Trump and MAGA: A Story of Unrepentance

Trump and MAGA: A Story of Unrepentance June 10, 2024

The other day, the Heretic Happy Hour podcast received a voicemail on our hotline, and the caller made a brilliant point about how Donald Trump is, among other things, unrepentant. And while it is true that he is also a convicted felon–something that should disqualify him from holding public office–we shouldn’t demonize other felons in our critique of Trump.

A great rebuke… one that did not go unnoticed by Team HHH.

The wild thing about this realization is that Christians who support Trump don’t seem to care. They’ll strawman and yell at us progressives for how we diminish the need for repentance in our theologies, and then turn around and support a man who can’t even understand the concept itself. As Trump once admitted (when asked if he seeks forgiveness from God):

I am 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.

“I don’t bring God into that picture.”

Shouldn’t that be the first thing you do when you claim the label “Christian?” Because that’s what Evangelicals say Trump is. A Christian. Trump himself has acknowledged to taking the Eucharist, albeit in a very unserious way: “When I drink my little wine–which is about the only wine I drink–and have my little cracker, I guess that is a form of asking for forgiveness.” So, doesn’t that make him a Christian, at least in word (not in deed)?

But that still doesn’t mean he is repentant, and while I couldn’t give less of a shit about one man’s refusal to grow and change their thinking, Christians who support him say they do. Only for everyone else. Just not their political leader, because that would mean they themselves would have to repent of their support of him!

“Repentance for you, just not for me,” should be their slogan.

The obvious problem is that this posture is literally antithetical to the message of Jesus. We should always be repenting, looking inward, being self-reflective, and growing more and more like Christ (theosis). Not only because that is good for us as the individual, but because when others see us, they’ll see someone who is at minimum taking seriously what they say they believe. And that gives the faith quite the testimony!

On the other hand, the entire MAGA-Christian movement does the opposite. It destroys the testimony of Christianity to the point that the American version of the faith has very little left to stand on. Because they are void of love, they sound like nothing more than a “clanging gong,” as Paul would put it. Yelling about illegal immigration this, and woke ideology that, they bounce from issue to issue, never once realizing that what they should really be focusing on is their own walk with God and the very real need to live a life oriented toward repentance.

Even repentance for supporting a man who champions unrepentance!

But again, it’s as if repentance is only there for others–typically the LGBTQ+ community, liberals and progressives, folks who support BLM, drag queens, and everyone else who challenges the tiny box of MAGA Christianity. God forbid they realize most of us in these categories had to repent of our own tiny boxes to get to where we are at today.

Oh, the irony!

So, as I close, if you are one of these Christians (y’all love hate-following me!), and you feel your blood boiling at how idiotic I sound, try to take a breath and at least take one thing to heart: repentance is a crucial tenet of the Christian faith, and anyone who claims the label should take it seriously. That much we should agree on.

Personally, I try to live out of a posture of perpetual repentance, always attempting to orient myself to the way of God/Love. When I’ve done wrong, I seek forgiveness. When I’ve harmed others, I acknowledge the need for reparations. When I notice my own hypocrisy, I try to own up to it and be more consistent with my words and deed. And because I fail at all these things, I repeat the cycle, which is why I live from a place of perpetual repentance.

All I ask of Christians is for something similar. Quit pretending this is something it’s not. Quit pretending Trump takes seriously the tenets of Christianity. And quit making excuses for him and yourselves, because you look absolutely ridiculous as you flail an attempt at your defense of the indefensible.


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