How can America’s evangelical Christians who favor Trump justify themselves?

Eric Zuesse, originally posted at the Greanville Post

One of the perhaps half-dozen honest news-sites, the Greanville Post, ran this news-commentary from Jason Holland, on May 17th, opening:

May 14th was quite a day for the empire, the … show on full display exhibiting lots of swagger in its death throes. The people on the inside are the last to know. They don’t see it but everyone else does. The rest of the world can see the toxic death culture, they see the rationalizations for idiocy and how silly they seem. The US empire has no clothes but wears only a paper thin emotional veneer resembling a child who attempts to lie for the first time after murdering the family dog. This is the modern American mind of empire. Delusional and full of contrived pablum to excuse their wretched actions. Trump is truly the perfect man to represent this country, its true face. A huckster, a gangster, and a liar that says one thing and does the opposite. The actions and the results before us are the real values of empire and not their diseased words, which are devoid of truth.

On May 14th the empire’s best friend Israel continued to show its reverence for death while inhumanely shooting protestors on the Gaza strip. 58 lives lost and 2,700 injured are the current stats, horrors playing out that we’ll never be able to wrap our minds around, but tomorrow Palestinians will wake up and know a life that has more suffering than the day before. Many of the injured will look forward to death knowing the Israeli government lacks all basic compassion for fellow humans and the wounded know the path ahead will contain even more hardship. The implications of Israeli actions won’t make headlines for long in the US, and the externalities we’ll never see directly tied to this story will cause sadness and turmoil they will struggle to fight past for years – if Israel lets them live that long. We humans are more fragile than what is put onto our TV screens. Characters undergo one torturous event after another with little repercussions, but in reality our emotions break, especially when all community has been stripped out from under us, especially when people we love are killed or maimed for no good reason.

The obscene juxtaposition of the US embassy celebration in Jerusalem, with Ivanka Trump and hubby Jared Kuschner on tap to represent the US, the occasion punctuated by the expected narcissistically mendacious speechifying as the IDF was systematically killing and wounding hundreds of unarmed protesters in the Palestinian “open-air prisons”, may have been—at least momentarily—a bit too much even for members of the US imperial establishment. Soon, there was a storm of criticism on social media, with some of the most scathing commentary coming from quarters usually regarded as “safe” to US/Israel actions, such as prominent members of the political class and even the servile media. TIME-Warner’s gossip sheet People magazine provided a good summary of the reaction with a page aptly titled, Ivanka Trump Under Fire for Celebrating at Jerusalem Embassy While Dozens Killed in Gaza. (https://people.com/politics/ivanka-trump-jerusalem-embassy-killed-gaza/). The page is worth looking at because it is so eerily surreal in its truth for a US mainstream publication.  This simply doesn’t happen very often or ever. The page kicks off with this para:

President Donald Trump‘s daughter and adviser Ivanka Trump was all smiles as she and husband Jared Kushner attended the opening of the new U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem on Monday.

But as the members of the first family celebrated the controversial relocation of the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, protests against the decision turned deadly in Gaza. The Huffington Post reported that Israeli troops shot and killed at least 58 protesters while around 2,700 others were injured, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.

Now Trump, 36, and Kushner, 37, are being criticized on social media for celebrating the opening amid the bloodshed. Comedian Chelsea Handler and others tweeted about the chilling juxtaposition while also raising concerns over Trump and Kushner, two of the president’s most senior advisers, representing the U.S. abroad.

Chelsea Handler

@chelseahandler

I’m glad Ivanka and Jared could take time away from their busy schedules of not being qualified to represent the US to go represent the US, and celebrate moving the capital in exchange for the adelson’s donations, while 50+ Palestinians have been killed.

1:28 PM – May 14, 2018

David Beard

@dabeard

Smiling during a slaughter: Ivanka makes @NYDailyNews front page on Tuesday #Jerusalem #Gaza

11:08 PM – May 14, 2018

Questions, and commentary, added here by Eric Zuesse:

Are they as lacking in compassion (not to say basic decency) as is the Israeli regime?

If so, then on what basis do they consider themselves to be qualified to lecture the world about “God” and about “morality” and about “decency” and about right and wrong?

They seek to spread their faith — whatever it is — to others (that being what the term “Evangelical” means), but why do they not instead bow their heads down in shame — and convert to fundamental decency?

Evangelical voters are Trump’s core base. (Trump won 81 percent of “white evangelical or white born-again Christians,” He won the White House because of them. The only two demographic categories that exceeded this percentage were Republicans (90%) and voters whose top concern was “can bring needed change” (83%), and the only demographic that matched it was “conservatives” (81%); but none of those three other categories is trying to evangelize the world to accept its particular morality — which Evangelicals are, by their very defintion.) Why don’t Evangelicals quit this evil man and abandon their church and ‘moral leaders’ who have so lied to them about “decency” and “right” and “wrong” and about what the moral priorities are, and what the basis for those priorities should be? How can they look at themselves in the mirror (or at their preachers on Sunday morning)? Why don’t they simply walk away from their deceived past, instead of (as they’ve been doing until now) keep themselves just glued to it? They don’t have to do that; they choose to do it.

I, too, voted for Trump (mainly because Hillary Clinton persistently demanded a “no-fly zone” over Syria in which the U.S. would be shooting down Russian planes and so she would have precipitated WW III — and now Trump himself might do that which she had promised to do). But by now, it is obvious that Trump has adhered only to his promises to Evangelicals and other extremist-right-wingers, and not at all to any of the progressive promises that he had made when campaigning for the White House. Isn’t the evidence of Trump’s evil, clear enough, yet? This man and his entire ghoulish clan (such as Ivanka and Jared) are a pestilence upon the world, a far-right international demagoguery, which honors only his most-far-right promises, and ignores the rest. Is that ‘good’ in the ‘morality’ of Evangelicals (Trump’s core voting-base)? If so, then what does this say about Evangelicals? Is this what they stand for?

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Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

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