Modern Indulgences- Trump and the Religious Right.

At the Family Research Council’s recent Values Voter Summit, the religious right declared itself for Trump, with great enthusiasm and thunderous applause. Trump went on one of his rants about saying Merry Christmas, and the crowd went wild.

This is a travesty, and a hard to understand one. This president is the antithesis of every religion’s value systems, all of which emphasize right living and a connection with a higher power. Trump is a sack of walking debauchery. Christmas will not be merry at all, until he’s been shown the White House door. Neither will Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or any other holiday.

The Values Voter Summit is an annual political conference, held in Washington, D.C. for ultra- conservative operatives and elected officials from across the United States.The president was received there as a conquering hero, especially after declaring that there’s been a War on Christmas going on all this time, and that it has just been won.

It is the opinion of Millennial Democrats that if the president wanted to win an imaginary war, he might have invested some of his billions into an X-Box.

Steve Bannon and Sebastian Gorka, who both were fired from the White House due to their virulent extremism, were both present, and both out for blood. “There is a time and season for everything,” said Bannon. “And right now, it’s a season for war against a GOP establishment.” The whole event was a fraud. That’s a room full of people at war with itself.

This is the bill being presented to the likes of Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell. The alt-right is a golem, called forth to do the bidding of a small and shrinking group of men. And like any golem worth its salt, it has risen to consume its masters.

These are the fruits of the policies that the Conservative Coalition started. This term refers to an unofficial, Tea-Party like outfit in the U.S. Congress that existed between the 1960’s and 1990’s. Its goal was to bring together the Northern Republicans and the minority of Southern Democrats who were incapable of changing with the times.

The term became obsolete once there weren’t any Democrats left; we showed the door to the reactionary and bigoted elements of the Democratic Party long ago. The philosophy and approach lived on, however, and seems to be making an unfortunate comeback.

Many people think this way of doing business came largely to an end with Jerry Falwell’s declaration to end the Moral Majority in 1989, declaring under George H.W. Bush that their goals had been achieved. It didn’t. It just shifted gears and chose a new name.

Since then, America has continued watching the process of one of its political parties drained utterly of mercy and benevolence. This has never been so clear as since Trump took office.

Over this last year, the Republicans have proposed legislation to destroy unions, the healthcare system, and the education system. The Environmental Protection Agency was placed in the charge of Oklahoma’s former attorney general, Scott Pruitt, a man who has spent his entire life opposing it.

They want to defund Planned Parenthood, they want to restrict abortion. Legislature has been proposed in sixteen states to stifle public protest. Increased risk of violence against transgender persons and other at-risk groups are the inevitable result of a roll back of anti-discrimination laws, but they do not seem to hold this important.

What they do hold important is to funnel wealth from the poorest to the richest. Their desire seems to be to roll back the clock arbitrarily, to a time that most of us are very glad is past. All of this is being done with the full support and sanction of the religious right, who are making big bank too.

This is why they were so happy to see the election of Donald Trump. They knew he would be good for their finances. Franklin Graham at the time said that he was convinced it was the “hand of God that got Donald Trump elected. Not Wiki-leaky, or anything else. The hand of God”.

The finances of the people who make up their congregations were not considered. Even the ability of those people to receive basic health care and keep breathing was ignored, as none of them were heard protesting Trump’s decision to gore Obamacare. The disgraceful examples set by Trump, i.e. greed, profligacy, nepotism, corruption, etc. were shown a blind eye also. Even the infamous “Grab em” tape in which he blatantly proves himself a sex offender didn’t do the trick. All of it was ignored.

One thing only was taken into account- their plan to lay waste the First Amendment, with its insistence on enforcing the separation of church and state.

Leaders of the religious right recently started demanding federal benefits for churches hit by Hurricane Harvey, even as the cleanup started. It seems innocuous, but actually it represents a highly significant milestone in their plan to lay waste the First Amendment. They have preparing groundwork to lay claim to public funds for a long time.

If they can gain a toehold by getting legal recognition collecting federal money, they can slowly worm their way into positions of influence in a government they are legally forbidden to enter.

This is why they’ll forgive Trump anything. It’s why Franklin Graham attributed his victory to the Hand of God, and not “Wiki-leaky, or anything else”.

The way the whole thing works out is markedly similar to the historical sale of indulgences, where corrupt priests caused an entire Reformation, selling God’s permission to live licentiously to the rich. Wow. In the meantime, we’re to start saying Merry Christmas again, but one wonders what Christ might think.

It’s all being made possible by Donald Trump, which is why they’ll forgive him anything. Martin Luther must be turning over in his grave, to see Protestants selling indulgences. The whole operation drags the spirit of the church through the mud like nothing since the Spanish Inquisition.

“I pledged that, in a Trump administration, our nation’s religious heritage would be cherished, protected, and defended like you have never seen before,” President Donald Trump said on Friday. “That’s what’s happening. We are stopping cold the attacks on Judeo-Christian values.”

It is the very definition of irony, that the people who’ve been screaming about the End of Times and the Antichrist all these years, would end up lining up with the guy who best fits the description. For Democrats, this all provides a pleasant reminder of the reasons we can look at ourselves in the mirror and sleep at night.

 

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