We are almost two years into the Trump administration. The Atlantic has assembled some of Trump’s “greatest” hits. Here is a taste of “50 Moments That Define an Improbably Presidency“:
In an October 2016 editorial, The Atlantic wrote of Donald Trump: “He is a demagogue, a xenophobe, a sexist, a know-nothing, and a liar.” We argued that Trump “expresses admiration for authoritarian rulers, and evinces authoritarian tendencies himself.” Trump, we also noted, “is easily goaded, a poor quality for someone seeking control of America’s nuclear arsenal. He is an enemy of fact-based discourse; he is ignorant of, and indifferent to, the Constitution; he appears not to read.”
In retrospect, we may be guilty of understatement.
There was a hope, in the bewildering days following the 2016 election, that the office would temper the man—that Trump, in short, would change.
He has not changed.
This week marks the midway point of Trump’s term. Like many Americans, we sometimes find the velocity of chaos unmanageable. We find it hard to believe, for example, that we are engaged in a serious debate about whether the president of the United States is a Russian-intelligence asset. So we decided to pause for a moment and analyze 50 of the most improbable, norm-bending, and destructive incidents of this presidency to date.
So with this in mind, I thought I would list the 50 most outrageous court evangelical defenses of Donald Trump as chronicled here at The Way of Improvement Leads Home. Some of these I included in my June 2018 book Believe Me: The Evangelical Road to Donald Trump. I am sure I missed some, so please feel free to add to the list.
50. Trump disparages MSNBC anchor Mika Brzezinski and the court evangelicals are silent
49. Jerry Falwell Jr. says Trump’s temperament as POTUS is “no longer relevant” because he has redefined the presidency.
48. Court evangelical calls CNN’s Jim Acosta a “demon.”
47. Liberty University alums return diplomas after Jerry Falwell Jr. refuses to condemn Trump’s Charlottesville remarks. Falwell Jr. calls their protest “a joke.”
46. Tony Perkins does not like being called a court evangelical
45. Court evangelicals write a “spiritual biography of Donald Trump”
44. Tony Perkins defends Scott Pruitt’s $100,000 expense account for private jets
43. Jerry Falwell Jr. says that Christ did not forgive the “establishment elites.”
42. Court evangelicals bask in the court
41. Court evangelical Steven Strang says Trump is a Christian and he is an answer to prayer because he cut taxes.
40. Liberty University film students produce a film on a book about a fireman who prophesied the election of Trump
39. Robert Jeffress invites Sean Hannity to his church to puff Trump
38. Jerry Falwell Jr. calls Trump “Ronald Reagan on steroids” and calls Democrats “fascists” and “Brownshirts.”
37. Robert Jeffress praises Trump for pulling out of the Paris Climate Agreements
36. On Thanksgiving, Paula White says we should be thankful that God has given America such a giving president.
35. A Southern Baptist pastor says that Mike Pence should not speak at the Southern Baptist Convention. Court evangelical Tony Perkins accuses him of disunity, confusing church and state
34. Franklin Graham uses his father’s magazine to say that Christians will be “open targets” if the Democrats win the House of Representatives in November 2018
33. After the Stormy Daniels allegations, Jerry Falwell Jr. says “that doesn’t sound like the Donald Trump I know.”
32. Pastor Greg Lurie wrongly tells fellow court evangelicals that the United States was “founded in a time of spiritual renewal.”
31. Cohen tape reveals that Trump used court evangelical and minister Marc Burns for political gain.
30. Court evangelical James Dobson throws his support behind Roy Moore’s run for Senate in Alabama
29. Court evangelicals defend Trump’s behavior with Putin in Helsinki
28. Jerry Falwell Jr. blames Michael Cohen and Paul Manafort convictions on Attorney General Jeff Sessions
27. Robert Jeffress defends Trump’s “s-hole countries” comment.
26. Jerry Falwell Jr. defends Roy Moore against sexual molestation charges
25. Court evangelicals call Trump a new King Cyrus
24. Trump holds an August 2018 dinner for the court evangelicals and urges them to vote Republican in the midterm elections.
23. Robert Jeffress defends Trump on the NFL-kneeling controversy
22. Trump loses the House of Representatives in November 2018 and the court evangelicals spin it as a Trump victory.
21. Trump brings porn into the mainstream and the court evangelicals say nothing
20. Court evangelical boasts of the “unprecedented access” he has to the Trump White House
19. Paula White uses the Bible to defend Trump’s policy of separating children from their parents at the Mexican border.
18. Court evangelicals remain silent on the separation of families at the Mexican border
17. Paula White says Trump is “100% a Christian who understands repentance.”
16. Court evangelical Robert Jeffress claims that he will continue to support Trump despite Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal adultery allegations
15. Franklin Graham says that Christine Blasey-Ford’s accusations are “not relevant” to the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court
14. Court evangelicals think they scored a victory with Trump over the “Johnson Amendment.” They did not.
13. Court evangelicals such as Robert Jeffress influence Trump to move the Israeli embassy to Jerusalem
12. Court evangelicals tweet about family values at the same time Trump is separating children from parents at the Mexican border
11. Robert Jeffress says that “God is not necessarily an open borders guy”
10. Former court evangelical says Trump’s evangelical advisory committee is little more than a “photo-op.”
9. Tony Perkins gives Trump a “mulligan” on the Stormy Daniels adulterous affair
8. Robert Jeffress uses Romans 13 to defend Trump’s immigration policy
7. In 1998, court evangelical Gary Bauer thought that “character was destiny” for U.S. presidents
6. Franklin Graham said something different about a president’s “private sins” back in 1998.
5. Eric Metaxas defends Trump’s Charlottesville comments
4. Jerry Falwell Jr. defends Trump’s Charlottesville comments
3. Robert Jeffress says Trump should not apologize for Charlottesville statements. “He did just fine.”
2. Jerry Falwell Jr. says there is nothing Trump could do to lose evangelical support.
1. Trump threatens to change the course of American Christianity