Last night I was watching Richard Trumka, President of the AFL-CIO, talking on CNN about why he resigned from Trump’s manufacturing council. Trumpka was not angry. He just seemed sad. At one point in the interview he said “I feel sorry for Donald Trump.” He then talked about how we have a man in the oval office who did not understand common decency, presidential character, and especially American history. Though he didn’t say it outright, he implied that Trump’s failure to understand Charlottesville in the larger context of race in America, the Civil Rights Movement, slavery, the history of World War II and Nazis, and the Holocaust made him unqualified and unprepared to be POTUS.
As Trumka spoke, I thought about the men and women I have been writing about for the last year–the court evangelicals. What role does the evangelical failure to undertake a deep study of history, and the anti-intellectualism of American evangelicalism generally, have to do with the court evangelicals’ loyal support of the POTUS? I think it has a lot do with it. Many of these evangelicals cannot see themselves as part of a larger history–both a history of the United States and the history of the church. On race, they fail to see the long history of structural racism in this country.
Just a quick thought.