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On knowing when the game has ended: an honest surrender to my evangelical friends

Dear anonymous evangelicals who voted for Trump,

You won. You don't have to vote for him anymore.


We should probably define terms, for believing in God does not make you an evangelical, nor does opposing abortion, euthanasia, or anything else one might dispute as murder. You can't actually be an evangelical anything if you don't preach the word, and to preach the word you kinda have to hear it. Now maybe you're reading from the Bible daily and getting your information "direct." I hope so because the vast majority of you—upwards of 80%—who call yourselves evangelical Christians do not attend church services. At all. Of any denomination. I can only assume that, if you are one of these, you have renounced your cellphone and iPad in favor of the Bible. If not, don't delude yourself into thinking you're something you're not. (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John could be listening: they might be offended, you know, being evangelists and all?)

But okay, you're a self-proclaimed disseminator of the Good Word. Keep disseminating, but please have some idea what you're talking about before you claim that Jesus insisted that rape victims have their babies or that a doctor who saves the life of a pregnancy-endangered woman is a murderer. Are you sure you want to go there? That doesn't sound like the teachings of any Jesus I know. Is the official who initiates a lethal injection also a murderer? What about the person who built the apparatus? The chemist who developed the formula? The other officials who stood by and "let it happen." You may scream false equivalency, but when fetuses get a tax break, you've pretty much left logic back in the barn.

And it's also okay that in 2016 you voted for a swindler, a sexual reprobate, a serial misogynist, and a pathological liar all wrapped up in one container of protoplasm. You did it because you knew that despite these personality eccentricities, Trump would pack the Supreme Court with three anti-abortion fanatics who would gleefully overturn Roe. You were right.

So again, you won. You made a deal with the devil, and it paid off. Of course, the thing about those Faustian deals is they often turn out badly. I can cite Tom Walker, Ethan Brand, Guy Woodhouse, and a few other famous characters from fiction. But, don't worry about that devil coming after your soul, however much of it Trump hasn't devoured. You won!

And because you won and were understandably blinded by that one issue that overrode everything else you used to believe in—you know, charity, honesty, morality—now you can go back to being a Christian and vote for someone other than Trump or his apologists.

You know you never really liked him. You know that as a representative of humanity—he is a disgrace. You know you can't unhear the Access Holywood tape, his sniveling telephone plea for more Georgia votes, or his reference to Nazis as good people. And you can't unsee him holding that Bible upside down as if it were a dead mouse. However, you can hook him off the stage like the lousy actor he is.


You're in charge! You won, all you self-described but factually inaccurate evangelicals, so there's nothing left to do but rebuild your self-esteem. Start by making a new circle of friends. They can be Democrats or Republicans or completely apolitical—men, women, straight, gay, rich, poor, black, white, Trump's despised Mexicans, or his admired Scandinavians. Our country comprises millions of people who know that the last election's results were accurate, that January 6 was treason, and that Donald Trump belongs behind bars where moral turpitude is not a deal breaker. You can disagree with these new friends on some matters, but an honest, Christian (love thy neighbor) appraisal of Donald Trump, the man, as opposed to Donald Trump, the Supreme Court justice-selector, will make it easier for you.

Your Faustian excursion could even have a happy conclusion.

I don't need to remind a Bible reader that in Matthew 18:21-22, Peter asks Jesus how many times a person must be forgiven. "As many as seven?" Peter asks. "Seventy times seven," Jesus says. Yikes! Now my math is a little shaky, but if I'm right...well...I'm not sure if I can forgive anyone 490 times. But one or two we can all handle.

So yes, you voted for a reprobate in 2016. But many of you recanted in 2020. Whether you have 488 or 489 forgivable offenses left, don't waste any more of them on someone like Donald Trump—he's already working on his second set of "seventy times seven" offenses, and he doesn't care about yours at all.

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