Monday, March 12, 2018

Immoral priorities

Of course we don't expect our politicians to be people of absolutely perfect moral standing.  We are humans and we are imperfect, and our elected officials will also be imperfect humans.

Thus, it has always been a question of how much imperfectness will we tolerate.  Gary Hart was on a roll, leading in the polls with a winning formula that had him practically in the Oval Office.  And then his monkey business came out, with his affair with Donna Rice and the infamous photograph on a yacht named Monkey Business.  He was gone in no time.

Thirty years later, trump was elected to the Oval Office despite--or because of--his horrible track record.  Ironically, his strongest supporters are the moral crusaders of our time--the evangelicals.  These Jesus-loving moralists elected him and support him.  Heck, even his current wife does!

And what kind of a scumbag is he?
Trump’s background and beliefs could hardly be more incompatible with traditional Christian models of life and leadership. Trump’s past political stances (he once supported the right to partial-birth abortion), his character (he has bragged about sexually assaulting women), and even his language (he introduced the words pussy and shithole into presidential discourse) would more naturally lead religious conservatives toward exorcism than alliance. This is a man who has cruelly publicized his infidelities, made disturbing sexual comments about his elder daughter, and boasted about the size of his penis on the debate stage. His lawyer reportedly arranged a $130,000 payment to a porn star to dissuade her from disclosing an alleged affair. Yet religious conservatives who once blanched at PG-13 public standards now yawn at such NC-17 maneuvers.
An born-again friend of mine, with whom I have practically disconnected the old relations, is one of those trump supporters!  These people apparently know all too well WWJD!

These evangelicals have no problems with "the distinctly non-Christian substance of his values"
Trump’s unapologetic materialism—his equation of financial and social success with human achievement and worth—is a negation of Christian teaching. His tribalism and hatred for “the other” stand in direct opposition to Jesus’s radical ethic of neighbor love. Trump’s strength-worship and contempt for “losers” smack more of Nietzsche than of Christ. Blessed are the proud. Blessed are the ruthless. Blessed are the shameless. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after fame.
Gary Hart must be kicking himself for being 30 years too early!

So, where does this leave us?
Here is the uncomfortable reality: I do not believe that most evangelicals are racist. But every strong Trump supporter has decided that racism is not a moral disqualification in the president of the United States. And that is something more than a political compromise. It is a revelation of moral priorities.
Immoral 63 million voters need to have their own come-to-Jesus moments regarding:
For a package of political benefits, these evangelical leaders have associated the Christian faith with racism and nativism. They have associated the Christian faith with misogyny and the mocking of the disabled. They have associated the Christian faith with lawlessness, corruption, and routine deception. They have associated the Christian faith with moral confusion about the surpassing evils of white supremacy and neo-Nazism. The world is full of tragic choices and compromises. But for this man? For this cause?
For now, 63 million voters stand accused. The evangelicals have to additionally deal with their lord too!