Over The Weekend Rick Perry The Us Secretary Of Energy Became The Latest Highly Placed Evangelical Christian To Claim That President Trump Is The Chosen One I Said You Were Perry Said In A Clip From An Interview Shown On Fox Newsfox And Friends Relating A Recent Conversation With Trump About An August
Over the weekend, Rick Perry, the U.S. secretary of energy, became the latest highly placed evangelical Christian to claim that President Trump is the chosen one.
I said you were, Perry said in a clip from an interview shown on Fox NewsFox and Friends, relating a recent conversation with Trump about an August press briefing in which the president said, I am the chosen one.
If you are a believing Christian, you understand Gods plan for the people who rule and judge over us on this planet and our government, Perry explained. The energy secretary said he had given the president a memo listing the kings of Israel, all of them ordained by God in the Bible none of whom, Perry pointed out, were perfect.
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Perry seemed to be making a general point about some Christians understanding of Gods role in history. But others have gone further. Not long ago, Paula White, the Pentecostal pastor who was recently named to head the White Houses faith outreach office, said she couldnt refuse a request to serve from the president. To say no to President Trump would be saying no to God, and I wont do that.
Are Presidents Anointed by God? Graphic by Ryan Burge
Another variation holds that Trump was not one of them but was still an instrument anointed by God for some purpose, as was King Cyrus, a Persian emperor the Bible says was anointed to free the Jews.
Will evangelicals call out Saul?
Ramping Up The Rhetoric
When commentators say Trump is speaking evangelicals language, what they mean is not the language of theology and faith, but the language of politicised religion that has come to form a large part of whats now frequently referred to as the culture wars in America.
Trump began employing this language during the 2016 campaign and has continued throughout his term in office. He has consistently claimed that people of faith are under siege, language which pointedly echoes a common refrain from evangelical leaders.
He also promised to totally destroy the Johnson amendment which bars non-profit organisations such as churches from endorsing or opposing particular candidates although he hasnt done so. And he became the first sitting president to address the annual anti-abortion March for Life rally in 2020.
In this light, Trumps claim that Biden poses a threat to the American faithful is part of a much longer history of the politicisation of conservative Christianity. Its increasingly associated with issues such as free market capitalism, support for the state of Israel, abortion, gun ownership and religious liberty rights. The rhetoric, promises and symbolism has far outstripped the reality of policy change, but that does not appear to matter a great deal.
What Do The Numbers Say
According to Greg Smith, associate director for religion research at the Pew Research Center, Mr Pence’s claims do not appear follow the numbers.
“The data we do have do not suggest a recent increase in the share of Americans who are highly religious,” Mr Smith told the BBC.
“The vast majority of Americans do say they believe in God, but those numbers are ticking downward,” he added.
A 2017 study by the Public Religion Research Institute also tracked a diminishing white Christian presence across the US.
In 1996, 65% of Americans identified as white Christians. Over the last decade, that number has dropped to 43%.
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Half Of Americans Say The Bible Should Influence Us Laws
U.S. adults are split over the amount of influence the Bible should have on the laws of the United States. Half of the public says the Bible should have a great deal or some influence over U.S. laws, while the other half says the Bible should have little or no influence on the laws of the land. Support for biblically based laws is highest among white evangelical Protestants and black Protestants . It is much lower among all other groups analyzed.
Respondents who say the Bible should have at least some influence on U.S. laws were asked a hypothetical follow-up question: When the Bible and the will of the people conflict with each other, which should have more influence on the laws of the United States? Overall, 28% of U.S. adults say the Bible should take precedence over the will of the people including roughly two-thirds of white evangelical Protestants and half of black Protestants who say the Bible should override the will of the people when the two conflict. These are two of the most highly religious segments of the U.S. population, at least by standard measures such as self-reported rates of prayer and church attendance, though they diverge sharply in political partisanship, with white evangelical Protestants strongly identifying with the Republican Party and black Protestants with the Democratic Party.
A Rare Exchange About Religion
WASHINGTON In an exclusive interview with Religion News Service, President Trump said in a written statement that he no longer identifies as a Presbyterian and now sees himself as a non-denominational Christian.
