Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Targeted By Bias: Evangelicals Who Voted for Bush

Targeted By Bias: Evangelicals Who Voted for Bush
How Evangelicals in Brazil Are Indoctrinated into Rejecting Conservative Evangelicals and Embracing Socialism

In a cover story in the Brazilian magazine Ultimato, leftist evangelical sociologist who has approved of Lula expresses disapproval of evangelicals who helped to re-elect Bush

By Julio Severo

For a socialist, Brazilian or foreigner, atheist or evangelical, opposition to Bush and support to Lula is as natural, foreseeable and automatic as a fish to know how to swim.


This article is a translation and adaptation of my text in Portuguese written to expose misconceptions and efforts by evangélicos progressistas (progressive evangelicals) to lead evangelicals in Brazil to support a socialist agenda. The Brazilian term progressista (progressive), according to the noted Aurélio Dictionary of Portuguese Language, means someone who, though not being a member of a socialist or communist party, accepts and/or supports socialist or Marxist principles.

My article is purposed to show what is happening in Brazil, what has caused evangelicals to get involved in politics in a spiritually detrimental way and how they have been used for suspicious political advantage for the sake of the advance of socialism. They do not have been able to escape from being affected by the omnipresent pro-socialist propaganda in the Brazilian culture. This is why the most important evangelical leaders in Brazil supported Luiz Inácio “Lula” da Silva for president, a man whose administration has defended abortion, homosexuality, and condom distribution at schools. So it should cause no surprise that the
Lula administration has condemned Israel and US and praised their enemies, including Fidel Castro, Hugo Chavez and Muslim dictators.

Lula is a founding member and the first president of PT (Partido dos Trabalhadores, meaning Workers’ Party), one of the Brazilian parties most active in the advance of the socialist agenda. Its politics and candidates, especially Lula himself, have been enthusiastically endorsed by progressive evangelicals.

If you want to understand the political challenges facing evangelicals in Brazil, read my article patiently. I only ask you to excuse my many textual errors, for English is not my mother tongue.

Julio Severo

Secular Media Bias

Recently, when Americans re-elected George Bush as their president, Brazilian media showed all its bitterness and artistic ability to practice selective discrimination. Commentator Arnaldo Jabor, of Globo TV, said that in the election of Bush “stupidity overcame intelligence”, just because he did not like that millions of evangelicals made the crucial difference for the Bush victory. He told about evangelicals who voted for Bush: “Bush’s men are like Osama bin Laden’s fanatics. The only difference is their god. Al Qaeda’s fanatics are the violent sons of a false Allah. And today the suicide bombers of Jesus were elected. Of a Jesus who has never existed. A violent and intolerant Jesus. A false Jesus. Different from the good and true Jesus, an evil Jesus was elected”.

He was disappointed because American evangelicals didn’t copy Brazilian evangelicals, who in the last presidential elections voted obediently, as little lambs, in candidates approved by the liberal press. Intelligence for that commentator is to vote only for politicians accepted by him. In spite of all the massive opposition by Brazilian media against Bush, American evangelicals eventually became winners. They had the courage to demonstrate that they are not dominated.

Globo TV, that shamelessly values and promotes homosexuality and other perversions, shows President Luiz Inácio “Lula” da Silva, who also supports homosexuality, as president’s exemplary model. And it displays Bush — who doesn’t support homosexuality, abortion and other perversions — as president’s model that, evidently, doesn’t have Lula’s “good” example.

The same Brazilian press that flatters Lula, applauding his government’s initiatives in favor of homosexuality and in favor of the enemies of Israel, ferociously criticizes Bush, the only world leader friend of Israel. It can be noticed real media submission to Lula. Even when criticizing him, in order to feign neutrality, the press does it with the highest respect and consideration. In fact, such “criticism” is so soft, delicate and sparing that could easily be confounded with praise and religious devotion, if compared with the heavy, implacable and cruel criticism the press levels, without the smallest respect, against President Bush and his Christian testimony.

During the American elections, the prejudice and disrespect against American evangelicals were so great that it seemed, by the uncivilized way that the press acted, that it was a “sin” to vote for somebody not following the immoral values usually promoted by liberals. Commenting such attitude of the Brazilian press, journalist Tales Alvarenga, in a rare impartial text of the Veja magazine (which is the Brazilian counterpart of Time magazine), expressed his concern. Alvarenga, who is not an evangelical, said:

Certainly, President George W. Bush is a rightist and a believer in God. But he is smarter and less radical than his opponents say… And I am sure that a mere pietistic hick, as he is presented, doesn’t become re-elected president in the greatest, more powerful and more diversified democracy of the planet… Because of the hate against Bush, a minority of his electorate was treated with cultural, political and ethnic bias by the intellectual elites of the most important cities. That has happened in a country where prejudices against blacks, Jews or Hispanics are considered unpronounceable offenses by educated people. Fundamentalist Christians think Jesus participates in every moment of their lives… American fundamentalist Christians don’t admit abortion in any hypothesis. Sex, only for procreative purposes. Gays are accepted provided they abstain from having a sexual life… I don’t have a religion since adolescence, I have already got divorced more than once, and sex, for me, is a personal choice that it is the exclusive responsibility of the people involved in the act. But I defend the right of evangelicals to live according their beliefs without being insulted for their faith.[2]

Therefore, even non-evangelicals are shocked by the demonstrations of discrimination against Bush and evangelicals supporting him. The same press ridiculing President Bush and evangelicals also renders tribute to TV shows disrespecting the family. What really surprises us it is that even the evangelical press has been contaminated by the prejudice wave against Bush.

Progressive Media Bias

The 2005 January/February issue of Ultimato magazine published the cover story
Evangelicals Help to Re-Elect Bush, written by the English-born Brazilian sociologist Paul Freston, disapproving the American evangelicals who voted for Bush. Ultimato is a leading evangelical magazine in Brazil, leading countless leaders and ordinary evangelicals to a leftist worldview. In his cover story, Freston is not able to hide his real intents in his declaration: “There is a need to organize and take on the ideological struggle against the evangelical right which has illegitimately claimed for itself a monopoly on ‘truly Christian politics’, causing immense damage to the image of evangelicals around the world”.[3]

Freston says that evangelicals voted for Bush especially because of the abortion and homosexuality issue. Joining a very large chorus of socialists around the whole world embittered by Bush’s victory, Freston indicated what is necessary so that American evangelicals may be led not to vote for evangelicals like Bush. He stated that the United States needs a MEP (Movimento Evangélico Progressista, which means Progressive Evangelical Movement), a group that has always worked to draw evangelicals in Brazil to the socialist sheepfold. He thinks that with a MEP to reach Americans, the abortion and homosexuality issues might be used to advance the interests of the leftist evangelicals.

What has MEP done for evangelicals in Brazil? It has helped to put Lula in power. Now that he is president, Lula leads the promotion of homosexuality in the UN, has greatly facilitated the Brazilian abortion laws, has launched the disgraceful government program Brazil Without Homophobia (instead of a Brazil Without Sodomy), has allocated grants to gay pride parades and has delivered millions, taken from the hard work of the suffering Brazilian people, to communist criminals who tried to seize, by violence and armed force, the Brazilian government in the past.
[4] This is the kind of government MEP has helped to raise up in Brazil.

Where is the Progressive Ethics?

And now do Ultimato and Paul Freston want also Americans to have a MEP? How would an American MEP address the ethical issue of abortion and homosexuality? In August 12, 2004, MEP, with the evangelical politicians of PT (Workers’ Party), organized the workshop A Igreja e os Desafios Atuais (The Church and the Current Challenges), in the Chamber of Deputies. The main speaker was Caio Fábio, who talked about ethics and environmental issues. Fábio was, before his scandal involving adultery and divorce in the late 1990s, the greatest evangelical leader in Brazil and for a long time his authority and influence were so unquestionable that he was like an evangelical pope. But even after his moral fall, he continues trying to speak with his past “papal” authority. Following are some statements of Caio in that workshop:

For me, this universe is sacred. I could just say that it is discreated, that it exists by itself, that it is what it is, that the only thing that exists is itself, that it is God because it exists by itself, because it is the reason of itself. It is a God oblivious of itself.

What is sacred inhabits the whole world.

If I do not have a vision making the cosmos and all the creation sacred, I need at the least to reflect more.

It can be said that India is a technologically outdated country, where there is a very high rate of poverty, misery, overpopulation and other things else. But it keeps being an example of society that looks to the cosmos as something sacred, in a completely different vision from ours.

Therefore, strangely, I have to tell you that animism is helpful to bioethics, in a much more practical way, when ignorantly or not, it sees spiritual meaning in the existence of all that was created. We do not see it.

We have come to a point where there are extraordinary ironies. The first one: the Western Christian world, especially its Protestant version, has become the part of humankind most offensive to the creation. Man exists in a universe without anything sacred. The second one: the animist cultures are extremely less offensive to the creation than we are.

Let’s see: the first three chapters of the Book of Genesis: People begin to read in a completely literal and fundamentalist way. They want to turn the Bible into a science handbook on how the world was formed, something absolutely foolish.

[The Bible] calls the whole conscience of the Gospel for an integration of itself with the sacred attribute of the creation and with the reverence for the creation.

