Hate To Break It To You, But trump Is *Probably Not* The Anointed, Unprofane Second Coming Of Christ
On that place where “Fox News Christians” intersect with politics
Time after time, self-identifying “Christians” show up en masse to defend the 45th president in comments sections. As if Trump is some pillar of morality, someone who’s happily and benevolently paying servitude to America. Sometimes they invoke fresh cherry-picked scriptures, or ancient prophecies, which they claim are being fulfilled as we speak.
Often, they share links to obscure “alternative news” channels on YouTube, which can be described (at best) as sketchy-looking, but most likely, propaganda. It doesn’t take long to note the all-too-frequent misspellings of common words on these videos and websites, especially when they’re words that really shouldn’t be misspelled — like, part of the title.
It seems people commenting with this stuff are consistently two things: self-identified conservative, and Christian. Or, at least, they’re convinced they’re Christian. They presume to speak with conviction for all the “lost souls” who don’t see the light and bow down before his majesty to kiss the trumpian ring. I take some offense to this, because I’ve been a lifelong Christian. Not one of those Christians — something I unfortunately feel I have to always clarify now. My Christianity is more comprised of flawed humans striving to always do better, trying as much as possible to emulate what we know of the teachings of the historical Jesus.
Though I grew up in a religious home with Christian parents and an ordained father, I still questioned a lot about the Bible (and Christianity in general). And my morally upright, salt of the earth, good and decent parents encouraged this. They thought it was healthy to examine things; they felt Jesus would expect us to question sometimes.
When I took a college course in biblical history taught by a wonderful visiting Duke Divinity professor, it was like my eyes were fully opened. Religion wasn’t my major, but because it was so enjoyable and enlightening, I felt compelled to take several more courses in the subject.
A week or so into the first course, several of my self-identified ‘conservative Christian’ classmates dropped out — one, mid-lecture, in tears — stating the class was “too liberal” and made them “uncomfortable,” I found just the opposite to be true. In fact, looking at the Bible in its historical context made me understand Chrisitianity a lot more than I ever had before.
Most recently, one of those self-appointed conservative Christians commented on a piece I wrote criticizing the 45th President. He lectured me on how it was, exactly, that Donald Trump was the “anointed, unprofane second coming of Christ.” Parallels were made, like, “the Jews didn’t believe Jesus was the Christ because they thought God would never send a poor, less-than-regal, ruffian like Jesus of Nazareth to be King — just like people today think God wouldn’t send a ruffian like Trump to be the second coming of Christ…”
(There’s an army of these people, y’all.)
I absolutely do not see what they see, and I often wonder how weak a person must be to look at Donald Trump and see strength. It feels like the lies these people must tell themselves to placate any cognitive dissonance they feel regarding their support for trump is nothing less than a tailspin of pandemonium.
But this man was wholeheartedly convinced: Trump would be exalted, very soon, to sit upon the right hand of the Father. And folks like me who dared to criticize him would be left behind to burn in the fiery pits of Hell for all eternity. Sean Hannity — plus some Botswanan YouTube figure speaking in click language — had told him as much.
“But see,” I began explaining, “there’s a difference between the ‘Jesus Christians,’ and the ‘Fox News/Rush Limbaugh/Breitbart / #Cult45 Christians.’” I argued, “If you can’t clearly see the difference, i.e., how the ‘Alternative News Christian’ is incredibly and wholly wrong, then that’s only because the wool has been quite thoroughly pulled over your eyes… hate to break it to you, but it seems you’ve been indoctrinated into a very dangerous cult.”
Of course, my words were all nonsense, he argued. It was actually people like me who are the cult members. “Sheeple,” he called us. (It’s amazing how quickly cult members learn psychological projection and gaslighting from their leader.)
I continued, reminding him how many of us “Jesus Christians” had left the church in droves because organized religion had collectively lost its damn mind, along with members who appeared to have sold their souls to the devil. A dead giveaway is how these conservative “Christians” tend to worship trump, right or wrong (or the American Flag, or the national anthem). They worship Trump, or symbolic objects like they are idols — something Jesus strictly warned against. Equally grim, they bastardize and twist the scriptures to fit a convenient but misguided narrative.
