Despair. Despondency. Gloom. I see dark days ahead. Yes, Donald Trump will be out of office soon—or should be. But the crazies who put him in the White House aren’t going away.
Even if Trump were to concede graciously—any bets on that?—the insanity he brought to our nation’s political system will be with us for the foreseeable future. And my former people—white evangelicals—will be the primary perpetuators of the madness.
My despondency is tied to a series of recent emails with an evangelical pastor and his wife I’ve never met or conversed with until a few days ago. Here’s how it went down:
I watched a YouTube clip of this pastor on a program hosted by another white evangelical. The first question the host asked the pastor was about services at the pastor’s church. The pastor replied that his church had experienced no disruptions to their weekly services. Then he said of his congregation, “A few people wear masks, but it’s not that big of a deal.”
I was horrified. I tracked down the pastor’s website and sent him an email with this message:
“A few people wear masks, but it’s not that big of a deal,” you said in your interview. Please say that again to the loved ones of the 263,525 dead Americans (as of Nov. 25). Go tell them to their faces. Please go tell my friend Chuck that COVID is not a big deal. Like you and so many other Trumpist evangelicals, he and his wife downplayed the danger of COVID-19. They rarely wore masks, choosing instead to “trust God.” Well, COVID had no regard for their trust in God. They caught it. Now Chuck is quite ill and his wife is in the hospital, near death. Please, pastor, go explain to the 11 COVID-infected frail, elderly residents in the senior nursing home where I work that COVID is no big deal. Go hold their hands and repeat that callous statement as you watch them die. Your chosen replacement messiah, Trump, repeatedly downplayed the severity of this horrid virus, and you Trump disciples bought into his nonsense rather than listening to health experts–and rather than showing compassion for your neighbors.
And then, you share yet another “vision” from God that Trump would win. Obviously either your vision was nothing more than a wishful imagination or God is unable or unwilling to bring to pass the “vision” he gave you. When will you charlatans repent? Ask God to forgive your arrogant presumption.
I wasn’t sure if I’d even get a reply. I did, quickly. He read me the proverbial riot act. I then replied as follows:
Yes, sir, we will watch and see what happens. May we converse again—compare notes—in a few months? Might we have a reset and converse as potential friends? I apologize if my initial message was rather snarky. But when I see folks all around me sick and dying, I become concerned about those who seem to dismiss it.
I wish you and your loved ones a blessed and COVID-free Thanksgiving.
The pastor’s wife sent the next reply, the gist of which was that COVID-19 is grossly overblown; the numbers are grossly exaggerated, and it’s all a plot cooked up by Satan and his liberal minions. And, of course, God raised up Donald Trump to save us from the satanic-liberal cabal.
I then countered each of her bizarre claims with facts and logic, always striving to be cordial rather than combative. Her reply to that was more of the same conspiracy theory nonsense. And then she inserted a link so I might see the truth for myself. Any guesses as to what the link was? If you said InfoWars (Alex Jones), you get ten points. Yes, Alex Jones, the nut job who had to pay $100,000 in the Sandy Hook defamation lawsuit. The same Alex Jones whose wife told the court in their divorce hearings that her soon-to-be ex doesn’t really believe any of the bizarre fairytales he spouts; he just does it for the money.
No, you can’t trust Judy Woodruff, Nora Roberts, David Muir, or Lester Holt to give you honest, objective news, but you can trust Alex Jones, the snorting, wild-eyed wacko who at various times claimed chemicals in our water system were making frogs gay, that Hillary Clinton was running a child sex ring out of a pizza parlor basement, and that Robert Mueller is a literal demon. Yes, this is where this mega-church pastor and his wife get their news—and then pass this twaddle along to their gullible followers. And there are hundreds—perhaps thousands—more just like them.
Oh yes, speaking of literal demons, now many of these crazies are making the same bizarre claims about Joe Biden—not just that he might be influenced by demons, but that he, too, is a literal demon. With beliefs like that, these folks will never accept Joe Biden as our nation’s legitimately elected president. It’s likely they’ll never accept anyone other than a Trump as the leader of this nation.
Yes, folks, we are in for some dark—and likely violent—times.