A few months ago, one of Donald Trump’s most loyal religious right supporters, Wanda Alger, warned her fellow moral guardians that their loyalty to Trump must not cross the line into “veneration and adoration” of him. Well, a good number of Alger’s compatriots must have missed the memo. The mounting evidence that Trump committed high crimes and misdemeanors hasn’t been enough to bring the religious right to its senses. Indeed, some fundies have gone as far as to suggest that they actually have to bind the demonic forces behind the impeachment effort.
One of the most extensive efforts to bind those demons who are keeping Trump from making America great again was rolled out on Wednesday, under the leadership of Trump’s principal spiritual adviser, Paula White. Soon after White officially joined the White House staff as an adviser to the Faith and Opportunity Initiative, she announced the launch of the “One Voice Prayer Movement,” which claims to be an attempt to “unite the Body of Christ to pray for God’s values to be expressed through government and the nation.”
As any religious right watcher knows, White has made abundantly clear that “God’s values” and those of the Trump administration are one and the same. She insists that God really did put Trump in the White House, and that the Almighty gave her an assignment to serve him–one that has apparently resulted in her making the White House “holy ground.”
White served notice that the mounting evidence Trump tried to make Ukraine an accomplice in a politically motivated investigation into former vice president Joe Biden hasn’t been nearly enough to shake her loyalty to Trump. For instance, in October, she warned the nation that we would “stand accountable” to God if we didn’t vote for Trump in 2020–just 24 hours after acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney crassly admitted that his master intended to make military aid to Ukraine contingent on Kiev opening an investigation into Biden.
But the rollout of the One Voice Prayer Movement proved beyond any doubt that White now venerates Trump. She used the movement’s first prayer call as an attempt to bind any and all demonic forces who might be out to derail Trump. People for the American Way’s Right Wing Watch got a clip.
White prayed that God would protect Trump from “any snare, any set-up of the enemy.” She also prayed that those “persons, entities aligned against the president” be “dealt with and overturned by the superior blood of Jesus.”
She then moved to bind “strongmen” such as the “spirit of Leviathan, a spirit of Jezebel, Abaddon … the spirit of Belial” that have arrayed themselves against Trump. She reminded the audience that “we are dealing with spirits (and) entities.” With this in mind, she prayed that any of those spirits and entities “that are aligned against President Trump, the will of God” and oppose his “mantle” as president “be exposed and dealt with and overturned in Jesus’ name.”
A little explanation is in order. We already know about the spirit of Jezebel; it is commonly used by fundies, and especially hypercharismatics like White, to attack those seen as acting in rebellion. Leviathan is often a metaphor for a powerful enemy. Abaddon is a spirit of the abyss, while Belial is a term for the devil. So in other words, White was rehashing what has become the party line among charismatics and Pentecostals who have bowed down to Trump–those opposing Trump are being played by the devil, and we must bind them posthaste.
Right Wing Watch noted that this alone would prove the lie to any claim that One Voice is nonpartisan. But the real rub is when she said this. This prayer call came just as the Democrats were releasing a tranche of transcripts from depositions taken during the closed-door phase of the impeachment inquiry.
We have learned through this testimony that the former ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, feared our foreign policy was being hijacked for political reasons. We have also learned that the ambassador to the European Union, Gordon Sondland, admitted that Trump tried to link military aid to an investigation after initially denying there was such a link.
This comes on top of the acting ambassador to Ukraine, Bill Taylor, testifying about how Trump and his acolytes circumvented the normal diplomatic processes in order to push for this investigation. It also comes on top of senior National Security Council official Alexander Vindman revealing that he was so concerned about what he heard on the now-infamous call between Trump and Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky that he consulted NSC lawyers.
It is inconceivable that White wasn’t aware of this testimony. And yet, she is effectively saying that the efforts to expose the dark matter in this scandal are demonic, and therefore we must bind them. Word to the wise, Paula. Your zeal in carrying out this “assignment” has led you to defend the indefensible. And now we know you’re trying to get the nation to join you in doing so.
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