We Must Defend To The Death The Rights Of A Minister To State His Interpretation of The Bible And Current Events. And The President Should Fire This Idiot, NOW [CORRECTED]

“This is the type and kind of person Trump surrounds himself with, in this case the President’s Cabinet Bible teacher,” writes perhaps the most hopelessly Trump Deranged of all my Facebook friends after linking to this nauseating story.

Of course, when a Presidential appointee or staff member expresses in public something as achingly stupid and gratuitously offensive as what Rev. Ralph Drollinger did, he is metaphorically holding his patron’s face up to foes and saying, “Hit this!”

Dollinger’s Pat Roberston nostalgia-fest came in a blog post titled, “Is God Judging America Today?” in which he blames the Wuhan virus pandemic on several groups, including those who have “a proclivity toward lesbianism and homosexuality.”

America “is experiencing the consequential wrath of God,”  the good reverend wrote on March 21 in his Capitol Ministries blog.  In addition to gays and lesbians, Drollingerlaid blame on people with “depraved minds,” environmentalists, and those who deny the existence of God. As a result, what we are now experiencing is “God’s wrath.”

Good to know.

Later, when his ethics alarms finally started ringing after being kicked by various outraged critics,  Drollinger lied and said his  post was misinterpreted, and that he does not “believe that homosexuality played any role whatsoever in the coronavirus.” He then blathered on that  when it comes to God, see, there are a “panoply of wraths,” so while he believes homosexuality causes one type of God’s wrath,  it’s a different type than that which may have manifested itself in the current pandemic.

In other words, “huminahuminahumina.”

Oh! Well, thank you for that clarification, Reverend! Your opinion is duly noted, and it will certainly help many now making up their minds about their religious faith or lack thereof. But since you have pointlessly and unnecessarily embarrassed the President and painted targets on the backs of gay Americans at a time when, as you should know, too many people are setting out to harm those they deem “responsible,” your statement  was unforgivable as well as gallactically stupid. You should resign immediately, you bigoted idiot.

And if you don’t, President Trump should fire you.

He had better.

Note: The NBC headline that refers to this jerk as “Trump Cabinet’s Bible teacher’ is peddling fake news. In fact, Drollinger has no official position in the White House or with the administration. It is unclear if he can be “fired.” However, that’s a technicality. The President has  the power to tell him to get lost.

32 thoughts on “We Must Defend To The Death The Rights Of A Minister To State His Interpretation of The Bible And Current Events. And The President Should Fire This Idiot, NOW [CORRECTED]

  1. Let him drone on. Idiot.

    Trump needs to stop foolishly entrusting people like this to any kind of counselor status.

    God needs to get a little more actively involved in managing His alleged representatives on earth. (His lack of management skills going back to the Garden of Eden have already convinced me He is lousy at this and extremely unlikely to improve.)

  2. Granted, such sentiments are stupid, but they are also oblivious. If God is punishing the US for gay people, what is he punishing Italy and China for?

    Similar thought in response to certain Facebook posts that said, “The plague did not end until Oedipus left Thebes.” Get it? Trump caused the plague and needs to step down (this is almost too stupid to add to your list of plans to get rid of Trump). The obvious question: does Xi need to step down too? What about all the other world rulers in countries hit by the plague? The answer, of course, is: “No, because this is not a Greek tragedy and your hypothesis is stupid, you idiot.”

    -Jut

      • I completely agree with your wife and I actually deleted “fired very publicly” and just left “fired” because, although very publicly and/or loud would be really nice, I figured just being fired would be sufficient and send the right message to the populace.

    • If you are so free in labeling an imbecile, it stands to reason that you could also be labeled as one. That is, someone could consider you general base of understanding (of life, of things, perhaps of all things) and determine that you are not the brightest bulb in a looooonngggg hallway of similarly dim bulbs.

      It is important to state, again, that you-plural do not recognize deity. There is no deity. And there is no go that intervenes in history. But going further you do not meditate on God. God is an *irrelevant abstraction*. If this, let us say, ‘low level preacher’ of a sort of Baptist or Pentecostal variety speaks lowly and imperfectly of a divine eventuality that results in punishment or chastisement, and you find his terms imperfect, well then perfect them! Describe God or a god that is capable of ‘punishment’, and then describe what He would punish for.

