View Full Version : Our pagan president

05-28-2017, 01:59 PM
So opines Andrew Sullivan in his latest column in New York magazine. Here is the money excerpt:

Trump is not an atheist, confident yet humble in the search for a God-free morality. He is not an agnostic, genuinely doubtful as to the meaning of existence but always open to revelation should it arrive. He is not even a wayward Christian, as he sometimes claims to be, beset by doubt and failing to live up to ideals he nonetheless holds. The ideals he holds are, in fact, the antithesis of Christianity — and his life proves it. He is neither religious nor irreligious. He is pre-religious. He is a pagan. He makes much more sense as a character in Game of Thrones, a medieval world bereft of the legacy of Jesus of Nazareth, than as a president of a modern, Western country.

He loves the exercise of domination, where Christianity practices subservience. He thrills to the use of force, while Jesus preached nonviolence, even in the face of overwhelming coercion. He is tribal, where Jesus was resolutely universal. He is a serial fantasist, whereas Jesus came to reveal the Truth. He is proud, where Jesus was humble. He lives off the attention of the crowd, whereas Jesus fled the throngs that followed him. He is unimaginably wealthy, while Jesus preached the virtue of extreme poverty. He despises the weak, whom Jesus always sided with. He lies to gain an advantage, while Jesus told the truth and was executed for it. He loathes the “other,” when Jesus’ radical embrace of the outsider lay at the heart of his teaching. He campaigns on fear, which Jesus repeatedly told us to abandon. He clings to his privileged bubble, while Jesus walked the streets, with nothing to his name. His only true loyalty is to his family, while Jesus abandoned his. He believes in torture, while Jesus endured it silently. He sees women as objects of possession and abuse, while Jesus — at odds with his time and place — saw women as fully equal, indeed as the first witnesses to the Resurrection. He is in love with power, while Jesus — possessed of greater power, his followers believe, than any other human being — chose to surrender all of it. If Trump were to issue his own set of beatitudes, they would have to be something like this:

Blessed are the winners: for theirs is the kingdom of Earth.
Blessed are the healthy: for they will pay lower premiums.
Blessed are the rich: for they will inherit what’s left of the earth, tax-free.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for oil and coal: for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciless: for they are so, so strong.
Blessed are the liars: for they will get away with it.
Blessed are the war-makers: for they will be called very, very smart.
Blessed are those who support you regardless: for theirs is the Electoral College.
Blessed are you when others revile you and investigate you and utter all kinds of fake news about you. Rejoice and be glad, for the failing press is dying.

Chris Smith porter maine
05-28-2017, 02:06 PM
I never thought I would feel sorry for Spicer


05-28-2017, 02:11 PM
I wouldn't cross the road to meet the pope, what's the deal in that for Spicer, apart from an ego boost?

05-28-2017, 02:11 PM
The 700 Club was wrapping him in the Bible just a few days ago.

Chris Smith porter maine
05-28-2017, 02:15 PM
Spicer is a devout Catholic, he was criticized once for appearing on fox with the ash Wednesday mark on his forehead, meeting the pope would have been a life moment for him.

Hugh Conway
05-28-2017, 07:19 PM
meeting the pope would have been a life moment for him. Which is exactly why Trump denied him it. Trump makes everyone around him smaller, he drags our country down. Why people can't see this is baffling.

05-28-2017, 07:46 PM
I have said this all along and told my Christian friends who support the man. He is literally the anti-Christian, yet they made him president. Odd, isn't it.

Fwiw, I think that this Pope is awesome.

Mickey Lake

Nicholas Scheuer
05-28-2017, 08:03 PM
During an interview one evening a year or so ago on Chicago's PBS outlet WTTW, Kenneth Woodward, former Religion Editor at NEWSWEEK for many years, said "Trump hasn't got a religious bone in his body".

05-28-2017, 08:06 PM
Just goes to show how shallow their beliefs were, and what politicians will do for the leavings from the power table.

05-28-2017, 08:39 PM
Doesn't matter that he's not religious. As long as he comes out as anti-abortion, the religious right will support him no matter what he does.

05-28-2017, 08:42 PM
Any 'position' Trump takes is only secure as long as it suits his personal aggrandisement and enrichment schedule.
But I'm quite sure his supporters know this, as do the rump of the GOP, and they don't care.

Phil Y
05-28-2017, 11:54 PM
What crap. Christian religion has a truly awful history of violence, domination, inhuman and cruel punishment, and more recently child sex abuse. Trump is an idiot for sure, but I'm glad he's not a Christian as well.

05-29-2017, 06:26 AM
Phil, I increasingly think that any actual organization which has even a modicum of power fairly soon exhibits many of those characteristics. The institution of the Christian church for sure, and since it's been around for so long, it tended to exhibit the horrifying excesses of each successive version of the Western society in which it held power. When public torture and execution was in vogue with the powers of the day, the Church stood shoulder to shoulder with Absolute Monarchs. When the White Man's Burden was the Western ideal, the Church worked hand in hand with Imperial powers to over-run every local tradition they could, and spread the glorious wonderfulness of Western superiority (sic).

The Church also, of course, originated Western Universities, and hospitals, and social services. It was in the vanguard opposing slavery, supporting protection for industrial workers, etc. Christianity is still the reason that the majority of front-line volunteers in secular organizations doing social services (food banks, homeless shelters, women's shelters, refugee work etc.) say motivates them to be there - it's really quite disproportionate. You certainly don't have to have a faith to decide to roll up your sleeves and do hands-on work supporting actual, messy, conflicted people in need ... but it appears to help. In a Western society which has a majority who don't claim any active Faith, you'd expect that a majority of compassionate volunteers would also be non-believers, eh? Sadly ...

Recently, right here in my little corner of the world, we had yet another high school teacher brought up on charges of child porn use/distribution. That makes a handful of such over the past few years that were in my general region. This doesn't make me want to rail against public education as a scourge against our children, and school boards as nests of pedophiles conspiring against all that is good under the cover of mealy-mouthed claims of wanting to promote learning. Quite the opposite.

05-29-2017, 10:01 AM