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The Immoral Majority: Why Good Christians Pick Bad Leaders

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3.68  ·  Rating details ·  267 ratings  ·  55 reviews
Disturbed by the diminishing standards to which his fellow Evangelicals hold their leaders, conservative columnist Ben Howe argues Christians should start focusing on the means, and let God handle the ends.

America’s politics and culture have never been more shameless and obscene, and America’s Christians have never been more beset by enemies. However, their greatest enemy
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Published August 13th 2019 by HarperAudio
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Sheila This book is worth reading. He sets everything out as to the how and why and where we all need to change our thinking in this divisive world. I found…moreThis book is worth reading. He sets everything out as to the how and why and where we all need to change our thinking in this divisive world. I found it very interesting. I am not an evangelical and his dad's answer to his question of why everyone hates Christians is still the same today as it was back in the 80's. I think he has also changed his thinking on some things.(less)
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Mark Lawry
Aug 22, 2019 rated it liked it
I am not a Christian. Howe is a Christian and speaking to his fellow Christians so take my rating with a grain of salt. The book is filled with Christian scriptures and his ideas on what are Christian values. Any new republican (those who are republicans after the nomination of President Trump) will call him an educated elitist, liptard, snowflake for his quaint backward ideas from the Bible.

I feel his pain. My own education is in economics and being an ardent supply-side market capitalist I'm
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Tom
Sep 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An evangelical takes evangelicalism to task for surrendering it's theology in order to win, and in so winning, evangelicalism has lost its soul, its ability to witness to Christ, and to truly influence the world. Rather than trusting God, evangelicals decided to take over the government to further their own vision for America, and have done so with a president highly unqualified to lead, a man of reprehensible character and malicious intent.

Howe's analysis is clear and to the point: there's a
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Bookworm
Aug 28, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Since Evangelicals were a key group to elect Donald Trump and have steadily remained among his supporters, it seemed like this would be a good pick up. I was curious to learn more about it, beyond what I had read in news. What on earth drew these people to someone like Trump, who had 3 marriages, 5 children and is known to be unfaithful (and worse!). As someone who is not at all religious, I was just...confused.

Howe is talking to other Christians. So comments from people saying that it has that
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Rick Lee Lee James
Sep 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The best review I think I can give are the words that the author himself uses in the introduction.

“This is a book about what happens when the people who believe they have the moral high ground find themselves on the low road.”

Terrific book in helping us understand that the Moral Majority was always a fiction. The Moral Minority is one man, and he is Jesus. The rest of us must follow him and never compromise our faith for the sake of political expediency.
Cooper Renner
3.5 stars. While I sharply disagree with some of his contentions and assumptions about what American “culture” in general and the “left” in particular have done “to” evangelicals, his central thesis is, I believe, correct and well-argued: that too many evangelicals have surrendered their eternal values for temporal gain.
11811 (Eleven)
An enlightening explanation of 2016 followed by a fifty page sermon.
Jason Payne
Aug 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Incisive analysis--by an evangelical Christian--of the current state of the movement, in all its hypocritical and immoral/amoral glory. Well worth the read.
Kevin
Sep 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Frankly, a hard to read book that I struggled with rating. I didn't want to read it because it reminded me of things I would prefer not to think about and in the process depresses me. But it is a fairly straightforward outlining of the ways self-professed evangelical Christians have given up the "Character Matters" perspective and instead embraced the using power for the right things is what matters approach. The challenge is understanding just how prevalent this viewpoint is within ...more
Jonathan
Sep 18, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: politics, culture
I'm not a republican (I've been registered as independent my entire life) and, like Howe, I didn't vote for Trump in 2016. Also like Howe, I'm an evangelical. I was actively "Never Trump" throughout 2015-2016, arguing with friends, family members, and strangers on social media who planned to vote for Trump.

I picked up this book thinking that I would agree with it and that it would, perhaps, provide extra reasons to note vote for Trump in 2020. To my surprise, I found myself disagreeing with
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Charles Wagner

