Donald Trump is all but assured of ending 2017 with the lowest approval rating on record for a newly elected president. According to FiveThirtyEight’s latest average, Trump’s approval rating stands at 37.7 percent, more than 12 points lower than any other newly elected president at this early stage since opinion polling began in the 1940s.
As bad as those numbers are, Trump is lucky they’re even that high. The biggest reason that his approval ratings are still in the 30s is that the religious right has spent the last year-plus spinning a false narrative to its most diehard followers. They’d like you to believe that Trump was chosen by God himself to not just make America great again, but make it a Christian nation again. Heck, to hear some of them talk, Russia didn’t hack the election for Trump–God did.
We got a lovely example of this false narrative on Christmas morning, when Trump’s principal spiritual adviser went on his favorite morning show to talk about just how great a Christian the Donald really is.
Paula White was one of the earliest pastors to get on the Trump bandwagon. She and Trump have been friends for 17 years. Reportedly, it was White who helped lead Trump to Jesus. After Trump’s upset victory, White was tapped as Trump’s spiritual adviser, and also became the first woman to give an invocation at a presidential inauguration. Later, White threw herself headlong into the yearlong effort the nation’s so-called moral guardians have mounted to warn us against opposing Trump. Her explanation–if you go that route, you’re opposing God himself.
White later expressed regret for that outrageous sentiment, but clearly doesn’t regret backing Trump or spreading his gospel. That much was made clear when she appeared on the Christmas morning edition of “Fox & Friends.”
From the studios of WOFL, the Fox owned-and-operated station in her current hometown of Orlando, White talked breathlessly about Trump’s supposed faith.
— Fox News (@FoxNews) December 26, 2017
To hear White tell the gang on the curvy couch, Trump’s Christian faith is “such an important part of his life.” Supposedly, Trump’s faith “guides him” and “leads him.”
Really, Paula? If it’s such an important part of his life, then how do you explain him retweeting violent GIFs attacking Hillary Clinton and CNN? Or his horribly degrading comments about Kirsten Gillibrand? But apparently that isn’t what really matters to White. She went on to say that with Trump in office, “we do not have to be afraid of the political correct police anymore.”
Later, White peddled what has become a standard religious right line–Trump has not only ended an eight-year war on Christmas, but an eight-year war on Christian values.
.@Paula_White: "Trump just hasn't put Christ back in Christmas, but he's also put prayer back into the White House, he's put justice… and religious freedom back into our courts." pic.twitter.com/U6MZzEidVO
— Fox News (@FoxNews) December 25, 2017
White gushed that under Trump, we can say “Merry Christmas” again. Apparently she forgot–conveniently, perhaps–the numerous documented times Barack and Michelle Obama saying “Merry Christmas.” She went on to say that Trump was a “crusader” and “a man of faith” who has not only “put prayer back into the White House,” but “justice” and “religious freedom” in our courts.
But at what cost, Paula? Do you seriously believe that anyone who is really “a man of faith” would have hit the retweet button for an image showing Trump knocking Hillary down with a tee shot? Do you seriously believe that a real “man of faith” would hit the retweet button for an image showing Trump sitting in his limo, with an image of the CNN logo depicted on a blood splatter on his wingtip? And do you seriously believe a “man of faith” would even suggest that one of his female foes would “do anything” for his support? Are we supposed to ignore all of that just because he’s making the clucking noises you like?
It’s entirely possible that White isn’t following Trump’s Twitter feed. After all, if she did, she would know beyond any doubt that Trump is taking her and his other diehard religious right followers for a ride. Even a cursory look at Trump’s tweets and retweets would prove that the man who openly admitted groping his wife in public, walked in on beauty pageant contestants in their dressing room, and claimed he could treat women any way he pleased is the real Donald John Trump.
Of course, it’s also possible that White is taking the same line as one of the other prominent female generals in the Trumpvangelical Army, Mary Colbert–that Trump is talking in the same manner that Jesus himself would talk. Again, I ask–do you seriously believe Jesus would be okay with ugly and violent attacks on his foes, and degrading women?
Whatever the case, it’s clear beyond any doubt that White is living in a fantasy world–and is trying to convince others to follow her in bowing down to the Orange Calf.
(featured image courtesy White’s Facebook)