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Donald Trump’s ‘Alleged Christian Faith’

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Donald Trump’s ‘Alleged Christian Faith’

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Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump attends a church service, in Detroit, Michigan, U.S., September 3, 2016. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

In recent presidential years, Catholics and white evangelical Christians joined in favoring the Republican candidate. A key reason was a shared opposition to abortion.

This time, Catholics appear to be deserting the candidacy of Donald Trump, and one can understand why. Trump is the most vulgar, least moral presidential candidate in modern memory — by Christian or any other ethical standards.

But why are 78 percent of white evangelicals reportedly sticking with a mobbed-up casino con man gone six-time bankrupt? How can they support a thrice-married libertine who brags about his genitalia?

Do note that some prominent Christian conservatives are appalled by this alliance. Moral Majority co-founder Michael Farris saw the “pilgrimage” of 1,000 evangelical leaders to Trump Tower as “the end of the Christian Right.”

Farris was not invited. The event was a Trump sales job, not a discussion.

David Cay Johnston offers a full account of Trump’s un-Christian behavior — personally and in business — in his new book, “The Making of Donald Trump.” Though he’s been covering Trump for decades, the Pulitzer Prize winner still expresses shock at the depths of Trump’s moral depravity.

Johnston devotes a chapter to Trump’s vindictive campaign to deny health coverage to his nephew’s desperately ill baby. The candidate’s actions stand out for their satanic cruelty.

In 1999, William Trump was born in crisis. The infant immediately developed seizures; his breathing stopped twice. (He later developed cerebral palsy.) The medical bills to save the infant were enormous.

Fortunately, the patriarch, Fred Sr. (who died days earlier), had provided all family members with health insurance through his real estate business — or so it was assumed. The Trump family lawyer instructed the family health plan to cover “all costs related to baby William’s care.”

Then Donald stepped in. When Fred Sr.’s will was filed in probate court, William’s father, Fred III, learned that his father’s line had been pretty much left out of the estate, leaving Donald and the other siblings all the richer.

Fred Sr. had apparently disapproved of Fred Jr.’s decision to become a pilot and of the flight attendant he married. And Donald had his elderly father’s ear.

William’s parents challenged the will. Donald retaliated by denying the family health coverage.

The New York Daily News queried Trump about William. Donald replied, “Why should we give him medical coverage?”

At a meeting last year with evangelical voters in Iowa, Trump was asked whether he felt bad about William. He responded that he never had a reason to seek God’s forgiveness.

“Why do I have to, you know, repent, why do I have to ask for forgiveness if (I’m) not making mistakes?” Trump said the following day. In reporting on the event, The Christian Post carried the quote and referred to Trump’s “alleged Christian faith.”

“Always get even,” Trump wrote in one of his books. “When you are in business you need to get even with people who screw you. You need to screw them back 15 times harder … go for the jugular, attack them in spades!”

In “An Appeal to Our Fellow Catholics,” 37 leading Catholic thinkers wrote that Trump’s record and campaign “promise only the further degradation of our politics and our culture.” They urged Catholics to reject him.

Trump, meanwhile, has given Christian conservatives almost nothing, not even on the abortion issue. Farris notes that Trump “took at least three conflicting positions on abortion in a 24-hour period.”

Others may explain why people purporting to be socially conservative would back a mocker of morality while portraying Hillary Clinton, a devoted Methodist, as some kind of monster. They may not like Clinton on a number of counts. We get that. But surely, there are convictions worth defending.

Follow Froma Harrop on Twitter @FromaHarrop. She can be reached atfharrop@gmail.com. To find out more about Froma Harrop and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators webpage at www.creators.com.

Photo: Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump attends a church service, in Detroit, Michigan, U.S., September 3, 2016.   REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

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Froma Harrop

Froma Harrop’s nationally syndicated column appears in over 150 newspapers. Media Matters ranks her column 20th nationally in total readership and 14th in large newspaper concentration. Harrop has been a guest on PBS, MSNBC, Fox News and the Daily Show with Jon Stewart and is a frequent voice on NPR and talk radio stations in every time zone as well.

A Loeb Award finalist for economic commentary in 2004 and again in 2011, Harrop was also a Scripps Howard Award finalist for commentary in 2010. She has been honored by the National Society of Newspaper Columnists and the New England Associated Press News Executives Association has given her five awards.

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33 Comments

  1. Alfred545 September 16, 2016

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    Reply
  2. bojimbo26 September 16, 2016

    He will say whatever gets him the votes .