      You can’t. These are not categories of concern for you. Because you are thoroughly outside of a religious and perhaps a spiritual domain of concern. If I were to ask you to *interpret* your life, or my life, or anyone’s life, or the life of the nation, the juncture of the nation, or any specific juncture of history, you would only be capable of repeating the tropes that have been presented to you as *truth* and also *reality*. Your interpretive capacity simply does not exist. I find this a really interesting place to focus attention. You are like men who really have *come to the end of history* . . . and you have noting to say about it. Nothing!

      The lens that looks out at this phenomenal world — that is to say the human vessel, the percepting agent — will do so in crude or in sophisticated ways, that much is true. And perhaps this man has a non-sophisticated theological view? But then what is a more sophisticated example of a more profound theological understanding? Do you have access to it (that is a joke question because you certainly do not).

      But there is a strange thing . . . and it sort of looms overhead. It is the specter of unplanned and unforeseen events that put a stop to what Mrs. Klein referred to as hubris. Really, the word hubris is misused, and she misused it, but it is the term that makes most sense to most people: supreme arrogance and the failure to grasp that ‘man proposes . . . but God disposes’.

      We know — we know beyond doubt — that we are in decline, and we know also beyond doubt that there is a moral crisis. We know ‘the centre cannot hold’ and that it is not holding. We can employ the tropes and the metaphors when they serve our *literary* or *polemical* purposes.

      But what happens when a Nation is undone? What if you had to define the road to restoration and healing? What would you even say?

    • Steve, is this not a good point to toss out the ‘dancing on the head of a pin’ quote you are so fond of? The one about ‘navel gazing’? If so I’d really enjoy seeing it again!

  3. Each of those who responded here, including Jack, are *functional atheists*. So, no one of you could speak in any tangible sense of *God’s blessing* since, functionally, you do not believe there is a God (in a theistic or Biblical sense).

    If you get this clear, all else will flow quickly into place.

    I just scanned it for the time being but I think this is the essay the man wrote:

    https://capmin.org/is-god-judging-america-today/

    • Alizia wrote, “Each of those who responded here, including Jack, are *functional atheists*.”

      That is a perfect example of how people make ridiculous assumptions about those they don’t actually know.

      • One doesn’t have to know someone at all – just observe the openly-stated alignment of priorities. To alter the unanimous and constant Christian Faith, setting aside the most basic grasp of the natural order, in order to fit with the times is to subjugate that Faith to current fashion. A man who compromises his child’s well-being to save face with the populous is a terrible parent by the same reasoning and without need for any knowledge of his backstory. If anything, Alizia is being polite by throwing in “functional”.

        • Alizia wrote, “Describe God or a god that is capable of ‘punishment’, and then describe what He would punish for. C’mon! This is fun stuff! 🙂”

          Troll: Those that post inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community with the deliberate intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion, often for their own amusement.

          I’m not getting into a discussion about religion with you so you can stop trolling me.

          • Well don’t respond emotionally, and don’t go off-topic! An easy fix.

            This is a perfect topic, and an apropos topic, for a blog dedicated to ethics. Little more will be contributed here though because it is also a topic that terrifies. It so hot that it is best to avoid it completely.

            But you see I live for polemics!

          • Trolling absolutely not. The accusation is absurd. What I am attempting to do is arrive at understanding — very difficult when dealing with people who do not know who they are.

            Along these lines I have just come to understand *what you-plural are*. I mean, I will attempt a label since we are beings who are forced to arrive at interpretations and to assign labels.

            I said that you-plural could best be understood as atheists. I say this because you could not be Christian if grace, if sin, and if punishment (*wrath*) are not part of your conception. This means of course — logically — that you are not Christian. But better put that you are post-Christian.

            But this requires more definition still. I found an interesting quote in an old lecture titled The Christian Platonists of Alexandria by Charles Bigg (1886) where when discussing gnosticism he says:

            They [Gnostics] approach the problem from a non-Christian point of view, and arrive therefore at a non-Christian solution.

