The Evangelical’s Deadly Sin

evangelicalsI am, like so many of you and so many millions of Americans across the country devastated and dispirited by Donald Trump’s surprising victory. It seems almost incomprehensible and yet this is the reality we face. We do not know what forces this election will bring to bear in this country. And that is nothing compared to the sheer terror that is being felt by millions of Hispanics, Muslim-Americans and African Americans in the days ahead, knowing that so many Americans voted for a candidate who does not view them as full citizens.

But there are a few things that still need to be said.

William “Bill” Maher is a comedian, writer, producer, political commentator, actor, media critic, and television host of HBO’s  political talk show Real Time with Bill Maher. Last week, in the “New Rules” portion of Real Time, Maher called out evangelicals for the dangerous hypocrisy they displayed with their support for everything they preach against, which Donald Trump exemplified.

With his typically crude self, Bill Maher hit this one out of the park.

“Before leaving this election behind we must all thank Donald Trump for the one good thing he did,” Maher began. “He exposed evangelicals who are big Trump supporters as the shameless hypocrites they have always been. I don’t know if you noticed, but Republicans didn’t get to play the Jesus card this time around because it is hard to bring up the Ten Commandments when your candidate spent his life breaking all of them. Trump’s commandments are like the regular commandments with LOL (Laughing Out Loud) at the end.”

Maher then went on to itemize with examples the commandments Trump continuously break. He displayed the women with whom he committed adultery. He played clips of him cursing and bearing false witness. He used Trump University to illustrate his stealing. He displayed Vladimir Putin as an example of Trump having false idols.

“He is the world’s least godly man,” Maher said. “Jesus saw the good in whores and lepers, but if he met Donald Trump he would say ‘Sorry man, that’s a preexisting condition.’”

Maher said that with four days left until the election, he wanted to celebrate one thing. Because evangelicals chose the most ungodly character to support, they could not inject religion into the campaign.

“But I still think we are owed an explanation from the values voters as to how they could line up behind Trump,” Maher said sarcastically. “A man who loves to say, ‘Nobody loves the Bible like I do.’ Who when asked couldn’t name a single passage. Even Sarah Palin said ‘Hey for f$ck sake, it’s not a newspaper.’”

Maher reminded the audience about the fiasco that occurred when Trump tried to name a book of the Bible. Instead of saying second Corinthians he said “two” Corinthians.

“Trump has nothing in common with Jesus who was from the Middle East,” Maher said. “Trump wouldn’t even let him into the country. Jesus healed the blind. Trump mocked the handicap. Jesus turned the other cheek. Trump grabbed her pu$$y. Jesus turned water into wine. Trump just whines. The Bible says, ‘Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife.’ Trump says fine. What about my daughter?”

Maher further illustrates the hypocrisy of the evangelicals.

“In the primaries, evangelicals had a whole bouquet of religious nuts to choose from,” Maher said. “Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum, Scott Walker, Ted Cruz, Ben Carson.  Ben Carson who doesn’t just walk with Jesus. They shower together. But they went with the foul mouth, thrice married, pu$$y grabber with one exception. I never thought I would hear myself say this. But, let’s hear it for the Mormons.”

Maher went on and pointed out that evangelicals support Trump 75%/14%. Mormons only give him 19% support. He gave kudos to the Mormons. “Apparently the Mormons believe you shouldn’t vote for a lying infantile scumbag just because he is on your team,” Maher said.

As I said, Bill Maher hit this one out of the park.

But then there is James Dobson (leader of Focus on the Family, an Evangelical “values voters” political group) who has this to say about Donald Trump: “It’s a cliché but true: We are electing a commander-in-chief, not a theologian-in-chief.”

Oh, how the pious have fallen. How easy it was to justify condemnation of Bill Clinton! (Which Dobson did when Clinton was embroiled in the scandal that ended with Congress attempting to impeach him.) But how awkward to have to find a way to justify a man he wanted to support because he had decided to take his bribe!

This is a pretty good summary of the majority of politically motivated evangelical personalities these days. A few stuck to their guns and refused to endorse Donald Trump – a man who does not even come close to possessing the qualities you would think evangelicals would look for in a moral, Christian leader – but for the most part they were quick to forgive and endorse. The reason could not be any more despicable: these “Christian leaders” do not actually care what politicians ARE. They only care what they DO.

In short: as long as Donald Trump opposed abortion and gays, he could grope whomever he likes.

This should not be a big surprise to anyone. Political evangelicals support Republicans, because the Republican platform has the things on it they want. If the Republican platform did not have those things, they would not endorse. It is a purely transactional relationship – the words coming out of their mouths are just the packing material you stuff around the goods being shipped in order to keep them from being too damaged during transit.

The political wing of the evangelical movement can no longer call themselves “evangelical.” In a political context, the word means nothing more than “this soul is for hire.” It is an empty, hollow shell, willing to sing “Lord, Lord” for a reasonable hourly rate, negotiated in advance.

It is certainly not evangelical in the religious sense – you know, where the word actually came from, meaning people who believe the Great Commission is still in effect today. It is not the evangelical who makes people sacrifice in order to minister to the lost, either by their own fervent work or by supporting that work.

No. The political wing of the evangelical movement by endorsing Donald Trump showed that the thing it loves first and foremost is the accumulation of political power, and that it will ally with anyone who will promise them that power. It has, finally, exposed its secret idol to the rest of the world.

Evangelicals worship the deadly sin of power.

They lust for it.

They hunger for it.

They hoard it.

They are angry when they do not have it.

They envy the people who do.

And they are proud of what power they have accumulated so far.

The only deadly sin they do not have in this respect is sloth – I will give them credit for that. They work very hard to sell their souls, each and every day.

But people have been watching it all, and regardless of the perceived gains, there is a price to be paid by evangelicals for this deadly sin of soul-selling.

That price is their credibility in the world.

That price is the integrity of the word Christian.

That price is the very name of Jesus.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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