From my Writing Room
Copyright © 2021 by Uwe Bahr
Hardly any media in this country describes it in depth, because the subject is probably too hot a topic to bring forward to American society: The United States has a huge problem not only with guns, racism and polarization, but also with religious obstinacy, emanating in large parts from white evangelist institutions whose leaders have no interest in a God, but ostensibly in self-sufficiency on the local level and in political influence on the big national stage.
Such a phenomenon is by far nothing new in the history of the Church over the past centuries, considering that oppression, exploitation, extermination, and conquest for self-interest have always been the true motives of Christianity behind a facade of pious faith. In the more modern perception of our time, especially the evangelical orientation seem to take on the most perverse forms, namely to an extent which one would not necessarily expect from a religion practiced in the Western world.
For those who never suspected that the Churches would ever decisively support a perverted wacko like Donald Trump and continue to do so, have long since been proven wrong. Facts speak for themselves: Without the active participation of evangelical Christians, without the influence of evangelical organizations, churches and pastors, an intellectually and morally degenerated figure like Donald Trump would have never made it to the presidency of the United States of America. The incontrovertible fact that the vast majority of evangelical Christians in this country – or those who fancy themselves as such – have been at the forefront of the Trump-mania, will cling to the Christian claim of this country in the history books for the next hundred years.
The heinous lackeys largely responsible for the disastrous development in their communities is the majority of profiting local pastors, ministers, and preachers, who not only perfectly know how to make money with the gullibility of the masses, but are also talented to push impudence and absurdity to the limit – Sunday after Sunday and also in between all possible occasions. The so-called pastor can blurt out whatever he likes, even what his preferences are in his spare time; be it shooting including the killing of animals or whatever else pleases him: he need not expect a reaction of disgust. As always with such constellations, the mass of alleged Christians trot docilely like a flock of sheep in the desired direction of the mindless propaganda, all taking place in the name of their Lord.
Seen in this light, it is not surprising at all that even many elderly, otherwise impeccable church persons casted their vote for someone who, long before his election, said that one could grab any woman between her legs if he only is famous enough and has money – an infamous statement dismissed by his own wife as “locker room talk.”
Against all common sense and with open eyes and ears, evangelical Christians continue to follow Trump’s lies, even though the coronavirus he downplayed has cost so many American lives. They still believe his rants about a rigged election, his laughable claims about the assault on the Capitol. They buy his presumed Christian attitude because he staged himself standing like a jerk in front of a church with a Bible in his hand. He could talk about injecting disinfectants into human bodies and blather about airports that George Washington’s army supposedly conquered in the 18th century. He could call himself the “most stable genius” on camera and stir up racially motivated sentiments against people of different origins and different skin color. He could pay hush money to prostitutes and deny scientific proof about the nature of the coronavirus and man induced climate change. What kind of Christians are those who voted for him anyway in 2020? What else does someone have to say and to do before he is met with refusal?
What alleged Christians think about putting such a person on the shield to the detriment of their own country would remain not only a question of the human brain, but primarily a matter of conscience and character. On the other hand, not a whole lot can obviously be expected from people who do not seem to notice how undignified and in principle unchristian their demeanor is – a support for a figure representing nothing more than what any halfway decent person would commonly consider offensive.
If churches have nothing better to offer in terms of moral leadership, then one can only say: it is disgusting.