King Donald and His Harlot Church: the Republican Party's Descent into 'Christian' Fascism
Updated: Jun 25, 2021
"The Whore of Babylon; sitting on the seven-headed beast, St John and the angel looking on from a cloud in top right corner.”
Author: Hans Burgkmair the Elder (1473-1531)
Licensing: This is a faithful reproduction of a public domain artifact and so is also public domain. This photographic reproduction is also considered to be in the public domain in the United States.
Disclaimer: Bible prophecy interpretation is complex, and as Sir Isaac Newton noted, generally not well understood until fulfillment. Yet Jesus told his disciples to "keep on the watch" and to "lift up your heads" when they see significant events--that deliverance is near. It is in this spirit that this is written: to help Christians make sense of today's events in the context of prophecy. There is no claim to inspiration or special insight. All errors are mine.
According to Dr. Lawrence Britt (2003), the defining characteristics of fascism are nationalism, disdain for human rights, scapegoating, putting the military first, sexism, control of mass media, focus on national security, close ties between religion and government, protection of businesses and corporations, suppression of labor, disdain for intellectuals and the arts, focus on crime and policing, corruption, and fraudulent elections. The charismatic leader disconnects his followers from their past, and positions himself as the only source of truth, and rules by decree. So, is Trump a fascist?
From day one of his administration, Trump made "America First" his priority. He had no toleration for civil rights and movements like Black Lives Matter, and was quick to put children in cages at the border to dissuade immigration. He focused his scapegoating attacks on non-white immigrants, claiming falsely that Mexico only sends its criminals to the U.S. His degradation of women includes over two dozen claims of abuse. Although mainstream media, like Facebook and Twitter eventually banned Trump's lies and propaganda, the right wing media ecosystem, especially FOX News, repeated and amplified them. Trump's disdain for experts was clear from his mishandling of the pandemic--even foolishly promoting treatments, like hydroxychloroquine, which had no medical value, and working against expert advice, like mask wearing. Rolling Stone of March 2021 reports that Dr. Deborah Birx, who worked for Trump on the Covid team, now estimates that 100,000's died unnecessarily because of bad decisions by the Whitehouse.
And conservative pastors were tripping over themselves to get close to Trump, calling him the "Chosen One", like Cyrus in the Old Testament, anointed to lead America back to greatness. The fact that Trump is reportedly a malignant narcissist, liar, and alleged sexual abuser did not dissuade them--over 80% of white evangelicals voted for him. His disdain for democracy was evident in his many attempts to overthrow the 2020 election, even though sixty court cases he filed all failed. He continues to spread the lie that he won the election and the Republican Party continues to support him, when the majority of the GOP in Congress, plus all the Democrats, know it's a lie. What on earth is going on in America?
In Revelation 17, John sees a harlot sitting on a seven-headed, ten-horned beast. She is arrogant: "I will always be a queen, I will never be a widow!" She is drinking from a cup which holds the blood of the martyrs, for which she is largely responsible. She represents those Christian churches in history and now which have partnered with governments for power. She has lost her position as Christ's church as a result. She has traded Christ for the Beast--the bible's symbol for political powers.
The Harlot is global but is represented in America by anti-Christian churches, and the worst offender is the white evangelical church. They voted for, and continue to support, someone who is arguably the most vile, sinful, incompetent and abusive president the US has ever seen. And he continues to have a hold on them: over 50% of Republicans continue to believe that Trump won the election. He has become the indisputable leader of the GOP, and more reasonable voices are being purged from the party, as Liz Cheney recently experienced. Republican state legislators are passing legislation suppressing the minority (Democrat) vote and allowing them to take over from state election officials if necessary. In Georgia, for example, it is illegal to give someone water if they are waiting in line to vote. Clearly, they are gearing up to, if necessary, steal the 2022 midterms and then go for the presidency in 2024. If the Democrats do not pass voter rights legislation before the 2022 midterms we can be sure that if Trump or someone he anoints wins in 2024 that will be the end of American democracy. America will quickly become a fascist state along with its harlot church. We must remember that Hitler was initially elected in a democracy and was supported by the German church, and then worked to destroy that democracy and any in the church that did not support him outright.
