Lately, when I look at the religious right’s almost otherworldly support of Donald Trump, I find myself thinking about Simon and Garfunkel’s classic song, “The Sound of Silence.” To put a twist on the original lyrics, the nation’s so-called moral leaders have spent the better part of four years bowing and praying to the orange god they made–and bullying the nation into joining them.
One of the leaders of this bullying campaign is Mark Taylor, a retired firefighter and self-proclaimed prophet who rose to fame after claiming God told him in 2011 that Trump would become president. But there’s one problem. Any competent reading of this “prophecy” shows it was foretelling Trump unseating Barack Obama in 2012. By definition, that makes Taylor a false prophet. But don’t tell Taylor that. Indeed, to hear Taylor talk, if you call him a false prophet, there’s a lightning bolt with your name on it.
Such minor details haven’t stopped Taylor from becoming one of the most popular figures in the hyper-charismatic division of the Trumpvangelical Army. He has insisted, among other things, that Trump is an anointed prophet–and if we dare speak against him, we’ll have to answer to God for it. He also claims that one big reason so many Christians despise Trump is that the worship teams in their churches aren’t properly tuned.
Earlier this week, Taylor had the occasion to deliver another warning to those Christians who aren’t willing to bow and pray to the Orange One. His explanation? It may keep you out of heaven.
On Wednesday, Taylor sat down with Allen and Francine Fosdick, a husband-and-wife team of “apostolic/prophetic” ministers from Gettysburg, Pennsylvania who host the “Up Front In The Prophetic” podcast. The Fosdicks, like Taylor, are conspiracy merchants cosplaying ministers. For instance, they firmly believe that Jeffrey Epstein was rubbed out by the Clintons.
They are also firm believers in QAnon.
In other words, Taylor and the Fosdicks deserve each other. It didn’t take long for the show to go off the rails. People for the American Way’s Right Wing Watch got a clip.
Taylor recalled getting tons of email from people whose families have been torn apart over Trump. To Taylor’s mind, it’s evidence that God is “separating the wheat from the chaff” through Trump. He was referring to a passage in Matthew 3 which foretells the Messiah “gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” The wheat is a symbol for the true believers, while the chaff–also called “tares” in other versions–is a symbol for those who aren’t true believers.
Taylor told the Fosdicks that Trump’s swearing-in “activated something in the Spirit.” As he saw it, his presidency is “what is going to separate the wheat from the chaff right now.” The message is obvious–those who don’t join Taylor in bowing to the Orange One risk getting thrown in the lake of fire.
So let’s see if we’ve got this right. If we refuse to support a president who has few qualms about bullying another country into not letting elected members of his opposition travel to said country, we’re chaff? If we refuse to support a president who revels in degrading women, we’re chaff? If we refuse to support a president who blows racist dog whistles, we’re chaff? And if we refuse to support a president who condones racist chants by his supporters, we’re chaff?
I’m often told that when I say that I cannot support Trump because of his boorish behavior, I’m looking for perfection. Gee, I thought I was expecting minimum standards from our leaders–standards which the Orange One hasn’t even begun to meet since coming down the Trump Tower escalator. If that makes me chaff, so be it.
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