It turns out that President Donald Trump, the man who promised he would be “the greatest representative for the Christians,” has only mentioned Jesus twice on Twitter. And neither of them involved a prayer.
Trump joined Twitter in March of 2009, and he has been a fairly active user ever since, but only two of his original tweets mention Jesus in any way. The first tweet, in 2011, shows Trump complaining that the U.S. Capitol Christmas tree paid homage to Barack Obama but “failed to mention Jesus.”
The second and final time Trump mentioned Jesus came almost four years later when Trump condemned a “Draw Muhammad” contest that resulted in a fatal shooting. He implied that Christians might react the same way if Muslims were drawing offensive cartoons about Jesus, telling people to “Be cool!”
In a related tweet on the same day, Trump said the U.S. “has enough problems without publicity seekers going out and openly mocking religion in order to provoke attacks and death.” He encouraged Americans to “BE SMART.”
I used Twitter’s advanced search to find these examples, and four more showed up when I searched for “Jesus.” One is Trump quoting a tweet he received from “@Jesus_Mohammad” about ties, and the other three are quotes from people saying stuff like “Jesus would be so proud of you Donald,” “Sweet Jesus just run for President,” and “Jesus Loves you.”
Trump has only mentioned “Christ” three times on Twitter, all in the context of quotes from fans. He has never mentioned “atheists” or “agnostics” or “atheism,” and the only time he said the word “atheist” was to insult “goofball atheist Penn Jillette.”
What about the word “Christian”? He’s used that far more — 23 times to be exact. (Gotta keep that base happy.) But even here, he includes quotes from other people, while most of his original tweets are references to a “Christian pastor” who was imprisoned in Iran. Many of the posts were challenging Obama about that pastor’s release.
For what it’s worth, he’s mentioned “God” with far more frequency than any of these other words. But for a man who made such a big deal out of retail stores saying “Merry Christmas” instead of “Happy Holidays,” you’d expect him to be more specific every once in a while.
It’s not that we want Trump talking about God and Jesus and Christianity on Twitter all the time — we’d have a problem if he did it with the same fervency he reserves for criticizing the media — but we bring this up to highlight a contradiction between Trump’s public statements and private beliefs.
We know Twitter is important to Trump. He says his Christianity is, too. But those two worlds rarely converge in a way that would seem meaningful to his religious base. Whether that’s a good or bad thing is anyone’s guess.
(Top image via YouTube)