Question for Conservative Christians: Jesus or Trump?

Jesus Weeping - Conservative ChristiansIt’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 the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
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.”

Odd Words: Autonym

AutonymWe have landed on page 18 of The New York Times Everyday Reader’s Dictionary of Misunderstood, Misused, and Mispronounced Words: Revised Edition. It was a difficult page, because it contained only one non-jargon word I didn’t know. But it is a good one: autonym.

The reason page 18 was so bad was that it was not a full page. This is because it was the last page in the A section. And it makes me wonder. Am I really going to continue to do this for well over a year longer. The last page of Z is 410. So I’m looking at about 13 months. The very idea of it frightens me.

Doing these Odd Words posts is hard. It isn’t that the work itself is hard, though. I liken it to imaginary numbers in math. When I first learned of imaginary numbers, I disliked them. And all through my studies, I was filled with dread whenever I had to deal with them. They were never a problem. But they felt like they were a problem. These posts are like that. I think it’s just knowing I have to deal with upside down e characters and umlauts and various other things that just aren’t on my keyboard.

But enough of my whining.

Finding My Autonym

One of my great failings as a human being is being overly honest. For many things I have written in the past, I should have used a pseudonym. But I didn’t because of my open nature and my extreme naivete when it comes to the way people react to things outside their comfort zone. On the plus side, I don’t have to worry about people discovering my autonym. Not that I don’t play around with my first name because, let’s face it, most people are far too self-involved to spend more than a couple of seconds researching me. (And they are right to be so disinterested!)

But I do think this is an excellent word: autonym.

Au·to·nym  noun  \ô’-tə-nim;\

1. one’s real name; an author’s own name.

2. (cultural anthropology) the name that a people give to themselves.

Date: mid 19th century.

Origin: construction of the English prefix “auto” (meaning “oneself”) and the suffix “onym” (meaning “name”).

Example: In the late 1980s, Blacks began to abandon the term Afro-American, adopting the autonym African American instead.Deborah Dickerson