Raymond E. Gangarosa, MD, MPH, MSEE
October 16, 2020
Shame on all of you, you fundamentalist hypocrites, for the ordeal you’ve inflicted upon our nation and the world! Shame on you, you blasphemers against the Holy Spirit, for jeopardizing God’s kingdom to worship instead your manufactured doctrines, as you have disparaged and attacked those who exerted real responsibility in co-creative partnership with God and carried out His will!
A “formal” reprimand
Shame on all of you, you ignorant fools, for not even once vetting a man known to be a shameless swindler who, over the course of his long career of business failures, left a trail of bankruptcies behind his harebrained schemes and then habitually welched on his debts!
Shame on all of you, you stupid marks, for trusting his endless evasions and lies over all the incontrovertible evidence amassed against him, for setting up propaganda channels that excused all his evasions and lies as he destroyed our government from inside at the highest level, and for giving him free rein as he has obviously tried to install himself as a dictator!
Shame on all of you, you corrupt conspirators, for conveniently overlooking his every egregious moral, ethical, and theological transgression and instead investigating, exposing, and persecuting intelligence officers who did their duties to identify a duplicitous, treacherous, existential threat who cheated his way into power and used your gullibility to hang onto it when real news exposed his dereliction of duty and treasonous alliances!
Shame on all of you, you exploitative coconspirators, for ignoring, for five long decades, the biblical teachings about forbearance toward immigrants and the downtrodden, most recently for five long years to buy into a dictator’s reign of terror against asylum seekers and minorities! Your immortal souls bear dire responsibility for the easily predictable consequences of his intentionally cruel, unjust, and capricious policies of deportations, family separations, incarcerations, and subjection to infectious risks in the face of a deadly pandemic. You be sure to remember this every time the issues of immigration reform ever again come up.
Shame on all of you, you duplicitous cynics, who played fast and loose with our democracy and dealt away the very principles of democracy, both in our nation and for our allies around the world, to perpetuate your duplicity past the inevitable point when you lost the ability to persuade the electorate of your false values. A curse on all the unqualified judges whom you installed by subterfuge, circumventing longstanding rules of fairness and reciprocity. Don’t you dare complain about contravening efforts to nullify your decades of duplicitous dealings, lest you become even more of a hated minority than your past history, recent actions, and already established legacies are now justifiably fated to make you.
Shame on all of you, you treacherous plotters, for turning our vaunted democracy and universally envied electoral process into a reeking cesspool of dripping cynicism and crippling self-doubt! How could you ignore, through two election cycles, the obvious dictatorial inclinations of a self-styled leader who refused to accept the results of elections unless he won, who accepted illegal meddling in our election by a foreign dictator to help install him in power, who corruptly sought assistance from other foreign actors to win reelection, and who refused to provide crucial evidence in his own impeachment trial for these and related crimes? If he had been removed from power expeditiously, our nation could have averted his dismantling of pandemic preparedness infrastructures and prevented the coronavirus pandemic. That blight on God’s kingdom is also on your souls, you religious hypocrites, as God’s wrath for your treacheries against democratic norms and fair play!
Shame on all of you, you existential threats to the civilization that you have derailed, to God’s creation, to our fragile planet, and to the future of all life on it! Just twelve short years ago, after your ignorance | stupidity | corruption | exploitation | duplicity | treachery | and existential threat precipitated similar threats from terrorism and economic downturn, the world seemed poised to enjoy a blessed period of much-needed recovery through responsible cooperation based on mutual respect, the rule of law, and acknowledgement of basic laws of nature. But no! you hadn’t committed enough unpardonable sins! You had to double down on your blasphemy against the Holy Spirit! You had to continue your persistent pattern of denial of the laws of nature and God’s will to the point where future generations would see your hypocrisy in flagrante delicto. You have elevated your obscenely superficial and prurient sexual prudery into a heresy that has repeatedly turned itself into a Trojan horse, first to allow ideologues and corrupt oligarchs intent on dismantling government to sabotage its very purpose, then to allow incompetents to run our economy into a ditch, and (hopefully) finally as a viral receptor for a dictator wannabe to gain entry, subvert every aspect of our system of governance, and shake it to its core.
