Anti-Christian sells Bible for 60 bucks

The MAGA Moral Hierarchy allows Trump to get away with anything

Anti-Christian sells Bible for 60 bucks

by Jason Sattler | FrameLab Contributor

How could a man who has never read a whole Bible verse sell the Good Book for something like a 1000 percent markup?

One of Donald Trump’s newest ploys: Suck cash from his most devoted supporters by pitching Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the USA Bible'' for $59.99. This collector’s edition includes the Old and New Testaments, the U.S. Constitution and the lyrics of the Greenwood song that gives this misbegotten version of the Good Book its name. But the obvious selling point: It’s being hawked by Trump itself.

Now, if you have any knowledge of the Bible that wasn’t ascertained from watching Fox, you may find this scam particularly offensive.

You see a man whom a court decided had committed hundreds of millions of dollars in fraud. A man who has been found liable for sexual assault. A man who is about to stand trial over charges that he illegally paid off an adult film actress he had sex with as his third wife was nursing his fifth child — an act of voter deception that likely helped him take the presidency.

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You see this man hawking the Holy Scriptures and scream: “Make this make sense!”

So let’s do that. Because by understanding Donald Trump’s shameless appeal to the white fundamentalists of America, we can understand why they will back him no matter what he says about anything, including abortion.

Un-Christ Like

While the Bible contains multitudes open to interpretations by the world’s great faiths, their clergy, and true believers, some consistencies are difficult to ignore. These include prohibitions against adultery and bearing false witness.

In Ephesians, for instance, Paul says, “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.”

This, of course, sounds like the exact opposite of a Trump rally.

And you don’t have to be the Pope to assess that if anyone has exemplified the Seven Deadly Sins, which are inspired by the Bible without being explicitly stated in the text, it would be Donald Trump.

To any rational/progressive brain, the likely GOP presidential nominee for third time has nothing in common with Christ — who despite some controversy dwelt among the poor, preached turning “the other cheek,” and spent much of his Sermon on the Mount condemning both divorce and adultery. Instead, Trump bears far more resemblance to “another” king described in the Book of Daniel who has come to be known as, well, the Antichrist.

Appealing to the ‘Christian’ right

Yet we would have to be liars to suggest that Trump doesn’t have a tremendous appeal to tens of millions of Americans who consider themselves to be Christians. Notably, white evangelical Protestants are the only religious group in America that has a widely positive view of Donald Trump, according to the Pew Research Center.

On a purely political level, Trump’s appeal to right-wing evangelicals makes sense, even if his personal conduct is incompatible with what anyone but Sean Hannity would suggest as decent and godly. He has delivered the Republicans the victory they’ve sought for more than half a century, the end of Roe v. Wade. And by reconstituting the Supreme Court with a third of his appointees, he has ensured that the right-wing fundamentalist viewpoint will continue to triumph over the Constitution.

But it’s bigger than that.

Trump’s transformation into a Bible salesman includes a growing promise he’s making to his supporters to install Christian Authoritarianism in America, and that includes smiting all of the religious right’s enemies. And in very literal ways, he’s also attempting to make his movement, MAGA, a religion itself.

It’s not just about the Gold(-en Calf)

In some ways, the cultish thinking of the religious Republican far right has always seemed like a movement in search of their own Golden Calf to worship. They certainly weren’t looking for a Christ who would tell them to sell all their possessions and give them to the poor.

However, this just isn’t about money. Of the 51 million jobs created since 1989, 49 million have been created under Democratic Presidents. Forty-nine to two. If that were a T-ball game, the coaches would be arrested.

Yes, massive tax cuts for the rich that have resulted in an enormous transfer of wealth upward. That may seem like a fine tradeoff for the richest Republicans. But you could argue that they could be even richer if our entire economy didn’t pay a massive financial penalty for having Republicans in power.

“Since 1933, the economy has grown at an annual average rate of 4.6 percent under Democratic presidents and 2.4 percent under Republicans, according to a Times analysis,” David Leonhardt wrote in 2021, before the current Biden boom. “In more concrete terms: The average income of Americans would be more than double its current level if the economy had somehow grown at the Democratic rate for all of the past nine decades.”

