For the better part of four years, the religious right has worked overtime to bully us into joining them in bowing and praying to the orange god they made, Donald Trump. They are simply keeping up their part of a Faustian deal they made with Trump when he locked up the Republican nomination in 2016. In return for Trump’s vow to roll back abortion and marriage equality, the nation’s so-called moral guardians appear to have gone all-in for him, regardless of how depraved he gets.
While you expect to see lots of contortions and distortions from fundies, the religious right’s continued fealty to Trump has seen a lifetime of them. We got an example of this within just a few days this week. One general in the Trumpvangelical Army warned that Christian conservatives would take to the streets if Trump didn’t win another term. Days later, another warned that anyone who didn’t vote for him should be brought up on charges of murder.
On Monday, Jim Bakker gave an ominous warning–if Trump loses to Joe Biden, we could potentially see riots–but this time, it will be by pro-Trump evangelicals. No, this isn’t snark. People for the American Way’s Right Wing Watch got a clip.
Bakker said that those who care about this country had only “a few more days to stand up” and vow their loyalty to Trump. He warned that if we elect “the wrong people” in November, we could see a “revolution” in which “church people” are going to take to the streets in anger at the prospect of “the rebellion” coming to power.
Wait a minute. Christianists could potentially stage a “revolution” against the victory of a “rebellion”? What planet is this from? Apparently Bakker isn’t willing to consider the possibility that an actual revolution may be playing out in real time. According to FiveThirtyEight’s average, Trump presently trails Joe Biden by 8.4 points nationally, and also trails in nearly all of the battleground states. FiveThirtyEight crunched the numbers, and found that Trump faces the biggest deficit of any incumbent president heading into the conventions since 1968.
Considering that only two incumbent presidents since 1932 have been unseated after previously winning a full term, it wouldn’t be outlandish to call a Biden win a revolution at the ballot box. But based on Bakker’s past comments, a Biden win would be an act of “rebellion.” After all, a month after Trump’s upset win, Bakker warned that any county that voted against Trump ran counter to God’s will and risked facing the wrath of the Almighty. He also claimed the Women’s March was demonically driven, and that anyone who opposes Trump must be demon-possessed.
So in Bakker’s world, Christian conservatives have the right to speak out against Biden, but we have no right to vow to oppose Trump. And just in case we didn’t get the message, another rabidly pro-Trump preacher, Kenneth Copeland, drove it home further on Tuesday.
Copeland was sitting down with Charisma magazine founder and publisher Steve Strang to discuss exercising our faith during the campaign season. He was concerned that some Christians aren’t all in for Trump, and wanted Copeland’s take on the matter. Right Wing Watch got a clip.
Strang was bewildered at how a number of Christians have balked at supporting Trump even though he is “a great friend of Christians.” As Strang saw it, a vote against Trump amounts to a vote for socialism. However, he was concerned that some Christians are thinking about sitting out this election, even though he and others have fallen all over themselves to warn them that it may be the most important election of their lifetimes.
Strang thought this was a sign of “apathy,” but couldn’t get his head around why. He asked Copeland for his take. Copeland’s response was immediate–“lack of knowledge.” He believed a lot of younger people don’t know what socialism smells like–but don’t know how capitalism is supposed to look either. He then went full fire-and-brimstone, saying that any Christian who stays home in November “is guilty of murder.” For good measure, Copeland warned that anyone who votes for a pro-choice candidate should also be racked up for murder, since they are “just as guilty as the doctor that performed the abortion.”
So that’s all it is, huh? Trump’s vow to roll back abortion overrides everything in Copeland’s eyes–even Trump’s racist dog whistling, his blatant misogyny, his abuse of power, and his incompetent handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
This, ladies and gentlemen, is how Trump is still standing despite approval ratings in the low 40s and facing the largest polling deficit for an incumbent president in half a century. His most diehard supporters live in a world where a vow to oppose a manifestly unfit and unqualified president is not only an act of rebellion, but potentially makes you an accessory to murder.
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