Interestingly, in his text Freston also stresses the environmental issue as something as important as the issue of abortion and homosexuality. He says, “Do we have the right to say that one single issue outweighs all the other possible political issues put together? And if we do, then for how long do we have the right to ignore all the other issues because of that one single issue which has not been resolved? And why should abortion be that single issue and not, for example, the environment?”
[5] So, for progressive evangelicals, the defense of environment is as important as the defense of the lives of unborn babies.

It seems that Freston does not perceive that leftists are the creators of the vast majority of abortion bills in Brazil and that they fight even for the right to life of animals and plants, establishing measures to punish even those guilty of destroy the egg of a rare bird.

By pure coincidence, one of the greatest environmentalist leaders in Brazil is the gay journalist Fernando Gabeira, a Workers’ Party ex-militant and today a Green Party member. In 1969, Gabeira was, together with other communists, involved in the kidnapping of the American ambassador to Brazil
[6]. Environmentalists boast that because of the rising of the Green Party in Brazil, issues of gay, racial and feminist rights and drug liberation got broad media attention for the first time in the Brazilian politics.[7]

Therefore, environmental issues are an obsessive concern of all socialists and liberals. So it is no wonder MEP, Freston and Caio Fábio embrace this same concern. Somewhere else, Fábio commented this way on homosexuality, which is an important ethical issue in our times:

The only “healed” homosexuals I have seen are the ones that have never been [homosexual].

I have no doubt that soon it will definitively established that the predominant factor for homosexuality is genetical.

There are homosexual individuals who have never committed one homosexual act, but even so they are [homosexual]. They are the eunuchs for the sake of God’s Kingdom.

It is a pity that there is no freedom [in the church] for people to tell who they are.

Even though Caio Fábio has a personal “ethics” very known in Brazil, MEP did not see any problem to back his lecture on ethics. Probably, there must be significant affinities among them. Of course, Paul Freston, Ultimato magazine, Caio Fábio and MEP do not want Bush in the presidency. They want Americans to choose a Lula to lead their country. Yet, Americans have already done it.

Years ago, they elected Bill Clinton, who advanced homosexuality in many ways and fought fanatically to expand and extend abortion laws throughout the whole world. Clinton and his perversions were an important and bitter experience for the American evangelicals, while Lula and his perversions do not bother in any way MEP, Freston, Caio Fábio and Ultimato, that has never cared to put as cover story all that Lula and his party are doing against God’s principles.

Where to Level Criticism to?

Rather than condemn the perversions of the Brazilian president, Ultimato found easier — as always — to disapprove Bush, who is not helping advance the gay agenda in the UN and has never launched a state program called USA Without Homophobia. Besides, the human imperfections of Bush should never be used as a pretext to support pervert politicians who take advantage of the vote of evangelicals to advance evil actively.

If Ultimato wants to criticize an American president, at least for the sake of fairness it should censure those deserving. During the presidency of the progressive evangelical Bill Clinton, who was involved in serious scandals of adultery, there was much opening and sympathy to the pretensions of the radical groups of gay militants.

The Ultimato cover story prefers not seeing or revealing those facts. All that Ultimato does is to continue steadily in its track, with many other secular news agencies in Brazil defending the socialist agenda, of criticizing Bush, without reflecting in its past of support to PT.

Ultimato is free to censure anyone, including someone living far away. We understand, though, that the just standard of God it for us to consider the beam that is in our own eye, before helping others remove the speck of their eyes. Speaking politically, before leveling constant criticism against presidents of other countries, we should firstly evaluate the behavior and acts of the man occupying today the presidency of our country.

Of course, the conservative evangelical stances are not unconditional. If Bush gives up his fight against abortion and gay agenda and turns aside from the divine plan for Israel, by necessity there will be change in the evangelical stance regarding his administration. In the same way, if Lula gives up his support to abortion, homosexuality, Israel’s enemies, the disgraceful communist dictatorships in the world and his policies favoring communist criminals who tried to seize the Brazilian government in the past, and if he turns to promote God’s righteousness, I and many other evangelicals will be very delightful to support his administration.

Because of Brazil, Will Homosexuality Be a Worldwide Problem?

Evangelicals Help to Re-Elect Bush, Paul Freston praised and stressed the importance of MEP and of the pro-Lula evangelical committees in the presidential elections of 2002, but he did not comment the consequences of the Lula administration fight to classify in the UN homosexuality as an inalienable human right. In 2003, 2004 and 2005, the Lula administration fought to introduce in the UN Commission on Human Rights a pioneering resolution affirming homosexuality as such special right.

If the homosexual sin gets such special protection, every country will be under gigantic and increasing pressure to honor homosexuality and combat all opposition to this sin. Because of a hate law in Sweden, a Pentecostal minister was sentenced to jail for preaching, within his own church, that homosexuality is a sin. Canada and other nations that embraced antidiscrimination laws are also persecuting evangelical churches. The classification of homosexuality as a human right in the UN, as Lula wishes, would give gay militants throughout the whole world authority to demand similar antidiscrimination laws, with all the bitter results we can already see.

While preparing itself to advance the homosexual issue in the UN, the Lula administration has been very active in favor of the gay movement in Brazil. The PT official website itself confirms the clear direction of the Lula administration: “A great advance, for example, comes from the Lula Administration. For the first time in the Federative Republic of Brazil, a president issues a letter backing the homosexual movement, during the gay parade in Brasília. Another great example was the launching of the Brazil Without Homophobia program, coordinated by the Human Rights Special Bureau, but with the collaboration of several government cabinets, including the Department of Justice, Health, Education and the bureaus for the Women Rights and for Racial Equality”.

So it is no wonder that the pioneering policies of the Lula administration in favor of homosexuality have been praised by homosexuals around the world. The lesbian American writer Susan Sontag, for example, said, “I greatly admire Lula. His election in Brazil was the best event the world lived after a long time”.

While American homosexuals praise Lula, Brazilian homosexuals praise a known American ex-president. The Brazilian website GLS Planet notes: “Nostalgia is the proper word. No one gave more visibility to the gay community than ex-president Bill Clinton. He openly defended gay rights and he was the first president in the American History to participate in a dinner organized by a gay group, whose proceeds to the Democratic Party amounted to US$ 300,000 in one night… Clinton is our man”.
[12] If gay militants in Brazil and US feel nostalgia about Clinton, there is no need to tell what they feel about Bush.

Nevertheless all Clinton efforts to advance the gay agenda, no one was bolder in its international promotion than Lula has been.

If leading a nation less powerful than the US, Lula is able to launch Brazil to the international leadership of the gay agenda in the UN, what would happen if he occupied the presidency of the most powerful country on the Earth? Nevertheless, Freston suggested that evangelicals in Brazil should not worry about the abortion and gay marriage issues, as if only Americans are being more intensely affected! Freston needs actually to free Brazilian evangelicals from political worries with those issues, for on the contrary what he most fears may happen: the Brazilian left will run the risk of losing the vote of evangelicals in Brazil!

It is immensely necessary to make these questions, for before the presidential elections in Brazil in 2002 progressive evangelicals worked very hard to dispel, among the evangelical churches, the idea that a Lula victory would represent advance for the homosexual movement and the abortion militants.

According to the propaganda of the pro-Lula evangelical committees, Lula was presented as a family-oriented and God-fearing man, who prays and reads the Bible. Moreover, he committed himself before several important evangelical leaders not to let his future administration get involved in the gay and abortion issues. Yet, the reality of his present government is completely contrary to his promises.

Does not such lack of ethics and commitment by Lula and PT deserve a forceful censure? Does not it deserve cover stories in the large and small evangelical magazines? If for much less Bush is censured, why are progressives exempting Lula? Why does the Brazilian press, evangelical and otherwise, insist in pretending that it does not see the evident evils of the Lula administration?

The American Lula and the Brazilian Clinton

Coincidence or not, Bill Clinton, admirer of the Brazilian esoteristic writer Paulo Coelho, always sought also to transmit a Christian image of himself while giving priority to human rights policies favoring homosexuality. Therefore, Clinton can rightly be compared to a kind of American Lula, for basically the administrations of these two nominal Christians are, in a lesser or greater measure, characterized by a major opening to abortion and homosexuality. As far as the socialistic utopias are concerned, with special emphasis on affirmative policies favoring the feminist, racial and gay agenda, they are not much different.

