Most presidents who can’t get their approval ratings out of the low 40s would be in deep doo-doo with just over 13 months before Election Day. Not so with Donald Trump. Even though he has never gotten too far north of 43 percent in FiveThirtyEight’s average approval ratings, he seems to be coasting on a level of support from Republicans that borders on veneration. A recent Gallup tracking poll found a whopping 91 percent of Republicans approve of Trump’s performance.
Much of that otherworldly support is driven by one particularly loyal group of Republicans–the religious right. For the better part of three years, the nation’s so-called moral guardians have insisted to all who will listen that Russia didn’t hack the election for Trump–God did. They would have us believe that God chose Trump to not only make America great again, but make America Christian again.
Even when Trump acted like a boor and a bully on the campaign trail, the religious right still remained loyal to him. The veneration didn’t let up one bit when the Access Hollywood tapes came out. No, no. Most religious right leaders said they weren’t pleased Trump reveled in the idea that his celebrity status gave him carte blanche to degrade women. However, they claimed it didn’t really matter as much as rolling back abortion and marriage equality, stopping the Iran deal, and above all putting conservative judges on our courts.
This line has continued unabated since Trump’s upset victory. If you watch Christian TV, you’re treated to a steady diet of paeans to Trump. For example, take this spiel from Francis Myles, a Phoenix-based “prophet” who once told Jim Bakker that an evil cabal was out to make Trump a “scapegoat” in 2020. During that same visit, Myles ticked off the reasons why God supposedly chose Trump. Watch here.
We’ve also been told, among other things, that if we oppose Trump, we’re giving the devil an open door to our houses, and that Satan himself is our father. But at least one ardent pro-Trump religious right luminary is starting to wonder–albeit really belatedly–if her compatriots are going too far in their support for Trump.
Wanda Alger is co-pastor of Crossroads Community Church in Winchester, Virginia and a field reporter with Intercessors for America. She is also a prominent figure in the New Apostolic Reformation, an overtly fascist offshoot of the religious right that believes it can bring about the Second Coming by taking over the world. A number of NAR leaders, such as Lance Wallnau and Rick Joyner, are among Trump’s most ardent supporters.
Alger herself has made no bones about her support for Trump. She once chastised Trump’s critics for trying to hold him to standards that aren’t in the Bible, and shared a “word from the Lord” warning that Trump’s boorish and bullying behavior is actually God’s righteous anger manifesting through him.
But in a recent column for Charisma magazine, Alger took a somewhat more chastened line. She was concerned about the “adoration and veneration” of Trump she was seeing from a number of social conservatives. She’d seen a number of memes that made Trump out to be “some sort of god,” while others mocked Trump’s foes, at times in ways that seemed “more heathen than Christian.”
Alger declares that she believes Trump has “the Lord’s favor” and fully supports his battle against “the globalists, communists (and) socialists” who are out to “rid our nation of God and our sovereign republic.” At the same time, she believes some ardent pro-Trump Christians have forgotten that they are supposed to preach “Christ crucified, not Trump sanctified.” She believes that if she becomes more known for supporting Trump than being “an ambassador of the King,” her priorities are out of whack.
With all due respect, Wanda, you’re trying to close the barn door after the horse has managed to run to another state. You should have been saying this in 2016, when your compatriots were willing to make what can only be described as a Faustian deal with him. They already knew he had no qualms about plastering a private cell phone number on social media, mocking the disabled, and condoning violence at his rallies. And they continued to remain loyal to him even after the Access Hollywood tapes.
Let’s not beat around the bush. No matter how much they said they were only supporting Trump’s policies, not the man, the only explanation for how they could stay loyal to him in the face of this was that they had crossed the line into veneration. There is no other way to explain how they seemed to believe there was a cause so important that it demanded voting for him, even when it was clear he was an ogre.
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