Donald Trump’s White evangelical love affair

Source: Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Donald_Trump_by_Gage_Skidmore_2.jpg)
Source: Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Donald_Trump_by_Gage_Skidmore_2.jpg)

Dennis Austin writes: “How could these self-serving Christians logically interpret his manipulative, racist, egomaniac, xenophobic behavior as Christ-like?”

Americans have suffered under the influence of White, conservative evangelical preachers. They are Jerry Falwell, John Hagee, and the clown cavalcade of immoral and unethical charlatans who prey on the naïve and ignorant. If you pray hard enough, tithe constantly, and adhere to biblical teachings, you can reap God’s benefits.

Donald Trump, much like these heathens, employs the same tactic. Grandiose promises only if you abide by him and his ideology, no matter how egregious they may be. Much like his religious counterparts, his promises often fall short, if not entirely, placing blame on external factors rather than looking inwardly at his failures. Thus, it should not come to anyone’s surprise that 72% of White evangelicals support the president. They believe Donald Trump is a righteous man doing the Lord’s work.

However, he cheated on his pregnant wife with a porn star, jeopardized the public’s health with his inadequate response to COVID-19, blatantly lies about anything, and seemingly admires dictators.

To anyone else outside of this delusional space, we see their shameless exploitation. There is much to say about the inherent ridiculousness of politics and religion. You must meet certain conditions to earn the favor of party and deity, exemplary of an abusive relationship. It is difficult to ignore the parallels of these corrupt and soulless quacks with an equally corrupt and soulless American president.

It’s hard for me to believe that Jesus Christ, if alive (and real), would approve of this tyrant, but many so-called followers of Christ seem to grasp at his every word. In their world of make-believe, Donald Trump is the last great hope in preventing America from embracing its inevitable progressive future. Gay rights, Trans rights, Black Lives Matter, immigration, Women’s rights are all tenets of deviance, proof that every day the world is turning away from God and into the fictional Satan character’s arms.

Much like these pastors, Donald Trump exudes a great deal of confidence. While pastors point to the bible as the reason for their riches, Trump points to his sketchy business dealings. To me, there is no difference between the Bible and Trump University. Both are equally outrageous tools used to deceive their audiences for profit. There is something to be said when pastors of megachurches depart every Sunday in extravagant automobiles as some of their parishioners struggle financially.

Comparable to pre-president Trump, who promised his predominantly working-class audience of riches as he drove off in his limousine. Trump, in many ways, reminds me of watching Benny Hinn as a child. Individuals and families lining up at the altar waiting impatiently to be blessed by the presence of this fraud. Upon greeting him, he would “lay hands” on them, and they would fall backward, apparently overwhelmed by the blessing of God.

As a child, I remember seeing this in awe—the magic of God’s healing abilities. When I reached my teen years, it became a meme; symbolic of a bad acid trip. We see this at the president’s rallies. Instead of an aisle of congregants, it is an arena full (or half-full) of dumb and fearful White evangelicals desperately waiting for Donald Trump to assuage them of their fears of Brown people and drag queens with a plea to restore Christianity in America.

It is the unrepentant nature of Donald Trump to do whatever is necessary for securing these voters, even if it means looking like a bumbling fool when holding a bible. From memory of my time in a youth bible study, I learned to stray from selfishness and greed, as the scripture preached these values to be self-destructive. One passage comes to mind. I Corinthians 6:10 reads, “nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.”

How could these self-serving Christians logically interpret his manipulative, racist, egomaniac, xenophobic behavior as Christ-like?

Perhaps, I answered my question. We are talking about a segment of the country that believes a woman can give birth absent penetration. Unless Mary had some form of in-vitro fertilization before it became medically possible in later generations, we must accept the reality that these people reside in fool’s paradise.

We can see that their support of Donald Trump, while rooted heavily in unlettered religious dogma, lies in what he stands for. It is not a mystery why those that claim to be followers of Christ would choose to participate in the same worship of a man in which the bible fervently opposes.

It is a rejection of modernity and perceived “threats.” It is not the false prophet who happens to occupy the White House; it is homosexuality, feminism, and social justice that seeks to undercut the fabric of American society.

To them, the pinnacle of American life is in the 1950’s, when gays were stigmatized, Blacks criminalized, women embraced submissiveness, and toxic masculinity ruled the day. This period in America, coupled with oppressive religious doctrine, is democracy to these evangelical Trump supporters. It is the doctrine that brings White, evangelical Trump supporters together, arms linked in defense of their unscrupulous pastor.

About the Author
Dennis Austin is a political science major at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign and regular contributor.
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