On Tuesday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced the launch of a formal impeachment inquiry against Donald Trump. Pelosi had been reluctant to support impeachment for some time despite a growing chorus in her own caucus. However, Pelosi’s perspective changed in the wake of new details about how Trump tried to pressure the government of Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden.
Watch Pelosi announce the inquiry here.
Pelosi was unsparing in her criticism of Trump, saying that he broke the law by refusing to allow the Director of National Intelligence to turn over a whistleblower complaint about Trump’s conversation with his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelensky. Additionally, she said, by admitting to pressuring Kiev to get dirt on Biden, Trump betrayed his oath, compromised national security and thumbed his nose at the integrity of our elections.
Predictably, the right howled with outrage. How dare that San Francisco librul witch gave in to the Squad and allow a direct attack their dear one and the 63 million people who voted for him! But one element of the right was noticeably silent for a time–the religious right.
From the perspective of this veteran religious right watcher, this came as something of a surprise. After all, for the better part of three years, the nation’s so-called moral guardians have insisted to all who will listen that the opposition to Trump is demonically driven. However, for a few days, most of the religious right’s heavy hitters were rather conspicuous in their silence. A notable exception was Franklin Graham. Just 24 hours before Pelosi pulled the pin, Graham fils felt the need to wail, in so many words, “Leave Trump alone!”
At first, it was rather telling that the other prominent generals in the Trumpvangelical Army, like Lance Wallnau, Rick Joyner, and Jim Bakker, didn’t join him. But in the last 24 hours, the religious right noise machine has ramped up full blast–and with the usual dose of alternative facting.
For instance, black conservative pastor E. W. Jackson whined that Trump was being punished simply for asking Zelensky to do what any normal person would do–ask for a favor. Uh huh. So asking a foreign government to get dirt on your rival is no different from the rest of us asking for a favor? Come off it, E. W.
On top of that, Tony Perkins, who was one of many fundies who wanted Obama impeached for every reason under the sun or no reason at all, claimed with a straight face that impeaching Trump would harm the country. So holding the president of the United States to account for using the power of his office to attack a political rival would do irreparable harm to our nation’s fabric? Please, Tony. I know you’re determined to keep giving Trump mulligans, but this is ridiculous.
But as much as Graham fils, Jackson and Perkins have beclowned themselves, one rabid pro-Trump preacher has outdone them all. That would be Hank Kunneman, who pastors Lord of Hosts Church in Omaha alongside his wife, Brenda. The Kunnemans both claim to have a “prophetic anointing,” and are rising stars in the hypercharismatic world. Lately, they have used that “anointing” to join in what can only be described as a campaign to bully Christians into bowing and praying to the orange god that he helped make.
Earlier this summer, for instance, Kunneman called in “angelic reinforcements” to ensure Trump is reelected. Watch here.
Judging by the events of the last week, those angels must be asleep at the switch.
Later, Kunneman insisted that Trump wasn’t felled by the Mueller Report because Trump offered a “secret prayer” asking God to protect him. In order to believe that, you’d have to believe that God told Attorney General William Barr to summarize the report in such a way that it angered both Mueller and his aides.
In other words, it’s been amply established that Kunneman is willing to go to any length to keep his followers loyal to Trump. But even by that standard, a “prophetic word” he shared on Thursday is breathtaking. He felt the need to make sure that his followers understood “God’s perspective” on this impeachment inquiry.
Notice when Kunneman got this “word from the Lord”? On May 22–the same day that Pelosi accused Trump of engaging in a “cover-up” by stonewalling House investigations into his dealings. Watch here.
As many of you know, I am a charismatic/Pentecostal Christian–albeit nowhere near as hidebound as Kunneman and his ilk. From that perspective, I have to wonder why Kunneman didn’t share it sooner. After all, if he was intending to warn Pelosi against going after Trump and explain why this was a bad idea, why not share it then?
The timing of Kunneman’s decision to release this “word from the Lord” is even more questionable when you consider what happened after news of the Ukraine call broke in full. Far from an exoneration of Trump, it actually ramped up the momentum for impeachment. In the days since this broke in full, several Democrats who were initially reluctant to call for impeachment changed their minds.
The tipping point undoubtedly came when seven Democrats with national security backgrounds wrote an op-ed in The Washington Post in which they condemned Trump’s behavior as a betrayal of “all we have sworn to protect.” The message was clear–while they may have opposed impeachment in the past, they felt the behavior detailed in the call was simply too egregious. From their perspective as people who have dedicated their lives to protecting this country, they felt the only option was a full impeachment inquiry. Within 24 hours, Pelosi formally launched an impeachment inquiry. So much for an exoneration.
Where was the boomerang, Hank? If there was one, Trump initially intended to throw it at Biden–and it hit him smack between the eyes. We know that you and your cronies have few qualms about peddling false prophecies. You still coddle Mark Taylor, for crying out loud. But the bill may be about to come due for your worship of Trump. Clearly, your perspective is warped. You don’t see that the boomerang may be headed head on for you and the rest of the Trumpvangelical Army.
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