The King isn’t Trump to my reading. It’s still a dangerous statement.
The RNC puts out messages on holidays. Here’s the text for Hanukkah:
“As our Jewish friends and family around the country gather to light the first candle, we hope they will enjoy a special time of closeness and joy this Hanukkah season. These eight nights serve as a reminder of how the Maccabees never gave up hope amidst danger and uncertainty, and each year the Festival of Lights is a time to reflect on the power of faith and perseverance. We wish a Happy Hanukkah to all who are gathering around the menorah, and pray this year’s festivities will be a time of celebration and blessings for our Jewish communities.”
And here’s part of that they say for Christmas:
“Merry Christmas to all! Over two millennia ago, a new hope was born into the world, a Savior who would offer the promise of salvation to all mankind. Just as the three wise men did on that night, this Christmas heralds a time to celebrate the good news of a new King. We hope Americans celebrating Christmas today will enjoy a day of festivities and a renewed closeness with family and friends.
Some people have read the “this Christmas … a new king” as referring to Trump. That’s not how I read it, but I understand why others do. Still, it’s not an uncommon way of writing in that circle. Just as every Easter, “He is risen,” the present tense reflects a fairly standard American Evangelical phrasing that has now extended to anglophone Christianity everywhere.
It’s still a revealing statement.
- Notice the “As our Jewish friends” vs “We.”
- Notice the simple statement of theological belief as fact for the Christian statement.
I want you to imagine for a moment, as hard as it is, that a major USA political party put out a statement just casually affirming the belief that the Jews, and only the Jews, are God’s chosen people? Even harder, imagine a statement affirming that Muhammad, peace be upon him, is the last true prophet of God. That’s the equivalent here — a basic presumption that everyone believes in Christian theology and there’s no reason not to affirm that in a political party’s messaging.
We should realize, once more, that the GOP believes only Christians are real Americans, that it represents the wishes only of Christians, that it wishes to make Christianity even more dominant (legally dominant, rather than merely culturally dominant), and is complicit in the outpouring of hate against non-Christians.
The message of most Jewish holidays is often jokingly summarized as: They tried to kill us, but they didn’t kill (all of) us. Let’s eat. The roast is in the oven. Remember to #Resist.