Among the more perplexing phenomena of the Cult of Trump is the nearly universal backing the president gets from people who identify as Evangelical Christians. Recent exit polls showed eighty-five percent of evangelicals cast their votes for a man who is the antithesis of Christian teaching.
Did they hate Hillary so much that they voted for a sybarite? Prosperity gospel pastor Paula White, chosen by Trump to pray for him at the inauguration, encouraged viewers of the Jim Bakker Show to be obedient and loyal to Trump because it is what God wants. Author Lance Wallnau said God spoke to him and claimed, "I really believe that the mercy of God intervened in the last election cycle." Reverend Franklin Graham, the poorly informed son of Nixon pal Billy Graham, gushed, "Never in my lifetime have we had a president willing to take a strong, outspoken stand for the Christian faith like President Trump has." And Texas mega-church pastor Robert Jeffress said, "God has given Trump authority to take out Kim Jong-Un." If that were God's will, you would think He wouldn't need help from Trump.
It's unfathomable to me how conservative Christians can still be the main defenders of this crude idolater of mammon. My Catholic education informs me that Matthew chapters 5-7 contains the Sermon on the Mount, otherwise known as the Beatitudes. These words are the basis of Jesus' early moral teachings, so let's check the record and see how the family values agenda is stacking up.
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- Donald Trump
Jesus: "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven."
Trump: "Show me someone without an ego, and I'll show you a loser."
"Sorry losers and haters, but my I.Q. is one of the highest — and you all know it. Please don't feel so stupid or insecure. It's not your fault."
"As for my yacht, The Trump Princess, it is a dazzling trophy ... for me, you see, the important thing is the getting, not the having."
Jesus: "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted."
Trump: "Nobody could have done what I've done for Puerto Rico with so little appreciation. So, what's your death count? Sixteen? You can be very proud, only sixteen instead of thousands in Katrina. ... Such poor leadership ability by the mayor of San Juan, and others in Puerto Rico, who are not able to get their workers to help. They want everything done for them."
Jesus: "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth."
Trump: "Part of the beauty of me is that I am very rich."
"I like money. I'm very greedy. ... I love money, right?"
"I'm the most successful person ever to run for the presidency, by far. Ross Perot isn't successful like me. Romney? I have a Gucci store that's worth more than Romney."
Jesus: "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied."
Trump: "First of all, I am a great Christian, and I am. I am. Remember that."
"Why do I have to repent? Why do I have to ask for forgiveness if [I'm] not making mistakes?"
"When I drink my little wine ... and have my little cracker, I guess that is a form of asking for forgiveness."
Jesus: "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy."
Trump: "Torture works! ... Would I approve of waterboarding? You bet your ass I would — in a heartbeat. And I would approve more than that. Believe me, it works. And you know what? If it doesn't work, they deserve it anyway."
"I'm putting people on notice that are coming here from Syria as part of this mass migration, that if I win, they're going back. ... When someone crosses you, my advice is, 'Get even!'"
Jesus: "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God."
Trump: "I did try and fuck her; she was married. I moved on her like a bitch, but I couldn't get there. ... When you're a star, they let you do it. ... Grab 'em by the pussy. You can do anything."
Jesus: "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God."
Trump: "North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States. They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen. ... If forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea."
"With Iran, when they circle our beautiful destroyers with their little boats and they make gestures ... that they shouldn't be allowed to make, they will be shot out of the water."
Jesus: "Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."
Trump: "Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States."
"When people wrong you, go after those people, because it is a good feeling and because other people will see you doing it. ... When someone hurts you, just go after them as viciously and violently as you can."
"If you do not get even, you are just a schmuck. I love getting even."
Jesus: "Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account."
Trump: "You tell people a lie three times, they will believe anything. You tell people what they want to hear, play to their fantasies, and then you close the deal."
I don't know about you, but in a two-man race, I'll be voting for the liberal candidate: Jesus.
Randy Haspel writes the "Recycled Hippies" blog.