So the other day, our President decided to scold America’s Jews for “disloyalty” if they voted Democrat. This ancient anti-semitic trope, typical for a man who declares Nazis “very fine people” was, of course, laughed off by his cult even as they affirmed it. “He supports Israel!” they said. “It is impossible for him to be an anti-semite! And yeah, Jews are disloyal,” they added incoherently.
Yeah. About that whole “Love Israel, hate Jews” thing. It’s a thing:
Do watch the video before proceeding or you will not get the theological weirdness that has everything to do with Trump’s sinister words about “disloyalty” nor about the utter insanity of the Christianist cult he is listening to as he looks at America’s Jews.
That insanity was on full display just a few hours after he made the remarks aboved when he decided to favor us with the news that he thinks warmly of being thought of as King of Israel and Second Coming of God:
Wayne Allen Root is conspiracy theorist and kook, as well as a reputed Jewish convert to some form of whack job fundamentalism. That Trump should quote this flattering weirdo is not surprising. This is a man who thinks Alex Jones is a journalist after all and credentialed Infowars for the White House Press Corps.
Then he followed that utterly crazy set of tweets up with a bizarre bit of blather about being the Chosen One:
— Scott Dworkin (@funder) August 21, 2019
So why does this latest piece of crazy from the President of the United States matter?
A couple of reasons.
First, of course, it’s crazy, and crazy people should not be President.
Second, for those few Christians still interested in paying attention to the testimony of Scripture, blasphemous claims by the most powerful figure in the world–especially ones that deeply stupid and profoundly dishonest Christians claim is Sent By God–matter. Let me be clear from the outset: I do not believe for one second that Trump is The Antichrist. But I think it visible-from-space obvious he is an antichrist and this incident makes that crystal clear. Unfortunately, the movies have done us a grave disservice in surrounding antichrists with a bunch of supernatural hocus pocus. John is more level-headed about such matters. Like his Master Jesus, he notes that there are “many” antichrists:
Children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come; therefore we know that it is the last hour. (1 Jn 2:18).
Antichrists are a dime a dozen, not rare orchids. All you have to do is set your will against the teaching of Jesus, as Trump constantly does and you are living life as an antichrist. The Christian tradition is that this fallen tendency of the human race is leading somewhere and will reach a consummation in a particular figure who will embody, to the ultimate degree, things we have seen in hundreds of dress rehearsals throughout history. You can believe that or not. I do. And moments like this make even the strongest skeptics wonder if there might not be something to the Christian picture of history after all. As one atheist friend of mine put it, “Even I think he’s an antichrist. I am offended on behalf of so many religions I don’t belong to.”
Here’s what St. Paul has to say about the psychology of antichrist. He is referring not merely to the dress rehearsals, but to Mr. Big (though the dress rehearsals all tend to have these traits in common):
Let no one deceive you in any way; for that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God. (2 Th 2:3–4).
We have, in fact, a sample of somebody behaving this way in the Book of Acts and Christianists who lie that “Trump was just quoting somebody else. He doesn’t claim these things for himself” would do well to read it:
Only the greatest and proudest Christians in the history of ever (and a minority of right wing Jews calling for a “Book of Trump” in the Bible) are too blind to see the immense spiritual danger this man and his cult represent to themselves and the world. No. I don’t think he will be struck down and eaten by worms. That’s not the point. The point is twofold:
Now Herod was angry with the people of Tyre and Sidon; and they came to him in a body, and having persuaded Blastus, the king’s chamberlain, they asked for peace, because their country depended on the king’s country for food. On an appointed day Herod put on his royal robes, took his seat upon the throne, and made an oration to them. And the people shouted, “The voice of a god, and not of man!” Immediately an angel of the Lord struck him, because he did not give God the glory; and he was eaten by worms and died. (Ac 12:20–23).
Spiritually speaking, no Christian can regard such blasphemies as anything other than blasphemy. Any Christian excusing or downplaying this, let alone supporting it, is playing with the fires of hell. Jesus warns of such false prophets. And the incredible thing, of course, is that the people who have spent years fantasizing End Times scenarios and finding Antichrists under every rock are stone blind as this visible-from-space antichrist lies and boasts to their faces. One can joke that there is no truth to the rumor that Trump is looking at buying the Temple mount and building a casino there–yet. But the reality is that for the Greatest Christians of All Time, even that would not dynamite them off their proud refusal to see how blind and stupid they have been to back this narcissistic sociopath. Their profound perversion of the Faith in running after this con man will make them a scandal and a hissing for generations to come. May God have mercy on their souls.
Beyond the spiritual danger to the liars who continue to back him, however, is the more practical concern that a man with nuclear launch codes is now beginning to toy with the idea of a sort of divine invincibility. Such men do insane things, and their True Believers do horrible things in pursuit of their Divine Vision of a World Cleansed from Evil. And that brings us back to his strange claim of “disloyal” Jews. It is a threat that should make every Jew–and every American–recoil in revulsion.
The same people who can see nothing amiss in Trump accepting the idea of being the “Second Coming of God” and “King of Israel” also cannot, in their blindness, figure out how he can be an anti-semite. As the Lieb video makes clear, the conflation of the state of Israel–and in particular the party of Netanyahu–with “all Jews everywhere” is what Trump is getting at. What he is doing is imbibing, not Jewish thinking, but a nutty flavor of American Fundamentalist Christianity being articulated by a kook who cannot even grasp that Jews do not believe in a Second Coming of God because they do not believe in the First Coming of God. They do not believe Jesus is the Messiah. And most of them, in the US, do not believe Trump is either.
But Trump, believing the banana oil that support for Netanyahu means that support for Nazis and comments like this:
A book by John O’Donnell, former president of Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, quoted Trump’s criticism of a black accountant: “Black guys counting my money! I hate it. The only kind of people I want counting my money are short guys that wear yarmulkes every day. … I think that the guy is lazy. And it’s probably not his fault, because laziness is a trait in blacks. It really is, I believe that. It’s not anything they can control.” Trump at first denied the remarks, but later said in a 1997 Playboy interviewthat “the stuff O’Donnell wrote about me is probably true.”
are not anti-semitic is what drove his “disloyal” remarks. And that is very bad news for Jews as Haaretz points out. Trump, dummy that he is, expected “loyalty” from American Jews for backing white conservative Fundamentalist dogmas about Israel which have everything to do with their lunatic endtimes theories and nothing to do with American Jews. American Jews, meanwhile, not being idiots, see this anti-semitic moron cheering on Nazis and KKK and know he is doing the classic right wing trick of supporting Israel while continuing to support hatred for Jews (as well as the brown and poor). So they continue to oppose him as any morally normal person would. Result: the imbecile sees it as “betrayal” and declares them “disloyal”. And as he makes clear, when he perceives somebody hitting him with “disloyalty”, his only response is “hit them back ten times harder.” If he is elected again, expect a second term of nothing but score settling with his ever-growing list of Designated Enemies, Jews not least among them.
Jesus says, “When someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.” But this antichrist says:
When someone attacks me, I always attack back…except 100x more. This has nothing to do with a tirade but rather, a way of life!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 11, 2012
He is a small, vindictive little man, as so many anti-semites are. American Jews have his number. So does anybody of common sense.