The difference is obvious, Trump is nothing like Jesus. A simple comparison of their character and ways reveal this truth.
Yet, so many Christians, in essence, don’t give a damn. For them, there is literally nothing he could say or do that would dislodge their obedience towards Trump. This has left analysts and Trump-disgusted Christians trying to crack the code as to how anyone who associates with Jesus could place their support and allegiance in such an anti-Jesus man and President.
The answer is simple.
White, male-driven, conservative American Christianity has taken the person of Jesus who stands “for” so many beautiful things and twisted Him into a religion centered around the destruction of what they stand “against.” In truth, the Trump supporter isn’t concerned with what Trump is doing “for” Jesus, but rather intoxicated by what he is doing “against” their contrived enemies.
For example, for most white conservative Christians, converting people to Christ isn’t really about getting people into heaven, no matter how much they try to wrap their efforts with spiritual ribbons and bows. Instead, it serves as a weapon towards the dismantling of those religions they are “against.” Ultimately, their overarching concern isn’t about taking more people with them into the next world. Rather, their deepest care is centered around making this world more “like” themselves and more “for” themselves. Therefore, all the religions and beliefs that don’t fit their mold and foster their privilege are pinned upon the map of their enemies. In their mind, we can’t have a world where other religions and faiths are of equal value, worth, truth, rights, and influence. So, conversion thwarts this feared reality in hopes of ridding it completely from the planet via assimilation or persecution. For if white Christians were altruistically concerned about the eternity of their unbelieving neighbors, they’d be hitting the streets every moment of every day with a serving and sacrificial kind of love that couldn’t be resisted. But, they aren’t.
This is true of the white, male-driven, Christian colonization of America, their unwavering support of Israel, and the brutal eradication of Native Americans. No matter how much Manifest Destiny Lipstick you put on that pig, when your bottom line purpose is to make the world more “like” you and “for” you, anyone and anything that doesn’t foster and surrender to that agenda becomes a bright blip on the radar screen of the enemies you stand “against.”
This is also true of Trump’s Muslim travel ban, the border wall, and the increased demand for so-called religious freedom. None of it is about protecting our country from terrorism, illegal immigration, crime, nor fostering true religious pluralism. Instead, it’s about giving leverage and privilege to white, male-driven, conservative American Christianity through the demonizing, marginalizing, and belittling of all other religions and peoples.
This is why many so-called Christians are unwavering with their loyalty towards Trump, he falls in line and beats the drums of their rage towards all the things they hate. It has nothing to do with what Trump is doing “for” Jesus, it’s about what he is doing “against” their perceived enemies.
Think about the LGBTQ community. White, male-driven, conservative American Christianity wants us all to believe that their vehement disgust with this issue is because it’s a sin that offends God and undermines our culture. Excuse me, but that’s hilarious.
What white, male-driven American Christianity cares about within the LGBTQ community is their relentless desire for shared rights. They can’t stand the idea that heterosexual patriarchy would have to share equal value, priority, influence, protections, space, and rights with any group besides themselves. If they cared about sin, they would be spending all their time policing the mountain high pile of debauchery rampant within their own camp and the numbers among them who, ironically, enjoy lesbian porn. Instead, they demonize and stand “against” the LGBTQ community, not because they are “for” dealing with sin (which LGBTQ it is not), but because they don’t want to share their heterosexual, patriarchal privilege.
The same is true of their oppression of other minorities. Within white, male-driven, conservative American Christianity there is a certain level of diversity they are willing to accept as long as they can patronize it, exploit it, and it doesn’t threaten their dominance in society. However, when that diversity finds its wings and starts to feel like it is crossing the line by encroaching the sandbox of their privilege and power, all bets are off and the bully is released.
This is the root impulse behind every form of their oppression of minorities. White, male-driven, conservative American Christianity wants power, control, and prominence in all of society, and they will use whatever methods to achieve this goal. Slavery, mass incarceration, lynchings, police brutality, tear gas, denial of rights, economic inequality, sexism, voter suppression, rigged elections, dictatorships, lying, labeling, denying science, weaponizing the Bible, demonizing, false-flag operations, fraud, constitutional abuse, and the list is unending. They don’t give-a-rip about aligning their values and pursuits with Jesus, they only care about aligning their lives and spinning their faith “against” anything and everything that threatens their appetite and addiction to self preservation and prosperity.
Once again for the people in the back, this is why white, male-driven, conservative American Christians are unwavering with their loyalty towards Trump. He echoes and magnifies their rage towards the things they fear and hate. It’s not about what he is doing “for” Jesus, it’s about what he is doing “against” the people and things they fear will undermine their privileged way of life. In their minds, this country is for them, given by God to them, and should always serve and reflect them above all things. Some will “tolerate” a certain amount of controlled “sharing” as long as they’re still king of the mountain. It helps them sleep at night and convince themselves that they aren’t racist, sexist, or white privileged. However, to the privileged, the emergence of true equality always feels like war, a war they must fight. That’s how you know where racism truly lives; look for the subtle “actions” against, and the subtle “inactions” towards true equality.
