As it has become more apparent that Donald Trump is manifestly unfit and unqualified to be president, the religious right’s continued loyalty to him grows even more incomprehensible. But even by those standards, the latest excuse one of Trump’s fundie supporters offers for their continued loyalty to him is a head scratcher. Apparently they’re willing to tolerate Trump’s boorishness because–wait for it–at bottom, he’s still a real estate contractor from New York City.
It’s no secret that most of the nation’s so-called moral guardians have bowed down to Trump. But one fundie leader who has really outdone himself in his loyalty to Trump is Christian publisher Steve Strang. As the founder and publisher of Charisma magazine, the largest charismatic/Pentecostal-oriented magazine in the country, Strang is a major player in Christian media. For some time, he has used that voice to become a water carrier for the religious right–a trend that has ramped up to another level in the Trump era.
Late last year, Strang rolled out a new book, “Trump Aftershock,” a paean to how Trump is supposedly making America great again from a Christian perspective. It’s a follow-up to his 2017 book, “God and Donald Trump,” in which he argues Trump’s upset victory was nothing short of a miracle.
But even if you accept the argument that Trump is making America great again, it’s only fair to wonder if it’s worth it, considering the almost daily outrages coming from this White House. Remember, we’re talking about a man who has no qualms about sharing hateful, degrading and sometimes violent memes about his foes. We’re talking about a man who condones violence. We’re talking about a man who seems to revel in degrading women.
But Strang apparently has a ready explanation for that.
Strang was quoting James Robison, a veteran televangelist and old culture warrior. But the spelling of Robison’s name isn’t the only thing Strang got wrong in this tweet. Not by a longshot.
So Trump acts the way he does because he’s still, at heart, a real estate contractor from New York? Well, that’s interesting. It seems hard to believe a real estate contractor would stay in business for long anywhere if it were known he had a habit of calling women names like “dog” and “horseface,” or looked at women like they were pieces of meat.
It’s equally unlikely that a contractor would stay in business if it were known that he condoned slut-shaming on the part of his legal team. And what if he thought bomb threats were something that just happens? Or if he reveled in a congressional candidate body slamming a reporter? And on, and on, and on. If Strang thinks a contractor can get very far acting like this, it says a lot about his own standards–and it’s not very good.
Strang isn’t the only fundie to suggest that Trump’s New York mien can explain behavior that the rest of us consider ugly. Back in 2017, another prominent general in the Trumpvangelical Army, Mary Colbert, claimed that Trump’s rough language was actually Christlike. No, this isn’t snark. Watch here.
Colbert claimed that at bottom, Trump “still has some of the Queens in his character”–and even went as far to say that Jesus would have talked the same way as Trump. Uh huh. So Jesus would have seen fit to plaster a private cell phone number on social media, or share a GIF showing Hillary being knocked down with a tee shot?
Whenever anyone chalks up Trump’s boorishness to the fact he’s a New Yorker, it’s insulting on a personal level to me. I’m half North Jerseyan–essentially, a different part of the same country as New York. I’m still a bit rough around the edges. I’m also known as something of a plain speaker. But do I degrade women? Do I revel in violence? No! Contrary to what Strang and Colbert would have you believe, New Yorkers and North Jerseyans have the ability to control their tongues–and their thumbs.
So once again, we have proof the religious right is so determined to see abortion banned and marriage equality rolled back that they’re willing to condone behavior that they would never condone from their sons, grandsons and nephews–all because Trump is still a real estate contractor at heart. If this is how Strang and his fundie friends expect contractors to behave, it says a lot about what kind of example they’re setting for their kids–and the nation.
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