In a political world filled with hypocrisies, the greatest oxymoron on them all is the steadfast support of the Christian evangelical community for Donald John Trump.
Greg Sargeant of The Plum Line calls this “the oft-debated oddity that millions of evangelical Christians remain loyal to the most hateful, depraved, self-dealing and self-aggrandizing individual to occupy the Oval Office in modern history.”
Trump, in one of his many fits of rage, this one against Christianity Today’s questioning of his values, morality, and beliefs, said he is more powerful than those who promote religious beliefs.
He tweeted: “How dare you criticize me, after all the power I’ve granted to your movement? You’re breaking our deal, and now you’re dead to me.”
Yet the evangelicals and related Bible-thumpers continue to grovel before him and kiss his ring. In reality, they are kissing his ass.
They ignore the real Trump, the vain, angry man who hates everyone who doesn’t idolize him and frequently violates one of the most sacred biblical commandments: “Thy shall not take the Lord’s name in vain.”
One of Trump’s favorite cuss words in “goddam” and he even uses it as prayer breakfasts where the religious leaders look the other way and continue their unabated support for a president who is, for all practical purposes, an atheist.
“Theologically, that’s backwards,” says Karen Swallow Prior, an English professor at Liberty University, the conservative evangelical school in Virginia. “You can look at any culture and see what it values by its swear words. Whatever it is that it values most, those are the things that will have words related to them that are verboten.”
California Rep. Jared Huffman suggests Trump is, at the very least, “a secret racist.”
“I think he’s a narcissist,” Huffman says. “He worships himself.”
Yet, white evangelicals follow and support Trump like dazed cultists.
This unwavering support is consistent with white evangelical voters’ attitude toward Trump in general. In 2016, 81% of them voted for him, and over the course of his tumultuous presidency, polling has consistently shown white evangelicals to be unfazed by Trump’s scandals and corruption — from pussy-grabbing to Stormy Daniels to family separations to Russian election interference. Moreover, white evangelicals approve of Trump’s job performance more than any other demographic does ― a rate 20 and 30 points higher than those of white mainline Protestants and white Catholics, respectively.
Trump, at a campaign rally in North Carolina, outlined America’s actons against Islamics: “They’ll be hit so goddamn hard.” Warning a businessman: “If you don’t support me, you’re going to be so goddamn poor.”
He even uses the expletives at national prayer breakfasts in Washington.
“I certainly do not condone taking the Lord’s name in vain. There is a whole commandment dedicated to prohibiting that,” says the Rev. Robert Jeffress, a Texas megachurch leader who is one of Trump’s most outspoken evangelical advisers and supporters. “I think it’s very offensive to use the Lord’s name in vain. I can take just about everything else, except that,” when it comes to off-color language.”
Really? Then why does Jeffress continue to support Trump?
“He enjoys a tremendous amount of support from people of faith not because of his language, but in spite of his language,” Jeffress told The Washington Post. “Most Americans did not oppose the salty language of General Patton. All they cared about was that he led us to victory. Many Christians believe we are in a war … for the culture, a war for the soul of America.”
Yes, a culture war led by a man who openly brags about his many adulterous affairs, violating another commandment and a president documented to have lied more than 16,000 times, so far, in his first term.
It appears that evangelicals, and other religious leaders, are following a president who, to use his own favored blasphemy, is a goddamned atheist.
Copyright © 2020 Capitol Hill Blue