The evangelical Christian support of Trump has been a sore point for me, given my background in fundamentalist Christianity and a continued emphasis in personal faith. The evangelical trope, “The Lord has raised him up” to restore our country to greatness, (i.e. “Make America Great Again,”) has always been a really irksome bit of their rhetoric for me. But, I now can certainly accept the notion of “the Lord’s” hand in “raising him up” as he has brought to the surface the full extent of our collective and personal shadow. Here is a bit of wisdom from Francis Bacon (1561-1626) relevant to our collective unconsciousness’s intent in bringing this darkness to the light:
“We are much beholden to Machiavelli and others, that write what men do, and not what they ought to do . For it is not possible to join serpentine wisdom with the columbine innocency, except men know exactly all the conditions of the serpent; his baseness and going upon his belly, his volubility and lubricity, his envy and sting, and the rest; that is, all forms and natures of evil. For without this, virtue lieth open and unfenced. Nay, an honest man can do no good upon those that are wicked, to reclaim them, without the help of the knowledge of evil.”—Francis Bacon
This “knowledge of evil” is something we prefer to see in others, having a very human aversion to recognize that it lurks beneath the surface of us all. This is particularly difficult for persons of faith to accept, especially the Christian faith, as being a “person of faith” often convinces one that he has “seen the light” perfectly and has clear judgment. Trump has clearly shown all of us, even the whole world, just how impaired our judgment is; yes, even in the area of religion. W. H. Auden, in his narrative poem, “New Years Letter,” presents the, “Prince of Lies” as being a god-send as in spite of its evil intent, and often being necessary to, “push us into grace.” Trump is one of these opportunities for us if we could ever manage to pause that linear-thinking monstrosity of our collective Western thought and let it dawn upon us, in the words of Pogo, “Uh oh, we have met the enemy and he is us!” We could then be “pushed into Grace,” kicking and screaming every inch of the way.
Here is a list of my blogs. I invite you to check out the other two sometime.