Using some weird combination of a self-serving misinterpretation of Matthew 12:30 and the classic “No True Scotsman” fallacy, to some you can’t be a “real” Christian unless you’re adamantly against President Trump and his agenda.
Enter Zack Hunt, a Yale Divinity School-educated writer, speaker, and blogger who writes about “the intersection of faith and politics” for well-known Christian websites like Christianity Today, Red Letter Christians, and Ministry Matters. His writing has also been picked up by the hyper-liberal HuffPost, which likely says more about Hunt’s political leanings.
Although I could cite plenty of leftist Christian thinkers, Hunt is the perfect case study for the Christian liberal mindset regarding President Trump. He’s a fine writer and a clear, if extremely biased, thinker whose rise in the left-wing blogosphere has coincided with Trump’s political success. If Michael Moore is the Robin Hood and Maxine Waters is the patron saint, Hunt is at least the Friar Tuck of his own ever-growing corner of the left-wing #Resistance™, a theologian lending “Christian” cover to what would otherwise typically be a godless movement.
The Bible Perfectly Fits My Politics
While most liberals probably wouldn’t know a Bible from a copy of “Das Kapital,” liberal anti-Trump theologians like Hunt don’t hesitate to use it as a bludgeon against conservatives, ignoring its inconvenient truths and twisting the words of Jesus to portray the Son of God as some sort of ’60s-era hippie whose primary goal, if he walked the earth today, would be to keep Obamacare and fill Europe and America with as many Muslim refugees as possible.
It’s called “proof-texting” and everyone does it to some degree, except Hunt and others like him take it to another level. If you selected certain “red-letter” words of Jesus, then take them exactly at face value, ignoring common sense and the rest of the Bible, maybe you’ll get the “liberal” Jesus Hunt envisions, but as the HuffPo writer would himself say, conservatives see an entirely different lord and savior.
Of course, legitimate disagreements about the practical implications of Jesus’s teachings are fine, but Hunt also uses his platform to excoriate Christian leaders who have supported President Trump, and much of his vitriol of late has been directed at Liberty University’s Jerry Falwell Jr.
In 2015, after Falwell Jr. famously dared to suggest to his student body that a concealed-carry permit-holder might stop an Islamic terrorist attack before it starts, Hunt wrote, “Jerry Falwell Jr. can carry a gun into sacred space and call for the death of his enemies even though Jesus unequivocally declared ‘Do not resist an evildoer. But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also,’ and ‘Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.’”
Are we to believe that Jesus was actually teaching that we aren’t to protect the innocent or even ourselves from any violent attack? Would Hunt sit idly by and allow his wife to be raped and his children slaughtered in front of him? Of course not, but that is his “advice” to those who would follow Christ. Such is the utter depravity of liberal “values.”
Remember that Commandment about False Witness?
On August 16, Hunt wrote via Facebook, “Jerry Falwell Jr. took to Twitter this morning to praise Donald Trump’s defense of white supremacists and neo-Nazis.” The next day, he used the same “logic” while posting this stunning indictment of the majority of Republicans: “67% of Republicans agree with Donald Trump’s defense of white supremacists and neo-Nazis in Charlottesville, VA. Not coincidentally, Pew Research reports that 86% of Republican voters are white. It’s not exactly breaking news, but it bears repeating: the Republican Party has a white supremacy problem.”
Word games, of course, but they generally copy liberal talking-points to portray Trump as somehow “defending” white supremacists when he has said absolutely nothing of the sort. It’s absurdly fallacious reasoning to equate the fact that Trump did condemn the alt-right but also had a few bad things to say about leftist violence to Trump somehow coming to the “defense of white supremacists and neo-Nazis.”
While attorney Alan Dershowitz, one of the few intellectually honest liberals around these days, has also criticized President Trump’s response to Charlottesville, he at least has called for liberals to denounce the violence coming from far-left groups like Antifa and Black Lives Matter. As a reasonably prominent liberal Christian writer with a decent following, has Hunt done anything of the sort?
If not, are we then to assume that Hunt and others who see this as a one-sided issue, including Republicans like Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, condone violence as long as it’s coming from the “correct” ideological spectrum? The ideologues on the Left might be buying it, but ordinary Americans in flyover country, the ones who elected Trump, aren’t.
His Biblical Interpretation Switches Based on Politics
Another example of Hunt’s stunning hypocrisy lies in the writer’s response to Christian televangelist Paula White’s portrayal of President Trump as a leader “raised up by God.” In an article entitled, “If Donald Trump Has Been ‘Raised Up By God,’ Then Jesus Isn’t Our Savior. He’s The Enemy,” Hunt passionately argues that Romans 13, the passage to which Christians often refer when teaching how we should interact with our government, doesn’t make “the airtight case White and Co. would like it to.”
Except when Rowan County Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis was refusing to issue gay marriage licenses in 2015, Hunt took an altogether different view of Romans 13 in an admittedly well-reasoned Huffington Post piece. Because the shoe is on the other foot, don’t you see.
“But if Ms. Davis is convinced she is in the right about same-sex marriage, if she indeed believes sincerely that the Bible is clear and thus refuses to be subject to the governing authorities Paul says are ‘appointed by God,’ then Romans 13 makes it clear she has only one option if she want to avoid judgment,” Hunt wrote at the time. “Quit.”
So, are the governing authorities “appointed by God,” or are they not? Is God in control over the affairs of men, or is he not? I guess it depends on what party the “authorities” belong to, or whether their leader’s particular sins “tip the scales” for you.
In his overt denial of God’s sovereignty in all things, much less President Trump’s election victory, Hunt also manages in the article to equate President Trump with “Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, and Kim Jung Un.” In a January blog post entitled “Following Jesus And Supporting Donald Trump Are Utterly Irreconcilable,” Hunt cites a laundry list of supposed Trump shortcomings to “prove” that one can’t support President Trump and follow Jesus.
“We must choose a master: either Christ or Trump,” Hunt concludes. “Because we cannot follow Jesus while also supporting someone who, in the most literal sense of the word, is anti-Christ.”
False dilemma much, Zack? Are there any Christians out there actually worshipping President Trump? We are fully aware of his shortcomings, but also cognizant that there is a tremendous difference between Trump’s personal sins and even what he has said, versus what he does and is actually doing, which in the long-run will be good for America. God uses imperfect vessels literally every single time he uses a man or woman here on earth. I would paraphrase a few of those “red-letter words” and suggest Hunt cast the first stone, but he already has, many times.
You Really Need to Brush Up on Commandment Eight
Finally, as yet another example of Hunt’s typical liberal duplicity, he posted this tweet last Sunday in response to a non-hurricane Harvey related tweet by President Trump:
— Zack Hunt (@ZaackHunt) August 27, 2017
Except Trump posted no fewer than 25 separate tweets, some before and some after the one tweet about Sheriff Clarke, including this one the day before:
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 26, 2017
Isn’t there something in the Bible against bearing false witness?
At least Hunt is an unapologetic liberal who is essentially preaching to his own choir. Far worse are the so-called conservatives who have turned their backs on President Trump, choosing to get their feathers ruffled over the president’s words and supposed moral failings, when the things he is actually trying to accomplish could very well bring our country back from the brink, if only they would stop sabotaging him.
But then, maybe they’ve wanted him to fail all along.