The internet “Christian” then told me that Trump was ordained by God—that, in fact, God had specifically chosen, and made Trump in his image to be a leader, and God put him into power “for a reason,” a reason which would purportedly culminate in the second coming of Christ… and ending with the rapture.
First of all, God doesn’t “put” leaders into power. God allows people to be put into power, or to be installed (like the current occupant). That doesn’t automatically mean leaders receive His tacit endorsement. God gave us free will, no? He doesn’t orchestrate our day-to-day lives. We have the power to choose, and we do.
Also, I’m pretty sure God has wept a lot, especially lately.
What I’m going to repeat here is not original. There are many variations of these sentiments scattered across the internet. This is what’s true, based on scientific evidence and scholarly research: Jesus was a brown-skinned, middle eastern Jew, born to immigrant refugee, unwed parents, who fled their home to travel a very dangerous 80-90 miles of territory, because, in their homeland, they feared persecution, danger, violence, and even murder.
As a young man and adult, Jesus grew into a radical, bleeding heart liberal. A progressive, community-organizing socialist. A “social justice warrior,” or “snowflake” of the highest order. He represented everything that so-called conservative Christians deem intolerable. How do they not see it?
Think about what Jesus did. He was unafraid of touching the “defiled” people. He healed those plagued with dishonorable diseases, and he welcomed the outcasts. He gladly fed the poor. He mourned with and comforted the grieving. He overturned tables and threw corrupt money changers out of the temple. He hung out with “undesirables,” i.e., prostitutes, lepers, rejects, and anyone else society judged as less than. He challenged authority, questioned everything, and broke all the accepted “norms” dictated by his culture.
He made it clear that the people were to show mercy, love, and compassion rather than offering up empty sacrifices. He went around spreading love and teaching his message of acceptance.
Above all things — all things — he said the commandment of love was the most important.
Jesus was a beacon of hope to those who society deemed unworthy — much like the minority and marginalized communities of today.
If Jesus Christ were to step foot in 2019 America, where would we find him?
Based on historical evidence, I’d predict that we’d find him hanging out in various LGBTQ Centers, showing His unconditional love to homeless youth — homeless at 16. Homeless for being gay or trans, something their “Christian” parents deemed unacceptable. Jesus would be telling them that they’re worthy, loved, and how they were formed exactly as they’re meant to be right now.
We’d also find Him inside homeless shelters of every city, serving food to the hungry, for hours upon hours and days on end. We’d find Him “washing the feet”’of prostitutes, and at the side of drug-addicted, detoxing or not. He’d be turning all the stone throwers away from the black trans woman about to be brutally murdered in the street.
Jesus would not be keeping company with the greedy, power-hungry figures like trump, who openly subscribe to values like “winning” and who practice boorish principles like “punching down.”
He wouldn’t be transforming God’s words into tools of oppression and hatred against the powerless, i.e., “the least of these.” He wouldn’t be using or condoning violence, racism, homophobia, xenophobia, misogyny, transphobia, Islamophobia, or any kind of religious bigotry.
He wouldn’t be praising the televangelists who pray in public spectacle to be seen by others and profit from. Nor would He be praising the “every Sunday” pew warmers who turn into hypocrites the moment they’ve uttered their last “Amen” of the service. And he certainly wouldn’t be sending money to false prophets or mega churches.
Jesus warned us about people who would claim his name but mess up his mission. And, as for all this nonsense folks are spewing about signs the rapture is near, for all the prophecies hoisting up trump as anything other than a deeply flawed human (or the antichrist), I’d simply refer back to the scriptures:
No one knows the day or hour that He’s coming…
But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only… But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.
— Matthew 24:36; 43–44
The Day of the Lord…
Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers, you have no need to have anything written to you. For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.
— 1 Thessalonians 5:1–2
But the day of the Lord will come like a thief.
— 2 Peter 3:10
Beware of false prophets…
Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
— Matthew 7:15–20
Martie sir-ROY (she/her) is a top writer in Culture, Politics, and LGBTQ for Medium, editor of Gender From the Trenches, and has been a featured contributor for HuffPost, Scary Mommy, NPR affiliates, and SiriusXM Insight, among others. Martie is the founder of S.E.A.R.CH., a program of her local LGBT Center, for trans youth and their parents. Connect with Martie on Twitter, Facebook, or follow her website & blog.