Former President Donald Trump faces a host of legal difficulties. He has already been indicted in New York for hush payments he made to adult entertainment figure Stormy Daniels, and he could face more indictments on other issues in the weeks to come.
How are Trump’s Christian Nationalist allies dealing with this? The same way they always do – echoing Trump’s lies and smearing the government officials who are trying to hold the ex-president responsible for his misdeeds.
Progressive journalist Bill Berkowitz reported recently that Trump sycophant Paula White-Cain pulled together the remnants of his Faith Advisory Board for an “emergency prayer call” with Trump during which several far-right evangelicals blasted the indictment as politically motivated.
Rallying Around Trump
Sean Feucht, a singer, former pastor, COVID denier and failed candidate for Congress, told attendees, “What a heavy, somber, shameful day for the nation. Lord. I just pray, God, for believers that are listening to my voice, for President Trump who is listening to my voice, I just pray that you would replace the heaviness, God. Instead of a spirit of despair, God, would you release a garment of praise? I pray, God, that this call would catalyze and mobilize intercession to go forth, prayer warriors, God, that would rise up to change the atmosphere over our nation.”
James C. Dobson, a child psychologist, author and founder of Focus on the Family, was also on the call. Dobson spent his career attacking LGBTQ people and judging others for failing to be “biblical” – but Trump’s tawdry behavior gets a pass from the moralistic neo-Puritan.
“We’re calling out for justice, righteousness, in the culture,” Dobson said. “What is taking place here is evil, it’s wrong. We ask you to intercede on behalf of former President Donald J. Trump.”
Let’s take a moment to recall what exactly Trump is accused of doing. The indictment lists 34 counts of falsifying business records. Ahead of the 2016 election, Trump allegedly used his businesses to funnel a payment of $130,000 to Daniels to buy her silence about their sexual relationship.
Christian Nationalists = Apex Hypocrites
It’s all pretty sleazy – and if a Democrat did it, you can just imagine how these people would be reacting. But these Christian Nationalist leaders are apex hypocrites, and at this point, one wonders if anything could shake their faith in Trump.
Robert P. Jones, CEO and founder of the Public Religion Research Institute and the author of White Too Long: The Legacy of White Supremacy in American Christianity, put it well: “One of the most blatant acts of public hypocrisy I’ve witnessed, in more than two decades observing conservative white Christians, was their easy discarding of the ‘values voters’ moniker along the road to supporting Trump. This abrupt abandonment was particularly striking, given that its original purpose was to exploit the sexual indiscretions of Bill Clinton as a campaign weapon to be wielded against other [D]emocratic candidates.”
Bingo. From the start, it was obvious that Trump was a serial sex offender and a habitual liar whose ethics were basically non-existent. Trump, who has no history of serious religious engagement, is biblically illiterate. Christian Nationalists chose to follow him anyway. They helped elect him in 2016, and despite all that has happened since – including Trump’s repeated Big Lie about the stolen 2020 election and his incitement of the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection – they remain in his thrall.
Remember that the next time these people have the unmitigated gall to judge any one of us.
Photo: Trump and his attorneys at his arraignment in New York City. By Steven Hirsch-Pool/Getty Images.