With 20 days before Election Day, the GOP is in a really dicey position. Donald Trump’s average approval rating, as calculated by FiveThirtyEight, stands at 42.6 percent–and he’s struggled to get out of the low 40s for most of the year. Nate Silver and friends also believe that the Democrats have an 84 percent chance of taking the House. Faced with these numbers, the Trump diehards have claimed that there’s actually a “red wave” in the works. At this point, calling that a leap of faith would be extremely generous.
As bad as those numbers are, the GOP should be lucky to be doing even that well. After all, the religious right has been working overtime to keep its evangelical supporters firmly in Trump’s corner. They’ve done so in part by peddling a false narrative to right-leaning people of faith. Most of the nation sees an almost daily stream of contortions, distortions, alternative facts and outright lies from this White House. But to hear the nation’s so-called moral guardians talk, Trump is not only making America great again, but making America Christian again.
In so doing, the religious right is holding up its end of what can only be described as a Faustian deal. Soon after Trump clinched the Republican nomination in 2016, he made a number of clucking noises the religious right liked–if elected, he would appoint conservative judges who would overturn Roe v. Wade, and do all he could to roll back abortion, marriage equality, and the Iran nuclear deal.
In return, the religious right has tried to convince us that Trump’s outrageous behavior, both on the campaign trail and since taking office, isn’t really a big deal. One of those responsible for holding up the religious right’s end of the bargain is televangelist Paula White, who also serves as Trump’s primary spiritual adviser.
For some time, White has been insisting to all who would listen that Trump is saved. On Christmas Day 2017, for instance, White insisted that Trump’s faith “guides him” and “leads him.” One has to wonder if White has been paying attention to Trump’s Twitter feed over the years. Even a cursory glance would show that there is precious little evidence of Jesus changing his heart. Indeed, White’s breathless paean to Trump’s faith came less than 24 hours after Trump retweeted a meme depicting CNN as a blood splatter on his wingtip.
White has recently given us another reason to wonder whether she is really paying attention to her highest-profile disciple. On Tuesday morning, just hours after porn star and former Trump paramour Stormy Daniels had her defamation suit against Trump thrown out, Trump took a 280-character victory lap.
So once again, the man who supposedly has a budding Christian faith saw fit to not only degrade a woman on Twitter, but revel in it.
The condemnation has come in fast, hard, and from both sides of the aisle. Apparently it’s reached some elements of Trump’s more diehard evangelical supporters. That’s about the only conclusion you can draw from this chat between White and Perry Atkinson of TheDoveTV. Watch here.
White dropped by TheDoveTV’s flagship program, “Focus Today,” to discuss “ongoing attacks on religious Americans.” While musing that recently released pastor Andrew Brunson’s prayer over Trump in the White House was evidence that “something very unusual” was happening “spiritually” there. But it led him to wonder about Trump’s “horseface” remarks.
White conceded that Trump was “not the greatest Sunday school teacher” or a “pastor,” but still “holds faith very close to his heart.” For good measure, he claimed that faith was very dear to him. As evidence, White claimed that in 2011, when Trump mulled running for president, he asked her and about 30 other pastors to come to Trump Tower, where they prayed over him for six hours. According to White, Trump frequently “seeks the counsel of men and women of God.
Um, Paula? If that’s true, where’s the fruit? Matthew 7:20 says, “You will know them by their fruits.” All that praying and seeking counsel doesn’t mean a thing if it hasn’t gotten through to Trump’s heart. If it had, he never would have even thought about calling Daniels “horseface.” Nor would he have even thought about calling Omarosa a “dog.” And on, and on, and on, and on.
The most benign interpretation of this spiel from White is that she is blinded by her own words from Trump’s 2017 inauguration. White was the first woman to give an invocation at a presidential inauguration. Watch it here.
White prayed that the United States under Trump would be “a true hope for humankind.”
Then again, if she still believes Trump has his faith close to his heart after numerous instances of degrading women, you really have to wonder if that was intentional. If she still believes a man who can revel in degrading women can make this country a “true hope,” we really have to wonder what kind of spiritual advice Trump is getting.
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