One of the most confounding things for many people in the Trump era is how on Earth a porn star banging, pussy grabbing, serial lying, charity stealing, student defrauding, non-church-going, faith-mocking, unrepenting president could have won the support of conservative evangelical Christians. The hypocrisy has always been a bit stunning, but a viral video of Trump's "spiritual adviser" Paula White offering a prayer—or something—for his reelection really puts a feather in the cap of the absurdity of it all.
Known for her charismatic televangelism and for asking people to send her part of their January salaries before anything else, White's preaching often focuses on the "prosperity gospel" (which basically preaches that God wants us to be rich, so if you're rich you're clearly doing the right thing in God's eyes—Hallelujah, unbridled capitalism and materialism!). But this week, she was focused on Trump's reelection, and phew, this is a performance you just have to see.
Presidential spiritual adviser Paula White is currently leading an impassioned prayer service in an effort to secur… https://t.co/JmWjwfD6dm— Right Wing Watch (@Right Wing Watch) 1604543051.0
So, there's a lot to talk about here. For people who come from this particular tradition, this might seem normal, but the repetitive, rhythmic chanting feels a bit brainwashy to many of us. The summoning of angels from Africa and South America thing was...interesting. We'll get to that in a bit. The speaking in tongues part was also...interesting. There's too much to dive into on that front, so I just won't go there.
In addition to all that, what has people really scratching their heads is the dude walking back and forth behind White on the stage. Seriously, who is that guy and what is he doing?
It’s the guy walking behind her which is also the greatest subplot if this video.— Dr. Jennifer Cassidy (@Dr. Jennifer Cassidy) 1604567326.0
People were mesmerized by the guy just popping in and out of the camera shot.
Couldn't stop watching this dude daundering about behind the president's spiritual adviser Paula White https://t.co/tVwH5pj00z— Sarah Mackie (@Sarah Mackie) 1604567030.0
Sooooo many questions about wandering back and forth man. Is he one of the angels from Africa or South America that she summoned? Doesn't really look like it. Is that a towel draped over his arm? Did he get lost on his way to the shower? Why is he wearing a t-shirt and shorts up on the stage? Why is he even up on the stage at all? Does Paula even know he's there? Is that a Bible he's carrying? Or is he just getting some pleasure reading in while he's out for a stroll?
@RightWingWatch We are all this guy. https://t.co/Auh5cYBDJr— Carl T. Bergstrom (@Carl T. Bergstrom) 1604552870.0
Carl T. Bergstrom, a virologist at University of Washington, tweeted a screenshot of the man walking behind Paula White with the caption "We are all this guy," and it's painfully true. People like Bergstrom—who has been on the front lines of COVID-19 research since the beginning of the pandemic—have been calmly going about their business while nuttiness raves around us for months (or years, really). This guy is every sane American trying to act like everything is normal in the face of total insanity.
People have parodied the video on TikTok:
Paula White's election prayer https://t.co/y8YNXW9aJe— Ryan Ken (@Ryan Ken) 1604597238.0
And remixes have taken over Twitter.
REEEEMIXXXXXXXXXXXXX 🔥🔥🔥🕺🏽 #PaulaWhite - Victory! (#Remixgodsuede x @iMarkkeyz ‼️) 😈😈😈 • #RemixgodSuede #iMarkkeyz… https://t.co/TB47UkIFGm— Dj Suede the Remix god (@Dj Suede the Remix god) 1604585128.0
So that's fun.
In all seriousness, though, what's with the summoning of angels from Africa and South America thing all about? While White's purpose may have been different than this, one Twitter user explained her Pentecostal upbringing and said that it could, at its heart, be what many of us suspected (ahem, racism).
@TheRaDR Hi :) I was raised Pentecostal, in a tiny cult in Louisiana. My grandfather was a missionary. (Yes, I've… https://t.co/vtIICTuDhK— (She) hadn't done nice. She'd done what was needed (@(She) hadn't done nice. She'd done what was needed) 1604595907.0
@TheRaDR The reason they hang out in those two places are because Black people have especially nefarious demons att… https://t.co/p5OF0Af8vU— (She) hadn't done nice. She'd done what was needed (@(She) hadn't done nice. She'd done what was needed) 1604596094.0
@TheRaDR TL;DR: Racism. It's always racism. /end— (She) hadn't done nice. She'd done what was needed (@(She) hadn't done nice. She'd done what was needed) 1604596181.0
And the former Pentecostal woman also had a possible answer to the wandering guy mystery as well.
@TheRaDR Oh wait: the guy pacing? Not enough context to tell but it's possible he was "doing a Jericho march" which… https://t.co/s5k9oq5AEI— (She) hadn't done nice. She'd done what was needed (@(She) hadn't done nice. She'd done what was needed) 1604596479.0
Huh. Seems like kind of a strange thing to do in sneakers and shorts, but who's judging.
So yeah. Just another super normal day in Trumpland, everyone. Carry on.
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