The nativist wall- building mania of the Republican Party and its front running neo- fascist snake oil salesman Donald "Rump" Trump were denounced by Pope Francis as un- Christian the other day, setting off a reaction from the usual right wing mouths, but also from Rump's "religious" supporters on the right. Their reaction to the Pope's comments about Rump reveal the intellectual and moral dissonance of right wingers who like to think of themselves as Christian.
For example, here's the reaction from a few of Rump's talibangelist hucksters:
Liberty University president Jerry Falwell Jr., who is the son of the late televangelist Jerry Falwell, told CNN that "the pope is mistaken ... I do believe Trump is a Christian." He added that "JFK would be rolling over in his grave right now."Not to be outdone, "Sweaty Bill" Donohue, President of the right- wing Republican- front Catholic League has his Rump- friendly rationalization:
Rev. Franklin Graham, the son of Evangelist minister Billy Graham, also defended Trump.
"My advice to the pontiff: Reach out and build a bridge to Donald Trump," he said on Facebook. "Who knows where he may be this time next year!"
"The pope was set up by the reporter," he said. "He's been lied to about what Trump has said." [snip]Lawrence Downes of The New York Times has the same questions we do about the apparent lack of Christianity in the hearts and minds of right- wing Republicans and their theocratic supporters. Here's an extended quote:
Donohue didn't disagree with the pope's comments, but said that they didn't apply to Trump because his plans extend far beyond a wall. [Ed. note: Yes, like deporting 11 million people - very Christian, "Sweaty Bill!"]
I have little expectation that today’s episode will lead to any enlightening discussion. But I can at least pray that it might lead to more challenging, probing questioning of the candidates — the Republicans, I mean, who are so quick to lead with their Christian faith, and to summon the blessings of God upon their political endeavors.
Because there is so much dissonance when the G.O.P. does its holy-rolling thing. There are so many questions.
How can Ted Cruz begin a rally by invoking the Lord, and then speak as though he is running for war criminal? What do his Christian audiences think when he calls for the indiscriminate bombing of Muslim civilians, and laughs about making sand “glow in the dark” — basically a joke about mass murder?We suspect the "Christianity" practiced by these folks is a very selective faith, one that is molded to the contours of a socio- political belief system, and a very cynical and nasty one at that.
Why does someone like Marco Rubio tell heart-warming stories about his immigrant roots, and then, with equal conviction, insist that he will pull up the ladder for more recent, non-qualified immigrant families, the ones his primary voters hate and fear?
Why has the entire Republican field treated immigrants and refugees, even dead Syrian children washed ashore on a beach, not as victims deserving welcome, but as threats to be shunned?
Why are immigrants who cross burning deserts to provide for their children, who stand on street corners to take any available job, but not handouts, who embody Republican ideals of faith and family, so hated by the God-and-country crowd?
Why, with their strong faith and the full might of America to protect them, do the Republican candidates sound so frightened and angry?
A Christian, by definition, believes Jesus is God, who dwelled among us, who was born poor, who preached a Gospel of love, and — though he surely could have annihilated the Romans and blasted his persecutors and made the sands of Galilee glow in the dark — allowed himself to be put to death by the authorities.
Why is that peaceful Christ never present in Republican speeches? (our emphasis)
BONUS: Nancy LeTourneau has more.
BONUS II: Here's more from talibangelist Jerry Falwell, Jr. (h/t Mock Paper Scissors):
“Jesus never intended to give instructions to political leaders on how to run a country,” Mr. Falwell told CNN.Falwell, Franklin Graham and all of the other talibangelist Republicans then took a solemn vow to never, ever have their hands in politics again! And we all lived happily ever after. The end.