Franklin Graham (click here for bio) is jubilant about the election of Donald Trump. Graham believes that the election of Trump gives our nation a better chance at returning to God and being one nation under God again. Of course, we could ask the all important question: When was our nation under God? We will but we will wait to do so.
Graham's article on the election (click here for the article) credited the conservative votes and prayers for Trump's victory. However, what he calls an election victory I call the beginning of a nightmare. And I say that as someone who refuses to vote for any Democrats. Graham's main concerns is the appointment of conservative Supreme Court justices and he is confident that Trump will nominate such justices. Of course, Graham wants conservative justices on the Supreme Court in order to reverse Roe V. Wade and preserve the religious liberties of Christians which, according to him and others, have been under constant attack by progressive judges.
Of course, there are two problems with that reasoning. The first problem is what about the religious liberties of those who disagree with religiously conservative Christians? How would conservative justices decide on the rights of the LGBT community? And what about any future cases regarding voters' rights? We have already seen how the Supreme Court has ruled against an important part of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
Of course the second problem here is with Graham's confidence in Trump's nominations is this: How can anyone trust Trump to keep his promises when he has such a tenuous relationship with reality? Whether reality consists of his claims that he opposed the Iraq War before the invasion (click here), or, as his spokespeople claim, that he never walked in on beauty contestants when they were dressing (click here and there, look for the first audio file under 'On Beauty Pageant Contestants' for the latter link), his claim that he was endorsed by ICE (click here), his claim about the size of the size of the loan he received from his father (click here), or that he denied calling climate change a 'hoax' (click here), Trump seems to struggle knowing what he has said or done.
We could also go to Trump's pre-inauguration reversals of promises such as that of criminally prosecuting Hillary Clinton and that he was going to drain the swamp (click here and there). So either Trump made an empty promise about draining the swamp or he has already broken that promise as well as the one regarding Clinton. And when one looks as Trump's appointments overall, what is clear is that the interests of elites are well represented while the interests of the public, especially workers, are not (click here).
There are other problems we could document, such as the accusation of sexual misconduct and misogyny or his reliance on racism for votes, but the point seems to have been made regarding Trump's trustworthiness.
But what is more disturbing about Graham's joy here is that, again, too many Christians have failed to vote independently. For too many of them, their votes are owned by the Republican Party and it is as if they believe that everything to the left of that party is anti-God. This means that the Republican Party can still take the votes of religiously conservative Christians for granted to a significant degree. And that means that Republicans can merely campaign on a platform of not being Democrats to secure enough of the religiously conservative Christian vote to be competitive. In the meantime, corporate control of the nation, destruction of the environment, the destruction of safety nets for those in need, and wars and imperialism all fly under the radar because they are not part of the immediate concerns held by these Christians. In addition, religiously conservative Christians blame progressives and other nonconservatives for the problems they do recognize.
But what is most disturbing is that despite his verbiage, Graham is relying on the election of the right politicians to allow for Christianity to regain a place of supremacy over our nation rather than having Christians look to share society and the nation with others as equals. It seems that Graham is afraid that if the US is not Christian enough, it will suffer a similar fate that Israel suffered. All of this comes from a distorted and self-aggrandizing picture of America and our founding fathers. For we might ask Graham when was America ever a nation under God? Was it when America ethnically cleansed Native Americans from the land or when it sorely persecuted Blacks through slavery and Jim Crow?
Even now, doesn't America still have a significant problem with racism? And isn't White America in denial of that problem? Michael Che, from SNL and previously on the Daily Show, illustrates America's problem with race in undeniable terms. According to him, when slavery is brought up, Blacks are told to forget about it because that was in the past. And when segregation is brought up, Blacks are told that they got Black History Month as a result. And Blacks also get a pushback from conservatives over the police shootings of unarmed Blacks. So Blacks are told that their complaints are not worth holding on to. However, when 9/11 is brought up, we say 'Never Forget.' Such illustrates a point Noam Chomsky has made a career out of pointing out that we are taught to always remember the sins committed against us but to quickly forget the sins we commit against others.
When was America a nation under God? The fact that the above mentioned facts represent a small percentage of America's sins tells us that we were never such a nation regardless of what we claim about ourselves. And if we realize that our founding fathers wrote The Constitution in response to widespread dissent and Shays Rebellion, we realize that the purpose of the government formed by The Constitution was to maintain the status quo for the sake of America's new elites many of whom were also counted as our founding fathers.
Now it isn't that these religiously conservative Christians who supported Trump are evil or stupid. It is that this community of my fellow believers is a strongly insular community who, because they fear the godlessness of outsiders, look only to trusted authority figures for their information and to a place of supremacy in the nation in order to protect themselves. As a result many injustices will continue to be associated with the Gospel including the election of Trump.
|This Month's Scripture Verse:|
Whoever loves money never has enough;
whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income.
This too is meaningless -- Ecclesiastes 5:10