Back in May, I wrote here at PJ Media that “Donald Trump is a heretic. He is persecuted by the Church.” Trump “is a heretic from the Leftist church, the secular religion of today’s political and media elites, and as such he must be treated as heretics were in the old days of the Spanish Inquisition: he must be burned at the stake.” But before the burning comes the Inquisition, in which the heretic is asked to abjure his heresies and rejoin the fold. As both the presidential and vice-presidential debates have shown, that’s the purpose of the debates: to establish Trump and Pence as heretics, after which they are to be cast into the outer darkness, where men will weep and gnash their teeth.
The religious character of the debates became clear in many of the questions that were asked. By way of comparison, it is useful to recall that the Roman Catholic baptismal service contains a series of questions: Do you reject Satan? And all his works? Do you reject sin, so as to live in the freedom of God’s children? Do you reject the glamor of evil, and refuse to be mastered by sin? Do you reject Satan, father of sin and prince of darkness?
After that come the affirmations of belief: Do you believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth? Do you believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was born of the Virgin Mary, was crucified, died, and was buried, rose from the dead, and is now seated at the right hand of the Father? Do you believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting?
Once these questions have been ritually answered, the priest proclaims: This is our faith. This is the faith of the Church. We are proud to profess it, in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Now compare this to some of the questions that Chris Wallace asked President Trump:
Do you believe that there is systemic racism in this country, sir?
You have rolled back a number of Obama environmental accords, what do you believe about the science of climate change and what will you do in the next four years to confront it?
You believe that human pollution, gas, greenhouse gas emissions contributes to the global warming of this planet.
And in the vice-presidential debate, Susan Page asked Vice President Pence:
Do you believe, as the scientific community has concluded, that man-made climate change has made wildfires bigger, hotter and more deadly?
And it made hurricanes wetter, slower and more damaging?
Do you believe that climate change poses an existential threat?
The correct answers – that is, the only answers Leftists would have accepted and applauded – to all these “do you believe” questions from both Trump and Pence would have been formulated in the same ritualistic manner: I do. I reject systemic racism, so as to live in the freedom of Black Lives Matter. I reject greenhouse gases, and refuse to be mastered by fossil fuels. I reject human industry, as it has caused pollution and gas emissions. I believe in the Obama environmental accords. I believe in the Green New Deal.
If they had answered that way, Trump and Pence would have been welcomed and embraced as repentant sinners. Wallace and Page could have proclaimed: This is our faith. This is the faith of our secular church. We are proud to profess it, in Soros our funder. (Recall that Soros once said: “It is a sort of disease when you consider yourself some kind of god, the creator of everything, but I feel comfortable about it now since I began to live it out.”)
But both Trump and Pence refused to recite the Leftist catechism, and thus the sentence of the Leftist Grand Inquisitors is akin to that which the Catholic Church pronounced against Galileo in 1633: “We pronounce, judge, and declare, that you…have rendered yourself vehemently suspected by this Holy Office of heresy, that is, of having believed and held the doctrine (which is false and contrary to the Holy and Divine Scriptures) that the sun is the center of the world, and that it does not move from east to west, and that the earth does move, and is not the center of the world.”
Trump and Pence are vehemently suspected of heresy by today’s Holy Office, otherwise known as the establishment media, for they believe not in manmade climate change. They believe not in systemic racial oppression. They do not even believe that these nakedly partisan debate moderators are unimpeachably fair and impartial.
They are clearly incorrigible. Their heresy, their refusal to accept the Left’s religion, is manifest. And so the media opprobrium rains down upon them justly.
Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. He is author of 21 books, including the New York Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His latest book is Rating America’s Presidents: An America-First Look at Who Is Best, Who Is Overrated, and Who Was An Absolute Disaster. Follow him on Twitter here. Like him on Facebook here.