In a column for the Religion News Service, religion writer Jacob Lupfer suggested that Christian evangelical leaders are doing their followers a disservice by not speaking out against Michael Flynn's attempt to hijack their religion in the service of Donald Trump and his own pocketbook.
Lupfer, who has written about the intersection between politics and religion for years, claims the evangelical community should be outraged by Flynn's Christian Nationalist "ReAwaken America" roadshow that is touring the country and selling tickets for as much a $250 for what he called a "clown-show."
Writing, "ReAwaken America completes the takeover of Christian hearts and minds by co-opting worship for the purpose of FOX-ifying it," Lupfer ticked off the cast of characters who appear before the crowds, writing of the rally he attended, "The clown-show cast in Pennsylvania included amoral Trump-ally Roger Stone, discredited former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, incessantly obnoxious and overtly anti-Catholic Tennessee Pastor Greg Locke, Eric Trump and Trump-boosting pillow entrepreneur Mike Lindell."
According to the columnist the rally began included a prayer that pleaded, "Father God, we’re asking you to open the eyes of President Trump’s understanding that … he will know how to implement divine intervention, that you will surround him with none of this Deep State trash, none of this RINO trash … in the name of Jesus.”
"The events are both bizarre and popular enough to pose a question ever relevant to our national discourse about religion and politics and especially important to conservative Christians: Has the white evangelical church’s association with Republican politics been good or bad for Christianity?" he then wrote.
That, in turn, led him to suggest why Christian leaders are balking at calling the religious usurpation out.
"These trusted leaders may not be speaking out against bottom-feeder Trump hangers-on because they are so kneecapped by Trumpist donors, directors and trustees that they cannot bring themselves to oppose what is patently wrong," he wrote. "Perhaps they are so ensnared in their own complicity in creating MAGA power that they can no longer find their way out. But the effect of their response to ReAwaken America, or lack of one, allows us only to assume that they support the project."
Writing, "My fear is that ReAwaken America’s headliners are forming the consciences and affecting the spiritual formation of people who once actually did fear God and love this country. We’ve seen in the past two decades how paranoid ideas about world governments and the like have replaced helping neighbors and discipling new believers as Christian actions," he warned there may be longterm repercussions if religious leaders don't step up.
"The worst effect of evangelicals’ silence is that bad actors have learned that legitimate Christian leaders and organizations will do nothing to stop them," he stated. "If election lies and the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot failed to inspire responsible evangelicals to question their allegiances to political masters or to actual religious nationalism, then MAGA activists have no reason to think they can’t continue to trade souls for votes with impunity."
You can read more here.