By Jason Taylor
If Trump is the right’s new religion, it comes as no surprise. He is a liar, and the right has been believing liars for decades. Reagan was as much a Christian as Trump is, yet he was their hero in office and out. Michael Huckabee is a Christian minister, yet he is also an egregious liar as well and continues to defend Trump as he destroys our government and flagrantly lies to his own followers.
Thomas Jefferson is one of their greatest heroes, yet he was a slave owner and deist who denied the deity of Christ. They choose to believe lies about history, historical figures and about themselves. No surprise they would choose to believe Donald Trump and his deceptions.
The religious right has forgotten that the Bible tells us over and over again not to put our trust in riches or power or leaders. They have also forgotten how Jesus said that His kingdom was not of this world. And so, their plans to bring about a “Christian America” are not just wrong but almost blasphemous. Nor do they acknowledge that the Apostle Paul said that it was not our business to judge non-believers but to judge ourselves instead. Simply put, Trump and Moore is what you wind up with when Christians trade the power of the Gospel message in return for a pittance of political power.
Eighty-six percent of evangelicals support Trump. What does that tell you?
The religious right has morphed into a framework for white nationalism. Judge Moore is their crowning achievement. Steve Bannon is their hit man. Trump is their savior. The religious right has truly become the center, the backbone of a fascist movement that seeks power and dominion of whites overall, that is wedded to corporate power and abandons the poor and weak.
I wish these people would bring God back into politics. Then they would all have to leave.
Trump was the right’s new religion long before this election. As in the Biblical stories of the Old Testament, these people have been waiting for their “messiah” for decades now, and finally, he has arrived. And just like the God of the Bible, Trump is a jealous “god” — loyalty to him, or else…demanding their complete allegiance to the “virtues” of power, privilege, and the love of money. A new religion, unlike that of the Bible of Moses and Jesus…a new religion whose major core belief, is “Do unto others before they do unto you” in which each practitioner seeks to be served, rather than to serve.
They spend their days attacking enemies present, past and future, rewarding wealthy patrons, and trying to install permanent or semi-permanent levers of power. Public good and, yes, religious principles are left to rot by the roadside… at least until the next election campaign.
Trump has perverted the GOP on his way to the top. Under a mantle of “conservatism,” they elected a reckless resentful billionaire, whose only goal is self-advancement. That they did so by convincing themselves that Obama and Clinton were Satan incarnate, is a testimony to the messengers they listen to FOX News and Breitbart, both tinged with conspiracy-driven outrage. “Trumpism” — a creed of greed and malice, using punitive policies to crush enemies — has removed religion from the Republican party.
In Trump world, the “righteous” are those who promise to fight the left, personal morality and Christian norms be damned. Roy Moore is just the poster boy for a hollowed out GOP hell-bent on protecting white privilege at any cost.
I doubt if any of the religious right saw Trump as anyone within a mile of qualifying as a man of morality or good character. But Trump didn’t try to pretend to those qualities. He understood that the religious right mindset values authority above all else. They want order, hierarchy, clear definitions of who is in and who is out.
Trump realized that if he promised to be a dictator that he would receive the votes. Reagan, Bush 1 and 2 had to play an image of piety. Bush 2 apparently genuinely believes that he was called by a deity. Yet none of these folks delivered what religious right wanted. So why not throw in who a man who offered nothing in terms of piety, a moral code or character but offered everything in terms of power?
Why do Alabamians continue to support Moore despite new allegations of sexual misconduct? Why do 29% of Alabamians say the allegations that Moore pursued a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old makes them more likely to vote for him? Among self-identified Christian evangelicals, it’s 37%! Are they endorsing pedophilia? No, they aren’t. If we remove the partisan blinders for a moment the answer is pretty obvious. For the GOP, and certainly most Alabama voters American journalism is the enemy.
It’s easy to disbelieve the Post because the Washington Post is #FakeNews — even the president of the United States says so! They’re saying, “Your fake news won’t destroy a good man.” They’re saying now we must elect him to show that the Washington Post sleaze attack failed. This attitude should surprise no one. For decades, conservatives have worked very hard to persuade Americans that the mainstream media is the opposition, that they’re hostile, that they’re lying. Those attacks have risen in pitch since Trump took office.
While expressed in a multitude of ways, I think what we are seeing is a group of people, who for so long had every advantage (for instance, “white” has been in the census since the first one, the only category that hasn’t changed) turned afraid and lazy. They don’t understand that lifting others doesn’t sink them. They don’t understand that no one questions their right to believe in any religious way they wish; what they don’t understand is how to gracefully extend the same courtesy to others. For so long, the structures in our society by design gave them the top spot over others. While so many have exhibited the strength to achieve new rights and begin to change our structures, they lazily want to continue as things were, secure in themselves and uncaring of their fellow Americans.
It was odd to see evangelicals fall for the thrice-married, womanizing, gambling promoter as evangelicals have held themselves up as exemplars of moral rectitude for years and judged candidates for office accordingly. But the mask has fallen off and revealed raw opportunism.
If we should be thankful for anything Trump has done it is that he has underscored once and for all that we are not a Christian nation. If we were even close to being such, Donald Trump would not be president.