to brighten your day: ‘Post-Prayer Breakfast Depression’

It’s written by the brilliant word-smith JP Sotille, Feb. 7, 2020, newsvandal.com, who’s kindly given me permission to republish it.  Not having known about his first participation in this year’s National Prayer Breakfast, I dug out a video and transcript of Himself’s part in the production.

“Now that we’ve had time to digest the bitter theological hash Trump served-up at the National Prayer Breakfast, it is important to note that he is NOT an aberration. Rather, he is the logical conclusion of the rise of American Evangelical Christianity. That’s why they have embraced him like a vice grip, looking past his many apostasies to see the supernatural hand of God at work … and the celebrified personification of their predatory prosperity gospel in action. But his greed, his selfishness, his judgmental vitriol and his belief in his own divine right to anything and everything is not just an inheritance of recent vintage. It is the garish, grotesque end of an unbroken line of American Protestant theology that justified wholesale theft, bore false witness as it wantonly abrogated treaties and, ultimately, rubber-stamped the brutal ethnic cleansing of American Indians from their homes and their rightful place on this Earth.

It is the same theological tradition that justified slavery and rape and torture … and then embraced Jim Crow as part of God’s natural order. It is also the theology that said poverty was the sign of God’s deserved punishment and, at the same time, copious wealth was the obvious Sign Of Election™ to God’s Kingdom. And it is the theology of American Exceptionalism that fueled the messianic growth of American Empire around the world.

This theology had been in retreat over the course of the last hundred years. But Trump is its long-awaited savior. They thought it was going to be Reagan. It wasn’t. They hoped it would be Bush, but he bungled his divine right. Now they have their Holy Warrior … the perfect televangelical avatar of contemporary Christian hypocrisy and, at the same time, the predictable inheritor of a tradition that turned “the ends justify the means” into the gold-plated rule of a God who relishes the opportunity to punish those who transgress his chosen few … and rewards those who relentlessly gather riches unto themselves.

Perhaps that’s why they’ve elevated Trump to demi-god status. He is living proof that their version of the Lord not only rewards those who reward themselves at the expense of others, but his presence in the Oval Office and on the dais at the National Prayer Breakfast shows that they need not worry about their own sins and transgressions. Unlike Jesus, he hasn’t been sent to absolve them of their sins. Trump’s “Good News” is that absolution is for suckers.”

jp sottile
@newsvandal

I was raised by a pack of wild televisions

(my addition below)

(cross-posted from Café Babylon)

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Cassiodorus's picture

Rather, Trump is the logical outcome of their sacrifice of any sort of moral principles they might have claimed to have for whatever political goals they actually have. They've done this before -- remember that Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson were best buds with Efrain Rios-Montt...

The Saudi fellow next to Trump and Christopher-Lee-as-Saruman reminds me of the Church of Petr-O-Leum that one can read in Maddaddam, the last novel of Margaret Atwood's Maddaddam trilogy. Atwood imagined fundamentalism to take on a specifically ecological character in the future, with the Church of Petr-O-Leum worshiping fossil fuels as headed by "The Rev," and "The Rev"'s two sons Zeb and Adam heading breakaway organizations, Zeb of an eco-terrorist organization called Maddaddam and Adam an eco-pacifist cult called "God's Gardeners."

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"The future is inside us/ It's not somewhere else." -- Radiohead

wendy davis's picture

@Cassiodorus

miz attwood was channeling edward abbey in that volume. : ) but lest we frget, both Mikes Pence and Pompeo subscribe to Rapture theology, so very dangerous to foreign policy, "who cares about nuclear war? the laird will beam me up."

sorry to be MIA for so long. i mooked up my right knee somehow yesterday afternoon, and it's seriously knocked the stuffing outta me.

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Cassiodorus's picture

@wendy davis as a species of "what if" speculative fiction. The "what if" in Atwood's case here is "what if the human race turned out to be an ecological disaster?" In Atwood's future, genetic engineering has produced some rather bizarre animals -- pigoons, for instance, pigs bred to grow human replacement body parts, or rakunks, cute little raccoon-skunk combos. Earth's ecosystems have deteriorated significantly. Big business consists of creating diseases and then making money off of the cures. Two unnoticed items of business as usual, the two central acts of all three novels, are 1) the creation of a pandemic to wipe out the human race and 2) the creation of a genetically-engineered human race to replace the old one. I don't think Edward Abbey "went there" in the ways in which Margaret Atwood "goes there."

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"The future is inside us/ It's not somewhere else." -- Radiohead

wendy davis's picture

@Cassiodorus

but that's not what i'd been responding to, of course. but i'll add this:

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Cassiodorus's picture

@wendy davis The Donald definitely speaks to some major forces of capital accumulation, that's for sure.

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"The future is inside us/ It's not somewhere else." -- Radiohead

wendy davis's picture

@Cassiodorus

the Church of Petr-O-Leum, is all. and some of the rest miz "wanna bet?" had 'imagined' is, of course crspr gene technology, frankenfish (on the shelves already), and so on.

big bad billionaire gates is neck deep in it all, including using africans for guinea pigs on his designer meds, birth control devices, and vaccines. now porton down (UK) was just given a shitload of money to find a vaccine against coronovoviurs (what could go wrong, lol?).

