Secretary of State Mike Pompeo recently compared Donald Trump to the biblical Queen Esther during a trip to Israel.
For those who aren’t familiar with her, the story of Queen Esther is about a young woman who was kidnapped and forced into a beauty pageant so the king could choose a new wife. She used her traumatic circumstances to thwart the plan of Haman, the king’s advisor, who wanted to exterminate the Jewish people — who were also her people. In other words, placed in an unexpected situation, she used her powers to save the Jews. That’s what Pompeo was talking about.
Though when pastors usually tell this story, the moral is about how Esther was brave and principled — two qualities that Trump wouldn’t recognize if they struck him in the face.
In an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) in Jerusalem on Thursday, Pompeo was asked whether Esther’s efforts, as recounted by Hebrew biblical scrolls, to save the Jewish people approximately 2,500 years ago resembled Mr. Trump’s strategy to isolate the Iranian regime — Israel’s chief adversary.“Could it be that President Trump right now has been sort of raised for such a time as this, just like Queen Esther, to help save the Jewish people from the Iranian menace?” CBN’s Jerusalem bureau chief Chris Mitchell asked the secretary of state.
Smiling, Pompeo replied “as a Christian I certainly believe that’s possible. It was remarkable. So we were down in the tunnels where we could see 3,000 years ago, and 2,000 years ago — if I have the history just right — to see the remarkable history of the faith in this place and the work that our administration’s done to make sure that this democracy in the Middle East, that this Jewish state remains.”
Beyond the fact that giving Trump a biblical story arc is no way to conduct reason-based foreign policy, it’s exhausting to constantly hear right-wing Christian politicians act like they know what’s best for Jews and speaking on their behalf. I guarantee that most American Jews view Trump as the entitled Persian king than as an Esther figure. (71% of Jews voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016.)
Not that Pompeo cares much for their opinion.