Politics sometimes does strange and sad things to people, especially to elected officials in Washington. Sometimes it makes them forget who they are—or become someone else entirely. In the case of Illinois Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger, it seems to have confused his loyalties: in exchange for attaboys from Twitter blue-checks and MSNBC, he turned on his own family.
Kinzinger is one of just 10 GOP lawmakers who last month voted to impeach former President Donald Trump. He and the other Republicans who broke with their party—including Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the No. 3 House Republican—have understandably faced harsh criticism from their constituents and fellow Republicans over what many view as a craven betrayal, not just of Trump but of the voters they are supposed to represent.
In Kinzinger’s case, it seems some of his own family members are among those who feel angry and betrayed. They told him so in no uncertain terms, sending his office a certified letter disowning him and, in a bizarre twist, claiming he is possessed by the devil.
Clearly, tensions are running high in the Kinzinger clan right now. But we only know this because Kinzinger took the opportunity to air his family business to the entire country, going on NBC’s “Meet the Press” and sitting for interviews with The Atlantic and the Washington Post to preen and posture about principles over party—and, in his case, even over family. According to Kinzinger’s warped political principles, throwing your family under the bus to get plaudits from the corporate press is somehow patriotic.
In true D.C. fashion, Kinzinger used his feting by corporate media to promote his new PAC, Country1st, for which he released a little video. In the video he goes beyond just selling out his family and actually paraphrases the words of Jesus Christ, shamelessly appropriating them for contemporary American politics, saying “the road” that led to the Capitol riot on Jan. 6 “is the wide path that leads to destruction. The narrow path is hard, but leads to life.” See what he did there?
For someone who lately has been making a big deal of his faith (Kinzinger told reporters he is a “born-again” evangelical Christian), the Illinois congressman appears to be confused about basic Christian theology. Like his Trump-supporting relatives, Kinzinger also believes in the devil, or at least a certain version of the devil. As he told The Atlantic, “The devil’s ultimate trick for Christianity… is embarrassing the church.”
Is it? Someone—maybe one of his family members—should pull Kinzinger aside and explain to him that the devil’s ultimate and oldest trick is the one from the Garden, when he sowed doubt about whether God really meant what he had clearly said. That trick is rampant in American culture and politics today. (That’s how, for example, America gets a “Catholic” president who unabashedly champions things the Catholic Church has always taught are moral evils, like abortion. God didn’t really mean what he said, you see…)
One of the purposes of this old trick is to tempt Christians into making their faith respectable in the eyes of a godless world. This is exactly what has happened to many Christian denominations in America that today openly support a host of moral evils, from abortion to transgenderism to critical race theory.
In so doing, they are deemed respectable by the dominant secular culture, the gatekeepers of which—NBC News, The Atlantic, The Washington Post—are eager to listen to and amplify voices like Kinzinger’s. Not because they care about the congressman’s principles, but because they care about hurting Trump, who despite his many flaws and his apparent lack of personal faith is the only Republican president in a generation who has stood unequivocally against the moral evils the left celebrates.
But politicians like Kinzinger and Cheney have little interest in Trump’s sort of GOP. They prefer platitudes about hope and opportunity, content to plead with an ascendant cultural left that hates them and their faith, that will grind them to dust—that is, right after giving them a five-minute spot with Chuck Todd to denigrate their own family.