White evangelicals are giving out mulligans? Who’d a thunk it?
You know, it was when I was around ten or so that Mother had to tell me that Daddy had been married before and that his first marriage ended in divorce. This revelation was necessary because the Southern Baptist church we attended was installing new deacons, and Daddy was not eligible to serve because of that divorce. That whole “husband of one wife” thing from I Timothy. (Or as Trump would say, “One Timothy.”)
I don’t think Daddy much wanted to be a deacon anyway, even though Mother liked to point out that the third chapter of I Timothy also allowed that a deacon “was not given to much wine,” which was more wine than the Southern Baptists allowed with their “no wine at all” rule. In any event, there would be no mulligan for Daddy.
Of course, when the time came a few years later that I discovered gay bars and gay men, I never even bothered to see if I could get a mulligan for all that. I just started “socializing with Episcopalians,” for whom the worst sin was eating fish with the wrong fork.
So when it comes to mulligans, it never occurred to me that a person as “august” as Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council (and a whole lot of white evangelicals to boot) would enthusiastically give Trump one for his alleged affair with porn star Stormy Daniels. Political mulligans for sexual misconduct are, after all, quite rare on both sides of the aisle.
Unless your name is Bill Clinton.
So it mercy may now drop “as the gentle rain from Heaven” in the form of mulligans. It would actually look like Christian forgiveness and a charitable lack of judgment if there wasn’t such an obvious political component to the transaction.
But still, I have to admit I’m a little relieved to find out the white evangelicals are passing out mulligans for sexual misconduct. I thought I might be forced to rely on that “Once Saved, Always Saved” doctrine—which I prefer to call “Eternal Security.” But clearly that with a freshly minted mulligan should give me all I need to pass through the pearly gates.
And I’m fine with not living in the walled off portion of Heaven, where the folks who love walls will be. Where they can be protected from the knowledge that some of us heathens got in on a technicality, without doing the work and making the sacrifices that they did to deserve to be there. (At least as they see it.)
Instead, I think the mulligan crowd will be in the high-rise condos by the beach where we eternally will be within walking (or stumbling) distance of the piano bar that serves the best dirty martinis in the universe and just across the golden street from the best disco in town.
Because if it’s Heaven, boys and girls, there will be disco.