Some Protestants and American Catholics denounce the use of religion for political purposes. However, the Evangelical electoral base of the trump praised his actions, – the journalist writes Le Figaro Benedict Fiercely.
“The unexpected visit of Donald trump at the Episcopal Church of St. John in Washington on Monday evening, continues to cause controversy. Standing in front of the live cameras near the Church, which the day before was set on fire by protesters during riots after the death of the African-American George Floyd when arrested by the police, trump was waving a Bible, and then posed for photographers along with his Ministers of defence, justice and his chief of staff,” – said in the article.
“It was traumatic and deeply offensive in the sense that something sacred was given for the sake of a political position,” said Marianna Buda, Bishop of the Episcopal diocese of Washington on NPR.
“The political aspect of this gesture is easy to uncover: the presidential election of November 3 is fast approaching. And American evangelicals, and also the part of Protestants and conservative Catholics make up a powerful electoral base of Donald trump. In 2016, voted for it, 81% of evangelicals and 52% of Catholics,” the author notes.
“This communication operation aimed at conservative Catholic circles, which, together with the evangelists form the electoral basis of the trump”, – decode sociologist Philip Gonzalez, an expert on evangelicals and the author of the book “Let your Kingdom come. Evangelicals in search of absolute power.” This dramatization was probably prompted by Trump one of his numerous advisors from among the right-wing conservative Christians. This idea could even come directly from the Evangelical pastor Paula white, an influential adviser to the President on religious Affairs…,” suggests the journalist.
“Trump did not stop there. The next day, Tuesday, June 2, the President has continued the operation to bring conservative Catholics in the Church of St. John Paul II in northeastern Washington. The move has been criticized by U.S. Catholic bishops. “I find it incomprehensible and reprehensible that the Catholic Church allows so blatantly abused and manipulated, which violates our religious principles,” sharply said Washington Archbishop Wilton Gregory.
“A few hours earlier in his speech very warlike trump, who proclaimed “law and order”, urged the national guard to “keep the situation on the streets under control,” and condemned the riots as acts of “domestic terror.” And then added: “the killing of innocent people is a crime against humanity and against God,” thereby equating the riots to oppose the divine will,” – says Fiercely.
“The emergence of the Bible in the Church of St. John, also called the “Church of presidents,” has a not so small value, – notes the edition. “This dramatization aimed at the ideal of the Christian right, who believe that any government that governs us, but is established by God,” explains andré gagné, Professor at Concordia University in Montreal (Canada), a specialist in religious law in the United States.
Researcher and sociologist Philip Gonzalez even sees in this communication the operation of an implicit reference to Chapter 13 of the book of Romans the Holy Apostle Paul, where the latter says to the Christians: “let Every soul be subject unto the higher powers, for there is no authority except by God; the existing authorities are ordained of God”.
“Trump fully satisfies the requirements of the evangelists, adds Mokhtar Ben Barka, Professor of civilization in the United States and an expert on Evangelical Protestantism in the Polytechnic University of eau-de-France (UPHF). – They would like to see the law of the Republic inspired Word of God, that the Bible was the source of the law, and it is extremely dangerous because we risk descending into a theocracy, contrary to the American constitutional spirit.”
“So, a few months before the presidential election trump heats his Evangelical electoral base, which, as stressed by Mokhtar Ben Barka, “says the throne of God: in the media it is likened to almost of the Messiah from the old Testament”.
“According to andré gagné, the symbolism of the gesture of the American President can go even further: “trump is also positioning itself as a candidate, advocating freedom of religion: posing in front of the Church, which was damaged by arson, he said: “look, I’m willing to prevent other churches suffered the same fate.”
“How to explain the success of trump’s the significant portion of the American right-wing conservative Christians? – thinks of the author. “The attention of the Christian right in the United States – even before the issue of abortion, which they mobilized trump, initially focused on the issue of racial segregation,” – emphasizes the sociologist Philip Gonzalez, who cites a striking example: “Two years ago, the statement about racism in the Synod of the Evangelical Baptists of the South has caused much controversy. The separation between Baptists of South and North based on the interpretation of the abolition of slavery in the nineteenth century: that is, the history of related churches marked by the solution of the racial question.”