Why WOULDN’T America's Christians support Trump?


After all, why should they object to a bigot who used his four bankruptcies to stiff his workers; put his name on the fraudulent Trump University and other products with which he wasn’t involved; and, while contributing nothing to charity, funneled other people’s money into a charitable foundation that he used for his own benefit. After starting his run for president, he encouraged his supporters to assault people; changed his core beliefs on demand (sometimes in the same day); indulged in constant name calling (“Lying Ted,” “Little Marco,” “Crooked Hillary,” etc. etc. etc.); threatened to sue anyone who criticized him; admitted to sexually assaulting women (“Just kiss. I don’t even wait… You can do anything… Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything”); made one unstantiated claim after another; and is too dimwitted to complete a train of thought.

So why wouldn’t millions of Americ
a’s Christians vote for Trump? “Love your neighbor as you love yourself,” Christ said, but while conservative Christians accept Old Testament “science,” they don’t hold with their Savior’s insistence upon virtue. For example…

They disobey Christ’s ethical standards while supporting a soon-to-be president who encourages the denigration of gays, blacks, women, transgenders, immigrants, Moslems, secularists, liberals, and environmentalists.

Their pastors endorse conservative politicians from the pulpit although laws governing the behavior of tax-exempt organizations forbids it (Google: “Pastors Flout Tax Law With Political Sermons”), yet their Savior commanded obedience to the law.

Their Bible tells Christians to put their hope in Christ, so whence comes their unquestioning trust in a man who says, “I alone can fix this” (“solve this” “understand this,” “figure this out”)?

When American Christians are sued for having broken the law by placing religious monuments on municipal, state, and federal lands, they belatedly claim that the monuments were intended as “war memorials.”

When federal or state law denies Christians the right to make religious observances a part of government functions, they ignore the law, because they know they can get away with it unless someone complains, and few people have the courage to endure the death threats, job loss, social isolation, and vandalized cars and homes, that come from complaining.

When federal law demands that Christian owned businesses provide birth control benefits to their employees and provide all people with equal access to their services, they simply ignore the law until they can get their state legislators to pass a Religious Freedom Restoration Act (21 states have done so) that gives them the unique right to oppress others.

All of the things I have listed are commonly done. In its dominant face, the Christian religion is in no way an asset to this country. It’s dishonest, power hungry, and manipulative. It is an enemy to compassion; it doesn’t help anyone but itself; it is rabidly opposed to the government helping anyone; and it regards any limitation on its ability to oppress others as oppression. It is fascism under the guise of Godly benevolence.

If Christ exists, where is he when his people are betraying him? How many millions have been imprisoned, tortured, and killed in his name while he remained silent, and where is he now that his American followers have put their salvation in the hands of a psychopath who can neither utter a sentence nor write a Tweet that isn’t filled with hatred and lies? No one is a greater enemy to Christ’s admonition to love than are the Catholics, the charismatics, the evangelicals, and the fundamentalists, people who profess to put their trust in the Lord of Love but whose real allegiance is to the Lord of Cruelty and Filth. Again, why wouldn’t America’s Christians vote for Trump? He represents them perfectly.

30 comments:

Elephant's Child said...

Sigh.
That form of Christianity is gaining strength here too. While decrying other religions.

Snowbrush said...

I have no short-term hope for this country, and I have no thought that America has a single problem but what Trump will make it much worse. All of the problems in my life have gone through the roof because of what I regard as the existential challenge to my country that Trump poses, and to my utter horror that millions upon millions of people were either so benighted or so evil as to have voted for him. I think his first major challenge might come with his inauguration on January 20, when 800,000 people will be in D.C., this in a country with more guns than human beings, most of them in the hands of some truly dangerous Trump supporters. I fear that demonstrators are going to die, and I belief that Trump's reaction will lead to additional bloodshed. I think there are going to be four years of hell, after which, if America still exists, it can start to rebuild. As for American Christianity, I hope it was obvious that I was only referring to the conservative Christianity that dominates in America and is political to the core.