In fact, they are so like one another that, in 2002, PT brought to Brazil Jesse Jackson, a liberal American minister, to help progressive evangelicals convince the evangelical leaders of Brazil to support Lula and PT. Jackson is a member of the Democratic Party and he was a spiritual adviser to Clinton in the White House. The striking coincidence is that during the adultery scandal of Clinton in his presidency Rev. Jackson was also betraying his wife — proving that they were really in total “spiritual” fellowship! So Jackson was never worried about the adulterous and financial scandals of Clinton, for Jackson himself was also involved in similar cases
[13]. According to the newspaper Folha Online, Rev. Jackson has a friendship of many years with PT[14]. In the PT official website there is even an exclusive page flattering comrade Jackson.[15]

The interchange between Brazilian and American leftists does not involve just the visit of Rev. Jackson to Brazil. According to information from the national Workers’ Party office
[16], the PT militant Roberto de Jesus (better known as Beto de Jesus) traveled to the United States in 2003 for meetings with gay activists, to learn how to advance the gay agenda. Beto is “married”[17] to another man and was president of the Gay Pride Parade Association of São Paulo. He also gave speeches in American universities, whose subject was Gay Politics, Left Politics: the Social Agenda in Contemporary Brazil. In Washington, this Workers’ Party member met leaders of the Human Rights Campaign, one of the greatest gay groups in the US advancing the gay agenda under the human rights rhetoric.[18]

Such contacts with Americans strengthened significantly the gay militancy of Beto, who months later took an active part in the elaboration of Brazil Without Homophobia
[19] (the pioneering program of the Lula administration to expunge opposition to homosexuality) and, according to ILGA (International Lesbian and Gay Association) he also took part in the UN, with complete support from the Brazilian government[20], in the promotion of the known pro-homosexualism resolution of the Lula administration. Even though Beto has a large militant experience from his past involvement with the radical Landless Movement[21], he came back from the US strengthened by many new ideas. Now he is prepared to occupy an important role in the realization of the highest ambitions of the Brazilian homosexual movement. His position is so important that he is one of the chief gay activists charged with the task to give information to the Brazilian delegation to the UN.[22]

All that “interchange” reveals the hypocrisy of the left: Even though PT holds to a fanatical anti-American image, such stance works based completely on the pure political convenience. So, as far as moral and Christian values are concerned, PT is radically anti-American, but when the subject is American perversion the most important thing is just to copy! When the interests are favorable, Brazilian socialists accept and hide the assistance and inspiration they receive from their radical comrades in the US. When the interests are not favorable, they appeal to the old anti-American litany, a hypocritical anti-Americanism that opposes the moral values of the American Christians, but imports, copies, absorbs and practices all that is morally rotten in the US. Therefore, it should really cause no surprise that the “anti-American” PT invited the American progressive evangelical Jesse Jackson — friend of PT, Fidel Castro and the pro-abortion and pro-homosexualism adulterer Bill Clinton — to help lead the Brazilian evangelical flock to the socialist electoral pastures.

Because of the liberal ideology connecting them in many issues, there are really significant affinities between PT and the Democratic Party. In the US, most of the pro-homosexualism bills are from Democratic representatives. In Brazil, they are from representatives from PT. Even so, Freston presumed to declare that Kerry, the Democratic candidate opposing Bush in the 2004 elections, is for the natural marriage, suggesting that he would not help legalize gay marriage. Freston or Kerry is more politically smart than they appear to be, for Charisma magazine, in its October 2004 issue, shows that Kerry supports the gay civil unions. In Brazil, the chief supporter for this kind of union is Marta Suplicy, who is an author of a gay civil partnership bill in the Congress. Even though Marta has declared that her bill will not harm traditional marriage, that partnership bestows to gay couples many of the same benefits enjoyed by normal married couples, cleverly masking the goal to achieve the marriage itself. Kerry’s support to gay unions has the same pretexts and aspirations from Suplicy’s bill. Freston has obvious political sympathy to Kerry, properly protecting the consequences of an elected Kerry. Yet, it should be noted that in all his leftist articles in Portuguese during many years, Freston was unable to see or accept that PT in the government would speed the advance of the political pretensions of the gay militants, and he never visualized or admitted that PT could turn Brazil into a world leader in those issues. That inability reappeared in his positive comment on Kerry and the Democratic Party.

I do not have the sociology PhD Paul Freston has. I could never attend a college. But I know that God gives wisdom and understanding to those who ask wholeheartedly.
[23] I sought, asked and, by God’s exclusive grace, I have received. Before the presidential elections in Brazil, there were rumors that if PT did win, it would close churches. The spiritual understanding showed me that this fear was complete exaggeration — probably caused by a rightful worry that PT has friendship with communist groups and governments. Progressive evangelicals always took advantage of those rumors to argue that PT is targeted by bias and unfair criticism. Yet, my discernment indicated that a PT’s victory would mean victory for the homosexual movement in Brazil. My feeling was that Lula would be the Brazilian Clinton. As it is known, in the Clinton administration, gay activists felt comfortable in the White House and their movement soared.

You did not need a sociology PhD to foresee what PT would be in the government, for the gay militants themselves were frantically supporting Lula. Was it necessary more than this for a Christian to wake up?

Differentiated Treatment and Special Protection

Therefore, the political activity of the progressive evangelicals favoring socialism in its varied forms doesn’t only happen in our country, and Brazil is not the only nation where leftist politicians receive support from evangelical leaders. In the United States, during the Clinton administration, many progressive evangelical leaders, including famous Rev. Jesse Jackson, supported him openly, and issues as homosexuality and abortion received, for the first time, defense and strong approval from a president.

This is why until today the homosexual movement sees Clinton with love. Such affection is characteristically bestowed to everyone favoring the gay activists’ interests. However, for Bush and other evangelical politicians that do not attend the whims of the gay militancy, instead of affection there are hate and prejudice. Have you ever seen gay activists in favor of Bush? Have you ever seen them against Clinton or Lula?

The liberal media’s common behavior, that does not hide its sympathy for the homosexual movement, is to present positive images of those having similar sympathy and to present negative images of those not having. So those who do not kiss the homosexual idol in the activists’ altar will not receive the “blessing” from the media. Perhaps this is the reason that a crowd of opportunist politicians and artists do not hesitate in taking part in the gay parades in order to demonstrate their faith in the social religion of tolerance to the sin homosexual.

I suspect that that factor is largely responsible for the attitude of the press in its differentiated treatment toward presidents Clinton, Lula and Bush. Although Lula is not fulfilling his electoral promises and is even imitating what he criticized in the previous administration, the press has not been unkind to him. When Bush decided to depose Saddam Hussein, the press took advantage of it to spill all its fury, being relentlessly unkind and sarcastic. But when Clinton had attacked former Yugoslavia annihilating Serbians “to help” a Muslim minority, the liberal press treated him as a Lula, without any unkindness, even tolerating and justifying his war
[24]. And today it is known that the Muslim minority he helped was strongly linked to international terrorism. The fact is that Clinton made a serious mistake, with the cost of many innocent lives. Why did the press that condemns Bush unceasingly for the war in Iraq never gave similar condemnatory treatment for Clinton in his unjust war against Serbians? In the war of Iraq, the press did not accept any justification from Bush, but the press itself took on justifying Clinton’s unjust war. The same American liberal press that routinely attacks Christians faithful to the Bible also protected Clinton in his worst sexual scandals.

Clinton’s several political, financial and sexual scandals made him worthy of an impeachment, which is the legal impediment for a politician with inappropriate conduct to exercise his political job. There were legitimate measures to impeach Clinton, but the sympathetic press was able to behave discreetly. Although announcing Clinton’s serious problems, the liberal press softened so much the gravity of his misbehavior and obscured so much the discussion that the prevailing confusion made his removal from the presidency impossible, in spite of the many serious accusations. The man that deserved to fall never fell—he was properly helped. In his troubled time, he was rewarded by his pro-abortion and pro-homosexuality ideals!

Impressively, when a politician defends socialist ideas, the liberal press takes on protecting him, even when there is evident corruption. Lula has notably experienced such protection. Serious political problems in the Lula administration, including his alcoholism, have been properly protected or treated with fake consideration, and eventually forgotten. For much less, other administrations suffered CPIs (Comissão Parlamentar de Inquérito, meaning Parliamentary Inquiry Committee). The worst scandals of PT and Lula administration are softened and neutralized by a nice press sympathetic to socialism. Such media “kindness” is extended to all demonstrating such sympathy. Notable evangelical examples are what has happened to the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God and the Reborn in Christ Church, which were for a long time accused and relentlessly persecuted by the press for serious financial scandals
[25]. The press did not rest in its accusations against those churches, which had a common characteristic: they did not accept the radical ideology of PT.

However, later those churches “were sorry for their sins”—against PT! Bishop Carlos Rodrigues, one of the founders of the Universal Church, eventually asked Lula’s forgiveness for the years of opposition of his church against him. (Not mentioning that openly he also asked for forgiveness from the followers of candomblé,
[26] a religion characterized by a blend of Roman Catholic and native occultist African beliefs. He asked forgiveness because his church actively delivered demons from people formerly in this Afro-Brazilian cult!) Then, came the time of the Reborn Church and its leaders, who also chose to support Lula and a radical socialist politician, Marta Suplicy, a chief activist of the gay agenda in Brazil[27]. What did happen then? As soon as they began to back PT candidates, those churches started to enjoy the same kind of protection Bill Clinton and Lula always enjoyed in all their scandals. It is as if a conversion to the socialist Gospel was a guarantee of protection, sympathy and special favor, especially from the media. It is not known what happens in the back stages for so much protection and covering, but what is evident is that the people who began to support PT were no more harassed and denounced by the press, much less investigated or stopped in their improper, corrupt and immoral conduct.

“We have the obligation of entering completely in Lula’s campaign”, Bishop Rodrigues said years ago. “So we will adopt a new form of doing politics. It is the socialism of results.”
[28] In spite of that alliance with a conveniently anti-American socialist, Rodrigues was under Bishop Macedo’s authority, who has lived comfortably in his mansion in the US for many years, the same country his leftist allies so much attack. As to Bishop Rodrigues, there were serious accusations against him in 2004 in scandals connected to the Lula administration[29], provoking the loss of his office of bishop and a public humiliating reprehension from Macedo. Yet, Rodrigues has been strangely untouchable—and even forgotten—by the press, as if there was the conscience that a deeper expose of his hidden activities could endanger the position of socialism among evangelicals and the position of that man who helped so much socialism in Brazil to attract evangelical voters.

