Despite his disgraceful life rampant with woman-abuse, lies and unfaithfulness Trump is faithful to his racist creed. Thus Trump embodies the religious right’s core racist values. They are sticking with him however many “other shoes” drop- from paying off porn stars, to collusion with Russia, to daily torrents of lies.
As Michelle Goldberg writes in The New York Times:
In 1958, the Baptist preacher Jerry Falwell, who would go on to found the Moral Majority, gave a sermon titled “Segregation or Integration: Which?” He inveighed against the Supreme Court’s anti-segregation decision in Brown v. Board of Education, arguing that facilities for blacks and whites should remain separate.
“When God has drawn a line of distinction, we should not attempt to cross that line,” he wrote, warning that integration “will destroy our race eventually.” In 1967, Falwell founded the Lynchburg Christian Academy — later Liberty Christian Academy — as a private school for white students.
The Lynchburg Christian Academy, in Virginia, was one of many so-called seg academies created throughout the South to circumvent desegregation. In the 1970s, these discriminatory schools lost their tax-exempt status. Feeling under siege as a result, conservative Christians started organizing politically. This was the origin of the modern religious right, and it helps explain why a movement publicly devoted to piety has stood so faithfully by Donald Trump.
In his 2014 biography of Jimmy Carter, the Dartmouth historian Randall Balmer quotes the conservative activist Paul Weyrich: “What caused the movement to surface was the federal government’s moves against Christian schools. This absolutely shattered the Christian community’s notions that Christians could isolate themselves inside their own institutions and teach what they please.” (This should sound familiar to anyone who has heard Christian conservative outrage over being forced to accommodate gay marriage.)
Tony Perkins, leader of the so-called Family Research Council, told Politico that Trump gets a “mulligan,” (a do-over) on his past moral transgressions, because he’s willing to stand up to the religious right’s true enemy: liberals. Evangelicals, Perkins says, “were tired of being kicked around by Barack Obama and his leftists. And I think they are finally glad that there’s somebody on the playground that is willing to punch the bully.”
Conservative evangelicalism has been associated with bigotry, for a long time. But back in my day as a religious right leader/sidekick to my famous evangelical father Francis Schaeffer, we hoped we were about more than reaction and hate. But as I describe in my new book “Letter to Lucy-a manifesto of creative redemption for the age of Trump, fascism and lies” Trump has simply revealed the movement’s true priorities.
As I note in my book I preached from Falwell’s pulpit in the early 1980s. (My father inspired Tony Perkins to get involved in politics.) By then Falwell Sr., was ranting about the “Homosexual assault on our values” and abortion. He maintained that he was no longer a segregationist and was all about family values… and “returning America to God.”
Returning America to God seems quaint now from the party that supported Roy Moore and supports Trump. The 2016 election proves – once and for all – that the religious right is clinging to its founding racist “principles.” It’s “Moral Majority” phase was just a passing craze. It is about Trump now and power. Family values be damned!
As of 2018, the religious right has dropped even a pretense that theirs is a movement about moral values, let alone the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
The mask is off. Trump may do as he pleases, whores, lies, abuse, porn stars, betray our democracy to Russia, attack the poor, strip children of medical care, make the rich richer… as long as he keeps alive the spirit of Jerry Falwell senior’s racism and segregation, updated with code words for the present tense.
Some individual evangelicals Trump supporters may still sincerely believe in Jesus, even in righteousness, mercy and compassion. But it is clear now that the evangelical movement as a whole was never really about morality, but simply an extension — by other means — of the racist white nationalism forever embedded in the Bible Belt.
Discover my new book Letter to Lucy: A Manifesto of Creative Redemption—In the Age of Trump, Fascism and Lies, a multi-touch book about art, love and parenting, from the fall of the Byzantine Empire to the prophetic music of Green Day and everything in between. Read the first chapter for free on your kindle fire or iOS device. Available now on iBooks and Amazon.
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