The Third Third

The Blasphemy of "God Made Trump"

Now that I have, as all of us in "the third third" have, reached "a certain age,"  I'm feeling as liberated as I am feeling invisible. So I am intentionally, very intentionally, defying all warnings that one "best not" talk about Money, Politics, or Religion.  Tacking two out of three forbidden fruits here.  (That's not a trigger warning, just a confession.) Read on.

Soooooo,  God made Trump. And I suppose He did. If you believe that sort of thing. According to the prevailing Judeo-Christian theological narrative, however, God made ALL of us. So God’s “making” Trump really isn’t the big deal that the vile new 2024 Presidential campaign video Trump posted on Truth Social suggests it is. 

And yet, there it is, a dark, hubristic, messianic video out there for everyone to see on Truth Social and You Tube, filled with misleading falsehoods, both political and religious. It certainly feels like Trump has effected a successful hi-jacking on two fronts now: He has taken over the political party once known as Republican for his own purposes and perverted the religious faith known as Christianity to his own ends, or glory.

 Jennifer Rubin  in the Washington Post, takes the analysis a step further, writing that Trump is neither a legitimate political candidate nor a faithful servant; he is the leader of a cult. 

I have to say, it enrages me to hear Trump’s followers in Iowa compare the indictments against him chronicling 91 felony charges to the trial and crucifixion of Jesus (as in “Jesus died to save us, and Trump is fighting to save us again,” I kid you not). It is so wrong. But this is where we are, right where Trump wants his people to be, putty in his God-like hands. 

And from the founts of Christianity?  Silence. I don’t get it. Why isn’t every Christian priest, minister, bishop and layperson, at every opportunity, denying loudly and repeatedly Trump’s absurd Christo-fascist messages? What could they say? How about this: “That’s not Christianity!” “That’s not my Christianity!” “Christianity is Love and Forgiveness, not Hate and Vengeance.” “Christianity is about All God’s Children.” “Christianity cannot be racist or sexist or homophobic.” “Christianity is an inclusive faith.” “Christianity calls us to feed the hungry and serve the poor.” Even, “That’s blasphemous!” This is what fire-and-brimstone was made for. (Smite these Trumpsters!!)

But, clearly I expected too much of 21st century Christianity. Apparently I’ve misunderstood the modern Church’s mission, its purpose, its potential, as my erstwhile parish liked to say “to build the kingdom of God on earth.” Martin Luther King in his Letter from a Birmingham Jail (as cited by Robert Hubbell  in his Today’s Edition Newsletter) wrote in 1963 that the church that failed to engage in the struggle for civil rights risked becoming an “irrelevant social club with no meaning for the twentieth century.” And that may be right where we are again today, with a church refusing to dispute Trump’s blasphemy, failing to preach against hate and violence and vengeance , ceding power to Caesar that belongs to God. Not daring to risk the prophetic, but instead merely polishing its liturgies and traditions, rebuilding sanctuaries and parish halls, trying to keep people spiritually nourished but never so spiritually challenged that they’s have to confront society’s pain. Irrelevant. 

There are exceptions, people and parishes who proclaim and share and live into the Love of God, actively promoting peace and justice. All Saints Pasadena, an Episcopal church in Pasadena, California, is a strong and vibrant, deeply engaged faith community with prophetic leadership. And an organization called Christians Against Christian Nationalism, a project of the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Freedom in Washington, DC, it is currently working in the name of religious freedom in Texas, for example, to defeat efforts by MAGA's religious right to install chaplains —including unlicensed ones — in all public schools. 

Amen to them.

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