Former President Donald Trump now “thinks he’s like a god” after a golden sculpture bearing his likeness became a major attraction at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando, Florida on Saturday, his ex-lawyer Michael Cohen has argued.
“I remember when I went with Donald that time to CPAC. He had a great time there. He really enjoys the cheers of the crowd. Now it’s even more interesting because of the artist that produced that gold Donald,” Cohen explained in an interview Saturday with MSNBC’s Ali Velshi.
“Now he actually thinks he’s a god. He’s like a pagan god. People are lining up down the hallway to take a picture with a stupid-looking pagan idol of Donald.”
Attendees at the conference flocked to the event’s merchandise hall to take photos with the golden sculpture created by Trump supporter Tommy Zegan, who called the artwork “Trump and His Magic Wand.”
Zegan, who recently moved to Mexico from the United States, told The New York Times that the six-foot-tall gold-painted fiberglass mold of the former president features Trump’s customary suit jacket and red tie, American flag shorts — and flip-flops — “because technically he should be retired.”
Zegan said he included a magic wand in the statue’s left hand as a reference to former President Barack Obama’s quip in 2016 that Trump would need a wand to bring back manufacturing jobs. But he insists that there is nothing idolatrous about the statue.
“It’s definitely not an idol,” Zegan told the publication, noting that he was a youth pastor for 18 years. “An idol is something somebody worships and bows down to. This is a sculpture. It’s two different things.”
Self-styled evangelical prophet Jeremiah Johnson, who recently faced death threats from evangelical Christians for apologizing for “inaccurately prophesying” Trump would win a second term, warned in January that some of the support he has witnessed for the former president has been idolatrous.
In a statement on Facebook about the attacks he faced, Johnson said he realized that “parts of the prophetic/charismatic movement are far SICKER than I could have ever dreamed of.”
“Over the last 72 hours, I have received multiple death threats and thousands upon thousands of emails from Christians saying the nastiest and most vulgar things I have ever heard toward my family and ministry. I have been labeled a coward, sellout, a traitor to the Holy Spirit, and cussed out at least 500 times. We have lost ministry partners every hour and counting,” said the leader of Jeremiah Johnson Ministries.
“I have been flabbergasted at the barrage of continued conspiracy theories being sent every minute our way and the pure hatred being unleashed. To my great heartache, I’m convinced parts of the prophetic/charismatic movement are far SICKER than I could have ever dreamed of.”
He said he “never realized how absolutely triggered and ballistic thousands and thousands of saints get about Donald Trump.”
“It’s terrifying! It’s full of idolatry!” he warned. “If I helped to prop up this ideology concerning him, I will need to repent again and stir up even more hell.”
In an op-ed this week, conservative radio host Michael Brown, who adheres to Messianic Judaism, argued that it doesn’t take someone bowing down in worship to treat something like an idol.
“When it comes to Trump, to this day, I hear Christian leaders proclaim, ‘Only Trump can save America!’ Brown wrote. “That is idolatry, plain and simple. That is glorifying a man. That is failing to realize that, for all the good that he accomplished, there was a trail of bad as well.”
“Not surprisingly, when I say that Trump is not our savior, the Christian response is always the same, ‘Only Jesus is my Savior. Trump is just a man that we support and appreciate, the best man for the job. We all know that,’” Brown added.
“But if that is truly the case, why the despair and near panic over his defeat? Why the crushing emotional letdown? Why the persistent hope among many of his supporters that he will miraculously displace Biden within the next few months (or years)? Why the inability to move on from Trump to any other potential candidate? And why the virtual denial of the amount of damage he did during his presidency, damage which largely offset the good?”