Donald Trump May Be the Worst Thing to Happen to the Religious Right

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This is nothing new, of course: Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council told a caller yesterday that God would no longer protect the United States, thanks to marriage equality. Ever since the Manichaean Augustine of Hippo opened his mouth, conservatives have been looking for the City of God, an effort which has left a morose dunghill in its place.

“Absolutely, absolutely,” Perkins replied, enthusiastically agreeing with the caller: “[We] put ourselves in a very vulnerable position” just like in “1973 when the court basically said it’s open season on the unborn, there were consequences to that and I believe it’s a part of removing God’s hand of protection upon a nation.”

Right. Open season against blacks doesn’t presage anything dire, and that has been with us since the first slave arrived on these shores, centuries before Roe v. Wade. How about the genocide of the Native Americans, which began even before the first slave arrived? Or how about beating gays and transgenders? Or raping women? Or abusing the poor of any background? None of that bothered God?

Or if none of that moves you, how about what we do to our own children in this country?

When Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me” (Matthew 19:14) he didn’t mean hurry them on their way to heaven. But once they’re out of the womb, that is precisely what Republicans do.

Where is Perkins’ head that only the unborn matter to him, and not the living? Jesus didn’t preach about or to fetuses. He preached to the living.

And Perkins is not alone. Take Rick Santorum, Rand Paul, or Ted Cruz who insists freedom is tyranny.

Scott Walker, for crying out loud, after doing his best to destroy Wisconsin, said its God’s plan that he now destroy the entire 50 states by becoming president.

Donald Trump is crass and boorish, but he may prove to be the dung-covered gem in the dunghill. He may not win, but for a moment, a whole bunch of Republicans are forgetting about this God thing. Unlike Walker and Cruz, Trump hasn’t claimed God wants him to run, or that he’s the messiah.

Trump says, “I’m a religious person. I go to church. Do I do things that are wrong? I guess so.”

In fact, look what Trump told Frank Lutz last Saturday at the Iowa Family Leadership Summit, when asked, “Have you ever asked God for forgiveness?”

Compare this to Jeb Bush, who eagerly explains he does so often. (You think you’ve been cringing? Put yourself in the shoes of the Religious Right):

I’m not sure I have. I just go on and try to do a better job from there. I don’t think so. I think if I do something wrong, I think, I just try and make it right. I don’t bring God into that picture. I don’t.

We I take, when we go, and church and when I drink my little wine – which is about the only wine I drink – and have my little cracker, I guess that’s a form of asking for forgiveness, and I do that as often as possible because I feel cleansed, OK? But, you know, to me that’s important, I do that, but in terms of officially, I could say, ‘Absolutely!’ and everybody, I don’t think in terms of that. I think in terms of, let’s go on and let’s make it right.

We all missed this thanks to his next dissing John McCain, but think about how far off the reservation he has gone with this.

His little glass of wine and his cracker. And he got a standing ovation at the end of his talk.

Trump, alone of all the Republican candidates, isn’t acting like a frothing-at-the-mouth religious zealot. In fact, Ed Kilgore at the Washington Monthly said, “everything about Trump screamed the oafish tycoon speaking the unaccustomed language of faith.”

And yet it is Donald Trump who is leading at the polls. Attacking John McCain didn’t hurt him. Dismissing God didn’t hurt him. Of the two, I would argue that the latter is the more important. It is an importance which cannot be overstated.

Erick Erickson claimed, over at Red State, where pregnant women are animals, that, “Donald Trump made a potentially fatal error yesterday in Iowa…. The media might not have noticed. But it was the talk of evangelicals yesterday and today at church.”

But I don’t think anybody is listening to Erick Erickson. Certainly not enough to hurt Donald Trump’s polling numbers.

We can read at Right Wing Watch that “Russell Moore of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission and Samuel Rodriguez of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference said last week that they didn’t know a single evangelical who supports Trump…”

I don’t think anybody is listening to them either.

Is there actually a niche for a Republican presidential candidate who is not in the thrall of the likes of Tony Perkins?

Will all this come back to haunt Trump? Will the bubble burst? Sure, it’s possible. It is also possible he can provide conservatives a moment of clarity, to show the Republican base that politics can be about something other than religion.

After all, Trump has yet to say a word about mantles of protection or divine snit fits dropping flocks of birds out of the sky. He just eats his little cracker and tries to do better.

This is not to make an argument for Trump. Rather, look at the significance of the moment. However far Trump may go in the 2016 presidential race, he may have shown a way forward for Republican candidates who are not in thrall to the Religious Right, a sort of anti-Reagan, which is ironic given all the comparisons being made to Reagan by his adoring followers on Twitter.

For Trump, this isn’t a war of God’s Righteous Republicans against Liberal Satan-worshipers, but a war of Donald Trump against idiots and fools.

And you know what? That’s kind of refreshing.

27 Replies to “Donald Trump May Be the Worst Thing to Happen to the Religious Right”

  1. May?

    It’s always been a war with idiots and fools, those who choose to look at everyone else through their Jeebus-tinted glasses. Glasses with blinders, blinded against their own crap.

    You helped to create him Righties.

    Bon Appetit!

  2. I would NEVER vote for the Donald, but this is the one thing I think he got right, by putting religion in its hole! I sincerely hope he runs as an independent. Like I said, I would never vote for him. But he would drag half of those Republican idiots with him in going indie! And that is a good thing!

  3. There is no difference between worshipping the Green-Eyed Spaghetti Monster and Jesus….absolutely no difference.

    They are equally plausible.