            I have come to conclude — it is tentative of course — that this peculiar Americanized neo-Christian gnosticism is in fact an expression of Freemasonry. One of primary errors that marks our time, and one certainly evident among many who write on this blog (whom I refer to, accurately as American Progressives because they are absolutely not conservatives), is a prevalent Freemasonic spirit in their thought. This means of course essentially rebellion in precisely the degree that it is not Christian.

            This means nothing to you, naturally, but today marked an important forward step in my own understanding.

    • Mob psychology, Alizia. Roman Catholics, eg., are a mob. By your definition, so are atheists. The difference being, of course,that Roman Catholics are a highly organized bunch, while atheists are not. Quite the contrary, and not comparable. Clean up your thinking, and your accusations.

      • Here is what I think it comes down to. If one does not understand ‘divine anger’, and if one cannot define what exactly God is angry with, and cannot say definite things about it, one is a large way toward undermining both Sin and Grace. I employ my *hunch* when I refer to some who have written here as ‘atheists’ because I venture to say they cannot define either divine anger, or sin, or grace. These define the essence of Christian understanding.

        Now, I fully understand what is going on here, and in fact I write about it often. The descent away from solid metaphysical categories, in American certainly but also in Europe, is a very specific and dangerous nihilistic disease. I blame no one for being nihilistic and atheistic in that *functional* sense.

        If you cannot define sin nor grace — if these categories do not exist for you — then you are, functionally, an atheist. It is logical then that you have no way to comprehend ‘wrath’ or what is said about God’s anger. These notions function together.

        Now, they have been deliberately attacked, ridiculed and undermined for obvious reasons: no one wishes to be reminded that *sin* is real, and no one wishes to be reminded that the consequences of sin are harsh indeed. For this reason any mention of ‘divine anger’ and any mention of the possibility of having to *live consequences* receives contempt.

        Because I have read your other (shallow) opinions on Catholicism and the present Catholic crisis (which is real indeed) I know generally what your thoughts are about Catholicism. But I also know that you do not know what you are talking about! Yes, you can find cult-like habits or tendencies, I would not deny this. But the doctrines of Catholicism, and the theological wisdom of it, are unassailable.

        There are movements in motion now to renovate and recover the Church and what religious life means. And they have to engage in battle with the existing structures within the Church today.

        But I am aware that I have been able to make investigations that most other people do not have the time to make.

        So, what were you saying? Oh, that’s right: nothing . . . 🙂

  4. From what I have found in various media, most prominently The BBC, Drollinger is not “the President’s Cabinet Bible Teacher.” Instead, he is a minister who conducts a Bible study group attended by some of the President’s cabinet and another group consisting of about 50 members of the House of Representatives. Per The BBC, the President does not participate in these study groups, but he does get Drollinger’s weekly print-outs.
    So, it’s not clear how the President could fire someone who is not a federal employee.
    The White House Press Secretary said, “These comments are disgusting and certainly not something the President believes.” He added that the study group is not held at the White House and that the President does not participate in the group.

    • Great, we have to go to the BBC to get the facts straight.

      The guy is still associated with the White House, and the Presient is getting flack from the association. There has to be a way to disassociate him.

      Added your correction. Thanks.

      • I disagree. I read the offending post that Alizia and the BBC article linked to, and I think Drollinger’s been pegged wrong. Saying he does not “believe that homosexuality played any role whatsoever in the coronavirus.” is not a lie because he never said it did in the actual blog post. The post itself argues that God does NOT strike nations Old Testament style anymore. Yes, he brought up homosexuality as a sin (wow, what a shock), but he rejected the notion that God was smiting the US because of it. The whole essence was that of a Biblical scholar, NOT a “Bible-thumper”.

        • I didn’t call him a “Bible thumper.” I called him an idiot and hateful. Only the latter would write a post asking the question, “Are homosexuals the cause of God’s wrath?” during an epidemic. The question is an accusation. Why WOULD they be? This is the Big Lie process in an especially sinister form. The article itself is hyper-academic sophistry, of the sort so convoluted in logic and language that it permits instant deniability. At teh end, he writes:

          Unfortunately for the vast majority of faithful individuals in America, too many of the unfaithful have been allowed by the faithful to gain high positions of influence in our culture: high positions in our government, our educational system, our media and our entertainment industry. This is tragic, unfortunate, and costly.

