Donald Trump Praised For Not “Using” Evangelicals as Pawns

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You might remember that Donald Trump got off to a bit of a rough start with Evangelicals, when he took a laissez faire appraoch to religion: “I’m a religious person. I go to church. Do I do things that are wrong? I guess so.” When asked by Frank Lutz if he ever asked for forgiveness, Trump answered,

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.

These words caused some consternation among Evangelicals. It was not just his reference to the Eucharist – and here you have to remember that some Evangelicals believe they are literally drinking Christ’s blood and eating his flesh – as “my little wine…and my little cracker” – that threw them, but the fact that he says he doesn’t ask for forgiveness, or even bring God into the picture.

These are people, many of them, for whom God is never out of the picture. Yet here we have David Brody, of CBN’s The Brody File, tweeting that,

It is not all Evangelicals, as The Washington Post makes clear when it discusses the tepid response of Southern Baptists, but something is happening. What gives?

The Washington Post revealed on August 6,

According to a Washington Post-ABC News poll conducted July 16-19, 20 percent of Republican-leaning voters who are white evangelicals support Donald Trump, compared to 24 percent of GOP voters overall and 25 percent of other white Christians (non-evangelicals and Catholics) who support him.

Clearly, some bizarre alchemy is at work here, and it requires explanation. How could the foul-mouthed Trump be a hero to the Shining City on the Hill types?

At the Brody File blog in July, Brody said Trump’s answer was actually fine with Evangelicals (not with all, as we saw at the time). According to Brody,

“…When Trump talks about how he doesn’t really ask God for forgiveness except for when he partakes in communion, that obviously is not the evangelical textbook answer. But at least they appreciate his honesty and with politicians nowadays that is a valued commodity.”

Interesting. They don’t like that same honesty from Liberals. According to these same Evangelicals, Barack Obama is not even a Christian. He is a Muslim. Possibly an atheist. According to the American Family Association’s Sandy Rios, he’s an atheist with Muslim sympathies. They literally fall over themselves to say he’s no Christian.
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And here they’ve got all these candidates also falling over each other, but this time to lick the Religious Right’s boots. Yet it’s Trump they latch on to?

Brody is not heaping praise on Huckabee and Santorum and the others. Instead, he is clearly quite taken with Trump as this tweet from yesterday clearly demonstrates:

Of course, Trump is white. I said recently that Trump is the demagogue Republicans have been waiting for. Or, as President Richard Nixon’s former White House Counsel, John Dean explains, the “authoritarian ruler” they have been waiting for.

I believe we were thinking along the same lines. According to Dean, these leaders are “typically male” and “are dominating; they oppose equality; they desire personal power; and they are amoral.” Not your typical messiah, but liberals have long recognized the Religious Right would stone your typical messiah.

Dean describes Trump perfectly. But let’s allow Brody speak first before getting on with the nuts and bolts of Dean’s analysis. In that same July blog post, he explained the Evangelical attraction to Trump:

Donald Trump operates in a world of absolutes: A world of right and wrong; a world of winners (him) and losers (McCain, Perry, etc); a world of put up or shut up (literally). Trump’s world is colored in black and white. There ain’t much grey. And what does Trump get for speaking out so boldly without holding back? Public ridicule.

Now, think of conservative evangelicals. In their quest to champion biblical values, their mindset is much the same. It is a world of absolutes. They believe the Bible to be the inerrant word of God. Non-negotiable. They believe there is only one way to heaven and that is through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Non-negotiable. They see the world through the lens of spiritual warfare (good vs. evil). And what do evangelicals get for speaking out so boldly without holding back? That’s right: public ridicule.

You wonder if it’s that, or the more tangible fact of his having embraced a 20-week abortion ban, and saying he supports defunding Planned Parenthood based on some faked videos.

