Donald Trump made his first public appearance since he ordered the assassination of Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani. The New York Times reports that the Miami event was planned some weeks ago at the Ministerio Internacional El Rey Jesús, a church led by minister Guillermo Maldonado. The congregation is primarily Latinx, and Maldonado sent out a message that undocumented immigrants attending the event would not be deported, which sort of sets the tone for the kind of people conducting it. Usually, one shouldn’t have to worry about being ripped away from your family at Sunday service.
Those organizers included Cissie Graham Lynch, a granddaughter of Billy Graham, who founded Evangelical publication Christianity Today. That paper recently published an op-ed asking for Evangelical Christians to turn against Donald Trump and his many provable crimes. That’s pretty big, because Trump was elected off of an Evangelical base. Lynch’s appearance was read as a rebuke against the political direction of CT, and the prayer the church leader’s offered for Trump can be read that way as well:
Yikes. Major cult energy at Trump's evangelical event in Miami. pic.twitter.com/dH2SQGiEX6— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) January 3, 2020
There’s a lot of talk about how Trump is protecting unborn babies and stacking the Supreme Court with Evangelical picks. During many of Donald Trump’s rallies, he takes a fierce stand against abortion—so fierce, he basically objects to full-term babies being born. The man does not understand science, but none of his followers seem to care. Nor were they particularly disturbed by the speech following this prayer, in which he opened with some comments on Suleimani, went on to say people can now holler “Merry Christmas” whenever they like, and slurred his way through some incomprehensible comments on his impeachment trial.
TRUMP: "Now they're all saying 'Merry Christmas' again, they're all saying it. You'd go to these big department stores 3, 4 years ago, and they'd have the snow & the red & the white, but they wouldn't say 'Christmas.' ... they said, 'we can't say it.' They're all saying it again" pic.twitter.com/A3wsufAfIV— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) January 3, 2020
Trump is even less coherent than normal.— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) January 3, 2020
"If we take back the House -- and you see how crazy these people are. These people are crazy. There's no crime. There's no nothing. I said, 'read the transcripts.' They don't want to read them." pic.twitter.com/mUOdDM0A2p
He also took the time to talk about Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, and Rashida Tlaib, accusing them of anti-semitism for criticizing Israel’s policies in regards to Palestine.
“Where do these people come from?” Trump asked the crowd. “These people hate Israel. They hate Jewish people.”
A rich statement coming from the man who defended the Neo-Nazis who took over Charlottesville, Virginia in 2017. But Trump isn’t a logical man, which might explain his appeal to cult-like religions.