Donald Trump is a Christian Leader. The GOP Says So.


Donald Trump is a Christian leader. America’s GOP voters are confirming this.

Never mind that his life and campaign are devoid of anything remotely resembling the Jesus of Nazareth we find in the Bible.
Forget that the rampant capitalism, unchecked ego, powerlust, and repulsion for strangers oozing from his persona aren’t things anyone reading the Gospels would at a call at all Christlike.
Disregard the steady flow of verbal diarrhea; of banning refugees and building walls and shutting up women and beating up dissenters, which comprises his growing testimony.
Pay no attention to the fact that his attitude toward immigrants, Muslims, people of color, women, and the LGBTQ community are as filled with venom and contempt as can be measured.

None of that matters.
It’s all irrelevant.
We don’t care.
He doesn’t need Jesus in the slightest in order to use his name or fleece his flock.

Donald Trump is a Christian in America in 2016.

That is to say, he is as Christian as much as we now require here to bear the name: just because he says so. That’s the only barometer: self-profession. The rest is inconsequential.

Yes, Jesus taught that we are all known by our fruit; by the tangible things we produce as we live and move through the world.
Yes, he warned that our words overflow from the deepest contents of our hearts.
And yes, he preached that our very lives are the truest testimony of our faith confession.
(What the heck did Jesus know about being Christian anyway? He wasn’t white Republican, or Evangelical.)

By declaring faith in this campaign, Trump has made God in his own bigoted, bullying, scowling image and built a massive golden idol of himself; one too many professed Christians are bowing down to in droves primarily because its heart mirrors their own.

It isn’t merely that Donald Trump “speaks his mind” that earns their allegiance (as so many of his Evangelical supporters allege) it is that he speaks their minds. Because of this they need to christen him as Christian or face admitting that they too have a religious worldview that now veers so wildly from the Jesus found in Scripture that it would be unrecognizable as a part of him to those living back then. They want to writhe freely in the filthy orgies of Babylon while wearing the pristine, gleaming Cross of the Kingdom of God. They want to sleep with the culture in the dark and condemn it in the morning.

America’s Republican voters are declaring Trump sufficiently religious enough to co-sign on for the highest office in the country, while having themselves spent the lion’s share of the past decade questioning the earnestness and validity of President Obama’s personal faith convictions. Conveniently and sadly the President’s party and pigmentation bring a different kind of scrutiny from those religious folk voting for The Donald in the Bible Belt.

The GOP voter’s embracing of Donald Trump fully embodies the Frankensteined faith that the extreme Evangelical Right has been violently stitching together for the past few decades; the brutal, bastardized new monster Gospel, formed of equal parts power, white privilege, capitalism, xenophobia, warmongering, a little Old testament wrath of God rhetoric—and good old-fashioned hatred.

There’s no sense in fighting it or denying it or ignoring it: This is what Christianity in American is now.
It is not an outlier.
it is not the lunatic fringe.
It is the rotten, stinking center.
It is orthodoxy.
Donald Trump can claim Christ and fit comfortably here.

Little wonder. This renovated religion doesn’t require the burdensome presence of compassion or joy or kindness or self-control it once did. It is not bound by the rigid, pesky requirements of love and peacemaking and forgiveness. It can generate discord and it can chase wealth and it can manufacture war and it can exact violence upon the marginalized without guilt or repentance. It can in almost every measurable way of word or conduct completely deny Jesus, and it can still claim Christ—just because.

The party of the Religious Right in the heart of the Bible Belt has made it clear that Donald Trump is now a suitable representative of them, of their country, and of Jesus in the world. They are blessing the work of this man and they are consenting that they echo his heart and share his religion.

This leaves those of us who once passionately claimed Christianity and who still believe the Jesus of the Gospels worth emulating, to find a new place to call spiritual home. We are no longer welcomed guests here, and even if we were we wouldn’t and couldn’t stay. Our faith is made of something we no longer recognize in the thing that bears its name. We are left with aligning ourselves with that thing or with following Jesus away from it.  

Donald Trump is an American Christian Presidential frontrunner in 2016 because there are so many exactly like him. He is not an aberration, he is confirmation. That’s what is so very tragic; that Jesus seems so unnecessary to the religion of his people.

If Donald Trump is Christian I honestly have no idea what I am anymore—other than extremely sad.

