Reading Time: 3 minutes By thierry ehrmann from Saint Romain au Mont d'Or, France, Europe (Donald Trump, painted portrait _DDC9085) [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
Reading Time: 3 minutes

I reported the other day on how some are seeing Trump as a “baby Christian” who has newly embraced the faith, taking his baby steps but not yet speaking the clear words of Christian religiosity. This was announced by James Dobson. Salon reports him as saying:

Only the Lord knows the condition of a person’s heart. I can only tell you what I’ve heard. First, Trump appears to be tender to things of the Spirit. I also hear that Paula White has known Trump for years and that she personally led him to Christ. Do I know that for sure? No. Do I know the details of that alleged conversion? I can’t say that I do… if anything, this man is a baby Christian who doesn’t have a clue about how believers think, talk and act.

Paula White is a prosperity gospel preacher with a less than gleaming reputation. I am not sure how you can be a prosperity gospel advocate and have any kind of reputation since it seems as clear as day that Jesus was a socialist. Therein lies the weird irony of the Christian right in America: in love with money and greed, and defying all the clearly articulated lessons of Jesus himself. To add to this dissonant scenario, Vox reports Trump as advocating torture, quite clearly, at a rally in Ohio:

They said, “what do you think about waterboarding,” I said ‘I like it a lot and I don’t think it’s tough enough.”

We’re living in Medieval times. We have to stop it. We have to be so strong, we have to fight so viciously and so violently, because we’re dealing with violent people, vicious people.

We have laws and the laws say you can’t do this , you can’t do that, well, a lot, alright? Their laws say you can do anything you want and the more vicious you are the better.

So we can’t do waterboarding but they can do chopping off heads, drowning people in steel cages. They can do whatever they want to do.

They eat dinner like us. Can you imagine them sitting around the table or wherever they’re eating their dinner, talking about the Americans don’t do waterboarding and yet we chop off heads. They probably think we’re weak, we’re stupid, we don’t know what we’re doing, we have no leadership.

You know, you have to fight fire with fire.

This certainly is odd for people who purportedly call themselves Christians to openly endorse the most fevered of capitalist tendencies, whilst also flirting with torture, when I think you could easily argue that Jesus was, amongst the contradictions, a socialist pacifist revolutionary.

This is where we can quite clearly see notions of post hoc rationalisation. Jesus becomes a mechanism to codify, to deify, deeply held personal convictions. And often, these convictions are thinly veiled, or even openly explicit, examples of the worst kinds of bigotry.

Vox reports Dobson himself showing an authoritarian streak, in the context of animal cruelty with his dog, in his book, The Strong Willed Child:

I had seen this defiant mood before, and knew there was only one way to deal with it. The ONLY way to make Siggie obey is to threaten him with destruction. Nothing else works. I turned and went to my closet and got a small belt to help me “reason” with Mr. Freud.

What developed next is impossible to describe. That tiny dog and I had the most vicious fight ever staged between man and beast. I fought him up one wall and down the other, with both of us scratching and clawing and growling and swinging the belt. I am embarrassed by the memory of the entire scene. Inch by inch I moved him toward the family room and his bed. As a final desperate maneuver, Siggie backed into the corner for one last snarling stand. I eventually got him to bed, only because I outweighed him 200 to 12!

Don’t do a Brexit, America. Don’t let Trump be foisted by a wave of bigotry and hypocrisy.


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Jonathan MS Pearce

A TIPPLING PHILOSOPHER Jonathan MS Pearce is a philosopher, author, columnist, and public speaker with an interest in writing about almost anything, from skepticism to science, politics, and morality,...