Elephant's Child said...

I really don't understand your country's love of guns. And suspect I would avoid big gatherings out of fear (as well as introvert's dislike of crowds). I hope you are wrong about Trump and his cult supporters. I believe you are right.

kylie said...

I was talking to someone recently who said that democracy is based on Christian principles and that when Christianity fails, so does democracy.

I'm not sure that democracy is rooted in Christianity (humanism would also seem a good fit) but I can see very clearly that as Christians lose the plot, democracy is damaged. It is happening in the US, Australia and the UK and probably a lot of other places

Sue in Italia/In the Land Of Cancer said...

The Christianity he embraces is that of wealth is Jesus's way of rewarding the 'good'. The pastor of a megachurch from Detroit will give the blessing at the inauguration. He has been, of course, blessed by Jesus too.

None of this 'a rich man getting to heaven is like going through an eye of a needle' stuff for these Christians. Or helping the poor or the sick.

They must be using a different bible than I was taught from.

Very scary times ahead.
As usual, your post was well written but very disturbing as you are so, so right.

Sue in Italia/In the Land Of Cancer said...

Also, democracy predated Jesus. Remember the Greeks...

Snowbrush said...

“I really don't understand your country's love of guns.”

Happiness is a warm gun, you know. Guns make people feel safe, primarily from people who have guns, which is why the conservative answer to gun violence is more guns. Arm teachers, arm students, arm professors, arm waitresses, arm everyone—including people on the terrorist watch list—the assumption being that any regulation of gun ownership will lead to a total ban. Guns are primarily a conservative passion, but if liberals start getting shot, it is my fear that they will start arming themselves too because no one likes to be at the mercy of the kind of ruthless and violent enemies that far too many of Trump’s supporters have shown themselves to be. They’re marginally sane people who Trump has tilted into full-scale paranoia and conspiracy theories, the only surprise being that there are so very many of them. I no longer know what’s real in America. I just know that I used to believe that, underneath all my country’s hypocrisy, at least its founders had the right idea, but now even that is under attack here, the belief being that we need fascism to survive. Right or left, we’re a country characterized by mistrust and terror. Does any informed American think I exaggerate? I would like to know.

More later...

Tom Sightings said...

Well, I can't explain it. But I just finished reading "Hillbilly Elegy" by J. D. Vance, and it helped me understand a little about the plight, the misery and the hopelessness of poor white trash. One thing he says: they say they believe in god, and they say they go to church, but in fact they do not go to church much, and their religious experience is anti-authoritarian and more rooted in their direct experience with god. For whatever that's worth.

Emma Springfield said...

Zealots of any kind are dangerous. For some odd reason they cannot see that another person might possibly have a valid point to make. The problem with the previous statement is that I have a really hard time imagining why people are not seeing through the bluster, bigotry, and bullying coming from the president-elect. Does that make me a zealot? I have been trying so hard to see any up-side and so far there is nothing.

Snowbrush said...

“I really don't understand your country's love of guns. And suspect I would avoid big gatherings out of fear (as well as introvert's dislike of crowds).”

I hate crowds too. I like and can tolerate people for a short time, but after that I feel increasingly desperate to get away. As for America’s love for guns, I can only guess although I have several of guns that I inherited or purchased much earlier in life. I do know that America has a fierce pride in its myth of individualism, of self-made “men,” and from this comes a belief in the idea that to need help implies weakness. Guns are seen as the great equalizers (invalids in wheelchairs have successfully defended themselves with them), and NOTHING, not even religion is so sacrosanct in America as the “right to keep and bear arms.” It’s also true that the most moneyed and dangerous lobby in America is the National Rifle Association, which has hardened its position on gun ownership over time. No conservative who favors any degree of gun regulation could be re-elected, and I mean it quite literally when I say its not inconceivable that his or her life would be in danger. So, what is the main impetus to own guns? I think that, more than self-defense, it’s to overthrow of a tyrannical government, by which I mean any government that religious conservatives don’t like.