I am being cynical I know, but I do not think, unrealistic. The Religious Right’s Martin Bormann, David Lane, may be on to something too when he says “Trump is tapping into deep-seated anger in America.” Never underestimate the power of Evangelical hate.

Brody talks about all the things Trump and Evangelicals share in common besides anger: a black and white world of absolutes and being “ripped by people” for speaking their minds:

Donald Trump and evangelicals are breaking bread together because there is this common bond that I just laid out above. They like his boldness. They relate to him because when they’ve been bold about their faith they get blasted too. It’s a kinship in a strange sort of way. Don’t ask me to go deeper than that folks. If you want that portion, go call Dr. Phil.

We don’t need Dr. Phil to see the persecution complex rearing its ugly head again, the ancient Christian “us against the world” spiel they have been playing over and over while they violently eradicated every alternative to themselves for nearly two thousand years.

But let’s bring “Dr. Phil” in regardless, in the guise of John Dean, who looks at the odd relationship of Evangelicals and Trump from another angle, one I suspect is more accurate than Brody’s:

Specifically, as I noted in Conservatives Without Conscience, the authoritarian followers are both men and women, who tend to be highly conventional, always and easily submissive to authority, while willing to work aggressively on behalf of such an authority. They tend to be very religious, with moderate to little education, trusting of untrustworthy authorities, prejudiced (e.g., with respect to gay marriage); they are typically mean-spirited, narrow-minded, intolerant, bullying, zealous, dogmatic, uncritical of their chosen authority, hypocritical, inconsistent, prone to panic easily, highly self-righteous, moralistic, strict disciplinarian, severely punitive; they also demand loyalty and return it, have little self-awareness, and are typically politically and economically conservative Republicans.

If you are close to any Evangelicals, you recognize the type.

Brody says if Trump can reign in his name-calling and subdue his “hefty ego” that he will do even better with Evangelicals, but you have to wonder, in their uncritical analysis, if the siren call of the authoritarian leader – their false messiah – will lead them on to the rocks regardless.

21 Replies to “Donald Trump Praised For Not “Using” Evangelicals as Pawns”

  1. He’s white, has a persecution complex, and hates the same people they do. I guess that’s enough. It’s a really sad situation.

  2. “Shining City on the Hill”

    Thank you Ronald Reagan for misquoting your “favorite” work, John Winthrop’s “A Model of Christian Charity.”

    John Winthrop NEVER used the word “shining.” He described this new country as just a “city on a hill.”

    We will suffer from this error in perpetuum.

  3. You got one thing wrong.Trump this week, did not call for defunding Planned Parenthood. Instead, he came out in support of everything they do, except abortion. And since they take no federal funds for that anyway, defunding them, as Trump noted, will hurt women, even Republican women. Interesting that he suffered no blowback from that little exchange, from these sanctimonious people who have been attacking liberals for supporting “baby killers for profit.” So far, Trump is as lubricated as Mittens was last time around.

  4. Actually, my statement is correct:

    From The Brody File, “Trump has also come out in support of defunding Planned Parenthood after newly released videotapes have come out showing Planned Parenthood doctors arranging the sale of body parts from aborted babies.”

    From CNN: One week after Trump said he would shut down the government to defund Planned Parenthood, he waffled.

  5. …Trump seems to be getting a few issues right; the rest either buried under inane generalities or evaded outright…just enough to keep EVERYBODY guessing…

  6. Trump Tower was built by S&A Concrete owned by Anthony Salerno, head of the Genovese crime family, and Paul Castellano, head of the Gambinos. This same S&A built dozens of other Trump properties.

    The same Anthony Salerno indicted for bid rigging and 28 other crimes.

    David Cay Johnston has covered New York real estate for decades. 21 Questions for Donald Trump includes the mob connections.

