Why does Donald Trump continue to deny climate change, despite the escalating evidence and drastic weather changes? There are two main reasons.
The obvious one is that his billionaire friends are heavily invested in polluting industries. Oil, gas, weapons, coal, nuclear, chemical, pharmaceutical companies and their main executives and investors support his presidency. He allies with nations with the same priorities- Russia, Saudi Arabia, now Brazil. By appointing officials who loosen environmental safeguards, and impede the transition to renewable energy, he pleases the donors who fund his campaigns and perks.
There is a deeper, more sinister reason that Trump is accelerating global warming. This must be addressed directly, if the headlong rush to extinction is to be stopped. We must confront the false Christianity of Trump supporters, and the pernicious pie-in-the-sky theology that keeps them in his camp. While fought in the political arena, this is a deeply spiritual battle.
The core of Trump's electoral based consists of evangelical "Bible-based" Christians. A large percentage of them believe that Trump is "Cyrus", God's tool for bringing about The Rapture, a sci-fi scenario popularized by the widely read "Left Behind" series. The "elect", the true believers, (Trump's followers) will be "raptured up", and the rest of us will be "left behind" to deal with the destruction of "the apocalypse". They don't care about the ecological havoc being wreaked by the Trump administration, even welcome it, as it will hasten the day (they believe) that Jesus will return and non-believers will be punished.
A recent film called The Trump Prophecy is being shown in many Bible-based churches. It not only wants you to believe that God approves of Donald Trump. It wants you to believe that submission to political authority and submission to God are one and the same. (Of course, under the US Constitution, political authority rests ultimately with We the People, and is only vested in elected officials.) In the film's theology, resisting the authority of a sitting president or, at least, this sitting president is conflated with resisting God himself. This may explain why his approval rating remains around 40%, no matter what he does.
This interpretation of certain Bible passages is outside of mainstream Christian theology, which relies on:
Deuteronomy 30:19 19 I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse; therefore choose life, that you and your descendants may live"
The Rapture Cult has been carefully fostered since the '70's by rightwing GOP think tanks such as the Hoover Institute, in order to bring about the current oligarchy. George Lakoff lays it out in detail in his book Don't Think of an Elephant! The strategy includes bringing right wing churches into the Republican Party, home schooling, submission of women. Their goals have been achieved- concentration of wealth, dumbing down of the population, unthinking obedience to authority in the form of a strong father figure.
The Rapture Cult has all the earmarks of a personality cult, similar to those around Stalin and Hitler. It rests on a fanatical set of beliefs, control of mass media, and a charismatic figure who preaches prejudice, hate, and persecution of minorities. Followers are uncritical of the leader, no matter what he says or does. The Rapture Cult actually seeks to destroy life on planet earth so that "the elect" can be "raptured up" .
Again, it must be understood that the battle to stop Trump is not just economic and political, it is deeply spiritual, between those who cherish life and seek to preserve it, and those who don't care if life is obliterated, because they believe in "a new heaven and a new earth". They ignore Deut. 30:19, in which the Biblical God tells us to choose life.
It cannot be emphasized enough that this is a spiritual battle. Trump opponents must bring the pernicious Rapture Cult into the light, and expose its deceptiveness, if we are to preserve life on earth. We must wrest the Bible from the clutches of those who misuse it, and show that the values we cherish- love of neighbor, truth and justice, dignity of all people, care of the poor and needy, reverence for life- are the true Biblical values. We must reclaim our spiritual heritage, as Martin Luther King, Jr. did.
We can't afford to wait until 2020 to discredit Trump and his followers. Impeachment now is imperative. Destruction of the future for our youth and all other creatures may not be Constitutional grounds for impeachment, but there are plenty of them contained in the Mueller report and Trump's stonewalling.
If Pelosi and the other "centrist" Democrats were made to understand the deeper implications of Trump's policies, they would not hesitate to bring impeachment charges. And with the revelations that impeachment hearings would bring about, the Republican Senate might come to its senses and vote for conviction.
Vice President Pence, who would succeed Trump, overtly professes belief the Rapture Cult. He would not have the following that Donald Trump has mustered. This deadly cult would be exposed for what it is, and life would have a chance to survive.