And why not repay him for all his loyalty and sacrifice? Back in 2000, Bishop Rodrigues appealed openly: “Vote for whom has ethics. Vote for PT.”
[30] Today, that PT ethics, so flattered by progressive evangelicals, is governing Brazil. Today with that “ethics” the Lula administration is bold in the international defense of homosexuality, presenting in the UN a pioneering resolution classifying homosexuality as inalienable human right. But before his election, Lula had promised, in exchange of the formal support from important evangelical bishops and ministers, that he would not let his administration get involved in abortion and homosexuality issues[31]. As it is more than evident now, his commitment with those leaders was not fulfilled. That is the PT ethics.

Today with that ethics the Lula administration was able to establish alliances with countries as Cuba and China, known human rights violators. Although often in the past Lula has stated that he is against torture, he feels completely comfortable with dictators that apply it freely against Christians. Lula, whose government is marked by an obsessive concern with “human rights”—especially of gay activists, communists and even murderers—does not have any consideration for the human rights of the countless number of Christians and other unarmed people suffering under the oppressive dictatorial governments from China, Cuba, North Korea, Vietnam, etc. That is the PT ethics.

Today with that ethics the Lula administration was able to establish alliances with influential countries linked to international terrorism. In his first trip to Middle East, President Lula visited several Muslim countries that are deadly enemies of Israel, including Syria and Libya, but he did not visit Israel. He gave preference to the nations that criticize and support terrorist acts against Israeli people. Ten terrorist groups that kill men, women and children in Israel are based in Syria. Syria also supports Hezbollah, one of the largest and more violent groups against Israeli people. All the Muslim countries Lula visited prefer to see Israel extinct from the face of the earth. Lula gave preference to those nations. That is the PT ethics.

Before Lula’s election for president, the Lula 2002 National Evangelical Committee issued an exclusive electoral pamphlet to catch the evangelical public. It stated, “We evangelicals have already decided. We back Lula for president because we recognize that several proposals of his Government Program are identified with the prophetic vocation of Jesus Christ’s Church.”
[32] However, Brazilian government has never been so far away from God’s will as today. Gilberto Gil, one of the Lula administration’s most important ministers, declared: “God is a creation of man. He is the creator created by man.”[33] In 2004, Minister Gil presented a show where a screen behind him showed terrorist communist Che Guevara smoking a cigar and George Bush in the gallows and the following sentence: “Die, Bush, die!”[34] Interestingly, the Lula administration radicals would never accept a scene showing Che Guevara or Fidel Castro in the gallows. For those communist murderers, the PT radicals have only sycophancy. Even though it is no secret for Brazilians Lula and PT’s feelings regarding Bush, Gil insisted he does not have anything to do with the scene of his show asking for Bush’s death.[35] When the Almanaque Brasil magazine asked him what is to be a minister, Gil answered: “I already knew what to be a minister was… I was already a minister of Xangô in the temple of Afonjá, in Bahia.”[36] Xangô is the spirit of storms in the native occultist African beliefs. It is people with that kind of spiritual values that today lead Brazil. That is the PT ethics.

Of course, Freston, Ultimato and other progressive evangelicals, united in the same anti-Bush feelings, are kind enough to excuse the “imperfections” of Lula and his Workers’ Party, which they worked so hard to elect. While PT continues in its socialist path that “is identified with the prophetic vocation of Jesus Christ’s Church”,
[37] most of the progressives will not feel discomfort by the ethics or its lack in the Lula administration.

Working to Give a Good Image for PT

The image of honesty and “ethics” that PT and its allies—including some churches—get from media is acquired and maintained at the expense of a privileged treatment, exclusively bestowed to those demonstrating sympathy to the socialist ideology. A large part of the media, submissive to that ideology, knows how “to reward” and protect those demonstrating similar submission. It also knows how to punish those that do not are submissive, exposing regularly their “scandals”—often created from small and usually insignificant issues, which are inflated beyond the proportions that deserved. An example is American evangelicals who voted for Bush. They thwarted utterly the leftist interests of the vast majority of the media, which retaliated furiously and disrespectfully, stirring its public against evangelical conservatives. To poison the minds of the people against Christians faithful to the Word of God is not a new strategy (see Acts 14:2). So from a viewpoint of pure political convenience, it is much more worthwhile to row with the tide than against it.

Seemingly, this is why Bishop Rodrigues had asked for forgiveness from Lula: with the many political and social advantages socialists enjoy—especially from the press—, he saw that was pointless “to row” against PT. In an article in Ultimato in 1999, Freston recognizes, “In the political area, the leader of the Universal Church is the federal deputy Bishop Rodrigues. He is perhaps the most powerful political evangelical in Brazil today.”
[38] In that time, Rodrigues was still in transition to support explicitly PT. A short time later, in 2000, his “conversion” to socialism was finished and he used all his political power in a way that finally pleased Freston and Caio Fábio. In 2002 Rodrigues actively supported the candidacy of Lula to presidency and in his position as a bishop he openly assured that the rumors among evangelicals that a Lula victory would let government get involved in gay issues were baseless.[39] Eventually, Lula became president, through the support from evangelicals as Rodrigues, and today Brazil occupies the shameful position of world leader in the defense of homosexuality in the UN.[40]

The first strong attempt to launch a good image for Lula among evangelicals happened in 1994, when an evangelical TV show, for the first time in the history of Brazil, introduced a candidate for president (Lula) and his proposals. The show, presented by Caio Fábio, alleged political neutrality, but some time later his name appears in a list displaying famous people taking part in the candidate Lula’s campaign, according to information in the official PT website.
[41] Caio Fábio supported Lula so actively that he fell in serious scandals. According to the Estado Agência, a news service, he even tried to contact Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, in order to advance a document that would help Lula to win the elections, in a transaction involving 30 million dollars.[42] Therefore, it is no mystery for the Brazilian press that Fábio sought such contact, and also it is no secret that Iraq of Saddam financed terrorist attacks against the people of Israel.[43] What is mysterious is the kind of contact Fábio had with the dictatorship of Iraq. Yet, what is very known is that after Americans deposed the Iraqi dictator, Fábio became furious and bawled, in several articles, scatological sermons against the American president, even writing a text entitled Bush: Stuntman of the Beast of Revelation.[44] As to the American ministers who supported Bush in that issue, Fábio also saved a little of his wrath for them, calling them “second-rate leaders.”[45]

For a socialist, Brazilian or foreigner, atheist or evangelical, opposition to Bush and support to Lula is as natural, foreseeable and automatic as a fish to know how to swim. In fact, Fábio himself admitted that he has been a friend of Lula for a number of years, even before Lula’s appearing in his TV show in 1994,
[46] where Fábio alleged political neutrality. Fábio is not different from American progressives. Such as Rev. Jesse Jackson, he was also involved in an extramarital affair, with a difference. He went far away in the “solution” of his problem: he eventually married to the woman who was the cause of his matrimonial separation,[47] provoking one of the greatest scandals among evangelicals of Brazil. Although Bishop Rodrigues’ collaboration was certainly decisive, no evangelical leader was so responsible for Lula’s pioneering promotion among evangelicals than Fábio. Perhaps this is why Paul Freston commented: “the evangelical community is very much indebted to Caio Fábio.”[48] Freston is very right. Without Caio’s direct and indirect influence, it is difficult to imagine how evangelical churches in Brazil, including the formerly anti-PT Universal Church, could massively embark in a blind support to Lula, Marta Suplicy and other comrades of the Workers’ Party.

It is undeniable that in the past Fábio was a target of admiration and idolatry for many evangelicals. Without his overwhelming influence on evangelicals, probably the Brazilian church today would not be—as he likes so much to affirm—sick. Perhaps that disease has a lot to do with the leftist cancer corroding her and sorely weakening her prophetic ability to confront evil in the society.

Fábio judged the church as sick, without judging himself and his scandals involving finances and matrimonial separation because of adultery. Serious financial scandals usually end in serious consequences, including loss of a career and even jail. However, the socialists are usually spared from those consequences smiting other humans. Such as in the case of Bishop Rodrigues, Caio Fábio was also “persecuted” by the press in serious financial scandals years ago. Differently from Rodrigues, who lost his rank of bishop, Fábio did not need to suffer such inconvenience. But, as well as it happened with Rodrigues, there was neither prison nor other similar penalty: Fábio today has been strangely untouchable—and even forgotten—by the press.

Differently from the secular press that forgot him, some in the evangelical press never forget to ask Fábio’s advice when the subject is attack Bush. In its cover story on Bush, Brazilian evangelical magazine Enfoque Gospel gave privileged room for Fábio to express his customary feelings against the American president.
[49] The sad reality is that a great number of Fábios’s admirers demonstrate to have inherited from him, in lesser or larger degree, many of his feelings, prejudices and opinions. Is then Freston one of those admirers?

Creating and Strengthening Prejudices

Taking advantage of the fact that the Brazilian public knows very little of American politics, Freston forgot to say that in the US there are many evangelical groups with the leftist mindset of MEP, not mentioning that Democratic Party, of Clinton, shelters a countless crowd of progressive evangelicals. Freston also omits the fact that although Bush is president, the Democratic Party’s politicians have a lot of influence and they use, with lamentable success, all their power to hinder Bush from appointing judges against abortion and homosexuality, obstructing all efforts to restrict those perversions. Because of the Democrats' subversive maneuvers and political pressures, Bush was unable, in four years of administration, to place those conservative judges in important positions. Why did Freston omit those and other important points? Probably, because such omission helps to reinforce, before the Brazilian public, the image that he has himself that Bush is not the ideal president that he, Caio Fábio and thousands of other progressive evangelicals did always see in Lula.

