Earlier this month, a columnist at Charisma magazine wailed that those who want Donald Trump to get a dose of oversight are driven by demons–specifically, an “inquisition spirit.” That suggestion is downright laughable, considering that for the better part of three or four decades, the religious right has led an inquisition of its own against anyone of even mildly liberal bent. It’s ramped up to Defcon 1 under Trump–to the point you have to wonder if they’re practicing the ministry of Jesus or the ministry of Trump.
A lovely example of this inquisitorial mentality came from one of the most diehard of Trump’s religious right supporters, Lance Wallnau. When Wallnau got word that graduates at an evangelical university were up in arms over Vice President Mike Pence speaking at their commencement, he suggested that they may have demons in them.
Earlier this month, Taylor University, a small evangelical school in Upland, Indiana, announced that Pence would speak at its commencement in May. Pence is a devout evangelical Christian himself, and he represented Taylor for most of his tenure in Congress.
The prospect of Pence coming to campus didn’t sit well with Taylor graduate Alex Hoekstra, who launched a petition on Change.org urging Taylor to rescind its invitation. Hoekstra argued that Pence had no business speaking at Taylor when he is second-in-command in an administration whose policies are “not consistent with the Christian ethic of love that we hold dear.” As of Wednesday night, it has garnered over 4,800. One of them wrote that she was “physically shaking” at the thought of Pence coming to town.
This may come as a surprise, given that Taylor’s demographic is, on paper, a carbon copy of the Trumpvangelical base. But in an op-ed for The Washington Post, Taylor adjunct professor Amy Johnson wrote that many in the Taylor community feel the invite to Pence “reinforces the creeping conflation of ‘evangelical’ with ‘Republican.'”
Given the vehemence of the opposition, one has to wonder if Pence will get the same reception he got when he spoke at Notre Dame’s 2017 commencement–at which several graduating students walked out in protest. Watch the walkout here.
When Wallnau read about the apparent anger at Pence’s invitation, he took to Facebook to offer a suggestion to the vice president.
Wallnau, as usual, was speaking in code. He’s effectively telling those who don’t want Pence in town that they may have demons in them, and need them cast out posthaste. This is all too familiar to those who oppose Trump because of their faith, not in spite of it–including this writer, who is a left-leaning charismatic Christian.
We’ve been told that if we can’t abide Trump’s outrages, it’s because the devil is playing us. We’ve been told that if we aren’t willing to vote for a man who finds it acceptable to call women “dog” and “horseface,” we’re in need of deliverance ministry. If we aren’t willing to support a man who fires off hateful and degrading memes attacking his foes, we need deliverance. If we oppose his inhumane and potentially illegal immigration policy, we need to get to a deliverance ministry ASAP. And on, and on, and on.
This post from Wallnau is just part of the drumbeat we’ve heard from the nation’s so-called moral guardians over the last three-plus years. For instance, Michele Bachmann has told us that we need to realize Trump is the most godly and biblical president ever. False prophet and QAnon kook Mark Taylor has warned against opposing Trump’s supposed plans for mass arrests, and explained that doing so runs counter to God’s will.
Now Wallnau is telling us that students who don’t want Pence speaking at their commencement need deliverance. And we’re supposed to be the ones who are leading an inquisition?
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