    While he is a train wreck, I appreciate his pretty obvious a religiosity.

  4. I don’t think the evangelicals are going to make a difference in the general anyway, maybe the primaries but Erickson is overstating their importance. More people are shying away from church, not running towards it. However, they are LOUD and their message gets through the scrum. On this point, I actually think Trump spoke the truth. Maybe it was not planned but I gather he isn’t into kissing asses, just people kissing his.

  5. Is there actually a niche for a Republican presidential candidate who is not in the thrall of the likes of Tony Perkins?
    Of course.
    Trump isn’t changing who he is to get votes and he has plenty of support.
    On balance, he’s a net plus for the GOP race, but he will have a very difficult time winning.
    No organization and no infrastructure.

  6. The green-eyed spaghetti monster god never demanded human sacrifice. Or subjugation and enslavement of non-pasta lovers.

    I’ll take pasta primavera over a fish sandwich any day.

  7. Was “God” protecting and blessing America when we kept slaves for 250 years? Or wiping out eh Native Americans? Or waging war, destroying our environment with overconsumption? But now, let two consenting adults marry, and GOODBYE!

  8. …vague assurances and personal attacks do not a campaign make…
    …and when pressed for evidence to say “I’ll tell ya later” does not inspire trust…

  9. The McCain war hero thing can’t bring him down, and now the Jesus route isn’t getting any traction. What to do when all your standby attacks don’t stick……….find a male prostitute. This should cover the morality issue and everyone knows how republicans feel about homosexuality. Reince can probably get Roves super pac to foot the bill. Win win for the retuglicans!

  10. the only place it will hurt Trump is in Iowa because the far right wing religious zealots still have a stranglehold on the republican party, but they have taken a # of hits this year, like the elimination of the straw poll and they might not be in control much longer. Additionally Iowa is losing relevance because the path to victory now seems to be if you make the cutoff in the fox news debate based on national poll #s……….so long Iowa relevance. All those church going Iowa loonies probably aren’t smart enuf to notice the rug has been pulled out from under them.

  11. Everything in your comment is spot on. I would also include provoking a war with newly born Mexico and stealing half of its territory in the process.

  12. McCain didn’t have this problem, even though he also was divorced. He chose a religious sop named Sarah Palin for VP candidate. Trump can keep the religious base in line with another running mate choice that evangelicals could support.

  13. If Trump does get the nomination, Cruz should be the last one he chooses for VP. He would then show he is stupid.
    I would never in a million years vote for the Donald but he is highly entertaining. He has no filter and as a repub that is just hysterical.
    Now if the US wants a real president with morals and leadership skills,

  14. “…a war of Donald against idiots and fools.” Doesn’t the Donald fit into those two catagories himself? Isn’t he both an idiot and a fool as well? Methinks he is.

  15. There is one absolutely LEGITIMATE thing that is rightly destructive to the religiomatics of the wrong right.

    That is TRUTH.

    Hurry up with this~

  16. If Trump succeeds in getting religion out of politics, that will be a miracle I can accept. It is long past time for the so-called christians to lose their dominance in politics. They have nothing to offer but their hate and tyranny under the guise of “religious freedom.” They seem to “believe” they have the right to discriminate against anyone who doesn’t agree with them. Their attacks on women and gays are monstrous. If they can be prevented from starting another “holy war” with Iran, we just may be able to save the planet. They don’t care anything
    about Isreal or its people, except for the
    part it plays in their delusion of the
    Apocalypse. The 1% have been “using” the greedy church leaders since the Great Depression. Once they achieve their goal of world dominance, the gullible “believers” will be thrown under the bus. The masses are too ignorant to see what is happening right under their prejudiced little noses.

  17. The worst thing that happened to the “religious right” is the Radical Christian, thats why the churches are losing parishioners and are being sold.We can thank extremist like Santorum, Cruz,Bush,Baukman,Palin,Huckabee, etc. you know who they are

  18. Another good place for Shadowolf’s Ghandi quote.

    I like your Christ but I don’t like your Christians, your Christians are nothing like your Christ. {Gandhi}

  19. As much as McCain disgusts me. I doubt if he “chose” Palin. If he ditched his wife and family to move to AZ and accepted a very young wife to buy a “career” then shows his “love” enough to call her a cunt in public I don’t think he likes or respects women enough to choose Palin himself.
    I have always thought “The Party” does the choosing for everything. Any deviation from that then they are toast. Look at John and Lindy. The pimp Dennis Hastert and on and on and on. Too many to mention. The crooks are allowed to do anything unless they break the unbreakable party rule. Get caught in a position that can’t be spun or covered up. Then according to their party service, some are moved on to even greater monetary rewards..Lobbyist.

  20. you should read your bible before you look forward to this…

    if all the “Religious Right” leave the planet in this way, where do you think they went ? where do you think they will go ?

    I Promise you, if you see millions of people disappear you truely are, ” left behind ”

    some christians say …. ” if I’m wrong its only a lifetime, if Your wrong… its an eternity….

    I can tell you, anyone that can look into the sky and see stars … should understand… we are NOT alone… and if you cant see that your deluded.

    you can believe all you want in ” your own truth ” but when a vastly more advanced civilization of beings shows you your wrong by wisping up millions of people you might want to re-evaluate your view on the superiority of the human race.

    here is a little Tip. the Rapture will be nothing to celebrate if your still here… because if those “religious nutcases ” actually do disappear …. they will return and be completely in charge. just sayin :)

  21. Jesus was likely a historical figure. Whether he ever said any of the stuff attributed to him is debatable. The Green-eyed Monster you just made up right now.

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