There really IS a war against Christianity in this country.
But it’s being waged by Christians.
I was reminded of this recently when a pastor acquaintance of mine repeatedly and forcefully (and unsolicitedly) told me that Trump is innocent of collusion with Russia until proven guilty. I replied that I absolutely agreed, but that Trump’s performance in both the campaign and as president nonetheless showed him to be morally and intellectually unqualified for the job. The Russia thing, regardless of how it turns out, doesn’t change that one bit.
But my clerical acquaintance wasn’t buying it. Like so many of his Christian Right colleagues, he’s willfully blind to Trump’s obvious moral failings. It’s hard to see this as anything other than a selling out of his spiritual birthright for a mess of pottage—or perhaps a Trump Tower taco salad.
A few days ago, the New York Times, which I suspect my interlocutor views as the anti-Christ’s newspaper, drew up a list of Trump’s malfeasances as president.
His campaign list is just as long and just as dirty.
That white evangelicals overwhelmingly backed Trump during the campaign, despite his most anti-Christian mockery, vulgarity, hyperbole and outright lies, and faux piety, not to mention his immoral business dealings and despicable treatment of women, was bad enough. That they voted for him—a full 80 percent of white evangelicals who went to the polls did so—and continue to defend him now is even more shameful. (Slightly over half of Roman Catholics who voted also pulled the lever for Trump.)
“Oh, but he opposes abortion and same-sex marriage!” my pastor acquaintance insisted. Really? His opposition to abortion seems so recent as to suggest it’s really little more than political windmilling, and he expressly stated during the campaign that same-sex marriage is the law of the land, and that he’s “fine” with it.
So why, then, continue to support him? Is there no vileness he can do or say that Christian supporters won’t turn a blind eye to, just so long as he tells them what they want to hear? His personal disregard for the “family values” the Christian Right so loves, his cutthroat business practices, his perpetual lying, his self-worship, his bullying and blustering and bloviating? Do none of these matter, even to those who never tire of insisting that America was founded on “Christian values”?
These same Trump supporters love to beat their breasts and moan about the apocalyptic perfidy of so many Americans turning away from Christianity. What they won’t or can’t get is that it’s not because society has become corrupt or secularized or liberalized, or that there’s a “LGBT agenda” that’s hijacked the nation. It’s because they’ve brought shame upon the faith they so loudly pretend to represent.
They are the enemy. They’re the ones who’ve declared war on Christianity.