Trump spoke at Liberty “University” over the weekend. I put the word “university” in quotes because this Jerry Falwell-founded project isn’t a real institution of higher learning so much as a Christian madrasa, designed to brainwash students in religious hogwash.
“Evangelism and Christian Life” and “The Person and Work of Christ” are some of the more popular courses. Yes, you can study “IT Structure” and “Nursing Management” but Liberty’s real purpose, according to their mission statement, is to graduate “Christ-centered men and women…to impact the world.” And by “impact,” of course, they mean “convert” the heathens. Naturally, Trump was received with rapturous (you’ll forgive the pun) applause from these people, who seem to conveniently forget (if they ever knew) that he is an unChristian, amoral man who sexually assaults women without their permission, doesn’t pay his bills (and probably not his taxes), lies repeatedly, insults everybody, probably has sold out America’s interests to the Russians, trashes the Constitution, and in general gives the middle finger to everything that Christians profess to believe in.
But Republicans continue to stand by their man. As John Dean, on MSNBC Saturday, noted, “As long as [Trump]’s got support from his base, Republicans aren’t going to touch him.”
What the heck do they teach those students at Liberty anyway? I wonder if the faculty laughs up their sleeves in the Master of Theology in Homiletics class when they instruct budding preachers how to deliver sermons on such Jesus sayings as “For what shall it profit a man, if he gain the whole world, and suffer the loss of his soul?” If there were honest conversations at Liberty “University,” they’d go like this:
Student: “Do you think Donald Trump, who has gained the world, possesses a soul?”
Teacher: “No. I think he sold his soul to the devil. I wouldn’t let my daughter near him. But as long as he’s in favor of lowering taxes, increasing military spending, charter schools, building that Mexican wall, ending gay marriage, shutting down the Environmental Protection Agency, mining coal, sticking it to the Hollywood elite, and stopping abortion, I’m for him.”
As we know from the New Testament, Jesus often preached about deporting illegal immigrants, lowering taxes, and the advantages of coal. But seriously, what Jesus did say about politics can be summed up in “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s.” Unfortunately, at Liberty, and indeed throughout the evangelical community, the true meaning of Jesus’s words is twisted into advancing the political goals of the far right wing of the Republican Party. They have mutated Jesus’s homily to “Render unto Trump everything, and as for God, may he forgive us for enabling The Beast.”
I’ve been around for a long time and have studied the demographic groups within America, including my own, trying to fathom what makes them tick. What are their ideals, their dreams? What do they hope to accomplish? Upon what assumptions do they base their beliefs? What groups advance our American ideals, and what groups threaten them? And time and time again, I conclude that the most dangerous group in America is evangelicals. I despair of their inability to think critically. I wince at their smugness. I cringe at the abandon with which they throw away their God-given reasoning skills and substitute an evidence-free belief in superstition and myth. I take grave offense at the ease with which they consign whole swaths of humankind to the fires of hell, while they believe themselves—with their many sins—guaranteed entry into heaven. I denounce their intrusion into politics, and their wanton lust to turn America into a Christian theocracy, if necessary, by force. Most of all, I hate their sucking up to this sick, morally unfit, crass, vulgar and mendacious president. Liberty “University” students and faculty and administrators, look in the mirror and see what you have become: useful idiots to the Republican Party, conservative stooges who conceal your distemper behind a fake veneer of love. Your President Trump is Christian in name only. He is the opposite of Christian: in your embrace of him, you have brought paganism into your inner sanctum and elevated idols unto godlike status. From the Book of Revelations: “But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”