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158 thoughts on “Donald Trump is a Christian Leader. The GOP Says So.

  1. If you follow Jesus, then you know that Jesus was talking about each one of the 6.6 billion or more people who live on the Earth at any given time—even the ones you do not like or might hate—which Jesus made clear in the parable about the Good Samaritan. Samaritans were hated by the ancient Jews in much the same way that African Americans are hated today and in much the same way as Christian fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals hate mainline Christians. Your neighbor is everyone outside of yourself—even Ted Bundy and Jeff Dahmer. Jesus set the bar high because he died for all of us—not just a few good men—but all of us. Go thou and do likewise—even if it hurts.

  2. Yup. Thinking back to when the news was flooded with sad stories from parents of Gay kids who committed suicide. There was the Chick-fil-A boycott and as a Christian and a Gay man, I vociferously supported the boycott here in SC. I was, and continue to be ostracized by some of the “nicest’ people, most surprising of all, the local theatre community (mostly closet cases who thought they were fooling people). But I sleep at night.

  3. Pingback: Trump isn’t the best Christian. So fucking what? | Your Column Sucks

  4. I really wish a colalition of Christian leaders from all different areas would come together to stand against Trump. I think this group could be pretty powerful. It could include the likes of the Pope, Rachel Held Evans, Russell Moore, Matt Walsh, John himself, these people have pretty big audiences and have all spoken against Trump. Imagine how cool, with all their different theological views, if they were to come united against Trump’s hate.

  5. John’s a heretic which is why I read his posts, as I am a heretic too. That’s why I asked the politically incorrect question in reference to this excerpt from the blog (above):
    “(What the heck did Jesus know about being Christian anyway? He wasn’t white, Republican, or Evangelical.)”
    I’m shocked that no one seemingly wants to discuss the matter of Jesus’ race. Or perhaps, I’ve simply misread that comment. Either way, no one has commented.

    • I can answer that. The scientific study of the old notion of “race” is done in academia under the rubric of human biology in the discipline of physical anthropology—and I am a professional anthropologist. Because of modern genetics, the current scientific view of “race” is very different from what it once was in the 1960s. On the genetic level, the notion of race is very tenuous at best because all humans are made of a very complicated genetic soup that sorts out in all sorts of complex ways that effectively render traditional notions of race to be ridiculous.

      However, speaking of race in the hard science of the 1960s—not pseudoscience about race and racism—professional anthropologists officially classified the olive-skinned peoples of the Middle East as “Caucasoids.” The dark skinned peoples of India were also classified as Caucasoids—as are the white-skinned peoples of Europe. Our colloquial use of skin color to define race is a reflection of cultural prejudice—not human biology. Skin color was not the only factor in biologically defining race in the 1960s scientific sense. Many other phenotypic and genetic factors were simultaneously at play, and they did not necessarily sort out into racial groups along skin color lines. So, to specifically answer your question in 1960s human biology terms, Jesus was technically a Caucasoid white guy—no way around it. Caucasoids have both lily white skin like Irish red heads, and they have nearly black skin like some peoples in India—and they include all the various shades of skin color in between on that spectrum.

      I may scream and pull my hair out the next time someone says Jesus had dark skin, which makes him nonwhite. In strict 1960s biology of race terms, that is incorrect. The first person I ever saw do this was Billy Graham. He was holding a crusade in some Asian country, and pandering to the slant-eyed locals, he said that “Jesus was not a white western person. Jesus was Asian like you.” That may be where all of this got started.

      Just in case you were wonder, in 1960s racial biology, African Americans were classified as “Negroids.”

    • Scientists have already proved there is only one true race: “human.” The rest is pigments and difference in skin color. We are all God’s creation.

      • Of course, in reality, scientists haven’e really proven any such thing. However, the question I was asking is what did John mean by race. Why did he bring up the race issue, if in fact he did?

    • He probably looked like the Syrian refugees the Evangelical Christians are so opposed to. It’s a demonstration of Biblical illiteracy to think than “Syrian” is synonymous with “Muslim,” and an even greater leap to arrive at “Islamic terrorist.” Syria has had the largest Christian population per capita in the middle east since Christianity emerged as a distinct faith. Throughout history men and women have been hostile and condescending to one another, less prone by nature to share when they have but a little and quick to identify a lower class to scapegoat in order to move up a bit . But at some point along the way they hit a stumbling block. They or someone they love gets sick and becomes disabled. Another can’t find work and has to depend on a food stamp program to keep her family nourished. A new, African-American family moves in next door and suddenly you have a new best friend. Or a coworker you’ve been office pals with for six or more years mentions a construction project he’s participating in at his Mosque. These things skew your vision. They don’t align with your expectations of “those people.” And then the,”scales fall from your eyes” and you realize that every classification is just a way to distract people from real issues with nonsense.

