Look, y’all. I’m not an Evangelical. I don’t even play one on the internet. So when an Evangelical minister edges into what we Papists and most mainstream Protestants would look upon as “heresy”, I try to be charitable at least to the extent of shutting my mouth. We are, after all, part of the same Body of Christ. We worship a Trinitarian Godhead. We believe that Jesus Christ was truly Man and truly God. We believe he actually, physically died to expiate our sins. We believe that he was actually, physically raised from the dead and ascended into Heaven. We are separated by doctrines and practices but we are all striving for the exact same thing: Eternal Salvation.

So call me more than a little flabbergasted at the invocation offered by Pastor Mark Burns (someone, I must admit I’d never heard of before yesterday). In fact, I’m a little more than flabbergasted, I found his attempt to weaponize Christ and send him on the hustings in the service of Donald Trump to be gravely offensive.

mark burns

I don’t even know where to start with this. I’m as partisan as the next guy, maybe moreso, but I don’t see Democrats, in general, and Hillary Clinton, in particular, as enemies of the type that I’d ask God to smite for me in his spare time. Well, okay, Hillary might be an exception. I don’t even see elections as events where the call to action is “beat the other guy.” Elections are about moving the nation in a direction that values life and liberty. Ideally, our message will convert some number of Democrats to our point of view, and we don’t need to splash blood on our lintels to accomplish that.

More to the point, why would we be “thankful for the life of Donald Trump?” What evidence do we have that it was God Almighty guiding Trump through three marriages, untold adulteries, the fleecing and punishing of the most vulnerable in society, garden variety diversion of charitable contributions to personal use? Did God the Father actually inspire Trump to a life of greed, miserliness, and malice? Was God his inspiration when he attacked Ted Cruz’s wife and accused Cruz’s father of being part of the JFK assassination? Out of curiosity, which member of the Holy Trinity told Donald Trump he was leading such a righteous life that he had nothing to ask forgiveness for? Which words, precisely, is God putting in Trump’s mouth that are uniting the nation? The one’s that accused an American judge of being incapable of rendering a judgment because his parents were Mexican? Or the ones that encouraged his followers to beat hecklers? Or his playing to worst sorts of racists?

This is a travesty. This is not a prayer. This is a pep rally cheer. This is asking God to root for the laundry. This may very well cross the line into blasphemy. This also shows the all-corrupting power of Donald Trump who is a man singularly able to bring disgrace and discredit on anyone associating with him.