To the editor: Am I hearing things right? Are those who are conservative evangelical Christians beginning to realize that the Scriptures they read can be and are supposed to be applied to everyday life? That how they act is part of their salvific hope? Are gardeners beginning to prune with “prudential judgment” as Christianity Today editor Mark Galli wrote, and sever what is their ruin?
I am a liberal liturgical Christian. The branches on our side of the tree have needed pruning, just as on the right. A small step was taken recently by Pope Francis regarding the reporting of clergy crimes, and there are many other false conflations regarding Scriptures vs. dogma in liberal Catholicism and Protestantism.
Op-ed article writer Randall Balmer asks the prophet to avert calamity rather than redress it. It helps the world. The world can also be helped when people of faith (all faiths) speak to truth whenever and wherever it becomes hijacked.
James Severtson, Reseda
To the editor: Progressives can’t understand why evangelicals support President Trump. One reason: They don’t like the alternative.
They don’t support progressives who mock their faith. They don’t support politicians who pass legislation forcing them to violate their faith. They don’t support politicians who think a deep sense of Christian faith disqualifies them from the judiciary. People of deep faith cannot support a political party that endorses the wholesale slaughter of the unborn.
It’s not hard to figure out why evangelicals rally around a president who pushes for religious freedom. So the next time you propose laws that attack religion or you hear your leaders denigrate people of deep faith as rubes or fanatics and you cheer or laugh, just look in the mirror to see why these people will not support you.
Joseph Schillmoeller, Gardena
To the editor: Former Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) was willing to speak the truth about Trump when he decided not to run for reelection. Similarly, the soon-to-be retired editor of Christianity Today has chosen to buck the evangelical conservative right and call for Trump’s removal from office.
Both examples indicate that when an important element of risk is removed, a conservative Republican feels free to speak the truth and not feign loyalty to Trump.
One can only imagine what John Bolton, Trump’s former national security advisor, will have to say about the president.
Larry Naritomi, Monterey Park
To the editor: Balmer aptly touches on the evangelical right’s racist history, which officially ended in 2000 when Bob Jones University in South Carolina dropped its ban on interracial dating and marriage. How that sordid episode unfolded is most telling.
When evangelicals’ preferred presidential candidate, George W. Bush, spoke at Bob Jones University in early 2000, a media outcry connected him to white evangelicalism’s racist views. That year, Bob Jones University reversed its policy, meekly explaining that biblical tenets actually did not proscribe interracial mingling.
In 2016 another political exigency arose: If Hillary Clinton was elected, evangelicalism would suffer her honoring the Constitution’s dictate to keep church and state separate. Manifold disasters loomed: Christian prayers would no longer kick off government meetings, and Clinton’s Cabinet would not be fully stocked with true believers.
How diabolical that right-wing evangelicals continue to worship at the altar of political expediency.
Rona Dolgin, Los Angeles