Montana Voices: Doling out revenge as if it were candy

Marty Essen

Republicans frequently state that they don’t care about Donald Trump’s behavior; they only care about his results. That sounds innocent enough—until you realize that people made similar claims during the reins of the worst autocrats in history. Even Robert Mugabe had his fans.

Where Trump will ultimately rank among the world’s authoritarian rulers is yet to be determined, but one thing is for sure: history won’t be kind to either him or his followers. Never before has an American president been so vindictive, so self-serving, so corrupt, and so dishonest (his Washington Post-verified lie count is now at 16,241).

Republicans love to get their panties in a twist if something happens on television or in schools that could “warp the minds of our children.” Yet they couldn’t care less that their senators (including Montana’s Steve Daines) lied under oath in the impeachment hearings or that Trump had a temper-tantrum, firing those who dared to testify against him.

How sad to live in a cultish bubble, where you become enraged if children see a same-sex couple kissing but are just fine if they witness an American president doling out revenge as if it were candy.

That the vast majority of Trump followers consider themselves Christian—many even proclaiming that God appointed him to the presidency—is simply perplexing. And for Trump, gaining their allegiance was so easy. All he had to do was proclaim, “We’re gonna start saying ‘merry Christmas’ again” and pretend to be against abortion. Seriously, does any rational person actually believe that Trump—a man who brags about his sexual conquests and disdains the use of condoms—hasn’t paid for numerous abortions?

I’m not sure how abortion became such a major Republican issue, but it’s not based on biblical text. On the contrary, the Bible gives instructions for forcing an unfaithful wife to miscarry (Numbers 5:11–31) and states multiple times that life begins at first breath, making “Thou shall not kill” inapplicable to abortions.

“Thou shall not kill” does apply, however, to both quick deaths and slow deaths. And when it comes to slow deaths, Donald Trump is on his way to becoming one of the most prolific slow-killers of all-time. Since taking office, he has vigorously and viciously attacked the environment by removing protective regulations and pulling America out of the Paris Agreement.

According to the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, an average of 107,000 Americans die each year due to air pollution. That figure will skyrocket, now that Trump has blessed pollution in the name of greed. Add to that the deaths coming from his obstruction of progress on global warming, and future losses will be staggering. How’s that for results?

Even if none of the above concerns Trump’s supporters, one result that should is that record numbers of churches are struggling or going out of business because of lack of attendance. The movement away from churches started before Trump, but now he has put it on steroids.

Nationally, the vast majority of evangelists are avid Trumpers, and on the local level, a majority of churches lean right too—especially in the South. Is it any wonder that moderate and liberal Christians don’t want any part of a message that has been bastardized to include hate and greed while ignoring that Jesus preached about love and generosity?

Fortunately, this dark period in our history doesn’t need to be a long one. With the help of moderate/liberal Christians, those subscribing to other religions, and nonbelievers, an Election Day landslide that says, “Enough!” can reestablish America as a leader the world admires.

Marty Essen is a college speaker and the multi-award-winning author of five books. His recent novels, “Time Is Irreverent” and “Time Is Irreverent 2: Jesus Christ, Not Again!” satirize the Republican Party’s incongruous relationship with Christianity and are both Amazon #1 Best Sellers in Political Humor.