Saturday, July 15, 2017

Trump’s Pious and Dangerous Enablers

Following up on the theme of the last post is a very much on point op-ed in the New York Times that focuses much deserved condemnation on evangelicals and Republican shysters who wear religion on their sleeve when convenient yet do violence to the Christian message on virtually a daily basis. These people indeed make the Pharisees of the Bible look down right virtuous and we all know what Christ purportedly thought of the Pharisees whom he called vipers among other things. One irony is that since I am gay - something that I can assure you I never chose - according to these "godly" Trump supporters, I am damn to hell, am morally bankrupt and inclined towards evil.  Yet it is I, not them, that can see the common humanity in others, be they black, Hispanic, Muslim or Hindu, etc. Further, I am horrified at the prospect of taking health care assess away from millions, including countless children, yet the "godly folk" are cheering it on. As the previous post asked, what is wrong with these people?  Throughout history people have been faced with moral decisions - e.g., 1930's Germans, white Southerners in the 1960's - and many failed the test.  Especially those professing their religiosity the loudest.  We are witnessing such a failure again and the harm that will come from it is incalculable.  As noted many times before, there's a reason so many are walking away from religion entirely: the self-anointed godly Christians.  Their moral bankruptcy is chilling.  Here are column highlights:
Patriotism is supposed to be the last refuge of scoundrels, but religion surely is a close second. So there was President Trump this week with evangelical leaders laying hands on him [see the image above with Mike Pence in the middle of it], and granting a rare non-Fox interview to the doddering founder of the Christian Broadcasting Network.
That interview was with the televangelist Pat Robertson, who is to news professionalism what Chris Christie is to constituent diplomacy. Robertson, you may recall, felt that feminists and gays were among the guilty parties in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. These days, he says that Trump’s critics are going against “God’s plan” and may be influenced by — who else — Satan.
One assumes that God’s plan includes the biblical admonition to treat the bedraggled, the poor, the hungry — “the least of these brothers and sisters of mine” — as you would treat him. Did I miss something when Trump said he was salivating at the chance to take health care away from 22 million Americans and the 87-year-old Robertson merely responded with his trademark chucklehead chuckle?
The most odious of those who are letting Trump drag America into the gutter include Vice President Mike Pence, the leaders in Congress and the pious shepherds of a white evangelical community that continues to give an awful man a pass for every awful thing he does.
Pence is the choirboy who leaves the room when the nasty boys take over, and then helps clean up later.  . . . Pence has said he would never dine alone with a woman who is not his wife, which raises questions about how he would handle a diplomatic dinner with Angela Merkel. If only Pence’s probity extended to his view of the man he works for. Through every degrading statement, every Oval Office insult, every one of the more than 500 demonstrable lies told (so far) by this president, Pence has remained silent or defended the offender.
Like other Trump sycophants, he had insisted that there was no evidence that the 2016 Republican campaign colluded with Russia to affect the outcome of the election. And once the evidence of collusion with a foreign power came to life in billboard-level proof, and the lying about that evidence was exposed for what it is, Pence said not a peep.
And if the White House is blackmailed because the Kremlin has something even more damning on, say, Jared Kushner — who attended that meeting where the subject in the email was “very high level and sensitive information” that was “part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump” — Pence will be further exposed as a gutless cipher.
Another boy scout in hiding is House Speaker Paul Ryan. Golly gee, he just wants to cut taxes on the rich, destroy the health care system, and work on his abs and guns. The man who loves to lecture the poor on their “lives of dependency and complacency” through a safety net that can become a hammock has not a word about an unprecedented attempt to sell out his country to a hostile nation.
Ryan is a politician; hypocrisy is his first language. But these church ladies and their pastors dish up a special kind of moral quackery. Trump trashes the dignity of his office on a daily basis. He lies and lies and lies, and then lies about his lies. He would take vital care away from the most vulnerable among us. And the response from these representatives of righteousness?
“President Trump is the greatest thing that’s happened to this country,” said Luther Strange, who was appointed to the Alabama Senate seat vacated by Jeff Sessions. “I consider it a biblical miracle that he’s here.”
A true miracle would be for one of the enablers among the 81 percent of white evangelicals who gave their vote to Trump to follow their conscience, or at least the Scriptures they profess guide them.
Yes, there are "good Christians" but sadly they remain far too quiet and sit on their hands as their co-religionist destroy the country not to mention the Christian brand.  Bad things happen when good people remain silent and the good Christians are contributing to America's train wreck by remaining far too silent. They need to be confronting and condemning evangelicals and the Republican agenda loudly and on a daily basis.   If they do not, then, if we are lucky, Christianity may become a dead religion, which would be a good thing given what evangelicals and fundamentalists have done to the brand.

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