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Unlike President Bartlet, Donald Trump is immune to crises of 'faith'

Donald Trump is a man of many firsts! First "president" to get elected after bragging about sexual assault, first (since Nixon) to refuse to release his taxes, first to publicly say he trusts Russians over his own intelligence agencies, and first to serve cold hamburgers to victorious sports teams, among many others. But here's a real special one! The clergy of the Washington National Cathedral have issued a statement calling him out for his racism, and asking how long the American people are willing to put up with it. If that has a precedent, nobody seems to have found it.

The three clergy members ask, in the words of that familiar rebuke of Joseph McCarthy, and of the Americans who let him ruin so many lives, "Have we no decency?" They don't stop with just Trump's racism, in his attack on Elijah Cummings and the entire city of Baltimore, but also condemn "those aligned with the President [who] seek to downplay the racial overtones of his attacks, or [who] remain silent."

Nope, say the clergy, pointing out that National Cathedral is "the sacred space where America gathers at moments of national significance" -- they're compelled to speak up, and to ask Americans to please think about what they're letting the second-place finisher in the popular vote get away with:


We have come to accept a level of insult and abuse in political discourse that violates each person's sacred identity as a child of God. We have come to accept as normal a steady stream of language and accusations coming from the highest office in the land that plays to racist elements in society.

This week, President Trump crossed another threshold. Not only did he insult a leader in the fight for racial justice and equality for all persons; not only did he savage the nations from which immigrants to this country have come; but now he has condemned the residents of an entire American city. Where will he go from here?

Make no mistake about it, words matter. And, Mr. Trump's words are dangerous.

These words are more than a "dog-whistle." When such violent dehumanizing words come from the President of the United States, they are a clarion call, and give cover, to white supremacists who consider people of color a sub-human "infestation" in America. They serve as a call to action from those people to keep America great by ridding it of such infestation. Violent words lead to violent actions.

And no, we aren't allowed to be neutral, either.

As leaders of faith who believe in the sacredness of every single human being, the time for silence is over. We must boldly stand witness against the bigotry, hatred, intolerance, and xenophobia that is hurled at us, especially when it comes from the highest offices of this nation. We must say that this will not be tolerated. To stay silent in the face of such rhetoric is for us to tacitly condone the violence of these words. We are compelled to take every opportunity to oppose the indecency and dehumanization that is racism, whether it comes to us through words or actions.

We might quibble on just one thing: In what has to have been a decision by committee, the clergy didn't actually call Trump or his statements "racist," instead using wishy-washy terms like "racialized rhetoric" and "the racial overtones of his attacks." They condemn white supremacists, and the aid and comfort Trump gives them, so that's well and good. But come on, pardreys, if NPR can call Trump's language racist, so can you. The National Cathedral is an Episcopal house of worship, so isn't Weekend Edition part of your faith tradition?

As of yet, the Great Man hasn't tweeted anything about the condemnation, nor, as of blogtime, have we seen any mention of it in the home of Great Christians like Breitbart or the Gateway Pundit, but give them time. Trump was busy being upset at Don Lemon for calling him a racist, so we'll assume he'll decide the National Cathedral is a dump run by CNN. Oh, but Ben Shapiro's House of Smart Takes found tape of Elijah Cummings calling Baltimore drug-infested, so who's the racist NOW?!!!!!

Not even Erick Erickson, the great Christian who believes communists should be thrown from helicopters in the name of law and order, has come to Trump's defense against the mean old National Cathedral clergy, although we suspect he will, given his attacks on Pete Buttigieg last night. During the Dem debate, Mayor Pete had said Republicans make Baby Jesus cry when they block increasing the minimum wage, because as the Good Book sayeth, "Whoever oppresses the poor taunts their maker."

Erick Erickson knows about Christianity, and heresy, and he had Thoughts about Buttigieg and that blasphemy:

Erickson later said he was mostly just teasing, because of how Episcopalians get all het up when you accuse them of abandoning the Gospel, haw haw.

We're sure we can predict the Fundagelical response to the National Cathedral statement. Some will mimic Erickson and point out that liberals can't be Christian. Others will yell "But 'bortion!" And still more will insist the clergy are the real racists, because calling Donald Trump a racist is just as intolerant as calling Elijah Cummings a vermin-infested loser, amen.

As for Donald Trump, don't expect any qualms of faith from a man who has none.

[Washington National Cathedral / WaPo]

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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