When last we checked in on WorldNetDaily columnist Michael Brown, he was starting to waver a little bit on his steadfast support for President Trump based on his right-wing, evangelical-friendly agenda, as the fact that Trump is amoral liar started to weigh on him, as well as his fellow evangelicals' obsession with Trump (which he helped create by serving as an apologist for the president).
Brown was still in defense mode in his Dec. 9 column, Denying that Trump'sappeal to white evangelicals was racial, though he conceded that "evangelicals have looked to Trump as a savior figure of sorts, a strong man who, at last, will push back against the left" and that "Trump's America-first nationalism appealed to many a white supremacist, including those on the alt-right." He then vouched for Trump's non-racism:
If he were truly a racist (or, at the least, someone who catered to white supremacy), why did he work so hard (and succeed) in expanding his minority base? Why did he reach out to black and Hispanic pastors and activists, bringing them into his inner circle? Why did he take pride in having a growing multi-racial base? Why did he respond to racial unrest in 2020 by gathering key black leaders for input and counsel?
And as much as I have been an open critic of Trump when I have differed with his words and conduct (as a Trump supporter and voter), I have never believed he was a racist. Some of my anti-Trump, evangelical friends agree with me here as well.
The issue of protecting our borders is about law and order and safety. It is not about keeping out needy refugees who want to become part of our country.
But on Dec. 14, he sided with religious scholar Beth Moore in warning against Christian nationalism: "Many Christian conservatives today are equating the fate of America with the fate of God's kingdom, making one party (obviously, the Republican Party) into God's party and the other party (obviously, the Democratic Party) into Satan's party." He added:"We should fight for what is right and against what is wrong. But the cause of Trump is not the cause of Christ, nor is the battle for the Senate a battle for the kingdom of God." On Dec. 16, Brown warned against inappropriate merging of religion and politics, "taking over our neighborhoods through intimidation and fear, forcing non-believers to live by our moral codes."
In his Dec. 25 column, Brown shot down pardoned criminal Michael Flynn's attempt to boost Christian nationalism:
We can also recognize the important role that the Bible played in the founding of our country.
But all that is a far cry from viewing America as a truly Christian nation or conflating the cross with the flag.
Rather, that is the type of Christian nationalism that can be so dangerous, the kind that non-Christians (or, even simply non-fundamentalist Christians) find so concerning.
That is the type of rhetoric that can lead to calls for a theocracy, something I want no part of until Jesus returns and sets up His kingdom.
That is the type of mindset that sees the battle for the 2020 elections as a battle for the Gospel, as if the anti-Trump forces are all anti-Jesus and the pro-Trump forces all pro-Jesus.
Again, Trump is not Hitler, and we who voted for him are neither Nazis nor supporters of Nazism. But to the extent that we think that true American-ness equals true Christianity, we make a serious mistake. And to the extent we wrap the cross in the American flag, we degrade the Gospel.
On Dec. 28, Brown more explictly rejected Christian nationalism expressed as unwavering support for Trump, pointing out that America "was not established as any kind of theocracy, although we had strong biblical roots":
It is that same zeal for God and love of country that moved some of us to speak up in the aftermath of the elections, as we saw a dangerous spike in Trumpism (meaning, an unhealthy looking to Trump as some kind of political messiah).
Did we do this to gain the approval of Never Trumpers or to appease a potential Biden administration? The suggestion is as laughable as it is ludicrous.
And in his Dec. 30 column, after flirting with both-sides-ism on partisan media sources -- "not everything the left-leaning media say is false, and not everything the right-leaning media say is true" -- Brown eventually comes down hard on his fellow right-wingers who reflexively reject anything not reported by right-wing media ... and more specifically himself, citing the hostile reaction he got from far-right activists after writing a column denouncing the QAnon conspiracy. (Interestingly, not only did WND not publish the column, it was reportedly deleted from the right-wing evangelical website Charisma after publication.) Brown then took apart the evangelical obsession with Trump -- one, by the way, he helped create:
As for the president, I have heard Christian leaders say that he is the only one they trust right now. I have seen posts saying that "all pastors" have been bought out by "the elites." And on and it goes.
Trump, for his part, has made clear that we cannot trust the Supreme Court. Or the DOJ. Or the FBI. Or Congress. Or the media. Or the voting system (he's been saying that for years, for the record). Or those who used to work in his administration. "Believe me," he says repeatedly, and many of us do, hook, line and sinker. He alone can be trusted. This too is very dangerous.
Added to all this is the crisis taking place right now in the charismatic church, where a substantial chorus of prophetic voices, in absolute one accord, has proclaimed that Trump will serve a second consecutive term. They prophesied this for many months before the election, and now, most of them have reaffirmed their prophecies, "Joe Biden will not serve in the White House. President Trump will be inaugurated. The tables will turn."
Can you imagine the fallout if this does not happen?
Does it simply mean these individuals cannot be trusted? Or is this an indictment on the entire charismatic movement (of which I am a part)? Or is this an indictment on the very idea of God and the Bible?
Brown concluded by delcaring, "May 2021 be the year when the sword of truth emerges to cut through the lies. And may we have the courage to follow the truth, come what may. It will deliver us from a pandemic even more deadly than COVID – the pandemic of deception." Given what happened in the days that followed, it might take more than that to get his fellow right-wing evangelicals to reject deception.