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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 8/3/17

Trump, Religious Hypocrisy And The Bible Belt

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Hypocrisy and unmitigated stupidity are now front and center of the national narrative and discourse. America has become so "dumbed down" that ability to master just 140 characters is the level and measurement of civic engagement. We're now much more interested in selfies a la smartphones. How Kim Kardashian's ample derriere looks and whose baby is called some utterly unimaginable and insipid name, is the stuff of serious conversation nowadays. And we're all armchair generals and Monday morning quarterbacks ready and willing to peddle some spurious meme just to feel important. Reality TV, Twitter, Facebook and intellectual laziness define the modern modus operandi.

Our worldview is influenced and driven by a 24/7 news cycle packaging entertainment as news and living only for the next "5-day wonder." Ignorance is pervasive, endemic, and systemic where people, smarting from their irrelevance and nonentity, take to Facebook to berate, insult, and gin up more "likes," "shares" and conversation just to feel important. Its here that fakery rules supreme because of the anonymity that social media fosters, encourages, and allows. You can be a stupid jerk and nobody will know who you are and you can push all manner of falsehoods that do major damage and not be held accountable. Digital cowardice I call it.

How else can one comprehend the fact that a United States president whose Reality TV background is now on international display and whose poor choice of people to staff his administration keeps blowing up in this face? A blustering, babbling and blowhard named Anthony Scaramucci was recently fired after just 11 days on the job as Director of Communications at President Donald Trump's sniping White House. He thought that he could "out Trump, Trump" calling up a reporter and giving an obscene, unprofessional, ecpletive-laden, and silly rant that embarrassed the president, even in a White House now peddling alternative facts, and creating its own reality.

And as the news media salivate over this latest of Trump's woes, lost in the narrative are a series of developments that should give all Americans pause. First is the fact that the partisan divide between Republicans and Democrats is wider than at any time in United States history. Americans have now put "party and politics over people" in a stunning display of a herd mentality characterized by comparisons with dumb, driven cattle. Politics used to be about heated discussions and that Americans would eventually come together and put away their petty differences in difference to the common good.

Not so now. The schism is so wide that a marauding herd of wildebeests could rampage through it with no problems and it will take many years to bridge this gap -- if ever. Then there is fake news that is the logical conclusion of fake booties, breasts, hair and human remakes, tinkering and gender constructs to make your head spin. Its this pervasive fakery that is enjoined with today's rabid narcissism that is shaping and re-shaping all parts of the American society. Indeed, old-time, traditional American moral values are now out the door, especially religious ones.

Let's look at one of the most jaw-dropping developments of the 2016 United States presidential elections. A whopping eighty-one (81%) percent of white Southern evangelicals voted for Donald Trump . This religious base-vote literally rejected out of hand Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, even though she was way and above more experienced, qualified, and eminently fit to be President of the United States.

This group was a key factor in Trump's victory. So why did they go in such big numbers for a deeply flawed Republican candidate, one of the least fit individuals in American history to qualify for so high an office? Well, for starters the Bible Belt folks genuinely believe that a "man is the head of the household" and that women must "obey the man" he being superior to her because she was born of "Adam's rib." Such backward thinking still permeates Southern evangelical society. How can a North Eastern woman running for the President of the United States convince these God-fearing, pious Southern Christians that thunder and lightning are natural phenomenon and are not caused by the "Great Father God" living somewhere in the skies in a place called Heaven?

Nothing that Hillary Clinton could have said to people who think that women "wearing pants" is an abomination was going to convince those folks to vote for her. So when they voted for Donald Trump, those "good Christian hypocrites" deliberately set aside their values and principles in a crass display of party over people. It's the same thing in Congress today where Republicans, once vocal and critical of former President Barack Obama, are now silent over the daily "pappy show" and self-creating made-for-TV drama that's orchestrated by a flaky President Trump and continued on down to others in the West Wing.

These Bible Belt hypocrites conveniently buried their core religious and moral principles, perhaps held their self-righteous noses, since they knew full well about his treatment of women, his selfish business practices, his ridicule and disdain of the disabled, his scapegoating of vulnerable undocumented immigrants, his bogus "Trump University, " and much more. Thing is this racist meme and deliberate rejection of FACTS and Trump's record of arrogant self-aggrandizement and braggadocio should have turned off a group of people that every Sunday preach "blessed are the meek for they will inherit the earth." Their tepid and sheepish attack on Hillary Clinton and their embrace of contrived lies tell us a hell of a lot about their hypocrisy -- these are the people that would lynch Jesus Christ in a heartbeat from the nearest tree if he called out Donald Trump.

The fact is that these "God-fearing, Sunday School loving, Church going Christians," supported a man who boasted about groping women, by putting their economic concerns over Godly morality. So the galling truth is that they all knew his behavior was suspect and un-Christian but latched on to a stupid and obnoxious narrative about how his business experience was enough to make him a great president. This gullible group convinced themselves that Donald Trump and the Republican Party know how to create jobs and that he, somehow, would be the modern-day American St. George tipped to slay the un-Christian dragon threatening America's pure, white Christianity. How stupid can these people be? Here's a man who could scarcely remember or recite one Bible verse but is now the standard bearer of a delusional bunch of hypocrites clutching their Bibles and sanctimoniously proclaiming Trump's presidency as the coming of a fake Messiah.

I came very near to regurgitating when looking at the numbers and the fact that this group of Southern Christians voted enmasse for Trump -- a guy who is as far from church as I am, and who could care less about the Bible and its teachings -- and castigated, spurned and rejected a genuine churchgoer and one with a record of having a great relationship with the Bible. I have no respect for evangelicals who abandoned their core Christian foundation principles and embraced fakery and a charlatan who told them what they wanted to hear and who continues to have an adversarial and combative relationship with the truth. The term snake-oil salesman comes to mind.

But it's not only the religious hypocrites that help generate and promote this social fakery. It's the daily cable TV's escapism and the 24/7 entertainment as news cycle. Today, nobody bothers to research, to read and to think critically. There is Google. There is Facebook with its cabal of "Nescafe Journalists" -- those who hide behind their computers screens, secure in their homes, and anonymously peddle stupidity, made up facts in an alternative universe of preening, bragging, self-opinionated imbeciles now trolling the Internet as bonifide journalists. In this scenario Donald Trump rules supreme. He leads the way in ignorance, a disdain for genuine facts, and basks in a created and manufactured reality where facts and truth are what he says they are and where nobody matters -- but Trump.

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MICHAEL DERK ROBERTS Small Business Consultant, Editor, and Social Media & Communications Expert, New York Over the past 20 years I've been a top SMALL BUSINESS CONSULTANT and POLITICAL CAMPAIGN STRATEGIST in Brooklyn, New York, running (more...)

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