Do not go to Howe’s twitter feed
Conservative political values

Think about it. Christianity, as shattered into cults as it is, did not become the most popular religion (2 billion adherents?) by saying pretty please.
The success of the two largest world religions is built upon a foundation, of blood, theft, and subjection.
This is a book about people who think they have the high ground but find themselves on the low road, says the author. ( P. xix) However, winners win and losers lose. But,
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Matt Barcalow
Sep 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
For several years, I’ve become more and more restless with evangelicals and their increasing willingness to overlook various moral issues so that their political agenda could be advanced. I was never able to clearly articulate why I was feeling that way. I’m now over halfway through this book and am already thankful that Ben took the time and effort to write it. He has put into words many of my concerns and laid out how they have come to be. Using biblical truths, historical events, numerous ...more
Joel
Oct 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Howe does a nice job of diagnosing some of the problems within white evangelicalism that led to the overwhelming support of Donald Trump in the 2016 election that continued with his presidency. Although the focus is on Trump supporters, he holds up a mirror that should give all Christians pause about whether their political support is more about self-interest or winning at any cost to get the "good guys" (whichever side you're on) into the positions of power, rather than a reflection of one's ...more
Andrew Pratley
Oct 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
This is an important book but for those who not used to reading one sprinkled liberally with biblical quotes it could be an off putting one. Ben Howe is an evangelical & this book is about why the vast majority of them in the USA have got into bed, politically, with Donald Trump. They know he is a bad person but for them it is a case of needs must. The author states clearly that they have prostituted themselves for the worst reasons.It is a indictment of much of today's evangelical America. ...more
Samarth Gupta
Sep 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good book written by an Evangelical Christian on how Evangelicals have reached their current political moment. The intended audience was for fellow Christians at many times. Lot of good insights for any reader though.

Notes:
“We believed Smith was garbage and, importantly, we weren’t. But I have come to believe that it is vitally important that as human beings we accept that we are all capable of being garbage. It has occurred to me that one of the quickest ways to thwart any possibility of
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Lora
Oct 25, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Evangelical Christians - Why Trump? According to the author: Selfishness. Tired of losing the culture war. Vengeance. Tired of being characterized as racist. (IMHO if people are always calling you racist, maybe there’s something to it.) Tired of political correctness. (Although I acknowledge that the far left takes things too far, I’ve never understood the hatred towards PC. Are there some people you want to be mean to and you feel like you can’t? In general, isn’t kindness a better choice?) ...more
Jerry Smith
This was an interesting and challenging read for me, falling into the category of read that I am increasingly trying to consume i.e. from people with a fundamentally different worldview from mine. Don't get me wrong; I loathe Trump and everything he stands for. I deplore his crude rantings and the way he has divided the country apparently as a deliberate strategy. However, I am fascinated as to why those who support him from an evangelical viewpoint, seem to do so virtually unconditionally. I ...more
James Gailey
Oct 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"You’ve gained the world. How is your soul faring?"

While Ben Howe’s “The Immoral Majority” is very much a sermon to American evangelicals, I was particularly drawn to the subject matter for three reasons: 1. As a Reformed Christian, I have played a somewhat active role in politics of Northern Ireland, where evangelicals also have a sizable voting bloc. 2. Trump's policies have gained notable praise from this very same community. 3. Christians in Northern Ireland have had to make tough calls
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Bryan
Dec 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A refreshing look at the reasons evangelicals have fallen so head over heels for Trump. A most sobering analysis of how they have essentially sold their morality to support an immoral leader simply because he has promised to pass laws and appoint judges that will further the causes evangelicals care most about. Interestingly, according to Howe (and he presents good supporting data) rank and file evangelicals seem to support Trump first for his apparent success with the economy and with the ...more
Heather
Nov 05, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, religion
As someone who has been perplexed and fascinated by how Christians became Donald Trump's most enthusiastic supporters, this book seemed right up my alley. "Make it make sense, Ben!" I shouted at the cover. And I did get a few tidbits that were enlightening. When Trump looks skyward and says he's "the chosen one," it's not necessarily that he's lost it. It's that he's being fed that by the evangelical leaders he surrounds himself with.

Overall though, Howe's explanations for how we arrived at this
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Kendall Williams
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Paul Szydlowski
Oct 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Conservative evangelical Ben Howe, whose southern Baptist minister dad once explained the reason people hate Christians so much is because "so many Christians are jerks," takes those "jerks" to task in a scathing rebuke of the hypocrisy behind their near universal support of Donald Trump. His harshest criticism is reserved for the nearly sacrilegious belief that Donald Trump is God's chosen one, stating that if God had been asked whether he was for Trump or for Clinton, the answer, according to ...more
Becky
Sep 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is definitely worth the read. I am an evangelical, also with a father who was a Southern Baptist minister in the 1960s. I have never understood those who followed the Moral Majority's quest to infuse politics with Christian "ideals." Didn't understand how people could think it was okay in the 80s and 90s, and certainly don't see how Christians could follow the unGodly president of today. The author seems to have arrived at this "duped" feeling late in the game. Still, he makes some ...more
Mary Foxe
So, this is a very good overview on a macro-level of evangelical leaders of the Moral Majority and their worship of power and how this has been coming for decades. Excellent. There needs to be a book about this.

I overall was meh about the book. It did not examine on a more micro-level the toxicity in the evangelical church at all levels that worships individual leaders and gleefully promotes their abuses. Howe mentioned some of the bigger examples, but not how this is happening at various
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Sheila
Nov 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A white male evangelical takes a look at the movement and why they chose to follow Donald Trump.

