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Quote of the Day: Jared Yates Sexton Explains President Trump’s Bible Stunt

trump holding bible

I’m going to provide some history of Neo-Confederate, white-identity, apocalyptic evangelicalism, what I call the Cult of the Shining City.

This is who Donald Trump was messaging yesterday with his bible stunt.

For starters, the Cult of the Shining City is not an organized group. The members, most of them, believe they’re just evangelicals. There are members with power who use them and manipulate them.

But there are millions of them, and they worship Donald Trump like a messiah.

None of this is tin-foil hat stuff. It’s not about smoky rooms. It’s the hidden history of how America’s Right has been coopted into an apocalyptic fantasy that currently threatens our safety and the safety of the world.

This is history, not conjecture. It’s how we got here.

Trump’s photo-op yesterday seemed bizarre to everyone but people who grew up in white-identity, apocalyptic evangelicalism.

This was a choreographed messaged that Trump is engaging in a holy battle on behalf of God and Christians, but also a possible call to violence.

Not every Cult of the Shining City member believes Trump is a messiah, but almost all believe he is a holy man fighting on their behalf.

The beliefs vary, but it is an apocalyptic cult that Trump has used to build his base.

To begin, we have to start with the Confederate States of America. Secession was done, in part, based on the belief that the North had violated God’s racist commandments.

They believed in “an Almighty God” who crowned white people as his champions on Earth.

The Confederate States of America was an explicitly Christian nation, in definition and practice. The society was built upon the idea that God was a white supremacist being who ordered whites to enslave lesser people.

White supremacist Christianity was the CSA’s reality.

Confederate preachers like Benjamin M Palmer warned of “perilous atheists” in the North who sought to betray the racist God’s white supremacy religion.

They preached that slavery and white supremacy were ordained by God and that the North was becoming devilish.

….

Jefferson Davis and other Confederate leaders blamed the people’s lack of faith in the racist God for their defeats, ordering days of humiliation and fasting in order to get right.

Failure was seen as God’s fury for disbelief in his white supremacist orders.

When the Civil War ended, it was seen as a reunification of culture, but the Confederate Christianity didn’t just go away. Southern preachers continued preaching that God was a white supremacist and that blacks were to be subjugated and enslaved.

It stills exists now.

One of the Southern preachers who believed in God-ordained white supremacy was Jerry Falwell, whose ministry held segregation as a Godly decree and any attempt toward equality the work of Satan.

Falwell called segregation a “line drawn by God” and warned that any attempt to desegregate or dismantle white supremacy was the work of the Devil and would draw God’s anger.

Like Confederate preachers of old.

Civil Rights protests gained the attention of Confederate Christians like Falwell, who charged that protestors were doing Satan’s work and were being “manipulated” by outside forces, including Communists and anarchists. It was a charge of spiritual war.

Despite popular history claiming Martin Luther King was beloved, he was treated like a satanic antichrist, using Christianity for nefarious purposes people like Falwell and segregationists claimed were Communist and devilish purposes.

Falwell aired his suspicions about MLK and disputed his social justice interpretation of the Bible.

To counteract, Falwell and others actively moved their faith toward hidden white supremacy through ideas of power and economic success.

All tenets of white supremacy.

The new Evangelical Right was white supremacist and Neo-Confederate in nature, but hid that prejudice behind the idea of morality and achieving success through the economic world.

Christianity was about power and profit. Fascistic pursuits behind a smiling veneer.

….

The Deep State conspiracy theory/Qanon is just New World Order, apocalyptic, Cult of the Shining City paranoia

All of it centers around white supremacy, Confederate philosophy, being challenged by evil conspiracies of Jewish interference, traitors, and minority manipulation.

In this fever dream, paranoid reality, Trump is a holy warrior, the last stand against a New World Order coup and the triumph of Satan over God in the holy country of America.

He has played this role to full effect and has been embraced as a faulty messiah.

….

Trump’s posing with the Bible yesterday was a signal that he is the holy warrior, the “chosen one” that many have called him. It’s to prepare the Cult of the Shining City followers for what they’ll see as a holy war of America, God’s chosen nation, against Satan’s forces.

