Trump, Character & The Idolatry of the Hard Right


Needless to say, the past few weeks under the leadership and presidency of Donald J. Trump have been exciting at best, and “soap opera-ish” at the worse.  The man, who against all odds rose to the highest office in the land on the wings of radical “Alt-Right” zealots, disillusioned mid-America whites, and deceived Evangelical Christians, has surpassed the realm of lunacy in the past ten days – and even in the past ten hours.

The clear issue with Mr. Trump is that he is a man who lacks any character that is rooted in core convictions of morality and prudence.  I am not talking about the fact that he has bragged about grabbing women’s vaginas without their permission.  It is quite obvious that much of the Evangelical community couldn’t care less about that and found a way to reconcile that behavior with their understanding of the Holy Bible.  Uh, no, let’s be clear.  They threw out the Bible for the token of a Supreme Court justice pick (who I love by the way) and an executive order that changed very little on the surface of things.

Let’s walk through some of the past few days.  The president meets with Russian Foreign Officials in the White House.  No U.S. photographers allowed.  Only Russian press on the scene.  Our president inadvertently shares classified secrets with our adversary.

Now let me say up front that this was NOT illegal.  It was imprudent none-the-less and it may have eroded trust with one of our closest allies.  My issue is not as much the mistake in dropping the dime as he did.  Stuff happens.  He is a novice and a neophyte on the world stage.  He is learning.  I get it.  I would be more than willing to give him the benefit of the doubt on this blunder if not for the context of how it happened.  Through credible reports [not being denied] we learned that he shared the intel while “bragging” on how good the intelligence is that he sees as president.

This is an unforced error caused by the character deficit of our president.  His lack of any modicum of humility and discipline of the tongue is what has brought on this latest crisis.  He seems to lack prudence, and abhors wisdom and discretion.  This is a dangerous place for our nation.  As the great writer David Brooks of the New York Times bemoans:  “…we are being led by a child.”

Today’s news takes us to a new low in politics.  It is being reported (not denied but actually defended by the White House) that Trump, with usual bravado, disparaged James Comey – a life-long civil servant of our nation – to those same Russian Officials.  He said, “I just fired the head of the FBI.  He was crazy, a real nut job…I faced great pressure because of Russia.  That’s taken off.”

I am NO fan of Comey.  I think he made some mistakes.  Nevertheless, he has served our nation faithfully and he deserved more respect and deference than to be scorned by our president to men who represent the undermining of our national interest.  This just makes no sense.  I will not even get into the smoking gun obstruction of justice issues.  I will leave that to my friends in the legal world.

My point is this.  There are people out there who ignored all of the signs and by their vote forced this man of no character and integrity down our throats.  I actually know some of these people.  I lost friends in this election. I lost church members in this election.  I have to be totally honest here.  For the past few months I have not thought very positively of my Christian friends [except a few whose heart I understood] who pushed the button for this man in the name of some kind of warped moralism that was never rooted in scripture.  As my young friends would say: “they had me feeling some sort of way.”

I can honestly say now that I am no longer angry at them.  I actually now feel sorry for them.  I pity them.  I will never look at them the same and I am almost ashamed to wear the moniker of “Evangelical.”  But I am not.  I actually know what it really means and I know that my respectful resistance of the man Trump is a part of the authentication of my Evangelical credentials.

Furthermore, I think that many of them [not all], with leaders such as Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham who will defend this president no matter what he does, represent a kind of sinful idolatry.  These people have made a god of party and now worship at the altar of extreme, abhorrent ideals. I use the word idolatry because their unabated defense of Trump and his behavior represents a hardening of the heart, and a doubling down of the sorts to defend what (who) they hold dear.  This is dangerous.

Also, I am watching “the resistance” on social media.  I do not like what I am seeing.  I see a lot of emotional rhetoric and memes, but nothing prayerfully thought out.  I will resist.  I will resist this president.  I will do it through prayer and mediums such as this to share respectful and thoughtful analysis of our current state.

Lord, come quickly!