As of Sunday, Donald Trump’s average approval rating, as calculated by FiveThirtyEight, stands at 40.4 percent–the lowest on record for a newly-elected president at this stage in his first term.
As brutal as that is, one of the biggest reasons–if not the biggest reason–that it’s even that high is because the religious right has spent the better part of two years bullying white evangelicals into remaining loyal to the Donald. It’s gotten pretty ham-handed, even by religious right standards.
We’ve been told that if we dare oppose Trump, we oppose God’s plan for this country–and for good measure, we’re standing against God himself. The price for such insolence is stiff–we not only risk getting “smacked” by God for daring to “smack” Trump, but we also risk bringing a curse on ourselves and our families.
But last week brought what may have been the most ham-handed effort yet to bully Trump foes–especially Christians–into silence. One of Trump’s most rabid religious right supporters warned that opposing Trump could potentially keep us out of heaven.
When you think of rabidly pro-Trump televangelists, the first people who come to mind are people like Rick Joyner, Jim Bakker, and Lance Wallnau. But recently, Paul McGuire, a pastor from the Santa Clarita Valley north of Los Angeles, has elevated himself to that class of lunacy. Among other things, he believes that the attacks on Trump are a sign that Trump is fulfilling God’s agenda for this country–and making the devil and his agents in the “entire world system” mad in the process.
On Tuesday, McGuire doubled down on this line during a chat with religious right podcaster and conspiracy peddler Sheila Zilinsky. While promoting his new book, “Trumpocalypse,” McGuire warned that those who oppose Trump are putting their salvation at risk. People for the American Way’s Right Wing Watch got a clip.
McGuire told his audience that he believes God has “a plan for America in the last days” which entails preserving its prosperity and freedom with “a Christian-influenced Constitution and bill of rights.” However, it’s dependent on whether “God’s people will pray.” McGuire further argued that it was obvious Trump’s upset win was nothing short of a miracle, since he defeated “the invisible government that controls America” despite everything suggesting he was finished.
Since then, that “invisible government” has continued its attacks on Trump that it started during the campaign. After all, “the highest levels of witchcraft and Luciferianism,” as well as the “occult globalist elite,” know that Trump represents a direct threat to their dream of “a global government and a global economy and a global world order.”
For that reason, McGuire is mystified at how Christians don’t understand that all those who “in many cases, openly hate the Gospel (and) openly hate Christ” are working together to take down a man who represents “a spiritual threat to the Kingdom of Darkness.” He believes that they wouldn’t be working so hard against Trump if God wasn’t using him.
Later, McGuire claimed that God sent Trump as a “divine delay” to give this country a chance to repent before he renders his judgment. As he sees it, failing to support Trump could potentially amount to cowardice–and that could potentially keep you out of heaven.
“The book of Revelation lists all these sins that could potentially keep people out of heaven, things like sexual immorality, etc., etc. They’re all listed there But the number one sin in that list of sins in the book of Revelation is cowardice. Now, what part of being a coward do God’s people not know? Cowardice, when there is wrong being done and the satanic forces of evil–let’s talk about human sex trafficking, OK? This is a global business that the elite are running, selling the bodies of little boys and little girls and then torturing them for pleasure…I just ended there, it’s so horrible. Do you think God is pleased with his people standing idly by and doing basically nothing about it?”
McGuire was speaking in code. He is one of many right-wing extremists who are peddling the claim that political and media elites are involved in a massive pedophilia ring–variously known as “Pizzagate” or “the Storm.” Supposedly, Trump is about to blow the whistle on the whole thing.
McGuire went on to say that God commands Christians to “occupy the land until he comes” by winning people over to Jesus–and if you’re not occupying, you’re retreating. To that end, he maintained that God was commanding us to “not surrender our nation to the forces of evil.”
Okay, Paul. I’ll play. You mean to tell me we’re being cowards if we oppose a man who finds it acceptable to retweet violent GIFs attacking CNN and Hillary Clinton? Or who openly revels in degrading women? Or mock the disabled? Or plaster a private cell phone on social media?
I could go on, but the point is that we have yet another example of the religious right telling us to overlook a number of outrages that would disqualify just about any candidate from being president. After all, none of those really matter. All that matters is ending abortion, rolling back marriage equality–and in McGuire’s case, tilting at conspiracy theory windmills.
More seriously from a Christian perspective, though, McGuire is effectively adding to the Word. Any evangelical Christian knows that all we need to do in order to get to heaven is accept Jesus as our Savior. When we get to heaven, that’s all God’s going to ask us. He’s not going to ask us whether we supported Trump.
Then again, it’s not a surprise that a religious right leader has gone this far. After all, for the better part of three decades, the religious right has told us that voting for a Democrat could potentially jeopardize our salvation–a line that amounts to nothing less than blasphemy. It was only a matter of time before someone went in for a pound and told us that we had to support a specific Republican in order to get to heaven
(featured image courtesy McGuire’s Facebook)