On January 20th, 2017, an event completely unprecedented in the history of the United States of America will take place in the nation's capital - a blatantly Christianized inauguration.
A man devoted to driving as many wedges as possible between the people of this country will be sworn into the highest office of the land. Following him to take up positions of inconceivable power is a "Who's Who" of the nation's worst possible representatives - those who preach "God's Word" to justify hatred, oppression, and dominion over their fellow citizens.
Donald Trump's coming reign - there's no other way to describe the term inhabited by a dictator - ushers in an era of evangelical bullying and enforced conformism hitherto unseen. He surrounds himself with harbingers of cruelty, who will soon gleefully inflict it on those marginalized and less fortunate than they, all in the name of the twisted, hateful, Dominionist version of the Christian god.
It became obvious which way the wind was blowing when Trump announced Jeff Sessions as his choice for attorney general. Sessions is closely allied with numerous hate groups, accepted an award from alt-right extremist David Horowitz in 2014 and is a strong advocate of an evangelical Dominionist theocracy. He claimed that only those who believe in truth are fit to lead, not secularists, ending with "as a nation, without God, there is no truth." Nine of Trump's cabinet picks identify as not just Christians, but "devout Christians" - because why just be for Jesus if you can be double Jesus, and thus superior to all others?
A cabinet stacked with anti-women, anti-Muslim, anti-people of color and anti-gay proponents of an American theocracy are just the tip of the iceberg. Trump is openly fawning over those from the ranks of the religious right, as evidenced by his inauguration lineup. After being turned down by multitudes of musical stars and having dozens of Rockettes refuse to participate, Trump's "victory event" is stacked with one reprehensible bile-spewing evangelist after another.
Christian evangelist and missionary Franklin Graham, who has been on the receiving end of censure from the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF, of which I am the Founder and President) will be practically doing a keynote crowing about how God made sure Trump was elected and how Christians need to take back America. Maybe he sees it as his political comeback after MRFF managed to get him blocked from speaking at a Pentagon prayer service and pushed back against the USAF's participation in his extremist fundamentalist "charity". Of course, it didn't slow him down - Graham continually vomits anti-Islamic and anti-LGBT sentiments, and supports halting all "Muslim immigration" into the U.S. completely, as well as using "weapons of mass destruction" to combat Islam, that "terrible, evil religion."
Trump's inaugural team also includes prosperity gospel televangelist Paula White, who believes (like Trump) that being rich is a sign of God's favor. White is also the chair of Trump's evangelical advisory board (yes, such a thing exists), and the only thing she loves more than other rich people is living in the Trump Tower and escaping penalties after being investigated by the Senate Finance Committee.
Other faith leaders scheduled to speak include Rev. Dr. Samuel Rodriguez of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, His Eminence Timothy Michael Cardinal Dolan, the Archbishop of New York, and Bishop Wayne T. Jackson of Great Faith Ministries International from Detroit. The only non-Christian scheduled is Rabbi Marvin Hier, Dean and Founder of the Simon Wiesenthal Center. No Muslim clergy will be speaking at all. Think about the profound ramifications of that for a moment.
The flavor of religious fervor being promoted is clear: evangelical Dominionist Christianity with the heavy taint of prosperity gospel. Trump won 81% of the hard right evangelical vote, and it would seem their support was well placed; under Trump, we can expect to see theocratic Dominionist precepts take hold with the stripping of rights and benefits from LGBT, women, Muslims and other non-Christians, and the poor - all in the name of Christian charity.
The New World Order begins January 20th, 2017. The Military Religious Freedom Foundation stands ever vigilant as the death knell tolls for religious and non-religious diversity in our U.S. military.
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