Donald Trump Says That His Presidential Campaign Aims To “Save Christianity”
Just in case you wouldn’t understand the message, Donald Trump wrote the message in all capital letters on his Twitter feed tonight:
“NOW’S THE TIME 4 CHRISTIANS TO GET OUT THE VOTE BIG TIME TO SAVE CHRISTIANITY ONCE & 4 ALL. TRUMP”
Donald Trump is saying that a vote for his presidential campaign is a vote to “save Christianity once and for all”.
This declaration ought to alarm any American voter who is at all aware of the way that democracy in the USA actually works. Here’s why:
1. The President of the United States isn’t supposed to be used to favor one religion over another.
The federal government is established by the laws of Congress, which are executed by the President of the United States. The very first words of the very first amendment to the Constitution make it clear, however, that the federal government isn’t allowed to get involved in choosing which religions Americans are involved with. The First Amendment begins, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”
This means that the federal government can’t do anything to either promote private involvement in religion or to interfere with it. If Christianity happens to fall apart in the United States, that isn’t a matter that the federal government can address. That’s just the way it goes.
2. Christianity in the United States isn’t in need of saving.
It is true that Christianity is diminishing in the the United States, with almost one third of Americans now identifying themselves as non-Christian. Still, that means that two-thirds of Americans remain Christian.
Christians have enormous power in the United States, and not just in numbers. Christians have had a stranglehold on the presidency for hundreds of years. They install government-paid preachers, 100% Christian, in the U.S. Congress. Christians have forced non-Christians to take part in their religious rituals as part of public life for generations.
Non-Christians have struggled simply to maintain a few small areas of neutrality in the public sphere. No non-Christian group has been able to exercise anything close to the power in the United States that Christianity has.
Christianity isn’t about to die out. Christianity isn’t under any serious threat. What is in danger is the cultural and political dominance of Christianity in the United States. Christians don’t have any natural right to dominate other Americans, though. Their right to practice their religion does not include the right to use the federal government to control what everyone else does.
3. American democracy isn’t supposed to do anything once and for all.
Our Constitution was set up from the beginning to be flexible and changing. That’s why we have the power to amend it.
The idea of saving any cultural idea “once and for all” is completely contrary to the constitutional organization of our democracy.
The only way to use the power of government to settle any matter once and for all in the United States would be to abolish the Constitution, and end the power of the American people to control their own government. The only way to use governmental power to save Christianity forever would be to establish an eternal Christian theocracy as a replacement for American democracy.
When Donald Trump talks about his plans to use the federal government “save Christianity once and for all”, he is talking about a plan to overturn the Constitution and end democracy in the United States of America.
4. Donald Trump’s version of government-approved Christianity won’t allow the practice of other forms of Christianity.
Every time that a national government has placed itself on the side of one religion, it has placed itself against the free practice of other religions. Every time that a national government has installed Christianity as the official religion of a country, it has controlled the way that Christianity has been practiced.
If Donald Trump uses federal government to “save Christianity”, he’ll really only be saving certain forms of Christianity: Christianity that believes in theocracy and Christianity that doesn’t allow same-sex marriage, for instance. If your form of Christianity doesn’t match the official federal government Christianity installed by Donald Trump, then you won’t be able to practice your religion in equality. The power of the federal government will be used to discriminate against you on the basis of your non-conformist form of Christian religion.
Who knows what the federal government will do to warp Christianity to its purpose, once it is given the power to demand promote certain forms of Christian worship and Christian ideology? Who know which kinds of Christianity will gain government favor, and which ones will be made into outsiders?
Well, we actually do know a bit about what kind of Christianity will gain prominence if Donald Trump is allowed to convert the U.S. federal government into a taxpayer-funded device to “save Christianity once and for all”. It won’t be the Christianity of peace. It will be the Christianity eager to “bomb the shit out of them.“ It won’t be the Christianity of compassion. It will be the Christianity that says, “Would I approve waterboarding? You bet your ass I would. In a heartbeat. I would approve more than that!“ It won’t be the Christianity that urges people not to judge others. It will be the Christianity that seeks to punish, declaring, “they deserve it anyway“. It won’t be the Christianity of turning the other cheek. It will be the Christianity that says, “Maybe he should have been roughed up.”
If Donald Trump is given the chance to use the power of the government to “save Christianity”, the Christianity he will save will be the Christianity of Bloody Mary.
Now that Donald Trump has made his intention to seize the U.S. federal government and convert it into a central authority over Americans’ religious lives, Americans need to ask themselves whether it is more important to them to push one form of Christianity on other Americans, or to preserve their democracy.
A vote for Donald Trump is a vote for theocracy, against democracy.