This is a thought provoking book. I liked that Mr. Howe established his credentials then went on to explain the evangelical movement, thought process, and gave a solution. He covers a lot in this book. He is right that it is controversial but his arguments are sound as he leads us from the evangelicals of the 1980's through today. He is right that we all need to look at ourselves, whether evangelical
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Mark Youngkin
Sep 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is necessary and timely because it covers a subject that should be covered and discussed more extensively than it is. Howe gets a lot of credit for examining the rather large swath of the conservative Church which has sold out to be a wholly owned subsidiary of Make America Great Again, Inc. Yet as important as it is, it would be even more important if it was more effective.

The Immoral Majority just isn't terribly well written, and Howe dances around his thesis without really
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Teresa
Oct 19, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sadly, Howe like many evangelicals are late in seeing how bankrupt of moral credibility the leadership of this movement has become. Years ago I found the hypocrisy of Evangelical mega churches hard to stomach. When they were the face and voice, at least in the media, as being the grand protectors of traditional marriage and family values, when large members of their congregations lived without benefit of marriage vows and their number of children born out-of-wedlock matched national averages. ...more
Lisa Hunt
Nov 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a hard one for me to rate. I read a fair bit of political and faith based books and this was an interesting mix. The writer is a very conservative writer who found himself at odds with his party when many Evangelicals supported Trump. This basically is his deep dive on why that happened when it seemed to contrary to Christian teachings. Personally, I found this shift puzzling, so it was eye opening to read his take on how/why it came about. I didn't quite follow all of his arguments, ...more
Marcia
Nov 04, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was very interested in reading this after hearing Howe interviewed. The question of why Evangelical Christians supported the most well-known un-Christian in America had puzzled me. It turns out they have certaininly rationalized behavior in Trump they deplored in Bill Clinton, for example. One reason: he's better than the alternative. Another: if Hillary won, we'd be cast into a 1000 years of darkness. Another: King Cyrus was not a believer but God used him to fulfill his purposes. Also, and ...more
Brenda
Sep 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was spot on. Written by an actual Christian who grew up in the church and with several of the Evangelical "leaders" of today. He acknowledges that these leaders have lead their flocks astray, seeking political power ahead of following Christ. What they have done by supporting immoral leaders is to lose the hearts of young people and have proven themselves to be hypocrites. I am a Christian, but this is completely true. I will not gain the whole world just to lose my soul by following ...more
Sharon C. Robideaux
Disgustingly biased

I confess to reading only a few chapters before giving up. As a liberal, as a lifelong Democrat, as a feminist, and as an atheist, I obviously was not the audience Ben Howe had in mind. Trying to give him a chance to make his case, I tried twice to get beyond his holier-than-thou Bible-thumping conservatives-are-good, liberals-are-bad rhetoric. Ugh. Bush was a misunderstood saint. Saddam Hussein had WMDs. Yeah. Right. Sorry, Howe. You are everything that's wrong with this
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“all of these men have utterly reversed their positions in favor of Donald Trump.” 0 likes
“Pastor Max Lucado of San Antonio, Texas, said in an editorial for the Washington Post in February 2016 that he was “chagrined” by Trump’s antics. He ridiculed a war hero. He made a mockery of a reporter’s menstrual cycle. He made fun of a disabled reporter. He referred to a former first lady, Barbara Bush, as “mommy” and belittled Jeb Bush for bringing her on the campaign trail. He routinely calls people “stupid” and “dummy.” One writer catalogued 64 occasions that he called someone “loser.” These were not off-line, backstage, overheard, not-to-be-repeated comments. They were publicly and intentionally tweeted, recorded and presented.18 Lucado went on to question how Christians could support a man doing these things as a candidate for president, much less as someone who repeatedly attempted to capture evangelical audiences by portraying himself as similarly committed to Christian values. He continued, “If a public personality calls on Christ one day and calls someone a ‘bimbo’ the next, is something not awry? And to do so, not once, but repeatedly, unrepentantly and unapologetically? We stand against bullying in schools. Shouldn’t we do the same in presidential politics?” Rolling Stone reported on several evangelical leaders pushing against a Trump nomination, including North Carolina radio host and evangelical Dr. Michael Brown, who wrote an open letter to Jerry Falwell Jr., blasting his endorsement of Donald Trump. Brown wrote, “As an evangelical follower of Jesus, the contrast is between putting nationalism first or the kingdom of God first. From my vantage point, you and other evangelicals seem to have put nationalism first, and that is what deeply concerns me.”19 John Stemberger, president and general counsel for Florida Family Action, lamented to CNN, “The really puzzling thing is that Donald Trump defies every stereotype of a candidate you would typically expect Christians to vote for.” He wondered, “Should evangelical Christians choose to elect a man I believe would be the most immoral and ungodly person ever to be president of the United States?”20 A” 0 likes
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