White Evangelical Christians en masse and other Christians voting for the likes of Donald Trump and Roy Moore have done irreparable damage to their faith. They now have absolutely no moral authority outside the cult they have become. Associate editor of The Marginalia Review of Books uses scripture and logic to destroy their rationale for supporting deviancy.
Ed Simon’s article “For Those Who Have Traded Faith for Power, There’s a Comeuppance Ahead” lays out in stark detail the level of willful ignorance and denial that was required for the Evangelical Christians and their leaders to leave the principles of their teachings. How else could they support the evil that is blanketing of the country because of their vote? He wrote the following.
This Advent season, while watching Donald Trump in front of a garishly green-and-red banner which proclaims “Make America Great Again,” take the opportunity to reflect on the Faustian bargain which allowed conservative evangelical Christians to “Keep Christ in Christmas” while seemingly divorcing Christianity from Christ. That Republican supply-side economics, exemplified by Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell’s cruel tax “reform,” contradicts Matthew 5:3 is clear. That Trump’s draconian immigration policy, which new reports indicate could now involve splitting families apart, violates the essence of Exodus 22:21 is obvious. And it shouldn’t have to be said that the new nationalism, this new fascism, with its “blood and soil” metaphysic, stands in opposition to the sublime universalism of Galatians 3:28.
For that 81 % of white evangelicals who voted for Trump, and more troublingly for the profoundly inhumane, greedy, wrathful ideology that he embodies, and who have seemingly forgotten their scripture, I have another passage to remind them of Matthew 4:10. Following the dark Adversary who took Christ up “an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt falls down and worship me.” And Christ, choosing to follow the small, humble, yet sacred path rejected the temptations of worldly power declaring, “Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.” America’s conservative evangelicals, however, have taken up that diabolical offer.
Simon further points out that selling out Christianity is not a new thing. Referring to it as hypocritical capitulation, he wrote the following.
Christianity, by its own definition, is a countercultural faith, one which stands in opposition to the things of this world while still being in this world. But humans being humans the history of the religion is replete with moments where Augustine’s City of Man has overwhelmed the City of God in the heart of the believer. From Constantine’s usurpation of the Roman Church to Henry VIII’s appropriation of ecclesiastical power, Christians have been more than willing to sell their allegiance for thirty pieces of silver. Trumpian Christianity is but one chapter in a long lineage of hypocritical capitulation of principle to sovereigns in the name of worldly power.
He even equates Donald Trump to a leader more in line with the anti-Christ.
There is an irony in all of this. Since the resurgence of politicized evangelical Christianity with the ascendency of Ronald Reagan, many apocalyptic minded conservative Christians made a sort of prophetic parlor game out of conjecturing who the potential anti-Christ could be. Figures from Hal Lindsey, to Pat Robertson, Oral Roberts, and Jerry Falwell often fingered world leaders or liberal politicians as being in league with Satan. An irony since if the anti-Christ is supposed to be a manipulative, powerful, smooth-talking demagogue with the ability to sever people from their most deeply held beliefs who would be a better candidate than the seemingly indestructible Trump?
Simon has an ominous warning.
Trump is arguably the logical culmination of some strains of right-wing evangelical Christianity in America, from the political theology of dominionism to the hermeneutics of presuppositional apologetics, dogmas which see no inconsistency to rendering all to a Caesar whom they have declared to be a Christ. We may have yet to see the arrival in the United States of a type of powerful, theocratic, fascistic Protestant Falangism enabled by the opportunism of a Trump, and which makes the traditional Christian Right look positively liberal.
That is a scary thought and is why one must remind America that we must not forgive Evangelical Christians’ who support a litany of degenerates, and evil policies. Most importantly, we must expose their leaders as self-serving hypocrites leading their pews down a wrong path. Going after the leaders of the Evangelical Christians and not the followers themselves open the doors for them to repent and reenter an honorable existence.
Read the entire article here.
Also published on Medium.