I’m always amazed at how incredibly insightful and poignant Andrew Sullivan can be, while simultaneously espousing demonstrably silly nonsense derived from his own rather self-contradictory cosmology. In his most recent essay at NY Mag titled “The Pope and the Pagan”, Sullivan, who is a practicing Catholic, pens a historically ridiculous paean to Christianity while labeling Trump a “pagan” akin to a “character in the Game of Thrones”.
While the sentiment of the article is certainly correct (Trump is the antithesis of Jesus Christ and his teachings of love and compassion) his perversion of the history of Christianity and the history of paganism does his argument a great, great disservice. He writes:
I don’t believe that there is a Christian politics as such — there is plenty of scope for disagreement about how to translate a Christian worldview into secular politics, or whether to translate it at all. But I do believe there is a Christian set of core human virtues and values, rooted in what we Catholics still think of as the truth, and that those virtues are rooted in the Gospels. We all fail the virtue test, of course, including yours truly, perhaps more than most. But Trump is a special case — because when you think about those virtues, it is very hard to see Donald Trump as anything but a living, breathing, shameless refutation of every single one.
Trump is not an atheist, confident yet humble in the search for a God-free morality. He is not an agnostic, genuinely doubtful as to the meaning of existence but always open to revelation should it arrive. He is not even a wayward Christian, as he sometimes claims to be, beset by doubt and failing to live up to ideals he nonetheless holds. The ideals he holds are, in fact, the antithesis of Christianity — and his life proves it. He is neither religious nor irreligious. He is pre-religious. He is a pagan. He makes much more sense as a character in Game of Thrones, a medieval world bereft of the legacy of…