Concerns about the afterlife in this life with Trump

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Concerns about the afterlife in this life with Trump

A pall hangs over many Americans since Trump has taken office. One sign of this dark cloud has been an uptick in dystopian novels. Classics like George Orwell’s “1984”, Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World,” Sinclair Lewis’s “It Can’t Happen Here,” and my favorite, Margaret Atwood’s “Handmaid’s Tale,” a drama web television hit on “Hulu” are now all horrifyingly prescient. Our devouring of these tomes is a search for answers to potentially a frightening new normal.

For example, Kellyanne Conway’s use of the Orwellian phrase “alternative facts” to corroborate with then-White House press secretary Sean Spicer’s fallacious claims about Trump’s crowd size at his inauguration signaled to Americans that facts and the truth are inconsequential in this administration.

Just as there has been an uptick in these dystopian classics, there has also been a steady stream of queries about the afterlife. The afterlife refers to an individual’s soul or spirit living beyond the life of their physical body. Also, there is the belief that in the afterlife one’s moral choices and actions in life can result in their soul residing -based on divine judgment - in a place of reward or punishment, known as Heaven or Hell, respectively. Many- religious and non-religious- folks feel if there is indeed a Hell Trump will unquestionably be going there directly. However, thoughts about the afterlife can be a search for answers to potentially a frightening new normal, too.

With Trump appearing to be both unstoppable and invincible- in his erosion of fundamental freedoms and protections to various disenfranchised, vulnerable, and historically marginalized populations in the country and immigrants, his nativist spirit of patriotism and isolationist rhetoric to “Make America Great Again,” and now his SCOTUS nominee that can potentially shape future generations - questions about the afterlife not only speak about social anxiety but, sadly, they also speak about hopelessness. As a minister in this Trump era, I’ve been receiving lots of queries about the afterlife.

"I want to ask you, what do you believe will happen in the afterlife? Are we as the human race going to be okay? Should I worry about what's going to happen to me after death? My girlfriend who believes in God but struggles with what to believe in exactly, is she going to be okay? I’m terrified right now, and as one of the very few looking past religious dogma, I need your help,