Wednesday, January 20, 2016 at 5:21 AM

Evangelicals Supporting Donald Trump like Israelites Worshipping Golden Calf

Posted by Anthony L. Hall

Donald Trump’s presidential campaign is a black-swan phenomenon. Nothing demonstrates this quite like so many commentators having egg on their faces for mistakenly predicting its demise.

The only reason I don’t is that I have never underestimated the ignorance or gullibility of large segments of the American people. Such commentaries as “On Syria (and almost Every Other Issue), the American People are Insolent, Ignorant, Idiots,” September 10, 2013, attest to this.

Nearly 10 percent of college graduates in the United States think that TV host Judith ‘Judge Judy’ Sheindlin sits on the Supreme Court, according to a recent study.

(New York Post, January 19, 2016)

See?

Now consider that downtrodden people with no college education compose the vast majority of Trump’s supporters. In other words, they are an angry mob of ignoramuses who’d rather have as president a reality-TV star who entertains them than a seasoned politician who governs for the general welfare.

Donald Trump is nothing more than the P.T. Barnum of business: a huckster who thrives on the maxim that ‘there’s a sucker born every minute’…

Sadly, far too many people think Trump would make a good president. They are the suckers to whom he could sell swampland in the Florida Everglades as beachfront property, or discredited degrees from his Trump University as even better than accredited degrees from Harvard.

(“Trump for President? Don’t Be a Sucker,” The iPINIONS Journal, April 8, 2011)

This is why the Trump phenomenon says more about far too many Americans than it does about him. Which brings me to the Evangelicals and their incomprehensible support.

I know Evangelicals. As the son of an evangelical preacher, I grew up amongst them. So trust me when I say that, for any sober Evangelical, Trump is the very personification of Mammon.

how-donald-trump-explains-america-806-body-image-1438883172This, after all, is a man who takes diabolical pride in boasting that he never asks God for forgiveness because he’s without sin, he’s rich, and he’s like a god himself. He even boasts that The Art of the Deal, his book about the virtues of greed and the salvation of wealth, rivals the Bible.

Not to mention that he made most of his money building gambling casinos. Because gambling is as great a sin for most Evangelicals as usury is for most Islamists.

But Trump is probably best known for building a gilded tower in New York City as a monument to himself. And, given his delusions of grandeur, one could well imagine him challenging Jesus by channeling the Devil from atop that tower as follows:

Finally, the Devil took Jesus to a very high mountain. He showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. ‘If You bow down and worship me,’ he said, ‘I will give You all of this.’

(Matthew 4:8)

jesus-temptation007Of course, Jesus rebuked and then admonished the Devil to humble himself before God. You’d think Evangelicals would do what Jesus did, especially given that Trump challenges their Christian faith almost every day. Instead of rebuking and admonishing him, however, they invariably hail him as if he were, well, the second coming of Jesus Christ.

This was the case yesterday, when he held a rally at their Gethsemane, Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia. Trump has an infamous and unrepentant record of iniquity; therefore, one might have expected Evangelicals there to give him a proverbial stoning. Instead, they behaved as if Trump had channeled Daniel in the lion’s den and cast a spell on them.

Incidentally, this, from the conservative news site World Net Daily (on August 15, 2015), might explain why Trump is wooing Evangelicals so successfully:

President Obama isn’t the Antichrist – but he sure is ‘paving the way’ for him, said some Christian evangelists who’ve been watching the White House in biblically prophetic light with alarm.

(WND, August 15, 2015)

160118_pol_social_trump_33x16_1600Never mind that Trump betrayed a sign that he just might be the Antichrist when he bit his tongue trying to read a scripture from the Bible:

After vowing to protect Christians across the globe, Trump read a verse from Second Corinthians — one of the books in the New Testament. But Trump flubbed the name, pronouncing it ‘Two Corinthians.’

(AOL News, January 18, 2016)

As he does with everything, Trump boasts about the love Evangelicals have for him. But they have clearly lost their way. It’s a testament to just how far that more Evangelicals are filling stadiums to hear Trump boast about his wealth than are filling churches to hear pastors preach about their God.

The only thing that explains this willful suspension of their evangelical faith is the precedent the lost Israelites set in Bible times:

the-golden-calf-1

Exodus 32 relates that the Israelites, anxious about Moses’ prolonged absence, demanded that provide a god to lead them. Complying, Aaron collected the golden ornaments of the people and fashioned the gold into the shape of a calf…

The image was immediately hailed by the people as a representation of the God who had brought Israel out of Egypt.

(Jewish Virtual Library.org)

donaldtrumpisreallyrich-1Trump is brazenly exploiting his “relationship” with Evangelicals for all it’s worth. Never mind that their relationship is based primarily on Trump boasting about his wealth and evangelicals hailing it as a representation of the God who will help Trump lead them down the primrose path.

Again, it would be one thing if Trump troubled himself to show a little regard for their purported Christian values. But mean-spirited, bullying, even profane language is the feature attraction of his campaign rhetoric, which makes a mockery of those values.

6a00d83451c36069e2013485663a12970cTo be fair, some Evangelicals are more political conservatives — who are motivated by power, than religious fanatics — who are motivated by faith. Except that Trump, the New York liberal masquerading as a conservative, should be just as much a heathen as Trump, the apocalyptic Antichrist masquerading as a fanatic.

Which is why Evangelicals are sacrificing their Christian faith at the altar of Trump’s political ambition. Moreover, they have ceded their moral authority to speak truth to power and champion family values until kingdom come.

And don’t get started on the sacrilege inherent in Trump comparing himself to Ronald Reagan. After all, Reagan is like a god to political conservatives and religious fanatics alike. This too is incomprehensible. But I digress.

The point is that, Evangelicals seem drunk with wonder as they hang on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of Trump. But I am constrained to ask: What will it profit an Evangelical if he gains Trump as president, but loses his own soul?

In a similar vein, Trump would do well to heed this admonition … from God Himself:

Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.

(Matthew 19:24)

Evangelicals have always intoned that character matters. They too would do well to heed this admonition when choosing a candidate to enter the White House.

Beyond this, the media would do well to stop wasting so much airtime with down-the-rabbit-hole reports about Trump failing to act more presidential. Instead they should be forcing prominent Republicans to explain their support for a candidate who has shown himself in so many ways to be utterly unfit to be president of the United States.

Related commentaries:
American people
NBC to Trump: you’re fired
Trump for res don’t be sucker

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