Friday, August 31, 2018

Was Trump chosen by God?

There are a surprising number of people who believe that Trump was chosen by God to lead our country. To me, that makes no sense at all, but there is actually a historical explanation why people who consider themselves very religious are ardent supporters of Trump.

Trump’s approval rating varies widely by religions groups. The religious group that supports him the most are the Mormons, who STILL give him a 61% approval rating, the only group that gives him higher than a 50% approval rating. For obvious reasons, his lowest approval rating (18%) is with Muslims.

During the 2016 Presidential election, Trump received 80% of the vote from people who considered themselves to be evangelical Christians, and they STILL support him today in spite of the many controversies surrounding his administration. Their support is NOT driven by economic issues, but is due to the fact that evangelicals are far more conservative on a wide variety of issues than any other group.

To give you a better perspective on the reasons for the evangelical support of Trump, you need to go back to the 6th century B.C., when a man named Cyrus, a historical Persian king, conquered Babylon and ended the Babylonian captivity, a period during which Israelites had been forcibly resettled in exile. This allowed Jews to return to the area now known as Israel and build a temple in Jerusalem. Cyrus is referenced most prominently in the Old Testament book of Isaiah, in which he appears as a figure of deliverance.

While Cyrus is not Jewish and does not worship the God of Israel, he is nevertheless portrayed in Isaiah as an instrument of God — an unwitting conduit through which God effects his divine plan for history. Cyrus is, therefore, the archetype of the unlikely “vessel”: someone God has chosen for an important historical purpose, despite not looking like — or having the religious character of — an obvious man of God.

For believers who subscribe to this account, Cyrus is a perfect historical antecedent to explain Trump’s presidency: a nonbeliever who nevertheless served as a vessel for divine interest.

For these leaders, the biblical account of Cyrus allows them to develop a “vessel theology” around Donald Trump, one that allows them to reconcile his personal history of womanizing and alleged sexual assault with what they see as his divinely ordained purpose to restore a Christian America.

Among a certain subset of evangelicals, even innocuous details seem to be evidence of prophecy. The most famous biblical verse about Cyrus as God’s “anointed” is found in Isaiah 45 — and Trump is the 45th president. A spokesman for the Christian Broadcasting Network  made this connection explicit, telling the Christian Broadcasting Network that God spoke to him directly to tell him, "Isaiah 45 will be the 45th president ... Isaiah 45 is Cyrus.”

The link below goes into MUCH more detail about the connection between Cyrus and Trump, but the paragraphs above give you a reasonably good summary of the article.

One of the strengths of our country is that freedom of religion is embedded in the 1st amendment of our Constitution. As a result, we are free to worship (or not worship) as we see fit. Technically, it is actually unconstitutional to criticize someone for their religion, a fact that is ignored altogether by our fellow citizens who criticize Jews and Muslims.

I am absolutely opposed to the beliefs of the evangelical Christians, but I support their right to hold their beliefs, in spite of the fact that those beliefs helped to elect a man who is totally unqualified to be the president of the United States. The good news, though, is that that error will be corrected some time prior to the 2020 election, when one (or more) factors forcibly remove Donald Trump from office. You may under the impression that that's wishful thinking, but the most recent ABC poll found that Trump's DISAPPROVAL rating just hit a high point of 60%, and a clear majority support Robert Mueller's investigation:

 When that change finally comes to pass, it will be time to, once again, sign Leonard Cohen’s best known song.  

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