Though I was confirmed at a Presbyterian church as a child, I now consider myself to be a non-denominational Christian, Trump, who has repeatedly identified as a Presbyterian in the past, said in a written response to RNS.
Saying that his parents taught me the importance of faith and prayer from a young age, Trump went on to say that Melania and I have gotten to visit some amazing churches and meet with great faith leaders from around the world. During the unprecedented COVID-19 outbreak, I tuned into several virtual church services and know that millions of Americans did the same.
The revelation about Trumps religious identity appeared in an interview that was conducted in writing and covered a variety of faith topics, ranging from the presidents own spiritual life to his plans for the White House office tasked with engaging faith groups.
In this Sept. 1, 2017 file photo, religious leaders pray with President Donald Trump after he signed a proclamation for a national day of prayer to occur on Sunday, Sept. 3, 2017, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington.
White House staffers said that the answers are attributable to the president.
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Trailing In Election Polls Trump Says Rival Biden Opposes God And Guns
By Lisa Lambert
3 Min Read
WASHINGTON – U.S. Republican President Donald Trump asserted on Thursday that his Democratic opponent in Novembers election, Joe Biden, is against God, even though Biden frequently discusses how his Catholic faith has guided his actions as a public official.
With Trump trailing Biden in four recent polls in Ohio, the president is fighting to win voters in the traditional swing state as the coronavirus pandemic threatens his chances of a second term. After addressing a small crowd at a Cleveland airport on Thursday, Trump went on to deliver a campaign-style speech at a Whirlpool plant in Clyde, Ohio.
Hes following the radical-left agenda: take away your guns, destroy your Second Amendment, no religion, no anything, hurt the Bible, hurt God, Trump said about Biden in his Cleveland speech. Hes against God.
The Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution gives Americans the right to keep and bear arms.
Trump did not explain what he meant. His accusation, though, could solidify support from his partys sizable conservative Christian bloc and also damage voters view of Biden, the first Catholic Vice President in U.S. history.
John Kennedy was the first and only Catholic elected President when he won in 1960.
In a statement on Thursday night, Biden said Trumps attack was shameful and that faith had been the bedrock foundation of his life.
Reporting by Lisa Lambert Additional reporting by Trevor Hunnicutt in New York Editing by Lisa Shumaker
May 201: Trump Signs Executive Order Limiting The Power Of The Johnson Amendment
Surrounded by religious leaders and evangelical advisers, Trump signed an executive order on May 4, 2017 hamstringing the so-called Johnson Amendment a rarely enforced section of the tax code that prohibits churches and other nonprofits from endorsing candidates. It made good on a campaign promise to totally destroy the provision, with Trump telling attendees at the signing that No one should be censoring sermons or targeting pastors. But the order drew criticism from both sides: thousands of faith leaders from across the religious spectrum signed a letter to Congress urging lawmakers to maintain the provision, and some conservative groups believed Trumps order didnt go far enough.
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Vessel Messiah Warrior: Donald Trump In Evangelical Christian Narratives
HANK WILLENBRINK is a scholar/artist whose essays have been published in Theatre Journal, Contemporary Theatre Review, Theatre Forum, Response, and online at The Lark and HowlRound. He teaches theatre at The University of Scranton.
Hank Willenbrink Vessel, Messiah, Warrior: Donald Trump in Evangelical Christian Narratives. Ecumenica 1 November 2021 14 : 221247. doi:
Fewer Than Half Of Americans Describe Trumps Religion As Christian
President Trump identifies as Presbyterian, but most Americans do not associate him with Christianity or Protestantism. When asked what Donald Trumps religion is, about a third say they think Trump is Protestant and 8% say they think he is Catholic.
One-third of U.S. adults say they arent sure what Trumps religion is, and an additional 16% say Trump has no religion . Much smaller shares say he is Jewish, Muslim or Buddhist. And one-in-twenty Americans say Trump has some other religion when asked to specify what they mean, many people in this latter group provide caustic responses, saying they think Trump worships himself, that he worships money or power, that he is a fake Christian or someone who only pretends to be religious, or that he is evil.
