The Christian Broadcasting Network reported yesterday on the Bible studies for White House officials and Cabinet members.
Attendees include Tom Price (Health Secretary), Rick Perry (Energy Secretary), Betsy DeVos (Education Secretary), Sonny Perdue (Agriculture Secretary), Jeff Sessions (Attorney General), Mike Pompeo (CIA Director), and Vice President Mike Pence.
Donald Trump — surprise, surprise — doesn’t usually attend. Maybe it’s because he’s busy golfing. Maybe he can’t keep his attention on one book for very long. Maybe he just tells them he has “work” to do. But we’re told Trump gets a rundown each week of what was taught. (Should we assume there’s a lesson on the Corinthians…?)
None of this, I should point out, is illegal.
Members of Congress hold Bible studies, too. White House staffers held Bible studies during the George W. Bush era. As long as they’re voluntary and not funded by taxpayer money, there’s no legal issue here. Even politicians are allowed to practice their faith. (It’s the same reason President Obama could walk into a church on Sunday without violating any law.)
What’s really disturbing is that the man leading these sessions, Ralph Drollinger of Capitol Ministries, is a conservative Christian who has called Catholicism the “world’s largest false religion,” declared homosexuality an “abomination,” and said it’s “sinful” for women with children to serve in Congress.
If he has any influence over these politicians, he sure as hell isn’t making them more inclusive and tolerant. He’s not teaching them to care for the poor, since Trump promoted a healthcare bill that would’ve snatched insurance from millions of lower income people. He’s not teaching them rich people have a hard time entering God’s kingdom, since the Cabinet is full of wealthy people. He’s not teaching them to accept Middle Eastern refugees (like Jesus).
So… what exactly are they learning from him? Are we supposed to figure that out based on how these people are performing their duties? Because that’s a really awful advertisement for Christianity.
Perhaps the strangest thing Drollinger said to CBN was that Trump was like the “biblical strongman Samson.”
You would think the so-called Bible expert would know that Samson is more than a strongman. He’s someone who irrationally derives strength from his hair, commits multiple acts of genocide, idiotically gives away his biggest secret, and is eventually defeated due to his own pride.
If anything, this Bible study just reinforces the bond between this disastrous administration and the religion that props it up. Decent Christians everywhere ought to denounce Trump and everyone associated with him and his awful policies. Instead, many continue to embrace him.
He has no loyalty to them just as he has no loyalty to anyone else in his inner circle. By the time this is all over, let’s hope American Christianity is as damaged by its association with this administration as all the people hired and fired by this President.
(Screenshot of Trump praying with Religious Right leaders in 2015 via YouTube)