Evangelical warns Christians have 'erected a graven image' of Trump and let it corrupt the faith
One of the things the Bible's New Testament warns against is idolatry, meaning that Christians are not supposed to worship fellow human beings and elevate them to the level of deities. While admiration is fine — one can admire, for example, the accomplishments of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, Mahatma Gandhi, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt or Nelson Mandela — idolatry is off limits. But Never Trump conservative Matt Labash, in a SubStack article published on November 17, laments that fellow evangelicals have fallen into idolatry when it comes to former President Donald Trump.
Labash, known for writing for the Washington Examiner and the now-defunct Weekly Standard, argues that Trump worship has seriously "corrupted" the United States' evangelical movement. And he cites far-right evangelical John Hagee as a glaring example.
"What's disturbing…. about Hagee, is that he isn't some stand-alone aberration but rather, by now a familiar type: people who haven't just let politics influence their faith, but who have let politics supplant their faith," Labash writes. "When the two are in conflict, politics wins. See Pastor John MacArthur insisting that 'any real, true believer' had to vote for Trump, or Franklin Graham, the moral runt of Billy's litter, comparing House Republicans who voted for Trump's impeachment to Jesus' betrayer, Judas Iscariot."
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Countless evangelicals, Labash warns, have fallen so far down the MAGA rabbit hole that they are willing to accept the most ludicrous conspiracy theories as fact.
"Earlier this year," Labash explains, "a Survey Center on American Life poll showed 74% of White evangelical Republicans say that the claim of widespread fraud in the 2020 election is either mostly or completely accurate. A full three-quarters say (President Joe) Biden was not legitimately elected…. Sixty percent of them also believed that the attack on the U.S. Capitol was carried out by Antifa, which is, how to put it, bonkers. And I say that as someone who positively loathes Antifa, and who has stood in the middle of Antifa violence."
Labash adds, "More troubling still, 31% — almost a third — had gone fairly QAnon, believing 'Donald Trump has been secretly fighting a group of child sex traffickers that included prominent Democrats and Hollywood elites'…. My point is to say that too many people of faith have taken their eye off their deity, and erected a graven image — or an orange one — letting politics corrupt their faith, or at least letting the former take primacy over the latter."
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