Thursday, January 03, 2019

"Our God, Who Art In The White House"

It should be comforting to know that Jerry Falwell Jr. may someday abandon his support for forced-birth and adopt a pro-abortion rights policy. Nevertheless, it's right there in the middle of the interview, published New Year's Day, conducted by Joe Heim of The Washington Post:

(Heim)     Is there anything President Trump could do that would endanger that support from you or other evangelical leaders?

(Falwell)  No.

(Heim)    That’s the shortest answer we’ve had so far.

(Falwell) Only because I know that he only wants what’s best for this country, and I know anything he does, it may not be ideologically “conservative,” but it’s going to be what’s best for this country, and I can’t imagine him doing anything that’s not good for the country.

Helpfully, Falwell dispenses with the usual rationalization of support for President Trump- conservative judges, opposition to abortion, advocacy of "religious freedom" (the right to discriminate based on Christian faith).

In its place, he states "there’s two kingdoms. There’s the earthly kingdom and the heavenly kingdom....A poor person never gave anyone a job. A poor person never gave anybody charity, not of any real volume." Slate's Ruth Graham explains the root of Falwell's belief in this "two kingdoms" theology, and its contrast to the mission statement of Liberty University, founded by father Jerry and now lucratively headed by the son.

But Graham notes also the

textbook piece of circular reasoning: Trump wants what’s best for the country, therefore anything he does is good for the country. There’s something almost sad about seeing this kind of idolatry articulated so clearly. In a kind of backhanded insult to his supporters, Trump himself once said that he could “stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody” without losing his base. It’s rare to see a prominent supporter essentially admit that this was true.

Idolatry, the worship of idols, may not seem to be the soundest foundation upon which to base a doctrine devoted to worship of God. However, when an individual (such as Falwell) with extremely conservative views pledges his allegiance to whatever a leader advocates though it may not be ideologically "conservative," an idol has been established.

That suggests- nay, assures- that Falwell will perform his Stepford act no matter what President Trump proposes.  If Trump returns to the pro-choice position he held in 1999 and at 9:21 a.m. Eastern time on June 28, 2015, and at 6:30 p.m. on April 1, 2016, Falwell will follow him.

Even though he maintained Trump could never endanger his support, that may seem hard to believe. However, someone who says that President Trump was forced to increase the debt and deficit, the GOP did better in the mid-terms than could be expected, and that it "may be immoral for" (blacks) not to support" Trump would never, ever tell a falsehood.

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