By John Grant
( for Thompson Bradley )
Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. [Matthew 7:15]
A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. [Matthew 7:18]
Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. [Matthew 22:39]
Over this past Christmas holiday, I did what I enjoy most about that time of year, I got together with family and friends to share camaraderie, food and drink. It even included a well-attended memorial for a dear deceased friend, an atheist and a socialist, who, as one speaker testified, was a profoundly spiritual man who devoted his life to fighting for the dignity of his fellow human beings. During all the cheer, though, there always comes a moment when the absurdity of the season settles upon me and I have to force myself to laugh just a little harder. This year was a doozy.
It wasn’t the usual deluge of cloying commercial nonsense that got me; long ago I’d accepted Stan Freiberg’s definition of Christmas as the time we celebrate the birth of the gross national product. What was so farcical this year was the insidious political context in which we were celebrating the birth of Christ. Of course, the Prince of Peace wasn’t actually born on December 25th. Some savvy person in ancient times decided not to rock the boat and chose to celebrate his birthday on the Winter Solstice, because that’s when pagans and pre-Christians naturally celebrated. The harvest was in and the community’s storage sheds were full of fresh food, so everyone was inclined to co-mingle with family and friends before they hunkered down to face the harsh winter ahead.
There’s nothing wrong with this; it’s smart change-oriented politics. For example, if George W. Bush had understood this realpolitik dynamic and had not swept away and totally replaced Saddam Hussein’s power structure his invasion/occupation might not have been one of the worst foreign policy debacles in modern times. As that beloved absurdist Kurt Vonnegut might say: So it goes.
A central folly of this Christmas season was evangelical Christian Franklin Graham, following an editorial in Christianity Today supporting the impeachment of Donald Trump, telling us how much he revered President Trump because he was strongman protecting the Christian religion from liberal assault. Graham conceded the man came up morally short and couldn’t pass muster under the scrutiny of Jesus Christ. But that didn’t matter. He also conceded Christianity Today had been founded by his father, Rev. Billy Graham. Nor did it seem to matter to Graham, the son, that Christ was a spiritual leader famous for exhibiting fury to the Trumpian plutocrats of his time by entering a temple and physically flipping over their tables devoted to (in Latin) emolumenta, and exclaiming:
It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves. [Matthew 21:13]
In a book titled Blessed Assurance: A History of Evangelicalism in America, Randall Balmer tells a story from early in father Billy Graham’s career how he “turned aside a friend’s challenge to attend Princeton Theological Seminary and become conversant with intellectual and theological issues.” Graham was not interested, Balmer writes, because “Populist evangelical theology in America, like populist politics, operates on pragmatism more often than it does on principle.”…
For the rest of this article by JOHN GRANT in ThisCantBeHappening!, the uncompromising, collectively run, six-time Project Censored Award-winning online alternative news site, please go to: https://thiscantbehappening.net/corrupting-jesus-to-trump-the-constitution/