As Donald Trump nears the halfway point of his first full year in office, his reputation couldn’t possibly be worse. His average approval rating, as measured by FiveThirtyEight, stands at 41.6 percent–a slight uptick from the last few weeks, but still brutal by any standard. Moreover, he’s being buffeted on multiple fronts–Robert Mueller’s investigation, the furor over his affair with Stormy Daniels, and a criminal investigation into his longtime lawyer and fixer, Michael Cohen.
However Trump’s support remains steadfast among the religious right. A recent poll for the Public Religion Research Institute found Trump’s support among white evangelicals at a staggering 75 percent–almost equal to the 81 percent of white evangelicals who voted for him in 2016. How is that possible, even in the face of the almost daily outrages from this White House? Well, we may have a clue from one of Trump’s most rabid fundie supporters. To hear him talk, if Trump goes down, God’s image could take a severe hit.
Among the many religious right leaders who are still bowing down to Trump, Lance Wallnau is almost in a class by himself. He thinks that those who oppose Trump are giving the devil an open door into their lives. When Trump wailed that there was a “cloud” over him, Wallnau felt it was demonic, and led his followers in a prayer for that cloud to be broken.
While sitting on the tarmac in Dallas/Fort Worth on Friday, Wallnau took to Periscope to give his followers yet another reason to keep bowing down to Trump. People for the American Way’s Right Wing Watch got a clip.
While discussing the recent beating Trump has taken, Wallnau referred his followers to the story of the golden calf in Exodus. The Israelites enraged God when he saw they had bowed down to an image of a golden calf. But just as he was about to wipe them all out, Moses persuaded him that it wouldn’t look good for God to destroy his people after rescuing them.
To Wallnau’s mind, this proved that “the most powerful prayer is a prayer that appeals to the Lord’s reputation”–and he was praying that very kind of prayer for Trump. After all, he argued, it wouldn’t look good if the man who moved the American embassy in Israel to Jerusalem were “unjustly beaten up and removed from office.” The same would be true if a president who had supposedly overseen “more prayer in the White House than any president has had in 50 years” were pushed out.
Later, Wallnau said that a major part of his prayer strategy was to “remind the Lord of his reputation.” He claimed that it wouldn’t reflect very well on that reputation if Trump wasn’t protected “from his enemies railroading him out-of-town.” To that end, he prayed for God to “rouse from your slumber” and move on Trump’s behalf “in a way that even your enemies will be silenced.”
Well, that’s interesting. The impression most of us got was that God’s reputation was actually being harmed by Wallnau and his ilk standing so steadfastly behind a man who has no moral compass. Oh, that’s right–Trump is making the right clucking noises on abortion and marriage equality.
If that’s all that matters to Wallnau, then he ought to change his name to Lance Armstrong Wallnau. After all, it’s now clearer than ever that just like Trump, Wallnau’s moral standards–or lack thereof–are the same as those of Lance Armstrong.
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