Clifton Jolley: The Fake News White Horse Prophecy rides again

(Carolyn Kaster | AP file photo) In this Nov. 19, 2016 photo, then-President-elect Donald Trump and Mitt Romney shake hands as Romney leaves Trump National Golf Club Bedminster in Bedminster, N.J.

Just when most of us were hoping not to remember — much less dispute — the White Horse Prophecy, The New York Times pipes up with what sounds like a modernization of Mormon folklore: that one day the Constitution would be saved by Mormons.

Timothy Egan, in an opinion piece written for The New York Times, writes: “Mormons…to the rescue of the Republic? Maybe.”

For those of us who have worked to disremember the details of the Fake News White Horse Prophecy, in about 1900 one Edwin Rushton said he had heard Joseph Smith say that one day the U.S. Constitution would “hang like a thread” but be saved by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Well, Trump is making every effort to shred the Constitution, so maybe….

When I was growing up in the Garvanza Ward in Southern California, I remember this being quoted in Sacrament Services and Fast and Testimony Meetings. Regularly.

But not so fast!

In 2010 the church officially stated, “the so-called ‘White Horse Prophecy’... is not embraced as Church doctrine.”

Well, that pretty much put the White Horse Prophecy out of circulation. Until The New York Times resurrected it.

Egan goes on to say that whereas the majority of evangelicals appear to have swallowed the Trump bait hook, line, and Donald, Mormons are split down the middle about Trump, and Mitt Romney may be the one to ride in on a white horse and save the Republic.

Although Egan alleges that “most Republicans in Congress know Trump has violated his oath of office … but are also cowards,” and that the same is true of some “Mormon Republicans, such as Sen. Mike Lee of Utah, a former Trump critic, now an enabler,” the hope, he says, is to be found in Sen. Mitt Romney, who “has never caved” since before we elected a guy Romney has called “a fraud” whose promises “are as worthless as a degree from Trump University.”

Needless to say, Trump — who has never heard of the White Horse Prophecy and doesn’t believe in The New York Times will not go quietly. To shore up his support by conservative evangelicals, Trump recently appointed televangelist Paula White to head up his “Faith and Opportunity Initiative.”

Trump — who has never met a religious value he didn’t dispute — has no idea what faith is, and he defines opportunity the way he defines everything else: what’s good for Donald Trump. Which makes him a match for White, who says the White House now is “holy ground” for no better reason than because “where I stand is holy.” She says that “saying no to President Trump … would be saying no to God.”

I’m not so sure about that, but what do I know? I grew up in California, where, Paula says, “there’s already law that’s passed through the governor that says the Bible is a book of hate speech and to ban the sale of it.”

Which is another reason she may be an even better adviser to Trump than to the television: They both lie. And when Paula speaks in tongues (and she does), she sounds very much like our president speaking in English, which she also speaks, when telling her boob tube congregants that if they do not send her money, “your dream will die.”

Mine certainly will. If she’s right about who God wants in the White House.

But if Egan right, the White Horse Prophecy (no matter that it is not prophecy) is threatening to come true, in the slight hope of the forever-hesitant Mitt Romney.

The White Horse Prophecy and Mitt Romney? Or Paula White and Donald Trump?

Sometimes the choice is between the lesser of two crazies.

Clifton Jolley

Clifton Jolley, Ph.D., is president of Advent Communications, Ogden.