Recently billboards have appeared along major U.S. freeways depicting Trump’s face and the quote from John 1 “And the Word became flesh.” Another saying on the billboards is “Make the gospel great again.” Predictably these billboards have raised concerns and questions. The Christians who sponsor the billboards have defended them, claiming that they do not equate Trump with Jesus Christ. But the billboards are what they are. Whatever the sponsor’s thoughts and intentions may be, the billboards scream out that Trump is “up there with Jesus” in terms of messiahship, saviorhood, worthiness of ultimate loyalty.
Again, whatever the billboards’ sponsors say, the billboards communicate a dangerous message and even the most die-hard Trump supporters must speak out against that message. I am not charging the billboards’ creators and sponsors with heresy, apostasy, blasphemy, or idolatry, but I will say the billboards’ message constitutes those. No amount of denial or defense can undo the message; the message is what it is.
I hope that the sponsor, Make the Gospel Great Again, is a false flag operation (they’re not being campy about it—apart from the billboard itself), but the idolatrous echoes of 80 years ago, noted by Olson, prevent me being blasé about it.
A French reader e-mails Rod Dreher:
I told you in a previous email that after three centuries of an anomalous absence, anti-clericalism had finally arrived to America. Jenny Nagel proves me right and if things are going by the French textbook it’s only the beginning and Christians can expect the worse in years to come, without any possibility to answer in kind as the most vicious attacks will come from “protected minorities”. Being rubbished by despicable people is something French Catholics have had to live for two centuries, and American Christians will have to live it until either they regain control of the culture (unlikely at this stage) or stop being nice guys (and girls) and fight back. I know, that’s unlikely too – it hasn’t happened yet in France either.
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