Trump: An Apocalyptic Messenger for the Christian Right
Chip Berlet printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Thu Dec 10, 2015 at 02:23:29 PM EST
We stand in the overflow crowd of some 300 in the small town of Tyngsborough near the New Hampshire border. Several thousand people are inside a local elementary school. The crowd is excited. Here is Donald Trump in Massachusetts in October of 2015. "Why do they always say a Republican can't win in Massachusetts?" we hear Trump say over the loudspeakers set up outside the school.

One woman we meet at the Massachusetts Trump Rally is Joan. A mature White woman who works three jobs to make ends meet. Joan believes in the Lord Jesus Christ and warns that the United States will soon be judged because events in Israel reveal that we are in the seven-year countdown to the apocalypse and Armageddon.

Many Christians in the United States think President Barack Obama maybe the Antichrist of Biblical prophecy about the apocalypse to which Joan is referring. Joan supports Trump because he "tells it like it is [and says] to us that we can do something." She despises Planned Parenthood and worries about our youth.

Joan wears a Trump hat and T-shirt, and carries a Trump sign. Trump supporters wear everything from business suits to blue jeans. Pickup trucks carry signs for carpenters, plumbers, and contractors. The crowd cheers Trump's anti-immigrant jibes demeaning Mexicans. A handful of reproductive rights protesters are kept far away.

Not long after the Trump rally we attended we are driving through mid-state New Hampshire on Halloween. The second Republican debate has included Christian Right firebrand Ben Carson. Along with ubiquitous pumpkins we see dozens of campaign signs for Ben Carson which have sprouted up overnight like mushrooms--evidence of an angry protest vote from right-wing Christian evangelicals who once again want the Republican Party to give them a platform that honors their rank as one of the largest voting blocks in the Republican Party. Carson's campaign has largely collapsed and much of his constituency seems to have shifted to Trump.

There is something ugly going on here--and it is tapped into by Trump's campaign slogan, "Make America Great Again." The people who want this greatness in Trump's crowds are overwhelmingly White, middle class and working class, and pissed off. They are listening to the rhetoric of right-wing populism. Two key components of right-wing populism are apocalypticism and conspiracy theories about subversion from above and below.

If you are reading this essay, you are almost certainly one of the people they resent. That's because for most of us, we live in information silos.

Folks we talk to at the Trump rally keep citing Fox News as a source of reliable information. There are hundreds of other news sources for this constituency. Some of these media cater to Free Market supporters and sell books by Ayn Rand. Some seek to attract White men who believe that women and people of color are discriminating against them. And some promote the ideas of Christian Right icon Tim LaHaye who has predicted the imminent apocalyptic end of time for decades.

Millions of voters who are part of the Christian Right voting block look for the "signs of the times" for the battle of Armageddon in which godly Christians battle the forces of Satanic darkness. A scary number of them believe our President, Barack Obama, is an "End Times" agent of the evil Antichrist--Satan's agent in the End Times according to one reading of the Bible's Book of Revelation. Some think Obama is the Antichrist: Satan's rabble-rouser during the apocalyptic confrontation between good and evil after which Godly Christian rule a cleansed and purified Earth.

Tim LaHaye's non-fiction and fiction books appear to be the most significant source of Christian Right apocalyptic expectation in the United States.

A September 2009 poll in New Jersey found that 14% of Republicans believed that President Obama was the Antichrist. Another 15% thought it might be possible. The results across political allegiances, however, were also troubling; with 8% of respondents statewide saying they thought Obama was the Antichrist and 13% stating they "aren't sure". The poll also found that "21% of respondents, including 33% of Republicans, express the belief that Obama was not born in the United States". According to the pollster, Public Policy Polling, these are "eye popping numbers."

These apocalyptic Christian Right voters shifting to support Trump will live on a much less populated Earth--since only Godly Christians survive the apocalyptic victory. This is because the aberrant version of LaHaye's Christian Right theology storyline goes like this:

Before Jesus can return and trigger the apocalypse, Jews must control Jerusalem for Jesus to return. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse appear causing wars and rumors of wars and other strife. Then there is a huge "End Times" battle in near what is now Mount Megiddo in Israel. The forces of evil being battled are basically Muslims and the governments of Iraq and Iran. After God's victory, most Jews (and all other non-Christians) are slaughtered by God like the "grapes of wrath" in a gigantic wine press until our blood flows through the valley of Armageddon about knee high on horse.

