An old friend of mine Gary Bauer — we worked together on the “pro-life” circuit before I fled the religious right — president of American Values — endorsed Trump in his address to the Values Voters Summit in Washington:
This country is the equivalent of that hijacked plane right now. We’re headed to a disaster, unless we can get control of the cockpit again…. Ladies and gentlemen, this is a Flight 93 election. This may be our last shot. It’s time to roll. It’s time to run down the aisle and save Western civilization.
Garry then equated America with a hijacked plane. What is needed he said was to emulate the flight 93 manly push back against terrorists. They have to be killed. And what is needed is strong male leadership. We can’t be soft. So we need Trump as our “last chance” to storm the cockpit and take America back. And yes, violence isn’t a mere metaphor here. This is for real.
The Public Religion Research Institute P.R.R.I. asked voters: do you agree or disagree with the statement “Society as a whole has become too soft and feminine.” White evangelicals were the only group where most (53 percent) agreed. Evangelicals hate the “soft and feminine.”
Christian conservatives love Trump because he is the harsh abuser they’ve been waiting for. His campaign reflects their shared belief in the God-given duty of the strong to lead the weak. Leadership built on strength and absolute authority is their creed.
James Dobson, (founder of Focus on the Family) in his book “The Strong-Willed Child” laid out the evangelical view of the strong “leader” be that at home, while managing women, children or relationships with other countries, let alone on how to “deal with gays.”
Dobson’s “reasoning” on the topic of strength and authority was expressed by a very creepy story illustrating what to “do” to a “strong-willed child.” If the strong-willed child is allowed by indulgence to develop “habits” of defiance and disrespect during his early childhood, those characteristics will haunt him and his parents for the next twenty years. The strong-willed child must be (literally) broken!
Dobson describes his own “method” for breaking a six-year-old pet Dachshund, Siggie, who refused Dobson’s order to go to sleep in “a permanent enclosure.” He says this serves as the way to deal with a child. Here is Dobson’s version of male leadership:
The only way to make Siggie obey is to threaten him with destruction. Nothing else works. I turned and went to my closet and got a small belt to help me “reason” with Mr. Freud.
What developed next is impossible to describe. That tiny dog and I had the most vicious fight ever staged between man and beast. I fought him up one wall and down the other, with both of us scratching and clawing and growling and swinging the belt. Inch by inch I moved him toward the family room and his bed. As a final desperate maneuver, Siggie backed into the corner for one last snarling stand. I eventually got him to bed, only because I outweighed him 200 to 12!
Gays, blacks, Mexicans, women, Hillary Clinton for that matter, anyone or anything that opposes “The Leader” must get some version of the Siggie Treatment.
Working off the Dobson “method” other best selling evangelical authors took the next step in “strong parental” leadership. Michael and Debi Pearl are the “ministers” behind No Greater Joy Ministries Inc., the organization responsible for publishing To Train Up A Child, a “parenting guide” used by hundreds of thousands of evangelical Christians. It is a “How To” on forcing children into “complete obedience.”
To Train Up A Child advocates the use of severe corporal punishment of the kind advocated by ISIS for women and slave girls to make them willing to “submit” to male Islamic “leadership.” Starvation as a means of “training children” to be wholly submissive is one method.
In the last seven years, the deaths of three children – all adopted – have been attributed to use of the Pearls’ book. 4-year-old Sean Paddock was killed by his adoptive mother Lynn Paddock in 2006, 7-year-old Lydia Schatz was killed by her adoptive parents Kevin and Elizabeth in 2010, and 13-year-oldHana Williams was killed by her adoptive parents Larry and Carri in 2011. In all three cases, the parents were convicted of murder.
The “tough love” advocated by the evangelical leaders in “parenting” is what attracts them to Trump. He will do what it takes to discipline unruly gays, blacks, Jews, women, Hispanics– in fact the world– in the same way that “strong leader” Putin and/or Dobson advocates.
In fact to the “Values Voters” America has literally been hijacked by aliens. It is led by a black! Gays have rights! Women are uppity! There are brown people all over the place — and some of them don’t even speak English!
Here’s how Gary Bauer — the onetime head of the Family Research Council and failed 2000 presidential candidate who now leads something called “American Values” — closed his speech to the Values Voters Summit with an attempt to connect Trump’s stand against Hillary Clinton and the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
In the white evangelical view President Obama hijacked America by being elected President in free and fair elections. Now his fellow terrorist Hillary Clinton is bent on crashing the entire nation.
