Anyone who’s been watching Donald Trump over the past year understands that he’s not really a religious person. He claims to love the Bible, but you can tell he’s never read it. It’s just an applause line he can bring out at rallies. If he claims to be a Christian, it’s mostly because he knows that’s what people want to hear.
That’s why we laughed when Trump met with hundreds of evangelical Christian leaders last week. Did they really think they were going to get through to him? Did the people who fought to block LGBT civil rights think the self-described “friend” of the gay community was going to jump ship? Were the evangelical leaders so gullible that they were going to fall for his claim that he was really one of them?
Yes, yes, and yes.
It only got more entertaining when Focus on the Family founder James Dobson claimed Trump was born again, a claim he has since walked back a bit by saying “Only the Lord knows the condition of a person’s heart.”
But if Trump really wanted to endear himself to evangelicals, he had a golden opportunity this week after the Supreme Court struck down Texas’ unnecessary and ridiculous anti-abortion law. It was a perfect setup. All he had to do was tweet, “Supreme Court doesn’t care about women’s health or the unborn! Awful decision! Sad! I’ll appoint pro-life justices!” and he could’ve won points with the evangelical crowd.
Instead, he said nothing. For days. As Ruth Graham pointed out yesterday at Slate:
It has been well over 48 hours since the Supreme Court issued its landmark ruling striking down Texas’ strict rules for abortion clinics. Donald Trump has yet to mention it.
… a quick tweet condemning Monday’s Supreme Court decision should be a no-brainer for a candidate hoping to shore up support among religious conservatives. Instead, the campaign has whiffed. Trump himself has spent the last 48 hours belly-aching about media bias and Benghazi, and praising convicted rapist Mike Tyson.
He finally said something today, but only when pressed in an interview with conservative radio host Mike Gallagher.
After 3 days, Trump FINALLY weighs in on SCOTUS TX abortion ruling: Says if he's elected, you wouldn't see that. pic.twitter.com/Ql7HIQFyMR
— Sopan Deb (@SopanDeb) June 30, 2016
Trump claimed that if he had a chance to replace Justice Scalia, the Texas ruling would’ve gone the other way… which makes no sense since it was a 5-3 decision.
Trump knows math about as much as he knows the Bible.
Maybe evangelicals will finally realize that Trump loves to talk out of both sides of his mouth. He wants evangelicals to love him, but he thinks he’s a champion of LGBT people. He claims Mexicans love him, while he makes plans to deport millions of them. He doesn’t want guns in classrooms, except he totally wants guns in classrooms.
He’s a con artist. He’ll say whatever he thinks you want to hear. He doesn’t have any principles, conservative or otherwise. What’s stunning is that so many people refuse to admit this. The moment he gives them lip service, they bend over backwards for him.
I don’t want evangelicals to rally around Trump. I would much rather they just sit this election out. But it’s amazing how easily they’ve been duped by him, agreeing to serve on his religious advisory panel — which I promise you he will never actually use — or telling their followers that he’s one of them.
I know they believe in a lot of nonsense, but this is too much even for them.