Snowbrush said...

I should acknowledge here that it’s not fair to lump all conservative Christians into the same camp, and Trump himself gives no more than lip service to being religious, but when you look at who voted for him, it was primarily the residents of states where political conservatism and conservative religion work in combination. I grew up in such a state, and I spent my first 36-years there, but it was not nearly so virulent then as it is now. By past standards, today’s Republican Party did not exist because today’s party considers compromise to be weakness, and this has compelled it to spend eight years resisting everything Obama proposed simply because he proposed it. As he said at one point (and I paraphrase), “If I say the day is sunny, they will say it’s cloudy, but I say it’s cloudy, they will say it’s sunny.” I'm no Obama fan, yet I think this is true. The Republican Party has become a party of hardliners with no one else being tolerated much less welcome. It makes me very sad to have given up on the basic decency of so many millions of my nation's people, but such is my situation. I can but hope that I’m overreacting.

More later...

Kranhu said...

Abortion is a reason alone for someone to cast their vote for Trump. Hillary is pro abortion in their eyes. Did not matter what else went on in the campaign. Save the unborn.

Another reason: ownership of guns Hillary is not a gun loving kind of gal. One man interviewed by Van Jones, said that the guns he owned meant he could feed his family by going hunting.

Economy: a candidate who actually talks about creating jobs and putting America first.

If Christians actually followed to the letter, their faith's guiding principles, no one could ever be elected.


"They disobey Christ’s ethical standards while supporting a soon-to-be president who encourages the denigration of gays, blacks, women, transgenders, immigrants, Moslems, secularists, liberals, and environmentalists."

Strayer said...

Kindest people I know aren't religious or just don't speak of beliefs, they just are who they are, to the core. I don't know why the Republicans, many of them devout this or that religion, are so hell bent against poor Americans, that they plot to take away or diminish SS and medical coverage until they are slobbering in anticipation over it. I can't imagine, the rich bastards, the billionaires that will be in Trumps' cabinet, all devising plans to take away more from the poorest of the poor. they must be really afraid of us.

Sabine said...

Mahatma Gandhi, that great peaceful revolutionary, when asked what he thought about Christianity, said: It's a great idea, someone should try it.

Thank you for this post.

Charles Gramlich said...

we're experiencing a world wide increase in religious fundamentalism. It's one of the most frightening things I can imagine, and as you say here, the radical aspects are becoming mainstreamed

PhilipH said...

Excellent article Snowy.

Trump is probably America's first Mafia-style President. As such, there is the possibility of his assassination in due course.

It simply makes me wonder what kind of person votes for this bull-shitting arse hole.

Small pedantic note: unstantiate? instantiate, perhaps?

Snowbrush said...

“I was talking to someone recently who said that democracy is based on Christian principles and that when Christianity fails, so does democracy.”

This is a common claim here, but Christianity didn’t invent any of the virtues that go into making a democracy, and Christianity is itself based upon authoritarianism.

“I can see very clearly that as Christians lose the plot, democracy is damaged.”

I can’t see that the main face of American Christianity has anything more to do with the ethical teachings of Christ than a rabid dog has to do with a loving pet.

“As usual, your post was well written but very disturbing as you are so, so right.”

Your validation means a lot because I’m finding it hard to think clearly right now as a lot of other things are also getting me down. I usually enjoy writing my posts no matter what they’re about, but I didn’t enjoy this one. It’s hard to feel so disillusioned, alienated, and fearful as I do right now.

“One thing he says: they say they believe in god, and they say they go to church, but in fact they do not go to church much, and their religious experience is anti-authoritarian and more rooted in their direct experience with god.”

