Certainly as much as any other factor, Donald Trump owes his presidency to conservative Christians who voted for him in 2016. He’s relying on their turnout this November as well. That’s why he held a pathetic photo op in front of a church he doesn’t even attend — with his team tear-gassing protesters along the way. That’s why he visited a Catholic shrine. That’s why he’s giving a speech today inside an Arizona megachurch (that is lying about having the ability to destroy COVID).
But during an interview with “The Patriot and The Preacher” radio program this week, Trump spiritual adviser Paula White insisted that she and other evangelicals who see Trump regularly have encouraged him not to talk about his faith openly.
White said that when Trump began running for president in 2015, members of the media tried to trap him with unfair theological questions, and so she and other faith advisers recommended that he simply “keep faith very private and personal and hold it close” and not talk about it.
“I saw them coming at him with a theological question, and I knew that he didn’t know that this was a theological question, and it was complete setup,” White said. “It was over communion. They started asking him about wine because he doesn’t drink, and I’m like, ‘Oh, they’re about to drop it on him.’ And it’d be like asking me how to build a building. I don’t know how to build a building. And so I said, ‘Look, politics by its very nature is designed to be very divisive and destructive.’”
“Gov. [Mike] Huckabee and myself were with him … and we highly recommend to him in this arena to keep faith very private and personal and hold it close because there are some situations that you walk out more privately than publicly because in an arena like this, I think, you’re darned if you do, darned if you don’t,” White added. “Now, with that said, there’s a whole lot that happens behind the scenes that faith plays such an important role to our president.”
Never once have white evangelicals told politicians not to speak openly about their faith. It’s the reason so many Republicans campaign by saying some variation of “I’m a Christian first, American second, conservative third, and Republican fourth.”
So why is Trump the one person who gets a pass on talking about faith?
White implies it’s because every question is trap. What she doesn’t say is that Trump is too stupid to have even a basic conversation about the religion he claims to hold so dear.
Let’s do a quick runthrough of the ways Trump has spoken about his Christianity.
- He famously cited “Two Corinthians,” instead of saying “Second Corinthians” as most Christians would have heard in church.
- When asked if he’s a Old Testament or New Testament guy, instead of going with the Jesus half of the book, he responded “Probably equal.”
- He said he never asks God for forgiveness.
- He referred to communion as “my little wine” and “my little cracker.”
- He once put money in a communion plate because he assumed it was an offering.
- He said his favorite Bible verse was the one about “an eye for an eye,” the pro-revenge passage that appears in Exodus, but which is repudiated by Jesus “turn the other cheek” Christ.
- And whenever Christian reporters ask him softball questions about God, he’s just plain awkward.
Those are not traps. Those are questions a child in Sunday School could answer.
Trump can’t, though, because he’s both a liar and a moron — and instead of just admitting he knows nothing about Christianity, and doesn’t actually give a damn about God, but needs the political support of conservative Christians, people like Paula White provide cover for his ignorance by pretending he’s deeply faithful “behind the scenes” where no one can see.
She’s a liar. He’s a liar. All the Christians who think Trump cares about their religion are lying to themselves. And our nation is worse off because all of those people have way more power than the rest of us.
On behalf of all atheists, let me be the first to say I think Trump should talk about his faith all the time.
Maybe then some of those voters would realize he’s a con artist who has never spent any time thinking about religion, much less Jesus. The only thing Christianity is good for, to him, is giving him more political power.
(via Right Wing Watch)