It has been amply established that the religious right’s moral compass–assuming that it exists–is severely warped. That’s the only thing you can take away from the nation’s so-called moral guardians going all-in for Donald Trump. But in the months since the Ukraine scandal came to light, we’ve seen just how warped the religious right’s compass really is. To a (wo)man, they have railed that any attempt to hold Trump to account is being driven by the forces of darkness.
There is something fundamentally wrong when exposing abuse of power is considered evil and demonic. And that’s especially true when the abuse is as ham-handed as Trump’s attempt to use the power of his office to get Ukraine to launch an investigation of former Vice President Joe Biden solely for his own political benefit. But that’s exactly what Trump’s most ardent religious right supporters would have us believe.
They have told us that Trump’s foes are treasonous and demonically possessed, and that impeachment itself is a demon that must be bound. They have tried to spiritually shush the impeachment effort, and insisted that God has already foretold Trump will be cleared. For good measure, they have warned that if we don’t leave their dear one alone, they’ll ask God to make us pay for our insolence.
You would have thought that with more evidence coming to light of the outrageous behavior in the West Wing since Trump was formally impeached, the fundies would back off. Well, at least one klatch of fundies has no intention of letting up. We found that out when the leader of an ad hoc network dedicated to covering Trump in prayer warned Americans against raising their hands against Trump. His explanation? They’d be in league with the forces of darkness.
Soon after Trump’s upset victory, Frank Amedia, pastor of Touch Heaven Ministries in Canfield, Ohio; announced the formation of “POTUS Shield,” a group dedicated to covering Trump with “a shield of prayer and prophetic understanding.” Its top leaders are mostly drawn from the ranks of 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 and snuffing out anyone seen as working with “darkness” and the devil.
With an agenda like that, it should come as no surprise that POTUS Shield has remained loyal to Trump even in the face of the almost daily outrages coming from this White House. Just in case that wasn’t clear, Amedia erased any doubts with a video message to his followers on Monday. Watch here.
While announcing the launch of a 21-day fast, Amedia reminded his followers of the story of Ahitophel, a former adviser to King David who later joined forces with David’s third son, Absalom, during an abortive rebellion. Ahitophel, Amedia said, had “one foot in the camp of David and one foot in the camp of betrayal.”
He likened Ahitophel to some of Trump’s advisers, wailing that Trump can’t even have a chat on the phone with one of his counterparts abroad “without somebody trying to undercut it, and to use it, and then lay in the shadows.” Such behavior, Amedia said, can only be described as “secrecy,” “witchcraft,” and “darkness.” He suggested that those in the West Wing who can’t serve Trump ought to resign. He claimed it was “hypocrisy” for them to claim that they wanted to “serve the better good” when they’re really betraying their oath.
Well, that’s interesting. I thought it was a case of those advisers remembering their oath isn’t to Trump, but to the United States. Oh, that’s right. If you oppose Trump, you oppose America.
Amedia reminded his followers that in 2 Samuel, Absalom disregarded Ahitophel’s advice to attack David’s camp in full force. It turned out God was behind it so as to “bring disaster upon Absalom.” He claimed that in a similar manner, God was going to allow those advising Trump’s foes to “have some life for a short while”–but only so he can “bring his disaster” against those who are out to take down Trump.
And yet, in the midst of all of this, Amedia tried to warn us–with a straight face–that “we are in a time when good is called evil and evil good.” Um, Frank? If you’re saying that holding this president to account for using the power of his office for his own personal political gain is serving darkness, that’s exactly what you’re doing.
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