It took 18 months for the public to learn that at least one House Republican called Donald Trump the “Orange Jesus” after witnessing the Jan. 6 storming of the Capitol. I’m not being blasphemous. That really is how the unnamed person referred to the former president when his disciples attempted an unsuccessful coup. Liz Cheney recently reiterated the dubious title, and we learned what many white evangelists suspected: That Trump is anointed by God. Reza Aslan, author and religious scholar, is a former Christian evangelist who is now a practicing Muslim. A few years ago he argued that Trumpism had become a cult for fundamentalists who believe God destined Trump to become a warrior and fight on behalf of evangelical beliefs. They consider him a “salvific character.” Salvific power is defined as “power of the Lord.” Aslan further suggested that “someone who exhibits every trademark of a cult leader should terrify both sides of the political spectrum.”
An 8-minute video of Aslan on Big Think, a multi-media website, will give listeners a brief idea of why he believes Trump hypnotized evangelical church-goers. A lot of it has to do with money. Listen to TV preachers and one of the first things they’ll tell you is that if you tithe, God will make you rich. It’s all part of the “blab it and grab it, name it and claim it” crowd. I’m well acquainted with their belief that God wants you rich. In this skewed way of thinking, the richer you are, the more anointed by God you are. Trump’s claims of enormous wealth greatly influenced the likes of Pat Robertson who kissed the ring of Trump and encouraged his followers to do likewise.
Two years ago Big Think reported: “While Jesus taught humility (Philippians 2:7), Trump is braggadocios. While Jesus taught us not to covet earthly possessions (Matthew 6:19), Trump built his reputation on worldly riches. While Jesus taught his followers to love your enemies (Matthew 5:44), Trump tweets vitriol at his opposition.” If these Biblical references are accurate, the obvious question is why does anyone believe Jesus – a god-incarnate man – would put the former president on a par with him? The answer is simple. If Trump is God’s chosen one to lead us out of the muck and mire created by the Democratic Party, then all his sins are automatically forgiven via divine intervention. And don’t forget Pat Robertson had a dream wherein he saw Trump sitting at the right hand of God. Pat’s word is akin to God’s by people who believe his teachings.
Anyone who thinks we’re not heading for a freakish form of government based on a combination of fascism and theocracy hasn’t been paying close attention to Trump rallies wherein he compares himself to Jesus. That’s one side of the Trump coin. The other side was created by traditional Republicans who simply hate Democrats and will do whatever it takes to convince constituents to vote red. These people are not religious fanatics. Many have no church affiliation. They love Trump because he exemplifies the image of a strong man who gets things done, owes allegiance to no one and thumbs his nose at Democrats.
I own a print of the Holy Family that belonged to my maternal German-Austrian grandmother. It’s the only picture I’ve seen of Jesus as a child with curly blonde hair. I suppose I could accept a blonde Jesus, but an Orange one? Never.