As a Christian I find this version of biblical prophecy to be an appalling literal interpretation of the metaphors in the Bible's book of Revelation. Most Christian around the world reject this horror story. Only in America do so many Christians obsessed with Triumphalism pray for confrontation, war, and genocide as the acceptable price for running God's Kingdom on Earth.


An excellent commentary by Deborah Caldwell at Fortune online offers a different and informative perspective on this same issue: Why People Love Trump's Apocalyptic Vision of America

4 times married and divorced Hal Lindsey states that Obama wants to make the United states a Muslim nation.
     Trump seems to be the sum total of Atwater, Rowe, and Reagan's push- the- right- buttons form of consumerism.  It is whatever sells as justification for the product.  His ethic seems to be based on the bottom line.
    Lindsey Graham telling him to go to hell is the conflict of the soul of a GOP who does not like seeing what they always rode into town on.  A horse that often used the Wallace and Nixon theme, which was "holler niggar and promise them the moon."  Carter admits to such.    I trust Trump will be no more dangerous than Reagan.
     Father Coughlin said there are only two options, Fascism and Communism.  I choose Fascism.  There were and still are many more options and I still think and hope Trump falls into one of them and will mellow out.  Math is an exact science, the numbers prove he is the GOP and represents what they are.  Now, they do not like what they see, it is the mirror they are looking into.

by wilkyjr on Fri Dec 11, 2015 at 03:02:20 AM EST
Reagan was a professional politician, having been a SAG union rep and then a state governor. Trump is a complete amateur, never having had to work with a legislature on a long term basis. Trump does not give any evidence of understanding the limits and compromises of politics. I think that he could be extraordinarily dangerous, and I cringe at the thought that he would be entrusted with the "Nuclear Football" (the nuclear launch phone that travels with the President). He also doesn't seem to have any other motivation than feeding his ego. He doesn't come from a public service tradition / "noblesse oblige". He has plenty of money already.

by NancyP on Fri Dec 11, 2015 at 11:43:36 AM EST

Just ask the survivors of the proxy war massacre at El Mozote, if you can find any.

by nogodsnomasters on Sat Dec 12, 2015 at 02:54:02 PM EST

WWW Talk To Action

Cognitive Dissonance & Dominionism Denial
There is new research on why people are averse to hearing or learning about the views of ideological opponents. Based on evaluation of five......
By Frederick Clarkson (317 comments)
Will the Air Force Do Anything To Rein In Its Dynamic Duo of Gay-Bashing, Misogynistic Bloggers?
"I always get nervous when I see female pastors/chaplains. Here is why everyone should as well: "First, women are not called to be pastors,......
By Chris Rodda (116 comments)
The Legacy of Big Oil
The media is ablaze with the upcoming publication of David Grann's book, Killers of the Flower Moon. The shocking non fiction account of the......
By wilkyjr (69 comments)
Gimme That Old Time Dominionism Denial
Over the years, I have written a great deal here and in other venues about the explicitly theocratic movement called dominionism -- which has......
By Frederick Clarkson (70 comments)
History Advisor to Members of Congress Completely Twists Jefferson's Words to Support Muslim Ban
Pseudo-historian David Barton, best known for his misquoting of our country's founders to promote the notion that America was founded as a Christian nation,......
By Chris Rodda (69 comments)
"Christian Fighter Pilot" Calls First Lesbian Air Force Academy Commandant a Liar
In a new post on his "Christian Fighter Pilot" blog titled "BGen Kristin Goodwin and the USAFA Honor Code," Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan......
By Chris Rodda (108 comments)
Catholic Right Leader Unapologetic about Call for 'Death to Liberal Professors' -- UPDATED
Today, Donald Trump appointed C-FAM Executive Vice President Lisa Correnti to the US Delegation To UN Commission On Status Of Women. (C-FAM is a......
By Frederick Clarkson (85 comments)
Controlling Information
     Yesterday I listened to Russ Limbaugh.  Rush advised listeners it would be best that they not listen to CNN,MSNBC, ABC, CBS and......
By wilkyjr (62 comments)
Is Bannon Fifth-Columning the Pope?
In December 2016 I wrote about how White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, who likes to flash his Catholic credentials when it comes to......
By Frank Cocozzelli (199 comments)
Ross Douthat's Hackery on the Seemingly Incongruous Alliance of Bannon & Burke
Conservative Catholic writer Ross Douthat has dissembled again. This time, in a February 15, 2017 New York Times op-ed titled The Trump Era's Catholic......
By Frank Cocozzelli (48 comments)
`So-Called Patriots' Attack The Rule Of Law
Every so often, right-wing commentator Pat Buchanan lurches out of the far-right fever swamp where he has resided for the past 50 years to......
By Rob Boston (66 comments)
Bad Faith from Focus on the Family
Here is one from the archives, Feb 12, 2011, that serves as a reminder of how deeply disingenuous people can be. Appeals to seek......
By Frederick Clarkson (145 comments)
The Legacy of George Wallace
"One need not accept any of those views to agree that they had appealed to real concerns of real people, not to mindless, unreasoning......
By wilkyjr (29 comments)
Betsy DeVos's Mudsill View of Public Education
My Talk to Action colleague Rachel Tabachnick has been doing yeoman's work in explaining Betsy DeVos's long-term strategy for decimating universal public education. If......
By Frank Cocozzelli (40 comments)
Prince and DeVos Families at Intersection of Radical Free Market Privatizers and Religious Right
This post from 2011 surfaces important information about President-Elect Trump's nominee for Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos. -- FC Erik Prince, Brother of Betsy......
By Rachel Tabachnick (146 comments)

