“The Lord has raised him up!” Some conservatives made this argument for Trump and I’m beginning to believe they were right, but not in the way they had in mind. Conservatives have the very important responsibility for emphasizing boundaries and restraint in any tribe but when that emphasis becomes extreme, “balance” will be forthcoming from “the gods.” Now they have Donald Trump who is the poster child for poor boundarys and he is putting fundamental “proprieties” of our country in jeopardy, best illustrated with this egregious connection with Russia. Conservatives are being “hoisted on their own petard.” Lord help us. (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/flynn-held-multiple-calls-with-russian-envoy_us_58792072e4b09281d0eaaaf1?y4gb5h6z14c7rjm7vi)
Conservatives in America are facing a “come to Jesus moment” as is our entire country. A “Come to Jesus meeting” is a popular expression of a moment when truth is becoming impossible to hide from, when truth is even about to “bitch slap” somebody. And like all humans, Conservatives are averse to this invasion of reality and are doing everything in their power to undermine Truth’s insidious, persistent effort to “out” them. “Human kind cannot bear very much reality.” (T. S. Eliot)
But a “Come to Jesus” moment is also relevant to Christians as it is to all spiritual traditions from time to time. But for evangelical Christians in particular, who have hitched their wagon to Trump, this poses a real problem as in their mind set they have no need to “come to Jesus” because He is already leading them and in fact has led them to back Trump to “Make America Great Again.” In their mind, there is no need to “come to Jesus” for they already have Him and under his leadership one can make no mistakes.
But this naive belief of evangelicals deserves the scrutiny of meta cognition, alluded to by the Apostle Paul when he told them that the Spirit of God should be allowed to penetrate into the hidden recesses of the heart and is a “discerner of the thoughts and intents the heart.” Being a Christian does not give one a perfect perspective as it does not eradicate what Paul called the “old man” or “the flesh.” The Spirit of God, if it is allowed to daunt the tyranny of the ego, can show an individual just how much spiritual impulses are subject to hijacking by this aforementioned “flesh.” Speaking from experience, it is stunning to suddenly realize just how much one’s spirituality has been “all about me” and in fact has little or nothing to do with spirituality, or in this context, with “God” or “Jesus.” It is just because we never escape our basic malady of being “human” with an innate tendency to twist everything about life in a self-serving manner. This always give rise to what Sartre called “bad faith” and then offers the popular press and stand-up comedians plenty of material to ridicule any spiritual enterprise. The resulting criticism is often over the top but the tenor of it is well deserved.
Yes, Donald Trump is a god-send but “god-sends” are often painful as they are an assault on the tyranny of this ego and the experience is crushing. Disillusionment is so painful that we will use any self-deception to avoid this moment described by Aeschylus as “the awful grace of God.” Or as W. H. Auden worded it, “When Truth met him, and held out her hand, he clung in panic to his tall belief and shrank away like an ill-treated child.” The evangelical leadership is particularly vulnerable here as if they allow reality to set in, as it must be doing by now, they might have to do the very thing that Donald Trump cannot do, admit that, “I made a mistake.”