A science of theology
A large body of psychological literature identifies a Dark Triad of foundational personality flaws — psychopathy, narcissism, and Machiavellianism — that is tightly linked to malevolence. Darcia Narvaez’s triune ethics theory extends Lawrence Kohlberg’s empirical theory of moral development with a completely compatible theory of good and evil, making exactly the same parallels but not requiring a specific diagnosis. Our brains are wired with three centers that correspond to the respective ethical demands of the axes of the triad:
- the ethics of security corresponding to oneness (primitive structures from reptilian neurological development)
- the ethics of engagement corresponding to sacrifice (structures from mammalian neurological development)
- the ethics of imagination corresponding to nurturance (cerebral cortex development, a uniquely human structure)
Donald Trump’s obscenely well-documented life bears detailed evidence of egregious deficiencies along all three axes since early childhood, which continue to this day, well into his 70s:
- He thrives on chaos and foments it all around him.
- He thinks only of himself and expresses bafflement that anyone would act unselfishly.
- He usurps all the power he can get and thinks nothing of wielding it vindictively to suit his own craven selfish interests.
His malevolent personality formed under an oppressive father and passive mother, manifested through early adulthood in exploitative business partnership with his father and close working relationships with McCarthy-era villains, and extended into late adulthood with the superficial celebrity of becoming a reality television show host, and covered up his systemic deficiencies in business management that actually resulted consistently in a string of spectacularly, historically gigantic bankruptcies. He used his false celebrity (which real celebrities pointedly reject) to excuse himself from presenting the usual supporting credentials for political candidacy — even after it became clear his own history of welching on debts and thumbing his nose at banks made him subject to control by hostile foreign interests to sustain his extravagant misinvestment habits. Through four years giving us a master class in bankrupting the most robust and successful nation in history, lying 20,000 times publicly (and still counting), you criminally gullible and irresponsible charlatan’s marks have let him evade accountability and withhold crucial documents that will certainly yield incriminating evidence that he is beholden to a hostile dictator trained in spy craft to control those who ensnare themselves in such entanglements.
How can I be so sure? Who else but Russia could have had the resources and would have had the inclination to cosign two billion dollars in loans over 30 years for a pseudo-businessman who habitually stiffed his suppliers, decomposed the corporations he ran into spectacular bankruptcies, left his investors with the wreckage of his mismanagement, and thumbed his nose at the banks? Who else but Vladimir Putin would have any rationale for getting his hooks into such a pretender to the throne? Putin’s investments in footing Trump’s bills and torpedoing our electoral process installed a Russian mole at the highest level of American government, with the enthusiastic endorsement of pretenders to Christian faith and American patriotism! You will go down in history as the worst dupes, hypocrites, and saboteurs in American and world history!
Donald Trump isn’t someone who gets things done by shaking things up. He is a virus that infects and corrupts. There is no delicate way of putting this: Trump is the anti-Midas: Everything he touches turns to shit. He kills what he corrupts and then he causes it to decompose. Trump is unique in all of life in mounting a lifeless attack against life and a lifeless process of decomposing the corpse. Nature has a division of labor in dividing those onerous tasks that disassemble the organisms and networks of God’s kingdom, but God saw to it in our era that Trump would be the personification and enculturation of everything that nature | life | and civilization could do wrong, as a clue how to recover from his pervasive attack on God’s kingdom: Start by doing exactly the opposite! More than any other notorious character in human history, the Dark Triad of Donald Trump’s malevolent sociopathy has exerted the Dark Leadership of these Seven Civilizational Sins: Ignorance | Stupidity || Corruption | Exploitation || Duplicity | Treachery || and Existential Threat.
