It is now clear that the religious right made what amounts to a Faustian deal with Donald Trump. What could possibly make them support a man who is possibly the most unfit, unqualified and debauched person ever to occupy the White House? Well, the prospect of loading up the courts with conservative justices appeared to trump all else. That’s the biggest reason why, for the better part of three years, the nation’s so-called moral guardians have warned us to repent of our disgust with Trump.
On Monday, one of those so-called moral guardians turned his not-so-holy fire on one of the members of the Supreme Court’s liberal wing. He warned that justice to repent and soon, and explained that if that justice doesn’t do so, God is going to deal with him or her–and it won’t be pretty.
When Jim Bakker launched a new version of his PTL Network, he declared that PTL no longer stood for “Praise the Lord,” but “Prophets Talking Loud.” On Monday, he sat down with one of those “prophets,” James Goll. That name isn’t familiar even to veteran religious right watchers like yours truly. However, Goll has been a big player behind the scenes for some time. He is one of the main thinkers behind 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.
Back in the 1980s and 1990s, Goll was one of the leading members of the “Kansas City Prophets,” a grouping that was one of the earliest promoters of the NAR’s central idea–that restored “apostles” and “prophets” would lead the effort to take over the world and put down all resistance to them, then hand the world to Jesus when he returns. Among Goll’s compatriots was Lou Engle of “Jesus Camp” fame.
This context is needed to understand what Goll told Bakker and his audience on Monday. Goll claimed that God had told him in a dream that at least one justice had a limited time to repent before God pulled the rug out. People for the American Way’s Right Wing Watch got a clip.
Goll said that he believed it was “the Father’s will” that Trump will win another term, and it is incumbent upon us to “align with the Father’s choice.” He then claimed that in this supposed dream, God told him Trump would get to put a third justice on the Supreme Court after a sitting justice resigned. However, he said, God was going to give this sitting justice “time to repent” before clearing the way for that justice’s replacement.
However, Goll warned, that justice had a choice to make, and a limited time to make it.
He told me he was going to give time for this particular justice to repent, to come to the Lord–and if they don’t, that they will be removed.
Goll didn’t name which justice was the target of this charismatic/Pentecostal fatwa. But Right Wing Watch suspects Goll was turning his crosshairs on Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the longest-serving liberal on the Court. You may recall that while being treated for broken ribs late last year, doctors discovered she had lung cancer. While recovering from surgery, she missed oral arguments for the first time in her tenure.
Ginsburg told NPR earlier this summer that she has no plans to step down. Right Wing Watch apparently believes that’s what Goll meant when he suggested the justice he was targeting was going to “hang on, hang on, hang on” in hopes that Trump is unseated next year. However, he said, God had “a trump card” in the form of a conservative female jurist who would be a “modern-day Esther”–someone who would shift the court in the direction of “constitutional conservatism” for years to come.
Well, that’s interesting. Esther, for those who don’t know, was a woman who didn’t exactly fit the mold–and broke more than a few. As we all know, RBG left the mold in a shambles. When she enrolled at Harvard Law in 1956, she was one of only nine women in her class. She had to fight tooth and nail to get a prestigious clerkship with a federal judge in Manhattan after being turned down for a clerkship with Justice Felix Frankfurter. She spent a decade as a law professor at Rutgers, and was one of the few women in her field at the time.
If Goll was referring to RBG, he may want to take off his orange-tinted blinders for a second. He’d see there’s already an Esther on the court. Oh, that’s right. RBG wouldn’t be legitimate because she’s a liberal.
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