I don’t know about you, but I’m mystified by President Trump’s popularity with evangelical Christians. They’re the bedrock of his political base. It’s a mystery because Trump is arguably the least Christian president of all time.
Virtually all American presidents have demonstrated their Christian faith in a clear, coherent public manner. They affiliated with some denomination. They attended church on a regular basis. They had at least a passing familiarity with the Bible.
Two modern presidents – Jimmy Carter and Bush the Younger – identified as evangelicals. They professed a born-again Christian faith. This included a come-to-Jesus conversion experience that changed their lives.
Now compare the religious life of President Donald J. Trump …
Not even close. In fact, Trump has never, in humility, asked God for forgiveness. Ever. For anything. He’s on record about that.
Trump’s Biblical ignorance is total. When asked, he couldn’t cite a favorite Bible verse and struggled to name even a single Bible book. He finally settled on “Two Corinthians.”
Apparently, Trump only attends church for the funeral of former presidents like the elder Bush. The man is obviously uncomfortable being in church. With good reason. Suddenly, he’s not the most important person in the room.
If Trump hasn’t violated every one of the Ten Commandments – repeatedly and with gusto – I’ll eat my leopard-skin pillbox hat. He’s an adulterer, liar, blasphemer and crook. And his personal style – how he conducts his public and private life – makes a mockery of traditional Christian values of modesty and humility.
(To be fair, some modern Christian pastors believe flashy and flaunting is just fine. Prosperity gospel preachers like Paula White, the striking blonde who appears with Trump at religious photo ops. And Creflo Dollar. I’m not making that name up. Creflo Dollar is the preacher who asked his followers for $60 million to upgrade his private jet.)
To sum up: Trump and Christianity go together like Ted Nugent and astrophysics.
So why does a guy who has zero relationship with God, never goes to church or opens a Bible, who lives his life in flagrant opposition to Biblical moral values – or any moral values – why does this guy get such enthusiastic support, admiration, and even love from evangelical Christians?
Partly, it’s celebrity worship. Evangelicals are just as susceptible as the next demographic group to the mesmerizing power of media.
Mostly, it’s political expediency. Trump gives them lifetime Supreme Court justices. He’s reliable on “religious liberty” issues, gun control and abortion. He’s good on taxes, a godsend on immigration.
Still, for the intellectually honest Bible-believer, Donald Trump must present a profound moral dilemma. Many of them take refuge in the old adage, “God moves in mysterious ways.” He sometimes chooses imperfect, sinful men (King David, for instance) to do his holy work.
Ultimately, evangelicals’ support for President Trump is a mystery even to themselves.
Which reminds me of a joke: Two Corinthians walk into a bar …