March 29, 2020

Former evangelist Frank Schaeffer preached a fiery sermon on AMJoy for his former colleagues and the "moronic monster" himself, where he condemned Trump's "moral bankruptcy" and called upon evangelicals to rise up and reject the "pro-death president."

And it's about time someone called them out, because the Easter Sunday nonsense was nothing more than a pander to those evangelicals.

He begins with a condemnation of evangelicals' "naked lickspittle enablement of Trump" before launching into a hellfire-and-brimstone condemnation of the magical thinking that has led them to deny climate change and science itself.

We're in a time now where the naked lickspittle enablement of Donald Trump by his evangelical followers is more horribly obvious than ever. Franklin Graham, his big supporter, told him to call a national Day of Prayer, and of course, we know Trump would never do this by himself. We have all the pieces that you played of people trying to cash in on this, to push their anti-gay homophobia.

We also see the magical thinking for evangelicals that allows them, for instance, to deny climate change, to deny scientific evidence on gay people being born that way, to deny so many things that we know from any common sense point of view, let alone a scientific point of view are true. They have been nurtured from birth to accept alternative fact. They're perfect dupes for someone who calls everything "fake news" when he doesn't agree with it.

As for the crisis at hand, he really lets fly in this part:

When we come to this time of COVID-19 overtaking our country, a literal life and death issue, we see two things very clearly, Joy. One is the utter moral bankruptcy of this leader who pits himself against governors trying to save their people, and the second is the utter moral bankruptcy of evangelicals, the white evangelical voter having rented out Jesus to this moronic monster who in this time of crisis, far from being our Winston Churchill leading us to freedom against the Axis in Germany and others and basically tells those in my day, those in their 70s, to do what the jews were were told to do by the Nazis: Put on a yellow star, identify yourself as old, we're not going to make respirators, especially for governors we don't like, just go off and die so the stock exchange numbers go up and I look good.

And the fact of the matter is, that is not an exaggeration. We have Republican governors, we have people who are in positions of power and Donald Trump trying to push a business-as-usual agenda. Instead of evangelicals standing up and saying, wait a minute, we bought into your candidacy because you're supposed to be the, quote/unquote, pro-life president, we now have a pro-death president who would rather have his economic numbers go up chasing a 2020 reelection than save lives. And the evangelicals are going along with it and giving him cover. This whole Easter nonsense was simply more currying favor with that base. A footnote but very telling.

Joy Reid then brought the discussion around to the Katherine Stewart's article in the New York Times calling out conservative evangelicals' insistence on denying science. She writes: "This denial of science and critical thinking among religious ultraconservatives now haunts the American response to the coronavirus crisis."

"The question I have, Frank, is whether these beliefs, this almost religious belief in Trump himself as the savior, does it survive actual deaths in your church, in your own family, this virus will not stop at the door of these evangelical churches. It will come inside. When people they know, when their own families, when people start getting sick. Can this unshakeable belief in trump survive that? Will they start to believe the science when it's literally right in front of them?" Reid asked.

You know, I'm reminded, Joy, of the passage from the Bible where Christ says, "Though one come back from the dead, they would not believe." Let me tell you a parallel in answer to your question that I hope I'm wrong on. Think of all the churches that were shot up by gun-toting fools recently, even one in Texas, where gun laws are so permissive that you're surprised people don't give you a gun at birth. Did the evangelical majority say, wait a minute, they're shooting up the churches, maybe we won't support the NRA? No, they did not.

They are so in love with the gospel of hatred, gun ownership, protect yourself from your neighbor, keep the foreigners out, lock babies in cages. They have denied the Lord Jesus Christ to the point where there is no redemption for the hardest of the hard core. Does that mean individuals won't peel away? Yes. I appeal to my Christian brothers and sisters, rethink your support for a man that would dangle respirators over a governor who disagrees with him and turn back to the teachings of Jesus away from this man.

If they have ears to hear, let them hear.

Can you help us out?

For 18 years we have been exposing Washington lies and untangling media deceit, but now Facebook is drowning us in an ocean of right wing lies. Please give a one-time or recurring donation, or buy a year's subscription for an ad-free experience. Thank you.


We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Any comments that are sexist or in any other way deemed hateful by our staff will be deleted and constitute grounds for a ban from posting on the site. Please refer to our Terms of Service for information on our posting policy.