Jeff Pearlman

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Values

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I have a secret, and it’s not something I admit all too often.

OK.

I’m ready.

Here I go.

Deep breath.

Once. Not all that long ago. I was open to faith.

By “open,” I mean, well, open. I was willing to listen. I’d attended church a handful of times, and found it quite moving. The largeness. The sense of community. The imagery. I mean, there’s an undeniable oomph to the power of mass, when the church is stuffed with believers and faith is in the air. So, yeah, I was sorta kinda open to it. Maybe, just maybe, people with a belief in God were onto something. Maybe, just maybe, they were leading a life worth emulating.

Then I snapped out of it. Praise Jesus.

In case you missed this, earlier today Donald Trump—POW-mocking, disability-mimicking, woman-degrading, swimsuit pageant-hosting, Central Park Five-death penalty-demanding, thrice-married, vagina-groping, nothing-to-do-with-his-youngest-son-or-daughter non-fathering man of the cloth—was the invited and featured guest at the Value Voters Summit, a uniquely awful gathering of Christian conservatives who hate (among other things) gay rights, abortion rights and, apparently, black presidents who treat people kindly and don’t fuck around on their spouses.

And here’s the thing: I was to scream at these people. I want to stand before them and yell, WHAT DON’T YOU UNDERSTAND? WHAT DON’T YOU SEE HERE? THIS GUY—HE’S A COMPLETE AND TOTAL FRAUD. HOW MANY WIVES DOES HE HAVE TO CHEAT ON? HOW MANY WOMEN MUST HE DEGRADE? HOW MANY POWS DOES HE HAVE TO MOCK? HE’S LYING TO YOU … USING YOU. HE DOESN’T GIVE A SHIT ABOUT CHRISTMAS! JESUS FUCKING CHRIST—AFTER 9.11 HE BRAGGED ABOUT HAVING MANHATTAN’S TALLEST BUILDING! HE OWNED A FRAUD UNIVERSITY THAT BILKED PEOPLE OF THEIR MONEY! POOR, NEEDY PEOPLE! HE KICKED VETERANS OFF THE BLOCK IN FRONT OF TRUMP TOWER! WHAT! THE! FUCK! DON’T! YOU! SEE! HERE! DID YOU MISS THIS? AND THIS? AND THIS? AND THIS?

You know what the worst part is? By surrounding its moral standing to a grotesque pussy-grabbing conman, people of faith are surrendering any status. I mean, how could I—a guy seeking enlightenment—look at folks falling for Donald J. Trump and think, “Ah, salvation!” Instead, I look and think, “What a bunch of fools.” I mean, look at these comments from YouTube, below the video of Trump’s talk …

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Truly, it’s … just … what? Dumfounding. Staggering. Preposterous. You had a guy—Barack Obama—who actually went to church. Now, maybe you disagreed with some of his policy decisions. But he actually loved his wife, raised his kids, treated folks admirably. And instead of showing admiration, you side with the devil in a suit and cheap tie? The one who throws lines like, “I’ll save Christmas” at you—knowing you’ll take the bait.

It’s so sad. But, really, it’s depressing.

God is dead.

Proof is here.

PS: Here’s an an anti-LGBT flyer decrying the “hazards of homosexuality.” It was distributed at the summit. Classy.

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  • Jeff

    Using the Values Voter Summit in your critique of the Christian faith is like using an ISIS beheading video in a critique on Islam. Results not typical.

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Once again, Jeff Pearlman has produced an exhaustively researched, elegantly written book that re-creates one of the most colorful and memorable teams of the modern era. No basketball fan's bookshelf will be complete without it.

— Seth Davis, author of Wooden: A Coach's Life