    21 Questions for Donald Trump

    I’ve covered Donald Trump for 27 years. Here are some questions for him.
    http://www.alternet.org/21-questions-donald-trump

  7. Atlantic City, Vegas, Miami – crime boss mob connections all the way back to his roots, no doubt. The casino industry – always was and always will be – no matter laws on the books – NYC mob was always part of it all too. Common part of growing up in Queens was knowing where the mob was and which businesses to avoid.

    Talk about dark money, these guys don’t need Citizens United – they have their own way to get things done for them.

  8. Trump blows smoke at just the right angle up their evangelical asses. He’s not coming right out and calling them wrong or stupid and he’s adressing things in a way that even their small minds can grasp. All the while not addressing anything. These people worship at the altar of Ronald Reagan and thought he was the second coming. Lets face it they like shiny things as long as there’s a little Jesus somewhere wrapped around a bullshit center. Trump is Reagan perfected for the new millennium!

  9. Anyone who blathers on about their stream of consciousness thoughts 24/7 as Trump does is bound to get something right from time to time. The problem in reality is that depending upon where the thought is going, the stream changes. He’s for defunding Planned Parenthood AND he’s against it – all in one week.

    What’s clear is that he thinks he should be POTUS because he can’t think of anyone in the world that he likes remotely as well as or better than himself.

  10. Let’s be clear, Trump is as full of shite as a Christmas goose. You fall for his shtick at your own peril. Politicususa is the only media outlet unafraid to call his hand. (Incidentally, he has a ten high nothing)

  11. Of COURSE the Evangelicals love Trump. He’s got the right amount of bombast, blather, bloviation, and furthermore, he’s white and obviously fascist. Perfect!

  12. I wish articles such as this one did not always assume evangelicals believe their own bullsh*t. It would be very instructive to ask their leaders to take a polygraph test and answer the question, “Do you believe what you preach?”

  13. You’re absolutely right Rin! He’s as dirty and corrupt as they come…so, of course the christofacists love him. They hate anyone who actually personifies Christ-like values, such as President Carter or Pope Francis. Also, let’s not forget that the so-called “mafia” likely played a big part in the Kennedy asassination, along with J. Edgar and the Bush Crime Family. The corruption runs very, very deep in this country.

  14. …prob is; sociopaths {in politics I refer to them as “Sociopathetic} frequently pass polygraphs…probably since they have no conscience they cal lie all day long with the machine saying “True” because there is no increase in heartbeat, pulse or respiration which are what a polygraph actually measures…

  15. The strict evangelical wants to be led onto the rocks. They want us all to be led onto the rocks and the end time to destroy the world, because they believe they have a reservation into Heaven. They love the fire and brimstone, judging others because they’re names are written in the book that will let only them into the pearly gates. The rest of us are doomed to them. They don’t follow the love and teachings of Jesus. They’d label him a liberal and crucify him all over again. Facts mean nothing, they pay their preachers all they have for their ticket to Heaven. Most Christians think they’re brainwashed, filled with hate and want to remain clueless.

  16. Sorry, couldn ‘t agree with you more. Your depiction of evangelicals as

    highly conventional, always and easily submissive to authority, while willing to work aggressively on behalf of such an authority. They tend to be very religious, with moderate to little education, trusting of untrustworthy
    authorities, prejudiced, mean-spirited, narrow-minded, intolerant, bullying, zealous, dogmatic, uncritical of their chosen authority, hypocritical, inconsistent, prone to panic easily, highly self-righteous, moralistic, strict disciplinarian, severely punitive; they also demand loyalty and return it, have little self-awareness, and are typically politically and economically conservative

    could just as easily be applied to many democrats. They tend to serve their own in a very uncritical, authoritarian
    way, being slaves to the “man at the top” whilst allowing millions to suffer in poverty.
    I would hardly say that these people are any less prejudiced in their views than the evangelic…

  17. could just as easily be applied to many democrats. They tend to serve their own in a very uncritical, authoritarian
    —————————–
    You really need to take your meds if you think Democrats do as their leaders tell them what to do. The idiocy I have to read today

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