Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Easter Tweets For You: Conversations Between Trump's "Pro-Life" Supporters and Their Critics — "Aren't You the Same Guy Who Just Yesterday Was Clamoring to Kill Prisoners?"

Some Easter tweets for you, capturing important conversations about what Easter (and Jesus and the gospels) mean to different groups of American Christians at this point in time. The tweet above from Sister Helen Prejean is a response to the following tweet by Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, an evangelical Christian who was working overtime in Holy Week to see 8 human beings executed by the state in 11 days immediately after Easter:

The President of the U.S. tweets on Easter day:

And Eric Boehlert responds to the President's Easter tweet:

The GOP Speaker of the House, a "pro-life" Catholic, Paul Ryan, who is much loved by the U.S. Catholic bishops and who spent the period before Easter trying to devise ways to yank healthcare coverage from millions of people, tweets about Easter and Matthew Yglesias and Jordan Uhl respond to him:

My Senator from Arkansas, Tom Cotton, an evangelical Christian who joined Mrs. Rutledge in doing everything he could to assure that my state might execute 8 men in 11 days in the Easter period, tweets Easter greetings:

Sister Helen Prejean responds to Senator Cotton's tweet:

And lest we forget:

Click the link embedded in the preceding tweet and look at the statistical breakdown provided by Pew, and you'll discover that 55 percent of white Catholics still support Donald Trump. The figure of 42 percent indicating Catholic approval for Trump conflates white Catholics and Hispanic and other Catholics including African-American Catholics. 

The 55 percent figure is nothing for Catholics and the Catholic media to boast about. It points to colossal failure in moral and pastoral leadership on the part of the Catholic bishops, the Catholic academy, and the Catholic media in the U.S.

People surprised that Donald Trump and his supporters freely, glibly, equate the message of Easter (and the whole life of Jesus) with militarism, war, state executions of criminals, destruction of perceived enemies, do not understand the brand of Christianity that prevails in much of America.

It's by its very nature, in its theological roots, blood-thirsty. Its God is the God of the Old Testament unchecked by the Jewish prophets with their insistence that God is mercy. This form of Christianity needs enemies. It needs blood.

It sees no irony in Arkansas AG Leslie Rutledge and Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton tweeting chipper Easter greetings implying that they and their type own Jesus and the Christian brand, at the very time they're baying for the blood of fellow human beings in a barbaric state execution of a bunch of people, as our state supply of killing drugs goes stale.

These are not people who think about what the Christian message means. They're not people who spend any time reading and pondering the Christian gospels. Their brand of Christianity is a cheap-grace brand, one in which American militarism and the power and privilege of straight white men have been so woven into the "Christian" message preached by these folks that their Christianity is indistinguishable from American exceptionalism and patriarchy.

This is why none of the "Christians" who placed Donald Trump in the White House blink an eye at the fact that he has sexually assaulted women and bragged about it, that he mocks Christian values, and that he spends his Easter day puffing his chest out about how "his" military is prepared to bomb more people in the name of American Christianity and of the Jesus who told us that those who take the sword die by the sword.

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