An actual Facebook chat conversation with a friend who still supports Trump:
Me: In the end, you’re going to have to stand in front of Jesus and explain why you supported Trump. Good luck with that.
Her: I don’t think I will have to explain. He already knows my heart.
Before I continue, you should know that I am a recovering Evangelical. It’s been 17 years since I told someone they were going to Hell. I’ve worked hard at my recovery, and saying “you’re going to have to stand in front of Jesus…” felt dangerously close to a relapse.
Maybe you’re right. Maybe you won’t have to explain anything to Jesus.
But could you please explain it to the rest of us?
Explain why poor people deserve to go to bed hungry and to die when they get sick. Explain why you go to such great lengths to protect an unborn child but do nothing to protect children from poverty and disease once they are here.
Explain how being a racist is making America great again. Is America great when we’re hating LGBTQ people? Is it even better when you call the police and they shoot a black man for no reason other than he is black?
You don’t have to be Jesus to know what’s in the heart of someone who thinks it’s OK to arrest desperate people who are fleeing for their lives, separate them from their kids, and then send them back to the same war zone that forced them to leave in the first place.
I’ll spare you the story of my Road To Damascus moment that ultimately turned me away from my evangelical addiction. Suffice it to say that like all addicts, I had to hit rock bottom before I could begin my recovery. “Rock bottom” looks very different for someone addicted to an Evangelical, fundamentalist religion than it does for an alcoholic or a meth user, but the underlying problem is still the same. It’s all about dealing with feelings of inadequacy and trying to kill some underlying pain. Recovery begins when you realize that the pain of the behavior will be greater than the pain of ending the addiction.
The Cult of Trump is the logical extension of this same addiction. He’s already managed to get Evangelicals to accept rampant adultery, sexual assault, and pathological lying. Every religion needs a martyr, and Trump is more than happy to play the victim when anyone tries to hold him accountable. The only thing left is for him to replace the Europeanized face of Jesus with his own.
Yes, Jesus already knows what’s in your heart.
So do the rest of us.