For the better part of the last two months, the religious right has been warning opponents of Donald Trump that they are treading on dangerous ground. To hear some of that movement’s so-called leaders talk, the resistance to Trump’s so-called presidency is driven by witchcraft and demons, and anyone who dares oppose him is opposing God’s plan for this country–and is therefore committing sedition. From the looks of it, this talk is directed more at those among their own followings who now regret being part of the 81 percent of white evangelicals who voted for Trump.
One of the prominent fundies sounding this warning has been Rick Joyner of MorningStar Ministries, who is based at the former PTL complex in Fort Mill, South Carolina–just 20 minutes south of my home in Charlotte. Joyner has even gone as far as to say that the devil himself is behind the opposition to Trump. Along those lines, he has issued another warning to those who would dare stand against the Donald–if you mess with him, you’re messing with God.
On Wednesday, Joyner took to Facebook to proclaim that Rachel Maddow’s revelation of an excerpt from Trump’s 2005 tax return fell flat because God has his hand on the Donald. People for the American Way’s Right Wing Watch got a clip.
Joyner claimed that even “a cursory view” of Trump’s brief administration would reveal that “everyone who has attacked him has lost.” He believes that God is showing Trump the same favor that he showed Cyrus in Isaiah 45. For that reason, he declared, “You smack him, and God smacks you back.”
Okay, Rick. I’ll play. How is the ouster of a National Security Adviser for lying about his contacts with Russia only 24 days into an administration not a loss? And how is the forced withdrawal of a nominee for Labor Secretary in the face of concerns about domestic violence not a loss? And just 24 hours before you went live, the House Intelligence Committee called BS on Trump’s claim to have been wiretapped.
So how can Joyner say that Trump has never “lost”? Well, consider that Joyner is speaking mostly to people who live in a bubble where American Family Radio, Infowars, Breitbart News, and similar outfits are considered news sources.
Joyner, like most right-wingers, claims that the revelation of those returns actually made Trump look good. After all, it revealed he paid a higher tax rate than Barack Obama or Bernie Sanders. What Joyner didn’t tell his followers is that those returns don’t tell us where the money came from.
Several tax experts told CBS News that the excerpt raises big questions about Trump’s income. For one thing, real estate magnates like Trump are allowed to take significant write-offs, sharply reducing their tax bills. For that reason, it’s hard to tell how much income comes from real estate versus his many side businesses. Additionally, accountant John Lieberman noticed Trump claimed $40 million in business income–but doesn’t say how he derived it.
But Joyner doesn’t want you to know that. What he wants you to believe is that if you stand against Trump, you’re standing against God. In other words, he’s asking the nation–and particularly Christians who are having second thoughts about Trump–to stick their heads in the sand and ignore the many outrages that have come from this administration. In other words, Joyner must think we’re stupid.
News flash, Rick. We aren’t stupid. We know that you have hitched your wagon to the most manifestly unfit and unqualified man to occupy the White House in recent memory. For that reason, we will make sure that you and the rest of the religious right own all of the “losses” that Trump has suffered–and yes, he has suffered them. We will make sure you not only own the fail that is likely to come, but ensure that you and his other fundie enablers go down with him.
(featured image courtesy Joyner’s Facebook)