by Johnny Townsend
I am baffled that so many Mormons support Donald Trump. At one point, the percentage of Mormon Trump supporters was the highest of any religion (61% according to a 2017 Gallup poll). While some Mormon opposition has existed from the start, the vast majority of Mormons heartily endorsed a man who admitted groping women, who mocked a disabled reporter, who called on followers to assault his opponents, and who, by anyone’s definition, was a great big creep.
I speak Italian, as a result of my time as a Mormon missionary in Rome, and I’ve studied French, Spanish, Russian, Hebrew, and American Sign Language. I also took a translation course in grad school. When I hear so many Mormons say, “No one’s perfect. But Trump has good policies,” I’m able to translate that pretty easily.
What they’re really saying is, “You can commit any sin as long as you are serving God while doing so.”
Almost all Mormons are fine with Nephi killing and robbing a drunk, sleeping Laban.
Too many Mormons are fine with covering up sexual abuse “to protect the name of the Church.”
And an uncomfortably large number are fine with a history of racist prophets because those prophets “were only human.”
While people in general have the capacity to excuse the abuse of others as long as they themselves aren’t abused, Mormon theology has a specific teaching that makes accepting bad behavior part of God’s plan. Once a person receives “the Second Anointing,” that person has their Calling and Election made sure and is guaranteed a spot in the Celestial Kingdom, no
matter what sins he or she may commit after that. They are like international diplomats who can’t be prosecuted for crimes they commit in other countries. They have permanent amnesty.
Mormons who’ve had the Second Anointing can literally get away with murder. Or with shooting someone on Fifth Avenue. They possess a “Get Out of Judgment Day Free” card.
Perhaps this also explains why two Mormons were among the top contributors to the U.S. military torture program.
Many Mormons in the U.S. honestly don’t care about any of Trump’s “personal” failings because, even if he isn’t a member of the Church, the principle is the same. He’s lowering taxes, he’s banning transgender folks from the military, and he’s Making America Great Again. That’s more than just a campaign slogan for Mormons, whose theology insists that America is the Promised Land, reserved for the righteous and the righteous alone. If Trump can get rid of some of the undesirables, he’s doing God’s bidding. If he must be cruel and oppressive and criminal to do it, well, they can live with that.
The Second Anointing basically teaches Mormons that those at the top are not subject to the same rules and laws that the rest of us must obey. So when Trump says he’s exempt from prosecution for absolutely anything, Mormons have been trained to accept that declaration as reasonable.
“Lying for the Lord” is a common Mormon practice, so why shouldn’t “Imprisoning Legal Asylum Seekers for the Lord” be an acceptable practice as well? And “Oppressing Workers for the Lord” and “Bankrupting Farmers for the Lord” and “Befriending Murderous Tyrants for the Lord”?
“Denying Healthcare to Millions for the Lord” and “Labeling the Free Press an Enemy of the People for the Lord” are just friendly fire casualties in the ultimate battle between Good and Evil.
When my mother was diagnosed with leukemia at the age of 43, the doctor discussed the diagnosis with my father, and together, they decided not to tell my mother, deeming her too emotionally fragile to handle the news.
When a newly assigned nurse met my mother for the first time, she said cheerily, “Oh, you’re the leukemia patient.” When confronted about his deception, the doctor still refused to give my mother a prognosis, so she asked me to go to the library and report back to her.
The doctor and my father started my mother on chemotherapy without her consent or even her knowledge.
But they were able to form a “righteous” secret combination because their lies and plotting were all for my mother’s own good.
She was dead two and a half weeks later.
Far too many Mormons are okay with Trump as the nation’s doctor. They just offer their arms for the IVs and do what they’re told. After all, Trump’s only cleansing the country of people that Jesus would have to eliminate later anyway.
“We thank thee O God for a Second-Anointed One.”
With saints like these, who needs sinners?