“You foolish evangelicals! Who has bewitched you?”
Galatians 3:1 (New International Version – 21st century update)
If you happen to be an atheist, agnostic, Zoroastrian, Buddhist, Muslim, Druid, pantheist, or any other religious group I’ve failed to mention, please know that I have no bones to pick with you today. I’m aiming my wrath at fellow evangelical and born-again Christians who’ve fallen under the spell of Donald Trump.
If the pundits and the polls are right, Mr. Trump appears to be well on his way to securing the Republican Party’s nomination for President.
Far too many born-again Christians are flocking to this charlatan, like lambs to the slaughter. Even so-called Christian leaders are leading the parade. Jerry Falwell Jr., president of Liberty University is courting him. Pat Robertson recently told his flock that Donald Trump “inspires us all.” In a 2015 Charisma Magazine column, so-called “prophet” Jeremiah Johnson called Trump “the trumpet of God.”
How can this be?
Do they love Donald Trump because of what columnist Cal Thomas called his “dark charms.” Well, fellow evangelical, how’s this, straight from the lips of the Donald himself, for charm? Back in the 90’s, he said this of a black accountant at Trump Plaza, one of his “great” business ventures - “laziness is a trait in blacks.” Then, in the next breath he went on to say “Black guys counting my money! I hate it. The only kind of people I want counting my money are short guys that wear yarmulkes every day.”
Racism and anti-Semitism in one breath. How’s that for Christian virtue? Read that, fellow evangelical, then read the Sermon on the Mount and try to convince me that Donald Trump is worthy of your adoration.
Do you really love his patriotism and sense of duty? How’s this? In a 1997 interview with Howard Stern he spoke of the days when many of his fellow countrymen were serving and dying in Vietnam. What was the Donald doing? He told Stern “the closest he ever came to combat was his sexual adventurism.” He called it his “personal Vietnam” and also said “I felt like a great and very brave solider.”
I could go on and on about the way he’s slandered a good man like John McCain. I could go on and on about the way he’s slandered General John J. Pershing and the fabricated story of how Pershing ordered his men execute 50 Muslim insurgents in the Philippines, using bullets dripped in pig’s blood. General Pershing, who led the American Expeditionary Force during World War I, served this country with honor and distinction. He isn’t able to defend himself from the scurrilous claim. He died in 1948. He was buried at Arlington National Cemetery, with full military honors. Mr. Trump apparently hasn’t learned that it’s not good to speak ill of the dead. How about you, fellow evangelical?
Do you love him because he’s a genius when it comes to business? Do you really believe that? Are you aware that he has a string of business failures that’s longer than your collective arms? There’s Trump Steaks, Trump Airlines, Trump Magazine, Trump Mortgage, Trump Entertainment Resorts, and Trump University, bankruptcies, with a long trail of stiffed investors left in their wake.
Do you believe that’s the American way to conduct business? If so, all I can say is “shame on you.”
Do you really believe that he’ll make America great again? Do you really believe he’ll restore you to your “rightful” place on the throne of politics? Do you really believe he’ll make you the moral majority you should be? Is your ego bruised because we Christians seem to have been knocked off of our exalted political perch? Is this all more about revenge than it is Christian principle?
Do you think Donald Trump really cares about what you believe? Let me disabuse you of the notion. Donald Trump thinks you’re a fool. If he were to see Jesus face to face, he’d probably call him a chump, with all his mindless talk of turning the other cheek, being servants, loving one’s neighbor, and even loving one’s enemies.
A few days ago, the Daily Beast put it succinctly. “Trump is not trying to make great America great. He’s trying to make us the worst we can be to satisfy his own vainglory.”
They get it, fellow evangelical. Why don’t you?
I find the prospect of a Trump presidency as mind-boggling as I find it offensive. It’s even more mind-boggling and offensive to think that, if this doomsday scenario comes to pass, far too many of my fellow Christians will have played a major role in taking him over the top.
Fellow evangelical, it’s time for you to come to your senses. As the angel of the Church of Sardis said (Revelation 3), “Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die.”