The Department of Life Except For, You Know, Brown Kids In Cages, Poor People, Mass Shooting Victims, Jews/Muslims/Atheists, Women Who Want Control Over Their Own Bodies and Other Malcontents


Not scary at all. Photo by Mark Wallheiser/Getty. Front photo by Stacie Scott/AP

Because God knows he's under no pressure to keep right-wing evangelicals on his wobbly side these unimpeachable days, Trump is big time getting right on the whole "sanctity of life" thing. On Friday, he became the first president to join anti-abortion and anti-contraception zealots in their annual March For Life (sic) as they held a Mass of the Holy Innocents and bore deeply compelling if occasionally baffling signs declaring "Life Empowers," "Save the Storks," "If Bacteria Is Considered Life On Mars Why Isn't A Heartbeat Considered Life on Earth?" and "My Life Is Worth More Than A Golden Globe." (Sorry, what?) "We know that life is the greatest miracle of all. We see it in the eyes of every new mother who cradles that wonderful, innocent and glorious newborn child,” said the former pro-choicer who once threw a crying baby out of a rally, blithely ripped thousands of now-traumatized children from their parents, and dismissed news that 34 U.S. sons and daughters have traumatic brain injuries from Iran's missile attack on an Iraqi air base with, "We heard they had headaches.” At the march, Trump ranted Democrats were executing newborns - who nu? - and boasted, “Unborn children have never had a stronger defender in the White House.” "Every person is made in the Holy image of the Almighty God," intoned the guy who by some estimates has paid for up to 12 abortions. “We are fighting for those who have no voice."

The catch: The "those" being fiercely defended must be either unborn or white, Christian and as right-wing bonkers as they are. Hence, the dystopian praise of a gathering of rabid anti-choice extremists as the “largest annual human rights demonstration in the world" by Alex Azar, Trump's head of a Health and Human Services agency crammed with anti-choice crusaders eagerly pressuring Title X-funded clinics to cease abortion referrals, threatening to yank federal funding from states requiring health insurers to cover abortions, and pursuing complaints against abortion providers as religious freedom. With Azar hailing Trump et al “the most pro-life administration in this country’s history,” it was only a small if insane leap for him to embrace faith-based, anti-abortion speak as official government language by reiterating "our full commitment to protecting the dignity of life from conception to natural death" and declaring, "We are proud to be 'the Department of Life,'" never mind that rigmarole about protecting the health of all Americans, not just those you agree with. In his doctrinaire approach, he has lots of company among Trump's ungodly henchmen. Take bullying, proselytizing Sec. of State Mike Pompeo (please), who's come under fire for a “Being a Christian Leader" speech, suggesting God sent us Trump to “save the Jewish people from the Iranian menace” - not to destroy life as we know it - and vowing to fight same-sex marriage "until the rapture.”

Or, at this rate, to infinity and beyond. In a bizarre move earlier this month, Washington's National Cathedral held a ceremony to bless "a Space Force official Bible" to be used "to swear in all commanders of America's newest military branch." The blessing of the Bible, donated by a Bible museum run by the head of uber-homophobic Hobby Lobby, urged that all search its holy word to find "the wisdom that leads to peace and salvation, through Jesus Christ our Lord, amen." It also asked God to favor the space-goofy Trump, "who looked to the heavens and dared to dream of a safer future for all mankind." The general reaction to this event - which both violates what critics called "the bedrock separation of church and state mandate of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution" and excludes Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Sikhs, Wikkans, Satanists, atheists and agnostics - was a way-pissed WHOA. "The Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) condemns, in as full-throated a manner as is humanly possible, the shocking and repulsive display of only the most vile, exclusivist, fundamentalist Christian supremacy," wrote the MRFF, which vowed to file a formal complaint "to stop this train-wreck disaster in its stinking tracks from ever even leaving the station." Others were more succinct. From an Arizona pastor: "Gross." Also: "Good job doing fascism, guys" and "When will the ceremonial burning of the Constitution take place?" Umm. Pretty sure either we already missed it, or they're gonna get right on it.

Lives evidently deemed not worthy of protection. Photo by Marco Ugarte/AP
Ditto. Photo by Guillermo Arias/Getty
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