I think I heard your author interviewed at some point during the last year. I can’t speak to his experience, but mine has led me to view Southern religion as very authoritarian. The biggest group down there is the Southern Baptist, and while they in theory recognize the freedom of the individual to reach his own conclusions about God, it’s awfully strange how alike all of these individual thinkers’ conclusions are regarding how God wants them to be baptized (by immersion), how much he expects them to give to the church (10%), and who he wants them to vote for (Republicans). It is also true that statistics for the Deep South (where I’m from) show that people go to church quite a lot. In fact, my former state of Mississippi leads the nation in every score of religiosity including frequency of church attendance. However, when it comes to the newer non-denominational groups, they seem to be a little more focused on how a person feels rather than on what he believes.

“For some odd reason they cannot see that another person might possibly have a valid point to make. The problem with the previous statement is that I have a really hard time imagining why people are not seeing through the bluster, bigotry, and bullying coming from the president-elect. Does that make me a zealot?”

This is my dilemma exactly. Although I accept the validity of some of Trump voters’ complaints, I can’t see why they regard Trump as the answer. I think we would have done better had we chosen a president by drawing a name out of a hat (a very large hat) with all of the citizens’ names in it. I have never felt so glad to be out of the South because I am too disgusted with these people to treat them well without feeling a strain. Being around a Trump voter would, metaphorically, be for me like being around a cigarette smoker in that the stink and the fumes would make me want to run. I hate feeling that way, but I see these people as turning their backs on the very ideals that this country was founded upon, and the very strides that it has made in regard to human rights. I can’t imagine how bad he would have to be for them to regret their vote. They’re like dogs feasting on a drunkard's vomit.

rhymeswithplague said...

You? Exaggerate? It is to laugh!

I'm just waiting for you to get it all out of your system...I think I'll be waiting for a very long time....

Heidrun Khokhar, KleinsteMotte said...

How can a country who based a contitution on reliogious freedom mix religious values into civil laws? No candidate in a democracy should be selected according to relgious values. That is why the system is breaking. Honestly many people have no real understanding of caring for a neighbourgood, a city , a state ot their country. Many are blind folloers of foolish trends and that becomes a danger. It is becoming a more global issue too thanks to the way everything is marketed and pushed on people using the social media. The world is watching Trump and it will not be easy to remain a piwerful global nation if the Trump has Americans go on an internal rampage as they clash over issues within their borders. It is all about power and money not religion. The stock market is the current measure of what's gppd or bad. Sales have to grow. No one much cares how. It is a system. Not sure how Trump will manage that. Obama tried but my gut says Trump only understands bankruptcy to get out of paying bills. No Christian values are involved. As for God? He's not involved in any of this. It is all silly human behaviour. Ugh!

Snowbrush said...

“Kindest people I know aren't religious or just don't speak of beliefs, they just are who they are, to the core.”

It’s an enigma that a person can be better than his beliefs or, on the other hand, worse than his beliefs.

“I don't know why the Republicans, many of them devout this or that religion, are so hell bent against poor Americans, that they plot to take away or diminish SS and medical coverage until they are slobbering in anticipation over it.”

I know, yet a reader further down suggested that I exaggerate the evil of these people. They’ve had six years to come up with an option to Obama Care, yet they’re about to take it away and give nothing in its place. Overnight, 12-million people will be without healthcare, yet those who are taking it from them have a lifetime of government provided healthcare that they could easily afford to pay for themselves. Why don’t they take away that? Why are the only people they’re concerned about giving healthcare benefits to are themselves? If they were at least consistent, I could at least respect them for that. Did you know that on those occasions when they threatened to put the government into default when they didn’t get their way, they would have been among the few government employees who would have continued to get a paycheck? I don’t know how NOT to hate these people, and I don’t know how NOT to lose a very high measure of my respect for the millions of Americans—most of them themselves poor—who continue to buy their line that the best way to help the poor is to make the rich richer.

“Mahatma Gandhi, that great peaceful revolutionary, when asked what he thought about Christianity, said: It's a great idea, someone should try it.”

