Civil Discourse Now

Where the far left and far right overlap for fun and enlightenment

trump wants to "make" us pray & that's as wrong as it is silly

As trump hawked bibles [FN1] he posted, “Let’s Make America Pray Again.” Some, who claim to be devout Christians, claim to be persecuted by separation of church and State, i.e., if their god can’t run the lives of everyone, they are the ones who are (somehow) “victims.” 1/8

trump’s post is another reason to fear his return to power & anyone taking power who advances this belief. 1) We should take seriously that he & others will “make” us pray. In this context, the verb “make” is transitive [FN2] and means “to cause, induce, or compel.” [FN3] 2/8

2) Christianity has “forced” conversion in the past. From 400 to 1500 C.E., non-Christians were perceived as “religious aliens” who suffered from actions by “church and state authorities, mobs, and vigilante groups.” [FN4] In the “New World,” forced conversions were widespread. 3/8

Indigenous peoples were forced to convert as were African slaves were compelled to abandon beliefs “they held prior to enslavement in favor of the loving and merciful god of their captors.” [FN5] The self-righteous mob of January 6 seems capable of violence. 4/8

3) The force to “make” somebody pray need not be on a January 6 scale to be as offensive and as much of a violation of our First Amendment rights. A kid who does not participate in religious is “different” and faces hostility. Some of us can speak of life experiences in this regard. 5/8

In high school, I was invited to attend a church and was shocked. The preacher demeaned those who “only sprinkle” for baptism. His god seemed petty and mean. That is trump’s deity, so weak as to need this iteration of the GOP to convert America to him. 6/8

FN1. The post, undated, appears to have been from trump’s social media platform.
FN2. A transitive verb “is reguilarly accompanied by a direct object.” The American College Dictionary, 1962 ed., p. 1287. 7/8

FN3. Id., p. 735.
FN4. Kling, “A History of Christian Conversion,” (Aug. 2020), pp. 151-173. See, abstract.
FN5. 8/8

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