Perverse loyalties

The New York Times and The Washington Post both published features this weekend taking-up the bizarre relationship between Donald Trump and the faux Godly. Each feature, albeit in different ways, draws attention to evangelicals’ cult-like support for Trump, to the bottom line that Trump’s base are deeply disturbed people and, in many respects, deeply anti-American.

First, the Post’s interview with Jerry Falwell, Jr.

Q: You and other white evangelical leaders have strongly supported President Donald Trump. What about him exemplifies Christianity and earns him your support?

A: What earns him my support is his business acumen. Our country was so deep in debt and so mismanaged by career politicians that we needed someone who was not a career politician, but someone who’d been successful in business to run the country like a business. That’s the reason I supported him.

Oh, right — the business acumen of a man who has gone bankrupt 6-times, and added $1.5-trillion to the national debt in his first year in office.

Q: Is there anything President Trump could do that would endanger that support from you or other evangelical leaders?

A: No.

[ … ]

Q: You’ve been criticized by some other evangelical leaders about your support for the president. They say you need to demand higher moral and ethical standards. You disagree with them on that?

A: It may be immoral for them not to support him, because he’s got African-American employment to record highs, Hispanic employment to record highs. They need to look at what the president did for the poor. A lot of the people who criticized me, because they had a hard time stomaching supporting someone who owned casinos and strip clubs or whatever, a lot them have come around and said, “Yeah, you were right.” Some of the most prominent evangelicals in the country have said, “Jerry, we thought you were crazy, but now we understand.”

Right, it might be immoral to not support a man who has committed obstruction of justice for more than a year, in plain sight of the entire world; against whom there is a strong prima facie case for treason; who, daily, exploits the office for personal profit; whose public lies number in the thousands.

But good people, Godly people, have a moral duty to support the First Felon.

That is what is being peddled in Baptist churches all across the country, every Sunday morning. And you, by the way, are subsidizing it.

The Times piece looks at the relationship between Trump and the Christian Nationalists.

As the Trump presidency falls under siege on multiple fronts, it has become increasingly clear that the so-called values voters will be among the last to leave the citadel. A lot of attention has been paid to the supposed paradox of evangelicals backing such an imperfect man, but the real problem is that our idea of Christian nationalism hasn’t caught up with the reality. We still buy the line that the hard core of the Christian right is just an interest group working to protect its values. But what we don’t get is that Mr. Trump’s supposedly anti-Christian attributes and anti-democratic attributes are a vital part of his attraction.

Today’s Christian nationalists talk a good game about respecting the Constitution and America’s founders, but at bottom they sound as if they prefer autocrats to democrats. In fact, what they really want is a king. “It is God that raises up a king,” according to Paula White, a prosperity gospel preacher who has advised Mr. Trump.

The Fabulist-in-Chief is a real, present, and grave danger to the country — and so are the Pious fools who think Trump is going to lead America to the Promised Land, restore some fanciful Sunnybrook Republic, and put an obscure, rabble-rousing rabbi who died 2000-years ago on a throne.

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