Some have. Albert Schweitzer, for one, Eric Bonhoeffer for another, and thousands of modern Quakers, but, based upon my experience, I think that, for the most part, Christianity is an impediment to virtue rather than an asset. Thoreau wrote; “We have adopted Christianity merely as an improved method of agriculture. We have built for this world a family mansion, and for the next a family tomb.” By making their religion inseparable from right-wing politics, Christians make the former no better than the latter, and thereby lead those who despise right-wing politics to despise their religion. No critic of religion could blaspheme it so adroitly as do right-wing Christians.

“As such, there is the possibility of his assassination in due course.”

It’s hard to know if that would be for the better or the worse because Trump is such an ass that he’s widely hated even within his own party, so if he were dead, the guy who took his place might have an easier time of accomplishing the same level of harm. I have a friend who drives a school bus, and he says that it’s common talk among the kids that somebody needs to kill Trump. Where do they come up with that idea if not at home? I really have no idea what’s going to happen, but I fully expect resistance to grow. I think that, right after the election, there was such disbelief that people were paralyzed (although there were many, many relatively small demonstrations, such as the one here in Oregon in which 400 people marched, and many of them vandalized cars and businesses), and, since he wasn’t yet president, they didn’t have good organization or a specific direction to take their protest. I can but assume that, the shits going to hit the fan on January 20, and while I can’t say there will be bloodshed, I very much fear it because I very much believe that a lot of people want it, and given that everybody and his cat owns guns over here, it could get ugly.

Snowbrush said...

“You? Exaggerate? It is to laugh!”

How’s Limbaugh, O’Reilly, and Hannity? Is Mr. “lock up all drug users” still managing to stay off the Oxycontin; has Ailes and O’Reilly’s sexual harassment scandals ran their course; and does Hannity still say, “Three hours a day is all we ask” (to poison your mind)? Indeed, if you listen to these upholders of decency for hours a day, they will poison your mind because no network could be less “fair and balanced” than the sexual predators at Fox who use those very words for their slogan.

Kris, I apologize for getting your name wrong.

More later…

Snowbrush said...

“You? Exaggerate? It is to laugh!”

I’m going to have another go at this. Whether someone views me as exaggerating depends upon that person’s politics. I can but say that I don’t mean to exaggerate, but the more emotional I feel about a person, issue, or event, the less sure I can be that I’m not unknowingly exaggerating. I’m also under a severe cloud of depression right now (I’m actually in too much physical pain and fatigue to get any exercise), and when I’m depressed, I tend to obsess about things that bother me. As for why I responded to you as I did, I didn’t take your comment as a thoughtful response but rather as a suggestion that what I had written didn’t deserve a thoughtful response. I put two or more hours a day over several days into this post; found it excruciating to write; and went back and forth about whether to put it online for fear of unnecessarily alienating readers whom I care about. I specifically thought of you in this regard, but also of other Christian readers and other conservative readers. I finally decided that, although it contains more anger than I feel good about sharing, I believe what I wrote, and so it was for this reason that I posted it.

More later...

Snowbrush said...

“How can a country who based a contitution on reliogious freedom mix religious values into civil laws?”

The belief is that: (a) America was founded by Christian men and based upon Christian values, and (b) God will only bless America if America officially worships “Him.” For example, school shootings aren’t blamed on too many guns but rather on a government ban of forced religious observances in schools.

As for whom founded America: (a) many of these men were deists; (b) the word God does not appear in the US Constitution, which itself declares, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…;” (c) in the treaty between the US and Tripoli in 1797, the following appears: “…the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion…;” and (d) in his 1802 letter to Virginia’s Baptists (who were being persecuted by Virginia’s Episcopalians), Thomas Jefferson wrote: “Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between Church & State.” Etc.

