As of Wednesday, Donald Trump’s average approval rating, as calculated by FiveThirtyEight, stands at 42 percent. It would be even lower than that, except the notoriously pro-Republican pollsters at Rasmussen Reports twice managed to find a way to get Trump above 50 percent when he has struggled to get out of the low 40s for most of his tenure. But even allowing for that, this is absolutely brutal. Most presidents with such low numbers would be barely hanging onto the political cliff while their foes are stomping on their fingers.
The only reason Trump is still hanging on with such low numbers is that the religious right is still firmly in his corner. That’s why it came as something of a surprise on Tuesday when NBC News reported that the White House is launching a worldwide campaign to decriminalize homosexuality in the areas where it’s still illegal to be gay.
While we expected some heads to explode on the religious right, one so-called moral guardian’s reaction was outrageous even by religious right standards. He actually suggested that Trump’s decision was the work of–wait for it–the Jews.
Rick Wiles of TruNews was one of the first leading fundies to join the Trumpvangelical Army. He’s been front and center in the three-year campaign to bully evangelicals into supporting Trump. This is a man who believes opposing Trump is an act of sedition, and fingers CNN as a fountainhead of witchcraft because–horrors!–it holds Trump to account. This is a man who believes that Trump critics need a good dose of Jesus–forgetting that a good number of Christians, including yours truly, are praying that the swindle Trump has perpetrated on this country gets exposed in full.
But Wiles may have really outdone himself on Tuesday’s edition of “TruNewsTV.” When he learned about the Trump White House push to decriminalize homosexuality, he hit the ceiling. Watch here.
Wiles discussed this development just over half an hour into Tuesday’s show. He noted that this initiative is being spearheaded by Richard Grenell, the American ambassador to Germany and the highest-ranking LGBT official in the Trump White House. Reportedly, Grenell is the top choice to become the American ambassador to the United Nations.
Predictably, Wiles blew a gasket. He called for Trump’s evangelical advisory board to draw a line in the sand.
I dare you. I challenge you. Will you speak out? Or will you be silent? What are you gonna do? Because your silence is complicity. Are you afraid to tell President Trump the truth? Will you tell him that you will withhold political support if he goes down this route? Because I think the Christians should tell him, ‘You go this way, we’re out. We’re out of it. You’re on your own.’
Co-host Matt Skow harrumphed that it’s not likely the evangelicals close to Trump will do anything because they don’t have any concept of “what is right and what is wrong.” Wiles agreed, suggesting that the main reason for that silence will be their desire to “get things done for Israel.” Wiles let it be known that he wasn’t going to let that stop him from telling Trump that “God cannot bless your administration” if he was “promoting something that God says is an abomination.”
So far, typical religious right agitprop. But then Wiles went from merely scraping his fingernails on the blackboard to something far more sinister. He suggested that the push to decriminalize homosexuality was yet another excuse to go to war with Iran, and mused that it wasn’t a coincidence that Israel had its fingers in this, considering that it boasts about being gay-friendly. In particular, Wiles noted, Israel claims to have more LGBT soldiers than any other country in the world.
To Wiles’ mind, it all made sense.
And so they’re pushing the agenda because they have control of Washington. They have control of the Trump administration. Donald Trump is owned by the Jews. That’s the truth.
I had to listen to this twice in order to believe it. Wiles said, with a straight face, that Trump is pushing to decriminalize homosexuality because his strings are being pulled by the Jews. It is literally the oldest anti-Semitic trope in the book–the concept that the Jews have their fingers in everything, and are out to control everything.
This isn’t the first time that Wiles has crossed the line into anti-Semitism. After Trump ordered airstrikes on Syria in the spring of 2017, Wiles used two programs to play a sermon he preached a few days earlier at his church, Flowing Streams Church in Vero Beach, Florida. In it, he attacked First Daughter Ivanka Trump and First Son-in-Law Jared Kushner, who are Modern Orthodox Jews, of influencing Trump to order the strikes. He then accused Ivanka of working to surround Trump with Kabbala practitioners, or Jewish mystics–and as a result, would be getting his advice from “evil” people.
That sermon was a dog whistle. What Wiles blew on Tuesday was a full-on train whistle. Ironically, this comes just days after Wiles joined the right-wing chorus blasting Minnesota Congresswoman Ilhan Omar for claiming that AIPAC’s push to criminalize “Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions” was “all about the Benjamins.”
In light of this blatantly anti-Semitic screed on Tuesday, one has to wonder if Wiles was engaging in projection. After all, what he said on Tuesday was many times worse than what Omar said. And unlike Wiles, Omar at least had the decency to apologize.
This cannot stand, folks. Wiles posted the full show on Facebook as well as on YouTube. He also posted clips in which he railed about how Israel has its fingers in this new initiative on Facebook and on YouTube. Report them all as hate speech.
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