| Collin Hansen, the editorial director for the Gospel Coalition in a book he’s writing on the Religious Right said, “This is the last spastic breath from the Religious Right before its overdue death.” He’s not the only one pointing this out. Michael Gerson wrote in the Washington Post, in reference to their unwavering support of Donald Trump, “Now some evangelical Christians are…playing down the importance of integrity, morality and character in leadership…And so, it turns out, some are making a graven image — of a figure who deserves contempt.”
It is indeed baffling how nothing Trump has done or said, including unrepentant lying and cheating, has affected his support in the polls and particularly among a core group of evangelical voters. His top evangelical supporters have even stood by him during the fallout from recent admissions on tape of sexual assault and a consistent stream of women victims reporting his assaults of them. These supporters include Jerry Falwell Jr., Faith and Freedom Coalition Chairman, Ralph Reed and Family Research Council President Tony Perkins. Falwell, a lawyer and chancellor of Liberty University, said he would still vote for Trump even if the allegations against him are true. He and others have attacked the New York Times for even reporting the charges. Women for centuries have decried the society’s blaming the victim in these assaults, and here again the Trump camp, supported by these Evangelical “leaders” mount an all-out attack against the victims. You would think that at least Christian women would desert him in droves. Students of Falwell’s Liberty University are now protesting their school’s association with Trump and Falwell’s support for the GOP nominee.
When questioned, these Religious Right supporters tend to dismiss the importance of what Trump himself believes in but Hansen, in his piece, goes straight to the point: “(the) businessman (is) beholden to the unholy trinity of money, sex and power.”
For years Evangelical Christians have complained that they are under assault—from non-Christian believers and immigrants, from changing values, and from secular leanings in society. I have finally come to agree with them. Yes, they are under assault but they did it to themselves. Not just through the hypocrisy of their social and religious intolerance, not just from their embrace of a nostalgic return to a “Great (White) America.” Consider also that they’ve undone themselves by holding onto a theology that life, science and their own souls have undermined.
The late Muslim leader, Imam W. Deen Mohammed issued a “A Message of Concern” many years ago and asked the question: “What would happen if people would sit in churches throughout the world for centuries with the image of an African American man as savior of the world before them? What would this do to the mind of the world’s children? What would happen to the world’s children put under a figure of a particular race presented, pitiable, and in pain “the Savior of all men”?
We are seeing the answer to that question today. The Religious Right, Evangelical Christians have seized upon a “pseudo-savior” in white flesh, Donald Trump, who exemplifies the vilest principles of demagoguery, bigotry and xenophobia. It is the centuries of worship of an image of divinity, incarnate in white flesh, that has made this possible. I understand how they have gotten to this point. If ‘god’ (Jesus) is incarnate in white, male flesh, then that’s making me, other African Americans, other Muslims, Mexicans, immigrants and yes, women, inferior.
The history of African Americans in this country, from slavery, Jim Crow laws, Civil Right and now Black Lives Matter, all demonstrate the consequences of that theology and the underlying philosophy of this country. But the drivers of this ship end up at the same destination as the passengers. Perpetrators need a victim, and now since African Americans have come out from under the burden of inferiority, the perpetrators now have to find a new victim, someone new to blame. If you question these people, you’ll find that their core attitude is blaming—everybody other than themselves for their condition.
Most Christians are sincere, but extremism in any form, in any religion, is wrong and the Religious Right prides itself in its own extremism, its own fundamentalism. The worship of the image of divine, in white flesh, is the root of America’s racial problems. As sincere as they might be, G-d has forbidden beliefs that violate truth and reason. Imam Mohammed further noted, “Civilized nations should want that their religions be also civilized. False worship is the worst form of oppression. We are no gods. We are only men, “mortals from the mortals, He (Allah) created.”
The Evangelical Christians are now responding only to appeals to their most primal instincts-their anger, their frustration, their anxieties and fears-and not to their rational or moral nature. I call this new found embrace of the demagogue Trump a degeneration. Their aversion to truth and facts is proof of this degeneration. They don’t even ask the question anymore, “What Would Jesus Do.” They’ve shamed themselves and whatever oppression or assault they feel they are under, they’ve brought it upon themselves.