Evangelical Christians see Trump as ‘man of God’
Greg Marrison, Jerusalem Post, September 1, 2018
As he travels to preach at small country churches across Alabama, former State Baptist Convention President John Killian hears a lot of talk about President Donald Trump. “I see overwhelming support,” Killian said.
Exit polls in 2016 showed that about 80% of white evangelical Christians voted for Trump.
That support is still solid, said Killian, a former pastor and now director of Baptist missions for Fayette County.
But why? Trump is twice divorced, and his attorney claimed to have paid adult film star Stormy Daniels to keep quiet about having an affair with Trump. He’s been caught on tape speaking in foul-mouthed terms about women. His character flaws could have derailed almost any other politician trying to court the religious right.
“Everybody knows if Barack Obama had done one of these things, he would have been skewered by these folks as unfit for office,” said church historian Bill Leonard. But major evangelical leaders such as Franklin Graham and Jerry Falwell Jr. defend Trump and see him as an ally in the culture wars.
“Issues matter more than a person’s personal life,” Killian said. “The two issues that come up are pro-life – appointment of judges (who oppose abortion), and support for Israel.”
Alabama Pastor John Kilpatrick compares Trump to King David, who committed adultery with Bathsheba and had her husband killed. God is using Trump for his own purposes, Kilpatrick said.
“The president has taken a stand for life. Second, the president has taken up for Israel and has declared Jerusalem the capital of Israel. Third, he has chosen Supreme Court justices – that’s going to turn this nation around.
Those three things are why the spirit of Jezebel hates him and wants him out. We may be on the verge of the greatest revival this world has ever seen.”
Kilpatrick believes the 2016 election was miraculous.
“I have to believe it was the Holy Spirit that turned it,” Kilpatrick said. “If the Lord put him in an office, the Lord will sustain him in an office. You better be careful that you don’t lay a hand on him.”
That’s a reference to Psalm 105:15, “Touch not my anointed ones; do my prophets no harm.”
Jezebel’s story is found in 1 and 2 Kings.
She was the daughter of Ethbaal, king of Tyre/Sidon and priest of the cult of Baal. Ahab, king of Israel, married Jezebel and led the nation into Baal worship (1 Kings 16:31). According to the Books of Kings in the Hebrew Bible, Jezebel incited her husband King Ahab to abandon the worship of Yahweh and encourage worship of the deities Baal and Asherah instead. (The Jezebel Spirit)
Israel Finkelstein says that the inconsistencies and anachronisms in the biblical stories of Jezebel and Ahab mean that they must be considered “more of a historical novel than an accurate historical chronicle.”
The compilers of the biblical accounts of Jezebel and her family were writing centuries after the events from a perspective of strict monolatry.
These writers considered the polytheism of the members of the Omride dynasty to be sinful.
In addition, they were hostile to the northern kingdom and its history, as its center of Samaria was a rival to Jerusalem. (Wikipedia)
What, or who, is a Jezebel? A feminist approach.
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At Reviving Herstory we are dedicated to reviving and retelling lost women’s tales—biblical, historical, and otherwise.
“Jezebel has come to be associated with promiscuity. In modern usage, the name of Jezebel is sometimes used as a synonym for sexually promiscuous and/or controlling women.” (wikipedia.org/wiki/Jezebel)
The thing is, Jezebel was more than a name. She was a woman—historical or legendary—and only by unearthing her story can we begin to understand how her name was taken from her—and used against us.
Throughout her tale in 1 and 2 Kings, Jezebel does not commit adultery or any sexually deviant acts. And while she is certainly the active figure in her story, she does not act alone. So, if she was not a sexually promiscuous controlling woman, what did she do to earn—and share with us—her scathing reputation?
“When Jezebel comes to [live in] Israel [as a queen], she brings her foreign gods and goddesses… with her… This is why she is vilified… She represents a view of womanhood that is the opposite of the one extolled in characters… [who surrender their] identity… Jezebel steadfastly remains true to her own beliefs.” (biblicalarchaeology.org)
As her story unfolds, we learn that Jezebel, in bringing her own religious and cultural identity to her new marriage and homeland, seriously pisses off the religious zealots of her day.
They go to war with her, and she loses, but this is not enough for the men who curse her very name. So one of them goes to her castle and demands that she be thrown to death from her own tower:
“‘Throw her down!’ Jehu said. So they threw her down, and… her blood spattered the wall and the horses as they trampled her underfoot…
But when they went out to bury her, they found nothing except her skull, her feet and her hands. [Thus fulfilling the prophecy that] dogs will devour Jezebel’s flesh.” (2 Kings 9:33-36, New International Version)
Jezebel’s murder has been immortalized in literature and art. Take a moment to ponder the painting below, “Queen Jezabel being punished by Jehu,” for example. “Punished” is a bit of an understatement. What you’re looking at there is Jezebel’s murdered body, dead on the ground, her flesh being eaten by dogs.
Treason. Murder. Brutal dismemberment.
Thrown from a tower and trampled by horses. Eaten by dogs until nothing but her feet, head, and hands were left to identify her disfigured corpse. This was the punishment Jezebel apparently deserved for being a woman who stood up for what she believed in.
And, if that weren’t enough, let her name be forever tainted and used to keep women in their place, lest they become strong like Jezebel.
“Jezebel is characterized as totally evil in the biblical text and beyond it: in the New Testament her name is a generic catchword for a whoring, non-believing female adversary (Rev 2:20); in Judeo-Christian traditions, she is evil incarnate.” (jwa.org)
Why did the myth that arose around Jezebel change her from an egalitarian queen to a promiscuous harlot? Because there has never been anything as scary as an independent and powerful woman.
If you want to vilify a woman’s beliefs, slut-shame her. It happens in 2014, and it’s been happening at least since the 6th century B.C.E.
Now every one of us is a Jezebel, when we are strong and opinionated. When we speak up. When we own our own bodies and do with them as we please. And the name—her name—is meant to crush us.
But “knowledge is a better weapon than a sword.” Knowing Jezebel’s story can help you change the world in small but meaningful ways. You can give her back her name, to start. And you can take back her name, too.
Reframe the discussion. Be strong like Jezebel. Pick up your knowledge—your weapon of choice—and arm yourself…