Who are they trying to fool?
I expect Christians to lie. I have never known them to not lie to non-Christians. But even I was startled by the reaction of evangelicals to the anti-evangelical article in La Civiltà Cattolica last month.
I hardly expected the evangelicals to lie to other evangelicals about what evangelicals preach to each other every day.
Yet it happened.
It began with a Jesuit magazine article, approved by the Vatican, “Evangelical Fundamentalism and Catholic Integralism: A Surprising Ecumenism,” that faulted rightwing American Catholics for their political alliance with rightwing fundies to push the Trump agenda. (See https://catholicnewslive.com/story/632179) It did not hold back. Christianity Today summarized its tenor:
It comes after a prominent Jesuit journal published a criticism of US Catholics for forming an alliance with Trump-supporting conservative evangelicals to promote a ‘nostalgic dream of a theocratic type of state’ and a ‘xenophobic and Islamophobic vision that wants walls’. (See https://www.christiantoday.com/article/trumps.evangelical.advisers.request.meeting.with.pope.francis.after.vatican.backed.criticism/111560.htm)
Evangelicals, and especially rightwing pols who need evangelical votes to keep racist, fascist Trump in office, were wounded. The Christianity Today article quotes Trump fundie nuncio Johnnie Moore:
“It’s in this moment of ongoing persecution, political division and global conflict that we have also witnessed efforts to divide Catholics and Evangelical
“We think it would be of great benefit to sit together and to discuss these things. Then, when we disagree we can do it within the context of friendship. Though, I’m sure we will find once again that we agree far more than we disagree, and we can work together with diligence on those areas of agreement.”
Well, I know who Moore was trying to fool directly: Pope Francis, as he was requesting a meeting with him. But clearly, the statement (and many others like it) was primarily directed at rightwing evangelicals. (See http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/07/18/philly-archbishop-decries-vatican-article-attacking-u-s-christians-as-willfully-ignorant/)
Americans who are not evangelicals probably are unaware of it, but evangelicals hate Catholicism. In this, the 500th year since the Reformation, the Whore of Babylon trope is strong.
I listen to evangelical radio nearly every day (about one quarter of U.S. radio stations broadcast the hateful message of the evangelicals). You cannot listen to it for more than 20 minutes or so without hearing an attack on other cults.
The Mormons are probably attacked the most — evangelicals fear their formidable recruitment apparatus — but Seventh-day Adventists, Catholics, Jehovah’s Witnesses, as well as Jews, Muslims, Hindus, are attacked incessantly.
As a test, I switched on the radio in my truck and hit the Christian hate radio preset to see how long I would have to wait for an attack on Catholics. Not 20 minutes. I tuned in in the middle of a diatribe about Catholics and intercession.
Now, not all American evangelicals hate Catholicism, but the noisiest, most politicized ones all do; and it is scarcely possible that more moderate evangelicals don’t know this.
So, who is this mendacity aimed at? Beats me
I noted, while scouting for the agitation on the issue, other examples of bonkers religious nuttery.
Moore, for example: “Moore says he is writing “at a time of historic Christian persecution in more places than perhaps at any time in Christian history.”
It is always hilarious and disgusting to listen to Christians complain abut religious persecution. Christians have been the greatest persecuters of all. Persecution of Christians in the U.S. is non-existent, though rightwingers are assiduous in promoting that myth.
Jesus had something to say about that. See Matthew 7:3.
There was also some Catholic mendacity concerning the Vatican article. As with evangelicals, not all Catholics are rightwingers, although virtually all the American bishops are and always have been.
Archbishop Charles Chaput said “believers are attacked by their co-religionists merely for fighting for what their Churches have always held to be true.”
This is typical Catholic lying, or perhaps plain ignorance. Chaput was talking about abortion, and while his cult has always been against it, evangelicals have not.
Chaput went on to say that rightwing Catholic-rightwing evangelical ecumenism “is a function of shared concerns and principles, not ambition for political power.”
In fact, evangelicals welcomed Roe v. Wade and only turned against it when they decided they could use it to advance their political and financial interests.