A theology of science
That is what Donald Trump has done to your souls, you hypocrites — drawing you into all seven civilizational sins! And that is what you have let him do to our nation, despite the best efforts of determined opposition, because you kept propping him up and shielding him from scrutiny and accountability! You empowered this swindler to commit the unpardonable sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, and now you own part of that sin, too. If Trump were allowed to continue his assault on human civilization, planetary health, and God’s kingdom, successive aspects of God’s creation would be shut down, culminating in turning the jewel-like planet God has bestowed on us into a humanly uninhabitable wasteland.
Yet, for four years, this malevolent pretender who is a poster child for the Dark Triad of pure malevolence and has no clue what Christianity is has deceived you into thinking he is some kind of savior of Christian doctrine and tradition! The first time he read a Bible verse in public, he revealed his ignorance of the New Testament, and his obvious pandering to ingratiate himself with fundamentalists — even as he ridiculed the fundamentalism of his running mate (who albeit has proven himself fully worthy of contempt, being uncommonly phony even by fundamentalist standards) — has been sickening to watch. You have always thought that your position “saving unborn babies” justified your use of devious, unscrupulous ways to circumvent the will of voters, but a moment’s reflection will reveal that the progressives were right all along. Not one of the forty or so biblical authors specifically took a stand against abortion, even though abortifacients like silphium and pessaries were widely used while they were writing the Old and New Testaments. Hiding behind biblical literalism, you made up the doctrine opposing abortion as an expression of your own obsession with curtailing sexual excesses, without the wisdom to attend to infinitely more important issues.
The antiabortion movement, far from being pro-life, is contrary to the principles of life itself. Life ensures its survival by sacrificing what cannot be supported, even if it has to make horribly difficult decisions to terminate innocent life. The genocidal policies of the Israelites to gain control of the promised land fell into that category of unleashing holocausts against the indigenous inhabitants — and likely elicited a counterreaction that encouraged the pagan populations to eject the Jews and send them into exile. This example goes to show by inference that abortion represents a similar kind of sin, although not on a civilizational level. You reacted against an individual sin by committing a whole series of civilizational sins!
None of your positions were morally justifiable, and in the end, you never stood by any principles, even those which were grievously wrong. “Limited government” and “individual liberties” were always a rebellion against common interests that are the multicellular glue that holds our bodies — and the body of Christ — together. If your own bodies had such a contemptuous view of its own internal common interests, you’d barely be clinging to life in an intensive care unit! You celebrate the very aspects of our traditions and historical experiences that should elicit shame and unequivocal repudiation. The sanctimoniously self-righteous plotting of plutocrats to exert their will in full realization that they could never persuade an electorate to accept their agenda was the insidious encroachment and metastasis of a political and ideological cancer. “Second amendment rights” were the worst of all — an idolatry of false idols based on lust for destruction, both of which were affronts to God’s kingdom that embedded grievous diseases within it.
But there’s a special place in hell for the archconservative “news” media that has led the deranged nosedive intending to turn our democracy into a kamikaze attack against God’s kingdom! None of the commentators and none of the investors deserve to keep the dark money they “earned” rationalizing and excusing Dark Leaders, sycophants, and traitors against the truth. Your firehose of lies was what Jesus prophesied was the unpardonable sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. I have no idea telling you how to start redeeming your souls for the nefarious assault you launched against reality and truth. Future generations will see the toxin you spewed and wonder how anybody could be so callous, ignorant, and stupid. Don’t kill yourselves, though — suicide will always make a soul’s burden of guilt yet worse. You must chart new territory in finding dignity from where there is none. You do not have the right to aspire to much anymore after what you’ve done, so you must find redemption in abject humility.
In the midst of all your contrived absolutist positions on sexual morality that expose the superficiality of fundamentalism, lies all manner of your moral relativism opposing voting constituencies who have different ideological commitments, whom you have spared no effort and no subterfuge to disenfranchise in every possible way. And resistance to minority rights opposed the very dynamic that propels the launching of multicellular life that will operate the body of Christ in the image of God, leaving its design incapable of cutting off circulation to the periphery for the counterproductive, shortsighted benefit of the core, which only would result in necrosis of the limbs and loss of function. The robust structures that result from making such ironclad commitments to shore up the weakest link establish a physiological platform on which development can progress confidently with assurances that manageable setbacks will not cause systemic collapse that could jeopardize all previous progress.
