Then, this email came in and did it for me:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: NEW CHRISTIAN SONGWRITER TO MAKE AMERICA GREATER THAN EVER WITH DEBUT SINGLE
October 28, 2020
Simple Sam, the self-proclaimed Christian Conservative Bob Dylan, will release his debut single “American Heaven” on Friday, October 30th.
Inspired by the current political and moral crisis, Simple Sam has set out to forever enshrine Donald J Trump, not only as a great American folk hero, but as a new saviour, whose conservative, patriotic values better align with American Christian society.
“[Donald] went to heaven just to expand the sales base; everybody’s getting a taste” sings Sam in the opening line of “American Heaven”, imagining the President’s benevolence going beyond the earthly.
After meeting President Trump outside of the rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Sam was emboldened to breathe life back into his dormant dreams as a singer-songwriter. He’s written what could be an anthem and a hymn for generations of Christian Conservatives to come.
Not for nothing have I called Trump a “dimestore antichrist”.
Here is the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which the Greatest Catholics of All Time like to stand on while they harangue us about their superior orthodoxy, but seldom read:
675 Before Christ’s second coming the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers. The persecution that accompanies her pilgrimage on earth will unveil the “mystery of iniquity” in the form of a religious deception offering men an apparent solution to their problems at the price of apostasy from the truth. The supreme religious deception is that of the Antichrist, a pseudo-messianism by which man glorifies himself in place of God and of his Messiah come in the flesh.
676 The Antichrist’s deception already begins to take shape in the world every time the claim is made to realize within history that messianic hope which can only be realized beyond history through the eschatological judgment. The Church has rejected even modified forms of this falsification of the kingdom to come under the name of millenarianism, especially the “intrinsically perverse” political form of a secular messianism.
677 The Church will enter the glory of the kingdom only through this final Passover, when she will follow her Lord in his death and Resurrection. The kingdom will be fulfilled, then, not by a historic triumph of the Church through a progressive ascendancy, but only by God’s victory over the final unleashing of evil, which will cause his Bride to come down from heaven. God’s triumph over the revolt of evil will take the form of the Last Judgment after the final cosmic upheaval of this passing world.
Let’s be clear. I don’t think this is the End of Days. I don’t think Trump is The Antichrist. But I absolutely think Trump is an antichrist. Antichrists are a dime a dozen. There have been a zillion of them down through history. There was already a bumper crop of them when John wrote 2000 years ago, “as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come” (1 Jn 2:18).
Any fool who comes along promising you heaven on earth at the cost of ignoring Christ is an antichrist and Trump has predicated his entire play for Christian support on that. He led conservative Qhristians up an exceeding high mountain, showed them all the kingdoms of the earth, and said:
“Christianity will have power, without having to form. Because if I’m there, you’re going to have plenty of power. You don’t need anybody else. You’re going to have somebody representing you very, very well. Remember that.”
And MAGA Qhristians, by the millions, bowed down and worshipped him.
And they still do. They believe Eric Trump when he declares that Trump “literally saved Christianity“.
Because they do not believe Christianity has a Savior, so they had to create one. And the savior they created, as Simple Sam makes clear, is Donald Trump. If they lose him, they believe they are all alone in a godless universe that wants to destroy them. This is why they go for QANON nonsense too. They are godless, seeing only shadowy enemies everywhere, believing only in a demon-haunted world, but lacking the faith to believe in any savior bigger than the pathetic predator, Donald Trump. It is precisely this sort of thing Paul is warning about when he tells us to “no longer be children, tossed back and forth and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the cunning of men, by their craftiness in deceitful wiles” (Eph 4:14). It is why he tells us to “no longer walk as the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their minds; they are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart” (Eph 4:17–18).
The tragedy I warned of four years ago is now at full tide in the American Church. Four years ago, white American conservatives, who fear the first, not the second death far too much, lied to themselves and the world that they were menaced by “persecution”, that Hillary was “Diocletian”, and Trump was the New Constantine.
