FPI /November 17, 2019
2020 Democrat presidential candidates are taking their demonization of Americans who support President Trump to supernatural levels.
Former Obama administration Housing Secretary Julian Castro, Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), and South Bend, IN Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who is currently being billed as making a charge to the top tier of party contenders, are the first three Dem hopefuls to take part in a series titled The Soul of the Nation.
The Reverend Jim Wallis, president and founder of the progressive Christian Sojourners magazine, hosts the feature. Wallis was Barack Obama’s “spiritual adviser” during his time as president and a member of his faith advisory council. He has been making the media rounds of late as part of a book tour and to promote Soul of the Nation.
The message he is driving home: Trump is “operating in the spirit of Anti-Christ,” and those who back him are complicit in this Satanic agenda.
Wallis has been known as a verbal bomb-thrower for some time now but has upped his vitriol considerably in recent months by specifically targeting white Christian Trump voters as advocates of evil. An Oct. 21 tweet pulls no punches: “Donald Trump is leading the country into an American brand of fascism. And the majority of white Christians support him. That creates both a test of democracy and a test of faith, with the future of both in America now at stake.”
Christian conservatives are often accused of too closely wedding political opinion to religious belief, but the Trump presidency has led to a noticeable spike in Democrat messianic fever. Wallis has been a leading voice in this direction. “A merely political response to Donald Trump is not enough,” he told Publishers Weekly in an interview about his new book, Christ in Crisis: Why We Need to Reclaim Jesus. “We are now seeing things in our national politics antithetical to Jesus’s teachings.”
Wallis frequently resorts to shrill language to describe the president and those who back his policies. “Trump since entering political life has evoked, capitalized on, and fanned America’s worst demons — demons like racism, xenophobia, and misogyny,” Wallis told HuffPost on Sept. 30. “It’s hard to say how much anger was already there in his white evangelical supporters, who have felt for decades like their pride of place in American society and culture is being eroded or actively under assault, and how much anger is new and the result of Trump’s incitement.”
Embracing progressive social positions is a crucial way to “reclaim Jesus” from theses “demons,” according to Wallis. “Followers of Jesus Christ must understand that every person who walks this Earth possesses the image of God,” he says in a video posted by the leftist NowThisNews website. “For this reason, racism, sexism, and homophobia are an assault on that very image of God.”
Any opposition whatsoever to massive immigration into this country is similarly sinful. “Today Jesus would have been the one celebrating the Black Lives Matter movement, shoulder to shoulder with his neighbors, especially those who are immigrants or refugees,” Wallis preaches in the video
It’s not exactly breaking news that radical leftist religious figures are keen to cloak Christianity in progressive political talking points. What is striking is that prominent Democratic presidential candidates appear eager to publicly identify themselves with someone uttering such stridently hostile denunciations of Christian voters who happen to believe in things such as borders and traditional sexual mores. A post on the Sojourners website tagged as part of the Soul of the Nation series is explicitly titled “Anti-Christ Politics in the Trump Era.” “When presidential narcissism turns to blasphemy, it’s time to name that as #antiChrist,” the text reads. “And when we decide to study the gospels again and learn the politics of Jesus, it’s time to speak out and stand up for that by #ReclaimingJesus.” This is the very series that Booker, Buttigieg, and Castro have all chosen to be a part of. Former vice president Joe Biden is “interested in talking as well,” Wallis told Publishers Weekly.
Booker and Castro are long shots with perhaps nothing to lose, but Buttigieg’s participation is mystifying from a purely practical political point of view. Though every bit as left-leaning as most of his Dem rivals, Buttigieg has striven for the moderate lane, championing his “Midwestern” persona to position himself as what he would call a centrist progressive. So why in heaven’s name would he want to give even the appearance of helping to label the white religious flyover state voters he will surely need to win a general election as camp followers of the Anti-Christ?
There is nothing noteworthy about Buttigieg’s conversation with Wallis. It was filled with the usual vacuous platitudes about a sketchily defined “unity” that the aw-shucks mayor likes to summon up when edging towards the middle of the road. “I fear there has been an effort to recruit Jesus into one political party. God doesn’t belong to any political party in this country,” he said in a particularly limp quote that aptly conveys the lack of actual substance in the interview.
In the bigger picture, though, it makes for horrible political optics. If you really are a top-tier major-party presidential candidate cognizant of the necessity of attracting undecided voters in a general election, you simply do not tie yourself to radicals such as Wallis. Then again, there’s not much about this three-ring Blue Circus that has made any sense from the get-go. Why should things change now?