Chapter 1: In the name of God / The imperial presidency

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In the Name of God

Look how they love one another (Tertullian).

Christians of all denominations across the US acted no different than their non-Christian counterparts throughout the entire process that was both unfolding and continues to unfold in relation to Protecting the Nation. They have done this despite their calling to manifest a very different kind of behavior by virtue of their professed faith and belief in God.

On the one hand, conservative Christians, in particular those on the extreme right, Catholics included, who had considered President Trump to be a postmodern-day King Cyrus II (the Great;[1] e.g., G. L., personal communication at A House of Prayer) or King Constantine I[2] (e.g., ChurchMilitant.com, 2016; Voris, 2016) upon his election – namely, that he was ‘sent by God’ to save both the nation and the world from its ever-increasing descent into postmodern-era paganism and violence, including the barbaric terroristic violence of the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) – stomped and hurled insults at their more moderate and liberal brethren on social media and elsewhere, with a fervor and zeal that would have put the Old Testament high priest, Phinehas, to shame. More often than not, these insults tended to end with the yelled exhortations to “PRAY!” and “STAY STRONG, Christians!” – combined with several requests to the administrators of the relevant social media platforms to censor or block those who disagreed with them in a manner quite different from that of a snowflake.[3]

On the other hand, liberal Christians, in particular those on the extreme left, hurled verbal abuse online, and at times even physical abuse in offline venues, at their more moderate and conservative counterparts with no less fervor, zeal, and versatility. Strings of profanities and vulgarities in the name of God abounded, even though some in the conservative camp engaged in the same behaviors. Civil resistance protests grew in urban areas across the nation and in more than a few cases, riots were incited on purpose to attempt to create a state of anarchy, with multiple instances of physical violence being the result. 

The stark divide in America that had never vanished since the race riots of the 1960s and before, came out into the open with stunning suddenness and amazing force at the catalyzing event of Protecting the Nation. Neither group of people, secular or Christian, stopped to reflect on what they were doing. These behaviors are ongoing at the time of writing.

The Imperial Presidency

No man will ever carry out of the Presidency the reputation that carried him into it (Thomas Jefferson).

The US President himself took to Twitter without restraint to vent his escalating frustration with everything and everyone including the Judicial Branch, the mainstream media (the fourth branch of government in popular parlance), and anyone who dared to disobey, oppose, or betray him in any way; perceived or actual. After the second ruling that denied the reinstatement of the requirements of Executive Order 13769, President Trump yelled on Twitter, “SEE YOU IN COURT. THE SECURITY OF OUR NATION IS AT STAKE.” After the ruling of Executive Order 13780, he proclaimed during a campaign rally in Nashville, Tennessee, that “this ruling makes us look weak” (Jarrett, 2017; Trump, 2017g) and added that:

“The need for my Executive Order is clear . . . The order he blocked was a watered-down version of the first order that was also blocked by another judge and should never have been blocked to start with . . . And let me tell you something. I think we ought to go back to the first one and go all the way, which is what I wanted to do in the first place” (ibid.).

The drafting of Protecting the Nation had commenced during the electoral campaign in 2016 – namely, before the President had won the election, had full clearance, and his aides had any clearance whatsoever. It was also reported that Executive Order 13769 was intended to target “the ‘multigenerational threat’ of the growth of enclaves susceptible to radicalization” (Wilner, 2017).

The spirits of King George III and the American Revolutionary War had returned with a vengeance, this time within the nation itself, and intermingled with the dark spirits of the American Civil War; the bloodiest to date in the history of the nation.

[1] The Persian king who had freed the Jews and allowed them to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem.

[2] Saint Constantine the Great, Equal-to-the-Apostles.

[3] The defining political scattershot insult of 2016-2017, taken to indicate a somewhat less crude “F- you” in relation to the feelings of the other, often a ‘soft liberal,’ and the capacity for internalization in terms of what is being said or done in the moment.

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