Fundamentalists were right in surmising that divine intervention was responsible for Trump’s improbable electoral college victory despite losing the popular vote by over 3 million ballots. The remarkable civilizational experiment that God set up two millennia beforehand preselected the one character in the world who could do the most damage to His kingdom and never respond to any corrective feedback with the slightest humility. God has always known the evil that would be in Trump’s soul. He gave him a father who was pure evil and who encouraged the emergence of a malevolent character. Trump thoroughly personifies and enculturates all the principles that God most thoroughly abhors, and the thorough documentation of his life, fueled by malignant narcissism and habitual mendacity, will forever testify to the error of giving him any power or responsibility. The preconditioning phase of God’s experiment created the monster that became Donald Trump over the course of his lifetime and drew him to power. He learned to seduce people to get what he wanted, and fundamentalists’ inclination to deny reality in favor of ancient scriptures made them an easy target. As fully documented before voters even made their choices, Trump was a false prophet who had already committed every transgression against God’s kingdom that humanity has been doing wrong, yet those fundamentalists somehow thought of him as a “chosen one” who would “save Christianity”!
Simply stated, the United States could have chosen a better leader with a phone book and a dart, but such a cosmically bad one is an obvious act of God. God’s purpose for setting up fundamentalists to put Trump in power was to install someone who would thoroughly document with an endless stream of public communications, broadcast in real time to tens of millions of people and archived for all future generations, precisely the kind of leader that future eras must henceforth avoid empowering — an existential civilizational threat who would attack His kingdom from within. At a time when progressives were prepared to accept responsibility for stewardship of God’s kingdom based on secular scientific principles, God needed for believers to learn a lesson never again to side against His kingdom aligned with an existential civilizational threat. The Trump administration has been the occasion for entraining a civilizational immune response that would forever henceforth rise to the defense of God’s kingdom.
God has used the misperceptions of those believers — with their grossly flawed interpretations of His will, a predisposition to attack those who tell the truth, and a worldview that denied reality and accepted an unprecedented torrent of lies from the most responsible position on earth at the most pivotal time in our history — to deliver a warning. They have empowered the most obvious of existential civilizational threats almost to “accomplish”, in less than one term, what the worst of Israelite kings in ancient times took centuries to mismanage against their people’s interests — to lose the promised land — in this case, nearly causing the collapse of the most powerful nation that has ever existed on earth.
The Bible actually supports this contention. Jesus scolded the biblical literalists of His time, the hypocritical Pharisees who attacked and undermined Him, that their adherence to sterile rules was not reverence to God, but instead a false worship that could not discern God’s will. Jesus warned them of the unpardonable sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. In our time, we might think of that unpardonable sin as making our planet humanly uninhabitable — something Trump conspicuously threatened to do with denial of climate change and withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord. Fundamentalists read those scriptures literally but cannot apply them to our time when God has needed them to protect His kingdom against the brazen impostor and invader.
Clearly, God’s whole experiment spanning all of history since Jesus’ time, completely beyond human agency, was fully justified in advance by God’s anticipation of the hideous distortion of His will that would be produced by a person whom He knew beforehand would leave that nefarious legacy. God has been planning to set up Donald Trump and fundamentalism as the quintessential civilizational villains for the ages since the dawn of time. Fundamentalists’ subterfuges to undermine democracy to enshrine their false doctrines in theocratic government, which then set up Trump’s efforts to install himself as a dictator with their wholehearted acquiescence, will serve as a cautionary example to all future generations of the warning signs of criminally gullible zealotry exploited by egregiously exploitative autocracy.