In his political passion, Freston alleged, in
Evangelicals Help Re-Elect Bush, that the number of abortions in the Bush and Reagan administrations increased and in the Clinton administration decreased, suggesting that it is better to vote for a progressive evangelical than voting for a conservative evangelical. I sent that allegation to several American evangelical groups, including Focus on the Family and Concerned Women for America. They did not also agree with Freston’s allegation. Dr. Allan Carlson, president of the Howard Center for Family, Religion & Society, told me that the decline in the abortion rate “began with the election of Ronald Reagan, and continued through the Presidencies of both Bush #1 and Clinton”,[50] doubtless in response to the tireless efforts of courageous Christian pro-life groups, that never interrupted their activities for all those years. Indeed, during the eight years of Clinton administration, there were oscillations of minimum decline and sometimes increase, but differently from what Freston supposed, in the Bush #2 administration there was no increase of abortions[51].

Does not Freston know or want to admit that, while Clinton always gave formal support to pro-abortion groups, Reagan and Bush always supported pro-life groups?

The assumption that the number of abortions in the Bush administration increased was quite diffused soon before the American elections, especially by the leftist evangelical magazine Sojourners, with the very suspicious objective to confuse the voters and disturb Bush’s victory. LifeNews.com informs that in a last-minute, desperate effort “to call into question President Bush's pro-life credentials, a researcher says that Bush's economic policies have led to an increase in the number of abortions during his administration. However, a leading pro-life expert on abortion statistics says the study is flawed and sometimes uses old data or wrong numbers to draw conclusions.”
[52] The National Right to Life Committee also prepared an important refutation to the allegations that Bush’s politics had increased the number of abortions.[53] In addition, in May 2005 “the Alan Guttmacher Institute (AGI) published a new report which demonstrates that, contrary to several claims made in the last year, abortion rates in the US have continued their decline under the Bush administration. The AGI was founded in honor of a former Planned Parenthood president and therefore has no personal interest in proving Bush’s pro-life policies to be successful”.[54] So Freston trusted in mistaken or ill-intentioned sources—sources according to his political disposition and interests—and his text is an implicit invitation for the Brazilian readers to follow blindly the same way.

What is striking is that, as a sociology teacher, Freston used information and statistics having no consensus, just political intents. In a previous article in Ultimato, he complains that during an electoral campaign in Brazil some evangelicals had used tactics, false rumors and exaggerated statistics to face a candidate from PT. He confessed: “There were times I was embarrassed of being an evangelical. I was not able to understand why all decent evangelical leaders and ministers of that city did not manifest openly in repudiation.”

Freston is ashamed of being an evangelical when evangelicals treat PT the way he treats Bush, and he admits himself that he is dazed and depressed when the subject is Bush and evangelicals supporting him.
[56] These are typically leftist feelings. Now that it is known that the statistics and information on abortion that he used are suspicious, are not we also entitled to be embarrassed of being evangelicals when an evangelical writer, with a little deep research, expresses doubtful interpretations in order to achieve objectives favorable to the purely political interests of the progressives? Where are the Christian honesty and common sense? Does not such incorrectness also deserve public manifestations of repudiation from the evangelical leaders from Brazil, who are being guided by mistaken information?

Freston wants the Democratic Party to adopt a position against abortion, in order to attract the evangelical voters, but one of the principal leaders of that party affirmed: “We can change our vocabulary, but I don’t think we ought to change our principles.”
[57] In essence, that statement betrays the secret of the idea itself to reach voters that don’t support legalized abortion. The idea would be for the Democratic Party to adopt a less aggressive and explicit official facade in favor of abortion, but its pro-abortion political actions and objectives would remain unaffected. It is not a strategy different from what has already been done in Brazil. In 1994, Rev. Haidi Jarschel, a Brazilian progressive Lutheran, told on the subject of abortion:

In Brazil the discussion and proposals of public politics on reproductive rights have been intensified. They were prompted by the great mobilization of the feminist movement, by the introduction of the legalization of abortion proposal in the government program of the Workers’ Party and by the great number of bills being presented in the Congress. Measures contrary to those bills have strongly come from the… evangelical churches.[58]

According to Rev. Jarschel, PT had embraced, in the 1994 electoral campaign, the legalization of abortion as one of its official flags, but that explicit support to abortion made difficult the task of attracting evangelical voters. Through the progressive evangelicals’ pressure, that support was removed from the PT government program, but in practice important cities as São Paulo and Porto Alegre launched pioneering abortion services in PT administrations.

Does then Freston want the Democratic Party to behave as PT, which proclaims a thing and practices another? Of course, the pressures from the progressive evangelicals were an important factor in the decision of PT to stop its explicit support to abortion—but the political actions of that party never betrayed its true objective. Although today PT does not declare formal support to abortion and homosexuality, its actions speak higher than its words. Now in power, Lula administration is considering measures to change laws restricting abortion in Brazil.

Is that way Freston wants the Democratic Party to change? It seems that he ignores a fact that is acknowledged by the Democratic Party itself: “Abortion rights activists are critical pillars of the Democratic Party, providing money and grass-roots energy.”
[60] In addition, even American progressive evangelicals approve politics Brazilian progressive evangelicals apparently don’t approve. Rev. Jesse Jackson, for instance, is not only one of Democratic Party’s main pillars, but also a known pro-abortion and pro-homosexuality adulterer.

Rather than collaborate with Bush’s efforts to restrict abortion and gay activism, Freston has so much sympathy for the Democratic Party (at least this is what one feels by reading his text) that he thinks it is easier to work and try to convert Democrats for a possible future stand against abortion and homosexuality than helping right now in the efforts to prevent his Democratic comrades from continuing blocking the antiabortion conservatives judges Bush has chosen. Before trying such feat, he should—since he mentioned MEP as successful reference from progressives in Brazil—firstly show how MEP was able to hinder the Lula administration from putting Brazil into the leadership of the promotion homosexual in the UN and in the road for the amplification of abortion laws. Before Lula, Brazil didn’t occupy that disgraceful position in the UN. Brazil only occupied it after MEP helped to elect Lula for president! Why did Freston hide that truth from Americans he talked to?

So, before the American public, Freston omitted important facts about the role of MEP in the support of one of the most pro-homosexuality governments in the world. He didn’t make any reference to Brazil Without Homophobia, a pioneering program of the Lula administration to combat all opposition to homosexuality. In that program, the Lula administration offers their following official interpretation of the human sexuality: “In the same way that heterosexuality (attraction for a person of the opposite sex) has no explanation, so homosexuality also does not”.

Before the Brazilian public, he makes other omissions and mistaken interpretations of the American political reality. He really took advantage of the lack of knowledge Americans have of the Brazilian reality and also of the lack of knowledge Brazilians have of the American reality. So Freston’s opinions really hinder both Brazilians and Americans from reaching the entire truth.

Freston complained that Bush’s reelection is bad for the American missionary efforts. Yet, Christians persecuted in Muslim or communist countries think differently. A minister from Uzbekistan declared to a crowd of evangelical leaders in early 2004, “I would like all of you to know that my church and the Christians in my country are praying that President Bush will be reelected… The officials in my country are afraid of President Bush, so they don’t persecute Christians as much. Under Clinton it was very bad for us. Many of us were arrested, put in jail, and some were killed. With Clinton, it was very bad. But under President Bush, it has been much better, so we are praying for him.”

Even after the tragic example of Clinton and Lula, Freston does not demonstrate disposition to learn. He is determined to see in the presidency, of Brazil and US, only leftists. The old Brazilian saying is right: passion is blind—especially in the case of Freston, who is barely able to hide his feelings for PT and Democratic Party.

Then, the only way Bush and other conservative evangelicals could escape from the disapproval, condemnations and criticism from the leftist evangelicals is through their conversion to the progressive “Gospel”.

Bush has his human weaknesses, as any other person has, but he accepted Jesus and let the Holy Spirit deliver him from alcohol addiction. It was a great blessing—a blessing Lula needs sorely. Bush was humble enough to recognize that he had a serious problem with alcohol and to look for God’s help.

Progressive evangelicals don’t call Clinton or Lula Stuntman of the Beast of Revelation. Then why use that heavy title exclusively against Bush? Why such discrimination and prejudice? Why don’t they judge the many immoral and pervert politics of Clinton and Lula? Why do they condemn conservative evangelicals who supported Bush and don’t say anything about the progressive evangelicals who supported Clinton and Lula? Here is what Clinton and Lula never did:

Demonstrations of an Ethical Testimony

· President Bush Stresses Sanctity of Marriage in State of the Union Address.

· President has supported, in his administration, sex education programs focused on sexual abstinence.

· President Bush Addresses March for Life.

· President Bush issues 2004 Proclamation of National Sanctity of Human Life Day.

· Bush administration opposes the pro-homosexuality resolution of the Lula administration in the UN.

· President Bush delivers powerful pro-life speech at Concordia University.

· President Bush appointed Rev. John Danforth, a conservative evangelical, as the American ambassador to the UN. Rev. Danforth is known for his solid stand against abortion and homosexuality.

· Bush Administration continues to deny funding to United Nations arm over forced abortion.

· Bush refuses to grant the requests from gay militants to proclaim June as Gay Pride month.

