It’s fascinating to see the huge numbers of conservative Christians who are supporting Donald Trump. But as I’ve noted before, there isn’t much left of American Christianity other other than being anti-choice, anti-LGBT rights, and having a “special feeling” that God is their personal friend. This last one really bugs me because it is a heretical view that would have got then burned at the stake in centuries past. They’ve turned Jesus into little more than a child’s imaginary friend.
But not all conservative Christians are supporting Donald Trump. It’s just the vast majority of them. Last Friday, the National Religious Broadcasters held a debate between pro- and anti-Trump conservative Christians. Peter Montgomery reported on it for Right Wing Watch, Conservative Evangelicals Debate Whether Christians Should Support Trump. It’s a fascinating read.
Erick Erickson Makes Sense
Most interesting was seeing Erick Erickson making some sense on the issue of Trump and sounding like what conservative Christians always claim to be. He said that Trump didn’t share conservative Christian values. He noted that Trump “bragged in his books about multiple affairs, including with married women, has cheated widows and single moms and the elderly out of money through Trump University, has stiffed the low-income worker on his buildings, telling them if they want to collect everything they’re owed they need to sue.”
In response, Janet Parshall quoted polling data. In other words: conservative Christians should support Donald Trump because conservative Christians support Donald Trump. I think this all comes down to the Christian persecution complex. They know that in an ever diversifying nation, democracy isn’t going to get them the One True Religion™ designation that they so want. So they turn to an authoritarian. And it doesn’t really matter what he believes as long as he will give them that seal of approval.
God’s Not Dead?
Yesterday, I read a review of the film God’s Not Dead 2. It was written by a Christian, Mary Pezzulo. She noted that the film is an advertisement, which is fine. But it isn’t an advertisement for Jesus or Christianity. It is an advertisement for America. And not just any America, but the America on display when football fans refuse to watch the 49ers because Colin Kaepernick places American ideals above American symbols.
God’s Not Dead 2 seems to be very much in line with the conservative Christians who support Trump. They aren’t interested in what one normally thinks of as Christianity. Their interest is in pushing a particular idea of America. So it isn’t surprising that these people would support Trump. It’s really just about the politics. And that’s fine in a general sense, because Jesus was interested in politics. But he didn’t seem to be interested in the politics that would make one support Donald Trump.
My Question for Conservative Christians
So here’s my question for Donald Trump Christians: how do they know they follow Jesus and not Satan? Because they “feel” Jesus’ love? Couldn’t that be Satan making them feel that way? Trump preaches exactly the opposite of the Sermon on the Mount. Here is how Matthew 5 starts:
Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God…
Or as Donald Trump would put it, “Blessed are the losers.”
I want to know if conservative Christians see Matthew 5-7 as nothing more than some beautiful poetry to be shoved aside when an authoritarian comes to town and claims he’ll make good on all your prejudices?
I’m not a Christian, so I don’t believe in Jesus or Satan or any of that. But in the context of Christianity, it seems to me that these Trump supporting Christians have picked the wrong side. As Jesus said later in the Sermon, “You will know them by their fruits.”