In the last four-plus years, a number of preachers and televangelists have been put on blast for throwing their weight behind Donald Trump–and deservedly. After all, they seem to believe that rolling back abortion and marriage equality, plus any number of pet issues, are so important that they must go all-in for a man who acted like a boor and a bully on the campaign trail. And they seem to believe they must go all-in for a man who runs this country like a badly-run business at best and a crime syndicate at worst.
But some of these so-called moral guardians are in a class by themselves. Trump’s principal spiritual adviser, Paula White, is among them. This is a woman who insists that Trump is a baby Christian who holds his faith “close to his heart“–even after calling women “dog” and “horseface.”
She also believes that she has an “assignment” from the Almighty to serve Trump. That assignment apparently entails scaring people into voting for Trump and claiming the impeachment inquiry is demonic. Apparently there’s no outrage she’ll defend or engage in herself in the name of keeping the White House (supposedly) holy ground. When history professor John Fea coined the term “court evangelical” for the fundies who are willing to abase themselves before Trump, he had people like White in mind.
It’s been amply established that White is pulling out all the stops to get us to bow and pray to the orange god she helped make. That’s why it came as something of a surprise when she was put on full blast earlier this week by two of her fellow Trumpvangelicals.
On most Mondays, conspiracy peddler Chris McDonald devotes his edition of “The McFiles” to a “spiritual smackdown” with fellow Christianist conspiracy merchant Mark Taylor. It says a lot about McDonald that he is willing to associate with a man who has been exposed as a false prophet. Remember, Taylor claimed that he’d gotten a “word from the Lord” about Trump being president. However, that “word” explicitly stated Trump would defeat Barack Obama in 2012. As we know, that didn’t happen.
This Monday’s edition of the “spiritual smackdown” started out like most others. Among other things, McDonald plastered pictures of a man whom he claims to be the Ukraine whistleblower and suggested–wink, wink, nudge, nudge–that his viewers ought to share screenshots of those pictures on social media.
But later on, Taylor and McDonald turned their blowtorches on their fellow general in the Trumpvangelical Army, White. People for the American Way’s Right Wing Watch got a clip.
This is one of the rare occasions where Right Wing Watch clipped out footage that puts their clips in context. Never fear, though–that’s where we come in.
At around 13:25 of his show, McDonald recalled that a person whom his ministry had been helping had tried to go to a megachurch in her hometown for help. However, the folks in the office turned her down because the pastor wasn’t there–and they claimed that calling him was against their policy. They were willing to get her a ride to the hotel–but refused to get her food, clothes, or money for a place to stay for the night.
McDonald was appalled that a “mausoleum” of a church that took in “hundreds of thousands of dollars” per year couldn’t be bothered to spend a few dollars for dinner at McDonald’s, or couldn’t call anyone who was willing to open their doors to someone in need. He believed churches like this forgot they were about people–and felt it was especially appalling this close to Thanksgiving.
Taylor agreed, and used this occasion to put prosperity preachers on blast–including White. For good measure, he called out White by name. He recently watched a video in which White promised “spiritual sight” to those who “sowed a seed” into her ministry. Taylor claimed this was proof that the prosperity message was “out of control” and “wrong.” McDonald nodded along, agreeing that such talk was “flat wrong.”
Taylor wasn’t done. He argued–rightly–that if he and McDonald ran a private business and promised some benefit in return for sowing $1,000, “we would get sued off of our butts.” He openly wondered why White and other prosperity preachers weren’t getting sued.
What took so long, Mark and Chris? After all, many of Trump’s early fundie supporters were prosperity preachers just like White. In a sense, they were made for each other. When you preach a gospel of excess, you’re a natural fit for a guy who is the very embodiment of the entitled one-percenter.
Still, even if it did come late, this online blast from a couple of stopped clocks should make White nervous. For one, McDonald and Taylor have very large followings among the most deplorable of the deplorables–the diehard Trump supporters who will continue to bow to the Orange One no matter what. For another, White can’t dismiss this as anti-charismatic bias, like she can with some of her critics. Taylor is a hypercharismatic, just like White.
Under the circumstances, the only conclusion you can draw is that the ground is starting to shift ever so slowly from under White’s feet. One has to wonder–will Taylor, McDonald, and other deplorables be willing to blast their dear one for keeping White in his fold? We’ll just have to see.
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