Sarah Huckabee Sanders: I Am Bad At 'Christian' -- Direct Quote Probably
Back in September, the New Yorker ran a profile on White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders that spent a few thousand words trying to make Sanders look like someone with human DNA. It turned out as convincing as Superman's upper lip in Justice League. Saturday, the magazine's Twitter page shared a quote from the feature on Donald Trump's "battering ram" that was rightly "ratioed."
"I'm not going to my office expecting it to be my church," Sarah Huckabee Sanders said when asked how she, as a Christian, reconciles her religious beliefs with her support for Trump.
Hey, that's great! We've said this for years when Christians claim they'd lose out on the best tee times in heaven if they bake wedding cakes for gay couples, provide their employees health insurance that covers birth control, or acknowledge the existence of transgender people. Look, dude, you're just the middle manager at the Bowlerama off Route 5. You don't work for the Vatican, covering up for pedophile priests. Get over yourself.
But Sanders wasn't promoting a secularist approach to public life like some common
unwoman. No, Aunt Lydia was rationalizing working for a thrice-married, adulterous bigot with a tenuous grasp of legality. During the 2016 GOP primaries, a would-be Jeb Bush supporter asked the former Florida governor if he could be a "son of a bitch" -- you know, like Jesus, whose mother was apparently Alexis Carrington Colby. Evangelical Christianity has been exposed through jts full-bodied embrace of Trump as an exercise in sadism. Whoever hurts their enemies the most wins their unwavering loyalty.
Sanders, a ruthless political hack who turns "messages into shivs," is an ideal face of evangelicalism in the age of Trump. There's no compelling reason the White House press secretary has to have a contentious relationship with journalists, rolling her eyes and throwing punches at Jim Acosta and April Ryan (figuratively for now, but who knows what might happen). But it's what Trump wants and Sanders is an "eager pugilist." I'm no fan of Dana Perino's, but I do appreciate that she didn't once hurl an unopened canister of sulfuric acid at reporters who annoyed her with questions that were in any way interrogative.
Meanwhile, Sanders waves away all her gangster-like behavior as a furthering of God's mission.
"Frankly, if people of faith don't get involved in the dirty process, then you're missing the entire point of what we're called to do. You're not called to go into the places where everyone already thinks like you and is a believer—you have to go onto a stage where they're not."
Even Mr. "God Is Dead" Nietzsche warned of the negative effects of gazing into abysses, but Sanders isn't fazed. She has lies to tell for Jesus, puppies, and the American way. The New Yorker said of Sanders that "inscrutability is her goal, even on important matters," which is a great tag line for a spy novel or lyric to a theme song for a 1970s sitcom about a single woman making her way in the big city.
It's unclear if Sanders believes her own lies, and the New Yorker profile failed to really challenge her on any of them. She's asked if she considers Trump a racist and of course she says no because she enjoys her six-bedroom house in Virginia with an au pair from a "shithole" country. It's a dumb question anyway. When will America just accept that the president is a racist? Whatever it is that's living on top of Trump's head is up for debate. His racism isn't.
And are we really supposed to take this seriously?
[Sanders] told me that her pro-life views are "non-negotiable," and added, "One of the things that makes Americans unique is that we value life.
America averages almost 12 gun deaths a year per 100,000 people. In Sanders's home state of Arkansas, that number goes up to almost 18. Trump and the GOP tried to pass a health care bill that would've deprived millions of coverage and resulted in an estimated 29,000 additional deaths per year. But yeah, just let her say stuff.
"We think each life has intrinsic value and worth, whether you are a baby in the womb or an elderly woman."
Sanders opposes gay marriage, but isn't a virulent homophobe like her father—he defends conversion therapy and says that gay relationships have an "ick factor."
What is happening in this sentence? Sanders believes gay people are second-class citizens who are unworthy of entering into legal bonds of matrimony as consenting adults, but she isn't, like, grossed out by them. Why, she once sat through a whole episode of "Will & Grace" because she'd left the remote in the other room and didn't feel like getting up.
Sanders probably believes the maxim that it takes two to lie: One to lie and another to listen. I'm sure she'll get around to praying for both of us.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He's on the board of the Portland Playhouse theater and writes for the immersive theater Cafe Nordo in Seattle.