By John W. L. Berry
Jun 15, 2016
For 40 years conservative Christians have told us we are in a "culture war" and politics is how you win the war. They have poured BILLIONS of dollars into American politics and have pretty much become an arm of the Republican party. They lecture non-stop about "principles," "morality," and "family values." They have conferences, meetings, church services, and rallies to "take America back for God" and return America to its "Christian roots." They piously invoke the name Jesus while waving around bibles and peppering everyone with context-free snippets of their favorite verses.
And the culmination of all of this money, time, and effort is Donald J. Trump. In what they call a time of crisis in the American culture war and the battle for "America's soul" they are choosing a man who can only be described as being like Jesus if you ignore his materialism, hateful rhetoric, self-promotion, bullying, insulting, meanness, misogyny, bigotry, xenophobia, vulgarity, lying, boasting, pride, and political shape-shifting. Essentially, on the path to "winning" the culture war they have enlisted a leader who seems to define everything they "say" they are against.
As I have said for the better part of 30 years: what they say does not match what I am seeing. The fact is that, while they speak pious words and talk in hushed tones about important "principles" and Christianity, their mask has finally slipped to the point where only someone completely deluded or actively involved in their lies could deny reality. And the reality is that this is all about power. It is only about power - nothing more and nothing less. Getting it, keeping it, and (most importantly) using it. They want power so badly that they are rallying around a man who has a vague acquaintance with Christianity and are calling him blessed and sent by God to restore America to "greatness." Jerry Falwell, Jr. said of Trump: "Donald Trump lives a life of loving and helping others as Jesus taught in the great commandment." Seriously?!?
I have been told as early as this morning that "not all" evangelicals have fallen in behind Trump. But a significant number have and, come the general election, that number will swell to a vast majority. And right now they are very silent about Trump. Because they all know the talk about "principles" and morality has only been a smokescreen for the real agenda: getting power.
So I challenge conservative Christians: is it about power or principle? Is it about “winning” at any and all cost or is it about doing the right thing? Is 40 years of toning down the message of Christ enough or are you willing to go even further? Will you finally say enough is enough? Or does the candidacy of a malevolent boaster really sound like a blessing of God on Christianity and America?