In this way, God is informing us with our own predictable actions that He doesn’t want us to litigate the past or predict the future on the basis of the Bible. The spurious echoes produced by Trump’s autocratic rule have generated phase errors by which God is showing us His will through corrective feedback — a message to return to acceptance of the reality of natural laws. Simply stated in nontechnical theological terms, biblical literalism ignores all the life that transpired since ancient times. It thereby foments grave injustices and false judgments on those who simply went about the business of living, superimposes retroactive and countervisionary criteria on God’s kingdom, and blinds people to what lies ahead. Under those circumstances, nature’s feedback pushes back and inhibits the human economy. Fundamentalists have stood by as Trump played out the world’s nightmare of misgovernance and maladministration, invoking God’s wrath in the form of pandemic and selective economic depression. True to form, Trump blamed the adverse consequences of his actions on everyone else, and fundamentalists have continued to stand by silently, even though they have always had leverage to rein him in.
There’s a simpler way to see this — in the administration of Donald Trump, which has been a masterclass in bankrupting the strongest nation on earth, showing utter contempt for God’s kingdom and natural laws, showing no fear of God in the face of His wrath in unleashing pandemic disease, and his fundamentalist supporters standing by him even in the face of his constant admissions of His extreme impiety. God Himself has definitively disproven the principle of biblical literalism to all humanity over all future time, in four short years during one of the most pivotal periods of human history, proving once and for all (1) that the Bible is not infallible and should not be used to make public decisions or predict future events in a complex era, (2) that in times of civilizational stress, believers should never again line up to empower and support an existential civilizational threat, and (3) that God has provided an infinite richness of other clues elsewhere in nature, life, and civilization to inspire believers to know His will — and specifically to design and steer human civilization henceforth. This is not to discount the Bible as a source of inspiration, but rather to note that God Himself has dramatically highlighted its limitations in a scientific and technological age when humanity needs less ambiguous and more responsive ways to respond to His will. God needed for the early Christians to enlist believers so His Church would reach critical mass, but now that most of the world’s population expresses Christian faiths, it’s sufficient that other faith traditions notice intuitively how Christian doctrine guides civilizational dynamics. The expression of other faiths in our era is simply a matter of differentiating all the various organs in the body of Christ.
Fundamentalists have served God’s critically important purpose of exposing their belief paradigm as false, but they have a lot of penance to do. They implicitly or explicitly supported Trump’s policies that were egregiously anti-Christian, especially in wreaking intentional cruelty on utterly innocent and vulnerable subpopulations whom he scapegoated to gain and maintain political power. They ignored the enormous loss of lives, connections, and talents that comprise the real civilizational substrate of God’s kingdom, letting Trump continue to mismanage the coronavirus pandemic in ways clearly calculated to improve his election prospects. They stood by as he cowed his supporters in the legislature with threats of “tweeting” to turn his massive public support against them (as if anyone with courage in a position of responsibility shouldn’t have blown the whistle), even though they could see he was making terrible decisions and leading our country down the wrong path. God gave Trump’s political allies the chance to remove him from office before fully unleashing the coronavirus outbreak in China, giving them one last chance to exert real international leadership and appropriate public health intervention, but only one among them exerted any real courage or integrity. After the Republican party tried to impeach a Democratic president for a sexual discretion, they proved their egregious double standards by letting their own leader get away scot-free after tampering with an election, repeating in plain view the accusation he so strenuously denied about the 2016 campaign. Now, Donald Trump tries to steal the election by crippling the U.S. Postal Service and wheedles excuses why the election he is losing is rigged and somehow should bounce his way, even if his stubborn selfishness would precipitate a civil war.
And all the opposing views adopted by progressives set up a an embryonic — not evolutionary — basis for building the body of Christ in the image of God, based on ubiquitous clues He has embedded about life’s design and operation. While you were obsessing about curtailing sexual excesses, progressives envisioned responsible, co-creative partnership with God, starting with designing the body of Christ. If that mission confuses you because you haven’t ventured outside the Bible, delve deeply into the modern theological literature on missional theosis.
Your actions will serve civilization as a warning to all future eras and generations never to commit your sins again
God Himself has set up your hypocrisy to make of you a cautionary example for the ages, ensuring that social media figured prominently in the dynamics of our era, giving everyone the ability to broadcast to the world. What He did, in setting up the confluence of Trump’s pure societal malevolence and your pure religious hypocrisy was to prove to all future generations that protection and development of God’s kingdom — starting with wise and forbearing democratic self-rule, respect for the rule of law, fair and honest reciprocity, and responsible stewardship for our precious planet, but eventually progressing to fluent transformative change — is God’s Own paramount consideration.
