Overshadowed by the superficial media circus focused on Chris Christie’s endorsement of Trump at today’s rally in Fort Worth, Texas, the media missed an extremely alarming part of Donald Trump’s aimless and convoluted monologue. He took his pandering to evangelicals and religious extremists across the country to a new height by proposing to end the law that bans the participation of churches in American politics and to establish “the strongest Christian lobby” (as if the Republican Party isn’t one already), once again demonstrating a flagrant disregard for the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. It cements his campaign as a political movement tailored only to white Christians, callously disregarding all the millions of Americans who don’t fit into that demographic and wish to live their lives free of the moral judgement and puritanical rules of the religious extremists who now dominate the Republican Party.
At the rally, Trump brought out Pastor Robert Jeffers, who endorsed Trump and lauded his “pro-life” credibility (despite his long history of being pro-choice prior to this election). Jeffers, who happens to believe that the Pope is the “anti-Christ,” complained to Trump about the inability of churches to endorse candidates without losing their tax exemptions – which Trump immediately said that he would change, implying that they would be allowed into politics while keeping their tax exempt status. Tax-exempt churches make a jaw-dropping $82 billion dollars a year, which is often used by hypocritical pastors to finance lavish lifestyles for themselves. Allowing churches into politics without losing their tax exemption would simply be pouring even more dark money into politics – not to mention an outrageous violation of the Constitution, which would almost certainly be an impeachable offense.
It is extremely alarming how much power that Christian religious extremists have in this country. They are relentlessly pushing a puritanical agenda that the Taliban would find acceptable down the throats of the rest of secular America – defiling the values of religious pluralism and secular governance that the Founding Fathers they claim to love so dearly laid down as the foundation of our nation.
Trump proposes to end the prohibition on churches participating in politics. “We need a “Christian lobby”.
— digby (@digby56) February 26, 2016
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Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.