Can American Christianity Survive Its Tolerance for Trump’s Moral Depravity?
Trumpist Republicans: A Threat to America’s Moral Core
Almost from day one of Donald Trump’s inauguration, I have pointed out that his Administration represented much more than another round in partisan political wrangling. I stated that the very fabric of our democracy was being placed at risk by the election of a bombastic demagogue spouting empty rhetoric and totally lacking in any specific policy platform or guiding political principles.
Where, I asked, was there the slightest evidence of any adherence to the Ten Commandments or the Golden Rule in a man who: lied persistently, bragged about committing adultery, bragged about sexually assaulting women and called them bimbos, demeaned John McCain’s military service, used racist and ethnic slurs, belittled the mother of a slain American soldier, incited his followers to violence, and approved of calling his own daughter a piece of ass? And all of that took place before he was inaugurated.
Since taking office, Trump has only doubled—tripled?—down on his wholesale assault on America’s basic moral and democratic values and on common human decency. His congenital lying is his battering ram.
The Republican War on Morals, Religion, and Common Decency
After 11 months, three elements in Trump’s rise that once may have seemed marginal have become glaringly apparent as deeply embedded in Republicanism under Trump. One, Trumpism firmly represents the heart and soul of the Republican Party. Any fiction that Trump was an outlier, an interloper who, somehow, had “captured” the Republican Party has been laid to rest. “Republican” and Trump go hand in glove.
Second, the Trumpist Republican Party has abandoned any pretense of fidelity to the principles of the Judaeo-Christian ethic. Republicans loudly and proudly proclaim that they know full well about the lying, amoral, unprincipled, vulgar character of Donald Trump. Truth is, they say, they just do not give a damn.
With that, Republicans admit that they are untethered from any moral anchor whatsoever, much less the one found in the Ten Commandments and the Golden Rule. Republicans and their putative Christian cohorts have become moral relativists to an extent only dreamed of by secular humanists.
Republican Think reached its new nadir when Alabama Republicans declared they would vote for a child sex molester over a Democrat. The shattering truth: this is not a sharp departure for Republicans. It’s a natural progression in the thinking of Republicans who believe God strongly approves Trump as president.
Third, the dystopian future that America faces cannot be viewed as the right-wing evangelical Christians imposing their distorted version of Christianity on all of us. It’s American mainstream Christianity itself that lies prostrate in the dust. IndieDems has been in the forefront of pointing out how mainstream Christian denominations, having stayed on the sidelines as the Trumpists consolidated their control of the Republican Party, risked being overwhelmed by them. (See the links at the end of this article).
Let there be no doubt. I firmly adhere to the separation of church and state as one of the pillars of our democracy. But the principles at the core of the Judaeo-Christian religion, as those in other major religions—or found in the human conscience—remain vital to the survival of civilized society, and of democracies in particular. It is those principles that Trump and the Republican Party are shredding to pieces.
The Crisis of American Christianity
In the past week, prominent voices have begun to speak out about the threats Trump and his Republicans pose to the moral fabric of our country: (Please click the blue-highlighted titles)
Republican Politics Now Untethered from Morality and Religion, By Michael Gerson
(Excerpt) What does public life look like without the constraining internal force of character — without the firm ethical commitments often (though not exclusively) rooted in faith? It looks like:
- A presidential campaign unable to determine right from wrong and loyalty from disloyalty.
- An administration engaged in a daily assault on truth and convinced that might makes right.
- The residual scum left from retreating political principle — the worship of money, power and self-promoted fame. The Trumpian trinity.
- President Trump is an ultimate and consummate worshiper of money, sex and power.
- American Christians have not really reckoned with the climate he has created in our country and the spiritual obligation we have to repair it.
- As a result, the soul of our nation and the integrity of the Christian faith are at risk.