Republicans and those who lean toward the GOP are twice as likely as Democrats and their leaners to say Trump is Protestant . Democrats are more likely to think Trump does not have a religion, with one-quarter saying Trump has no religion , compared with 7% of Republicans who say this.
Overall, more than six-in-ten Americans say Trump is either not too or not at all religious. But Americans think differently about the vice president. About seven-in-ten say Mike Pence is very or somewhat religious, while just 18% say he is not too, or not at all, religious.
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Trump Worships Power And Strength More Than Anything That’s Downright Nietzschean
REUTERS/Brian C. Frank
What is Donald Trump’s religion?
Ever since he explained that he’s never asked God for forgiveness about anything, we know it can’t be Christianity, despite his on-the-record assurances to the contrary. If there’s one requirement for entering the club of Christianity, it’s asking forgiveness for your sins.
So, what is it? Where do Trump’s worldview, moral instincts, and spiritual beliefs truly lie?
Matthew Schmitz, literary editor of the intellectual magazine First Things, and one of the sharpest young Catholic writers today, locates Trump’s Gospel in the works of Norman Vincent Peale, America’s mid-century promoter of “positive thinking.”
Surely you’ve heard of Peale’s idea. It has, after all, become more famous than Peale himself. The theory of positive thinking states that all you need to feel better and happier in life is to highlight the positive things around you. Forget about the bad stuff. Don’t beat yourself up or judge yourself. Oprah Winfrey has turned Peale-ism into a bigger business than Peale ever could have. The power of positive thinking is peddled by other pop-spiritual gurus from Joel Osteen to Eat Pray Love‘s Elizabeth Gilbert, who goes on a journey of self-discovery whose main discovery is that she shouldn’t judge herself for abandoning her family to go on a journey of self-discovery.
Schmitz correctly identifies where this gospel of positive thinking can contradict the actual Christian gospel:
Tweeting The God Word
My research suggests that President Trump seems to have developed a rhetorical style to appeal to this constituency.
To examine how Trump compares with his predecessors in terms of the language he uses, I looked at the frequency of 111 religious words and phrases established by previous researchers to have, religious specifically Christian meaning. These included pray, church and bless and also variations of each term such as prayer, praying and prayers.
Within this list were specific God terms which consisted of nine explicit references to the Christian God: for example God, Lord and Supreme Being.
In the presidential speeches I examined, Trump used 7.3 religious terms per thousand words of speech far higher than any other president from the last 100 years. In fact it was more than double the average rate of 3.5 terms per thousand used by presidents in general. Similarly, explicit mentions of God by Trump came at a rate of 1.4 per thousand words almost three times the average of 0.55.
The average length of presidential speeches in the archive was around 3,000 words, with each speech containing on average 10 religious terms and one or two specific mentions of God. Trumps speeches were similar in length but contained on average 22 religious terms and four mentions of God.
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Faith And Freedoms: Why Evangelicals Profess Unwavering Love For Trump
The faithful have been ardent supporters who turn a blind eye to the presidents moral indiscretions in favor of agenda
When Donald Trump took the stage last month at a mega-conference for the Faith and Freedom Coalition, the countrys largest organization of evangelical Christians, he was granted an extraordinary welcome by the groups chairman, Ralph Reed.
We have had some great leaders, Reed said, to cheers. There has never been anyone who has defended us and fought for us, who we have loved more than Donald J Trump. We have seen his heart and he is everything he promised he would be, and more.
Real estate billionaire playboy Donald Trump: the most beloved political leader in the history of American Christianity?
For skeptics who see Trump as afflicting societys most vulnerable immigrants, refugees, the homeless, racial and religious minorities, single parents, struggling wage-earners his popularity on the religious right is baffling, a seeming illustration of the hypocrisy at the core of Americas evangelical movement. A minority of evangelicals themselves express alarm at Trumps appeal in their pews.
But none contests the ardor of the evangelical embrace of Trump. When the Trump re-election campaign last week leaked details of its plan to supercharge evangelical support for Trump in 2020, there seemed little reason to suspect the effort would fail.
Donald Trump has changed. I believe that with all my heart. He has changed