Since taking office, Donald Trump has struggled to get his approval ratings out of the low 40s. As of Sunday, his average approval rating, as calculated by FiveThirtyEight, stands at 42.7 percent. But Trump is lucky to be doing that well. One big reason he’s still standing is that the religious right has convinced a significant number of its followers that demons are driving the forces opposing him.
To hear the nation’s so-called moral guardians talk, Russia didn’t hack the election for Trump–God did. And that supposedly doesn’t sit well with the devil, so he and his minions are working overtime to keep Trump from making America both great and Christian again. To hear the religious right talk, if you oppose Trump, you’re being played by demons. So it should come as no surprise that two very prominent generals in the Trumpvangelical army have returned to this theme with less than a month to go before Trump’s first midterm election.
First up, Steve Strang, founder and publisher of Charisma magazine. Just days before Election Day, the November edition of Charisma is going to hit mailboxes with a cover story warning about “The Spiritual Struggle for the Soul of America.” In a blog post hyping that article, Strang claimed that secular politicians and pundits either don’t know or don’t understand that we are in “a spiritual war”–one that is “manifesting itself politically between left and right.”
Strang peddled what has become an all-too-common theme among Christian conservatives–you can’t be a Democrat and a Christian.
(I)f you’re a firm Bible-believing Christian, you can’t go along with many of the values on the left. The pro-abortion agenda and the attacks on traditional marriage, for example, strike at the heart of what Christians believe about biblical morality. Because of this, the Republican Party—which is by no means perfect—has become a kind of repository for those who want something more conservative.
He then blew a blatant dog whistle, wailing about the 1963 Supreme Court decision that banned forced prayer and Bible reading in public schools. The message was obvious–that decision was driven by demons.
Strang believes that this war is only going to “grow more intense,” and it is up to “those who are empowered by the Spirit of God to stand in the gap for this nation.” He doubled down on this them during that day’s edition of his podcast, “The Strang Report.” Listen here.
Strang claimed that Spirit-filled Christians need to take seriously their responsibility to “pull down strongholds.”
Just before Strang went live with his blog post and podcast, Jim Bakker joined in the effort to stop the demons who are supposedly out to stop Trump. On that day’s edition of “The Jim Bakker Show,” Bakker brought on evangelist Billye Brim to warn about the spiritual warfare that is already brewing ahead of the elections. Watch here.
Brim claimed that this election comes down to one simple issue–“whether our president’s hands are strengthened or not.” She claimed that God wants to bless this country through Trump, “and his hands are going to have to stay strong to do it.” She warned that “the demons in the heavenlies” are already fighting Trump, so it’s up to believers to use their authority and “don’t let them act up and take the elections.”
As a left-leaning charismatic/Pentecostal myself, this sort of talk makes me retch. Were Strang, Bakker and Brim paying attention when Trump called Stormy Daniels “Horseface“? You mean to tell me that if I believe that’s not the way a president should behave, I’m being played by demons? Oh, that’s right–according to another general in the Trumpvangelical Army, Paula White, that shouldn’t matter because Trump still has his faith “close to his heart.”
And were Strang, Bakker and Brim paying attention when Trump praised Montana Congressman Greg Gianforte for bodyslamming a reporter last year, then mimicking someone doing a body slam? No, this isn’t snark. Watch here.
So if I believe a president has no business condoning such thuggery, I’m being played by demons?
Apparently Strang, Bakker, Brim and other Trump-worshiping evangelists don’t know or understand that a significant number of Christians–including Spirit-filled ones–know that this country is being actively swindled. This election is going to be one of the earliest chances we have to reverse that swindle. And if these so-called moral guardians believe that line is demonic, then, as one of my left-leaning Christian friends would say, it’s not the man upstairs they’re listening to.
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