Jared Yates Sexton, The Muckrake, author of the book AMERICAN RULE: HOW A NATION CONQUERED THE WORLD BUT FAILED ITS PEOPLE

9 Comments

  1. Avatar
    BJW

    I thought it was bad, this confirms what I’ve read and observed but Mr. Sexton coherently points out the racist nature of Southern white Christianity. I had read an article somewhere that put it like this: that the Civil War never really ended, and the North (as in, non-racist America) is currently losing in this iteration.

  2. Avatar
    Troy

    That MIGHT be a small segment of the Republican base, but for the most part it is a reminder to evangelicals that Trump is their guy–and he’s produced. Many Christians have grown accustomed to having their religion given a lot of privileges from ceremonial deism to tax breaks. They see the barbarians at the gate and no doubt Trump’s Bible stunt must give a bit of comfort, no matter how shallow the gesture.

  3. Avatar
    ObstacleChick

    I grew up in Tennessee, and I can confirm that to many white Southerners, the civil war didn’t end. There’s a lot of subtle and overt racism, hatred of Northerners (and there’s been a large influx of Northerners to the South in recent decades), and the more rural you are the more distrust you have of higher education, Northerners, outside influences, migrant workers, etc. Evangelical churches are a haven from all that, a confirmation that their God approved of their distrust of these groups. Confederate flags fly large and proud as symbols of “our heritage”. Yates is not off the mark.

  4. Avatar
    dale m

    And I’m considered “extreme” in my views?

    I have said this B 4, the Confederacy was never destroyed, never dismantled. It was simply subdued. At the termination of WW 2, most top Nazis were executed, swiftly and efficiently. Then, their underlings, all higher echelon nazis (10,000 of them) were given a free pass to the USA under “Operation Paper Clip”. These “humanoids” found friends in American neo-Nazi and neo-Confederate organizations.

    I advocated complete destruction of their cesspools where they congregate and the construction of secular schools 4 their children. This would not B an option. Your Democratic Party is not going to save anyone from an eventual take over by a Republican theocracy. They will B dragged down into the Republican whirlwind straight into the cesspool along with everyone else.

    The longer U wait, the more violent it will become to turn the tide. It seems that the Democrats take freedom way too lightly. They remind me of the Party that weakly led Germany prior to 1933. Have Americans gone blind to history? Or is it simply no longer taught?

    U may tell me to keep my nose out of America’s business but I’m a Canadian on the other side of the 49th Parallel. The violence WILL flow over to our side and perhaps the 49th will someday B erased.

    When the Confederacy was at the height of its power during the war of succession, Canada made its move and sent some 40 divisions of infantry “volunteers” across the 49th. That was some 40,000 troops to buff up Union forces. Why? Because if the Confederacy won, we would B next to feel their “Christian Liberation”. Our forces back then brought their own weapons but no uniforms (we were, after all, “volunteers”). Surprised?

    During that nasty war in ‘nam, about 4,000 Canadian “volunteers” joined American forces against the Communists. That didn’t end so well, unfortunately. Again. Probably not taught in American history either.

    So. Don’t make us come back down there ……

  5. Avatar
    Sharon Drosehn

    When I look at the picture of Trump holding up a Bible, it just makes me laugh. It’s a ridiculous combination!

    • Avatar
      dale M

      Nay. nay. Sharon Drosehn. Why is it ridiculous? Silly? The entire Book is pretentious! It’s a perfect fit! Evangelicals R still pursuing a 34th section to the holy Book … “The Book of Trump”. It is Man-inspired. What’s the problem? No god is approving it. What’s the fuss? It’s their Book. He knows that sooner or later, he will B in that Book. Unless U give tremendous credence to that Book, enjoy the show.

  6. Avatar
    dale M

    I have one for U Bruce Gerencser. It is a bit serious that I ask U this. Do U personally think that the U.S.A. needs a total REBOOT ? That the Constitution itself is not strong enough to survive what’s coming ?

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