The Trump 10 Commandments

As I listen to podcasts and read articles about the hopes of conservatives have of getting a “pro-life” judge on the Supreme Court to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg, I feel like it is time to update Christianity and the Bible for Trump Christians.  For example, Jesus 1.0 asked “What does it profit a man, to gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?”  But wouldn’t Jesus 2.0 say “When you’re a celebrity they let you do it?”  And when Jesus 1.0 said “Easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven,” wasn’t he just being an unsuccessful loser?  Wouldn’t Jesus 2.0 say “Please donate so I can buy a private jet to deliver the Gospel?”

I think of this as Judge Amy Coney Barrett is the front runner for the Supreme Court nomination because of her strong legal credentials and even more importantly, her pro-life credentials. She is a Catholic, as am I, and yet no one seems to have asked if she thinks the death penalty is unconstitutional. She also has a special needs child that she chose to keep (a beautiful personal choice for sure) and she adopted two Haitian children (I am sure she won’t mind thanking a man who called their native country a shithole) so she seems to walk the walk.  I don’t know if she is as dedicated to abolishing the death penalty, but my guess is not.  Perhaps it is because, despite her Catholicism, she shares a lot in common with Trump Christians. Trump Christians, previously known as Conservative Christians or Conservative Evangelical Christians, appear to believe in a Jesus-less brand of Christianity. They are people who appear to have replaced John the Baptist with Ralph Reed and Jesus with Donald Trump (after all, Jesus was not actually a Christian, as I have pointed out in many of my satirical Trump videos).  I think conservative Christians in this country are basically savvy marketers who have chosen to adopt the wrath of the Old Testament with the popular branding of Jesus, while ignoring what Jesus said.  After all, if they only like the Old Testament then that would make them Jews (“yikes!” said the conservative followers of Christ who think supporting Israel to bring about Judgment Day constitutes supporting Jews).  If this were a modern day conservative Christian marketing team, Jesus would be complaining to the press that he was brought in for PR and diversity numbers but that his views are not being heard or respected.

So because Jesus is basically being used for branding purposes I think it is time to start redefining Trump Christians from the ground up. So let’s start with the Ten (Trump) Commandments for Conservative Evangelical Trump Christians:

  1. Trump is the Lord Thy God and anyone who contradicts Him is Fake News/Fake gods
  2. Thou Shalt Allow The Trump’s Name to be taken in vain if it constitutes a lucrative branding deal
  3. Remember that standing in front of a Church holding a Bible after violently removing peaceful protesters is even better than keeping the Sabbath
  4. Honor They Father and Mother as long as he supports Trump and she is hot
  5. Thou shall not question how many people died as a result of Trump’s actions or inactions; thou shall be ok with death penalty and abortion shall be ok if the pregnant woman is a mistress of a wealthy Republican
  6. Thou shall not be judged for committing adultery if you are Trump or work for Trump
  7. Thou shall consider stealing by Trump or Republicans smart and strong
  8. Thou shall not be held accountable for bearing false witness if you are Trump or work for Trump
  9. Thou shall not covet thy neighbor’s wife, but you may bang thy neighbor’s Republican wife if her Christian husband pays you to and watches
  10. Thou shall not allow people to move into your neighborhood for fear that because of their skin color they will covet your goods

So now we are finally building the foundation for a more honest and righteous Trump Christianity – actually Jesus was sort of too nice, so let’s just call these folks Trumpians.


Judgment Day: Sonia & Paula

Today one respected jurist will be confirmed to the Supreme Court as “one of America’s most respected judges” according to comedian Ted Alexandro, makes an exit.

Sonia Sotomayor is set to become only the third female justice, and probably first drinker of Bustello Coffee, to the Supreme Court.  But like some sad zero sum game for women, the feminist and special needs movements were dealt a severe blow with Paula Abdul’s exit from American Idol.

For the Supreme Court it means a possibly dose of empathy and wise Latina judgement, which have jointly replaced gays and blacks as the scariest things to Republicans.  For American Idol fans it means less empathy from the nicest judge and more of Kara Dioguardi speaking angrily about how much she likes someone’s “artistry.”

For Clarence Thomas it means another desperate opportunity to place pubic hairs on Coca-Cola cans (sorry Ruth Bader, you appeared to be a nice looking woman in your youth, but Justice Long Dong needs something fresh).  For Simon Cowell it means no more drugged up grabs of his chest hairs during broadcasts.

For the country Sonia Sotomayor’s replacing of David Souter may mean very little in the balance of issues.  For the country, Paula Abdul’s exit will mean very little in American Idol’s ratings.

