If there were no evangelicals Trump would not be president of the USA, nor would Jair Bolsonaro be president of Brazil. The Amazon would not be burning and the Earth would be protected. Evangelicals and their anti-science far right delusions are a threat to all life on Earth.
Trumped Brazilian Evangelicals elected Trump’s pick for president. Like Trump, Brazil’s president Jair Bolsonaro, is pro-gun but anti-environment. He’s anti-gay but pro-billionaire. He deregulated protections of the rain forest and Earth’s lungs are burning!
Why are Earth’s lungs on fire? Because evangelicalism grew to around 30 percent of the Brazilian population and achieved big “successes.” Now their “God-ordained,” “Jesus-sent” president Bolsonaro followed Trump to deregulate environmental protection. Life on Earth is at risk.
The Amazon is burning because of Trump. Period. Bolsonaro’s new line of attack takes on all life on Earth and is a page from the war manual of Trump and his white evangelical supporters Jerry Falwell, Jr. and Franklin Graham. When Jair Bolsonaro was elected president of Brazil back in October, 2018, the international media touted him as a “Brazilian Trump.” They were right, he is. He’s anti-science, anti-gay and pro-gun. He’s pro-billionaires too.
Bolsonaro is Trump with a rain forest. He’s doing to the rain forest what Trump did to several women: grab them by the p—y, because he can. He’s doing to the rain forest what Trump wants to do to Alaska.
Speaking at an Assembly of God church before his election, Brazil’s President Bolsonaro said he’d change Brazil’s Supreme Court and reverse hate crime legislation that protects gays. He said he’d protect business, not “the liberal’s environment.” Like all American Trumped evangelicals, he hates the environment because it gets in the way of money.
In Brazil, evangelicals are now in charge. For instance a pastor who promised to lead a “cultural counterrevolution” against women and gays is now in charge as minister of family policy under Bolsonaro.
As the Amazon burns we see Trump in action. He inspired Brazil’s evangelical right and pro-trade neoliberals and anti-globalists who think China threatens “our Christian “fatherland.” It includes libertarians and social conservatives who aim to severely restrict gay rights. Sound familiar?
Why is the Amazon being torched? Because there is money in beef production and agribusiness. Because a Trumpian evangelical is in charge. Because evangelical rightists coalesced in Brazil to elect Bolsonaro. Brazilian pundits talk about the triad of “Bible, bullets, and beef”: religious conservatives, gun rights activists, and agribusiness.
Why is Bolsonaro setting fire to the world’s lungs in the Amazon? Because his wife is an evangelical fanatic, because he has Trump’s blessing and because he’s nominally Catholic but attends a conservative Baptist church. How sincere is he? Very! He’s a true-believing fanatic. In 2016, he was re-baptized in the Jordan River. Like Trump’s evangelicals, Bolsonaro doesn’t believe in science, only in money and power. In other words, he’s Brazil’s Jerry Falwell Jr. with the power to put the evangelical agenda into action and so the Earth’s lungs burn.
Here’s an angle not much reported on—the fires’ impact on indigenous peoples. News stories mention the wildlife and the loss of a great carbon sink (the trees), mentioning “the lungs of the world” without fail. But those who have lived there for millennia? Not so much.
Even if you don’t sign the petition, the link below shows a very informative summary. Brazil’s new president’s agenda is about much more than extracting wealth from the forest and snubbing the world—and when FUNAI, the Indian protective agency, does not resist, it is complicit. This is genocide—a longtime goal, now on a fast track. Neither FUNAI nor President Bolsonaro must be allowed to get away with this. Their infamy rises like the clouds of smoke.
And Survival International is a most worthy cause, lest we overlook that. Amazon Watch is another. (I’m sure Survival is among the NGOs accused by President Bolsonaro of starting the fires!)
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More power to you, Frank Schaefer, I deeply appreciate your journey and wisdom. As a rabbi’s daughter with ultra-orthodox Jewish and Chasidic roots, my truth seeking at age 21 led to the courage to leave that fold. Silent meditation brought Jesus in a transforming vision and also, experience with Holy Spirit and being born more consciously to Spirit.
At stake now, is for us to awaken and evolve enough to do what is vital to save life on this precious planet.
Likewise deep thanks for your passionate recognition and expression of horror– that this Alt Right U.S.A. President has put a target on the backs of Jewish people. We truly need to unite to protect each other before it’s too late. Blessings!
Neither religious liberty nor saving the earth is a priority for the persecuted church. They don’t have religious liberty, and they are aren’t strategizing on how to “save the planet”. Only in the West is there is there such a shallow mentality; only in the West is there the luxury of being able to enjoy religious liberty and/or advocate for “saving the world” or any other whim du jour that catches our fancy, no matter how noble we might believe that is.
The difficult conversations that happen between a Christian husband and wife, for example, in a restricted country like Iran, for example, are more along the lines of, “If the authorities come to the door and arrest us, we know what will happen and we will give our bodies as a sacrifice for Christ.” They understand that when they walk out their door they may never come back, and they accept that. A Christian woman in a restricted nation like Iran knows exactly what will happen to her if she is arrested, and so does her husband. She knows that she will be raped, then beaten, then killed. A husband knows he may be given the choice of denying Christ or watch his wife be raped or his children killed in front of his eyes on the spot.
So while many Westerners are focused on saving their lives and saving their country, or saving their grandchildren from their political enemies, real or imagined, the persecuted church isn’t. It just isn’t.