I wrote about Christianity Today’s broad and brilliant takedown on Trump’s essential immorality and unfitness to lead, just a few days ago. I noted it was a brave editorial, that it would cost them a lot of money, no matter how painfully obvious correct in its assessment. Well, the blowback has already started, only days later, but just in time for Christmas.
A group of 177 Evangelical “leaders” (make of that what you will) released a letter denouncing the author and:
complaining that he “questioned the spiritual integrity and Christian witness of tens-of-millions of believers.”
I generally don’t have a problem with it if someone “questions” my integrity (I confess, I don’t know what “Christian witness” even means), so long as they’re sticking with the facts. If a person questions my integrity by noting accurate facts, then I suppose they can make their determination and perhaps they have a point. We can talk about it. Banks do it all the time, so do friends and clients. Sometimes I come out great, but not always. I’m not offended by being questioned.
These people are offended, deeply.
I suppose that makes sense. They make a ton of money off a flock that never questions anything, especially about money, political power, and what it all means when discussing a guy who talked about rich people, camels, eyes of needles, and blessed are the poor.
Actually, as an article in Salon points out, none of this has anything to do with the Christian faith or even “being Christian.” No, this is about “evangelicals,” which is now shorthand for white conservative identity politics:
Trump has simply revealed the large majority of white evangelical Christians for who they are: Not people motivated by sincere faith, but people who see “Christian” primarily as an identity marker that accompanies being white, a disdain for urban or metropolitan areas, and their self-identification as “conservative.” All of which is used to justify their belief they and members of their tribe are the only legitimate Americans, and deserve to hold and wield a vastly disproportionate share of political power.
Yes. White people with a disdain for urban areas and all that pluralism, and the “elites,” those people who study things, like economics, biology, climatology, and even feminist studies. These conservatives don’t like “elites” because they study and think their way beyond a dogma that demands unquestioned obedience, especially to the men who lead them and disdains ‘study” of any type.
Obviously, the “belief” in question here has nothing to do with the gospel of Jesus Christ, who talked at length about valuing the downtrodden. It’s a belief in the moral superiority of white conservatives and their right to rule over others, even when they are vastly outnumbered.
We have mentioned it before and will do it over and over until it is understood by all, if you ever find yourself wondering “where is the overlap?” between evangelical belief in Trump and the Republican affinity for Russia, it is the shared desire for minority rule over a large and diverse population. Republicans and evangelicals see in Russia and Putin a man who imposes his will upon the nation, not worrying about polls, or what those god forsaken “libruls” want. Putin kills “elites,” case closed. Evangelicals are used to the idea of being ruled by an iron-fist, abhor the idea of a benevolent God, and already believe their identity makes them special as “chosen” to be saved. For them, Trump embodies everything they love in a leader.
Trump simply uses evangelicals and their tendency toward unquestioned loyalty, and special identity. Trump is the candidate who tried to put money on the host plate as it was passed to him at a service in 2016, but is also the man who says he is the one to lead evangelicals.
Donald Trump himself has gone a long way towards encouraging this view of Christianity not as a faith of love and compassion, but as a label to divide “real” Americans from the non-persons. His reaction to the Christianity Today editorial was to claim that any Democrat elected in his stead would be a “a Radical Left nonbeliever.”
That’s Trump, ever the divider. The only real “evangelical” candidate in the race is the one who “moved on her like a bitch” and pounded porn stars with newborns at home. But he is white, and does believe in minority rule, in other words, he does embody the essence of the Trumpist-evangelical Christian belief.
These evangelicals would rather hate us, than love those who are different, and in that, evangelicals and Trump, are a match made in heaven, or hell. The blowback we knew was coming, came. Just in time for Christmas, a time of charity, Salvation Army bells, communities and families gathering. This year, it also comes with a pronouncement of identity as evangelicals are the only “true” followers of Jesus …. only true followers of Trump. There may no longer be a real difference in these people’s minds. They define themselves by whom they follow, and whom they hate. They sure won’t let Jesus get in the way of their true “identity.”
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