Tony Norman: The gospel according to Donald Trump

On Thursday, former FBI Director James Comey testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee and said out loud what a majority of Americans concluded a long time ago — that President Donald J. Trump is a liar.

Mr. Comey did not resort to euphemisms when he accused the president of defaming him and the bureau he once led. At that moment, Mr. Trump was at the Faith and Freedom Coalition conference across town, basking in applause.

“We will always support our evangelical community and defend your right and the right of all Americans to follow and to live by their teachings of their faith,”

.. It was a fascinating morning of contrasts. While Mr. Trump swore to protect American Christendom from the forces of secularism (i.e, the Democrats), Mr. Comey told a riveted audience on Capitol Hill about Mr. Trump’s attempts to extract a loyalty oath over dinner at the White House.

.. a figure of either utter mendacity or incompetence, depending on one’s ideological bias.

But across town, the righteous surrounded Mr. Trump with a cloud of hosannas and affirmation. “In my first 100 days,” Mr. Trump told the adoring audience, “I don’t think anybody has ever done more or certainly not much more [as president].”

.. Donald Trump learned a long time ago that he can get away with saying demonstrably false things to his core supporters with little fear of paying a price. As the cliche goes, his people take him seriously — not literally. He may be a liar, but he’s their liar.

.. In the universe that I come from, Christians would rather have been fed to the lions than to have been allied with a vulgarian like Donald Trump. In this simulated universe, the American faction of Christianity appears to worship a Jesus that has contempt for the poor, hates refugees and embraces militarism. Here, Jesus blesses wealth and power and those who seek it relentlessly.

.. In the universe I originally came from, evangelicals would’ve gone nuts at the sight of Donald Trump and several Arab despots meeting in Saudi Arabia a few weeks ago, putting their hands on a mystical orb in a darkened room as if sealing an Antichrist-level deal to divvy up the world.


In this universe, Christians are the opposite of the weak and sentimental fools Friedrich Nietzsche complained about. Here, Nietzsche’s “will to power” is exemplified by America’s dominant religion. The beatitudes have been turned upside down and inside out to accommodate the new American spirit — the gospel according to Donald Trump.