      The Apostle Paul had an experience like that. He was an unfriendly, deeply unhappy and disliked man doing a thankless, and often potentially dangerous, job. But he broke free and was compelled to change his life and put his faith, and his life’s calling, to better use. And guess where that conversion between head and heart and took place? The answer: On the road to Damascus. And of all the places in the world it could be, Damascus just happens to be the larget city in that pesky little backwater known then, as now, as Syria.

      Now go feed the hungry and visit the imprisoned and always be, just as He asked, an angel in disguise to everyone.

        • Oh, I certainly hope I didn’t come across in an offensive way. I am never lacking for passion but we have had a rough couple of days and very little rest. Passion can look a bit adversarial when I am not careful. It was a surprise to see a response as it was only after I responded that I noticed the dates.

          • Lara, no, I didn’t find you came across offensive . Yeah, people often comment months after post, so don’t worry about that 🙂

  6. “That is to say, he is as Christian as much as we now require here to bear the name: just because he says so. That’s the only barometer: self-profession. The rest is inconsequential.”
    AHAHHAHAHAHA That’s the way I feel about YOU (and him). . . you’re in the same category as TRUMP!! Oh, boy am I glad I popped in today 😉
    I haven’t been following because there is only so much garbage I can read from “professing Christians”, but I popped in on a whim today and will say, I’ve never been so happy to see a pot calling a kettle black as I am now.

    • Ren: Trump, along with Rubio and Cruz, are all wolves in sheep’s clothing. There is nothing Christ-like about them or the GOP policies they promote. How the GOP fooled so many evangelicals into believing they were the party of Christians is beyond me. They show no love or caring for their fellow man. How do you see John Pavlovitz as being in the same category? I’m curious, because I’ve heard him speak, and met him in person. He is an amazing preacher and a warm and loving person. What basis do you have for your judgment of him?

  7. Reblogged this on TheKingsKidChronicles and commented:
    Amen, brother! Without mentioning his name, I had a parallel post on my blog on the 24th. If our choices come down to a dishonest woman or a rabid bully, this country is in BIG trouble. “Even so come, Lord Jesus.” This world is not my home. Lord, please saved our lost loved ones. Reb-blogging.

  8. Interesting.

    On Sun, Feb 21, 2016 at 3:43 PM, john pavlovitz wrote:

    > johndpav posted: ” Donald Trump is a Christian. South Carolina’s GOP > voters have confirmed this. Never mind that his life and campaign are > devoid of anything remotely resembling the Jesus of Nazareth we find in the > Bible. Forget that the rampant capitalism, unchecke” >

  9. Well put. If anything Trump is more the anti-Christ. It baffles me that evangelicals support him when he is so unChristlike and Hispanics support him when he is so disparaging towards them. I feel like I am living in an alternate universe.

  10. Did it take Donald Trump to make some people aware that not all Christians are nice people? Such gullibility.

  11. Way to paint with a broad brush an take one phony and associate him with the entirety if the so-called,”Religious Right!” While very effective persuading the uneducated. Mass appeal, sweeping geralizations, and guilt by association are fallacious and manipulative and not Christlike. I have seen this properity towards propaganda arise in your blogs when engaging the high-points of evangelical interaction with culture. You are using the same methods Fallwell and his ilk used. It is a little ironic (ironical for those who reblogged), don’t you think? Great and persuasive ideas can lose their power in the face of propaganda.

    Trump’s idiocy aside, individuals standing up to label him “Xian” or not, is no different than Obama’s claims, or Hillary’s. “Nothing to see here.., move along,” should be our response, not demonizing conservative evangelicalism en masse.

  12. It’s the reason why claiming to be a Christian is something I have ceased to do. It’s a devalued currency, devoid of any real value. It no longer describes those who are poor in spirit, who mourn, who are meek, who hunger and thirst for righteousness, who are merciful, who are pure in heart, who are peacemakers, and who are persecuted because they act justly.

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