ConWebWatch home
ConWebBlog: the weblog of ConWebWatch
Search and browse through the ConWebWatch archive
About ConWebWatch
Who's behind the news sites that ConWebWatch watches?
Letters to and from ConWebWatch
ConWebWatch Links
Buy books and more through ConWebWatch

The Strange Case of Dr. Brown and Mr. Trump, Part 2

After President Trump lost the election, WorldNetDaily columnist Michael Brown still couldn't quite admit that evangelicals' embrace of him was a bad thing -- until the Capitol riot.

By Terry Krepel
Posted 1/28/2021

Michael Brown

WorldNetDaily columnist Michael Brown spent the years before the 2020 election manufacturing justification for right-wing evangelical Christians like himself to support President Trump, even though he's an adulterer and a profoundly amoral man. Even after the election, as Trump pushed increasingly dubious charges of election fraud, Brown still couldn't quite quit him.

In his Nov. 4 column immediately after the election, Brown cited several "takeaways"' from the election, among them being "If Trump does get reelected, it will be with God's help," "Trump succeeded in increasing his black and Latino support," and "People of faith should keep praying and putting their trust in God for His desired outcome, whatever that may be." But he did hedge a bit, admitting that the country's "massive crisis of trust" was driven in part by "Trump's masterful way of creating distrust," and adding in another takeaway that "Charismatic prophets are about to be vindicated or humiliated."

On Nov. 6, Brown wrote:

I personally hope that the seemingly impossible happens, that Trump is proven to be the rightfully reelected president and that the prophecies about him prove true.

But what if a Biden-Harris presidency was needed to reveal the dangerous radicalism of the left, leading to greater spiritual desperation in the church, leading to a spiritual awakening in the society? What if the worst-case scenario for tens of millions of conservative voters resulted in the transforming of even more millions of hearts in the years ahead?

Brown, once again, ignored the possibility that if Trump's election was ordained by God, he was sent as a warning and not as a deliverance, and that Biden is the actual divine deliverance.

Brown tried to play both sides in his Nov. 9 column, admitting that he appreciated Joe Biden's claims for unity, but he seemed to put the onus on Biden much more than Trump or his supporters (like himself) to make that happen:

But as long as there are strong beliefs that the election has been stolen, there will be no healing in sight.

Conversely, should the courts overturn the current vote, there will be no healing.

And when crowds dance in jubilation at the defeat of Trump, there will be no healing.

And when BLM and Antifa remain as radicalized as ever, there will be no healing.

And if Biden becomes our next president and seeks to enact many of his promised policies, as his constituents would expect him to do, there will be no healing.

And if Biden and Harris continue to advocate for the legality of slaughtering the unborn, there will be no healing.

And if Biden is serious about making transgender rights the civil rights issue of the day, there will be no healing. (Note his specific mention of "Gay, straight, transgender" in his speech.)

Even with something as simple as a national mask mandate, it would only deepen the divide.

Brown sounded very much like a Trump supporter in his Nov. 11 column:

Right now, legal officials and the courts are weighing the question of a fraudulent election. But regardless of the final verdict, we can say for sure that the odds were already stacked against President Trump.

Just think of what might have happened had the mainstream media reported the story of the Hunter Biden laptop the way they reported the alleged Russian collusion story (among other anti-Trump stories).

What might have happened if the internet giants didn't suppress conservative voices?

More broadly, what might have happened if COVID-19 did not crush the thriving economy, or if the virus did not pave the way for tens of millions of mail-in ballots, opening the door wider to potential fraud?

But he did seem to concede just a little that Trump may not be divinely ordained: "Again, this does not mean that God is with Trump and against his political opponents. This does not mean that, unless Trump is reelected, God's purposes have failed. And this doesn't mean that Trump did not create his own problems. But it does mean that all these obstacles, multiplied endlessly, are no match for God. Not even close. If He wants Trump in office, it will happen."

