Discovered this piece this morning while looking through my documents folder for a bread recipe. I vaguely remember writing it in late February before the appearance of COVID 19, and my obsessive viewing of Trump’s flaming outhouse fire of a series of COVID 19 press conferences. I’ve edited it to include my thoughts on his poor Pandemic response and how that fits with the Evangelical Quiverfull love.
One of the recent news articles people send me explained that Evangelicals love President Donald Trump because he makes them feel “Joyous” I kept reading through the piece thinking “Are you kidding me?” and similar thoughts because the writer seemed to be living in some alternative fantasy land. It’s been my observation that one true thing you can say about Trump is that he does make people feel strong emotions. I’m feeling disgust, disdain and disbelief at his well-publicized antics tonight as I consider why Quiverfull people would openly support someone that makes something of a mockery of their belief system.
Hmm, lets see, Trump has reportedly asked 30 different women, give or take a few, to have abortions. He tried to get Marla Maples, wife number two, to abort his daughter Tiffany. Quiverfull holds the battle to end abortion as one of their more sacred missions, and this man pisses all over that.
Trump has bragged about sexually abusing women, just grabbing them by the lady parts. For a group of people so upset with Bill Clinton for a consensual sexual act that they wanted him removed from office this seems rather screwy. What is good for one goose president is apparently not good for another goose president that proclaims himself a believer. A believer in what? Certainly not Christianity, everything he says or does runs contrary to his stated beliefs.
There are just so many different things that Trump has done or said that runs counter to everything Evangelical Christianity claims to stand for. I would be here all night if I started listing all of them. Oddly enough none of them seem to have any problems with racist words and behaviors, putting kids in jail cells, cutting hungry people off the Food Stamp program, massive amounts of lying in the face of legitimate facts, figures and scientific proof.
My friends who have never been Evangelical fume and cry that they cannot for the life of themselves understand how anyone calling themselves a Christian could possibly turn a blind eye to the flaming nuclear train wreck this president has wreaked. They don’t understand Evangelical theology they say. They do not get that this actually has very little to do with stated theology. It has more to do with pretense, with manipulation of a group of people groomed not to think deeply, who already operate their lives in a cloud of cognitive dissonance.
Trump is so popular with Evangelicals for the strong emotions he sets off in them, and it ain’t joy. Many white Evangelicals of a certain age operate out of fear, loathing, revenge fantasies, and other baser emotions. Add in that thing that Evangelicals are discouraged from doing – researching, critical thinking and examining the real issues and you get this same nasty mess. This is almost the exact same appeal that Hitler had to the Germans suffering from the deprivations and loss after World War I. The big difference being that that Germans did actually suffer, the Evangelicals have just bought the lie that they are being martyred every day when regular folks reject their ideas on how things should be. It is not an actual martyrdom, but they think that it is because that’s what they’ve been told to think.
Through the years church leaderships have preached over and again how the world hates them, how everything not going in their favor is discrimination against the Godly. They have mistaken the lessening of white entitlement and privileges as persecution, unable to see that other ways to do life might be better, or at least as valid as what they want. It’s spoon fed to them from the pulpits.
Underneath this faux martyrdom you have a deep desire to punish others, the different others they perceive as standing in their good Christian way. Onward Christian Soldiers! This is a group that is all about punishment, that loves the stories of the God of the Old Testament, slaying, punishing, torturing folks because He is God. They live with that constant need to see their God punish anyone not toeing their imaginary Evangelical line. Trump has promised in both coded language, and outright outrageous speeches to serve out that Old Testament justice. Just look at how he has handled immigration of people fleeing war, poverty, and death. The border is now pretty much closed to anyone not of white skin or European racial heritage. The COVID 19 pandemic has just enabled him to double down on his closures, and screen the immigrants more thoroughly, using the rhetoric that it’s for the people’s health. All the while over a 100,000 Americans have died from his lack of action or leadership at this crucial moment in a public health crisis.
This also tallies with their need for revenge, for vengeance, to pay back people, people groups and political classes they don’t like. Trump is masterful in his manipulation of these extremely fearful and rabidly vengeful people. Promising to make others pay. Demonizing the different by blaming the Chinese and other people of color for the pandemic, and using the times to tighten his racism to even finer dimensions.