· Bush was considered the best friend of Israel in 2004.
[72] Former Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in Washington in 2002: “There has never been a greater friend of Israel in the White House than President George W. Bush.”[73]

· President Bush tells United Nations to protect life — Ban Cloning.

· Bush talks candidly about his faith to Christian journalists.

Rarity: A Progressive Evangelical Empathizes with Conservative Evangelicals who Suffered Prejudice

In the same issue in which Ultimato let Paul Freston have the opportunity and privilege to reveal his anti-Bush dissatisfaction in his article in the most important room of the magazine, Bishop Robinson Cavalcanti was given freedom to express his feelings in the excellent text entitled Secularist Fundamentalism’s Violence. Although also disapproving Bush and conservative evangelicals who supported him, Bishop Cavalcanti at least noticed the radical intolerance demonstrated against evangelicals who elected Bush. He said:

As a Christian, Protestant, evangelical and progressive, I admit I was shocked by the treatment that has been given by the secular press, in several countries, to the conservative evangelicals’ actions… an entire fury, all the violence of the secularist fundamentalism against a religion that refused to die and against a faith that refuses to be irrelevant.

As all progressives, Bishop Cavalcanti always fought for PT. It is not known if today he is sorry for that fight. What we know is that he has been perhaps the only leftist evangelical who, in the September/October of 2004 issue of Ultimato, took a clear stand against Lula’s pro-homosexuality politics. Those politics are very evident in Brazil, but Freston has declared that abortion and homosexuality issues “don’t affect Brazilian Christians in the same intensity” as they affect American Christians! Perhaps this is why he doesn’t demonstrate any concern and repudiation to the Lula administration’s politics. But Cavalcanti worried, and he admitted:

Mr. President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva let the national press know the content of his letter sent to the organizers of the Gay Parade of Brasília, mentioning an excerpt from a song by Milton Nascimento, which says, “Any way of loving it is worthwhile”. It is obvious that the expression “any” is a rhetoric illustration—or an exaggeration—because the word is absolutely inclusive. Some “ways of loving” are even defined in our penal code and in the penal legislation of the civilized countries. The absence of illicit acts or of limits in the poetic sentence denotes the hedonism or the pan-sexualism of the contemporary Western culture, which has already tragically penetrated the church.

Theologically, ethically and legally, all the ways of loving are not worthwhile—in some cases, they are worth a penalty and, in others, they denote deviations in behavior, pathologies, sins. The expression “loving” from the sentence can be understood just as a physical-affective attraction… Before the “celebration” of the Gay Pride Parade of São Paulo city—the “biggest in the world”, with 1.5 million participants—, where “lower authorities” [participated] bringing a message from the “highest authority”, we can notice that there is something rotten in the Federative Republic of Brazil.

In recent years, by orientation from the Foreign Affairs Department (Itamaraty), the Brazilian delegation to the United Nations Organization (UN) is insisting on the proposal of introduction of the expression “sexual orientation” among the inalienable rights. Vatican, Islamic countries and most of the Southern Hemisphere countries were opposed to that proposal, which received the support from the Northern Hemisphere post-Christian countries. If that proposal were to be approved, the effects in the civil and penal legislation in several countries could include the marriage of homosexuals, the right to adoption by homosexuals and the criminalization of any contrary opinion, including in the religious sphere. On the other hand, the Human Rights National Bureau has just announced a “For a Non-Homophobic Brazil” state effort. As we can verify, in Brazil the phenomenon called world gay lobby has also been showing its increasing power and influence.

Because I was openly exhorted by a respectable evangelical NGO, for my name was included in a list of ministers who voted for the current President in recent elections (in my case, I voted for him in all the presidential elections in which he was a candidate), I come also publicly disconnect myself from those federal government stances, expressing my disagreement and vehement condemnation against such course of action.

The scandalous, immoral and shameful support of the Lula administration to homosexuality deserves a reprimand and strong opposition from all evangelicals and all Brazilian population, and Bishop Cavalcanti should be congratulated for being one of the only progressive voices to express his public condemnation.

Converting Evangelicals to the Progressive “Gospel”?

Freston could have used his cover story in Ultimato to, instead of showing opposition to Bush and conservative evangelicals, condemn the Lula administration’s undeniable perversions. But he wanted Bush as an exclusive target of his disapproval. In that sense, he is not alone in his bitterness. Gay activists in US, Brazil and around the world agree with Freston and his dissatisfaction. The worldwide liberal press is also with him.

That affinity of feelings comes from the fact that Freston is not different from other socialists. In Lula’s electoral campaign in 2002, Freston worked so well to give evangelicals a positive image of the left that his efforts were distinguished in Lula’s personal website.
[76] Thanks to the efforts of Freston, MEP, Caio Fábio, Bishop Rodrigues and other progressives in favor of that image, it eventually happened what Freston calls “leftization” of the evangelical politics.[77] That leftization happened as a direct influence from the progressive evangelicals, who follow the Theology of Liberation, a religious movement originally born among leftist Catholics. To disguise that Catholic origin, among the evangelicals that theology received the “innocent” label of Integral Mission of Church.

However, an evangelical teacher as important as Freston should occupy himself less with political passions and ideological interests. After all, the life of a Christian on the earth is short and should be used for the objective of glorifying the Lord Jesus Christ. That is the glory that endures forever. That is the glory that is worthwhile to promote, not the glory of men as Lula or Clinton, who explore the vote of evangelicals to give glory to homosexuality and other perversions. Freston admitting or not, Lula is not the ideal politician that he and many other progressive evangelicals envisioned that he was. He accepting or not, that utopian image collapsed before the hard political reality PT installed in Brazil. The political dream of MEP and other progressive evangelicals became a nightmare throughout Brazil, and if homosexuality eventually becomes an inalienable human right, as the Lula administration wishes in the UN, the nightmare will be worldwide, but the utopian dreamers refuse to wake up.

One is mistaken if he thinks that all evangelicals wanting a biblical involvement in politics are forced to become progressive, socialist, Marxist, leftist or communist (that are different labels to disguise the same basic ideology founded by satanist Karl Marx), especially because a Christian has no calling from God to transform government into an inhuman machine to extract through the force of law a worker’s earnings for “giving” to the poor. What the poor need the most is the Great Provider—although often socialist governments think they know how to play that role better than God does.

Even being born in a poor family, I have never struggled to give the government that role that belongs exclusively to God. Only he can supply all our needs. I know what is to be hungry, but I never wanted other people to be robbed by unjust politics of taxes (that are true assaults on name of law) in order to supply my needs.

I don’t have everything I want or I need, but I work with a lot of love and dedication by using the little I have, knowing that to love and honor God is the chief objective of our lives. When I was inspired to write the book O Movimento Homossexual (The Homosexual Movement), I worked arduously, in a typewriter I needed to borrow, just using the index finger, because I didn’t know how to typewrite, having never been able to take such a course! After some time “typewriting” the book, my finger was badly affected.

Even not being rich (still today I work only with an old computer, Pentium I, donated by a friend), I think a government should be supported only in its responsibility to fulfill the role God gave it: to give security, to punish the wicked and to praise the good citizens
[78]. The State has a calling to serve God only in that purpose, not to do charity in stead of us, especially at the expense of the good citizens. The State doesn’t have a calling “to rehabilitate” the wicked at our expense, but just to punish them. Rehabilitation is an exclusive area of the Gospel. When a government is not busy in the call God gave it, the result is lack of security for the population; benefits and privileges for the wicked; and criticism, disapproval and injustices toward the good citizens. In extreme cases, the good citizens are criticized because they do not accept depravities as homosexuality, and they are also oppressed by the obligation of financing the perversions of the wicked through taxes, as the Lula administration has demonstrated by meeting the political whims of the gay activists.

If the Most Important Role of Government is Security, Why is There so much Insecurity in Brazil?

In the security issue, while the Brazilian press, secular or evangelical, and Caio Fábio are busy criticizing Bush for the war in Iraq, many cities in Brazil live the cruel reality of daily crimes, assaults, rapes, violence and a high number of murders, that make Brazil more similar to a nation in war than a nation in peace. The Lula administration’s solution to solve the critical problem of insecurity is to disarm the defenseless population. Even after the beginning of the celebrated disarmament effort, the rates of crimes and murders continue high. Why? Because the outlaws did not suffer any discomfort. Only non-criminals were forced to surrender their weapons.

Only outlaws should be disarmed, not the law-abiding citizens. Now that the population has been disarmed, the “work” of burglars and killers was made easier, because the Lula administration is taking from the citizens their right of defending themselves.

If the disarmament effort didn’t have a negative affect on the “work” of criminals, why then such effort? The totalitarian governments have an obsessive concern and fear that their aberrant politics may provoke a legitimate revolt from the population. Nazism and communism, for instance, disarmed their captive populations, so that nobody was able to overthrow their tyrannies. It worked exceptionally.

In that perspective, why disarm criminals if they represent threat only to the defenseless population, not to the “security” of an ill-intentioned State? The priority is to disarm the ones representing the most pressing threat to the totalitarian systems: the citizens.

While disarming citizens of their legitimate right of defense, the Brazilian government “intends to regulate, through ordinance, the consumption of drugs by drug addicts, with delimitation of areas for liberation of their use”, offering varied drugs, with the warranty of total impunity.
[79] So, the Lula administration wants to make a crime the use of weapons for defense, but it wants to legalize drug consumption!

