That is the development I never anticipated in the 90s when I blithely assumed that conservative Christians were the antidote to the postmodern, relativist and post-truth stuff I was hear from the Left in the academy.
Instead, what has happened is that the Right has, to a radical degree, embraced and implemented all that the Left merely offered as theory. And the result is the insane asylum of Catholic court prophets like Conway, Hannity, Bannon, and Ingraham helping spew marching orders and lies in defense of the immense lie machine that is the Party of Trump. The sheer nihilism of Trumpian Christianity in both its Evangelical and Catholic forms is a colossal scandal and it has inflicted so much damage on the American Church that I don’t see recovery from it in my lifetime.
The priest scandal was a huge wound, but it involved a tiny minority of perpetrators out of the millions of American Catholics. But this scandal has involved enlisting millions of Catholics to parrot and cheer for ridiculous lies:
- a chickenhawk who mocks POWs and spits in the face of Gold Star parents is an American patriot
- a sex predator as the champion of Family Values
- Trump, Gingrich, Bannon, Limbaugh and Guilani with 16 wives between them and all applauded by people who think a piddly footnote in Amoris Laetitia makes the Pope the antichrist
- a pack of thieves robbing 24 million people of health care posing as champions of life
- bazillions in arms to the Saudi financiers and backers of ISIS from the Great Hero who knows more than all the generals about the Middle East
- an enemy of the Constitution obstructing justice and keeping us from learning his ties to the foreign enemy that interfered in the election he won
- and a buffoon who, according to the WaPo, blabbed and bragged away extremely sensitive intel to Russian spies in an act so irresponsible that were he anybody but Donald Trump he would be instantly fired for incompetence or hanged for treason according to ex-intelligence officials.
But the worst part of all, for me, as a Catholic, is that all this has been done with the spectacularly scandalous support of people like Fr. Frank Pavone desecrating (his bishop’s description) an altar with the dead body of a baby in order to make a stump speech for Trump and promise anti-abortion-but-not-prolife Catholics that Trump would give us all the kingdoms of the world if we would bow down and vote for him.Yeah, yeah. “But abortion!” The same moral relativists who compass heaven and earth to excommunicate people for communion in the hand, the same people who spent the past year seeking heresy charges against the pope over a puny footnote, the same people obsessing over whether a Latin word has been correctly pronounced think nothing of denying an innocent child burial and scandalously using her corpse–apparently for years!–as a political prop and defiling altar. Because truth is relative and earthly power is all that matters.
The sole reflexive response to all this is “But Hillary!” Get over it. Hillary lost. The problem is not that you guys voted for Trump as the supposed “lesser of two evils”. It is and always has been that the moment he won, you did not set yourselves to opposing all the evil your yourselves acknowledge that he advocates, but that you have set yourselves to defending every single one of them (and all the new insanities has he committed since 1/20/17) because, in your massive pride, you could not bring yourselves to admit even the smallest error.
And so here we are with a crook and a liar endangering the Republic and the world while his foolish Christian supporters excuse and defend everything he does no matter what, all while spitting on the least of these and periodically denouncing Pope Francis.
My heart has been well and truly broken by the appalling spectacle of Catholics driving away the next generation and the least of these in their madness for power over the past year. I still believe all the Church teaches. But boy O boy has my faith in “faithful conservative Catholics” in the US been killed deader than a doornail. It is a scandal and a hissing.