From Impolitical & Irreligious

DIP #5 – Pray for America

Dunce in public #5

“Man of God” Franklin Graham

Somewhere Billy Graham is rolling over in his grave.Despite my having resolved to write less divisively here, I do intend at least occasionally to indulge my penchant for political invective. This brief post–part of a series that could easily take over my blog if I let it–is not what I hoped I’d write next.[1] But I want to test my newly resurrected RSS feed, and this is a quick and easy way to do so.[2]

The easy part is that this very well-compensated, hypocritical charlatan is quite deserving of this “honor,” and so this stuff practically writes itself.

Morals, who needs ‘em?

Graham is proud to support the most amoral man to ever serve as our president. And it is a high bar.[3] One might think that just the failings Graham and his ilk obsess about–Trump’s three marriages (he’s admitted cheating on each of his wives), his ties to the sex industry (and not just the four porn stars we know of), and his public, disgusting, so-called “locker room talk”–would give the “man of God” pause. One unfamiliar with the “Reverend” Graham’s peculiar reading of Jesus of Galilee’s teachings might think so, at least.

No, Graham is not pressing pause.

The “evangelist” doubles down

Graham is sad.

I will not repeat the whole of Franklin’s Facebook post. It’s reproduced above in a too-small-to-read image. Click on it to display a readable one. The highlights are right out of the see-no-evil, hear-no-evil, speak-plenty-of-evil GOP playbook: “sad day for America” and “a new low” and “Russian collusion hoax” and, probably a mistake, “inquisition.” (I’m surprised he referenced one of Christianity’s, um, less-charitable moments 550+ years, the Inquisition. If he were on top of his game, I’m pretty sure he’d have used jihad.)

Not to be missed, though, is Graham’s risible “In my opinion, asking another country to investigate corruption is a good thing–not a bad thing.” Yes, because it is pretty clear that Trump has been an anti-corruption crusader for a long time![4]

The sad reality

This “Dunce in Public” post has gone off the rails. These posts are supposed to be short, pithy, and somewhat tongue-in-cheek. Witness my previous gem. This one is long, meandering, and (bleeding) heart-on-sleeve.

It seems that for those who make up almost half of our electorate, there is nothing that might change their support for Trump. Nothing. This coalition is not monolithic, but many of its members seem to harbor some mix of fear, bigotry, xenophobia, a disdain for “elites” and “intellectuals” (very broadly defined), and a feeling that they are being left behind. The very real economic insecurity of much of rural America is the fuel that feeds their rage.

It is those like Graham who identify as evangelical Christians that really disturb me. I come from this tradition, and though I left it long ago (if I ever really belonged to it), it is still important to many of my beloved family and friends. Most of these were “never-Trumpers” in November 2016 and remain so. Not all, I’m sad to say, and for these it is largely an unshakable, obsessive opposition to abortion for which they have sold their souls.[5]

Some evangelicals have begun to fear that their cause will suffer long-term damage as a consequence of this Faustian bargain (see also this). Maybe so, maybe not. It’s not my concern, though I do think the ascendancy of a more loving, accepting Christianity would be a good thing for Christians and the rest of us.

Don’t expect a more loving, accepting evangelical Christianity to emerge anytime soon. Graham, Jerry Falwell Jr, and other “leaders” will see to that. These “Christians” and the others who see nothing wrong with Trump’s constant lies, his long history of fraud, his hateful characterizations of all who oppose him, his references to “shithole” countries, and his believing Vladimir Putin’s denials over the “high confidence” conclusion of the CIA, FBI, NSA and Director of National Intelligence that Russia interfered in our 2016 election–these “patriots”–are backing this horse, make no mistake.

This Ukrainian piffle? This extortion of a foreign government? This incompetent attempt to force the president of Ukraine to publicly announce an investigation of a Trump political rival based on a discredited conspiracy theory? Just lies from the Democratic headquarters in Hell. Moreover, if it is all true, so what: Donald J Trump is God’s anointed one.

If prayer is your thing, please pray for our country. And if you can spare the breath, how about praying for the entire world while you are at it? Unlike Franklin Graham, I won’t try to sell you a tee-shirt to announce the fact that you are doing so (Matthew 6:6).

Notes

  1. Before knocked for a loop by a three-week cold, I hoped to write appreciations of two extraordinary books: one a 35-year-old novel and the other a recent, brilliantly brief book about astrophysics. Then after recovering I read an even more extraordinary book: a horrifying page-turner and Pulitzer prizewinner on the subject of a disgraceful period in American history. More on all three soon. [^]
  2. Not quite as quickly as I’d hoped. [^]
  3. For starters, see Richard Nixon and, a Trump favorite, Andrew Jackson. [^]
  4. Whoops, I’ve introduced “crusader,” another term that should give Christians heartburn. [^]
  5. This obsessive opposition to abortion is very poorly supported by Hebrew and Christian Holy Scripture. This fact doesn’t need my support–it is quite plain to anyone who cares to look into it and it is written about often–but it is something I’ve mentioned before to incredulous believers and I feel I should explain my understanding of and feelings about the issue. One day soon, I hope. [^]

 

Dunces in publicDunces in Public — Collect them all!
DATE TITLE
11/17/2019 #5 – Pray for America
02/22/2017 #4 – Was Dick Cheney Involved?
07/27/2016 #3 – Great America’s Historian
06/19/2015 #2 – You Must be Kidd-ing!
10/24/2012 #1 – Legitimately Bonkers

See also about Dunces in Public