False Idol Why The Christian Right Worships Donald Trump
Illustration by Marco Ventura for Rolling Stone
On the morning of September 29th, six weeks before the 2016 election, Donald Trump was in a conference room at Trump Tower in New York talking to leaders of the religious right about sex-reassignment surgery. In a way, he was bringing about his own transformation. Having quashed the idea that his run for president was a lark or a publicity stunt, having come from behind to take the Republican nomination, and having fought his way up the polls to the extent that he was within striking distance of Hillary Clinton, Trump was now trying to seal the deal. And that involved something he would soon become much more known for: a discussion of other peoples genitalia.
With the operation or without the operation? Trump asked the conservative Christian leaders gathered specifically to ascertain whether to grant him their support. In other words, would HB2 North Carolinas so-called bathroom bill apply to transgender people who had not undergone surgery to alter their sex?
Without the operation, Christian radio talk-show host Frank Turek confirmed, according to a tape of the meeting exclusively obtained by Rolling Stone. If youre a man but you feel like a woman that day, if youre Shania Twain, you can go into a womans bathroom, and no one can say a word about it.
What a group of people! Trump exclaimed when he entered. This is serious power. Fantastic. I dont even know if Ive ever seen this.
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.
Is Donald Trump Now A Born
After Donald Trump met with a group of evangelical leaders last week, Dr. James Dobson said that Trump “did accept a relationship with Christ,” and he had done so recently.
Dobson, the founder of Focus on the Family, was talking about the meeting with Trump in an interview with Pastor Michael Anthony on his website, Godfactor.com, and Anthony had said he was taken aback by a “gentler Trump.”
“e did accept a relationship with Christ,”Dobson said. “I know the person who led him to Christ — that’s fairly recent.”
Surprised, Anthony asked him, “How recently, roughly?” And Dobson responded, “Well, I don’t know. I don’t know when it was. But it has not been long.”
Trump, who has in the past said he is Presbyterian, has occasionally stumbled over religious references during the campaign. Asked what his favorite Bible verse is, he chose the Old Testament’s “eye for an eye.” And during an address at Liberty University, he referred to Second Corinthians as “Two Corinthians.”
Dobson talked about Trump’s unfamiliarity with the vernacular of evangelical Christians.
“He doesn’t know our language — you know, we had 40 Christians together with him,” he told Anthony. “He used the word hell four or five times. He doesn’t know our language. He really doesn’t.”
One example Dobson pointed to — “he refers a lot to religion and not much to faith and belief.”
But this, Dobson says, is a function of the fact that Trump wasn’t raised in the church.
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How Liberals Turned On Jd Vance Working
Hannah Chan is eagerly anticipating Easter Sunday, the most important date in the Christian calendar.
She, her husband Leo and their 16-year-old daughter plan to dress up, go to church and have an afternoon supper with friends.
This Easter we will be spending at a new church, so we are really looking forward to coming together with the community, she says with a smile.
Chan, 45, became a Christian growing up in Hong Kong, where she attended the citys Baptist University and met her husband before moving to the US in 2002. Eventually the family settled in Cary, NC, and Hannah said she has since enjoyed meteoric success as a real-estate agency owner, starting with a $600 course to get her license.
But first and foremost, Chan identifies as a Christian and that extends to every part of her life, including politics.
My beliefs go with me in the voting booth, she said. Christians want to support the leader who will have a backbone. And who will stand up for all others to protect religious freedom. That protection is why my family came to the United States.
For her, that meant a vote for Donald Trump in 2020, and she isnt alone. White evangelical and conservative Christian voters robustly supported Trumps reelection last November. Exit numbers show he earned 76 percent of their support just 5 percentage points less than in 2016, according to exit poll data.
So, in a post-Trump world, do faith voters like Chan and Doll worry theyve lost a champion for good?
Council Members Elected By Ward More Personally Invested In Voters
Congratulations on the informative article on the Little Turtle road and real estate controversy . This is probably the best argument I have heard for electing Columbus City Council members by wards rather than at large.
If there had been a council member with a personal stake in the voters in Little Turtle, they would have had a point of contact earlier in the process. If a council member representing their ward was unresponsive, the voters would have had an opportunity to effectively express their displeasure.
Instead, an entirely at-large city council seems to have totally ignored the wishes of the residents most affected by Columbus government’s decisions. This is possible because Little Turtles roadway and real estate are largely invisible to voters in the rest of the city.
Dennis McCarthy, Columbus
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Christian Zionism The Religious Right And Donald Trump: Historys Role In Contemporary Politics
Make America great again, Donald Trumps 2016 presidential campaign slogan, might not sound religious to the average political observer.
Looking at his language, and particularly even something that most of us would agree is not really religious, like “Make America great again, youll see that it actually has a historical background, says Dan Hummel, history scholar and Ash Center History and Public Policy Fellow AY 20162017.
Starting in the 1970s, the religious right emerged as an important political constituency, and with it came a new type of revivalism that focused on restoring the morals of the nationnot the individual soul. Hummel explains that this revivalist nationalism became embedded in the contemporary politics of Christian America and, by 1980, Ronald Reagan drew upon the movement with his presidential campaign slogan, Lets make America great again. By using revivalist language about American decline, particularly moral and religious deterioration, Reagan implied that his then-potential presidency would renew the country spiritually.
