Religion without integrity is like a body without life.
Christians have forsaken God for an ideology that promises easy solutions and black-and-white values. To do this they must have an enemy (i.e., deep state, media, Obama, lefties, Hilary) to hate since that allows them to avoid self-reflection.
In 2016, Christianity aligned itself with the divisive, one-sided ideology of Trumpism. In this mass movement moral nuance is forgotten, truth is relative, and responsibility for personal choice avoided.
Fundamentalism and the prosperity gospel has been replaced by the more militant but no less spiritually seductive ideologies of nationalism, racism, and populism. These three “ism’s” mobilize the spirit of most American Christians (most notably white Evangelicals) but, in the end, will betray them by failing to connect them to what is healing and good.
Trumpism will inevitably result in the death of their souls rather than inner peace. Without a “vertical” sense of relationship with divinity, Christianity is condemned to a sterile, “horizontal” existence, running around in absurd circles, and ending in annihilation. Jesus is dead. Trump is God.
This new MAGA culture is an anxiety management technique that combats doubt and ambiguity through rigid and simplistic belief systems. Inwardly they feel Jesus up in heaven has not been able to meet their growing needs, so they want to believe he has sent an anointed one to lead them and live among them.
They think that if our country returns to “Christian” values (i.e., Republican, white, heterosexual), then they will not be forced to address these new challenges. That of moral choice, the emergent capacities of women, the ambiguities of gender, sexual identity, climate change, and the horrors of nationalism, white supremacism, and other tribal mentalities.
Trumpism is a form of mental illness that seeks to repress anxiety, ambiguity, and ambivalence. An immature culture such as Evangelicalism believes its values are besieged, and so they fall back into a siege mentality. They demand a sentimental nostalgia for a simpler time, for simplistic answers, and defend themselves by vilifying others.
Tragically, this MAGA culture will never bring dignity and depth to America. It will never move individuals to more extensive spiritual engagements, and it will never deliver the meaning that arises from the complex mysteries of life. MAGA culture daily grows more homogenized, more narcissistic, and more militant. It bombards America with increasing chaos.
Trump (as with all new Gods) will fail in the end. And Christians will have transferred their need for the experience of the transcendent onto a person, and they will eventually wonder why he disappointed them. Trump (nor any other human) is big enough to be God.
Utopian visions such as MAGA have come and gone throughout history. They never succeed in real life, for they come from ego-driven persons, not the energies that give rise to true happiness. Trump has exposed the shallowness of Christianity, but he (like so many others before him) will never understand humanity’s need for transcendence—because he has none.
Trump may promise to make America great again. He may threaten our democracy, tear up our constitution, and break the rule of law—but he has no power over the soul. And in the end, like other would-be Gods, he will only distract for a while and eventually disappoint.
But, for perhaps the first time in history, Jesus has been dealt a death blow, and ironically, it has been the Christians who killed him. Truth, love, and kindness may be able to rise again. But for that to happen, Trump must be removed from the picture and Christians must repent in sackcloth and ashes.
It only takes a look at my Facebook feed this week to see that white Evangelicals have become the very antithesis of Christian values—they are liars, haters, and bullies. And Trump is indeed the very essence of the AntiChrist.