Evangelicals for Trump: The New Beatitudes
The ever-shrinking band of Americans who perceive themselves as both sincere Christians and principled conservatives have spent much of the past four years staring at the silent heavens, praying for an answer to their urgent inquiry: How can all these supposed evangelical Christians, including even the alleged leaders of the movement, sell their souls so easily to the cult of Donald Trump?
There is wisdom in all God’s plan, one wishes to believe, but good grief, how in the world is one to make sense of millions of humans who for years proclaimed themselves disciples of Jesus Christ, but who now twist every tenet they ever claimed to espouse into a pretzel in order to justify supplanting Jesus with Trump? For that is exactly what they have done, all clever parsing and pseudo-biblical rationalization aside. They have tired of Jesus, and adopted a new god — perhaps, truth be told, one more suited to their weird, secular-materialist hybrid form of Christianity. I am sorry if I have offended anyone with that description, and I must allow that I have met many evangelical Christians whom I regard as truly and seriously faithful adherents to the Bible’s teachings. But when it comes to American evangelicals of the megachurch, Franklin Graham, God-wants-us-to-be-rich-and-earthly variety, I see only obfuscation and self-justification masquerading as faith. And this assessment is certainly buttressed by the ease and near-unanimity with which this alleged religious movement has so thoroughly thrown its soul behind a man who unapologetically and egomaniacally embraces and embodies virtually everything Jesus rejects.
There is no explaining this on rational, let alone religious, terms. Therefore, I believe we ought to stop trying, and simply accept that these evangelicals for Trump — analogous in their religiosity to Catholics for Nancy Pelosi — have realized, at last, the complete fruition of their faith’s inherent and troubling hypocrisy and disingenuousness.
It is time to grant them the gospel rewrite implicit in all their attitudes and current political posturing. In this spirit, I propose to begin such a rewrite with the most essential, synoptic moral teaching of the New Testament, the Sermon on the Mount.
Here, then, is my New Trumpian Edition Bible translation of the Beatitudes:
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for they will be weak enough to absorb my every contradiction.
Blessed are those who moan and whine, for they will find their standard-bearer in me.
Blessed are the meek, for they will never have the pride or dignity to dare challenge the rule of Ignorance.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for self-righteous establishmentarianism, for they will be sated almost to the point of vomiting.
Blessed are the merciless, for they will be granted endless objects of hatred by the GOP’s conservative media flunkies.
Blessed are the pure in self-imposed naïveté, for they will see in a piggish court jester a divine being without flaw.
Blessed are those who mistake physical comfort and pain-avoidance for peace, for they will be granted a leader too cowardly and stupid to resist tyranny.
Blessed are those who are ridiculed for their cultish idolatry, for they will own the future of Progressive America.
Blessed are you when people criticize you, beg you to think, and correctly describe you as hypocritical groupies because of your blind submission to me.
Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in Uniparty heaven, for in this same way the infidels (i.e., principled constitutional conservatives) criticized all the dupes of the Republican establishment who came before you.