The Former United States President Donald Trump Has Said In Interview That Nobody Has Done More For Christianity Than Him When He Was In The White House
The former United States President Donald Trump has said that nobody has done more for Christianity than him when he was in the White House. In the latest outlandish remark after he has already indicated a potential presidential challenge in 2024, Trump said he did the most for the religion in a bid to emphasise what he has done for the Evangelical Christians and how he has always prioritised their interests. Notably, Evangelical Christians have been the crucial support base for the former US President ever since he announced his presidential bid in 2016.
To further cement his position as a staunch supporter of his religion, during a phone interview with The Victoria Channel for Flashpoint, the former US President was provided with an opportunity to share a message with his religious supporters. When the host asked the 75-year-old about why these supporters must remain engaged with him?, Trump stated that nobody has done more for Christianity than him.
Nobody has done more for Christianity or for evangelicals or for religion itself than I have,” Trump said. He also referenced getting rid of the Johnson Amendment which according to him, was a very bad thing.
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How The Trump Administration Has Harmed Faith Communities
People of faith have suffered under the Trump administrations attacks on civil rights, religious freedom, and health and economic well-being.
- Maggie Siddiqi
- Samantha Behar
In this article
See also: Connecting the Dots: How the Trump Administration Misuses Religious Freedom To Create a License To Discriminate by Maggie Siddiqi, Kurt Mueller, Guthrie Graves-Fitzsimmons, and Sharita Gruberg
A Historical Approach Can Also Help Us Understand The Diverse And Often Unfamiliar Reasons Why People Support Different Policies And Outcomes Based On Factors Including Religious Beliefs
Trumps language is just one example of how historical references can cast a new light on modern politics and policy. Hummel has long understood that religion plays an important part in politics and that it influences many of our actions. In his role as a historian, he has worked to reveal how religious political movements, like revivalist nationalism, have changed over time.
Hummel is principally an expert in Christian Zionism, a religious movement with both biblical and modern roots. Growing up an evangelical Christian, Hummel had a reservoir of knowledge about Israel and the Churchs support for the state from a young age. That knowledge was expanded during his undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral studies on the history of US-Middle East relations and diplomacy, ultimately culminating in a dissertation about the rise of Christian Zionist activism after 1948.
Since the 1940s, Christian Zionism has become a global movement with a vast network of organizations. Both American and global Christian Zionism have promoted a theological, political, and cultural transformation in Christian attitudes toward Jews and Israel which has shaped US-Israel diplomacy and Jewish-Christian relations around the globe. Hummel has documented the movements growth and changes, working in both American and Israeli archives, in Hebrew and English.
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Bush Rubio Back A Secure Border
Mr Trump was backed by the head of the world’s largest Christian university Jerry Falwell Jr, who in response to the spat went on CNN and appeared to liken Mr Trump to Jesus Christ.
That’s not an un-Christian thing to do, to make sure that people don’t come across our border illegally.
“Donald Trump does not wear his religion on his sleeve, but I believe he’s a man of faith,” he said.
“I can only quote Jesus Christ who said ‘judge not less ye be judged’.
“Jesus called the religious elite of his day, hypocrites, a generation of vipers and he called them wolves in sheep’s clothing.
“So if what Donald Trump said was bad then what Jesus said is bad because Jesus questioned religious leaders who judged others and that’s exactly what Donald Trump said in his comments today.”
Republican presidential candidates and Catholics, senator Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush, also responded, saying it was their jobs to make the border secure.
“I haven’t seen his statement, but I’m an elected official in the United States of America … and our number one obligation is to make people safe and our immigration system is a part of that,” Mr Rubio said.
Mr Bush said: “That’s not an un-Christian thing to do, to make sure that people don’t come across our border illegally.
“That’s a just thing to do.”
US media reminded Mr Trump about his response to the Pope in 2013 when he tweeted: “The new Pope is a humble man, much like me, which is probably why I like him so much…”
Trump Says He Now Identifies As A Non
President Trump, who has long identified as a Presbyterian, now considers himself a non-denominational Christian, a new report said.
The president shared his change in religious identity in a written interview with the Religious News Service.
Though I was confirmed at a Presbyterian church as a child, I now consider myself to be a non-denominational Christian, Trump wrote, without giving an explanation for the transformation or saying when it occurred.
Trump has a loyal base among white evangelicals, who in 2016 helped propel him to victory.
That year, the religious group made up roughly a quarter of the electorate, and 81 percent of them voted for Trump, according to a report by The Washington Post.
The president told RNS that his parents taught me the importance of faith and prayer from a young age.
Trump, who contracted COVID-19 in early October, attributed his swift recovery to his faith.
I said, There were miracles coming down from heaven. I meant it Melania and I are very thankful to God for looking out for our family and returning us to good health, he told the outlet.
The president received a cocktail of anti-virus drugs while battling COVID-19. After taking an antibody treatment by drugmaker Regeneron, Trump said he felt like Superman.
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Black Lives Matter ‘hijacked’
The abortion debate has been at the centre of US politics for at least four decades.
White evangelicals have coalesced around the issue turning their anti-abortion movement into an influential political force.
After the landmark 1973 Roe v Wade decision by the US Supreme Court to legalise abortion, white evangelicals, who were then not politically affiliated with either of the two main parties, backed Republican Ronald Reagan in the 1980 presidential election against then Democratic incumbent Jimmy Carter.
Even though President Carter was an evangelical, they saw him as a progressive liberal – and their vote proved decisive and helped Reagan to win, NPR’s Evangelical Votes reports.