          Those individuals who are rebuked by God’s forsaking wrath are largely responsible for God’s consequential wrath on our nation.

          The essay include homosexuality under the category of “Forsaking wrath.”

          Here,let me repeat that.

          Those individuals who are rebuked by God’s forsaking wrath are largely responsible for God’s consequential wrath on our nation.

          That’s clear. All of the double talk and pseudo scholarship, designed to obscure it, doesn’t. Don’t cover for this guy.

          • I shouldn’t have put Bible-thumper in quotes, since I didn’t mean to imply you actually used the term. I was referring to the general stereotype of a melodramatic, ranting preacher, which wasn’t the impression I got from his blog post. I grant he didn’t define “consequential wrath” (or any of the other wrath states) very well, but he did not say that the Wuhan virus was part of that consequential wrath. He didn’t even mention the virus until the first footnote, where he surmises that it must be SOME kind of God’s wrath. I rolled my eyes at that, but I feel more inclined to view his writing as tone-deafness rather than sinister Big Lie stuff.

          • Jack quotes Dollinger: “Unfortunately for the vast majority of faithful individuals in America, too many of the unfaithful have been allowed by the faithful to gain high positions of influence in our culture: high positions in our government, our educational system, our media and our entertainment industry. This is tragic, unfortunate, and costly.

            “Those individuals who are rebuked by God’s forsaking wrath are largely responsible for God’s consequential wrath on our nation.”

            Since I am not a follower or disciple of Dollinger, and have many issues with this *style* of evangelical Christianity, I view it itself as a manifestation of deviancy. But then I read many people, including many who write on this blog, as ‘spewing’ as Steve says all sort of convoluted nonsense. But this does not mean that everything they say is therefore all wrong. No. One has to sort through it.

            So, I also read Dollinger’s article, and I noticed the same quote, but I can examine his premise in a way that you don’t seem to be able to. He refers to general corruption in government, in education, and in ‘media’ and ‘entertainment’. This all makes perfect sense. It is very true when it is carefully explained.

            The notion of ‘consequential wrath’ is a sound idea if it is correctly expressed (and yes, I think I could do a better job than Dollinger). It is not even that hard to understand. What he does not talk about, and what he and Christians like him should talk about but don’t, is the horrifying consequences of America’s vile recent wars. And these wars connect to other levels of ‘machination’ that has perverted elements. If there is an ‘elephant in the room’ it is there. So, there is a whole realm of criticism — sexual deviancy is one aspect — that has to be talked about. But that conversation is of course suppressed.

  5. However, the President should loudly and forcefully sever all ties with Drollinger. But, he cannot (publicly, at least) direct any of his cabinet members how to profess their religion.

  6. Jack has made lots of great points about this pastor and the need to publicly disassociate from him.

    I think any “pastor” that starts spewing wrath of god kind of rhetoric as it relates to anything that’s happened after the flood of Noah is the equivalent of a Bible charlatan that’s pushing some kind of bastardized agenda that’s not Christianity. The likelihood that this pastor is pushing a bigoted agenda is pretty darn good. Be very wary of these kind of “pastors”, they are outlying quacks and should be shunned.

    This is a little like the President Obama and Pastor Jeremiah Wright controversy.

    • If people are to pretend wrath is immaterial after the Flood, why then does the bible itself discuss God’s wrath in all these post-Flood stories: twice in Exodus, once in Leviticus, 4 times in Numbers, 3 times in Deuteronomy, twice in Joshua, once in 1st Samuel, 3 times in 2nd Kings, once in 1st Chronicles, 8 times in 2nd Chronicles, 3 times in Ezra, once in Nehemiah, 7 times in Job, well over several dozen times in the Psalms, more than ten times each in Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel, three times in Lamentations, twice in Daniel, 3 times in Hosea, once each in Amos and Micah, twice each in Nahum, 3 times in Habakkuk, once each in the Gospels of Matthew, Luke and John, over 8 times in Romans, once in Ephesians, once in Colossians, three times in 1st Thessalonians, twice in Hebrews and over 10 times in Revelation.

