During the National Prayer Breakfast this morning, Donald Trump showed once again why this ritual is absolutely not a celebration of religion. It’s nothing more than a coronation of Christian Nationalism as our country’s official faith.
Trump used the stage to brag about getting away with crime before trashing Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah, the lone Republican vote against him, for citing his faith as a reason to vote for conviction.
In an apparent shot at both Pelosi, D-Calif., and Romney, Trump said: “I don’t like people who use their faith as justification for doing what they know is wrong. Nor do I like people who say, ‘I pray for you,’ when they know that that’s not so.”
“So many people have been hurt and we can’t let that go on,” he continued. “And I’ll be discussing that a little bit later at the White House.”
In a more reasonable world, he’d be talking about the conservative Christians who support him despite his ignorance, cruelty, and utter lack of principles. But this is the Republican Party we’re talking about. Faith is always a problem for them when it supports Democratic ideals. They support religious freedom to be assholes but religion becomes a hindrance when it means helping the poor.
Elsewhere during the event, a speaker asked the audience members to raise their hands if they loved someone with different political views. The goal was obviously to show that love conquers even the most important political battles we face. The response, however, didn’t go as planned:
Trump did not raise his hand when Harvard professor Arthur Brooks, speaking before the audience, asked those in attendance to raise their hands if they love someone whom they disagree with politically.
The audience didn’t care. Because Trump can do no wrong in their eyes.
That’s what white evangelical Christianity has become: a cover for Trump cultists who don’t want to admit they worship him a lot more than they ever gave a damn about Jesus.
When Trump trashed Romney’s faith, of course, the evangelicals in the audience didn’t walk out. They didn’t protest. They applauded him, like they always do. Trump can get away with anything he wants with that crowd as long as he uses a few magical “Jesus” words along the way and reminds them of all the unqualified right-wing judges he’s shoving through the Senate on their behalf.
They worship power. Jesus is an afterthought at best.