Updated: Nov 28, 2019
In an online ‘chat’ with a dear friend who lamented about a cousin under the spell of Trump, pictures of Vladimir Putin came to mind. You know the ones where he is bare-chested. When my digital talk was over, I did a Google search of the images. Upon closer inspection it was as I suspected. Almost all the photos show Putin proudly wearing a Cross pendant dangling from a chain. The hypocrisy is glaring. His odious deeds on the domestic and international stage demonstrate he is not remotely interested in the teachings of Jesus. One can rightly conclude that for Putin the symbol of Christianity is merely a useful tool. It is effective on Russians and American evangelicals alike.
“Ay, therein lies the rub” of Trump. The cult of his personality is embedded in America’s prosperity gospel crowd. It is entrenched in the belief he will make them rich. These folks comprise much of his base and they view him as the second coming of the Christ. Remarkably, many of his believers share Trump’s favorable view of Putin. More important, they align with his white, strongman tactics and his anti-Muslim crusade. It is why FOX actor and anchor Tucker Carlson can get away with favoring Russia over Ukraine. Only later did he claim to be joking about his choice. Hmmm.
The cult of Trump’s personality is insidious. A November 26th report in the ‘Washington Monthly’ notes, “it appears that agreeing with them equates to agreeing with God—and disagreeing with them, at least when it comes to Donald Trump, means doing the work of the evil one. For these Christian nationalists, it’s not enough to say, “God is on our side.” If you don’t agree with them, you are engaged with a demonic power. There is no authoritarian tool more controlling than the one that wields the power”.
My memoir is about a true encounter with evil. Unlike many Trump supporters, his religious propaganda does not work on me. I am not a fool. He uses the love of God to connive votes at the ballot box. It is a strategy to ensure money flows into Trump and his pal’s wallets too. His ‘spiritual’ advisor Paula White has almost moved into the White House. Never mind the possible criminal exposure she brings with his endorsement. A November 13th ‘Newsweek’ article notes, “Richard W. Painter, who served as the chief ethics lawyer in President George W. Bush's White House, blasted President Donald Trump's personal spiritual adviser Paula White, suggesting the religious leader was committing "fraud" and running a "Ponzi scheme”. . . .This 'prosperity gospel' scam by Paula White tests the boundaries between 'religious freedom' and criminal mail fraud and wire fraud. ‘Send me money and God will make you rich.' Now she uses her White House position to make her sales pitch."
We've witnessed Trump's spiritual inauthenticity most blatantly in his immigration policy. Astonishingly the same Christian nationalists who support him are perfectly fine with locking Christians in cages at our southern border, separating families and kidnapping their Christian kids, and people making money from the deplorable scheme.
God help us. The soul of America and our democracy is at stake!