      If you believe in an interactive God, and there’s really no way about that if you ascribe to a Judeo-Christian religious set, then you can’t blanket disassociate with discussions on the “wrath of God”.

      You can, as you did in earlier comments, decide that this particular pastor’s use of “God’s Wrath” as inappropriate, but I don’t think you can, as you did in this comment, completely ignore the topic.

      While you can believe in a God that only ever bestows blessing and good feelings on his Creation and never interacts with his Creation in a way that his Creatures may find unpleasant, I don’t think you can from a Judeo-Christian foundation.

      Now, from a Judeo-Christian position you can call this particular pastor out for deciding what particular circumstances are the trigger for divine punishment if that particular pastor doesn’t meet the criteria of an actual prophet.

  7. Some thoughts

    Let’s start with a visual.

    I make my own analyses and assessments, of course, about what Christianity is and is not. What it should be and what it should not be. Dollinger is an example of a rather peculiar *American* twist on Evangelicalism and I think that these American deviations can be studied and critiqued. Harold Bloom did this in a very interesting way with his book The American Religion: The Emergence of the Post-Christian Nation.

    “Bloom lays out his conception of a practice of religious criticism, by which he does not mean criticism of religion. He distinguishes the practice from other aspects of religious studies (e.g., history of religion or philosophy of religion) by analogy with his practice of literary criticism. Bloom says, literary criticism involves aspects of history et cetera, but is distinguished by having a focus on aesthetic judgments concerning literature. Bloom’s religious criticism thus will involve history et cetera, but also pay attention particularly to the spiritual values of religions.

    “In this book, Bloom begins this practice by looking at religious groups in the United States of America. Bloom identifies Ralph Waldo Emerson and William James as previous scholars who practiced religious criticism of American religion. He concludes that in America there is a single, dominant religion of which many nominally distinct denominations are a part. Among these he identifies Mormonism, the Southern Baptist Convention, Pentecostalism, and Seventh-day Adventism. To a lesser extent however, he also includes nearly all “Christian” denominations in America, including mainline Protestantism and Roman Catholicism. Bloom’s view is that all of these groups in America are united by requiring that each person may only truly meet with the divine when experiencing a “total inward solitude” and that salvation cannot be achieved by engaging with a community, but only through a one-to-one confrontation with the divine. While Bloom suggests that this American form of religion is to some extent a continuation of Enthusiasm in Europe, American religious groups are rightly distinguished from traditional Christianity: Although all of these groups identify as Christian, Bloom believes they represent a radical departure from the core aspects of that religion. Bloom says that the American religion is rather more like a form of Gnosticism. Bloom says that the events of the Second Great Awakening at Cane Ridge were formative for the American religion”

    So, Dollinger and the millions of people like him and those attracted, shall I say, to his particular line of preaching — a strange enthusiasm in the original sense of the word — need to be examined and critiqued in a sense differently than Bloom recommends: they need to be looked at much more harshly. But who will do the *looking*? From what standard will the critical project be compared with?

    My reference point is of course Traditional Catholicism and defined, coherent theology, and from that platform it is not at all hard to critique Protestant deviation in its many many different forms. But at the same time I would also say that there is a great deal to be said in favor of the Protestant emphasis on ‘personal relationship’. (And there are some very solid non-Catholic theologians). But in my own view one has to refer to solid theological definitions — those that have been worked out over time — and not the free-wheeling, careening, half-mad ‘transcendental immersions’ of semi-lunatic American post-Christian gnostics.

    As I say, it is a complex topic. Religious ecstasy is a form of madness, and America is on the verge of ‘going mad’ and succumbing to social hysteria. It is already evident and it tends to *creep* from one area to other areas. But you could also say that we live in a ‘fallen world’ and we are all subject to a fallen condition. To me, that means that each person, in one degree or another, is an imperfect ‘lens’ or an imperfect receiver. In one degree or another we distort the message. We are, literally, distortions.

