Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Fwd: [pilgrim-place-residents] Fwd: Trump Wants You to Buy the "God Bless the USA" Bible

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Subject: [pilgrim-place-residents] Fwd: Trump Wants You to Buy the "God Bless the USA" Bible
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A substack blog by Jemar Tisby.  God, have mercy.

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From: Footnotes by Jemar Tisby <jemartisby@substack.com>
Date: Tue, Mar 26, 2024 at 11:37 AM
Subject: Trump Wants You to Buy the "God Bless the USA" Bible
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During Holy Week, the former president is hawking patriotic Bibles
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Trump Wants You to Buy the "God Bless the USA" Bible

During Holy Week, the former president is hawking patriotic Bibles

Mar 26
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Happy Holy Week!

Now you can celebrate the most important time of the Christian calendar by buying your copy of the "God Bless the USA" Bible and doing your part to Make America Great Again!

In a stunningly blatant display of white Christian nationalism, Donald Trump is encouraging his followers to buy a pro-America Bible in partnership with singer Lee Greenwood who is best known for his 1984 song, "God Bless the USA."

In a video on social media, Trump stands centered in front of two American flags and holds up a brown leather Bible.

All the visual cues speak to the melding of faith and politics into a toxic brew of anti-democratic authoritarianism.

What Trump proceeds to say in the message is as stark an illustration of white Christian nationalism as we've seen in his short and tumultuous political career.

"I'm proud to be partnering with my very good friend, Lee Greenwood. Who doesn't love his song 'God Bless the USA.' In connection with promoting the 'God Bless the USA' Bible," he begins.

This printing of the Bible is in the King James Version, and includes political documents such as the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the Declaration of Independence, and the Pledge of Allegiance.

Trump's statement and bald attempt to secure funds amid staggering debts related to various court trials go beyond the common instances of American civic religion, and ceremonial appeals for God's blessing.

Instead, Trump and white Christian nationalists claim that the United States was founded as a Christian nation, and the country is suffering to the extent it strays away from a very narrow interpretation of the faith.

"Religion and Christianity are the biggest things missing from this country…I think it's one of the biggest problems we have; that's why our country is going haywire. We've lost religion in our country."

The problem in the United States is not racism, growing wealth disparities, a loss of social support systems, or crippling prices on basic goods and services.

The problem with the country, in a white Christian nationalist frame, is that we are not sufficiently religious. The solution, then, is to become more religious, more vocal, and more insistent that a fundamentalist brand of Christianity hold sway in the public sphere.

Understanding his support among a certain type of Christian voter, Trump has been increasingly vocal about his affiliation to the faith. He asserts that he loves the Bible.

"All Americans need a Bible in their home, and I have many. It's my favorite book. It's a lot of people's favorite book."

One wonders if "all Americans" who need Bibles includes Muslims, Jewish people, atheists, agnostics and others who do not consider the Bible their sacred text.

A sense of aggrievement is central to white Christian nationalist claims.

They say they are being persecuted for their beliefs and shoved into the corners of society by an ascendant, progressive and secular agenda.

"Christians are under siege but must protect content that is pro-God. We love God, and we have to protect anything that is pro-God. We must defend God in the public square and not allow the media or the Left-wing groups to silence, censor, or discriminate against us."

While it is true that the proportion of Christians is declining, white Christians continue to enjoy a privileged racial and religious status compared to others, even other Christians of color.

But the mission of white Christian nationalists is not simply religious, it is political. They use Christianity as a "permission structure" to give a divine blessing on their true goal—the acquisition of political power.

According to white Christian nationalist ideology, only by standing with Trump and his allies will the US once again be the "city on a hill" that God ordained it to be.

Image of brown leather Lee Greenwood 'God Bless the USA Bible' cover

Trump encourages Christians to rise up and stand for what the "Founding Fathers" allegedly intended—for the United States to be a bastion of Christian piety and a sign of God's unstoppable. benevolent power in the world.

Not only does Trump want to make America great again he says, "We must make America pray again."

How can this happen? How can faithful Christians and true patriots bring religion back into politics?

By supporting Trump, of course.

"Stand with me and the legions of Americans asking God to bless our great nation, to bring our great nation back and to make America great again."

But Christian America cannot merely support Donald Trump politically, they must also support him financially by buying the "God Bless the USA" Bible.

"I think you all should get a copy of 'God Bless the USA' Bible now, and help spread our Christian values with others.

Trump suggests that buying this Bible is about nothing more than evangelism and spreading the Christian faith. He does not say that he needs the money or that he will benefit financially from the commodification of his brand of political religion.

Trump, the White Christian Nationalist-in-Chief simply ends with a benediction:

"There you have it. Let's make America pray again. God bless you, and God bless the USA."

And God help us.

What did you think of Trump's ad for the "God Bless the USA" Bible? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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