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to this country. Obama went to those breakfasts too and one year he stated that he was there "representing the American people".

If it isn't the evangelicals and right wing catholics who are boldly taking down the wall of separation of church and state, it is also the liberal protestants and catholics who are enabling them.

If you read The family by Jeff Sharlet, you will find out all you need to know about that breakfast.

Trump is doing nothing more than running with the keys left on the table by the Democrats. I could go on and on with the evidence that Democrats dragged Christianity into the White House and the Oval office too, but it would take too long. Here is a good book to start with.

https://www.amazon.com/One-Nation-Under-God-Corporate/dp/1501238213

This is an example of why I get infuriated with the Left. They so often complain bitterly when the Right does the same shit the Left is guilty of also doing.

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"Without the right to offend, freedom of speech does not exist." Taslima Nasrin

wendy davis's picture

@Fishtroller 02

'the family', and i vaguely remember hillary clinton in that mix. obomba was the first i'd seen actually funnel taxpayer dollars into christian charities with the excuse that ''the infrastructure was already in place. he was also a member of rev. "goddam amerika!" wright's church until he threw him under the bus later...

don't quote me on this, but at the behest of billionaire gates, he and rahm also shut down a hella lot 'failing schools' and created charter schools in those publicly-owned buildings for $1 a year or something. how many were chritianist charter schools? i dunno.

but i will say that trump is runnin' the table with fundies, including erik prince's sis calvinist betsy devos as scty. of amerikan mis-education. now this is from 2017, but 'Betsy DeVos: a terrifying confluence of Church, State, Kleptocracy, & the Unbearable Whiteness of Being', May 19, 2017 café babylon

It's overly replete with devos quotes, a number via nancy hanover at wsws.org, including:

Her hyperlink above goes to her Dec. 13, 2016 ‘Betsy DeVos: Religion and profit in the war on public education—Part 1’. For me, it was a hair-raising exposé. After noting that DeVos’s husband Rich/Dick (alternately; no pun
really intended) is the eldest scion of the pyramid sales dynasty Amway Corporation, and that she’s stated that her aim is in displacing public schools from the center of communities, so that the Church can resume its rightful role.

Oh, and Hanover says that Herr Trump’s first choice for Secretary of Education was reportedly Moral Majority co-founder Jerry Falwell, Jr., head of Liberty U. Also noteworthy is pro-charter Arne Duncan’s praise of Detroit as ‘education reform ground zero’ largely as the result of the DeVos family’s ‘spadework’ at their home base in Michigan, and that:

“Michigan now boasts the greatest proportion of charter schools run by a for-profit management organization of any state, 80 percent. Moreover, over half of Detroit students attend charter schools, the second highest percentage of any major school district. Two separate year-long studies of charter schools revealed that more than a billion dollars in Michigan has been spent with almost no oversight, including the funding of “ghost schools” that never opened.”

but if i'm reading your correctly, you seem to be comparing the 'left' and 'right' as: Ds and Rs. if so, i don't see the D team as Left.

but of course there's a #NationalPrayerBreakfast on twitter, and right on top is fascist franklin graham, who's an order of magnitude beyond rev. billy, imo. shucks' jeff sharlet may be down thread somewhere.

but yes, of course it was christians who'd colonized turtle island, all in the name of 'our manifest destiny decreed by God' to tame the godless savages, now reaching further into bolivia, VZ, and cuba. in bolivia, the coup leader janine anez even admitted it...publicly!
and note how euro-pale-faced guaido supporters are, not those darker hued indigenous folks. and boy, howdy, is anez arresting any MAS supporters ahead of the may elections.

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@wendy davis

the halls of government quietly and usually under the radar screen.

The Republicans just opened the front door.

Anyone who has worked in the arena of the issues of church/state/theocracy for as many years as I have knew all these names that we now see in the headlines. Their goal has always been to slide into power and Trump was the perfect foil.

But so were Obama and Clinton...

http://content.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1650798,00.html

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Billy_Graham_and_Bill_Clinton.jpg
https://www.cbsnews.com/pictures/photo-highlights-from-obamas-presidency...

6th photo down...https://www.insidehook.com/article/art/best-photos-white-house-photograp...

http://cal-catholic.com/nancy-pelosi-tells-us-what-pope-francis-wants-us...

https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/pastor-president-obamas-spiritual-adviso...

https://clyburn.house.gov/press-release/mission-democratic-faith-working...

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"Without the right to offend, freedom of speech does not exist." Taslima Nasrin

wendy davis's picture

@Fishtroller 02

lengthy diligence. i'd scanned rolling stone's coverage of jeff sharlet's netflix documentries and see that he's posited the same, although many, many R figures were mentioned along the way.

but iirc, he'd mentioned 'trump opened the door' as well. the butina stuff? i dunno, i reckon she was railroaded, myownself, but that's neither here nor there.

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@wendy davis

https://www.c-span.org/video/?c4853033/user-clip-pelosi-hypocrite

Pelosi and many other Dems attended the Prayer Breakfast.

This is why we are losing the battle to keep religion and government separate.

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"Without the right to offend, freedom of speech does not exist." Taslima Nasrin

wendy davis's picture

@Fishtroller 02

on the NPB hashtag, sigh. thanks for the Trinity clip in aid of Freedom!!!

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