*In God We Trump*

268x0wThis is the name of filmmaker Chris Maloney’s new documentary.  Over at VOX, Tara Isabella Burton talks with Maloney.  Here is a taste of the interview:

Tara Isabella Burton

So we’ve established that white evangelicals were willing to vote for Trump, even if it was by “holding their noses.” But I’m curious, next, about what justifications evangelicals have offered to defend that vote. From the “end justifies the means” logic to, say, the propagandistic notion that Trump was chosen by God directly, it seems we’ve seen a few different defenses. Can you tell me more about them?

Christopher Maloney

That’s the question that’s at the center of the film. Certainly the Supreme Court was a really big part of it. Like [in making the film] I heard Christians, more than once, explain that, yeah, you know, Trump is maybe not a very good guy, but he’s going to change the court and then we won’t have legalized abortion anymore.

Or there’s the argument made by [prominent prosperity gospel preacher and Trump advisor] Paula White, that Trump “became a Christian” in 2015. So that’s how we can justify giving him our vote.

The most extreme narrative is, I looked at so much footage of television preachers saying that God had told them that he had chosen Trump to be the president. And so if he was God’s choice, every other thing that came up that they might object to about him was irrelevant because we don’t have to understand God’s choices. God works in mysterious ways. So if he’s chosen this guy to be president, some preacher on TV believes it, and then the preachers who pastor churches who watched that show then take the message from that and then pass it on to the congregation. That was a much bigger part of it than I think most people realized.

An interesting thing is that Kenneth Copeland, who’s one of those influential TV preachers, he had said, I believe, that same thing about Ted Cruz at one point when he thought Ted Cruz was going to get the nomination, like God chose Ted Cruz. And then when Trump got the nomination, instead it changed to “well, God chose Trump.”

Read the entire interview here.

Here is the teaser:

And here is a longer clip:

3 thoughts on “*In God We Trump*

  1. Most Christians I know who voted for Trump do not say it was because of the SC (the selection of originalist judges may have been among several policy considerations, including the economy, energy, immigration and foreign policy), nor do they say it was because Trump was “anointed” by God. (I recognize evangelical leaders have said this, and Dr. Fea is right to call them out.)

    Most Christian Trump voters recognized Trump was deeply flawed, coarse, egocentric — you can go down the list of unsavory and immoral behavior — but also believed that he was a less terrible option than Hillary Clinton.

    Christians voting for the leader of a secular government, were at the end of the day confronted with two unpalatable choices. I respect those who — to use Dr. Fea’s formulation — held their nose and voted for Hillary, although I could never have done so. Other Christians made the choice to opt for Trump, while fully cognizant that he in no way represented a man living out Christian values.

    Dr. Fea’s position is essentially: there is no defensible justification for any Christian to have voted for Trump, and provides a lengthy list of indictments (some of which are entirely accurate, some of which are more reflections of his ideological preferences). What he does not do — at least not that I have seen — is explain in any satisfactory way, why given Clinton’s own well-documented history of prevarication, corruption, enabling of her husband’s abuse of women, general nastiness and commitment to policies (inter alia: unrestricted abortion on demand; eroding 1st amendment religious liberty protections) which are antithetical to Christian values — why it was presumably ok to vote for her.

    If Trump fails Dr. Fea’s test, I have no earthly idea how Hillary Clinton passes, if we are doing an honest evaluation based on Christian principles.

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