In an article for National Review, George Will writes, “Trump is a marvelously efficient acid bath, stripping away his supporters’ surfaces, exposing their skeletal essences.”
One of those skeletal essences is the faux piety found among Donald Trump’s supporters.
“Leaders of religious conservative groups largely stood behind Donald Trump on Saturday, the day after vulgar sexual comments he made about women surfaced online, but some expressed concern that the U.S. Republican presidential nominee’s remarks could depress evangelical turnout on Election Day.
Most evangelical leaders did not condemn Trump, and instead pointed to an urgent need to prevent Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton from winning the presidency, reshaping the Supreme Court and implementing liberal policies.
The latest blow to Trump’s campaign came after a 2005 video surfaced of the then-reality TV star talking on an open microphone about groping women and trying to seduce a married woman. Vice presidential running mate Mike Pence said he could not defend Trump’s words.
Gary Bauer, chairman of the Campaign for Working Families, said Trump’s “grossly inappropriate language” does not change the choice facing the country in the Nov. 8 election and that “I continue to support the Trump-Pence ticket.””
What the above-quoted story doesn’t mention is that Gary Bauer is currently president of an organization that named itself American Values.
Considering all of the vile things that Donald Trump has said, one might wonder just what values that Bauer considers to be American values.
Here more from that Yahoo! News story:
“Still, politically active Christian conservative leaders across the country said they were worried that Trump’s comments could depress turnout among evangelicals. “Evangelicals are not going to vote for Hillary,” said religious political activist David Lane. “But this could cause them to stay home. This could be a big deal. Things like this matter.””
Why would so-called “Evangelicals” be supporting Trump? Rebecca Cusey explains in a commentary published by The Hill:
“Who knew obscure Biblical knowledge would be so handy in this election? With Evangelicals remaining, at least as far as we can tell in the rapidly changing environment, a solid block for Trump, those stories of old echo into today.
Evangelicals are a funny bunch, prone to tease points out of – to all others – irrelevant Biblical passages and apply them to current events.
To this point, an idea has been circulating in Evangelical circles that paints Donald Trump as a modern day Cyrus — the ancient king of Persia who sent Jews home to Israel from captivity as told in the book of Ezra (among other passages). By accounts in and out of the Bible, Cyrus was a generous and just ruler, instituting (relatively) fair laws and religious freedom in his vast empire.
Cyrus was a pagan and yet God used him to restore the people of Israel, so the pro-Trump argument goes. Though Trump is not a Christian in the way Evangelicals would prefer, it continues, God is raising him up to fulfill God’s purposes.”
In short, Trump can act like a pagan, but that doesn’t matter as long as he isn’t Hillary Clinton.
“Cracks have appeared in evangelical support for Donald Trump over the video of his sexually predatory comments about women. But backing from some of his highest-profile conservative Christian endorsers, such as Liberty University president Jerry Falwell Jr., is holding…
… But James Dobson of Family Talk radio condemned Trump’s comments but called Clinton’s support for abortion rights “criminal.”
“Mr. Trump promises to support religious liberty and the dignity of the unborn. Mrs. Clinton promises she will not,” Dobson said in a statement Monday.
Falwell, an early endorser of the real estate magnate, said Trump’s remarks were “reprehensible.” Still, Falwell said, “we’re never going to have a perfect candidate,” and suggested the video leak was engineered by Trump’s enemies in his own party.
“I think it was timed,” Falwell told WABC-AM radio in New York. “I think it might have even been a conspiracy, you know, among the establishment Republicans who’ve known about it for weeks and who tried to time it to do the maximum damage.”
Others who stood by Trump were Ralph Reed, a member of the campaign’s evangelical advisory board and the founder of the Faith & Freedom Coalition, which aims to mobilize conservative Christian voters. Televangelist Pat Robertson dismissed Trump’s remarks as an attempt by the candidate “to look like he’s macho.””
The above-mentioned Trump supporters would have everyone to believe that piety requires one to support Trump over Clinton.
In the opinion of this writer, they are promoting faux piety.
First of all, the so-called “evangelicals” mentioned in the above-quoted articles aren’t promoting the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Instead, they are promoting a hybrid of religious legalism and political philosophy.
Sure, Dr. Dobson rails against abortion, but the Bible never mentions abortion. The Bible is silent about that subject.
Actually, the Bible is silent about plenty of things that Trump’s religious supporters rail about.
For example, when it comes to rights, the New Testament describes only one right that belongs to believers in Jesus, that being “the right to become children of God.”
As much as members of the religious Right claim that certain rights are given by God, they don’t bother to cite any religious texts that support their claim. Perhaps that is because they can’t find any such support in either the pages of the Tanakh or the pages of the New Testament.
What irks me about the faux piety within the GOP is the fact that I have known plenty of devout practicing Christians who are Democrats and who would never support Donald Trump. Am I to believe that they are somehow less pious than Republican Christians?
As I have stated in previous posts, the Christian faith is politically neutral. Thus, I am abhorred by any attempt to mix Christianity with politics.
If Donald Trump’s supporters want me to support Donald Trump, too, then they will have to cite non-religious reasons for doing so. A promotion of faux piety won’t work.
Personal Note: I have no piety of my own. I am well aware that I have no innate righteousness.