Cheryl Cook: Can I hear a hallelujah?
Call me “Sister Mary Very Superior.” I can be as sanctimonious as the next one. I can cite Bible verses, expound on all the good works I have performed in my lifetime, and even show you the imprimatur left on my knees from years spent kneeling in pews.
What I cannot tell you, however, is the reason my Christian relative in Missouri voted for Donald Trump. Again. Joe Biden received 76 million votes, more than any president in history.
In 2016, about 80% of white evangelical Christians supported Trump. In 2020, that number barely moved. Most of these voters live in insular communities in the Midwest and southern states where voters want to preserve a cultural foothold, while a changing demographic panorama whirls around them.
The president played to this Christian block, invoking a widespread Muslim ban early into his administration. It was a ruse. Because he also had plans to send billions of dollars worth of weapons to Saudi Arabia, the country that gave rise to 12 of the 15 terrorists that attacked the United States on Sept. 11.
Can I hear a Hallelujah?
Christians forgive Trump for lying to the American people about the coronavirus disappearing in order to protect stocks and investments in an election year.
Christians forgive Trump for his zero tolerance policy that orphaned over 500 children, including babies and toddlers, in order to punish their parents for an attempt to seek asylum in the United States.
Christians forgive Trump for bribing the president of Ukraine by withholding military support until he claimed he had opened an investigation into Hunter Biden.
And its certainly not about abortion because a man who pays hush money to porn stars and forces paramours to sign non-disclosure agreements has probably paid for an abortion or two or 20.
Some who worked closely with the president say this blind loyalty is borne out of fear of a the ‘Annointed One’s’ fire and brimstone wrath. The most recent casualty was the Director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, Chris Krebs, after he announced that there was no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised.
In fact, it was one of the safest and securest elections in American history. Trump fired him. Because anyone who doesn’t spread the ‘Gospel of Sedition’ or ‘Sing the Psalms of Heresy’ will be terminated. “Vengeance is mine,” sayeth the president.
Can I hear an Amen?
We are suffering through a misguided vigil for the resurrection of a deeply troubled character who lost an election, burned the unifiying bridges and is about to burn the ballots. Why? Is it because Christian evangelicals fear their slide down an ivory tower of national favoritism into the more crowded pool of commonality?
Do they fear a Democratic leader would turn the frosty alabaster color of an administration into warmer humanitarian hues? Wouldn’t the swamp be a more inclusive pool of slimy socialism instead of historical exclusivity and fake privilege?
Didn’t our forefathers plunge the stake into the heart of prairie land during the Homestead Act so we could inherit a legacy? Didn’t our forefathers kneel on the necks of Black slaves so we could inherit the earth?
There are 71 million co-conspirators in this nation who are aiding Trump in perpetuating the fallacy that the election was rigged. There is no prayer of repentance for Trump or white Christian evangelicals. There is no historical insight. There cannot be forgiveness when we are blind to our guilt.
Ironically it was Black Christian women who voted overwhelmingly for Biden in Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and other states. It could have been an enlightened moment of epiphany for America.
Instead, Rudy Guiliani is leading the crusade to stall vote certification and disenfranchise Black Democratic districts in those states. His deepest and darkest prayer is to erode confidence in our safe and secure elections, an intention as crooked as the shoe polish streaming down his furrowed brow.
Trump’s obstruction against carrying out the will of the people is simply false advertising to save his brand and delay possible civil prosecution. Despite losing every legal challenge, he continues to preach the “Dogma of Doubt” in our safe and secure elections from a pulpit built on crumbling conspiracies.
In the final Book of Trump, the false prophet exploits the dogma of American Christianity in order to undermine our democracy. And If that isn’t a mortal sin, Lord, I don’t know what is.
Cheryl Cook lives in Penn Valley.
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Is that how I wanted to spend my birthday? Yes and no. The original plan was to take a weekend trip to the coast for a few days of relaxation.