Last night was the great American spectacle, the State of the Union. It was two long hours of a unifying list of drivel and accomplishments. The question before Christians is not what President Trump is doing for us, but what God is doing through him and the leaders of Congress for us. It isn’t what the government can do for my family, but last night was the divination of individual Americans and the coronation of the State as king.
On policy, there was much for Christian conservatives to celebrate. God is using President Trump to prevent the legalized theft of wealth, creating more jobs, encouraging work over welfare, deregulating industry, and putting American sovereignty and security first in foreign policy and defense, as well as a renewed support for Israel. God is progressing America away from the stale ideas of Marxism and internationalism that plagued the Obama administration.
However, President Trump is also continuing the status quo of enslaving the American people in debt with his big government regressive domestic programs. Projects the federal government has no constitutional authority to be involved. Programs such as a trillion-dollar infrastructure plan, a paid family leave program, and job training. In this view, it is the king’s obligation and responsibility to provide these programs, so that the people can create jobs, roads, and schools.
What is good in President Trump’s State of the Union, combined with the statism, will only lead to a belief the government makes everything possible, a misplaced trust in the wrong god. This leads me to my belief that last night was ultimately not about the policy, but about the overall religious theme of Americanism.
The theme of last night’s State of the Union was a religious vision of America’s religion and god. It was a religiously awe-inspiring soliloquy of accomplishments by the State on behalf of the will of its god, Demos, the people. Americanism is its religion and the American flag is the sacred symbol our nation salutes in a collective pledge of allegiance to our new king, the State.
President Trump did make one of the most profound and truest statements. He rightfully and biblically honored our nation by celebrating the great medieval monument of beauty and goodness of our once great City on a Hill, the Capitol building. That was the most biblically consistent statement all night.
However, the American spirit that President Trump eloquently described last night was the divination of America’s new god, Demos, the people. It is what Dennis Prager refers to as the American Trinity – Liberty, In God We Trust, and E Pluribus Unum. It is a vision of the king, or the State, based on the relativistic will of its god, the people, with whom the collective society places its ultimate trust, who grants Liberty.
President Trump was not declaring Christ as the Lord of America. The Christian God is not the American god, but He should be America’s God. Instead, the American god is the will of the people and our king is the State. President Trump declared another god to be America’s lord, which is contrary to two of the five smooth stones of theocratic conservatism. It is American idolatry.
The deregulation and regulatory reform, coupled with lower taxes, is consistent with the second smooth stone of theocratic conservatism. The reduction of federal agencies and departments through President Trump’s push for giving department heads the authority to fire and replace federal employees. It is moving America away from the socialized theft of collectivism and over taxation. However, President Trump isn’t proposing real process reforms to restrain the spending habits of the federal leviathan. Instead, he’s proposing more federal control over infrastructure, paid family leave, and jobs training. This contradicts the third smooth stone of theocratic conservatism.
What was most notably absent in the entire State of the Union was the fifth smooth stone of theocratic conservatism, which is the culture wars and religious liberty, as well as the religious nature of education. President Trump told an inspiring pro-life story of adoption, but beyond that, no mention of the federal leviathan’s continued funding of Planned Parenthood. And there was complete silence on the threat of judicial supremacy and the Supreme Court’s illegal redefinition of the pre-political institution of marriage. This culturally mocks the One True God of the Bible by not fighting for His creative order.
Overall, God is using President Trump to achieve biblical progress in His perfect mercy with blessing on America in one area by saving America from socialism. But America is failing to give honor to the One True God by idolizing a new American god. Ultimately, the paganism inherent in the American spirit and trinity of the religion of Americanism will feel the wrath of God as punishment for our mockery if we don’t repent of our sins and idolatry and turn to Jesus.