The Latest

THE LATEST

THE LATEST THINKING

THE LATEST THINKING

The opinions of THE LATEST’s guest contributors are their own.

Trump Christianity

Robert Franklin

Posted on August 30, 2018 15:14

0 user

President Trump has been a, well, "godsend" to religious conservatives. While the Jeffress', Falwell's, and White's claim to hold the moral high ground when it comes to both domestic and international affairs, their own words -- and their admiration of President Trump -- paints a different picture of their morals, and even their faith.

It's easy to be confused by the mental gymnastics necessary to square the supposed moral messages of evangelical Christianity and the unparalleled support evangelicals have for President Trump.

To call it bizarre would be an understatement and to call it normal would, I think, cast too wide of a net. But despite the confusion, President Trump held a dinner for American evangelical leaders at the White House earlier this week.

A dinner Robert Jeffress of Dallas' First Baptist megachurch called, "a half state dinner and a half campaign rally."

Of course President Trump is hosting dinners for evangelical leaders. Thanks primarily to clever wordsmithing by the likes of Jeffress, Paula White, Jerry Falwell, Jr., and Jim Bakker, evangelicals mobilized as his most ardent supporters. 2

016 election exit polls showed that 80 percent of white evangelical Christians voted for the man who, just a month previously, had been heard on tape with President Bush's cousin explicitly bragging about sexually assaulting women.

Since his election, President Trump's popularity with evangelicals has seemingly stayed par for the course, despite his xenophobia, questionable ethics, and, well, paying off porn stars to keep their mouths shut so they don't cost him his shot at the White House.

While I would hazard a guess most Christians would consider President Trump's moral track record and think that his evangelical fandom makes about as much sense as a dude surviving being eaten by a whale, America evangelicals aren't most Christians.

They don't appear motivated by the peace and goodwill espoused by Jesus in the New Testament, but instead the brimstone and retributive nature of God in the Old Testament, as well as the apocalypse which they believe said God will soon render upon the world.

I suppose understanding that differentiation in faith prompted President Trump to say the following to his dinner guests about potential Democratic congressional gains in the upcoming mid-terms:

"This November 6 election is very much a referendum on not only me, it's a referendum on your religion, it's a referendum on free speech and the First Amendment... they will overturn everything that we've done and they will do it quickly and violently. And violently. There is violence. When you look at Antifa -- these are violent people."

That's apocalyptic language by a president enjoying remarkable popularity from people obsessed with the apocalypse.

Donald Trump's presidency is, in some ways, the embodiment of apocalypse-obsessed evangelical Christianity. He's a man on a warpath, annihilating the nation's relationships with allies, media, government, and the very composition of reality.

"Fake news" became a common accusation with Trump's mouthpieces, but it's been a staple of evangelical Christianity for decades. When it comes to Trump's behavior, evangelicals lack a leg to stand on, as plenty have been busted for everything from wire fraud to meth-fueled sexcapades with male prostitutes.

If American evangelism has taught us anything, Donald Trump is the quintessential evangelical leader. He's not only the president they want, but also the president they deserve.

Robert Franklin

Posted on August 30, 2018 15:14

Comments

comments powered by Disqus
Source: NPR

A prominent evangelical leader who harshly criticized Donald Trump during the presidential campaign now faces a backlash...

THE LATEST THINKING

Video Site Tour

The Latest
The Latest

Subscribe to THE LATEST Newsletter.

The Latest
The Latest

Share this TLT through...

The Latest