A View From An Evangelical

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A few weeks back, I was lucky enough to have an article of mine published at The Culture Crush digital and print magazine. It was called Under The Influence. Alongside my piece, another article was published by Jerry Gramckow entitled Against Interpretation. While mine dealt with how snake oil salesman have been wreaking havoc in our society for generations, Jerry’s went deep into the mind of the modern day evangelical. He should know, because he’s been in that community for 47 years. Today, I’m proud to publish a provocative post from Jerry that dives into Trumpworld from his own unique perspective. 

Jerry graduated from Multnomah University, a conservative evangelical institution, and served as an editor at two prominent evangelical Christian ministries. 

Thank You Jerry!

When The Right Thing To Do Is Wrong

By Jerry Gramckow

“There’s nothin’ you can do to turn me away, Nothin’ anyone can say. You’re with me now and as long as you stay, Lovin’ you’s the right thing to do.” – Carly Simon, “The Right Thing to Do”

At least once a week or so, I see a headline or a teaser for an article or a YouTube video proclaiming that President Trump has finally gone too far; he’s said or done something so egregious that even his supporters will turn on him. Sure.

I admit that—after I recovered from the shock—when Donald Trump won the 2016 presidential election, I assumed it would take only days—weeks at most—for even his most ardent supporters to finally see he was grossly unqualified for the job. Boy, was I wrong. I completely underestimated the devotion, the Mariana Trench-depth of loyalty he’d gained among more than a third of the nation’s population.

Teflon Don

Three years later—after multiplied hundreds of gaffes, lies, blunders, and scandals that would have doomed any previous president—Trump’s support among his base has only solidified. He really could murder someone on Fifth Avenue and maintain his stable core of diehard followers. Nothing will turn away the true Trumpists. Nothing.

So when I see those End-of-the-Trump-Era headlines, I chuckle. Whoever writes them is still making political calculations based on the pre-Trump era (from September 17, 1787, until January 20, 2017). On that cold, rainy Friday in January 2017, when Donald Trump took the oath of office—which he has violated repeatedly since—the nation changed. America’s 230 years of Constitutional rules and norms began to descend from revered to relegated rapidly.

America is moving away from being “a nation of laws, not of men” to an autocracy. Why? Because white evangelicals—the majority of Trump’s base—is utterly convinced God chose this thrice-married, incorrigible liar to rule this nation and return it to their vision of what America should be. It is not unprecedented, they say, for God to choose an ungodly man to save His people.

Almost universally, white American evangelicals have bought into the bizarre notion that the current American President is a modern-day Nebuchadnezzar or Cyrus. For those unfamiliar with those names or the biblical stories surrounding them, I’ll explain.

Numerous prominent evangelical leaders have proclaimed—and their followers have mindlessly accepted—that Donald Trump, much like the two pagan kings listed above, is God’s choice to lead His people back into the Promised Land of “Christian America.” Like those two kings, Trump was—some of us would say is—a pagan having no relationship with the true God. But, as the narrative continues, despite Trump’s patently ungodly past, God chose him to battle Satan’s evil progressives and return America to its Christian roots.

Who Were Nebuchadnezzar and Cyrus?

Following the Israelites’ initial entry into their Promised Land, it didn’t take long for the nation to go astray, eventually leading to a national split between northern and southern kingdoms. The southern kingdom had a few good kings and many bad ones. The northern kingdom went zero for 19. So, not too surprisingly, the northern kingdom was the first to be conquered—by the Assyrians, in around 740 B.C. The southern kingdom held on until the Babylonians under Nebuchadnezzar conquered them in approximately 586 B.C. Those southern kingdom inhabitants who survived through the conquest were hauled off to captivity in Nebuchadnezzar’s Babylon.

Biblical accounts—as well as other historical records—reveal Nebuchadnezzar to have been an arrogant, boastful, cruel king. Yes, the Bible does say that, notwithstanding Nebuchadnezzar’s less-than-stellar character traits, God chose him to work His will in world affairs. The Bible also reveals that, after God put the king through a profound humbling experience, Nebuchadnezzar came to believe in Yahweh. But, despite his change of heart, Nebuchadnezzar did not allow the captive Israelites to return to their Promised Land.

