Trump’s implacable base

It cheers to reflect that Donald Trump will soon be a political aberrant padding around Mar-A-Lago, accosting passersby with lies about his greatness, but his malice-eaten base will remain.

Will President-elect Joe Biden’s victory force America’s Christian nationalists to rethink the unholy alliance that powered Donald Trump’s four-year tour as one of the nation’s most dangerous presidents? Don’t count on it.

The 2020 election is proof that religious authoritarianism is here to stay, and the early signs now indicate that the movement seems determined to reinterpret defeat at the top of the ticket as evidence of persecution and of its own righteousness.

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What holds them together is not any centralized command structure, but a radical political ideology that is profoundly hostile to democracy and pluralism, and a certain political style that seeks to provoke moral panic, rewards the paranoid and views every partisan conflict as a conflagration, the end of the world.

I’m happy to see something like this appear in the New York Times; it’s something I’ve said repeatedly through the years. The Evangelical Right, no matter its pious mewlings about love of country, is intensely hostile to America’s founding ideals.

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Witless theology

Albert Mohler undertakes to instruct the Pious that unbelievers can have no morality.

One final thought here, if you are an unbeliever, an atheist in any consistent sense, any sense in which you’re actually clearly denying a creator and thus creation, meaning in the cosmos, ultimate transcendent meaning, if you are denying that there truly is any such reality as an objective morality that is based upon moral judgment outside of ourselves.

If indeed you hold to a morality that isn’t just based in something like a Darwinist conception of the survival of the fittest, as Herbert Spencer would say, or you might just say even natural selection as Darwin explained it.

This is not serious thought; it’s evangelical marketing to the thoughtless who need to be reassured that they’re special, that they’re good and decent and everybody else is wicked-wickedwickedWICKED.

Bah.

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Bizarre tweet of the day

Granted, the electoral process isn’t actually complete. The individual states have to certify their results, and the Electoral College has to meet, but … seriously? The First Felon still thinks the outcome is up for grabs?

I can scarcely bear waiting for the national embarrassment of Donald Trump to end.

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Lunatic tweets of the day

Somebody — Where is Melania? — needs to take this raving fool’s phone away, take him to a quiet place — one of Trump’s failing hotels, say — and put him into bed.

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Quote for the day

Not only Christians, of course, can stand for integrity. But consider what would happen if White evangelicals insisted on supporting honest, compassionate, decent, civil, self-controlled men and women for office. The alternative is our current reality, in which evangelicals have often been a malicious and malignant influence in U.S. politics.

Michael Gerson

The unhappy truth is that there has always been a lot of resentment and malice embedded in Christian thought. Seriously: healthy adults do not buy into Christianity’s indispensable metaphysical claim — that we are all born no damn good and deserving eternal punishment. As I’ve said many times through the years, Christianity cannot flourish in a healthy culture.

What evangelicals’ support for Trump has done is expose the sickness and incandescent hypocrisy in Christian thought.

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