Estimated reading time: 5 minutes and 6 seconds.
I have been an ordained Southern Baptist minister for thirty-eight years and on the executive staff of three of the denomination’s largest mega-churches for seventeen of those years. I have been attending evangelical churches since I was in my Mother’s womb.
But I must say the militant support that many Christians continue to give Trump has prompted prolonged rumination and consternation for this white middle-class man approaching the age of sixty.
I also need to mention that despite repeated accusations on social media, I did not vote for Trump nor Hillary in this past election, reluctantly choosing Gary Johnson (admittedly a less than ideal candidate) over two contenders I felt were totally unacceptable people to lead America.
As an “insider” to the inner working and thought processes of the conservative christian world rendered an “outsider” due to my choices in life, I have a unique, contextual platform and the freedom from which to speak candidly. I do feel there are a few on the “inside” who feel the same way as I, but cannot speak out for fear of reprisal and job security.
Entire essays and books could be written (and probably will be) about each of these six points. However, in this post, I will speak briefly to each. I hope they prompt considerable dialogue and debate.
**No fake news here—only direct quotes or citations of video appearances.
- Trump is Eerily Similar to a Mega-Church Pastor in His Ability to Spin the Truth and Sway the Gullible. I’ve seen my pastors countless times over the years take an uncomfortable reality and spin it to their benefit. And due to the absolute control of religion and a warped understanding of a bible verse that seems to warn followers not to touch god’s anointed (including our governmental leaders) they support their leaders blindly and stubbornly while refusing to accept the harsh reality of the truth.
- Most Christians Have Never Read the Bible. I’ve personally witnessed the sad but true fact that most christians proudly say they have read the bible but the majority have never read a word of it outside the walls of their church. They accept whatever interpretation their leaders give them—views that many times run totally counter to scripture.
- Conservative Christians Have Made Abortion the Unpardonable Sin. Never mind that scripture names blasphemy of the holy spirit (whatever that is) as the unforgivable sin. When this inexplicable support of Trump and the Republican Party is dissected, inevitably abortion is the reason given. Oh the irony. I wonder how many of these conservative christians would be shocked if they took a bit of time and effort to study the documented history of their religion to know they come from a Hebrew sect that practiced child sacrifice. Even their patriarch Abraham was unflinchingly ready to kill his son Isaac because he thought his god was telling him to do so.
- Christian Values have been Sacrificed on the Altar of Success. I am stunned when I ask some of my dearest christian friends (and family) why they still support Trump and the enthusiastic answer is the economy. “Look at Wall Street”, they say, “it’s never been better.” “Obama was killing small business.” As if this somehow excuses all the atrocities we’ve witnessed with our own eyes during Trump’s sordid campaign and the seven months of his presidency. The transcripts of Trump’s own words (readily accessible on the Internet) during his roughly 24 appearances on shock-jock Howard Stern’s shows are too graphic and pornographic to print here. Twenty-four appearances recorded with Stern. This is the same man who recently was invited to speak and influence christian students at Liberty University and was vehemently defended this past week by evangelist Franklin Graham.
- The Pacifist Teachings of Jesus Christ have been Replaced By a Militant Neo-Christian Mindset. When you talk to most conservative christians, their language is filled with words such as judgment, shame, anger, blame, hell, satan, sin, and vengeance. However, Jesus used words and phrases such as forgiveness, love, turn the other cheek, judge not, no condemnation, love your enemies and bless those who persecute you. Watch any of the twenty-four Trump appearances on Howard Stern and compare his words with those of Jesus. The bottom line is, if you ignore every single one of the teachings of Jesus Christ, you’re not a christian.
- Fox News Has Become the Church for Many Christians. Hannity and O’Reilly are now more revered and respected than most pastors. Many conservative christian senior adults opt not to go to church, for many health does not permit them—and they are isolated and lonely—and so they consume the words and bias of these pundits every minute of their waking hours. Go to any Independent Living or Assisted Living Facility, or private senior adult home in conservative America and you will be greeted by multiple televisions spewing a barrage of Fox News fear mongering, political bias and commercials for adult diapers and Medicare supplements. Imagine if the senior adult people in these institutions and homes would turn off the endless talking heads and actually go to a church or synagogue with beliefs different than their own and interact with other human beings there. Imagine what would happen if they spent a fraction of that viewing time really reading their Bible, a book that tells them they are of value, tells them not to be afraid, and tells them to speak words of blessings for those they disagree with the most. Imagine if they really believed that the teachings of Jesus—not the propaganda of Fox News—are words and ideals that offer them a possibility of life without fear.
Unfortunately, the psychoses of conservative christian people and fundamentalist religion demand a leader like Trump and a media outlet like Fox News. But I believe with all my heart that a true healthy christian who actually knows and practices Jesus’ teaching can no longer support Donald Trump as President.
I don’t know where people like Trump get their lust for power, but for some reason they feel they must become superhuman. They feel they are untouchable. And indeed they are for a while. In the words of Victor Hugo, “He who is a legend in his own time, is ruled by that legend. It may begin in absolute innocence. But, to cover up flaws and maintain the myth of Divine Power one has to employ desperate measures.”
We are now reaping those desperate measures. And America—especially her conservative christians—needs to wake up before its too late.