It wasn’t until after the Persians, under King Cyrus, conquered the Babylonians that the prospect of the long-desired return to the Promised Land would again warm Israeli hearts. By most accounts, Cyrus differed from Nebuchadnezzar in that he was more pragmatic and diplomatic than the ruthless Babylonian king. But, while Nebuchadnezzar eventually came to believe in Yahweh as the one true God, Cyrus apparently never did.

Which Is Trump?

Is Donald Trump a ruthless Nebuchadnezzar humbled by God into submission, or is he a wise but unbelieving Cyrus? For those who claim he’s the former, please show me some evidence of his conversion experience, of his humble submission. For those who claim he’s the latter, please provide some proof of his tact and diplomatic acumen. Anyone not blinded by misinterpretations and misapplications of the Bible can see Donald Trump for the opportunistic huckster he is and always has been, not a messiah.

But tens of millions of Americans cannot or will not see beyond their thinly-veiled desire for a theocratic kingdom ruled by God’s anointed One. And Donald Trump—oh, what irony—is that Chosen One. It necessarily follows, then, that the Chosen One, because of that Divine anointing, cannot do wrong. In the Constitutional Republic, Lex Rex. But when the true King is anointed, Lex must, like John the Baptist, decrease so Rex can increase.

With tens of millions of “conservatives” eager to bow before their monarch—and then to His familial successors—who needs laws? The King is the law, and the law is whatever the King declares it to be.

And this, of course, is what those upbeat prophets who predict Trump’s imminent demise have failed to include in their analyses. It’s why America faces a no-win scenario in the coming months. If Trump wins re-election, the nation will increasingly fall under the tyranny of a mad man—and perhaps see that reckless despotism extend through several Trump presidencies. If Trump loses the 2020 election, many of his followers will refuse to accept his loss. Those faithful followers will likely claim that their leader’s failure was a Satanic plot carried out by the devil’s evil liberal cabal, so they must fight to overthrow the usurper and restore the throne to their Messiah.

If you’ve at times found solace in the notion that, one way or another, soon the Trump era will end and America will return to sanity, don’t be happy; worry. For millions of Americans, “There’s nothin’ [he] can do to turn [them] away, nothin’ anyone can say. … Lovin’ [him’s] the right thing to do.”

When the shooting begins—on Fifth Avenue in New York, Main Street in French Lick, Indiana, or your street—the bullets won’t be from King Donald’s gun; they’ll be from the millions of Second Amendment-loving Trump loyalists who will never turn away from their monarch. And that’s why Trumpism is an even more significant threat than Trump himself.

 

31 comments

  1. Wow Jeff! Chilling words from a man who fully understands the evangelicals in a way that I never will. I’m so glad you posted this … much to ponder on here. I only wish I knew the solution to this madness! Thank you … I’m glad you connected with Jerry Gramckow, for his words, while chilling, explain some things that I still don’t quite understand.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you again Jill for the reblog! And Jerry thanks you as well. His words need to be heard. He’s a guy who did NOT fall for the Trump con. Goes to show you, evangelical support of him, while strong, isn’t monolithic. While you and I aren’t Christians, Jerry is the real deal and understands what Jesus was supposed to be all about. Trump is the anti Jesus!!! Thanks again partner!!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Jerry is not the first evangelical I’ve heard from who didn’t fall for Trump’s line of b.s., for I have a friend, Brian, who is also fairly sensible. But, they are definitely in the minority among evangelicals. My pleasure, Jeff! This was eye-opening, for sure!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on Filosofa's Word and commented:
    Our friend Jeff has a new post that simply must be shared. He has connected with a member of the Christian evangelical community, albeit one who, unlike the rest, sees quite clearly what Donald Trump is, but tries to explain how his fellow evangelicals see him. This is well worth reading and pondering, for if we understand the thought processes of those who would make Trump king, perhaps we can counter them. Thank you, Jeff, and Jerry!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. So true. So gigantic and frightening in its enormity. So insane, but then I have felt that way about religion in general for many years now. It empowers humans to commit heinous crimes in the name of whatever god they claim as their own. All while their god’s creation is being slowly and methodically murdered without conscience. All because mass numbers of ‘human beings’ want something to be in a fervor over, something make them feel a part of a group, popular and in the spotlight. Ego at its most vulgar. Thanks for your perspective on this.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Everything I have read? Our Military and Law Enforcement are very aware of this and are already planning for it. Our Military might have to take over for a bit, but once they put down these rabid, foaming at the mouth dogs? Then it will be restored. Good thing is? Our Generals and controllers of our Nukes? Have already said before any order is given to launch? It has to go through our commanders first. Trump can give the order, but unless it is really an attack that requires a nuclear response? Our Generals and commanders already said? Those nukes will not fly.

