One of the most bewildering anecdotes of the Donald Trump era is the religious right’s otherworldly support for him, even though it has been amply established that he is a boor and a bully who runs this country like a mob boss. How is this possible? Well, if you listen to the nation’s so-called moral guardians, opposing Trump amounts to nothing less than an act of insurrection against God himself.
As this story goes, God, not Russia, hacked the election for Trump. Supposedly, the Almighty didn’t just want a president who would make America great again, but make America Christian again. And to the fundies, Trump has delivered on that and then some–most notably by being the first president to speak at the March for Life, reversing the gains the LGBT community made in the Obama era, and above all with appointing a trove of conservative judges.
But what if you suggest that it’s not worth his degrading of women, attacks on the press, and his willingness to misuse and abuse his power? Well, in the eyes of Trump’s religious right defenders, you’re being played by the devil. When you have to face that kind of talk on a regular basis in your church, it’s natural to keep your head down. And that’s especially true if you live in a state where Trump still walks on water.
Just days after Trump’s impeachment trial ended with a party-line vote for acquittal in the Senate, a self-declared prophetess and rabid Trump supporter delivered a supposed heavenly warning to those who voted to remove Trump from office for abuse of power and obstructing Congress. The explanation? If you voted to remove Trump, you were guilty of insurrection and sedition.
Wanda Alger is co-pastor of Crossroads Community Church in Winchester, Virginia and a field reporter with Intercessors for America. She first raised eyebrows in July when she claimed those who object to Trump’s boorishness want him to uphold standards that aren’t in the Bible. Soon afterward, God supposedly told Alger that what we see as ugly behavior from Trump is actually being stirred up by God himself in response to the demonic insurrection being waged in this country.
It looked like Alger was starting to come to her senses later in the summer when she warned her fellow social conservatives against “adoration and veneration” of Trump. But that moment proved fleeting, based on a “word from the Lord” she got as the Senate voted to acquit Trump. This “word” was also mirrored at Charisma magazine, the charismatic/Pentecostal-oriented magazine that has been carrying water for Trump and the religious right for some time.
Supposedly, God told Alger that he wasn’t pleased with those who “spoke their judgments against My choice” for president–an obvious swipe at both the Senators who voted to convict Trump, as well as the House managers who presented the case for removing Trump from office. If you believe Alger, God believes those who supported impeachment in the House and removal in the Senate are “guilty of rebellion and insurrection.”
God also supposedly took a potshot at Mitt Romney of Utah, the only Republican who broke ranks to vote for even one article of impeachment. If you believe Alger, God believes that Romney–“the man that many believed to be My hopes for this country in 2012” as the Republican candidate for president that year–had shown his “true nature,” and wasn’t pleased by it. Supposedly, Romney had shown a “bitter root deep within his heart,” and had joined the insurrection against Trump after being swayed by “his own insecurities and false religion.”
If you believe Alger, God must have seen a different speech than the one the rest of us saw. Let’s jog both God’s and Alger’s memories, shall we?
Say what you will about Romney–who, as Right Wing Watch notes, has come under fire in the past from fundies because he’s Mormon. But this was not the sentiment of a bitter man. This was the sentiment of a man who, at least this once, followed his oath rather than his party label.
With all due respect, Wanda, you would do well to remember your own words from last summer. Back then, you wrote that pro-Trump Christians must preach “Christ crucified, not Trump sanctified.” And yet, you say voting to hold Trump to account for using the power of his office to bully a foreign country into joining a politically motivated investigation of a rival amounts to an act of “insurrection”?
If you believe that the House had no right to impeach Trump for this, and/or that Senators had no business voting to convict and remove him from office for this, it sounds like you’re sanctifying him.
Sadly, talk along these lines is very typical from pro-Trump pastors, especially in red America. If you’re wondering how Trump can possibly remain so popular among social conservatives, this so-called “word” from Alger provides part of the answer. After all, in this world, if you oppose Trump, you’ve joined the insurrection supposedly mounted a radical socialist Democrat mob–against both Trump and God himself.
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