Is Donald Trump a Christian?

The presumptive Republican candidate for President has said he is a Presbyterian, and that the Bible is his favorite book (though from the video above, he has a weird way of showing it, by pronouncing the source of a verse as “Two Corinthians,” when any half-assed Biblical scholar knows it’s pronounced “Second Corinthians.”)(She said.)

But his closed-door-closed-mind suggestions about how to live (or not) with people who aren’t like him, and his overtly rude comments about women make his claim unusual, if not suspect. Regarding compassion for the poor, the Best the Republicans Have to Offer(® is about the farthest thing from Jesus you could find. So for evangelicals to get on the Fake Tan Train is weird. Then too, this piece from Christianity Today challenges the narrative that evangelicals love Trump. Well, they may love Trump as they are instructed to love everyone, but they don’t plan to vote for the guy.

Of course, Candidate Drumpt may not realize precisely what means “born-again.” Here. Let Benjamin J. Corey explain, as Patheos (and thanks, Charles, for the link.

Peter Wehner has more. He said it better in the New York Times. And thanks, Jac, for the link.

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  1. Is Trump a Christian?
    Is Peter Wehner? Or the Ethics and Public Policy Center?
    Is Roger Jimenez?
    Is Kevin Swanson?
    How about Pat Robertson?
    All one has to do in this country to be a Christian is say “I’m a Christian.” That’s it. I’m sure that a few of the hundreds of Christian denominations in America might have a couple more qualifications for inclusion, (other than the ability to write a check), but in the public square Christian identity is assigned as it is proclaimed. You don’t need a license to cherry-pick. (Thank goodness.)

    I’m sure somewhere in Wehner’s bio, although not readily apparent, are bonafides that lend credibility to both his criticism of Trump’s religiosity and his paraphrasing of Nietzsche’s moral philosophy, (which is just a tad more complicated than Wehner describes). After all, one cannot make a career out of preaching right and wrong to the Republican Party without some bonafides that come close to a Dobson or a Falwell, (or a Brian Leiter), can one?

    And, although I’m not a regular follower of Wehner or the EPPC, my nose tells me that if it were anyone else in the presumptive GOP driver’s seat…like the uberChristian Cruz for instance…we wouldn’t be treated to any quotes from a Christian Anarchist, (Ellul), from Wehner or the EPPC about a “trap” at the intersection of Religion and Politics.

    Trump’s positions on migrants, refugees and immigration, his general disrespect for women, his apparent lack of “compassion and empathy,” his tendency to threaten and bully opponents, his connection to White Nationalism, and his willingness to pervert and exploit Christianity for political dominance are nothing new within the ranks of the GOP or White evangelical protestantism. What is new is his style. An orator Trump is not. Trump lays no claim whatsoever to being an intellectual. But a Republican he is most definitely. Wehner’s rejection of Trumpism isn’t based on either politics or religion. It’s all about style. Donald Trump, based on his performance thus far, represents the Republican Party of today more accurately than Peter Wehner.

    Conservatives like Wehner and Will and Rove have been so busy aiding and abetting Republican Party extremism and obstructionism in moving the Democratic Party away from the Left, they’ve become caught in their own trap, (the ratchet effect). They’re not Republicans™ anymore. The Trump candidacy has set the political pawl further to the Right than they’re comfortable with. Especially now since neoliberal Democrats might be, (depending on what happens in Cleveland), the only politicos in a position to save the Wehner/Will/Rove brand of conservatism, and their brand of religiosity, from utter irrelevance.

  2. I agree! He’s FAR away from a Jesus follower. I just happened upon this piece and thought it was good, too:
    “This is the gospel of Donald Trump, his “good news” to Christian voters: Stick with me and you’ll be a winner. Stick with me and I’ll give you power, protection, prestige.

    It’s also the very thing Satan promised Jesus when he tempted him in the desert.

    “I will give you power and authority over all the kingdoms of the world,” Satan said, “it has been given to me and I can give it to anyone I want to.”

    While Jesus resisted the allure of power and privilege, it has long been a snare to his followers, and the Religious Right sold its soul long ago. Its support of Trump proves once again it will do anything to protect its power, even if it means baptizing as anointed a candidate whose rhetoric and actions contradict any sane understanding of what Christianity is about. ”

    I really liked this in that same article about the Religious Right: “The Bible is harvested for a few conservative sound bites, Jesus reduced to an object of veneration whose death saves but whose life and teachings remain inconsequential. When power is the end game, faithfulness bows to political expediency.”

    Let me point out, the “Religious Right” is not equal to “Christian”. The whole piece was interesting.

    1. …the “Religious Right” is not equal to “Christian”.
      With all due respect, Jac…sez you.
      The Real Origins of the Religious Right

      The Religious Right in America is a Christian political movement. The fact there is little, if any, actual consensus on what being an American Christian truly means cannot not change that reality. And the fact there is no comparable political organization of a religious Left in America means that, at present, the Religious Right continues to be the presumptive representative of Christianity in the political arena. And just about everywhere else.

      1. I think I can make the argument — based on decades of pretty serious Biblical scholarship and not just on my own — that the tenets of much of the religious right (I won’t capitalize that and you can’t make me) are far afield of the original text. Based on that, I think it’s accurate to say they’re not based on the Christian texts, which would make them something else again, but not Christian. As for “presumptive,” well, sez you. The progressives aren’t going anywhere.

        1. “The progressives aren’t going anywhere.”
          Where have they been? If they’re not going anywhere the Religious Right, (capitalized to denote an actual and influential organized political movement, as documented in history, as opposed to capricious individual sociopolitical ideology), will remain the primary representative of Christianity, as an organized religion, in the political arena as well as the marketplace.

          As the primary representative of Christianity in the political arena, their interpretation of Christian Scripture…the same scripture you read…is de facto legitimate to the point of being codified in legislation and law and public policy. (See the Hyde Amendment or ObamaCare®. Just for starters.) The Religious Right sets a status quo “progressive” Christians undertake to defeat only if and when they choose to challenge it in the political arena.

          All things are subject to interpretation; whichever interpretation prevails at a given time is a function of power and not truth.
          (commonly attributed to Nietzsche but actually just a commonly used paraphrase of his early work that is no less credible than Wehner’s paraphrase of Nietzsche’s moral philosophy.)

          The Religious Right is the power that determines legitimacy of Christian scriptural interpretation in the political arena. Truth, accuracy, scholarship/denomination…faith…have nothing to do with it.

      2. Christianity according to Jesus is more aligned with the Left, but it is not a political organization. There are many of us out there, but we aren’t necessarily focused on political organization because there is real work to do in getting food to people, housing people, providing healthcare, building homes, resettling refugees, comforting and supporting victims of abuse and crime…the list goes on. There will be no consensus on what being an American Christian is any more than consensus on what being a Muslim in this world is. However, I will not allow the religious right or the worst examples of any religion to hijack an entire branch of an Abrahamic religion. They are not the face of Christianity despite their lobbying and influence. Trump, too, is hijacking and claiming to represent Christians, which is far from the truth for this Christian!

        1. Christianity may not be a political organization, but the Religious Right is a political organization…a Christian political organization that even centrist Democratic Party politicos kowtow to when politically expedient.

          The hijacking and ransoming have already been completed.

          You cannot separate social justice from politics without condemning the victims of social injustice to continual marginalization and occasional exploitation by unprincipled opportunists.

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