It’s time again for our annual review of the outrageous things we heard from the right over the past year. We’ll kick off this year’s series by looking at the religious right’s continued and deeply hypocritical embrace of President Donald Trump. Religious-right leaders talk about the president as if he were something of a savior, ordained by God to rule over us all. Question his authority? Take it up with God, they seem to say. And President Trump, of course, knows very well that conservative evangelicals are his political bread and butter.
“It wasn’t hacking. It wasn’t Wiki-leaky or whatever. It was God, in my opinion, and I believe his hand was at work, and I think he’s given Christians an opportunity.”
– Conservative evangelist Frankly Graham, giving his take on how Donald Trump found his way to the White House
“We believe God put Donald Trump in [the White House].”
– From an attendee at an anti-feminism demonstration in the nation’s capital
“In the case of North Korea, God has given Trump authority to take out Kim Jong Un.”
– Prominent religious-right leader and Dallas pastor Robert Jeffress, suggesting that President Trump can count on God’s support even in matters of war
“And as you know, we’re under siege. We will come out bigger and better and stronger than ever. You fought hard for me and now I’m fighting hard for all of you.”
– President Trump, speaking to conservative evangelical supporters and reveling in his alliance with the religious right
“I will get rid of and totally destroy the Johnson Amendment.”
– President Trump, pledging to do what the religious right has long wanted – allow churches to engage openly in partisan electoral politics while remaining, unlike everyone else, tax-exempt. Experts have warned that repealing the Johnson Amendment will also allow wealthy special interests to funnel campaign funds secretly through nonprofits.