See, when people criticize white, conservative American Christians for not being “for” Jesus or for supporting a President who isn’t “for” Jesus, it all rolls off their back because ultimately it isn’t about being “for” Jesus anyways. It’s about fighting a war “against” what threatens their privilege. That’s why they will perform all sorts of spiritual gymnastics, rationalize their duplicities, and do anything to divert attention away from the stark contrast between Trump, Republicans, conservative Evangelicalism and the person and ways of Jesus. For them, standing against and thwarting their enemies trumps following Jesus every time. All pun intended.
Therefore, it’s largely useless to argue with Trump supporters about Jesus. To them, He’s irrelevant and can be rationalized away. Instead, what is relevant is their hate, fear, oppressiveness, and self-centeredness. Focusing on these issues is key.
For these are the huge under-the-surface sins that have given rise to what we see on the surface of the iceberg of white, male-driven, conservative American Christianity today. Find me anything and everything that they stand “against” and it can be clearly connected, not to their love of humanity, freedom, or America, but to their hateful, fearful, oppressive, and self-centered desire to protect and prosper their white, male-driven, conservative Christian privilege and dominance in all of American society–period, full stop.
The real reason why many Christians support Trump isn’t about his being “for” Jesus, but about his being “against” the equality and diversity that threatens white, male-driven, conservative American Christian supremacy.
Grace is brave. Be brave.
Bravo! Jesus was prophetic when he referred to the corrupt religious leaders as “whitewashed tombs.” Very apropos to the narcissism inherent in American evangelicalism.
Thanks Melody! Appreciate you taking the time to read an comment!
In general I absolutely agree with this – you are bravely going where few will go. Kudos.
However, I must respectfully submit that you have intentionally or by omission not mentioned the 800 pound elephant in the corner of the room: Abortion.
That is the one “draw the line” ill-founded and visceral response issue that I hear as the sole reason for Trumpers/Trumpettes to rest their overly self righteous, morally judgmental “pro-birth” hats on – and turn a blind eye to the non-stop utterly blatant anti-Christ behavior that he exhibits and promotes.
Perhaps you can address that when you get a chance. Many thanks for your bravery regardless.
Thanks Marc for your thoughtful and well-expressed comment! I agree that abortion is a weighty issue for some/many conservative Christians and an easy cop-out for rationalizing their support of Trump. There was no reason I left it out other than, in my experience, there are a lot of equally weighty issues and cop-outs Trump-supporting Christians use. For better or worse, I chose the ones addressed in the article believing that issues like abortion are products/sub-issues of broader issues like sexism and patriarchy which are addressed. To be sure, it could have been addressed or even squeezed in. Yet, I think it now has less power/weight for use by conservatives because of their obvious dismissal of nearly every other form of “life.” Thanks again for your comment!
It does make sense. I have asked a few “so-called” Christian Trump sheep what he has done for them–and they can’t give an answer! Most of them have no idea of the things he has done, many of them behind the scenes (especially the environmental rollbacks). This article outlines the only possible explanation of why they would follow someone so dangerous. But sadly, they won’t look inside themselves to see the truth.
Thanks Gina, you make a good observation, many won’t engage this topic with retrospection. But,it hopefully gives many of us a path towards hope and understanding.
In the Black community there is a saying that a white man would kill his mother over a penny. As I grew older i realize what it meant. This was what was thought of white Christian males as a whole.
William, interesting. I had never heard that saying before. Thanks for reading commenting!
This makes me feel so much better. I am so comforted to know there is a decent and loving Christian with a brain. Before I found your blog I had been dealing with a person in the Christian faction you mention in your article. To tell you the truth I kind of wanted to burn my bible cause I was so turned off by this type of hate filled Faith. Keep up the great work!!
Thanks Dd, you are not alone and it’s an honor to be on this journey with you.
Wow. I had caught up to all the hateful attitudes that somehow get justified in their thinking, but hate as the primary motivating factor, well, wow again. As Marc mentioned, that 800 pound elephant of abortion does seem to be a huge factor with the people I talk to as well. Trying to biblically reason with anyone who’s “drunk the Kool Aid” and swallowed this whole mess is wasted breath, and your reasoning does make incredible sense.