Truly democratic countries, as the United States, don’t fear the citizen’s right to have a weapon. American citizens have the legal freedom to defend and protect themselves.

Although the Bible makes very clear that the legitimately constituted government’s priority is to give security to the population and punish the wicked, the Brazilian government seems more interested in its own political security and in punishing and oppressing the citizens who need to protect themselves. I have never had a weapon in my hand, but I cannot back the government in its effort to take from its citizen their right to defend themselves. There are legitimate reasons that demand that recourse.

Since biblically the government’s priority is to give security, the Lula administration should be busy investing more in that area. But such investment is often difficult because Lula has many other priorities for the use of our taxes: to finance the Brazil Without Homophobia program, to give large financial “reparations” to communist criminals, to finance gay parades, to finance the use of drugs and many other expensive, unprofitable activities that consume the Brazilian taxpayers’ money. Sadly, government thinks it is absolutely important to use our taxes to those inglorious causes—although its most common propaganda is that our taxes head directly to education, health, etc.

Compulsory “Charity” through Our Taxes

People should not be forced to pay taxes in order to support supposed good politics, but everyone should, according to the Bible, be free to donate their resources spontaneously to help people in need, through pure compassion and love, not through force. Who should do charity are us, the individual citizens, not the State, which just explores the tragic condition of the poor to increase their tentacles and take more taxes from the workers. The Lula administration, for instance, was born from a strong appeal to the masses, for a significant part of the Brazilian population is poor and PT always affirmed to defend them. So, the role of provider by the State is played at the expense of the suffering Brazilian workers.

Enormous “Charity” to the Communists

Today in power PT enriches, through vast financial reparations, individuals whose basic feature in their lives was not poverty, but a past marked by the armed combat in the communist movement to spill blood and seize the government from Brazil by force. Although having been elected through promises “to help the poor”, the Lula administration has used the money from the taxpayers, who have a daily sacrificial fight for survival and often work badly having what to eat, shamefully to fill the pocket of the communists.

Charity: by Force or by Love

The Old Testament laws are considered very strict, but even with all their strictness those laws didn’t force—they just recommended strongly—God-fearing people to have compassion for the poor. Yet, progressive evangelicals want to do much more than the strictest laws in the Bible. In their political activism, they want the compassion for the poor in a free and spontaneous will to be replaced by the tax-based social programs.

The Ten Commandments show the specific and central will of God. Although he is greatly worried about the poor, God didn’t put that concern among the Ten Commandments. If he had done so, probably the progressive (or socialist, communist, leftist, etc.) evangelicals would be using the government force to seize our resources state social programs. In their theology, the assistance to the poor—through our involuntary taxes—it is as important and fundamental as any one of the Ten Commandments.

For instance, they don’t have a decisive posture of struggling actively against abortion and its legal expansion. Why? Because, for them, there are problems as important as abortion. So, if a politician or party is relatively in favor of abortion, but it has proposals of assistance to the poor, the progressive evangelicals prefer to support that politician or party. Of course, that support just gives visibility for the issues they are more identified with: the poor. In their mind, the assistance to the poor should not be treated as matter of personal compassion, but of legal compulsion, while the commandment you shall not kill (that is also applicable to the act of killing babies through abortion) is grouped in the socialist ethics as a personal issue that should be, in the best, solved by each citizen, although generally socialists fight to impose legally abortion as a matter of the women’s right. The problem of babies’ murder through abortion is eventually put for consideration in a long list of interests, most having no direct connection to the Ten Commandments. However, the progressive evangelicals don’t consider the biblical reality that, different from their environmental issues and their defense of murderers, innocent babies’ murder is obviously condemned and forbidden in the Ten Commandments.

God wants us to have compassion for the poor, by love—not by compulsion and violence. State can enact laws to regulate behaviors God doesn’t approve—including rape, murder and homosexuality—, compelling citizens to live right behaviors. Yet, State cannot force people to practice charity, because generosity to the poor is directly linked to one’s heart and only God and his Word should deal with heart. As far as the poor are concerned, the government should only enact laws in cases in which employers stop paying to the poor the wages for the work they have already accomplished, according to James 5:1-6. When God addresses the exploration against the poor in his Word, he means those cases and also the cases where widows and orphans are robbed from their properties.

For socialists, the simple fact that a human being has more properties than others is already injustice, irrespective of what God’s Word says. For God, there is injustice when a human being takes advantage of other—the way the State and the exploiters do.

In God’s perspective, justice is to give to the worker what he deserves for the work he has already done, and God allows legal compulsion when a worker doesn’t receive the set wages, but the progressive evangelicals follow the socialist ideology, which sees as injustice all situations in which a human being has more than another does. Their solution is to encourage income redistribution, so that anyone may not have more than another may. So, if progressive evangelicals were in God’s place when he was distributing talents, certainly they would not do what God did, when God gave five talents to a person, two to another and just one to another (see Matthew 25:14-30). Such “unequal” distribution is seen as injustice in the socialist ethics. In that distribution, progressive evangelicals would be more “fair” than God would: They would give or five talents to each person, or just one.

Therefore, in God’s perspective, a man is entitled to possess more through his hard work and if he didn’t employ a poor he doesn’t have the legal obligation to support him, by taxes or not. That man cannot be considered unjust for not accepting laws forcing him to support state social programs through oppressive tax politics, because the Word of God is very clear that compassion for the poor should come exclusively from heart. So socialism, evangelical or not, violates four important commandments of God:

The first commandment orders us to worship God alone. The socialist ideals take from God his exclusive place of worship and attention as the Provider in the people's lives by putting the State and its institutions as provision source for all human needs.

Socialism doesn’t respect the seventh commandment, which orders not to commit adultery. Such commandment means that the sexual order of God for humankind should not be altered. Yet, socialism overturns that order, supporting laws in favor of divorce and homosexuality and the most radical pretensions from the gay activists, including gay marriage, adoption by gays, etc. Although most of the socialist evangelicals do not favor that aspect of socialism, their attitude prioritizing the poor’s issues—a repetitive slogan of the socialist political propaganda—mobilizes them to vote for candidates promoting some politics in that sense, but that have also proposals of abortion and homosexuality. This is what happened, for example, in the case of Lula. Evangelical leaders got deluded by Lula’s proposals to the poor and they helped to transform their congregations into PT electoral powerhouses. But the victory of that party also meant the advance of several radical threats, including homosexuality and abortion.

The eighth commandment orders not to steal, which undoubtedly is not only applicable to people, but also to governments and their institutions. The socialist ideals make the State rob collectively, through taxes, the resources from honest citizens that gathered their wealth by much hard work. The government excuses that robbery through its “income redistribution” propaganda, suggesting that all taxes are used in social assistance programs.

The tenth commandment orders not to desire to take the household, the employees and anything else that belong to a man. Through greedy socialist politics, the State always desires to take, through taxes, everything a man has. Its pretext is to invest in health, education, etc.

Focus on the Family Talks about the Criticism of Freston:

Freston writes criticizing Bush supporters for being “single issue” voters. That is not true. Yes, abortion and gay marriage are mobilizing issues but Freston is wrong to say that Bush voters support him only for these. Supporting a pro-life candidate does not mean all other issues are “ignored by these voters.” Freston should give these voters a bit more credit. They also supported Bush's policies on economics, health and education, the environment and foreign policy. Just because he disagrees with Bush on these topics doesn't mean all voters who supported Bush disagree with Bush. Evangelicals who voted for Bush do feel responsible before God for these issues, and that's why they voted for Bush. They generally like his policies.

Freston asks, “Do we have the right to say that one single issue outweighs all the other possible political issues put together? And if we do, then for how long do we have the right to ignore all the other issues because of that one single issue which has not been resolved? And why should abortion be that single issue and not, for example, the environment? After all, if the warnings of the environmentalists are right, the whole human race is in danger, and our grandchildren (if they ever exist) will criticize us severely for not acting in time.”

Abortion and gay marriage are on the top of U-S Evangelical voters’ priority lists because both violate the basis of Christianity: abortion by destroying the sanctity of human life and gay marriage by perverting the one-man/one-woman model of creation. See Genesis 1:27. The problem with Freston’s thinking is that he fails to see that if we elect candidates who will allow the foundations of the our faith to be ruined by violating these two core Christian principles, God will not bless other efforts. Any candidate who understands the necessity of protecting human life and defending traditional marriage can also be trusted to make wise decisions about economics and the environment. A candidate who will allow the abortion of preborn children and permit two men to “marry” if the states want to cannot be trusted with any issue.

Freston writes, “But casting a vote always involves a process of negotiation. We are very unlikely to find a presidential candidate whose platform and probable course of action coincide entirely with what we would wish...” The majority of US Evangelicals do not see it that way. We are responsible before God for our votes and that is precisely why most could not vote for John Kerry. Contrary to Freston’s view, we do not see ourselves as “kidnapping” the Christian faith, but rather as preserving true biblical values in the public square.

The Great Provider: God or the State?

The day in Brazil when we let the government think and behave as the Great Provider, citizens will have their needs met, as the modern Europeans, who don’t know what is like to be hungry. When that day comes, who will need God to supply human needs? Since their basic needs are met by their socialist governments, Europeans forgot God. Everything that is necessary for a population to abandon God, the way Europeans did, is to let the State be the Great Provider. Recognizing or not, the pretensions of the progressive evangelicals will fatefully lead Brazilian society to a state in which all are supplied by the government and don’t need God, just as in Europe.