The white evangelical church, represented by the harlot of Revelation 17, therefore, is not the first to have compromised its Christian principles. When Constantine became the sole emperor of the Roman Empire in the early 4th century, he made the church an offer: support me, and I will stop the persecution and give back your lands. I will also fund your expansion. The church happily submitted to Constantine in the same way the white evangelical church submits to Trump. It became hopelessly corrupt and began persecuting Christians that would not submit to its authority. Later, the Roman Catholic Church would blasphemously declare the Pope to be the "Vicar of Christ"--the sole representative of Jesus on earth. The abuses and corruption of that church are well known. The Spanish Inquisition tortured and murdered thousands. When the Protestant Reformation spread throughout Europe, state churches were set up that continued to persecute followers of Jesus who, like the Anabaptists, tried to keep themselves separate from the corrupt world of politics and war. They recognized that compromise with political power leads to hopeless corruption of the church, so they stayed out of it and were persecuted as a result. So this 'harlot' in Revelation 17 has been around for centuries, and this latest form--white evangelicals partnered with the Republican Party--is just another example, but hopefully, the last example.
The prophecy tells us that the "ten horns which you saw are ten kings who have not yet received a kingdom, but they receive authority as kings with the beast for one hour. These have one purpose, and they give their power and authority to the beast. These will wage war against the lamb..." (Rev 17:12-14a) Ten in the bible means "complete set" with regard to the earth. Likely this means those political powers which have descended from Rome--namely, all modern day Republics. I believe we are in this time now. The seeds of Fascism have been sown in America, Britain, the Philippines, Hungary, Russia, India, Turkey, Brazil and other places. This fascism usually has a harlot church which supports it. We see this clearly in Brazil, where the evangelical church has partnered with Bolsonaro as the white evangelical church has with Trump in the US. Notice, however, that the time is limited to "an hour"--that is, a relatively short time. Continuing the prophecy:
"These will wage war against the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, because He is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those who are with Him are the called and chosen and faithful. And he said to me, "The waters which you saw where the harlot sits, are peoples and multitudes and nations and tongues. And the ten horns which you saw, and the beast, these will hate the harlot and will make her desolate and naked, and will eat her flesh and will burn her up with fire. For God has put it in their hearts to execute His purpose by having a common purpose, and by giving their kingdom to the beast, until the words of God will be fulfilled." (Rev 17:14-17)
I believe we are in that "one hour" period where fascist elements throughout the earth, partnering with corrupt religion, will try to install nationalist, authoritarian governments. They will have some success, but ultimately, Christ will defeat them by putting in their hearts a hatred for the harlot. Corrupt religion will be destroyed by governmental powers as a punishment from God. If Trump or someone like him wins in 2024, we will have entered a period of wickedness and corruption in America and the world which has not been seen since the dark ages. If 'Christian' fascism is instead defeated, and anti-fascist, democratic forces acquire power, we can be relatively certain that the end of both the harlot and fascist governments is near, as is the return of Christ sometime after that.
So what should Christians do? In Revelation Chapter 18 we are told that "Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! She has become a dwelling place of demons and a prison of every unclean spirit, and a prison of every unclean and hateful bird. For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the passion of her immorality, and the kings of the earth have committed acts of immorality with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich by the wealth of her sensuality." (Rev 18:2-3) Babylon here defined, is corrupt religion partnered with corrupt government and corrupt business. We see this in America as white evangelicals supporting Republican politicians, and the whole ecosystem of right wing news funded by oil company and other corporate money. Christians who are authentically trying to follow Christ must heed the warning: "Come out of her, my people, so that you will not participate in her sins and receive of her plagues" (Rev 18:4). Christians must separate themselves from this disgusting Trump idol and his enablers in the corrupt church, political system, and business spheres. Like the Anabaptists, true Christians must reject the offer of power and put their hope in Jesus alone.
We must reject King Donald and his Harlot Church.