I spent all twelve years in public school listening to daily prayers and Bible readings, yet religion was not so aggressive as it has been since 9/11. It’s also true that 22% of Americans no longer identify as “religious,” and that these two facts combined have put the fear into America’s Christians that they are losing their country, and that we will all suffer terribly if they don’t do something about it. I really didn’t think that Trump would win if only because of these 22%, so it seems obvious that it wasn’t JUST conservative Christians who voted for him. It was also people in former industrialized areas who have seen their industries going overseas and their towns collapsing around them. These people have understandably lost faith in the Democrats, and Clinton didn’t help herself when she said that it was her goal to close the coal mines. So, I CAN understand people’s frustration about all manner of issues (including my pet peeve, PC), and the Democrats clearly have themselves to partially blame, but this doesn’t suggest that Trump is the answer. After all, he gives no evidence of having a better idea, plus he doesn’t appear all that bright despite his occasional boasting about his intelligence.

Snowbrush said...

Kranhu, I think I responded to this, but rather than go back through to see, I’ll just respond to it again, maybe from a little different angle.

“Abortion is a reason alone for someone to cast their vote for Trump. Did not matter what else went on in the campaign. Another reason: ownership of guns. One man interviewed by Van Jones, said that the guns he owned meant he could feed his family by going hunting.”

You’re right on both counts. Of course, no one has proposed a ban on shotguns or hunting rifles, but this wouldn’t matter to those who think that any ban on any gun is the first step toward the military going door-to-door and taking away all guns.

“Economy: a candidate who actually talks about creating jobs and putting America first.”

Despite what Trump says, the economy is doing well over the nation as a whole in terms of employment, although the income gap between the rich and everyone else is continuing to grow, but why should anyone think that Trump will remedy the disparity rather than worsen it? Did you know that Trump is planning to import workers from Mexico to work in his California vineyard (http://money.cnn.com/2016/12/22/news/companies/trump-foreign-workers/)?

“If Christians actually followed to the letter, their faith's guiding principles, no one could ever be elected.”

No one’s perfect, of course, and Christians disagree on what constitutes a Christian. However, who do you think comes closer to being Christ-like, the probable atheist Bernie Sanders who opposes our current wars and wants everyone’s basic needs for food, shelter, and healthcare, to be met, or the self-proclaimed theist, Donald Trump, whose Christ-like virtues are are non-existent as far as I can tell. “Christianity Today” even did an article in which it laid out the Biblical basis for calling him a fool. What virtues does anyone see in him? He has physical stamina, and he’s certainly able to change his mind (to the point that he doesn’t appear to hold anything sacred), but what else?

Kranhu said...

I admire Bernie Sanders. My point was a possible explanation for why people over look the failings of a candidate. I appreciate the link and I hope you feel better soon! We are waiting to hear from my husband's surgeon. (Hernia repair surgery) The weather is playing havoc with surgery times. Ugh!
Kris

Ginny said...

Hit the nail on the head. He certainly doesn't uphold Christian values and yet people voted for him and makes excuses for him.

Snowbrush said...

“My point was a possible explanation for why people over look the failings of a candidate.”

Yes, I understand. It’s simply a matter of scale. For instance, when you add up things people hated about Clinton, separating personal failures from policy issues, what would be the total? I’m going to guess twenty to thirty. Trump piles up that many per week. Everyday brings a new example of lies, stupidity, or appointee outrages such as the appointment of Amway billionaire—and evangelical Christian—Betsy DeVos for Secretary of Education. DeVois wants to replace public education with charter schools—primarily religious—that would have little if any oversight. This would destroy the very agency that she is supposed to lead. I wondered how she could possibly win appointment until I learned that ten of the twelve Republican Senators on the investigating committee are people whose candidacies she gave millions to.

“He certainly doesn't uphold Christian values and yet people voted for him and makes excuses for him.”

By tying their religion to a political party—and to a particular candidate within that party—Christians make the image that others have of their religion inseparable from the success or failure of that party or candidate, and they make non-Republicans feel unwelcome in church. 22% of Americans already identify as non-religious with the numbers rapidly rising. When I have criticized religion, I have often been asked by uniformed people what harm it did. Now, no one can escape an awareness of that harm. I regard conservative religion as a grave and immediate threat to America, and when I look for reasons to maintain hope, it is that more and more people will come to recognize the enormity of the danger posed by any authoritarian and faith-based system.

