Ho! Ho! Ho! Ho!

Trump has again shown a talent for exposing the sad moral compromises of his followers, especially his evangelical Christian followers. Jerry Falwell Jr., Franklin Graham, Robert Jeffress and Eric Metaxas don’t have it easy after an event such as this one. Not only do they need to defend Trump’s use of a prayer breakfast as a campaign rally. Not only are they required to defend his offensive questioning of religious motivations. They must also somehow justify his discomfort with a central teaching of the Sermon on the Mount and his use of a prayer meeting to attack and defame his enemies. These evangelical Christian leaders will, of course, find some way to bless Trump’s sacrilege. But he makes their job ever harder and their moral surrender ever more obvious.

… This is what happens when a sociopath gets away with something. He or she is not sobered but emboldened. It took mere hours for Republican senators who predicted a wiser, chastened president to eat their words. The senators are, in part, responsible for the abuses of power to come.

And they are not alone. At the prayer breakfast, some cheered and whistled for Trump’s bitterness and vindictiveness. Many evangelical Christians seem attracted to the least Christian elements of his appeal — his anger and his cruelty. They are encouraging the president to fight an enemy they have ceased to love.

If this is what the National Prayer Breakfast has become, it has ceased to be religious, ceased to be useful and ceased to be necessary.

Michael Gerson

February 7, 2020

Previous:Motivated reasoning
Next:Nice aphorism