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Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Of Course Donald Trump Is a Terrible Christian

Donald Trump holds up a Bible while speaking at the Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C. (photo: Drew Angerer/Bloomberg)
Donald Trump holds up a Bible while speaking at the Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C. (photo: Drew Angerer/Bloomberg)

By Jesse Berney, Rolling Stone
20 February 16
readersupportednews.org
 
Even this nonbeliever can recognize a Pharisee when he sees one

ope Francis really stepped in it Thursday, didn't he, getting all judgy about whether Donald Trump is a Christian. Who is he to say whether someone is a good Christian or not, the po — oh, right.

In Trump's case, it doesn't take a pope to know he's a terrible Christian. I'm Jewish, and don't believe in God, and even I feel confident saying it is so.

There are lots of flavors of Christianity and plenty of garnishes and sauces you can add or subtract to your worship. Wars over petty differences have shed countless gallons of blood. There are Christians who happily drive their daughters to the abortion clinic, and Christians who kick their sons out of the house for being gay.

But there a few basics — some bare-minimum standards — you should meet if you want to use the label "Christian," especially if you want to call yourself (as Trump has) an evangelical.

There are the doctrinal requirements, of course: You've got to believe in the divinity of Jesus Christ. We can't know whether Trump believes that in his heart of hearts. But you should at least make some kind of minimal head-fake toward following Jesus' actual teachings if you want to call yourself a Christian, right? You should be a little humble, a little decent, a little concerned with the plight of your fellow man?

Donald Trump is a black hole of humility; no self-deprecating thought can escape the gravitational pull of the delusion he has built for himself. Remember when he attacked Carly Fiorina's appearance? He believes he is physically attractive enough to insult Carly Fiorina's appearance. "Why do I have to repent or ask for forgiveness," he once asked, "if I am not making mistakes?" (His first two wives might disagree.)

As for whether Trump is at all decent: He hasn't been caught on tape kicking puppies or telling small children Santa isn't real. He seems to love his kids, even if he's super creepy about it sometimes. But that's bare-minimum-to-be-called-human decency, not the stuff that Jesus preached in the Sermon on the Mount.

"Blessed are those who are persecuted," said Jesus; Trump wants to deport 11 million immigrants, gleefully breaking up families.

"Blessed are the peacemakers"; Trump wants to ban all Muslims from entering the United States.

"Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth"; Trump bullies Jeb Bush into submission, calling him weak and constantly interrupting him like the world's most obnoxious big brother.

Trump is cruel to those around him and crueler in the policies he proposes. He claims the Bible is his favorite book (his own Art of the Deal a close second — seriously), but if he's ever cracked it open he certainly hasn't absorbed any of its important lessons.

The pope didn't name Trump or specifically question his Christianity. "A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not a Christian," Francis said. "This is not the gospel." And while conservatives Internet-outraged all over the Holy Father for questioning someone else's Christianity, we all know Trump's claims to be an evangelical Christian are laughable.

Do you honestly think Donald Trump has ever tried to spread the word? Can you imagine Donald Trump on his knees, supplicating to a God he believes has complete power over his life, asking to be saved? (Saved from what?, you can hear him asking. My billions of dollars? The greatest buildings in the world? My model wife?)

Pope Francis may not think much of Trump's religiosity, but the star of Celebrity Apprentice and his own sexual fantasies has managed to get his bona fides verified by a few choice evangelical stars. Like Trump, Sarah Palin and Jerry Falwell Jr. know something about entertaining a crowd, and they aren't shy about making their religion into a public performance. They claim Trump is Christian enough for them, and should be Christian enough for you — which reduces the meaning of their own religious beliefs to nearly nothing.

You don't have to be the Vicar of Christ to judge whether Trump is a practicing Christian; you just have to listen to what he says.

Comments

+94 # Gwalihir 2016-02-20 14:50
Jesus said: "It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to get into heaven." Trump exemplifies every reason this is so. He is arrogant, crude, hateful, boastful, and attacks all around him without pity or remorse. If there is one principle which defined Jesus, it was forgivenness to all, even your enemies. This concept is so antithetical to Trump that the mere effort could make his head explode.

The Bible says do not judge, but it also says to be wiser than serpents. We cannot in good conscience support as "Christian" a man whose every action shouts otherwise.

Sadly, the Right has been reinterpreting "Christianity" for some time, somehow equating it to the exact opposities of Christ's teachings. In this environment, who knows? Even someone as brazen as Trump might fit in with what they call Christianity...
+74 # bmiluski 2016-02-20 18:17
Unfortunately, Gwalihir, you are very right. I have found, through experience, the most unchristian people I have met are the ones that profess their Christianity the loudest.
+22 # jsluka 2016-02-21 00:00
Te expand on Samual Johnson's classic edict, "Religion, along with patriotism, is the last refuge of scoundrels." But that Jesus fella was pretty cool. Too bad most Christians don't have anything in common with him.
+61 # Ralph 2016-02-20 15:05
Pick any religion and this guy isn't a worthy member. Religion thrives on community and creating a sense of membership. This maniacal ego maniac thinks only about himself. There isn't any religion or community in this man. Much like modern US, which explains his popularity.
+14 # vilstef 2016-02-20 23:41
Quoting Ralph:
Pick any religion and this guy isn't a worthy member. Religion thrives on community and creating a sense of membership. This maniacal ego maniac thinks only about himself. There isn't any religion or community in this man. Much like modern US, which explains his popularity.
The Dalai Lama says his religion is kindness, and I expect Pope Francis would agree with him.

Take a look at Trump's Magic Mirror of Narcissism and you will see only cruelty, pettiness and enough meanness to support several wars, which I'm sure he would be willing to start asap. Trump is a trainwreck and you know what they say about those.
+83 # Buddha 2016-02-20 17:43
"That which you do unto the least among you, you do unto Me". By this standard, most GOP "Christians" are in for a shocking surprise Judgement in the afterlife. I can see it now, them standing in front of St. Peter, as he reviews their desire to cut food stamps for hungry children, exclude the poor from healthcare, all in order for the rich to get richer.
+36 # Caliban 2016-02-20 18:25
The "afterlife"? I'd rather see Trump in this life dealing with the same judgement from voters.

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