They also lied to themselves that they would “hold Trump’s feet to the fire” and make sure he did good and not evil.
Then, they immediately undertook the process of whoring themselves out to defend every filthy lie, cruelty, and act of evil he committed, no matter how colossal or trivial. They have done that every hour of every day of every week of every month of every year since then. There nothing too petty, too sadistic, too transparently false, too treasonous, too stupid, too incompetent, too deadly, or too ridiculous, but that the MAGA Christians will not debase themselves to defend it. From sexual assault (“He’s just like King David!”) to spitting on troops living and dead as “losers” and “suckers” (“It’s Fake News!”) to the negligent homicide of 230K Americans (“LIBERATE MICHIGAN! FAUCI IS AN IDIOT! MASKS ARE OPPRESSION!”) there is nothing this deadly leader of the antichrist murder/suicide cult of death can say or do to dissuade the pride-filled worshippers of this false messiah that they are wrong.
They lie to themselves with the blindness of the sin of pride that somehow backing this crook who raised Planned Parenthood funding to record heights that they are defending the unborn, when in reality they are only using the unborn as human shields to defend their real passion: building a moronic wall that they have now forgotten, kidnapping children into ICE rape camps, subjecting refugee women to mass sterilization, deporting children to countries they are not from to abandon them to being orphans forever, and abandoning the weak to a eugenics “herd immunity plan” that means letting millions get sick and die rather than the lazy moron interrupt his golf schedule. In short, their love is not life, but raw, nihilist, predatory power.
MAGA Qhristians have, for the idolatrous love of this evil false god, made themselves into the persecutors and committed themselves to a deadly selfishness in the image and likeness of Trump that will, by this time next year, have killed more Americans than the bloodiest war in our history. They have become the monsters they accused their enemies of being, and reaped nothing but the whirlwind. Screwtape prophesies of them when he tells Wormwood: “To get the man’s soul and give him nothing in return–that is what really gladdens our Father’s heart.”
The greatest fear I had four years ago was not what Trump would do to America, but what he would do to the American Church. And for millions, he has done just what I feared: catalyzed like an enzyme the darkest fleshly impulses of their hearts. He has seduced them.
Jesus warns the Church, not against persecution, but against seduction. To the threat of gruesome persecution–real persecution, I mean, not butthurt whining about having to wear a mask or hear a clerk say “Happy Holidays”–Jesus takes an attitude something like insouciance:
You will be delivered up even by parents and brothers and kinsmen and friends, and some of you they will put to death; you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But not a hair of your head will perish. (Lk 21:16–18).
On the contrary, the real warning is against seduction and corruption:
Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. (Mt 10:28).
The one who can destroy body and soul in hell is you. Others can help, of course–by seducing us. But at the end of the day, it’s up to us. You can listen to the voice of the tempter and make his lies your own or you can “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil and he will from you” (James 4:7).
The tragedy of MAGA Qhristianity is simply this: that when the voice of the seducer sounded in its ears, it barely put up a fight and then swooned into his arms. Like a porn star seeking a sugar daddy, it glommed on to this con man with a will and remains at this hour, his most committed cult members.
And as long as he and his evil machine of mammon and nihilist power continue to feed that monstrous cult with the evil sacraments of money, glitz, acclamation, and right wing lie machine BS, that cult will continue to be a growing cancer in the Body of Christ, at war with the Holy Father, at war with the Magisterium, at war with the little ones of Christ, at war with the least of these, and at war with the Holy Spirit.
So I pray that its power suffers a shattering blow tomorrow, not only in the White House, but in Congress as well. And I pray we elect, not a hero, and still less a “savior” but a decent man: a human being who is a sinner, and a ordinary Catholic whose suffering and empathy and competence are the common clay from which God makes the human race.
For of course, Dems are not saviors and political power cannot save the world. But part of the lay mission is to fix the structure of sin in this world that make it hard to be good and create structures of solidarity that make it easier. That, not the Millennium, is what I hope for in tomorrow’s election.
Father, hear our prayer through Christ our Lord and not through any prince of men.