      Our federal and local law enforcement are watching these groups of Trumpanzee psychos real closely. They have arrested many of them lately and will continue to do so.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Thank you for the follow my friend! Yes, they’re a crazy bunch, aren’t they? I do not put anything past this deranged idiot.

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      2. Good to meet people like you.

        And yes, just going to such Reich-Wing websites as Gab, Stormfront, Breibart, Faux Nitwit Newsless and look at the comment sections of all these sites? And you will be able to say with truth and assertion that these Trumpanzees? Are outright psychotic freak shows of hate and death and terror. They are absolutely no different than the Brown Shirts of Hitler’s rein of terror.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. A cult of troubling proportions. A solid 40% or so of the voting public. It’s the last stand of the ‘aggrieved’ white majority, in my view. They ain’t going away quietly!!

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Honestly? Most of them are pussies. Most think they are oh so tough because they play shoot them up video games. Most of them? Have never been in a real war, a real firefight. Most of them think that they will just start shooting and murdering us without us fighting back. They are brainwashed by Faux Nitwit Newsless and other Reich-Wingers that we liberals, etc do not believe in owning guns, but nothing could be further than that lie. We do in fact? Believe in the 2A and got no problem defending ourselves against psychopaths. But they will learn this one day if they ever do drop their micronuts and finally pop off.

        Yet? They are punks, just like their Commander Bone Spurs, punks and pussies. Yeah, some are rough and tough, but they are in the slim minority. The rest of these psycho Trumpsters will piss and crap their pants should they pop off and try their crap, with people? Shooting back at them. There is a huge difference than playing a video war game than being on a real battlefield as most of us who have been on one can tell ya. Big difference when the enemy is shooting back at you with real bullets, than fake ones in a video game. When you got people shooting back at you? It is awfully hard to think their bullets will not kill you, unlike the fake bullets in a video game.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. I hope it does not come to that either Nan. I would actually hate to have to go to war against these people, because it will be brutal and bloody. But it seems this is what they want. And if they want it and start it? Then we got no choice but to stand up to them and put them all down like the rabid dogs Fascists for Freakshow Traitor Trump and the Russian Repugnants that they are. Or? We will live under their Fascist, Dictatorial rules.

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      6. There’s a word to refer to the ‘fake’ patriots and tough talking/gun toters: Chickenhawks. You know…the Dick Cheney’s of world who love sending men and women to die on the battlefield but had ‘other things to do’ when it came time for them to serve. Him and Captiain Bonespurs are cut from the same cloth.

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      7. This is why I do not fear them. I have been on the battlefield numerous times. I know what it is like to have people shooting back at you, bombs going off around you, watching people die being blown to bits. I know what real war is like. These punks do not. They would literally shit their panties if someone started shooting back at them. This is why most of these psychopaths of Traitor Trump commit their mass murders and murders the way they do. They go in and shoot a whole bunch of defenseless people knowing they probably will not be able to shoot back. And then? 90% of them? Then shoot themselves in suicide cause they are too damn punk to face the music of their actions.

