1. Randall Balmer is the John Phillips Professor in Religion at Dartmouth College and the author of Evangelicalism in America.

The following are excerpts from Randall Balmer's 18 February 2018 opinion piece headlined "Under Trump, America's religious right is rewriting its code of ethics" with the subheading "From scorning immigrants to accepting the president’s profanity, evangelicals are proving just how flexible their values can be".

(Begin excerpts)
The religious right’s wholesale embrace of the Republican party and of Donald J Trump, both as candidate and as president, has necessitated a rewriting of evangelical ethics. Here’s a summary, with annotations.

* Lying is all right as long as it serves a higher purpose

Yes, we know all about that business about not bearing false witness in the Ten Commandments, but that was a very long time ago....

And all those websites fact-checking our president, claiming that he told more than 2,000 lies his first year in office? Big deal. He’s also pro-life, and he’s trying to root out transgender folks in the military, so cut the guy some slack....

* It’s no problem to be married more than, well, twice

....Yes, Jesus said: “Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and whoever marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery.”...

* Immigrants are scum

We grant that Jesus said something about welcoming the stranger and feeding the hungry. And Leviticus says: “The alien who resides with you shall be to you as the citizen among you; you shall love the alien as yourself.” But our careful study of scriptural texts has led us to conclude that the almighty had Norwegians in mind, not Mexicans or Salvadorans.

* Vulgarity is a sign of strength and resolve

The president’s scatological comments about Haiti and African nations provided a welcome relief to the rhetoric of those coddling the so-called Dreamers. As Robert Jeffress, pastor of First Baptist Church in Dallas, noted, Brother Trump was “right on target”.

* White lives matter (much more than others)

...We took the Brother Trump at his word when he declared that the ranks of white supremacists and neo-Nazis included “some very fine people”. That’s why none of us criticized him....

* There’s no harm in spending time with porn stars

....Regarding that messy situation with Stormy Daniels, think of the opportunities for the president to share what Franklin Graham calls his “concern for Christian values”. We’re confident that as details emerge, we’ll learn that the Brother Trump was discussing his theological perspectives on human depravity and the second coming.

* It’s all right for adults to date children

We’re not yet prepared to embrace pedophilia, but we see nothing wrong with a 30-something attorney trolling the local shopping mall for teenage dates. After all, didn’t Jesus say, “suffer the little children to come unto me”? Roy Moore was simply being Christ-like. Besides, he opposes abortion, and he asked their mothers for permission.

* The ends justify the means

...Too many Americans think of evangelicals as dogmatic and uncompromising, so we’re eager to demonstrate that when it comes to ethical standards we can indeed be flexible. Very flexible. (End excerpts)

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/commenti...code-of-ethics