Hypocrisy the size of a planet

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Back in the mid 70s to the mid 80s, when I was a young, naive, but well-meaning member of the evangelical Christian community, we had a saying. Someone whose head was thought to be a little too far gone in the religious clouds was said to be “so heavenly-minded they are no earthly good.”

Perhaps it would have been better if that had not been considered a bad thing. In my brief decade in that world long ago I noticed a decidedly downward trend away from heavenly mindedness, so much so that politics, and not religion, was becoming the evangelical raison d’etre.

By the time I left, the evangelical church was looking less like a religion and more like a branch of the Republican Party. I now wish that had been the reason I left. What a nice bit of street cred that would have been!

No, my religiosity simply faded. But I must admit, on my way out the door much of what was going on inside evangelical religion truly baffled me. It seemed a contradiction that people who paid lip service to the biblical notions of feeding the poor, welcoming the stranger and healing the sick should be so virulently opposed to welfare, immigration and healthcare. But that was just a vague impression. I simply lost interest and moved on. Today, of course, I hardly recognise the place. But I see clearly what it has become.

So when, on Thursday, Donald Trump faced a gathering of religious broadcasters and declared that those of us who care about welfare, immigration and healthcare are “people from within our country that are more dangerous than the people outside,” I am not at all surprised. I am not surprised that those “Christians” applauded wildly. Whatever they do, those Christians must not tolerate the people who practise the teachings of, er, Jesus Christ.

According to Donald Trump and his religious broadcasters, those of us who think that taking care of each other are “the enemy of the people.” Imagine that, if you want to be a Christian today you must avoid acting like a Christian. If that isn’t the oddest thing I ever heard I don’t know what is.

Maybe we should start saying that the election is rigged before anyone votes. Then, if we lose the election in November, we should tell everybody that we actually won. Then, maybe we should ask everyone who agrees with that to come to DC and attack police officers and try to hang Vice President Kamala Harris. Would we be “Christians” then? I certainly don’t think so.

It is clearly a case where hypocrisy has become so huge that it can no longer be seen. Their hypocrisy has become the size of the entire planet, and it’s an interesting fact that you must be far, far out in space before you can see the whole of the earth. Astronauts in close orbit around the earth in the International Space Station can’t see the whole of the globe.

Maybe, in the same way, today’s evangelicals cannot see how utterly unchristian they have become. All they can see now is Donald Trump. And, as ever, ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, comrades and friends, stay safe.

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