We are living the transition to a participatory universe, in which God can finally trust humanity’s scientific knowledge, technological prowess, and historical experience to enter into co-creative partnership in designing the body of Christ, building it into human civilization, and thereby constructing the kingdom of God. The new watchword is worshipful participation, not mere belief. In an era of vibrant transformation, God couldn’t care less what’s rattling around in our heads as belief systems, as long as our actions and legacies are harmonizing and stabilizing His kingdom. When participation builds, belief follows. This missional theosis embraces the diversity of all faith and nonfaith traditions to form the different organs in the body of Christ, thereby revealing the purpose of different religions. The principles are Trinitarian, Christological, and triadic in a dynamic sense. They are embedded in nature, life, and civilization, going far beyond the Bible’s limited perspective to teach us how to emulate life in human civilization.
But first, God needed to leave the cautionary example of Donald Trump’s sordid life and thoroughly documented craven motivations and the social media echo chamber that rationalized, empowered, and protected him against what should have been a swift and righteous immune reaction to oust him immediately. When Christianity was a fragile religion that needed to reach critical mass, it was essential that believers recruit more believers. Now that Christianity is by far the majority religion, God has made it clear that He gives no extra credit for what belief system is rattling around in your brain — if you are harming His kingdom, empowering dictators and spreading lies, you are damned in His view, which is the only one that matters in the end. God has exposed biblical literalists who supported Trump as the most contemptable of false believers. You have followed in the footsteps of the biblical literalists of Jesus’ time, the Pharisees whom He warned of the unpardonable sin of blasphemy against the Spirit.
Where were you when Trump revealed his malevolence, over and over again? Just to cite one example among countless others, his administration actually prototyped its policy of separating immigrant children from their families, and then ignored its own recommendations to avoid doing so for children who were too young to know how to reestablish connections with their parents. That is the pure malevolence that you have turned into American policy with your gullibility, your negligence, and your unholy zealotry! You have sacrificed God’s kingdom for a false, feel-good doctrine that has no biblical foundation, but you made it up and ran with it, denying God’s reality and ignoring His wrath at your heresy every step of the way. You never even noticed your own intense bitterness, which was a dead giveaway that you had long since stopped subscribing to Christianity. You haven’t been Christians for decades, despite your sanctimony. You are living out the woes of the Pharisees and teachers of law in our era!
You invited Trump into your Trojan horse of reshaping the judiciary with antiabortion ideologues so he could pounce on your souls like the devil and enter God’s kingdom as a fully empowered destructive agent! You sensed that your efforts to remain in power by your own dirty tricks and treachery could not stand much longer, so you needed nondemocratic — or even antidemocratic — solutions to extend your influence even after your own malevolent actions would retire you into infamy as a hated minority. And so you embraced a malevolent dictator and installed him as a wrecking ball in God’s kingdom. God made sure that your contempt for His kingdom was recorded on social media for all time! No person will ever be able to tell 20,000 lies in a lifetime, much less four years, and citizens will tremble that fundamentalists allowed Trump every leeway to trample liberties of the downtrodden, advance the crass interests of the corrupt and powerful, present an existential threat to human civilization, and jeopardize the future of all life on earth.
Progressives were right all along; you fundamentalists were wrong and wouldn’t listen; you created your own media for evading the truth and making up your own reality; and God has recorded your blasphemy against His kingdom and is condemning you as a cautionary example for all future ages to study, so they never repeat the sins you’ve committed. You had better repent, or your souls will regret for all eternity your participation in Donald Trump’s assault against God’s kingdom.
Ray Gangarosa is an engineer, epidemiologist, and physician who blogs at https://theprodigalspecies.com .
He is self-taught on issues of theology, especially intensively over the last three years, during the Trump administration. He was raised as a Catholic, followed a broad arc through Unitarian Universalism, and has become an Episcopalian.