It’s an open secret that the evangelical community has forged a somewhat uneasy alliance with the current president of the United States. He gives them the judges they want, gives them lip service supporting ‘religious liberty,’ and does a travel ban on Muslims. All of this overrides the fact he’s perhaps the most un-Christian president in history who’s a pathological liar and who publicly bullies people he doesn’t like.
To them, while he’s an imperfect leader, he’s the ‘chosen one’ who might get them the ‘end days’ they so desperately crave. And while that’s enough to make me grab a shot of whiskey (even though I’m a beer drinker), even more frightening is that the two men driving his Iran policy are Vice-President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Both consider themselves proud members of the evangelical community.
I’ve known about Pence for sometime now. He’s a pretty strange guy who’s said that he does his best to never be in the same room with a woman one on one. He always makes sure there’s another man around. I guess he can’t trust himself.
Oh, and he calls his wife ‘mother’ and is also a proud member of the homophobic men’s club, who thinks gay people can be ‘cured’ through a process called reparative therapy. He’s also become one of this president’s staunchest sycophants.
But, while Pence is scary enough, Pompeo seems to be the one who’s now in the president’s ear the most as it pertains to Iran policy. Both Pence and Pompeo were solidly behind the president’s decision to take out Iranian General Qasem Soleimani. Now that eternal war-hawk John Bolton is no longer part of Trump’s team, Pompeo has asserted himself to become one of the president’s top go-to guys.
Why should this scare the hell of us? The guy is a true believer in every sense of the word. When it comes to his religious beliefs, there is no higher authority than God himself, and it’s his God that drives how he lives his life—and how he makes political decisions.
In a New York Times article from March 30, 2019, they reference an interview Pompeo gave to the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN). CBN asked the following question: Did Mr. Pompeo think President Trump had been “raised for such a time as this, just like Queen Esther, to help Jewish people from the Iranian menace?”
Pompeo replied: “As a Christian, I certainly believe that’s possible. It was remarkable—so we were down in the tunnels where we could see 3,000 years ago, and 2,000 years ago, if I have the history right—to see the remarkable history of the faith in this place, and the work our administration’s done, to make sure that this democracy in the Middle East, that this Jewish state, remains. I am confident that the lord is at work here.”
It’s that last sentence that’s so disturbing. When politicians talk about ‘the lord’ in this manner, and who publicly state that their Christianity is the driving force? Something’s not right, folks. These people should not have this much power in our government.
Do we not remember the guy who was president of the United States from 2000-2008? Yes, that guy, George W. Bush. He was adherent to the evangelical Christian dogma as well. How did that turn out for our country? Trillions spent, and thousands of lives lost later, here we are on the precipice of yet another conflict in the Middle East.
Yes, the Iranians struck back last night, and it appears we may have dodged a bullet—for now. But we can’t think for a minute that this thing is over. Not with an unhinged president and his religious nut job sycophants calling the shots. When are we going to learn?
It’s not just war, though, where the evangelical dogma keeps creeping into administration decision making. Pompeo has inserted his anti-abortion stance into foreign policy. Several months ago, he declared that the United States would stop funding international organizations that support other groups that perform abortions, a plan very popular with conservatives, Catholics, and evangelical Christians.
Do we really think Trump has strong anti-abortion beliefs? Rumor has it that he paid for a number of them throughout his life. Let’s get real: Trump needs the evangelicals to get reelected. Thus, if he can get some of their pet policies enacted, so be it. As we know, it’s all about him.
You see, with evangelicals, it’s all about the end days and how Israel fulfills a biblical prophecy. Known as Christian Zionists, they believe God promised the land to the Jews, and the gathering of Jews in Israel is foretold in the prophecy of the rapture—the ascent of Christians into the kingdom of God.
At a “God and Country Rally” in 2015, Pompeo talked about the rapture. “We will continue to fight these battles because there is a never-ending struggle until the rapture.” At a meeting at the Summit Church in Wichita, Kan., he said, “Be part of it. Be in the fight.”
Trump announcing the move of our embassy in Israel to Jerusalem is yet another nod to the evangelical community. It’s all starting to make sense. We know Trump doesn’t have deep religious beliefs. He’ll only do what’s right for himself. But Pence, Pompeo, and other true believers may have other things on their minds. The lord seems to be talking to them. And I guess the lord thinks Iran and the regime in charge need to go.
For now, things are in a holding pattern. But make no mistake, the Iranian situation is not over. Trump could easily miscalculate. The Iranian regime, for that matter, could do so as well. Let’s not forget the most critical point, though: this is all on Trump now. He got out of the nuclear deal, and now we’re paying the price for his disdain for the first African-American president of the United States.
Unfortunately, his two chief advisors on Iranian policy happen to be a couple of religious zealots who think that a little apocalyptic rapture may not be a bad thing.
Look, Pompeo and Pence have every right to practice whatever religion they see fit. But knowing that these guys are in Trump’s ear and helping drive Middle East Policy based on bible verses and prophecies? Give me that shot of whiskey, please.