As regular readers know, I view conservative Christians as some of the most selfish, self-centered and hypocrisy-filled people one will ever meet. They are nothing less than modern day Pharisees. But this is particularly true of what I call the "professional Christian" crowd that seeks power while fleecing the gullible and ignorant. They make the money lenders in the Temple that Christ supposedly decried look ethical and upstanding. Indeed, their embrace of Donald Trump puts a glaring spotlight on their hypocrisy and hunger for power. I came across a column from some time back that takes aim at these dangerous hypocrites, including Jerry Falwell, Jr., James Dobson and Franklin Graham, all foul individuals in my estimation. Here are some column highlights:
To paraphrase P.T. Barnum, “There’s a sucker born again every minute.”
This week, according to a roomful of dewy-eyed pastors and fawning televangelists who met behind closed doors with GOP Presidential candidate Donald Trump, he has accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior and is apparently now suitable for Christians and church leaders to fully and passionately support.
Never mind that Trump has made no such claims himself, nor given any indication by word or deed that would lead anyone to believe such outrageous proclamations. And disregard Trump’s growing legacy of ignorant rants against Muslims, Mexicans, women, immigrants, and almost any groups who aren’t wealthy or white—or both.
As a Christian and a pastor, it’s all been equally fascinating and infuriating watching supposed men and women (well, mostly men) of God engage in all sorts of embarrassing theological gymnastics to try and connect the most convoluted and disparate of dots in order to justify hitching their ministries to Trump’s toxic wagon.
This is a revelatory moment for we who claim Christianity, one that crystallizes how much Dobson and the rest of these folks have lost the plot and how faithfully they now serve only themselves.
It turns out, when it comes to power the Evangelical Right will go to bed with just about anybody. They’re that easy.
The truth is, Donald Trump is a fairly horrible human being if you’re going to use any measurement of morality. He’s neither done nor said anything that one could categorize as remotely resembling Jesus. Lots of smart people understand this. But this isn’t about him. He’s doing what most of us expect him to do: try and court a valuable and much-needed voting block without self-awareness, shame, or decency. This isn’t a surprise.
[T]his about supposed representatives of Jesus whoring themselves out just to have what they hope will be the next President’s ear and pretending it’s the work of God. It’s about discarding faith to keep power in their party. It’s about a Christianity that no longer has need or use for Jesus. They themselves are the bloated golden calf they’re bowing down to and Trump is just a means to this end—and it’s exactly what is killing the Church.
Every day people tell me that they’re finished with organized Christianity; that they’re walking away from the American Church for good, and it isn’t because of gays or cultural decay or materialism or lust or whatever these preachers like to lift while in the pulpit. These millions of honest, wise (and yes faithful) people are making their exodus because they see Dobson and Falwell and people like them and they realize the absolute absurdity of it all.
It’s a compete disconnect undermining the very bedrock of their core beliefs, and so they’re choosing to leave instead of being associated with such a blatant power lust move. They’ve run out of patience with a spirituality that’s for sale. They’re through with a Christianity that only needs to win.
One of the most startling ironies, is that these are the same self-professed “defenders of the faith”, who for the last eight years have ruthlessly persecuted a President who has not only repeatedly professed personal spirituality, but whose conduct, marriage, and family are everything they claim they’re for. This was never good enough for them to support or pray for him—or even call him a Christian.
Yet Donald Trump, in all his philandering, materialistic, racist, bigoted, misogynist glory is somehow worthy of reverence because somewhere deep down (in a way that only these leaders see), he loves Jesus. If you believe that I have some swamp land in Alabama for you.
If Trump’s version of Christianity is the hateful, politicized, bullying, opportunist variety these Right Evangelical extremists have been living for the past few decades—I’ll pass.
I continue to believe that it is the "godly folk" themselves who are accelerating the well-deserved death of Christianity. Expect the exodus from organized religion to continue if not accelerate.