At about the same time former FBI chief James Comey was calling Donald Trump a liar on national television yesterday when addressing the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Donald Trump was addressing the evangelical community, promising them:
“As long as I’m president, no one is going to stop you from practicing your faith or preaching what is in your heart.”
“And as you know,” he continued, “we’re under siege.”
Can’t argue with that.
We know that Democrats are waiting to pass laws to prevent any American from turning the other cheek and to give their coats (to say nothing of their cloaks) to strangers who ask for them. If they regain power, the first thing Democrats will do is make Islam the national religion and replace the cross on St. Patrick’s Cathedral with a Star of David. Stores will be required to stay open on Christmas and Easter and pot-luck dinners will be allowed only if catered by immigrants.
History books will be rewritten in a way to suggest that the Pilgrims came to America to search for gold for the coffers of Ferdinand and Isabella, and the singing of Amazing Grace will be permitted only behind locked doors in soundproofed rooms.
Evangelicals know who’s on their side. 80% of them voted for the Mango Man in the last election and 75% of them, when polled after his first one hundred days, thought he was doing a great job, as compared with 39% of the population as a whole. They understand that while he is twice divorced and thrice married, and has boasted publicly of being able to grab women by their genitals because he’s a star, that he’s still their representative. He lives in a tower apartment he lines with gold as the embodiment of a man who “lays up for himself treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt and thieves break in and steal,” but their new prosperity gospel, not to be confused with Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, allows them therefore to identify him as a smart man. OK, so he sometimes gets prideful, sometimes gives in to wrath, sometimes bears false witness. That doesn’t mean Jerry Falwell couldn’t designate him “the dream president.”
They understand that his plan to throw 20 million Americans off their health insurance plan is actually the Christian thing to do, because it will give them more options to select a better health plan than they have at present.
They know that the separation of church and state is a myth, that America was founded by God-fearing Christians to be a Christian nation and the watering down of the Constitution by those of other faiths or (worse) no faith at all, has to be stopped. And Trump is just the man to do it.
Evangelicals understand that our country was founded by white people from England and other parts of Northern Europe. Of course, laborers who came here from Africa helped build this country, and some people prefer a Bar/Bat Mitzvah over a christening or confuse a quinceanera with a debutante ball, but they should be allowed to do their thing as long as it doesn't interfere with the American way. They should recognize their place in the hierarchy, not get too uppity, and show a little gratitude. Trump understands this and will make sure the government does its duty by its Christian citizens.
Laws requiring Christians to keep their prayers and their religious symbols out of the public sphere, on the flimsy excuse that no one’s religion should dominate, go against the grain of what it means to be a real American. Trump understands that. Born-again Christians of the 700 Club take their cue from their leader, Pat Robertson, who informs them that to be against Trump is to be against God and we would all do well to follow their example.
Trump is rewarding Evangelicals for their support. On May 4, he signed an executive order fostering what he calls “religious liberty.” It allows churches to engage in politics from the pulpit without endangering their tax-exempt status. It also provides relief to people who don’t accept that people can be transgendered or who want to marry a member of their own sex. They no longer have to follow laws requiring them to deal with such people in the same way they deal with their own people.
He understands we are under siege.
He’s the man.