So, let’s get this straight. It’s the fourth century BCE and the Persians control Jewish lands. The Persian King decides to have a beauty contest to choose a new wife, and a Jewish orphan named Esther is forced to enter the contest. The situation catches the attention of the Hebrew deity, who intervenes to assure that Esther wins. In the meantime, the Persian King appoints a notorious anti-Semite as chief minister, who offers the King 10,000 silver talents in return for the right to massacre the Jews, a deal to which the King agrees. You see how this relates to Trump? No? Keep reading.
Skipping some convoluted back and forth, Esther proves to be the right person in the right place at the right time, managing not only to convince the King to lift the edict calling for elimination of the Jewish people, but getting permission to kill the evil anti-Semitic minister, his 10 sons, and 75,000 other enemies of the Jewish people. This massacre is celebrated as “Purim.”
Still don’t get it? God sent Esther to deliver the Jewish people from their Persian adversaries, and must have figured that the time was right for a repeat, so he sent us (and right at Purim, no less) Donald Trump to again deliver the Jews from the Persians (contemporary Iran). Yep, Mike Pompeo thinks Donald Trump is the modern Esther. “As a Christian, I certainly believe that’s possible,” says the U.S. Secretary of State. And then, more robustly, “I am confident that the Lord is at work here,” Pompeo concluded.
In case it’s not all clear how this fits together, Trump’s rabidly pro-Israel evangelical supporters believe that all Jews will spend eternity in conscious torment in hell (because they have not accepted Jesus Christ as their savior). Conservative Israelis are prepared to overlook this in return for evangelical support for their agenda. Evangelicals are willing to overlook this because they need the Israelis to maintain their occupation of Jerusalem (and to rebuild the Temple), which are conditions to the “rapture” (the time when the evangelicals go to heaven and the Jews – and everyone else not “born again” – are left behind and destined, in due course, for hell). Talk about a marriage of convenience.
If you indulge in the illusion that America’s largest religious block may turn its back on the only totally amoral President in history, don’t. Evangelical leaders argue that God’s prophets and agents are often flawed, and this one – by recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, abandoning the Palestinians, and now endorsing the illegal annexation of the Golan Heights – has done more than anyone else to advance the rapture, the most important thing that can or will ever happen. Trump will be rewarded for this by an outpouring of evangelical support.
It’s 2019, the age of quantum computing and genetic editing, and the next election in the world’s most “advanced” country may be determined by fundamentalist interpretations of an ancient eschatological myth. If this doesn’t terrify and anger you, wake up.