Under Mussolini, Catholic Italy embraced Fascism. Under Franco, a brutal dictatorship was ushered in Catholic Spain. Under Trump, will the Religious Right in America welcome Fascism?
It is indeed sad that in America, a person with no experience in politics or in governing, would be elected to the highest office in the land. It did not matter he had no coherent or consistent policies or even possessed a rudimentary knowledge of how the government works. No experience in the Armed Forces, yet he boasted he, alone knows, better than the generals how to handle Russia, China, Iran and North Korea.
It was also pathetic and downright disgusting by the number of conservative intellectuals rallying to the side of Donald Trump, even though most of his life has been one, long sickening account of demeaning and assaulting women and the abandonment of basic values such as fidelity, humility and decency.
He made sweeping promises of making Mexico pay for a wall to keep their rapists and other undesirables out. He pledged to deport millions of illegal immigrants. He has an unbridled hatred for Muslims and his notion that women are sexual toys would make Mel Gibson look a saint.
Yet, Trump won the election — fairly and democratically. Journalists, historians and other academics have been wandering in the wilderness, trying to fathom this. Others have been beating their breasts, wringing their hands and gazing heavenward for an explanation.
The answer lies clearly in what Mike Pence said during the vice-presidential debate. He made it absolutely clear that he was so proud and honored to stand by Trump, a pro-life candidate who would fight tooth and nail to save the unborn. What Pence and Trump fail to understand is that pro-life is more than just saving the life of a child, yet unborn. It also means to be concerned about the well-being of the mother and child. All lives matter. When that child grows up into a beautiful woman, it must be borne in mind, that woman is not somebody to be intimidated, discriminated, harassed, ridiculed, groped or grabbed by her crotch.
Yet, more than 80% of white born-again Christians that included Pentecostal and Evangelical pastors voted for Trump. Jerry Falwell Jr. brazenly tells us that non-Christians do not understand that the evangelical theory is all about forgiveness. Yet, none of them were ready to forgive Hilary Clinton for her crimes — real or perceived — and spent most of the election campaign screaming for her to be thrown in prison and have her head, like John the Baptist, handed over to them on a silver platter. Or better still to have her head roll into a basket.
Chris Hedges, in his book, “American Fascists,” courageously states that the Religious Right are not prepared to meet others on the level of rational discussion and even discourage their followers from doing so. They are oblivious to the fact that any movement preaching intolerance, places itself outside the law. They do not seem to understand the incitement to intolerance and persecution is criminal. They claim to know what life means. They clutch the cross and the Bible and ask their followers to hand over the moral choice and responsibility to them. They tell them how to act, how to live and in the process, they elevate themselves above them. They have an ill-defined and shifting set of beliefs, some of which contradict one another. Like all totalitarian governments, there is a call for leadership adoration for the moral and physical supremacy of a master race.
The most chilling factor that dominates the Religious Right is the belief that Christians are the new chosen people of God and are called to do what Adam and Eve failed to do: create a godly Christian state. The Jews who neglected to fulfill God`s commands in the Hebrew Scriptures, have forfeited their place as God`s chosen people and they have been replaced by Christians. Education and social welfare should be handed over to churches. Biblical law must replace the secular legal code. Students are discouraged from critical analysis, questioning and independent thought. They are forbidden to have sex outside marriage, yet they have not specified how this behavior is to monitored. Perhaps they plan to place peeping toms all over campus. Neither have they said what the punishment would be, if they do not live chaste lives. If Donald Trump believes a woman should be punished for having an abortion, one shudders to think the unthinkable. Would a woman in a Christian University be stoned if caught in the act of adultery.
The strangest alliance of the Religious Right is with Israel. They teach Jews who do not convert are damned and will be destroyed in the fiery, apocalyptic ending. About 700,000 Christians visit Israel annually. With the steep decline of overall tourism, these Christians have become a valuable source of revenue. The Christians believe that Israel must rule the biblical lands as they were anointed by God to expand their dominion at the expense of the Arab majority. This prompted Trump to say that there will be no two states in Israel and promised to make Jerusalem the capital. Born-again Christians quote freely and loosely from the Book of Revelations that inspire this movement and speak of Jesus seated on the throne, floating around Jerusalem as believers are raptured up toward him in the sky.
The most pitiful aspect of all this is that the Religious Right cannot comprehend the fact Jews do not believe that Christ was the promised Messiah. The constant teaching of the Second Coming by the born-again Christians is taken calmly and perhaps with a grain of salt by the Jews. They have been faithful to their religion for thousands of years. They believe in the one, true God — not in the three persons in one God. They are probably secretly scoffing at the born-again Christians and the Religious Right when they boldly proclaim and believe in the Second Coming. As far as the Jews are concerned, the promised Messiah, the Anointed One, has yet to come. Trump and the rest of the Religious Right would do well to keep in mind, that in this case, the Muslims agree with the Jews.