On Nov. 13, Brown ranted against the "radical left" and claimed to speak for Biden's black voters: "I do not believe that a large majority of blacks who voted for Biden were also voting for socialism or for transgender activism or for disrupting the nuclear family. (Note also that Trump did increase his support among black voters by 4% from 2016.)" He admitted that " most Americans also resist the agenda of the radical right, but that agenda tends not to make its way through society via our schools and the cultural elitists."

Brown both-sided it again in his Nov. 20 column -- even though the rancor is coming almost entirely from his side -- but he did seem to understand the stakes:

Allow me to state the obvious. Barring divine intervention, which would include the miraculous changing of the hearts of millions of people, there is no good outcome to the current electoral crisis. Absolutely none.

If, by some miracle, Trump still prevails and wins reelection, the outcry will be greater than anything we have yet seen.

It will be greater than the riots that have convulsed our country this year. Greater than the riots of 1968. Greater than anything in our history, short of the Civil War.

And be assured of this. The outcry against Trump will not stop.

After all, if his legitimate election in 2016 was fought tooth and nail for the last four years, what would happen if the courts pronounced him president for another four? The opposition against him, in the media, in politics and on the streets, would be intense beyond words. "Hysterical" would be a better description.

On the other hand, if Biden prevails and is sworn in Jan. 20, tens of millions of Americans will believe the election was stolen, and Trump would likely keep stoking the fire. Or do you think he and his followers will just say, "Hey, we tried, but the better man won, fair and square"?

As I said, barring divine intervention, this is not a likely outcome, in which case the Biden presidency will be marked by constant derision and scorn, with countless people even refusing to acknowledge his authority.

How can we survive in a state like this?

But rather than state the obvious -- that it's Trump's responsibility to turn down the heat -- Brown wimped out, first quoting Rabbi Shmuley Boteach bragging that "American irrationality is part of our greatness" (while smearing Biden as someone who "might have mentally left the reservation," a characterization Brown apparently has no problem with), and then declaring that God will save us all, in whatever form: "The God we worship and serve can bring light out of darkness and order out of chaos. The God we adore uses the foolish to confound the wise and the weak to confound the strong. The God we honor brings resurrection out of crucifixion. And when all seems lost, He is often at work the most. As the old saying goes, man's extremity is God's opportunity."

Brown was still in defense mode in his Dec. 9 column, denying that Trump's appeal 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 explicitly 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 initial 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 declaring, "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.

After the riot

On Jan. 6, the Trump-inspired Capitol riot happened. That day, WND published a column by Brown that did not reference the riot but addressed the so-called prophecies by right-wing evangelical ministers claiming that Trump would be re-elected:

When it comes to the presidential elections, God never gave me any assurance that Trump would be reelected (although, as any of my readers would know, he was my preferred choice over Biden). Nor did the Lord ever give me any assurance that the prophets, who to a person proclaimed a Trump victory, were right.

That means that my faith will not be affected in the least with the anticipated inauguration of Joe Biden, although I will certainly be concerned with the direction he has pledged to take our country.

The Bible never told me (or you) that Trump (or any other presidential candidate) would be elected. And I can give a list of reasons why so many prophetic voices and Christian leaders could have been so wrong in their pro-Trump predictions. (We will certainly address that when the time is right.)

But my message to a watching world right now is simple: John 3:16 will remain true long after the Trump reelection prophecies are forgotten. Don't confuse what is written in the Word with some alleged prophetic words.

On Jan. 11, Brown tried to justify his and evangelical Christians' support for Trump even as "things are ending very badly for Donald Trump's presidency and some of his close associates are abandoning him," while concluding some people did "compromise" their values:

So, on the one hand, Trump won some short-term victories and also appointed many lifetime judges. He did much good on the national and international scene. On the other hand, we are now left with a real, national mess, with the balance of power shifting dramatically left and with the country as a whole vulgarized in many ways by the Trump presidency.