Respect for Others? or Political Correctness?
The term "political correctness" as used by Conservatives and Republicans has often puzzled me: what exactly do they mean by it? After reading Chip Berlin's piece here-- I thought about what he explained......
MTOLincoln (161 comments)
What I'm feeling now is fear.  I swear that it seems my nightmares are coming true with this new "president".  I'm also frustrated because so many people are not connecting all the dots! I've......
ArchaeoBob (63 comments)
"America - love it or LEAVE!"
I've been hearing that and similar sentiments fairly frequently in the last few days - far FAR more often than ever before.  Hearing about "consequences for burning the flag (actions) from Trump is chilling!......
ArchaeoBob (91 comments)
"Faked!" Meme
Keep your eyes and ears open for a possible move to try to discredit the people openly opposing Trump and the bigots, especially people who have experienced terrorism from the "Right"  (Christian Terrorism is......
ArchaeoBob (97 comments)
More aggressive proselytizing
My wife told me today of an experience she had this last week, where she was proselytized by a McDonald's employee while in the store. ......
ArchaeoBob (110 comments)
See if you recognize names on this list
This comes from the local newspaper, which was conservative before and took a hard right turn after it was sold. Hint: Sarah Palin's name is on it!  (It's also connected to Trump.) ......
ArchaeoBob (104 comments)
Unions: A Labor Day Discussion
This is a revision of an article which I posted on my personal board and also on Dailykos. I had an interesting discussion on a discussion board concerning Unions. I tried to piece it......
Xulon (111 comments)
Extremely obnoxious protesters at WitchsFest NYC: connected to NAR?
In July of this year, some extremely loud, obnoxious Christian-identified protesters showed up at WitchsFest, an annual Pagan street fair here in NYC.  Here's an account of the protest by Pagan writer Heather Greene......
Diane Vera (71 comments)
Capitalism and the Attack on the Imago Dei
I joined this site today, having been linked here by Crooksandliars' Blog Roundup. I thought I'd put up something I put up previously on my Wordpress blog and also at the DailyKos. As will......
Xulon (82 comments)
History of attitudes towards poverty and the churches.
Jesus is said to have stated that "The Poor will always be with you" and some Christians have used that to refuse to try to help the poor, because "they will always be with......
ArchaeoBob (86 comments)
Alternate economy medical treatment
Dogemperor wrote several times about the alternate economy structure that dominionists have built.  Well, it's actually made the news.  Pretty good article, although it doesn't get into how bad people could be (have been)......
ArchaeoBob (59 comments)
Evidence violence is more common than believed
Think I've been making things up about experiencing Christian Terrorism or exaggerating, or that it was an isolated incident?  I suggest you read this article (linked below in body), which is about our great......
ArchaeoBob (98 comments)
Central Florida Sheriff Preached Sermon in Uniform
If anyone has been following the craziness in Polk County Florida, they know that some really strange and troubling things have happened here.  We've had multiple separation of church and state lawsuits going at......
ArchaeoBob (63 comments)
Demon Mammon?
An anthropologist from outer space might be forgiven for concluding that the god of this world is Mammon. (Or, rather, The Market, as depicted by John McMurtry in his book The Cancer Stage of......
daerie (81 comments)
Anti-Sharia Fever in Texas: This is How It Starts
The mayor of a mid-size Texan city has emerged in recent months as the newest face of Islamophobia. Aligning herself with extremists hostile to Islam, Mayor Beth Van Duyne of Irving, Texas has helped......
JSanford (66 comments)

More Diaries...

All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. Comments, posts, stories, and all other content are owned by the authors. Everything else 2005 Talk to Action, LLC.