Sabine said...

Marilynne Robinson interviewed on trump by Robert McCrum on BBC Radio 4 this Monday said this: (the interview can be found here: http://bbc.in/2iUGJRG)

"I blame the churches (. . .) for radically misstating what are in fact Christian values, that the great opposition that has developed in this country against helping the poor, against, God knows, doing justice to the foreigner, all these kind of things that are ancient classic biblical values have been swept away by people who claim Christianity as if it were a tribal membership rather than as if it were an ethical, moral, metaphysical system of understanding."

I am not a religious person myself but Robinson's writing has always inspired in my a great longing for something, a metaphysical belonging so to speak. In that sense I put great value in her words and "tribal membership" expertly explains that sense of self righteousness, that concept of being the best and the greatest etc. - something that always feels so odd to my European ears.

Snowbrush said...

“I blame the churches (. . .) for radically misstating what are in fact Christian values…”

I agree, but I also know that there are thousands of denominations, each of which, in good conscience, I think, believes itself to have a firmer grasp on what Christ taught than all the others. I grew up in the fundamentalist Church of Christ, and was taught that everyone who wasn’t in our church was going to a fiery and everlasting hell. Yet, the Church of Christ was itself divided into three branches, each of which doubted that the other two were going to heaven. Surely, if God inspired the Bible, then God could have done a better job of making his expectations known. If one is a theist, I don’t think it fair to blame the problem entirely on human beings. After all, we’re limited, and God is not, so in the final analysis, he owns the responsibility.

“I am not a religious person myself but Robinson's writing has always inspired in my a great longing for something, a metaphysical belonging so to speak.”

I feel this too. I always have, and I always will, but I simply can’t find reason to believe in anything that I would consider worthy of being called God, the plight of the creatures on the earth being too tragic. Yet, I can’t accept that our lives are so brief and so ultimately pointless, and this puts me in a very sad situation.

“I put great value in her words and "tribal membership" expertly explains that sense of self righteousness”

Me too. Except, perhaps, for the Quakers and a few other liberal Christians (I wouldn’t say liberal denominations), I believe that the church’s pretense of being loving is but a thin facade over a dark reality. It exists for itself alone, and the rest of us could starve to death in the street for all it cares.

I promise to look at your link.

Snowbrush said...

“Marilynne Robinson interviewed on trump by Robert McCrum on BBC Radio 4 this Monday said this: (the interview can be found here: http://bbc.in/2iUGJRG).”

I did listen to this, and had no problem with it. It does seem to me that to believe in Jesus in a literal way is like believing in Trump in that in that both require that one believe, not because of the evidence, but despite the evidence, that is they both require what I would call a credulous mindset. If this is so, then it is surely possible that a belief in Jesus might, in a sense, set one up for a belief in Trump. By way of comparison, our high-jumping ability, our ability to learn other languages, our ability to memorize long poems, and most everything else that we do, comes easier with practice, and this suggests the possibility that credulity might also come easier with practice. I’m aware of how insulting this must sound, but my intention in reaching this conclusion wasn’t to insult but to understand how it is that people can trust in a man who gives constant evidence of being untrustworthy due to the fact that he’s deluded, disturbed, unprepared, and unethical. It is surely noteworthy that his greatest support comes from the Bible Belt. Of course, this doesn’t prove that belief in Jesus causes belief in Trump or even makes belief in Trump more likely. Trump’s greatest support also comes from middle aged and older white males who get little exercise and are poorly educated, so it could be that one of these factors is more important than literalistic religion. I simply gravitate toward trusting in Trump as being akin to trusting in Jesus because both require that a person believe despite the evidence, whereas the other commonalities among Trump voters don’t require belief, although it is true that many of these other factors do indeed predispose a person toward such belief.