How Can Evangelicals Support Trump?

I saw something today that, while I have been aware that it has been going on since the disastrous 2016 election, it still irks me and I have to share it.

Craig Melvin of MSNBC was interviewing evangelical leader Franklin Graham, son of the late Billy Graham about their support for the 2020 presidential election. Melvin eventually asked Graham if he has been following or keeping track of all the lies that Comrade Trump (I never refer to him as “president.”) has told since being elected, some 8,000 whoppers. Graham replied no, he wasn’t keeping track but he was wondering if anyone was keeping track of the media’s lies! Graham said he didn’t believe that Trump lies and that a lot of the “controversy” is because the media hates him so much. A completely incredulous Melvin stopped him to say, “Mr. Graham, surely you are aware that this president lies; he says a lot of things that are just not true.” And, once again, Graham reiterated his response that, no, he doesn’t believe that Trump lies.

If nothing else, Mr. Graham certainly has the most elastic morals and ethics of anyone I’ve ever heard of. I believe this of all religious people – especially Catholics who can seemingly tolerate just about anything. This is nothing more than selective, purposeful denial. This is the battle we are engaged in with the evangelicals: they are so enamored of a man who is stacking the courts with right wing conservative judges that they wouldn’t call him on a single thing. Not his “pussy-grabbing” comments, not his numerous marriages, his innumerable infidelities during those marriages, his payoffs to strippers, porn stars, and Playboy models. Not his history of cheating his contractors and employees, his lies about Barack Obama’s birth certificate, not even his phony religiosity! His quote of “Two Corinthians” has to stand out as one of the most transparent efforts to feign faith! This so-called “man of God” doesn’t have a single criticism of Comrade Trump, an almost impossible feat unless one is intentionally covering his ears, eyes, and mouth (think three monkeys) and discounting the media coverage completely – virtually all media coverage. Absolute willful ignorance in a nut shell.

Why would this be? Why would a Christian minister, a man of the cloth, the proverbial Bible-thumping televangelist, debase himself by standing behind a man of such low morality as Trump? Is the appointment of conservative judges that important in the world of evangelical Christianity? Overturning Roe V Wade, allowing prayer in public school, expanding tax benefits to Christian schools and universities, etc., is so important that they can overlook even Comrade Trump’s egregious record? I can not think of any other reason but then again, one thing Comrade Trump and Graham have in common is that they are both snake oil salesmen. Graham and his father have been selling their ridiculous mythology and bogus salvation to anyone that would pitch them a buck for a couple of generations and it has made them quite wealthy; WikiPedia has his net wealth at $10,000,000. Apparently Jesus pays and how!

The evangelicals want a Christian America more than almost anything else. They believe and preach – falsely – that our founding fathers all wanted a Christian nation and it has been highjacked by left-leaning liberals and non-Christians. They rewrite history, preach and teach to in their schools, and spew it out to whomever will listen but it doesn’t change the fact that it is also a lie, pure and simple. We know from the history of Christianity that there have been an awful lot of lies, false claims, subterfuge, and just plain nonsense sold to the masses over the last two thousand years. So, in the end, I see what the two have in common; lie to achieve your goals, no problem. Tell anyone/everyone anything you have to say, deny, deflect, or do in order to achieve your goal. Same ideals for both men. Bravo.

These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules.” Mark 7: 6-7.

And So It Begins…..

For most of the last 20 or 25 years, I have been “studying” up on religion. It began long ago – when I was around 18 or so – that I decided to read the Bible and see exactly what was in these mysterious pages. Being born and raised the first years of my life in an Italian-American household in Brooklyn, N.Y., there was never any question as to how I would practice my faith: it would be as a Roman Catholic. Of course, as a Catholic your religion is pretty much spoon-fed to you; here’s how it is, here’s God, here’s what He wants for you, here’s what you have to do to avoid burning forever in a lake of hell fire, and don’t forget He loves you, and so on. Good stuff.

Yes, good stuff, but confusing. In Catholicism all – and I do mean all – salvation comes from the Church, and only the Church. There is no salvation without the Church, right? Which makes sense because, as a religion, “we” have to have the monopoly on “the truth,” right? The Church must be infallible otherwise someone else has the monopoly on the truth and we simply can’t have that. However, if you are the least bit curious, which I am, then you have questions, and they’re not always answered by the Big Two. The Big Two are my characterizations of the two most sited responses to questions about the Catholic God and Catholicism in general: 1) God has a plan and, when that doesn’t answer your question, 2) He works in mysterious ways. There it is; now go play in traffic, kid, you’re bothering me.

At some point, at least for me, it became necessary to find my own answers. I heard from some Protestants that a lot of the Catholic tradition isn’t supported in scripture. Wait, what?! That’s right, there are no saints, no sacraments, no salvation only through the Church, no restrictions against eating meat on Fridays, (son of a…!) etc.

Thus began my modest trek to find a or the “true religion,” and I began to read the Bible to find out for myself. Of course, at least initially, I thought perhaps Protestantism was the answer; Catholicism without the big hats but, alas, that wasn’t to be either. The simple fact and basic defect of religion is that is just doesn’t stand up to scrutiny.

Fast forward 20 years or so and I find myself an atheist – or, at least, an agnostic – researching scripture, Hebrew & Christian; how and when it was written, and by whom. And I discover an entire universe of research dating back to the 18th century and beyond. To call it an epiphany would be both humorous as well as ironic.

However now we’re in the province of history with which I am very much more comfortable. “History” removes the faith aspect completely, it requires substance, evidence, testing the arguments and prevailing. I have been a so-called history buff so many, many years, even as a grammar school kid it was my favorite subject and has remained so ever since. This is the venue in which I found the answers for which I had been searching for so long; that and much, much more.

These will be the topics of this blog; unwinding the mythology behind religion, exposing the emptiness of belief upon faith alone, assigning culpability for the history of unspeakable horrors perpetrated upon the world by religion. Religion as what it truly is: mythology.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I will.