An Evangelical Nation?

The Boston Globe exteriorThe Boston Globe exteriorAugust 31, 2018 – Robert Chain, a 68-year-old Trump supporter from Encino, California, made threatening telephone calls to the Boston Globe in response to the coordinated effort to have newspapers across the United States write editorials concerning the president’s assertion that the press is the “enemy of the people.” He has been arrested and charged with “making threatening communications in interstate commerce, which calls for up to five years in prison.”

The Associated Press quoted U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling:

“In a time of increasing political polarization, and amid the increasing incidence of mass shootings, members of the public must police their own political rhetoric. Or we will.”

Though this is an isolated incident, it was foreseen by many in the press as something coming. Many members of the press corps fear the results of the president’s continued claim that the press is the “enemy of the people.” (See: The Beginning of the End of Trump.)

There are enough fanatics and conspiracy theorists who follow Trump as if he were a god, that his mere suggestions of a conspiracy could incite a riot. And Trump has so much as suggested that this will happen.

ABC News reported that “President Trump told Evangelical leaders during a closed-door dinner at the White House that there will be ‘violence’ if Democrats take control in the November election.”

Advocacy group demands Trump shut down evangelical advisory boardTrump hosted an appreciation dinner of Evangelical leaders at the White House on August 27, to recognize “all the good work” that the right-wing Christian community does. This was an opportunity for the president to reiterate that, in his opinion, the United States is a Christian nation.

The president strongly suggested to this group of right-wing fundamentalists that it will be the Democrats, progressives and other liberals who will cause the violence.

He told about 100 dinner guests:

“As you know, in recent years the government tried to undermine religious freedom, but the attacks on communities of faith are over… We’ve ended it. We’ve ended it. Unlike some before us, we are protecting your religious liberty.”

Trump is providing Christian conservatives with the cover they need to discriminate against the LBGTQ community, women, immigrants, and others that conservative-Christians believe have somehow violated their “religious morals.”

The president strongly suggested that the ministers who support his religious agenda violate the Johnson Amendment and called for the election of Republicans this November.

“I just ask you to go out and make sure all of your people vote. Because if they don’t — it’s Nov. 6 — if they don’t vote we’re going to have a miserable two years and we’re going to have, frankly, a very hard period of time because then it just gets to be one election — you’re one election away from losing everything you’ve got.”

To emphasize his love for the Evangelical community, Trump partially quoted John Adams. Adam’s quote comes from a letter to his wife Abigale and is inscribed above the mantel in the room where the state dinners are held. Trump quoted the blessing, “I pray Heaven to bestow the best of Blessings on this House.” But he left out the second half of the blessing.

“I Pray Heaven To Bestow The Best Of Blessings On This House And All that shall hereafter Inhabit it. May none but Honest and Wise Men ever rule under This Roof.”

Of course, Mr. Trump does not meet even the basic standards of an honest and wise man.

Ralph Reed, Chairman of the Faith & Freedom Coalition said evangelicals have a “tremendous amount of appreciation and gratitude” for Trump and his administration.

“There’s a deep appreciation in the evangelical community for President Trump and his administration for making religious freedom, the sanctity of life, support for the state of Israel and many other public policy concerns such high priorities.”

Not all Evangelical Christians support the president. Jonathan Merritt, a religion, politics, and culture critic, told CBN News, “Even conservative Christians have sort of been fractured over his views on immigration [and] people who perceive his views as coddling white supremacists.”

Does this mean that approval rating among white evangelical Christian has waned? Over 80 percent of white evangelical Christians approve of the president’s performance. This corresponds with a 30 to 45 percent general approval rate for Trump.

Is the United States a Christian nation? Even the first governing documents say “no.” The Mayflower Compact of 1620 was specific as to how the new colony was to be governed.

“… do by these presents solemnly and mutually in the presence of God and one of another, Covenant and Combine ourselves together in a Civil Body Politic, for our better ordering and preservation and furtherance of the ends aforesaid; and by virtue hereof to enact, constitute and frame such just and equal Laws, Ordinances, Acts, Constitutions and Offices…” (Underscore added)

John Adams was even astute enough to recognize this fact in the Treaty of Tripoli. Article 11 states clearly that “the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion.”

President Trump and his cronies are very much attempting to make the United States a theocracy. They shall win if Democrats do not unify and get out the vote on November 6, 2018, and November 2, 2020.

About David Rosman

David is the winner of the Missouri Press Foundation's "Best Columnist" in 2013 (First Place) and 2014 (Second Place), the 2016 Harold Riback Award for excellence in writing, and the winner of the 2007 Interactive Media Award for excellence in editing.
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