I have a slight inkling there are more than enough Remove Donald J. Trump posts and articles out to keep us going well into 2020. My hope is this one is a little different, in that my point-of-view is from the religious angle and, well, because if I don’t write, I’ll explode.
The fact that I am living in a time where the third ever president is impeached is incredible. Granted, I was alive when Clinton was impeached, but I was an innocent doe frolicking without a care. Am I surprised to see this happening? Absolutely not. When it is a person who has spent his entire life defrauding individuals and companies, it’s likely they cannot be trusted with an entire country. The feeling that best describes my state of mind is relief.
I am relieved to see there are those within the government that still believe in the Constitution. I am absolutely furious this is not something crossing over party lines, but nonetheless, I feel even more closely tied to my social studies books from middle and high school. However, what stands out to me the most in my relief is not so much who was impeached, but the personality of who was impeached.
If you recall, 80% of Evangelicals voted 45 into office. That is an astonishing amount of people who claim the name of Jesus. What has come to my attention is the power-hungry, loud-talking, USA-first preaching personality type that is nearly every influential Evangelical (male) leader (technically, Catholicism, too). This idea is not mine. I heard it from pastor Jonathan Martin — a modern-day prophet in my view — who laid out why we shouldn’t be surprised by a Trump presidency.
He embodies everything an authoritarian Evangelical leader has become.
Each time I hear another interview with those who say they are Evangelicals and Trump voters, I am reminded of who they put their trust in every week. It is most likely within the walls of a megachurch, sitting on the second story, looking down at the lights, cameras, and action. Depending on where we live, our churches alone have become breeding grounds for exclusivity (white, straight), white-savior complexes, and people who cannot differentiate between what it means to be patriotic and nationalistic.
So, when I say relief, I mean it in that I feel Trump represents an entire group of leaders being held accountable. As Nancy Pelosi stated: “No one is above the law.” Lord willing, this wakes even a handful of Trump voters up. That instead of “fake news” or “Do nothing Democrats,” there is an understanding that something went terribly wrong in our part of history. That, maybe come Sunday, there’s a different perspective looking at the pulpit. As Richard Rohr has pointed out, Evangelicals — as opposed to Catholics — have the “devotion” part down of what it means to be committed to God, Jesus, and Spirit. Unfortunately, the years of rising authoritarian leadership has twisted this beautiful, simple devotion into something convoluted and messy.
I am fully aware of what happens next and how this will play out. But that does not discredit the fact that his abuse of Presidential Power has been named. I think a lot of us needed to be reminded that our Constitution and our (racist) forefathers were onto something when they set the Balance of Powers up and meant it when they wrote the Federalist papers. I also needed to be reminded that, however messy this keeps getting, there are good people at the wheel. For now, I will ride this tide of relief all the way to the shore … as well as to the voting booth.