In order to keep that from happening, it’s the duty of all good Christians to seize control of the nation back, using whatever improvised weapons and violence if need be– and/or by voting in a “rigged” election, for Donald Trump. It time for evangelicals to as it were, become the adoptive parent to the unruly child: America, to take back the cockpit from that Muslim Negro-hijacker, the presumptive uppity Hillary/Bitch, to DISCIPLINE and LEAD! To, if need be, beat to death.
Here is what’s metaphorically–or maybe in the case of unruly journalists, gays and women, not to mention Hispanics being rounded up by deportation squads quite literally– in store for the Americans who don’t agree. It’s what Alicia Bayer, who has written extensively about the Pearls for Examiner.com, notes that their evangelical “training methods” include:
- Using plastic tubing to beat children, since it is “too light to cause damage to the muscle or the bone”
- Wearing the plastic tubing around the parent’s neck as a constant reminder to obey
- “Swatting” babies as young as six months old with instruments such as “a 12-inch willowy branch,” thinner plastic tubing or a wooden spoon
- “Blanket training” babies by hitting them with an instrument if they try to crawl off a blanket on the floor
- Beating older children with rulers, paddles, belts and larger tree branches
- “Training” children with pain before they even disobey, in order to teach total obedience
- Giving cold water baths, putting children outside in cold weather and withholding meals as discipline
- Hosing off children who have potty training accidents
- Inflicting punishment until a child is “without breath to complain” (this last borrowed from Dobson’s Values Summit “Siggie” method)
If Donald Trump/Putin/Dobson ends up cratering America upside down at terminal velocity into a field, and/or beating his adopted American child to death– so be it. That’s better than having the N—–s or a liberal woman land the plane!
As Thomas Edsall, points out in the New York Time in God Loves Donald Trump. Right?, Dobson’s story about Siggie gives us a lesson on how the evangelical views on authority match up with Trump’s views on leadership. This explains his love for Vladimir Putin. Putin murders members of the press and all opponents who are “strong-willed.” They all get the Siggie-treatment.
The survey found that 68 percent of Trump supporters agree that society is too soft and feminine. P.R.R.I. also asked voters if this statement expressed their beliefs: “It bothers me when I come in contact with immigrants who speak little or no English.”
Trump voters and the evangelicals agree on just how unruly the “OTHER” is. Trump voters expressed the highest level of discomfort, 77 percent when they hear other languages besides English. White evangelicals voiced the highest levels of distress, 64 percent, when they find themselves around immigrants who don’t speak English.
Trump supporters and the religious right are one and the same. For instance take this P.R.R.I. statement: “Today discrimination against whites has become as big a problem as discrimination against blacks and other minorities.” A 57 percent majority of white Americans whom P.R.R.I. surveyed agreed. Two sub-groups stood out: Baseline Trump supporters at 81 percent and white evangelicals at 68 percent.
According to the survey, seven in ten white evangelicals say that American culture and way of life has mostly changed for the worse since the 1950s. In other words they want to return to a per-civil rights era of segregation as their golden age. Period.
Robert Jones, the C.E.O. of P.R.R.I. and the author of the new book, “The End of White Christian America,” described the Trump-evangelical alliance thus: “Donald Trump has successfully transformed evangelical voters from so-called ‘values voters’ into ‘nostalgia voters.’
Randall Balmer, professor of religion at Dartmouth, wrote this the Washington Post in May:
The religious right was never about the advancement of biblical values. The modern, politically conservative evangelical movement we know is a movement rooted in the perpetuation of racial segregation, and its affiliation with the hard-right fringes of the conservative movement in the late 1970s produced a mutant form of evangelicalism inconsistent with the best traditions of evangelicalism itself. Since then, evangelicals have embraced increasingly secular positions divorced from any biblical grounding, and supporting Donald Trump represents the logical conclusion of that tragic aberration.
With the help of the religious right voters and the evangelicals Trump intends to turn the world and all Americans into “Siggie.” Are we ready for his brand of “tough love”?
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Frank Schaeffer is a writer. His latest book —WHY I AM AN ATHEIST WHO BELIEVES IN GOD: How to give love, create beauty and find peace
Please read about my journey through then out of the religious right and Republican Party.