Playing Pope, Michael Gerson upbraids Evangelicals for their love of Trump
Who died and made NeverTrump Michael Gerson the pope of the Evangelicals? His nearly 7,000-word screed in The Atlantic condemning Evangelical Christians for electing and supporting President Trump shows just how out of touch he is.
Gerson is on a roll. He's written a long piece in the magazine of the hoity-toity, The Atlantic, upbraiding Evangelicals for their support for President Trump and pronouncing them finished as a force for not understanding their own Christianity. The whole thing had an absolutely creepy holier-than-thou tone, looking down his nose as he does at Christians. He uses his own past as an Evangelical, hanging around with the university Evangelical crowd, a uniformly leftist group that hasn't done jack for advancing Christian principles such as the right to life, as his bead on authority for the rest of those of the faith.
Cripes, he comes off as a jerk. He declares Trump an immutable racist and any Christian who supports him no different, though he throws in a contradictory caveat that he doesn't think all Christians are racists. Instead, he just calls them bad Christians, except more pompously: "Christians who are wrong on this issue do not understand the most-basic requirements of their faith." See, he does, and they don't. Then he goes on to piously declare that Christians must support someone such as Hillary Clinton with her rabid support for baby-part-sales profiteer Planned Parenthood, whose party is led by the toilet-mouthed-around-the-children, cuss word-spewing, hateful Tom Perez, instead of the man who actually reached out for them and sought their support, something Clinton never did.
Here's what Gerson doesn't get about Evangelicals, first point: Trump doesn't hate them.
That's high enough a standard, given the rabid hatred Democrats have shown for Evangelical Christians, most obvious in the recent flap over Democrat manqué talk show host Joy Behar, who expressed her view that anyone who's Christian is mentally ill. That's normal, ordinary thought among Democrats, just a Tuesday for them. They are, after all, the party that booed God. Yet somehow, Gerson wants Evangelicals to support this party that hates them instead of Donald Trump, who not only doesn't really hate them, as Democrats do, but actually likes them and, for all his differences of values, completely respects them as human beings.
I'm not an Evangelical, either. I am a Roman Catholic, and I have my theological differences with Evangelicals. But I've seen them up close and know they are generally good people, and I respect them for their faith and values. I recoil in horror when I see how Democrats and their Hollywood and media allies treat them, and they treat them badly all the time, utterly demonizing them as hypocrites when no such attacks are decent, civil, or warranted. Not once do we hear any of Gerson's ilk, whether himself or his oh, so hoity-toity academic theology-department allies, speak up for them. Where were they when Joy Behar pronounced her conventional leftist wisdom about Christians being insane? Where were they when Pope Francis failed to stick up for Venezuela's battered people starving away as victims of Marxist socialism or when he betrayed China's beleaguered Christians, Ukraine's Uniate Catholics, and the Middle East's persecuted Christians in favor of relations with the local Big States? Nowhere, actually – just going along for the left-wingery.
Here's another thing: Evangelicals (and most Catholics – something he forgets to notice) voted for Trump because not only does he not hate them, but he is willing to defend their values. I know a lot of Evangelicals. Most are not political, or they come from urban backgrounds that lean blue. They'd be normal runs for Democrats. But Evangelical after Evangelical (and Catholic after Catholic, by the way) has told me he voted for Trump out of concern about court appointments, particularly of the Supreme Court. That is something that affects their lives in a way some payoff to a hooker does not.
Gerson is saying Evangelicals should do like him and vote for Hillary Clinton, who would appoint radical leftist after radical leftist to the highest courts in the land, stripping Christians, salami slice by salami slice, of any right to practice their faith or stand up for their own values. We saw how Democrats treat Christians in the last administration. That means something, yet Gerson dismisses this as tiddlywinks, something not worth paying attention to, something not worth caring about. Get a load of his pooh-poohing:
It is true that insofar as Christian hospitals or colleges have their religious liberty threatened by hostile litigation or government agencies, they have every right to defend their institutional identities – to advocate for a principled pluralism. But this is different from evangelicals regarding themselves, hysterically and with self-pity, as an oppressed minority that requires a strongman to rescue it. This is how Trump has invited evangelicals to view themselves. He has treated evangelicalism as an interest group in need of protection and preferences.
Every right to defend their institutional identities? Memo to Mikey: How do you defend them when the courts are stacked against you with rabid leftists on the bench? Obviously, Gerson thinks the gesture of defending and standing up is enough, and results don't matter. Christians should just smile and take it on the chin every time a leftist judge runs roughshod over their right to practice their religion or insults their values and traditions as invalid, and declares their First Amendment rights subordinate to other special interest groups. This Gersonian (or Bushian, actually) obssession with gentlemanliness instead of results is why people elected Trump. They don't care if he paid off a hooker; they care if he will fight for them when their existences is under attack and no one else will.
That's why Evangelicals (and Catholics, Hindus, and a lot of other people) support Trump.
In short, Trump doesn't hate Evangelicals, and he's willing to fight for them. Frankly, I have never read such pious drivel, such Pecksniffian hypocrisy. Gerson has gone off the deep end with his NeverTrump garbage, taken to new heights.