Donald Trump
Credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr



FORMERLY, at your request, most readily transmitted to you the Ecclesiastical History of the American Nation, which I had newly published, for you to read, and give it your approbation; and I now send it again to be transcribed and more fully considered at your leisure. And I cannot but recommend the sincerity and zeal, with which you not only diligently give ear to hear the words of Constitutional interpretation, but also industriously take care to become acquainted with the actions and sayings of former men of renown, especially of our own nation. For if history relates good things of good men, the attentive hearer is excited to imitate that which is good; or if it mentions evil things of wicked persons, nevertheless the religious and pious hearer or reader, shunning that which is hurtful and perverse, is the more earnestly excited to perform those things which he knows to be good, and worthy. Of which you also being deeply sensible, are desirous that the said history should be more fully made familiar to yourself, and to those over whom Providence has appointed you governor, from your great regard to their general welfare.



On a drizzly Friday morning in the year of our Lord 2017, Donald John Trump heard a sermon from a hateful and ill-reputed Southern Baptist pastor whose history of inflammatory remarks on coreligionists ought rightly to have alerted all to his wicked and depraved nature. Robert Jeffress was at pains to compare the esteemed biblical leader Nehemiah the Cup-Bearer to Mr. Trump, firstly on account of their mutual reputations for large construction projects and secondly with respect to Trump’s plan to build a large wall to keep Catholics from entering our nation and “befouling” the Protestant gene pool.

Jeffress falsely attempted to explain that “the infrastructure of the country was in shambles,” and then blasphemously suggested that God, out of a desire for a builder of walls, had chosen Trump to lead our nation instead of someone given to piety and forthrightness. As Nehemiah the Cup-Bearer had built the Second Temple at Jerusalem, including formidable fortifications, Jeffress promised that Donald John Trump would build fortifications of similar majesty.

“You see, God is not against building walls,” Jeffress said.

Trump could, like the Cup-Bearer, complete his project in 52 days provided that he did not allow his critics to distract him, or come to believe in his doubters.

Nehemiah, Jeffress said, had two antagonists named Sanballat and Tobiah. “They were the mainstream media of their day,” he said. “They continued to hound and heckle Nehemiah and spread false rumors while he and the Israelites were building the wall.”

He noted that Nehemiah answered his critics by saying: “I’m doing a great work. . . . Why should I stop the work and come down to you?” (Nehemiah 6:3). Trump’s work, he said, “is a work far too important to stop and answer your critics.”

Nehemiah faced setbacks, Jeffress noted, including an economic recession, terrorist attacks from enemies and discouragement among the citizens. “The true measure of a leader is what it takes to stop him,” he said. “And knowing you, I believe it’s going to take a lot to stop you.”

Mr. Jeffress continued is this fork-tongued way for some time, before concluding by addressing the ill-fated Mr. Trump directly.

Sir, I love you more than words can wield the matter;
Dearer than eye-sight, space, and liberty;
Beyond what can be valued, rich or rare;
No less than life, with grace, health, beauty, honour;
As much as child e’er loved, or father found;
A love that makes breath poor, and speech unable;
Beyond all manner of so much I love you.

It did not require an auspex to foretell that such idolatry and hubris would invite a divine rebuke, and that is the subject of Chapter Two.

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Martin Longman is the web editor for the Washington Monthly. See all his writing at