This week, Franklin Graham, son of the late Billy Graham, brings his “Decision America” tour to Berkeley to take a stand against California’s “blue wall.” Billed as religious “revivals”, Graham’s campaign-style rallies across California and the Pacific Northwest advance opposition to abortion and same-sex marriage.
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Graham’s sponsorship of Donald Trump’s program of white supremacy, misogyny and xenophobia is billed as a religious revival, but make no mistake: “Decision America” is about mobilizing a blind, obedient, and fervent fascist base for the Trump/Pence regime.
Trump’s call to “Make America Great Again” gets misrepresented as regression to an earlier, less compassionate America, warns The American Prospect columnist Adele Stan. But what we’re facing is much more than a pendulum swing of American values. “Taken together… these assaults… add up to groundwork laid for the imposition of a much harder form of authoritarianism likely planned for the near future. You just have to step back far enough from the onslaught of outrageous actions to view the pattern.”
White evangelical support was essential to the election of Donald Trump in 2016, and continues to facilitate expansion of the organized repression and terror characteristic of his rule. By no means monolithic (endorsement of the president occasions much discord among religious groups), Trump’s “Make America Great Again” program represents a particularly American version of fascism, substantiated in modern day application of Manifest Destiny and End Times theology.
“It would be a mistake to be dismissive of End Times believers,” says humanist David Niose, “because their influence in American policymaking is far from marginal.” “End times,” or “end of days” eschatology is embraced by numerous employees of the Trump/Pence regime, including secretary of state Mike Pompeo. Donald Trump’s evangelical Christian Cabinet threatens to “bring an unsettlingly theocratic attitude to America’s foreign policy,” warns Vox staff writer Tara Isabella Burton.
“For many evangelicals, apocalyptic ‘good versus evil’ battles, particularly centered over the ‘Holy Land’ of the Middle East, are signs that the longed-for end may be at hand,” adds Burton. The widespread fixation among evangelicals with the end times helps to explain their outspoken defense of a president who holds little regard for the future of humanity — or the planet.