We had absolutely nothing in common with the white supremacists and other fanatics who stormed the Capitol last week. We were not xenophobes or racists or misogynists. But we were staunchly opposed to where the radical left might take us, hence our vote for a very flawed man.

Many of us also hoped that some of the godly leaders who surrounded him would be able to help him make some deep, fundamental changes as they spoke into his life with clarity and truth. And so we cast our vote.

Did we sell our souls in doing so? Did we compromise our values in the process?

For many of us, the answer is no, and we don't need to go on an apology tour for our vote. Even if some of our friends were more prescient than we were, seeing that things would end badly, we acted with sincerity before God and man. And if in the years ahead, our worst fears are realized and our country lurches even further to the far left, we will remember why we voted as we did.

That being said, many of us did sell our souls and compromise our values. There is no doubt about it whatsoever.

We diminished the importance of a leader's character and integrity. We became apologists for the president's sins and shortcomings. We mirrored his worst characteristics. We justified the unjustifiable. We put our trust in a man to fight our political and cultural battles. We became better known as "the Trump people" than as "the Jesus people." The list goes on and on.

To the extent that applies to any of us, we need to do some serious, private soul-searching along with some honest, public repenting, not in reaction to the attacks from the left but out of reverence before God.

Either way we voted, however, the reputation of Jesus has been trashed before the nation. What can all of us do to see His name lifted up again?

Brown used his Jan. 13 column to try to carve a center path between "Never Trump" and "Forever Trump":

To the Never Trumpers, I say this: If you genuinely love America and you are people of real character, now is not the time to gloat or say, "I told you so." You should be grieving that the nation is in so much pain, and you should be doing your best to heal the wounds rather than pour salt into them. And if you feel your fellow conservatives erred in supporting Trump, then seek out healthy discussion and dialogue. Condescension is not called for.

To the Forever Trumpers, I say this: You cast your vote for him twice, and you are standing with him now that he is being impeached for a second time. You see how the left finally has its moment and is trying pounce and destroy, so this is not the time for you to abandon Trump's side. All that is understandable.

But either way, impeached or censured or not, he will be out office in one week. It's time to move on. There's no need for you to tether your future political hopes to him.

Brown showed he was moving on in his Jan. 15 column, cheering Biden's election because right-wing evangelicals need an enemy, and "an adversarial presence in the White House could be the best thing that happened to the Church of America in years."

Finally, Brown declared in his Jan. 20 column under the headline "Joe Biden is president – by the sovereign will of God":

As for the issue of voter fraud, there are clearheaded, well-informed conservatives who are sure there is nothing to the charge of massive voter fraud, and there are clearheaded, well-informed conservatives who hold to the opposite view.

For argument's sake, though, let's just say that massive voter fraud did take place. How could I possibly point to divine sovereignty if Biden was fraudulently elected? Wouldn't this make God complicit in fraud?

Actually, in my view, that's one of the things that would argue in favor of divine action rather than against it. In other words, if the only way Biden could be elected was by massive fraud and yet God did not cause the fraud to be revealed in a categorical and undeniable way, then He chose to allow it to happen.

After admitting that Trump channeled "dangerous emotions," Brown lectured on how to pray for (or is it against?) Biden:

I would encourage you, then to: 1) make a list of everything you fear could go wrong under the Biden-Harris leadership and pray for the opposite; 2) pray daily that the Lord would restrain those whose vision would destroy our nation; 3) pray that Biden and Harris would have life-changing encounters with the Lord; 4) if the Biden presidency is meant as divine chastisement, pray that we would understand where we need to repent so that mercy may be poured out; and 5) pray that, no matter what happens, Jesus would be glorified and His kingdom advanced on the earth.

So Brown gets to have it both ways: a flawed ally if Trump won, and an convenient bogeyman under Biden. And either way, he still gets to be an activist.

Send this page to:

Bookmark and Share
The latest from

In Association with
Support This Site

home | letters | archive | about | primer | links | shop
This site © Copyright 2000-2021 Terry Krepel