Donald Trump, oblivious to the solemnity of Viernes Santo, through his daily, television campaign rally (freely provided by the networks), wished the nation a “Happy Good Friday.”
Perhaps some, very right wing evangelicals, could spin those remarks, turning them into a perverted “thank you Jesus” for saving our souls? But a solid (30 percent) of “never Trump” evangelicals, also faithful, cringe with the rest of us, dismayed by Dr. Death’s weird non-grasp of the scriptures—or of his lack of empathy of peoples’ feelings at this time of Passover and Easter—and their fear of death by Coronavirus!
A surprise? Shouldn’t be. Dates back to the 2016 campaign, where Dr. Death let us know his take on the sacrament of Holy Communion: “I grab a glass of grape juice and a cracker, and I’m off!” Or who can forget his “Two Corinthians”? Again, right wing evangelicals have twisted things like that to “oh, look how cute, the early understanding of a baby Christian.”
Or, worse, some of the “leaders” of the right wing evangelicals praise Trump as a new “Cyrus,” a pagan-king whom – allegedly – God uses to either chastise or save his people. But, as Trump himself has said “the whole Bible is incredible” (meaning unbelievable? We may never know what he meant, as he doesn’t know much scripture—had no favorite verse and no opinion about Old vs New Testaments.)
And why “Dr. Death?” I ascribe this much-earned title to him, based on his wish for “packed churches by Easter!” (He was forced—by facts – to back off.) Now, maybe he’ll wish us a “happy to you who believe that dead guy rose?” Who knows what will come out of his mouth? Often, he gets a pass, just because he is President, regardless of whether he refuses to let the press question Dr. Fauci or not.
Trump claims ability and willingness to heed his medical experts but has stated “staying at home leads to death also.” Asked about “opening” the economy by May Day, he pointed to his head: “That’s my metrics.” There, unbelievers, THAT should comfort you (or not). So should Rush Limbaugh, to whom Trump awarded the Medal of Freedom, calling Dr. Fauci a “Clinton sympathizer.” (Tucker Carlson, joining the campaign to weaponize COVID19, on Fox, claims “Fauci has been wrong repeatedly.” So, there. You don’t just have to take Dr. Death’s word for it. You have those renowned medical experts, Limbaugh, Carlson (and Jerry Falwell), among others, to sooth you.
Ok, you don’t trust them, because they are just media figures (and a self-appointed religious leader, who kept Liberty University open, flouting the law, now being sued by the City of Lynchburg?) Then, add Attorney General Barr, who called guidelines on social distancing “Draconian!” See? Dr. Death has lots of loyal supporters. They join Trump in hoping—ASAP—to “declare victory,” and prepare for a “big celebration.” Trump’s ideas are not new; they fit old Malthusian ideas of using plague—or now the COVID19—to “cull” the population! This fake positivism (and higher valuation of money over people) is cold and dangerous and will lead to more death! It is pushed, despite proof of months lost federal mismanagement—poor preparation, confusing, contradictory messaging, false recommendations for “miracle” medicines, persistent shortages in supplies (Kevin Lipton, Kaitlin Colin, CNN, 11 Apr 20).
Yet, Easter/Passover has been and still will be a time of positive promise. Somehow, despite the the “right thing to do”—the social distancing—despite filling no church, synagogue, mosque or temple, we will rely on television, video, texting, calling, Facebook, Skype and other ways to worship, to connect with friends and fellow congregants. Our God—at least my God, if not Trump’s—would have us use our God-given minds and science, following the most credible sources and advice. We pray—with SECOND Corinthians (3:12-18) “… with that kind of hope to excite us, nothing holds us back.”
So, Holy Moley, (origin: Holy Moses), the veil is ripped back and we see Dr. Death and Company for what they are—charlatans, “Golden Calves” to be shunned. History will expose them. Now, we must work to clear out their past blasphemy, their dangerous advice, and to re-set our nation on a genuine, positive path toward renewal.
Editor’s Note: The main image accompanying the above guest column shows hHospital workers near a tent erected to test for the coronavirus cases at the Brooklyn Hospital Center. (Photo: Andrew Kelly/Reuters)