Iowa Pastors Say Video Depicting Trump as Godly Is ‘Very Concerning’

For pastors like Darran Whiting of Liberty Baptist Church in Cedar Rapids, who say they would never vote for Mr. Trump, the video only underscores why.

“God has ordained servant leadership, not the arrogant, self-serving righteous leadership that particular video portrays,” said Mr. Whiting, who plans to vote for Mr. DeSantis. He noted that while Mr. Trump’s campaign did not make the video, the former president’s decision to share it speaks to his endorsement of its message.

The clip’s authors are members of the Dilley Meme Team, an organized collective of video producers who call themselves “Trump’s Online War Machine.” The group’s leader, Brenden Dilley, describes himself as Christian and a man of faith, but says he has never read the Bible and does not attend church. He has said that Mr. Trump has “God-tier genetics” and, in response to outcry over the “God Made Trump” video, he posted a meme depicting Mr. Trump as Moses parting the Red Sea.

Other members of the meme team frequently express religious faith, and one, a musician named Michael Beatty, has recorded several albums of original Christian songs. Multiple passages in “God Made Trump” hew closely to language from the Bible, and they are delivered in a voice that sounds nearly identical to Mr. Harvey’s when he spoke at the 1978 Future Farmers of America convention. That speech was called “So God Made a Farmer.”

A different oratory by Mr. Harvey, 1965’s “If I Were the Devil,” is the seeming inspiration for another video created by the Dilley Meme Team that went viral last summer. Called “If I Were the Deep State,” it also features a voice-over that sounds like Mr. Harvey, a symbol of Midwestern practically and old-fashioned conservative values, in this case delivering ominous lines about fraudulent elections, corrupt prosecutors and the medical establishment.

“If I was the Deep State, you would fear to ever resist me,” the video intones. “If I was the Deep State, you would wish I was really the devil.”