I have become a Ryan Bomberger fan. It appears that his October 7 post on townhall.com has been lifted without explanation from the archive, so I cannot now adequately reference it; but the discussion concerned whether or not evangelicals should be supporting Donald Trump. Predictably, plenty of the mainstream media’s jabber-puppets have chastised the Christian community as a pious fraud for not denouncing a man so rude and worldly—a hard pill to swallow, when one considers that none of these self-anointed Jeremiahs has any faith beyond secular utopianism (or any recognition of moral stricture beyond leaving the boss’s parking space vacant). One might as well listen to a jackass criticizing an eagle for not flapping his wings enough when he flies.
Bomberger was having none of it—nor was he won over by the argument of his co-religionists that Trump is foul-mouthed and says (generally via Twitter) hurtful things. Naturally, the standard reply to such protests is that the anti-Trumps are one and all in favor of very late-term abortions, up to and including abandonment of a child “mistakenly” born alive; that one and all promote the chaotic non-enforcement of our border which has produced a magnet for human traffickers, child-molesters, and other two-legged monsters; and that one and all, therefore, have a lot more to answer for than a crude Tweet.
This was Ryan’s approach to dismissing, or diminishing, the so-called Christian objection. I don’t know why it left me unsatisfied: certainly I disagreed with nothing in the article. I believe I was rankled, however, by all the things left unsaid.
Such as… well, we’ve been listening to a placatory Church now for most of my time on earth, its hat in hand, its head humbly bowed, its lips murmuring, “Who am I to judge? Let him without sin cast the first stone. If two gay people wish to marry… who am I to judge? If two heterosexual people wish to cohabit and raise children outside the formal bonds of marriage… who am I to judge? And I’m not going to judge our Muslim brethren, by any means! Why should their faith be inferior to ours? I wish they wouldn’t behead people… but those who do such things aren’t true Muslims, you know. And then there were the Crusades, where we behaved abominably!”
Oh. And now you don’t want to dirty your hems by walking through the muck of Donald Trump’s Tweets. Thank you for that sudden—very sudden, one might say random—burst of moral enlightenment, o ye beacons of the Christian faith!
I find myself wondering how these “good Christians” would have received a marine who returned home in 1945 after surviving Iwo Jima. Would they throw him a parade down Main Street in Middleville, USA? Excellent—good for them! Let’s give the lad the key to our not-quite-city! But what would have happened if the church-every-Sunday town fathers had discovered that the returning hero had collected an ear or two from Japanese corpses? Would they pause to consider that the boy had passed several sleepless nights under fire, watched several of his buddies have their guts shot out, and seen his own young life flash before his eyes several times as he stormed machine gun nests in caves? Or would they stop at the reflection, “Oh! How brutal!”
I’m betting that the parade would have been canceled if our “good Christians” of today had lived seventy-something years ago. Fortunately, they didn’t. My grandfather wasn’t that kind of simpering, whiney, safe-zone-seeking study in moral anemia. Neither was yours. They would understand that when you put a man through living hell, he’s apt to do a lot more than exceed the exclamatory limits of, “My goodness gracious!” when his pal from boot camp loses the right side of his head.
I didn’t vote for Mr. Trump in 2016. I didn’t like the “Lyin’ Ted” lie one bit, nor the insinuation that Cruz Senior had been implicated in the JFK assassination. Those remarks were Bush League (and, no, the namby-pamby Bushes would never have made them… which was one of the few things I liked about the Bushes: they didn’t play in that league of cheap shots and behind-the-back trips). But Trump has swallowed his own medicine times ten times ten since his election. How many days, weeks, and months of 24/7 slandering by a pack of slavering media jackals could any of us put up with before we started shooting the bird at CNN? Oh, Jeb would never have done such a thing, under any circumstances (and he would never have needed to; he would have been busily tossing the jackals some carrion). Ted Cruz would have come back with a classier response… and he wouldn’t have come back from Iwo Jima with Japanese gold teeth in his pocket, either.
I can only speak for myself. I get mad—really mad—when someone defames me. If someone were to call me a Nazi before the camera, I wouldn’t smile: I hope I could confine myself to William Buckley’s, “You call me that again and I’ll punch you in your goddam mouth.”
Would I be less of a Christian for registering such a reaction? Is that really what we’ve boiled our Christian faith down to: an insipid pabulum that amounts to never “hurting” anyone? I’ve struggled for years with this bloodless, invertebrate morph of the faith in seminaries and at national conferences. I thought we stood for truth; I thought we acknowledged our incapacity to grasp ultimate truth in our present state, but also accepted the direction of inner imperatives that forbade us to make peace with the self-serving prevarications of men. I thought we humbled ourselves in confessing our passionate excesses—but that we also scorned death itself when ordered by despots to stand passively by and witness brutal abuse of helpless innocents.
I do not recognize my faith in the creed of our castrated male leaders and of our testosterone-charged females. I will not apologize because my abiding by the rules of grammar makes you feel the oppressive fingers of the “patriarchy” or because my recipe for tacos smacks of “cultural appropriation” to you. I’m not “sorry” that you feel “hurt” or “offended”. On the contrary: your decision to feel hurt when you know nothing of my motives—or know damn well that they were not malevolent—offends me. What kind of friend says to another friend, “I never want to see you again! The way you said, ‘Hey there, old boy!’ reminds me of my father’s greetings—and he used to beat me!” You’re insane if you mean that seriously. As a Christian, I’ll tell you as much straight up and help you work through your problem, if you like. The one thing I won’t do is help you pretend that you don’t have a problem.
I will most certainly vote for Donald Trump in 2020, foul mouth and all. And I will do so as a Christian, because the campaign of incessant slanders and legalistic bullying launched against him by whited-sepulcher political hacks and prostituted propagandists sickens me to my stomach. Just as indigestible to me are those who piously whine that a good man never “hurts” anyone. I have no fraternal affinity left over for them: not any more. If you won’t slap in the face a man who wants to leave babies unprotected, to surrender young girls to kidnappers and pimps, to deprive people of the right to self-defense, to brainwash schoolchildren into thinking that all sex is good sex, to invite unvetted adventurers from terrorist breeding grounds into quiet communities, to give mega-corporations free access in bidding wars to buy his patronage as he dangles restrictive legislation… if you won’t scream “scoundrel!” in that man’s face because it might hurt his feelings, but neither will you support the man who would stand up to him because the language might turn foul… if that’s where you are in your “faith”, brother, then you’re an empty fraud, and quite possibly a pompous idiot.