His hold over Evangelicals seems to be a dog whistled rooted in fear and in the desire to punish others, seek revenge, and retribution. It’s what’s driving all of these calls to reopen the country in the face of the scientific community saying it will just create more deaths. The Bible, that tells us we’re to welcome the stranger, care for the ill and the elder, visit those in prisons has been tossed aside as irrelevant while at the same time they are screeching out to read the Old Testament ideas on punishments. There’s none of the mercy of the King or the loving kindness in the Bible.
The church has created this mess, built up to it by fostering all of these things, these negative emotions that Trump manages to tap into and play so well. At a time when our fears during this pandemic seem overwhelming he’s managed to manipulate his base into very awful behaviors. For example, let’s take our president’s love of Hydroxycloroquine and his hatred for masking.
The mask thing, the action that has been scientifically shown to cut infection rates by stopping your droplets of saliva from flying off onto random people is another horrible thing Trump has encouraged lying about. If I had a dollar for every single Evangelical Christian I know well who has promoted the completely false idea that any mask wearing is dangerous to you because of falling oxygen levels in the brain I could put in a mink lined hottub in the back yard. The NIH, Johns Hopkins, the CDC and the Mayo Clinic have decisively shot this one down with science, yet this lie still circulates with devastating consequences for those believing it, and really for all of us. Like the 1918 Spanish Flu epidemic it will take all of us acting in concert with safety measures like masking to lessen and then irradiating COVID 19.
Along with these things I’m witnessing Christians I know of every stripe saying the most awful things of all time about reopening the world. Yesterday I witnessed no less than about a dozen people state that reopening everything is a good thing, that God hates fear and so what if a few old people and people with preexisting conditions die. God must have wanted them to die. This out of the mouths of people obsessed with ending abortion, yet calling for the deaths of people already livng and breathing is the most hypocritical and hateful though process of all time. It puts their words about life, a right to life, and only God can kill to the lie we all knew it was. They only care about the unborn, hating those that are already here.
The other thing that the church as a whole has done is teach people never to question or think for themselves, just accept platitudes rooted in lies as normal. Don’t want to ever have to think deeply about difficult and painful things? Join the American Evangelical church and you’ll never have to think again. If it were not for the hideous Groupthink pushed as many churches we might not have this disgraceful as president. The Pandemic has merely exposed how many lies these people are swallowing and trying to normalize.
In the wake of the coming elections some of the QF’s cultural enforcers have started to oh so stupidly promote the reelection of Trump. One was cheering the other day the fact that fewer people get food stamps, citing the numbers as proof that Trump has created jobs and wealth. The truth is very different, the reason there are many fewer people on food stamps and disability now is that the administration has quietly denied benefits to millions, changing the rules so that far fewer people now qualify.
Hey, I should be promoting Trump, but I am not. I do not want to see this man get a second term. I got a huge tax break this past tax season on my investments. I got a refund, something I haven’t received in many years now. But this one single positive thing that came at the expense of many people from the working classes who suddenly found themselves with higher tax bills isn’t good. But having people in a lower tax bracket paying for me to have a refund on something traditionally taxed heavily is just not something I can support.
These stimulus checks issued during the Pandemic and higher unemployment payments have been so begrudgingly issued is another disgrace connected to Trump. If just the military’s over inflated budget were stripped to bare bones in this time we’d have enough money in the government to issue a basic income during this time to help everyone stay alive, and keep more vulnerable people at home safely.
Which leads me to another unspoken terrible thing that has been exposed by the Pandemic, Trump and his hateful Evangelical followers. We are in a class war. The class war of the ‘essential workers’ and those screaming to reopen. I’m not talking merely of medical personnel, but those who are forced to work with the public during this time, putting their lives on the line for people to have groceries, or even those non essential workers being relabeled as essential. People at the bottom of the economic scale being economically forced into working in hazardous conditions because others must have their yarn, or their hair cuts, or their other item that is truly not essential to life. I am seeing them being spat up, abused and an entire laundry list of blamed for shortages too. It’s a dangerous time to be part of the service industry in the time of Trump.
Their twisted revenge fantasies have real life victims, and that’s what they cannot seem to realize. An Evangelical supporting Trump is like the feeder fish in the ocean voting for the sharks to take care of them. It cannot benefit them in any meaningful way, but it could ultimate take their lives, their finances, their homes.
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