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writing for godot

Trump, the Evangelical Republican Right (ERR©), and

Written by Steven Jonas   
Tuesday, 11 February 2020 08:38

By Steven Jonas, M.D., M.P.H.

"Either this nation will kill racism, or racism will kill this nation."  (S. Jonas, August, 2018)


Note:  This column was written before Trump politicized the National Prayer Breakfast and filled it with his patented Hate.  Also note that, as far as I know, none of the "religious" people attending took objection, at least publicly.  Presumably, then, most, if not all of them, are members of the the ERR which is the subject of this column.


The Evangelical Republican Right (ERR©) has announced for some time now that Trump has been "chosen by God" to be President. This raises a number of questions for which I do not have the answers. I do wonder if they might. After all, they are the ERRings.

First, how do they know this? Revelation, memo, ghostly appearances, secret communications, not-so-secret communications? In any case, it would do them well to share the answer with the rest of us. For if this is so, I suppose that their next move would be to dispense with elections.

Second, precisely which God are they talking about? After all, there are numerous conceptions of he, she, it, or they (all of them unknowable for sure, but that's another matter).

Third, of course the concept of God is tied up in the ERR's© Creation Story. It happens that there are numerous Creation Stories (in addition to the one in the Judeo-Christian Bible), from the world's numerous religions. How do we know that that ERR's is the correct one?

Fourth, let's say that the ERR's have nailed it, on God and the particular Creation Story to which they adhere. Now one would think that God, whichever or whomever he, she, it, or they is/are, would have a rather broad ambit. But in focusing down on the conception of God that they have, the ERR©, especially in terms of what Trump brings to the table for them (as they tell us, over and over again), focuses on certain specifics. First, that ultimately in the law (see Georgia and Alabama) women who have abortions and those who provide them should be killed (since in the ERR's terms abortion is a violation of religious doctrine about when life begins, burning at the stake anyone?). Second, that LGBTQ people should be deprived of civil rights and other protections of the law (as in marriage law). Third, that there should be tax-payer funded support for religious schools and religious education (of the ERR© type, of course) in the public schools. Fourth, that the Doctrine of Dominionism, that is the "Dominion of 'God' " (as defined by the ERR©, of course) should be established above Constitutional Law. This doctrine is espoused by such folk as Vice-President Mike Pence and former Governor of Arkansas Mike Huckabee. (Ever wonder why they are both named Mike? God has his, her, its, or their reason[s]).

Fifth, why does the ERR© not seem concerned with other issues, say of social and economic justice, with which many other religions are concerned, like health care, environmental protection, fighting global warming, combating racism, dealing with poverty, and so and so forth, with which so many other religions and religious persons are concerned?

Sixth, since they seem to be so focused on the issues outlined in Four, above, the "God" of the ERR© would seem to be a rather cruel and narrow-minded one, no? Killing people who don't agree with the ERR's religious notion as to when life begins. Sweeping the LGBTQ population out of civil society. Establishing the ERR's concept of right and wrong over the U.S. Constitution, when that document presents exactly the opposite provisions for the role and place of religion in how the U.S. government is to be conducted. And so on and so forth.

Actually, the ERR's© "God" and its projection into both the Constitution and the civil and criminal law of the land would violate both the separation of church and state provision of the first Amendment and the "no religious" test provision of Article VI. Of course, since the words "God" and "Christianity" (of any sort) appear nowhere in the Constitution, the ERR's position rests on no justification in that regard either.

Finally, if the ERR's case on such matters as when life begins and the nature of human sexuality are so correct and so persuasive, why do they need the use of both the criminal and civil law to enforce their positions? Why do so many people disagree with them and choose to follow their own conceptions of right and wrong in these matters? The short answer is that indeed many of us, God-believers and non-believers alike (and I am in the latter group) hold to different ethical/moral positions in such matters, and also believe that there is no place for religious authoritarianism in a free society, under the Constitution of the United States.

Of course, getting back to the ERR's© position that Trump has been selected by God to be President, his programs and policies fully support those of the ERR(C). (Of course they offer no proof for this position, other than affirming it. But that is another matter.) And what better a way for them to proclaim that they are right and all the rest of us are wrong (and indeed criminal) in these matters than to proclaim that their President (say what you want about his own morals, ethics, and indeed religiosity) has been chosen by "God" (their concept of he, she, it, or they, of course) for the job. That just clinches it, donchaknow.


To err is human. To ERR© is inhumane.


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