Capitol policemen, or any other truths about how Trump and the Republican Party are trying to destroy democracy and bring back Jim Crow.

The message I would like to shout to my fellow Christian friends is you have a choice in today’s politics, you either Love God and love your neighbor as yourself, and loving your neighbor means that black lives do matter, OR you can listen to Fox News and Newsmax and OANN and Alex Jones, BUT you cannot do both, because the right wing-nut news media opinionators and entertainers will rot your soul from your heart outwards.

Donald Trump is the antithesis of a true Christian, if you want to Love God and love your neighbor, you can ask three simple questions: What would Trump think? And think the opposite. What would Trump say? And say the opposite. What would Trump do? And do the opposite.

If you are a Christian and want to join the Democratic Party, then yes, you should come to terms with the moral implications of abortion, which I have pondered over extensively, I have a video on the Christian and Catholic teachings on abortion. Simply put, my position is that you should be pro-life, but that for a true Christian, pro-life policies should not end at birth, and that a guns-everywhere policy is not pro-life. The opposite of pro-life is pro-death, not pro-choice, and contrary to what many Republicans believe, Democrats are NOT in favor of killing babies. My personal position is that a true Christian should instead be pro-compassion, you should always be compassionate to women who are considering abortion due to either medical complications, or rape or incest, or because they are hovering over the abyss of poverty, and that it is Jesus’ job, not your job, to be judgmental.

One of the main projects of my YouTube channel, Reflections of Morality, Philosophy, and History, is to show with deeply researched and pondered videos that not only is it possible to be both a Democrat and a Christian, but that the Democratic Party platform closely conforms to the Gospel, especially as stated in the blessings and woes in the Sermon on the Plain in Luke, the blessings and woes that compel us to show compassion to those who are less fortunate than we are:

“Blessed are you who are poor,
for yours is the kingdom of God.
Blessed are you who are hungry now,
for you will be filled.
Blessed are you who weep now,
for you will laugh.

Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude you, revile you, and defame you on account of the Son of Man. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, for surely your reward is great in heaven; for that is what their ancestors did to the prophets.

But woe to you who are rich,
for you have received your consolation.
Woe to you who are full now,
for you will be hungry.
Woe to you who are laughing now,
for you will mourn and weep.

Woe to you when all speak well of you, for that is what their ancestors did to the false prophets.”[3]

It is comforting to know that we are not alone, there are many Facebook groups of fellow Christians who are dismayed by how their white Christian friends, clergy, and churches that they have faithfully attended for decades have been turned to the dark side by Trump, Fox News, and the Republican Party.

Currently I am looking for a new church home, for now I am looking for a church where about thirty percent of the people sitting in the pews are black, that is the sort of church that Fox-watching white Christians would avoid.

The Bible story that encourages me is the story of Elijah, who opposed the rule of King Ahab and the wicked Queen Jezebel, who had turned Israel away from the worship of Yahweh to the foreign god Baal. Elijah proposed this contest to the prophets of Baal in front of the people of Israel:
“I, even I only, am left a prophet of the Lord; but Baal’s prophets number four hundred fifty. Let two bulls be given to us; let them choose one bull for themselves, cut it in pieces, and lay it on the wood, but put no fire to it; I will prepare the other bull and lay it on the wood, but put no fire to it. Then you call on the name of your god and I will call on the name of the Lord; the god who answers by fire is indeed God.”[4]

Note that in this story none of the temple priests joined Elijah at the altar. We know that from morning to mid-day the 450 prophets of Baal in vain prayed to their god Baal to consume their offering, and when they gave up, Elijah poured water on his offering and called on Yahweh, and immediately fire from heaven consumed his offering. With superhuman strength granted by Yahweh, Elijah then slew all 450 of the prophets of Baal.

The foreign Queen Jezebel was not impressed, the Scriptures exhort us, “Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword. Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, ‘So may the gods do to me, and more also, if I do not make your life like the life of one of them by this time tomorrow.’ Elijah was afraid; he got up and fled for his life,”[5] he flees to hide in a cave, where he is comforted and fed by an angel, then a raven.

