According to Tony Perkins, the head of the Family Research Council, Donald Trump gets a mulligan for his indiscretions with adult film star Stormy “My Parents Didn’t Name Me ‘Stormy Daniels’” Daniels.
Fun fact: that might be the first time in history a person’s nickname required both single and double quotation marks. You need to understand, I’m an innovator. That’s why they need to stop calling me Rickey “No One Calls Me ‘Innovator’” Dobbs.
Who’s “they,” you ask? Do the words, “secret society,” mean anything to you?! Get woke, friends. And shook. And other words in the wrong tense for some reason.
Way back in ancient times—2006—societal norms were utterly different than they are today. It was a time when a 59-year-old man could keep trading in his wives for new models (literally) without remorse or public scrutiny.
It was an era when modern impediments to carousing like “I’m married,” or “I have a 4-month-old son at home,” or “I’m terribly afraid of sharks,” wouldn’t slow a randy middle-aged frozen steak tycoon from grabbing his prey. It’s just the way it was back then, and to judge a man by today’s standards is patently unfair.
By the standards of the day, the thrice-married Trump was just doing what thrice-married dudes did back then: opportunistically shtupping porn stars while his fifth child by a third different woman was learning to sit up and hold his own bottle.
It might sound terribly unethical, cruelly self-centered, and even unforgiveable to your modern ears, but that’s because you aren’t a Christian evangelical leader. If you were a Christian evangelical leader, you’d understand that this is a great opportunity to demonstrate Christ’s commandment to forgive.
Sure, Trump didn’t ask for forgiveness in the “traditional” way, like by using “words” or “actions” or “wildly frenetic scattershot thoughts similar to those of a third grader on cocaine.”
And sure, he paid Ms. Daniels $130,000 from his campaign funds to keep quiet about her previous explorations of Trump’s tower.
And of course, Mr. Trump and his surrogates derided Hillary Clinton constantly for her forgiveness of Bill’s “direct oversight” of White House interns (get it? Like he was directly over…aw come on, you get it). Oh, and they used her forgiveness to implicate her in evils ranging from killing Vince Foster to running a child sex trafficking ring from a pizza shop.
And yeah, Donnie routinely announced Barack Obama’s calm, measured, “when they go low, we go high,” ethos as mere cowardice unworthy of an American leader. Did you know that Obama doesn’t even have truck nutz hanging from his back bumper? What a pussy.
Now, it may seem to the average person that a man who has who has constantly violated every woman norm in his path has no interest in suddenly seeking forgiveness. People who deem themselves “successful” generally attribute their success to their own way of being.
Stated differently, successful assholes are quick to assume that “being an asshole” is the key to success. If you’ve been a womanizing, double-dealing, pathologically lying asshole for 71 years, but you’ve made a lot of money being that way—and now you’ve been elected President by being that way—why would anyone assume you’d genuinely seek forgiveness?
And why would evangelical preachers try to sell millions of their religion’s adherents to such illogical nonsense?
Why would preachers like Tony Perkins impute to The Donald a request for forgiveness?
The answer is simple: they’re total fucking assholes it’s hard for humans to participate in knowing, blatant cognitive dissonance. It’s hard for humans to simultaneously hold two conflicting thoughts in their fabulously complex combed-over heads.
Now, I know what you’re thinking: Christians and Republicans are notorious for swimming in cognitive dissonance! They’re anti-abortion AND anti-welfare. They are pro-death penalty AND anti-right to die. They’re anti-LGBTQ AND they routinely get caught appropriating their omnibus packages into same-sex stopgaps down at the airport bathroom.
Therein lies the rub. No, besides the rub at the airport bathroom. I mean the “the rub” in the Hamletian sense.
Christians and Republicans avoid the cognitive dissonance problem by rationalizing conflicting thoughts into peacefully coexisting ones.
It’s okay to believe abortion should be illegal if you also believe the majority of those seeking abortions are others doing so for immoral, unethical, shortsighted reasons. And when your own daughter gets knocked up at 15…well that’s different, because she’s a good girl, she’s just not ready and Jesus will forgive her, and we’ll never speak of this again.
It’s okay to deny terminal patients the right to choose a death with dignity if you believe the Good Lord has a plan for everyone, and it’s not their place to play God. And when you sign a Do Not Resuscitate order for your comatose Granddad because “that’s what he would have wanted,” when you elect to stop chemo and live out your days at home, and when your son’s mental illness ends in his express trip from the Golden Gate Bridge to the San Francisco Bay, don’t worry. That was all part of the Good Lord’s plan, you’ll all be together in Heaven. As for those other folks trying to take the easy way out, they need to be patient in the Lord.
And it might just be okay to tout “family values” while the leader of your pays hush money to porn stars if you believe he’s ordained by God to bring about the changes you believe God wants.
But God chose a worldly, unrepentant, objectively terrible human being? How? Why? Why not choose someone pure of heart with a huge following, like Ellen, for example?
Tony Perkins knows the linchpin of accepting that lies in a uniquely American, Christian doctrine: anyone who asks for forgiveness, no matter the sin, no matter how late, is granted forgiveness and goes to Heaven.
In other words, it’s okay that Donald “Dionysus” Trump spent 71 years dancing in a veritable golden shower of sin. It’s cool that he has lived—and continues to live—a life wholly antithetical to the teachings of Jesus. It’s fine that he paid for and enjoyed some quality adult time (watching Shark Week, inter alia) with a quality adult film star.
It seems like all of that would be a problem, but it’s not because Donald asked for forgiveness (according to the good reverend) and thus, Donald gets a mulligan. And since Mayor McCheese is forgiven, his blatantly secular and un-Christian shenanigans up to that point do not count against him. He’s now a man of God. He’s a flawed man, but he’s a chosen man, sent to do the work of the Lord.
Plus, he’s not Black, Latino, Asian, Muslim, Jewish, female, or gay, so he’s got all of that going for him, which is nice.
Cognitive dissonance solved!
And let the Church say, “Amen.”
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