For the last three-plus years, the religious right has insisted that Russia didn’t hack the 2016 election for Donald Trump–God did. The way the nation’s so-called moral guardians tell it, the opposition to Trump is demonically driven. So ever since Trump’s upset victory, the religious right has been waging all-out spiritual warfare for the man they say has been called to not only make America great again, but make America Christian again.
As many of Trump’s fundie supporters see it, the opposition to Trump is driven by the devil himself. After all, since God chose Trump, opposing him is tantamount to opposing God. With that kind of talk, there’s a very good chance that the otherworldly support for Trump is inflated. After all, if you attend a strongly fundified church, this kind of talk is more or less standard operating procedure. In that environment, if you dare oppose Trump, you’d best keep your head down–especially if your church is in a part of the country where Trump still walks on water.
Most of the reality-based community sees this kind of talk for the unhinged claptrap that it is. But at least two of Trump’s most diehard supporters don’t like it when we point that out. They think we shouldn’t be the least bit upset, since all they’re doing is doing their job–waging spiritual warfare for the nation.
Last summer, Trump’s principal spiritual adviser, Paula White, turned a lot of heads with the invocation she gave at the official kickoff to Trump’s reelection campaign. She prayed against any “demonic networks” that would dare rise up against the almighty Trump. In case you missed it, watch here.
Naturally, this bit of spiritual warfare raised a lot of hackles. But at least two prominent Trumpvangelicals didn’t understand the fuss. Namely, Gordon Robertson, son of Pat Robertson and an executive producer of his father’s Christian Broadcasting Network, and Steve Strang, founder and publisher of Charisma magazine.
That became clear on Friday, when Strang stopped by “The 700 Club” to discuss the need for Christians to get serious about doing spiritual warfare for this country. Watch here.
Recalling White’s prayer, Strang noted that a number of reporters thought Strang was specifically calling the media demonic. Robertson noted that the devil was “seeking to divide us.” The furor over White’s prayer, as he saw it, was proof of this, since “you can’t even engage in spiritual warfare” without people getting upset.
Wait a minute. The principal spiritual adviser for the president of the United States calls his foes demonic, and we have no right to call it out? Even allowing for the fact that Robertson and Strang were speaking to an audience that mostly lives in a bubble, this is incredibly tone-deaf.
What makes this even more obscene is that Robertson wailed about how the devil was trying to divide us as a nation. Strang echoed this in his latest column. He believed the biblical passage that deals the most with spiritual warfare, Ephesians 6:13, “explains the hatred and animosity that we’re seeing in our culture today.” After all, he believes our culture is heavily influenced by “powers and principalities.”
Um, gentlemen? You’re helping stir up a lot of that animosity. When your compatriots say that those who oppose Trump are being played by the devil, we have every right to call it out. By saying that we don’t have that right, you have betrayed a lack of understanding of democracy at best and a disrespect for democracy at worst.
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