        They call us liberals, Democrats etc the violent evil people, seeking to deny other people their rights. But it is these scumbags who are doing so. And to me? They are nothing more than cockroaches, that hide in the dark to do their dirty work. Well I know how to stomp out cockroaches, as the military taught me all kinds of nasty tricks to take out my enemy as well as other training I have had. And should these mental midget moron, generational inbred, deluxe outhouse dwelling, second grade home school drop out Trumpanzees want another Civil War? I say drop your micronuts and have at it. Cause we will take these cockroaches out and this time? I do not think we should show them the mercy we showed them in the Civil War. WWI or WWII and wipe these cockroaches off the face of the earth once and for all. Cause that is what they want to do to us. So as they sow? So shall they reap.

        Liked by 1 person

      8. Well, I certainly do not want or condone violence of any kind. I get you overall point though. When you say stomp them out of existence, I’m assuming you mean that metaphorically. Yes, in that way, Trumpism must be soundly defeated–by ideas, leadership, and policy.

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      9. Don’t get me wrong, I do NOT condone violence. But I damn well do condone standing up to violence. I say if these mental midget moron Trumpanzees finally do find their courage and drop their micronuts and start their little Civil War they been threatening to start since President Barack Obama took office, actually? Then we as True Patriots of the United States? Have every damn right? To put these rabid, foaming at the mouth dogs down.

        Sadly? I still believe in our system of justice, our system of laws and rules, though Traitor Trump, the Russian Repugnants and the Trumpanzees have far proven not to. I took an oath of office when I joined the military, to defend my country against ALL enemies, foreign and domestic. I took that oath seriously. These are in fact? Traitorous enemies of this country, yet? I will abide by the laws until? They no longer truly abide by them and pop off and start their psychotic war. And then? All bets are off and bro, there are literally millions of others just like me out here, who are sick and tired of their shit. But we will NOT start it. We damn sure will finish it, because that is what our oaths require of us.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Why do these Evangelicals and Trumpsters think that should they finally pop off? We are not going to stand up to them? I got news for them. There are millions upon millions of us out here who are just waiting for these psychotic Trumpsters to finally grow a pair and drop their nuts and make good on their threats they been spewing from their well used pieholes since a real President, Barack Obama was in the White House. They now stated they would have started a Civil War if he was removed? Well I guess they would need another history lesson, of what happened to their kind in the first Civil War, and? WWI and WWII. And just like in WWII? We Native Americans? Are going to rise up, just like we did in WWII and save the damn day again from the Fascists. And that? Is a promise.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. That is the bottom line Suzanne. No excuses. He’s as unhinged as ever right now. Before we know it, November will be here. Not voting is NOT an option!

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    1. Thanks for posting my article, Jeff. I’m grateful it stirred up still more concern. We need to be concerned; we need to have some plans. Yes, as many noted, we need to vote. I admit right now that from 1973 through 2017 I was a registered and loyal Republican. And throughout those 44 years I always voted for and never questioned the Republican Party. But Donald Trump was beyond my capacity to blindly and unquestioningly accept. So, in that regard, I thank him for opening my eyes to the gross corruption within the no-longer-grand GOP. Last year–for the first time since 1972, when I voted for George McGovern–I began to support and vote for Democrats. So, yes, I agree that getting out the vote–regardless of who the Democrats nominate–is crucial. But merely replacing Trump will be insufficient. All the spineless Republican sycophants in Congress need to be voted out.
      Beyond that, as I noted in my article, I’m convinced that many of Trump’s loyal supporters will refuse to accept his loss. Sane reasonable people need a plan to nonviolently counter the enraged Trump cultists. I hope the nation will be able to settle its dramatic differences short of civil war, but I’m not to confident it will.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Anytime Jerry! Yes, I’ve been engaged in a sort of texting debate with some old friends of mine who are ardent and dedicated Trump supporters. They aren’t evangelicals. They’re just 58-60 year-old white guys who will not listen to anything negative about the man. It really is a cult. And, thanks to the outdated and ridiculous electoral college, Trumps going to be hard to beat. Definitely need to take back the Senate and keep the House, regardless. He’s so out of control now, can you imagine him if he wins again? Jerry, I can’t even imagine what we’ll look like as a country. Your piece is excellent. Proud to share with everyone!

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