Kept it short today – writing other stuff.  River Bar tonight if you are in NYC.  The aforementioned Ted Alexandro is headlining (Letterman, Comedy Central specials) with myself, Myq Kaplan (Just for Laughs Festival), Ryan Connor & Joe List (Comedy Central’s Live at Gotham).  42nd and 10th ave @ 9 pm.  Drink specials and no cover.


Why Diversity Is Still Important

When Barack Obama announced his candidacy for President it felt like a prescription for the foreign policy of the Bush administration.  Although I was leaning towards voting for John Edwards I thought then-nominee Obama provided the best counter to terrorists and extremists around the world: a man with an appearance, a name and a family history that could immediately alter perceptions about America under the Bush regime.  And the news reports of his Cairo speech yesterday seem to be proving this correct.   I think what more and more people have to recognize is that there is an incredibly high value to Obama’s appearance and racial background, no matter how many conservative politicians and jurists want to move quickly (and conveniently) to a race-blind society.   Since the Warren Court, the conservative wing of the Supreme Court and many pockets of the country have been in an all out sprint to become race neutral (because once you have a 400+ year head start, there is really no threat of actual equality for the injured party without some substantial assistance).  Hopefully that trend will slow or stop.

And although the 43rd presidnet provides the greatest contrast to the 44th, this is not merely a Bush vs. Obama issue.  If Bill Clinton gave a speech equivalent to that of Obama’s, it could not have the same effect because he would still be white, which would prevent the instinctive affinity and pride people of color around the world feel towards Obama.  However, because of Obama, when we have our next white president (I am pretty sure in Presidential politics “once we go black, we’ll probably go white again at some point” is the axiom) America will be looked at differently because we will be a country where people of different races succeed to the highest level in reality and not just in a series of truisms.  But make no mistake, our bombs and guns cannot have the same long term effect in changing the hearts and minds of the Muslim world (and marginalizing its radical and violent subset) that having a leader more representative of the world does.  And this is not just an international effect – this is an important lesson for every community in America.

At the Eagle Academy, a school of predominantly inner city African-American and Latino males, in the South Bronx, where I am a mentor, they began the mentoring program with the idea that young men will become what they see.  So the school made an intense effort to draw mentors from various professional communities.   Perhaps the young men will see drug dealers and gang members during their day, but they will also see lawyers and doctors during their day.  And yes, most of the mentors are men of color as well, because that emphasizes the most important lesson, which is not that other people (i.e. white) can have success via traditional paths (college, grad school, etc.) , but that they can have that same success too. 

Judge Sonia Sotomayor has come under fire for some of her comments indicating that her background will help her appreciate different viewpoints, especially those of women and people of color.  People are less charged up over her female point of view because sexism has never gained the stigma that racism has (even on the Supreme Court gender discrimination has never attained the “strict scrutiny” standard that racial discrimination cases have attained, despite the efforts of Justice Ginsburg.).  People do not mind as much when a “women’s perspective” is cited because it does not evoke the horrible sensations of guilt and horror that the legacy of race relations in this country does.   But different perspectives, especially racial, are important.   Do I agree with Judge Sotomayor’s opinion on the firefighter tests in New Haven, CT?  No – but do I think her perspective as a Latina is important in deciding legal issues concerning race? Absolutely.  As she put it in 1998: “We are a nation that takes pride in our ethnic diversity, recognizing its importance in shaping our society and in adding richness to its existence.  Yet we simultaneously insist that we can and must function and live in a race-and color-blind way that ignores those very differences that in other contexts we laud.”  Appreciating and understanding our differences can only come from inclusion and interaction.

The most tragic example of this is the fatal shooting of Officer Omar Edwards, an African-American police officer in Brooklyn by a fellow officer, Andrew Dunton, who is white.  Many people think that this tragedy could have been averted by more training techniques, but training alone cannot undo the subtle prejudices that lead to these rare, but not rare enough, incidents. 

And this is not to say that this incident could have been avoided if Officer Dunton had not been white.  But perhaps if in a couple of decades a white officer’s first instinct (the way it may have been for an African-American officer because of his life experiences) will be to think, maybe that black guy is a cop I’ll hold off another second or two until I am certain one way or the other.  And many officers would rightly say those two seconds could cost a police officer his life.  And right now, they may be right.  But perhaps as we continue to evolve in our race relations other factors will become more salient beyond race in identifying a police officer form a perpetrator. 

From all the newspaper articles I’ve read on it, Officer Dunton is not some cliche, bigoted cop, which makes the situation all the more dire.  The overt and malicious racist is easy to spot and punish or avoid, but subtle and somewhat benign prejudices, if there are such things, are more dangerous because they are harder to guard against, both for the victim and the perpetrator.  The only way things like this will disappear is for major cultural changes to take effect.  And those changes will take decades to occur.  But the key to that change is interaction and diversity (the fact that Latino, African-American and Asian members the NYPD now comprise a majority bodes well I think).