Ideas matter. The ancient Greek Sophist Thrasymachus (c. 459 – c. 400 BC), an antagonist of Socrates, believed, according to Plato, that justice has no intrinsic worth, and that moral values are both socially constructed and subjective. His philosophy directly influencedFriedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche(1844-1900), who not only rejected the idea of intrinsic justice, but also emphasized that, in his view, might makes right, and the strong should rule over the weak. Nietzschecalled Jesus “the pale enemy.” Together, Thrasymachus and Nietzsche bore the fruit of 20thcentury nationalist movements, notably Adolph Hitler’s Nazi Third Reich (1933-1945), and fascism in Francisco Franco’s Spain (he ruled as dictator from 1939 to 1975) and in Bonito Mussolini’s Italy (ruled as dictator from 1922 to 1943).
An identical relativistic morality is evident today, not only in the President of the United States, but also in the deep hypocrisy of the conservative Roman Catholics and white evangelical Christians who wholeheartedly support him. This is a group that ruthlessly attacked Bill Clinton for sexual immorality, yet excuses Trump for far worse. Trump was named an unindicted co-conspirator in a scheme to make hush-money payments to a porn star who very credibly alleged she’d had an affair with him while he was married to his third wife, who had just given birth to their son. Trump bragged he could “grab women by the pussy,” any time he wanted, and boasted of his multiple affairs.
But the Faustian Trump-Evangelical marriage is hypocritical in other, even more dangerous ways. Killing machines flanked and overflew Trump in front of the Lincoln Memorial as he made allusions to fictitious “enemies” – not Russia or North Korea, nor the Saudis who attacked the World Trade Center – no, to Trump and his allies, the “enemies” are refugees, immigrants fleeing violence and poverty, and the Democrats and liberals who support them.
This President has by far the most destructive record in history regarding the environment, air and water quality, and global warming. This President befriends and supports dictators, denigrates allies, mocks women in displays of blatant misogyny, and has a history of racist business practices. He, like Thrasymachus and Nietzsche believes might makes right, and that standards of law and ethics do not apply to him. His character, behavior, and government policies are diametrically opposite the teachings of Jesus. Yet, Christians cheer him on. Not this Christian.