The Scriptures continue, “Then the word of the Lord came to him, saying, ‘What are you doing here, Elijah?’ He answered, “I have been very zealous for the Lord, the God of hosts; for the Israelites have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword. I alone am left, and they are seeking my life, to take it away.’”[6]

Yahweh then appears to Elijah, but his voice was not in the great wind or breaking rocks or earthquake or fire that thundered outside his cave, but Yahweh was instead in the “sound of sheer silence,” and Elijah was informed that he was not alone, there were seven thousand in Israel who would bow their knees to Baal.

Now I am not comparing myself to Elijah, but we are living in bizarre times not unlike the times when Reconstruction ended and the Jim Crow Redemptionist era began, so I also take comfort in this saying by the Rabbi Hillel: “If you are in a place where there are no men, be a man!”[7]

We challenge our white Christian friends to view our blogs and videos on the history of slavery, the Civil War, abolition, the Reconstruction era, the Redemption and Jim Crow era, and civil rights history, to discover whether these increase their Love of God and their love for their black neighbors. We also have a series of blogs and videos on how Christians survived under the various fascist regimes before, during, and after World War II in Nazi Germany, Mussolini’s Italy, Vichy France, Franco’s Spain, and Nelson Mandela in South Africa. We also have a blog and video on the history of how white Christians reacted to the civil rights struggles in America.

We recently released a pair of videos examining the academic and a practical definition of Critical Race Theory, and also reviewing the recently released book on The 1619 Project and also Beloved. This is a paraphrase of one question posted about these videos:
“There is a paranoid conspiracy theory that an entire race has organized and coordinated the systematic oppression of blacks. This (black lives matter) race-based organization has completely taken over all the public historical records to rewrite history for their own ends. Is this more Nazi propaganda? Why, no, this is the propaganda arm of the American Civil Rights Movement.”

This was my answer:
“If you are black, and your grandparents or parents or their acquaintances had their burnt black bodies swinging from a noose hung from a tree, then you would definitely be paranoid about history repeating itself. And the story of Jim Crow is that a large portion of the entire white race ‘has organized and coordinated the systematic oppression of blacks.’ And it was the Daughters of the Confederacy who recast our ugly Civil War racial history as the ‘Lost Cause.’ And this is not Nazi propaganda, but on the contrary, the Nazi lawyers used the Jim Crow legal system as precedent when drafting the Nuremberg Jewish Race Laws. We need to educate those around us about our own ugly racial history, just like the Jews do not want us to forget the history of the Holocaust, so these gas chambers and lynchings and horrors never, never happen again.”[8]

[1] Doris Kearns, No Ordinary Time, pp. 163-164.

[2] https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=isaiah+5%3A20&version=NKJV

[3] https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+6%3A20-26&version=NRSVCE

[4] https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+kings+18%3A22-24&version=NRSVCE

[5] https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Kings+19%3A1-3&version=NRSVCE

[6] https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Kings+19%3A9-10&version=NRSVCE

[7] http://www.emunadate.com/2015/10/pirkei-avot-26-in-place-where-there-are.html

[8] https://youtu.be/JRdnB0lqN5o

About Bruce Strom 168 Articles
I was born and baptized and confirmed as a Lutheran. I made the mistake of reading works written by Luther, he has a bad habit of writing seemingly brilliant theology, but then every few pages he stops and calls the Pope often very vulgar names, what sort of Christian does that? Currently I am a seeker, studying church history and the writings of the Church Fathers. I am involved in the Catholic divorce ministries in our diocese, and have finished the diocese two-year Catholic Lay Ministry program. Also I took a year of Orthodox off-campus seminary courses. This blog explores the beauty of the Early Church and the writings and history of the Church through the centuries. I am a member of a faith community, for as St Augustine notes in his Confessions, you cannot truly be a Christian unless you worship God in the walls of the Church, unless persecution prevents this. This blog is non-polemical, so I really would rather not reveal my denomination here.

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