Here in the United States, we operate on a number of truisms. For example, we believe one is innocent until proven guilty. This assertion is not in the Declaration of Independence, nor in the Constitution, nor in the Bill of Rights, nor in the remainder of the Amendments to the Constitution. It can be inferred from the interpretation* of the 5th Amendment, the 6th Amendment, and the 14th Amendment. But nowhere in our founding documents will you find “innocent until proven guilty.” (Note: the concept dates back to Roman law.*)
Where you will find this phrase is in the founding documents of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Article 11) as approved by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948, 159 years after the US adopted the Constitution. Regardless of the source, we believe one is innocent until proven guilty. And it is a guiding principle of our legal system.
We also believe that where there is smoke, there is likely to be fire. Just to be clear, neither US legal conventions nor the Universal Declaration of Human Rights say anything about the truism that where there is smoke, there is likely fire. But we believe this.
In a week were Rep. George Santos was indicted on 13 counts of financial impropriety and ex-President Donald Trump convicted of sexual assault in a defamation trial, both men have declared their intention to run for re-election.
In 2016, while capturing 42% of the popular vote in total, Trump captured 78% of the white evangelical vote, 50% of the white mainline Protestant vote, and 50% of the white Catholic vote. (Of note, he garnered only 25% of the “no religion” vote, 16% of the Hispanic Catholic vote, 23% of the Jewish vote, and 32% of the “all other” religions vote.)**
In 2020, Santos won 54/46 in a district that voted Democrat by an overwhelming amount in the 2020 Presidential election and where the incumbent Democrat won the House seat 54/43 vs the Republican Santos.***
Now, in addition to being convicted of sex abuse in a civil trial, Trump faces has re-filed charges of a rape of a 13-year-old girl and allegations that he paid for sex with a porn star, while the CFO of his company has been convicted of tax fraud, and his son-in-law received a $2 billion investment by the Saudi Arabian government. That last one is particularly galling, given that father and son Trump continue to accuse President Biden’s son Hunter of…… something illegal and nefarious..”
Now, Santos has been proven a liar, confessed to and settled a check-kiting criminal charge in Brazil, been charged with multiple campaign finance violations, and, despite claiming Jewish ancestry (since debunked) has been quoted as saying, “ If you are caught in a room full of Jews, you are fucked.”
What do you think is going to happen when/if Trump and Santos run for office in 2024? What will White Protestants (R+17 in 2020), White Evangelicals (R+61 in 2020) and White Catholics (R+4 in 2020) do?
What I hope is that they see how morally corrupt these individuals are and vote for their opponents.
What I expect is that they will again vote for Trump, and likely dump Santos. My logic is this: Santos gets dumped because he flat-out lied about everything and made the folks who voted for him feel stupid and foolish. You do not win elections by making your supporters feel stupid and foolish.
Trump loses but retains the vast majority White Evangelical Protestants, splits the Mainline Protest vote and loses, by a slim amount, the White Catholic Vote.
Why? Because he is giving them what they want. Trump is, to paraphrase from the movie, The American President, “Whatever your particular problem is, I promise you, [Donald Trump] is not the least bit interested in solving it. He is interested in two things and two things only: making you afraid of it and telling you who’s to blame for it.”
But what is it that they want?, what are they afraid of? What is it that would make them vote for a corrupt philandering serial adulterer? Why vote for Trump while excoriating and never forgiving Bill Clinton? Why vote for Trump when they furiously rejected the morally straight-as-an-arrow Barack Obama?
First, because Trump visibly hates the same people they hate and/or fear, e.g., people of color, immigrants, non-Christians. You do not want to be a “minority” in “your” country. Second, because Trump did a total flip on the topic of abortion (not that he cares, if anyone in his family needed an abortion, they would take the private plane to Canada or Switzerland). Third, he encourages them to blame their lot in life on the “other guy” – the woke, the left, the Blacks, the Jews, the Muslims, Hillary. Anything and anybody will do as long as it deflects the finger being pointed at themselves. Finally, because Trump, at the heart of it all like any good Fascist, would have no problem with blowing up the Constitution, particularly with regard to free speech, the separation of Church and State. Like Orbán in Hungary, Trump would relish declaring the United States a “Christian nation,” thus establishing the permanent ascendancy of “ White Christians” over all others.
What is inescapably hilarious about the US becoming a “Christian nation” and its corollaries, the White Christian identity movement and Christian Nationalism, is that the guy they are worshiping and supposedly taking their lead from was neither White nor Christian. That Jesus was Jewish is not debatable and that he wasn’t White is most likely given that he was a Jew from one of the 10 Tribes more than 2,000 years ago. You can do the research, but the odds that he was the blondish, blue eyed, pale-skinned person depicted in most of the paintings of him is highly suspect. Take a look at these historically accurate depictions of the biblical Yeshua/Isho/Jesus (Hebrew/Aramaic/Greek-to-Latin) (copy and paste URL: https://allthatsinteresting.com/what-did-jesus-look-like
For the promise of power, for the promise to remain at the top of the pyramid, the “Christian nation” folk have abdicated the fundamental values of Christianity, to wit: love thy neighbor, turn the other cheek, thou shalt not commit adultery, thou shalt not steal, thou shalt not bear false witness, among others.
In other words, they profess to be Christians, but they do not act like it. The true Christians I know are kind, compassionate, and accepting. They are honest. They believe the character of an individual is of utmost importance. They understand that values and moral behavior are what is important regardless of which religion is practiced. They understand that we are all in it together, that compassion and empathy are the connective tissue that binds us as a community, as a society.
I am not anti-Christian, far from it. I believe that anyone who truly followed the teachings of Jesus would be a wonderful person to be around and to have as a friend. Adopted for the modern age, the same is true of virtually every faith-based community. Follow the New Testament, the Quran, the Tanakh and Talmud, the Veda, Puranas, and the Bhagavad Gita, the Book of Mormon, the Tripitaka and the Mahayana Sutras, or the Tao Te Ching and you cannot help but be a good person. All contain Hillel’s plea of “that which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow.” The folks agitating most for a “Christian nation” and Christian Nationalism not only do not follow this “golden rule,” but they also appear to go out of their way to make a mockery of it. They clearly want to do to others that which they would find intolerable.
Looking at this from the other end of the pipe is that which a friend describes as the ‘red telephone’ problem. If you have a red telephone on your desk that rings and you genuinely believe you get to talk to God, you can justify any behavior because “God told you to.“
Using your religion and your sacred texts to create ascendancy, superiority, and exclusivity and you pervert the basic values by tearing that which binds us, and you foster conflict, hatred, and ultimately, chaos and violence. It is certainly appropriate for you to believe you are right and your religion is the answer. However, forcing it upon others is a step too far. Further, weaponizing religion, any religion, always ends with the same result. People die.
**Summary from ConstitutionUS.Com:
5th Amendment: No person shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself.
6th Amendment: The right for individuals to have legal aid, emphasizing that this is extended to everyone regardless of the accusation, as well as the right to a speedy trial.
14th Amendment: No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States” and reinforces the concept that “law enforcement can’t deprive suspects of “life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.
*** Pew Research Center and CNN