Thou Shalt Not Bear False Witness … Unless Talking About Trump or His Foreign Policy

The exquisitely public Christian, former Vice President Mike Pence, appeared on CNN over the weekend to lob the following accusations against a number of his fellow Republicans and conservatives:

Look, what happened in Ukraine was an unprovoked invasion by Russia. What happened this weekend was an unprovoked invasion by Hamas of Israel, and I really believe now more than ever that the debate within the Republican Party and the debate within America is whether or not we’re going to once again stand without apology as the leader of the free world, as the arsenal of democracy. The heartbreaking images coming out of both of these theaters of operation remind us that America is the indispensable leader of the free world and if I’m president of the United States we’ll lead from American strength.”

The implication of Pence’s comments and his subsequent tweet is that because these three candidates—who, by sheer happenstance, are all crushing Pence in the 2024 presidential race—are more skeptical than he is about risking a nuclear war with Russia over its border dispute with Ukraine, they  . . . have Jewish blood on their hands. What of the Biden administration—to which Pence handed power by refusing to allow a probe of election fraud in 2020? That administration handed $80 billion in U.S. weapons to the Taliban (now offering to invade Israel directly), and recently $6 billion to the Iranian regime that sponsors Hamas. But don’t blame Biden. Blame Trump and others for asking sharp questions about Ukraine.

 Got it, Mike, thanks so much.

Did you recognize the verses from the Book of Exodus in the title? The translation is one with which you might not be familiar. It’s the Bougie version, preferred by high-salary, low-testosterone pastors with rainbow flags in their sanctuaries. It’s also the in-thing with “winsome,” upwardly mobile Christians desperate for respectability, who dream of getting their books reviewed in The Atlantic. Let’s not forget those GOP heavy hitters whose links with defense contractors depend on America waging a stupid war every few years. Their entitled children and rolling lawns aren’t going to nurture or landscape themselves, so the cheap labor must keep flowing, like the “spice” in the Dune science fiction novels.

To serve the common good, to keep our soldiers defending every border but our own, and our emergency rooms full of docile illegal immigrants, that little tweak in just one (a mere 10 percent, come on people!) of God’s commandments was necessary, I think everyone can agree.

Or can’t we? If we don’t sign on to this trivial adjustment to the natural law God revealed, then our elites stand accused and guilty of bearing massive, willful false witness against not just Donald Trump, but the half of America that still (despite his real faults and all the reckless slander) continues to support him. And that would be a very serious charge to lodge against our elites in both political parties and every major institution: that they recklessly lied, distorted, demonized, and even dehumanized millions of their fellow citizens—including fellow believers.

Sarcasm aside, that’s what we must conclude: he Democratic Party and most of our institutions—from the universities to social media companies, from the spooks of the deep state to the suits of JP Morgan Chase and American Express—are in cahoots to demonize half the country.

What’s worse, the elites in the GOP, desperate to cling to their control of a failing, compromised party, are going along with them. Likewise many very prominent Christian leaders and commentators are following suit: accepting every grotesque caricature, unfounded accusation, hysterical warning, and sweeping attack generated by the left, and smearing it all over fellow believers whose politics alarm them. When the likes of David French, Russell Moore, Rod Dreher, and other Never Trump diehards level their most poisonous charges (racism, xenophobia, hunger for dictatorship) against Trump and his supporters, do they ever actually consider the Commandment they are flouting? Would they be just as willing to steal, or commit adultery, or kill, to promote their politics? I don’t think they would.

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