While the left prevails in Europe and the European churches are getting increasingly empty, opening way for the overwhelming wave from the growing Muslim religion, many American evangelicals refuse to let their spirituality be contaminated by the socialist wave that has been sweeping through churches of Europe and other countries. That is the great difference between the vibrant Christianity of many American conservative churches and the Christian churches under extinction in Europe.

Charity is Our Responsibility, Not Government’s

The truth is that we do not need socialism to guide us in our attitude to the poor. When God talks about helping the poor in the New Testament, he gives that responsibility directly to you, not the government. The Word of God says:

“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world”. (James 1:27 NIV)

“What God the Father considers to be pure and genuine religion is this: to take care of orphans and widows in their suffering and to keep oneself from being corrupted by the world”. (James 1:27 GNB)

Corrupted charity, at the Expense of Our Taxes

One of the more pervert influences in Brazil, that has been seducing and contaminating many Christians, is the modernized left, which takes from the Brazilian worker their money in order to finance gay parades, to finance health care services including abortion, to invest millions in the Brazil Without Homophobia state program, to teach school-children that homosexuality is normal and that sin is not sin, to distribute condoms to school-children and to promote homosexuality throughout the whole world through the UN.

However, perhaps one of the worst threats in this world is not just that socialism puts government in the role of the Great Provider of all the citizens, but also that it robs, through taxes, the resources of each Christian, making him less capable to help the poor, the orphans and the widows and usurping from him an important social responsibility God didn’t design nor delivered in the government’s hands, but in the compassionate hands of people that answer the loving call of God: to help the poor. That is not the government’s responsibility, which uses law, compulsion and corruption. That responsibility is yours and mine, for us to use it with a lot of love and direction of God.

Undoubtedly, the State became an important part of the current problems in the society by usurping the role of God and yours and mine. But with our vote, prayers and actions we can let God be the solution to many social problems that the government itself is creating, in favor of a supposed will of giving assistance to people in need.

Does Freston want to help the poor? He has our backing. May he do what we God-fearing Christian do: to follow what the Bible commands and use money from our own pocket, instead of struggling for the government to take money from our pocket! Therefore, he should stop supporting government systems that make doubtful charity at the expense of our involuntary sacrifice. He should stop doing propaganda in favor of leftist governments that explore us on behalf of the poor, taking a lot from our money for objectives having nothing to do with the poor or with the Gospel.

In fact, the leftist politics of heavy taxes on the suffering Brazilian population increasingly impoverish the honest worker. The newspaper Diário do Nordeste exposes the current reality of Brazil: “In spite of the lying propagandas and the prepared statistics, the truth is that, in the Lula administration, the middle class fell in the bottom of the pit.”
[81] Research by the University of Campinas also shows that the middle class is experiencing a violent shrink in the Lula administration.[82] So, the worker who made sacrifices throughout his life and was able to reach the middle class is forced to return to the old times of poverty so that all may be equal and equally poor, in this way fulfilling the socialist goal of equality for all. The poor will never be able to escape from poverty and they who were able will be forced to return to it.

I know an eighty year-old man, for instance, who began to work when he was just boy, as a simple farm employee, living the hard reality of the manual work under sun and rain. After many years of sacrifice and hard work, without spending his money in alcoholism and other addictions, he was able to buy a house and a car, arriving to the middle class. Today, though, with the volume of taxes he pays, he is forced to spend minimally, having at his house (in order to not to use much electricity and have more expenses than he already has) such weak lamps that one is badly able to see the letters of a book. That economy is necessary, because he lives as a true slave, oppressed by taxes, being his life useful only to spend his financial resources (hardly acquired during his life as an honest worker) in taxes. He struggled to leave poverty, but the government robs from him the right to enjoy the earnings of his sacrifice.

Opportune Questioning

Does Freston approve that government robbery through tax overload? Does that injustice against a worker bother him? Or does his theology see as normal government robbing a human being under the pretext of “helping” the poor? Then he should consider that in the Ten Commandments there is a strong prohibition against robbery. That prohibition, if he doesn’t know, it is not only relevant to citizens, but to all people, including the government. Or does Freston support so much the tax overload from leftist governments that he doesn’t care about the commandments of God or the value of the sacrifice of a worker?

Is Freston satisfied that the Lula administration, of the supposed “party of the poor”, is giving huge reparations to communist criminals?
[83] Is he happy with all the investment Lula is doing in Brazil Without Homophobia,[84] in order to silence our mouths and take our right to express freely our biblical conviction on homosexuality? Is he happy that Lula uses our money to travel throughout the world and make important alliances with Syria and other Muslim countries enemies of Israel?

Why doesn’t Freston condemn what deserves to be condemned? Why does he level his criticism exclusively against Bush and the conservative evangelicals who elected him? With all that the PT government is doing, why does he continue exempting from his criticism Lula and the progressive evangelicals who elected him?

Perhaps Freston is not even seeing what is happening—as Christians, we sometimes need to believe in the people’s innocence! Or perhaps, in the best, he is consoling himself and leaning on the fact that, at least, the Lula administration launched a beautiful self-esteem campaign for the suffering Brazilian people, so that all may be very busy loving themselves. Following, a family-centered campaign will come and, who knows, even a campaign (with a due consultation with MEP, of course) directed to the churches’ self-esteem, so that evangelicals may be so happy and busy with themselves and their events that they will not have time to notice some tragic realities such as Brazil Without Homophobia. We would then be the happiest and most smiling people in the world, giving Lula a perspective of good popularity, without seeing, though, what our government has been doing to the nation while benevolently offering varied self-esteem sedatives and other anesthetic political measures—gifts kindly financed by the money of our taxes. With the usual assistance of the liberal press comrade, those strategies would, undoubtedly, be very helpful to distract much less attentive eyes from the purposes and actions of the smart PT leaders governing Brazil today.

Thanks to the support from the progressive evangelicals to PT, it is not difficult to see that the Lula administration’s anesthetic politics are affecting even churches, prompting a Brazilian evangelical to affirm: “We do not need an evangelical president, but a competent and honest president. Lula has already showed he is such a president.”

We need to believe in an uncommon innocence in Freston. Otherwise, how does one explain his blind faith in the left and his criticism against Bush? Even Robinson Cavalcanti, his progressive comrade, has already waked up for the obvious reality that “there is something rotten in the Federative Republic of Brazil.” Then why does Freston insist on seeing rotten things only in the conservative Bush administration?

Such a radical attitude is prompting evangelicals in Brazil to mistrust so much hate. Two Brazilians, tired by the evident, implacable and incessant opposition and intolerance against Bush, expressed the following opinions:

“George W. Bush can be accused of several things, less of inconsistency. If most of our politicians and some opportunist evangelical leaders were like him, our Brazil would certainly be better.”[86]

· “What is the justification for that hate against the evangelical Bush? Where does the authority come for it from? Does our authority come from the fact that we helped to choose a spiritually ignorant, morally alcoholic, and religiously superstitious president? Brazilian church, take the plank from your eyes so that you can see the dust in the eye of your brother Bush.”

It is very easy to disapprove a president and government of another country. But the right attitude would be firstly to give more room—and a lot of room—to consider the president, government and problems of our own country. The priority is Brazil, not Nigeria, or Indonesia, or Bolivia, or US, etc. That priority deserves, without hypocrisy, superficiality and fake concern, many cover stories in evangelical magazines to confront the undeniable evils of the Lula administration. Brazil does not need a cover story
Evangelicals Help to Re-Elect Bush, supposedly to show the American political “reality”. We are living in the Brazilian political reality. The most necessary for us is an article entitled Lula and the Evangelicals who Helped to Elect Him, to reveal everything that is behind our own reality, that up to now was not shown with the due depth, seriousness and honesty.

Therefore, if we really have a serious, fair and impartial motivation to want to deal with the sins, injustices, corruptions and cruelties of a government, then we do not need to travel to Washington or London. Why go so far? Brasília is much more close to us. Yet, progressive evangelicals in Brazil are determined to stay with their socialist companions throughout the whole world, united in the same feelings of opposition to George Bush and all other evangelicals that don’t meet the political qualifications demanded by the left. As far as I know, their criticism does not spare anybody having not those qualifications. It will be a special miracle from God if they spare me from their hit list!

Nevertheless all the implacable condemnations from the socialists in Brazil and other countries, and the mistaken rebukes from progressive evangelicals who prefer a Lula or Clinton, American evangelicals faithful to the Bible should be congratulated for their courage. They refused to be again deceived, by the biased liberal press and by the deceiving propagandas from the evangelical followers of the Democratic Party, and they acted with a great determination and political discernment so that their country might not choose an American Lula for president again. It is an important lesson that we in Brazil need to learn.

Copyright 2005 Julio Severo. Translated and adapted from Na Mira do Preconceito: Os Evangélicos que Votaram em Bush, an article in Portuguese by Julio Severo. Email: juliosevero@hotmail.com


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[87] Boletim eletrônico Vidanet ano 5 n.° 253.

Other articles by Julio Severo

Targeted By Bias: Evangelicals Who Voted for Bush

The Great Gaffe of Lula Against Israel

The Mark of the Beast: The Tomorrow’s Education

Helping Take Care of the Social Health

Message to President Lula on Israel

Message to President Lula on homosexuality

Growth of divorce among Christians: a biblical perspective