At some point in President Trump’s furiously pious commencement speech at Liberty University it was easy to imagine Hollywood film clips from the Roman colosseum projected on a screen behind his pulpit for the special day. Read: Beasts mauling Christians to the delight of spectators seeking a diversion from their otherwise boring lives.
It also was an escape for Trump from the terrible real world around him to remind his appreciative audience of adulatory evangelicals to be intensely aware of the persecution of Christians whenever two or more of the faithless had joined for coffee. Chaos in the White House was said to be commonplace. (He did thank all of his righteous fans for voting for him and was here as the avenging angel to renew their approval. )
Be strong, Trump urged the graduates. Never give up. “When the pilgrims landed at Plymouth,” historian Trump asserted, “they prayed. When the founders wrote the Declaration of Independence they invoked our creator four times. Because in America, we don’t worship government, we worship God.”
As he spoke, I tried counting the number of inspirational cliches from the leader of the free world but gave up. The entire speech was a commencement cliche. However, I recalled that linguists have rated his vocabulary level at 4th grade. ”Be true to yourself”, “great”, “truly amazing”, ‘’very smart,” “very nice”, “incredible” …great , great, great .
OK. So Jerry Falwell Jr., Liberty’s fawning president of the school his father had founded, described the oration as a knockout, casting it as the “best commencement speech Liberty every had.” Trump was a dream come true, Falwell said, anticipating that a check from the “blue collar billionaire” – as Falwell sees him – would be in the mail.
And why not? Evangelicals went for Trump by more than 90 percent in November. And hadn’t Trump already called for the end of the bonds denying churches from endorsing candidates, which some tend to do anyway?
But here he was, looking into a mirror and trying to convince himself that he, too, must never give up in the path of the heathens. Couldn’t understand why he isn’t given more credit for winning an election. Indeed, he was passing around U.S. maps with the Red States highlighted. One such map will even be hung at the White House for staff and visitors who still don’t know that he is and, besides, that Hillary is crooked.
The crown grows heavier each day. And an unhinged avenging angel shows no signs of giving up. Or as George Will has written, the man has a “dangerous disability”.
Let us pray…. Folks, REALLY pray!