Prior to Trump’s ascent in 2016, I didn’t understand that my coerced Republican “Christian” vote along with millions of other white Republican Christian women were being used to usher in fascism. When I refer to MAGA, I am only referring to a percentage of Republicans who are bedfellows with the Religious Right. However, they are dangerous and powerful because they want power at all costs, even at the cost of destroying democracy. Steven Levitsky, a law professor from Harvard, explains this well. I don’t think most Republicans want to overturn our democracy, but those in power have infected the Republican party to force fascist conformity.
A calculated and planned attempt to usher in fascism started at least in the Reagan era, if not prior to this. After being a life-long Republican and voting a straight-red ticket, I do not think I will ever Republican again. For 25 years, I did not understand what I was participating in the implementation of fascism until 2016, and I ask God and others for forgiveness. I just blindly trusted and went along the Religious Right and allowed myself to be coerced into voting Republican as a Christian rather than examining how I voted and why I voted the way I did. This is also my analysis of the last 50 years of American history in regards to the marriage of the hard political right and Christians of different kinds, many (not all) White Evangelicals, a little less than half of White American Catholics, and many White High Church Protestants. Yes, there is a huge racial component to voting. In short, many White Christians have taken the one issue of abortion and a few others related to religious freedoms and sexuality, and they have used these as weapons to coerce other Christians to vote Republican out of “Christian Duty” to the point of abuse. They have done this in exchange for life-giving services and safety for millions of Americans over 50 years: disability, nationalized healthcare (not socialized), Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, WIC, food stamps, living wages, gun safety, environmental safety, etc….and they call/called these safety nets and safety precautions “Socialism” or even “Communism” yet the USA is the richest country in the world who can well-afford to care for the most vulnerable in our society, and we can well-afford to keep our citizens safe. Yet, we discard all of this in the name of fruitlessly saving the unborn and voting against people instead of for people. The Church/non-profit cannot and will not do all of these things alone. I know this from serving disabled children in my profession, raising a disabled son for 20 years, and battling Parkinson’s Disease myself. Then, predominantly White Christians elected the most abrasive, dishonest, corrupt, hateful, un-Christian bully they could possibly elect in the name of Jesus Christ to “get even” with Democrats (including the most vulnerable) while mimicking his cruel and hateful behavior to others who do not agree with or look like us.
Rev. Benjamin Cramer and Pope Francis give a good definitions of fascism whether they know it or not.
One of my favorite evangelical pastors named Rev, Rob Schenck encouraged me to “move left” in my Christian theology and political beliefs. In Catholicism, this is where I found the Jesuits and Pope Francis. Since Pope Francis is the 266th successor to the Apostle Peter, I rest in the fact that he well-represents what Christ would want, a consistent life ethic and justice for the oppressed, not what the right wing is doing.