What's Tony Thinking

“Evangelical Christians” — Repent


I’m at the gym. Looking up from the latest John Grisham novel (my chosen distraction as I chug along on one aerobic machine or another), I see:

Three television screens. Running on the first, the story of Trump’s personal lawyer having paid off a porn star who had an affair with Trump from his personal funds. This is, I guess, supposed to be good news — he didn’t use public or campaign funds for the hush money.

Next screen over the story is Trump’s Secretary of Veteran’s Affairs, David Shulkin, having his travel records jimmied to cover the cost of his wife’s plane rides. Not the first of Trump’s cabinet members to dip into the public wallet for travel perks. In fact, this tacky crap seems more the norm than the exception.

On to the third screen, and it’s follow-up story trying to sort out how in the world Rob Porter continued to hold a high-level job in the White House when his boss knew he was someone who beat his wife, well, wives. Kelly called Porter a man of “extraordinary integrity.”

Around the corner, there is another bank of screens. On one of those is a report on how the Russians are already hard at work to mess with the upcoming 2018 election. Meanwhile, Trump continues to deny there was any Russian interference in 2016 because Putin said “we didn’t do it.”

Oh yeah, and a little later there’s a story about Vice-President Mike Pence congratulating himself for dissing Kim Jong Un’s sister at the Olympics. Way to be tough Mike!

This is crazy-making. And it only is one day’s fare with this crowd. Unbelievable. It just goes on and on.

In a column last Sunday Maureen Dowd said, “We want our President to be a moral beacon, not a ratings-obsessed id.” Okay, so some other Presidents also fell short in the moral beacon category. That doesn’t justify the oldest fallacious moral reasoning in the book — “Well, everyone does it.”

I have one thing to say, Evangelical Christians, the 81% of you who voted for Trump, REPENT! And some are. Check this out.

Though I do not expect Jerry Falwell Jr. (Liberty University) or Robert Jeffress (Dallas Mega-Church Pastor who preached at Trump’s Inaugural) and their ilk to heed me for I believe they love power more than Jesus, I do feel compelled to call on you who consider yourselves Evangelical Christians, who voted for Trump, to reconsider, to rediscover your spine, if not your soul. Repent of your support for this President. Go about in sackcloth and ashes.

Okay so, having issued such a call to Evangelical Christians who support Trump, do liberal and progressive Christians need to re-examine our own political alliances? Yes. It would over-burden this piece to go into that in depth here and now. But Progressives should not mindlessly endorse the Democratic Party. Both conservative and liberal Christians need to keep some critical distance on politics and politicians. Neither side of the political spectrum is God’s side.

By adding the preceding paragraph am I falling prey to the fallacy of a “false equivalency”? It is possible.

So I would conclude as I began. Trump is something different and seriously dangerous. He is a man, as nearly as I can tell, without any conscience whatsoever. Even if the economy is stronger, this is not going to end well. It just isn’t.

Since I first published this piece Nick Kristof has weighed in with a somewhat similar, though more eloquent, column on the metastasizing lack of integrity in the Trump administration.


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