The religious right has spent the last two years on a ham-handed campaign to bully evangelicals into backing Donald Trump. Unfortunately for the state of our country’s discourse, that campaign has been successful by at least one measure. Exit polls during the recent midterm elections showed a whopping 75 percent of white evangelicals voted for Republicans. This closely tracks with a Public Religion Research Institute poll in October that showed 71 percent of white evangelicals approved of Trump’s performance.
But from the looks of it, the nation’s so-called moral guardians are still making all-in support for Trump an article of faith in light of the legal bombshells that have detonated this fall. In light of this, you have to wonder if their support for Trump has turned into worship of Trump. That’s a more than fair question to ask since one of Trump’s loudest fundie supporters, Lance Wallnau, claims that the investigations into Trump misdeeds are being driven by demonic principalities bent on bringing Trump down at all costs.
So because of those “principalities,” we have evidence that Trump ordered hush-money payments to his former mistresses in hopes of sealing their lips for the duration of the campaign. Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, revealed this when he pleaded guilty in September, and reiterated this while being sentenced two weeks ago. This claim was corroborated by Trump’s favorite tabloid, the National Enquirer, which agreed to tell the truth to federal prosecutors in Manhattan in order to avoid being prosecuted.
So because of those “principalities,” we know that Cohen admitted that Trump continued negotiations for a Moscow Trump Tower after securing the nomination–and that he was lying to Congress when he said those negotiations ended earlier. And because of those principalities, we have some of the strongest evidence yet that Trump’s inner circle indeed colluded with Russian interests.
But such minor details apparently don’t matter to Wallnau. Nor, apparently, do they matter to another general in the Trumpvangelical Army, Steve Strang. As founder and publisher of Charisma magazine, the largest charismatic/Pentecostal-oriented magazine in the nation, Strang has a huge bully pulpit. In recent years, he’s used it to carry water for the religious right, and more recently for Trump.
Earlier this year, Strang published “God and Donald Trump,” a book that drives home the argument the religious right has worked overtime to make for two years–God hacked the election for Trump, not Russia. Recently, Strang published another paean to Trump, “Trump Aftershock,” in which he tries to convince his followers that Trump really has been successful–even though the rest of us know the last two years have been a dumpster fire.
Apparently Strang has told himself so often that Trump is a staggeringly successful president that he’s starting to believe it. That’s the only explanation for this tweet he fired off early Wednesday morning.
Seriously, Steve? You believe Trump is successful even in the face of mounting evidence that his much-vaunted tax reform package resulted in a bonanza for the rich and little to no benefit for the average American?
You believe Trump is successful even though his tariffs have put the squeeze on workers and farmers? You believe Trump is successful even though he apparently has no qualms about his press secretary calling for an angry mob to flood The New York Times switchboard and slandered a reporter by falsely claiming he put his hands on a female intern?
Oh, that’s right. All that matters to Strang and the rest of the religious right is that Trump kept that baby-killing, traditional marriage-hating woman out of the White House. But now we know that his campaign to keep Hillary out of the presidency may have broken the law and every standard of decency.
After all, Trump now effectively stands as an unindicted co-conspirator in an effort to arrange unlawful in-kind contributions to his campaign in the form of the hush money payments. For those who don’t know, the payment Cohen “facilitated” to Stormy Daniels far exceeded the legal limit for an individual donation to a campaign, while the Enquirer’s “catch and kill” deal with Karen McDougal amounted to an illegal corporate donation to the Trump campaign.
We also have mounting evidence that, at the very least, Trump fostered an environment in which it was even remotely acceptable for senior aides to solicit help from a hostile foreign power. We already knew there was a rank odor surrounding the Trump Tower meeting. But now we know that Cohen gave prosecutors information about “certain discrete Russia-related matters,” and also admitted making contact with a Putin confidant who hoped to form some sort of “political synergy” with the Trump campaign.
If Strang can honestly ignore all that and maintain that Trump is “successful” just because he upended Hillary, then it’s only fair to ask whether he’s crossed the line into worshiping Trump. We also have to wonder, as we did with Wallnau, whether he’s calling evil good and good evil.
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