Toxic Individualism: the Basic Shared Premise of MAGA & the Babylon Church

MAGA junk theology: toxic individualism.

How far does Trump’s political narcissism reflect the spiritual narcissism of his followers?

Trump rally crowd, toxic individualism
Trump rally crowd. Photo: Hayden Schiff,, CC BY-SA 2.0.

Well, the clue lies in their junk theology: ultra toxic individualism.

What do these Trump followers actually believe, and how does their use of language actually mirror Trump’s self-absorbed obsession?

Well, the fount of all spiritual wisdom, no less than Bono of U2, once responded to Franklin Graham as follows:

GRAHAM: “Have you given your life? Do you know Jesus Christ as your personal Savior?”

BONO: “Oh, I know Jesus Christ, and I try not to *use him* just as my personal Savior. But, you know, yes.”

This particular Graham

Well, the apple fell pretty hard from the tree!

But Bono, of course, was right: limiting God is a very dangerous thing to do.

And indeed, most of the problems stemming from the evangelical take-over of the Republican Party result from limiting God, by embracing a purely hyper-individualist outlook.

‘Free market’ economic liberalism thus discovers an easy fellow-traveler; one with an equally hyper-individualistic, isolationist, paranoid evangelical mindset.

Just consider the following commonplace concepts, and examine carefully how they place one person’s well being above everybody else’s:

Getting saved.
Being born again.
Bible believing Christian.
Accepting Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior.
Inviting Jesus into your heart.
Religion doesn’t matter, it’s about a relationship.

It ought to be pretty obvious that all these concepts are emphasizing individual wellbeing over a broader sense of community that ought to curtail any excesses of individualism.

Some of the concepts represent the wanton twisting of phrases from Christian tradition, such as ‘born again,’ but other concepts are completely innovative, like the ‘personal’ savior nonsense that only Johnny Cash and Depeche Mode can even make a half-plausible stab at!

So ultimately, if people have spent decades being indoctrinated into theological narcissism, don’t be surprised if they end up embracing political narcissism too.

As above, so below, as one ancient mystic said.

Trump is the abusive father of their feverish imaginations, just like the God they worship too.

Evangelical guilt draws them closer to both of their abusers.

Is individualism too high a price to pay for faith in God?

People need to be aware of the alternatives!

P.S. Speaking of alternatives here, I’m afraid ‘the Rupture’ doesn’t count. That might be more in this little fella’s department…

Well so long, and thanks for all the, well, whatever!

Jonathan Ferguson