Donald Trump, in front of St. John’s Church. Internet.
Last Monday (01/06), after announcing the militarization of the United States to stop the persistent social protests, President Trump, with a Bible in hand and an arrogant attitude, posed for the cameras in front of the historic St. John’s Protestant Episcopal Church, opposite the White House, in Washington, and said: “We have the best country in the world”.
The next day, he headed to the National Shrine of St. John Paul II in northeast Washington, where he laid out a floral arrangement and had his picture taken with the imposing statue of John Paul II, the Catholic Pope who “defeated communism” and “annihilated” liberation theologies and their communities in Latin America.
Why does Emperor Trump use Christian symbolism at a time when cities throughout the Empire are burning in social protest?
Not only is tycoon Trump on a reelection campaign (for the next presidential election), but to some extent he understands that his Empire is in a persistent moral/intellectual crisis in the U.S. and abroad. He knows that the unipolar world is fading heralding a multicentric world.
Against this background, exploiting the neo-Pentecostal faith of his believing followers, he resorts to the most cohesive element of social unity: religion.
He manipulates Christian symbolism in an attempt to “save the moral, intellectual and spiritual supremacy of the American Empire”. He knows that in a world of believers, religion is the best tool for political legitimation, and the preservation of national unity around faith.
He uses evangelical and Catholic symbolism because he is trying to show himself as the Christian Messiah, over and above ecclesial divisions, the guarantor of unity and well-being for all believing citizens.
The records indicate that no less than three American presidents, at different times, were in St. John’s Church (therefore it is a qualified Church in the imagination of good Americans). The church (the basement) was incidentally burned down by “black radical leftists” during the most recent protests following the police murder of George Floyd. In this sense it would also be a monument of victorious martyrdom.
Here is why the Emperor “Messiah” chose a suffering Church that stands victorious over the American people’s fury. “As this suffering Church won, so shall you win with me if you believe and vote for me,” is the message, it seems.
He chose the statue of John Paul II, because, as is now increasingly known, he was the Pope, who in his time, with his Encyclical Centesimus Annus (1991), and other teachings, “defeated socialism” in Europe, and the popular Christian expression of communism in Latin America (liberation theologies).
By offering flowers to John Paul II, and having his picture taken with that statue, he expresses his gratitude and confidence that with the help of the anti-communist Saint he will free North America and the world from the “snares of contemporary communism” of China/Russia.
Why does Trump use the Bible against “the Negroes”?
Donald Trump, with the statue of John Paul II Internet
This manipulation of Christian religious symbolism takes on spectacular nuances in a context where the descendants of the historic victims of European Christian colonialism, “the blacks”, now shake the Empire from the streets demanding justice.
In these times, many of us are increasingly aware that without the historical doctrinal legitimization of Christianity, the “blacks” would perhaps not have been turned into slaves. Much less would they be the “race” or the subaltern/repressed color if the God and the Christian saints were not painted white (with minimal exceptions). The racism of yesterday and today also has a constitutive support in Christian symbolism.
There, we see other important reasons why Emperor Trump, feeling the fury of the “black revolt” resorted to official religious symbolism to try to legitimize himself, and “inject” certainty in his Christian followers (evangelical or Catholic)
Trump is trying to imitate Constantine of Rome
Constantine, Emperor of Rome, in battle led by the Cross. Painting. Internet
The Roman Empire, at the beginning of the fourth century, was undergoing an accelerated process of political and territorial disintegration as a result of the moral/intellectual collapse of its rulers. It was then, governor Constantine, to defeat/submit his political/military enemies, decided to “convert” to the religious sect most repudiated by Rome, Christianity.
The historian Lactantius notes that Constantine defeated Maxentius (reformist general of Rome) at the battle of Ponte Milvio (28 October 312) thanks to the crosses he had had painted on the shields of his soldiers. Years later, Constantine was baptized in the Christian faith, attempting to avoid the division/collapse of the Empire.
Constantine, through the political/military use of the Christian Cross, managed to win a battle, but he could not avoid the division of Rome, nor its complete collapse. However, Christianity ceased to be a socio-religious movement of liberation for the subaltern sectors of that time, and became the official religion and tool of domination of the Roman Empire, and the rest of the Western world.