"Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot." What a crock of shit.
Not the New Testament verse, mind you—which the ostensibly evangelical Faith and Freedom Coalition posted on its Facebook page Wednesday. It's a sublime notion that neither earthly wealth nor stodgy tradition can save the believer—that humans of all economic and social castes are essentially equal in damnation, and in their potential for salvation. What a beautiful universe that is: no sin is too big to overcome, no pile of money is big enough to save you. This is the cornerstone of Christianity, of its highest expressions through voluntary charity and acts of love for all.
But that verse's Facebook posters, who in recent decades have secured a vertical monopoly on Christianity in the American public sphere, are the farthest, awfulest thing from this Christian ideal. They are a money-sucking, dogma-spouting, people-hating puddle of inane defecate, stacked up and sculpted into a Jesus on a cross. And they proved it Thursday by inviting Donald Trump to come speak at their June shindig. If this is what "Christian evangelism" means nowadays, Christian evangelism has no meaning.
The Trump invite is the pink sprinkle on top of the cherry gracing these evangelicals' butter cake of hypocritical dipshittery. The Faith and Freedom Coalition is led by the conservative political youngling Ralph Reed, and his group is fairly honest that its primary concern is not human salvation, but getting Republicans elected to shit. The other speakers at June's "Road to Majority" conference include Rand Paul, Newt Gingrich, Mitch McConnell, and Glenn Beck—paragons of Christlike charity, all.
Somehow, through their zeal and the crisp tweety timbre of their public shrillness, these remoras have latched onto the underbelly of our society and made their brand indistinguishable from Christianity writ large. And the apogee of their steady descent to the level of Hell that houses diabolical hosiery, linens and fucking hypocrites must have come when they called the Donald's people to check his June availability.
What sermon does "practicing Presbyterian" Donald Trump have to offer religious conservatives? Will he discuss the sanctity of matrimonial bonds? His love for the least of all God's creatures? The sin of avarice and Jesus' lesson that "it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God"?
Of course not:
...Faith & Freedom Coalition executive director Gary Marx said the group chose to add Trump to the roster because he "has been successful in all his endeavors," and "we hope he will be equally successful in achieving his goals of returning our nation to an economic superpower."
So he's going to talk about free enterprise and how Kenyatta Mutombo Hussein Brezhnev Obama is killing it with his secular government regulations, and that's why you should put more proper Christian gentlemen in charge of secular government regulations.
Trump is the gospel of wealth. The gospel of "success," as it's been unfortunately defined by mass culture of late. More to the point, he is another thick, heavy gilded curtain meant to conceal the great conservative Wizard of Oz—the hydra of bigoted high priests in poorly-cut navy suits who have relegated the Gospel's sincere shepherds and wrested control of the temple.
The Christian answer to this sort of hypocrisy is to pray for the part of these horrible people that is worth saving, the part that is depraved by original sin and human nature rather than than by their series of personal choices to subvert and warp the lessons of religion and the hearts of Americans for political advantage.
So be it, but let's not permit love of our newspaper-stealing neighbors to dull us into political complacency against these faux-Christian evangelists. May God—and voters—not waste mercy on their souls.
[Image via AP, BigStockPhoto]