Why Religion Is the Best Hope Against TrumpRoundup
tags: religious history, Trump, 2020 Election
Jon Meacham is the author of “The Hope of Glory: Reflections on the Last Words of Jesus from the Cross.”
The Christian season of Lent, a time of repentance and reflection, is upon us. The weeks that begin with Ash Wednesday culminate in Holy Week, a commemoration of the Passover feast in roughly the year A.D. 33, during which Jesus triumphantly entered Jerusalem, was condemned and crucified by the Roman authorities, and — in the Christian understanding of the world — rose from the dead.
In the words of an Anglican prayer for the 40 days of Lent, believers implore the Lord to “come quickly to help us who are assaulted by many temptations; and, as you know the weaknesses of each of us, let each one find you mighty to save.”
Given the state of the nation two millenniums on, it is difficult to conceive of something more counterintuitive than the Christian ideal. For many Americans, especially non-Christians, the thought that Christian morality is a useful guide to much of anything these days is risible, particularly since so many evangelicals have thrown in their lot with a relentlessly solipsistic American president who bullies, boasts and sneers. The political hero of the Christian right of 2020 has used the National Prayer Breakfast to mock the New Testament injunction to love one’s enemies, and it’s clear that leading conservative Christian voices are putting the Supreme Court ahead of the Sermon on the Mount.
And yet history suggests that religiously inspired activism may hold the best hope for those in resistance to the prevailing Trumpian order.
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