So what are Republicans buying with the trillions in economic growth they’ve sacrificed for all of us? It’s simple: Domination.

Trump over God

Anyone familiar with Framelab or the work of Dr. George Lakoff has certainly come across his model of the Conservative Moral hierarchy:

  • God above Man
  • Man above Nature
  • The Disciplined (Strong) above the Undisciplined (Weak)
  • The Rich above the Poor
  • Employers above Employees
  • Adults above Children
  • Western culture above other cultures
  • America above other countries
  • Men above women
  • Whites above non-whites
  • Christians above non-Christians
  • Straights above LGBT

We might suggest that the MAGA version of this hierarchy adds a new top rung:

  • Trump above God

If this seems too blasphemous, we could modify it to:

  • God above Trump
  • Trump above Man

To those of us outside of MAGA, the idea of Trump seeing himself below anyone or a servant of God may be laughable. But our goal is to see this all from their point-of-view as they whip out their credit card to buy that Bible. And what’s clear is that to those who see the world strictly through a right-wing brain,Trump has effectively usurped or at least taken the reins for the Creator.

How did this sinner become perceived as this ultimate “Christian” winner?

This may be because he enacts all hallmarks of domination that they seek in the world. This may be because he has delivered them the victory they sought the most in their effort to return women to their rightfully subjugated, in their view, place. This may be because he’s here on this planet to be worshiped and followed, unlike the Lord who requires human interpretation.

Deal with the devil

Christian Authoritarians, like Mike Pence before Trump tried to have he and his family lynched, understand the deal they’re making with the devil. They know Trump is the classical definition of a con man. But they believe he’s a con man on behalf of the Lord’s order on earth.

That’s why they will tolerate any personal behavior from him. They don’t care how many mistresses he illegally paid off. They probably wouldn’t even care much if it turned out he paid for several abortions. They don’t even really care that he’s pretending that he’s against certain kinds of abortion bans. Because they know he’s the only reason those bans exist.

Christian Authoritarians are ruthlessly practical. They understand that Trump may lie and scheme in order to con enough voters to slip through the electoral college. Because they know that if he wins, they have a plan to use his power to ban all abortions nationally and along with many forms of birth control, if not all forms. And they’ll even use him, a man who paid a porn actress for sex, to try to ban all pornography.

And they know Trump will let them. Because as much as he’s positioned himself above them, he needs his fundamentalists.

In this way, Trump is much like white evangelicals’ vision of the Almighty, at least according to George Carlin, “He loves you. He loves you, and He needs money! He always needs money! He's all-powerful, all-perfect, all-knowing, and all-wise, somehow just can't handle money!”

Trump needs their money. He needs it for his legal bills, for his campaign, for his latest stock market scam. And he needs their loyalty so badly to avoid all of the massive legal consequences he faces for his lifetime of crime and treachery.

Some would argue that would end the moment he takes power and he’ll just go back to being Playboy Trump. But he’ll need them even more then, because he’ll need his loyalists at every level to bat away consequences for him and keep him in power for the rest of his life and avoid the worst of any fine, sentence, or legal ruling. Then he needs them to keep someone named Trump in power forever.

And the right will go right along with this. While it may violate the Constitution and basic human decency, it falls right in line with their true religion: The MAGA Moral Hierarchy.

Christian Authoritarians are willing to trade any pretense of morality for power. And that’s the only kind of deal Trump has ever made. They see Trump as a vehicle to take over America and impose their 19th century ideology on America. And Trump sees them as the vehicle to do what he’s always wanted to do, crush anyone who opposes him.

That’s why during the protests following George Floyd’s murder in the summer of 2020, he went to Church and held a Bible up after threatening military action against the protesters. That’s why he’s selling them a Bible now.

It’s all code for the same thing: Put me on top and I’ll put you on top. Then no one, not even the Lord Himself, can judge us.

This is a guest post from FrameLab contributor Jason Sattler. Jason is LOLGOP on Twitter and pretty much any other social media platform. His writing has appeared in USA TODAY,, the New York Daily News and Alternet.

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