I came out of an abusive church situation years ago, and later saw how you just don’t see it as long as you’re in it. I’ve been trying to apply that principle to this phenomenon as well, but I don’t know if it applies or not. It’s like the trouble with being deceived is that you’re deceived! Bewitched, if you will. Carnally minded. I just keep going back to verses like this:
Isa 44:20- That kind of man (the idolater) feeds on ashes [and is satisfied with ashes]! A deceived mind has led him astray, so that he cannot save himself, or ask, “Is this thing [that I am holding] in my right hand not a lie?” (Amp)
It’s the “cannot” that gets me. They just flat out don’t, or CAN’T see it. And if you’re right about hate actually being the primary motivating factor, well, again, WOW. How incredibly deceived can you get and still breathe? You’ve helped me understand this mess a little better. And I do know what it’s like to be in a situation where you just can’t see it. You just keep making excuses for the leadership.
Marion, well said. You may really enjoy my book, “Leatherbound Terrorism” which puts forth my journey out of conservative Evangelicalism after being a pastor for 20 some years within it. It also addresses the issues you spoke of in detail. Look for it on Amazon. Thanks for reading and commenting!
Oh, I’ve got it. That’s how I found your blog! Wonderful book.
Great post. You hit the underbelly of the beast. Thanks for your bravery. xo
Darlene, thanks for your encouragement!
Fantastic article, absolutely spot on in all regards.
Thank you Mike, sure appreciate your kind words!
Get this out of the way first, I have your book Chris, and I recommend it to all your readers.
Two weeks ago, Terry Gross interviewed Robert P. Jones, who wrote a book titled “White Too Long”. It took her 32 minutes to get to the main point. You did it in a 2 minute read. The typical Trump supporter hears “Make America Great Again” and thinks “Make America Wite Again”.
Would love to discuss the 800 pound gorilla, but there isn’t enough thruput here to do a decent discussion. Given his flip/flopping on the matter, I don’t think Donald Trump can be anybodies hero.
Phil, thanks for your thoughtful words. I hope to address the abortion issue with an entire article. Thanks for reading and commenting!
Well said, Pastor. This is one of your best. Unfortunately, the people who most desperately need this message are the ones who will be least likely to see it. Every year I participate in TDOR activities, usually as a speaker, and every year I do my best to ‘educate’ – education is the key to enlightenment, yes? Yet every year since 2011, I only speak to an audience who wants to hear me. My messages never get to those who most need to hear the words because to that group, I am a renegade, a spiritual succubus, a clear and present danger to the staid ‘christian’ male-dominated heterosexual status quo. You, dear Chris, are a renegade as well. Yeshua himself was a renegade, and that designation was the excuse used to justify his murder.
Your words have incredible value, just as mine – I like to think – have some degree of value to the small audiences I address each November. But…how do we get our words into the ears of those who most need to hear them? How do we shed the ‘voice in the wilderness’ cachet? You’ve done much more than I, of course, through your much wider audience and book, so you’re not as far out in the boonies as I am, yet… How can we make the Franklin Grahams and James Dobsons hear us? Or perhaps more fundamentally, is that even possible? I honestly don’t think it is. So do we – do I – continue to beat my gums and beat my head to speak to stone walls or just give up and hope for somebody smarter, more accomplished, more charming, and able comes along to carry the torch? How do we get the stubborn, narrow-minded, willfully nescient and self-righteous to listen?
Maybe the only course of action is to just plug along as best we can and hope for generational change to evolve. Either way, I love your work and I sincerely hope you don’t plan to hang up your spurs of rebellion any time soon.
Shalom uv’rachah b’Yeshua HaMashiach.
Stefani, you are one of my favorite people. I love your voice and bravery. Hell no, I’m never giving up!
And that’s the problem. No one can get them to listen. Prayer is the only answer, praying for the Light to shine into that darkness. It takes God to get through to anyone. Pray for eyes to see, ears to hear and a heart of flesh! (Ezekiel somewhere??)
I also look forward to you dealing with the abortion issue because it’s the fallback defense of all things conservative Christian with emotional strings that reach across the breadth of this nation. There are multiple defenses: biblical, legal, scientific, political, economic, medical, individualism, sexism, privacy, historical, and so on. A new and clear voice in the debate that can cut through the clutter would be useful.
My guess is your voice will incorporate the thread you wrote about in this article which deals with the motivation of conservative Christianity. The need for “power, control, and prominence” and “being ‘against’ the equality and diversity that threatens white, male-driven, conservative American Christian supremacy” could be important elements missing from the current debate.
Thank you for your continued work in these important discussions. Conservative Christian voices have dominated the religious/political discussion in this country for decades. We are entering a rare and unique period where that dominance is vulnerable and new voices can actually shift the national attitude towards this “white, male-driven, conservative American Christian supremacy.”
Tackling the abortion issue is key part of that process. Good luck.
What civil right does a lgbtq not enjoy?