  8. “In one way we think a great deal too much of the atomic bomb. “How are we to live in an atomic age?” I am tempted to reply: “Why, as you would have lived in the sixteenth century when the plague visited London almost every year, or as you would have lived in a Viking age when raiders from Scandinavia might land and cut your throat any night; or indeed, as you are already living in an age of cancer, an age of syphilis, an age of paralysis, an age of air raids, an age of railway accidents, an age of motor accidents.”

    In other words, do not let us begin by exaggerating the novelty of our situation. Believe me, dear sir or madam, you and all whom you love were already sentenced to death before the atomic bomb was invented: and quite a high percentage of us were going to die in unpleasant ways. We had, indeed, one very great advantage over our ancestors—anesthetics; but we have that still. It is perfectly ridiculous to go about whimpering and drawing long faces because the scientists have added one more chance of painful and premature death to a world which already bristled with such chances and in which death itself was not a chance at all, but a certainty.

    This is the first point to be made: and the first action to be taken is to pull ourselves together. If we are all going to be destroyed by an atomic bomb, let that bomb when it comes find us doing sensible and human things—praying, working, teaching, reading, listening to music, bathing the children, playing tennis, chatting to our friends over a pint and a game of darts—not huddled together like frightened sheep and thinking about bombs. They may break our bodies (a microbe can do that) but they need not dominate our minds.”

    -C S Lewis

  9. The following states* have established religious exemptions to bans on gathering size and other stay-at-home orders:

    Pennsylvania (March 19): Pennsylvania exempts the operations of religious institutions from its order for all non-life-sustaining businesses in Pennsylvania to close their physical locations.

    New York (March 20): New York includes under guidance on essential services: “Houses of worship are not ordered closed however it is strongly recommended no congregate services be held and social distance maintained.”

    New Jersey (March 21): New Jersey ordered all residents to stay in their homes unless “leaving the home for an educational, religious, or political reason.”

    Delaware (March 22): Delaware designated places of worship as essential places of business, thereby exempting them from complying with an order to close.

    Louisiana (March 22): Louisiana issued a stay-at-home ban for nonessential activities, exempting travel to and from places of worship.

    Ohio (March 22): Ohio issued a stay-at-home order except for essential activities, which include performing work or carrying out activities at religious entities.

    Massachusetts (March 23): Massachusetts considers workers at places of worship to be providing an essential service, therefore exempting them from temporarily closing.

    Michigan (March 23): Michigan issued a stay-at-home ban for nonessential activities, exempting places of worship from penalty for violating the ban.

    New Mexico (March 23): New Mexico prohibits “mass gatherings” of more than five people but exempts those congregated in a church, synagogue, mosque, or other place of worship.

    West Virginia (March 23): West Virginia issued a stay-at-home order, exempting travel to and from one’s place of worship, and it considers religious institutions essential businesses.

    Kansas (March 24): Kansas limited mass gatherings to no more than 10 people but exempts religious gatherings, as long as individuals can engage in appropriate social distancing.

    * Authors’ note: This list is current as of March 25. It may not be exhaustive, since these orders are quickly emerging and evolving.

    https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/religion/news/2020/03/27/482359/religious-exemptions-coronavirus-pandemic-will-worsen-crisis/?fbclid=IwAR0kB2Gortbs45SQqUU6w5Z1SYx3BgO3Mk4_-P-ETQgRP3yTfUGFM5QyBDY

    I consider this far more important than what some bible bashing pal* of Pence says.

    * But see this;

    The study’s public list of “sponsors” — who, Drollinger says, have committed to building Capitol Ministries, his nonprofit, and testifying publicly about their relationship with Jesus Christ — includes Pence; Pompeo; Rick Perry, the departing secretary of energy; Ben Carson, the secretary of housing and urban development; Betsy DeVos, the education secretary; and Sonny Perdue, the secretary of agriculture. The former cabinet members Jeff Sessions, Alex Acosta and Scott Pruitt all attended the study during their tenures in the administration; Jim Bridenstine, who leads NASA, also attends. (A spokesperson for Pence said that while the vice president “appreciates Mr. Drollinger’s work,” he does not attend the cabinet study, which Drollinger confirmed. Both men denied reports that the cabinet study has ever been held in the West Wing.)

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