Merriam Webster’s second definition for idolatry is “immoderate attachment or devotion to something.”

For the Hebrews in Exodus, it was a golden calf. For far too many today, it’s not something, but someone.

Immoderate fandom of actors and athletes is one thing, but in the political arena, it is far more dangerous.

History is replete with the negative repercussions of the worship of politicians — the 20th century, especially.

Scratch the surface of dictatorships, either by name or de facto, and you tend to find a central leader who is held up as a near-god, from Hitler to Kim Jong Un.

They are able to get away with literal murder because their followers would excuse anything.

Today I see the same thing, writ large. On Jan. 23, 2016, in a rally in Iowa, Donald Trump stated, “I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose voters.”

At the time, it seemed hyperbolic, although it certainly turned off me and many other Republicans.

The same party which had reservations about Ronald Reagan because he had been divorced, the same party which tried to paint itself as the moral party, the same party which clutched their collective pearls in horror at the idea of President Bill Clinton and an intern engaging in oral sex, was willing to overlook:

Two divorces, including one which featured a marital rape charge, innumerable, undeniable crude and crass comments, a history of double-dealing and shorting contractors;

Paying off porn starlets with whom he had sex, blatantly asking foreign governments to interfere in our elections and perhaps most damning of all, blithely allowing him to lie, and lie, and lie;

Countenanced a first lady who came to our country illegally and has a portfolio of soft porn modeling pictures, who has had so much plastic surgery she has a perpetual squint, whose nipples were on prominent display recently in a white dress is held up as “classy” by the same people who lost their minds over a first lady who wore a sleeveless dress.

The sheer perversity of the hypocrisy is daunting. What perplexes me and many others is the great “Why?”

Why would you idolize someone so obviously not worthy of basic respect? How can they continue to deny that our president is teetering into mental instability?

You listen to him, or read his Tweets, and it seems so obvious that were he your uncle, you’d be holding a family meeting to see what could be done.

I very sincerely hoped that his fans were right, and I was completely wrong about my expectations when he was elected.

I thought that surely they could see what the rest of us could not — but no, they continue to loudly proclaim that the emperor’s clothes are fabulous as he struts down the street stark naked.

More distressing is the number of Christians who don’t bat an eye at someone who calls himself “the chosen one,” even if he does later say he was “just kidding,” which incidentally I don’t allow my middle school students to use as an excuse for saying anything that could be misinterpreted.

In their tight little bubble, Trump fans swallow obviously fabricated excuses and wild conspiracy theories and beg for more. They deny objective evidence, and are willing to exonerate him from any misdeed. He literally can do no wrong in their eyes.

Long after this national nightmare is over, and please God, let it be soon, as we pick up the pieces, I wonder how those who worshipped at the foot of their golden calf will handle their rebuke, be it from an electorate that is 65% against their idol, or from a God who will not be mocked.


CHRISTINE BARR is an educator, mother of four and former Henry County resident who now resides in Texas. Her email address is

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