    Reply
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      Reply
    2. idamag September 16, 2016

      Funny thing is: Everyone hears what they want to hear and do not compare his words from time to time.

      Reply
  3. Dominick Vila September 16, 2016

    Like everything else Trump says and does, his sudden conversion to Christianity is as bogus as his orange hair.

    Reply
    1. David September 16, 2016

      He doesn’t say it so much as the fundie leaders make it up to justify their desperation in hanging onto power through a Republican victory.

      Reply
  4. bobnstuff September 16, 2016

    Sheep will follow a Judas goat to their own slaughter as these so called Christians will follow Trump. I can understand why they might not like Clinton but I will never understand how a true Christian could vote for Trump let alone support him to others.

    Reply
  5. Dan S September 16, 2016

    I’m a Christian & am very appalled at this mans behavior. He is no Christian & he’ll have to answer to God one day. He absolutely sickens me & shocked when so called evangelicals embrace him. It’s the equivalent embracing the devil himself

    Reply
    1. dpaano September 16, 2016

      I personally think there are horns under that flap of hair on his forehead!! I think we should look for the “666” mark on his body! He is definitely, in my opinion, the devil incarnate! If he’s actually elected, this country (and the world along with it) will go straight to hell! Fortunately, those of us who DO believe in Jesus (or if agnostic, believe in good) will still be here to save what’s left of it.

      Reply
  6. Karen September 16, 2016

    I’ll believe he’s a true Christian when he starts to act like one.

    Reply
    1. jmprint September 16, 2016

      He is a true christian. (notice the lower case c) That means he is a christian of man’s word, not faith in Jesus Christ.

      Reply
    2. dpaano September 16, 2016

      Don’t hold your breath on that actually EVER happening!

      Reply
    3. idamag September 16, 2016

      “By their fruitage shall thy know them.”

      Reply
  7. Aaron_of_Portsmouth September 16, 2016

    This article reaffirms what all sincere and decent Christians apprehended from the moment Trump opened his mouth to announce his candidacy.
    His behavior of late, along with the servile adoration of his followers and supporters, and the cowardice of much of the GOP leadership and those who are under its shelter underscores what is dreadfully wrong with Trump.
    The article is not only an indictment of moral depravity on the part of Trump, but an indictment of Christianity as an institution—but NOT of Christianity, which we all should be clear about !!!
    Over the months we’ve seen countless toadies alone in this forum stick up for a ego-maniac without a tittle of concern about his amorality in general, and no remorse whatsoever for his immorality. Far be it from me or anyone else to question what he does behind closed doors, but when a man brazenly boasts publicly about his greed, his indiscretions, his disrespect for women, his aversion to the notion of fair play, and an egregious disregard for members of the human family that don’t shave the same provenance of his forebears, then something is obviously wrong.

    The following two epigrams from Baha’u’llah’s “The Hidden Words” have often come to mind reading about Trump and reading comments of those who express allegiance to Donald and to the GOP—there are many on the Left and in between who show similarities to the “class” of individuals alluded to by Baha’u’llah:

    1) “O MY SON! The company of the ungodly increaseth sorrow, whilst fellowship with the righteous cleanseth the rust from off the heart. He that seeketh to commune with God, let him betake himself to the companionship of His loved ones; and he that desireth to hearken unto the word of God, let him give ear to the words of His chosen ones.”
    (NOTE: The use of the male designation “Son” is a feature of the Semitic languages, including Arabic, and also is a feature of Persian. It can pertain, according to context, everyone, or in other instances may refer directly to a specific gender—in this case the former applies).

    2) “O SON OF DESIRE! Give ear unto this: Never shall mortal eye recognize the everlasting Beauty, nor the lifeless heart delight in aught but in the withered bloom. For like seeketh like, and taketh pleasure in the company of its kind.”
    (NOTE: I take this to mean that depending on my character and leanings I will gravitate to those who share similar sentiments, which would say that those attracted to Donald share the same level of immorality and/or amorality as he).

    Then, finally there are the references in the New Testament about New Wine not being poured into old “bottles”:

    “No man putteth a piece of a new garment upon an old; if otherwise, then both the new maketh a rent, and the piece that was taken out of the new agreeth not with the old. And no man putteth new wine into old bottles; else the new wine will burst the bottles, and be spilled, and the bottles shall perish. But new wine must be put into new bottles; and both are preserved. No man also having drunk old wine straightway desireth new: for he saith, The old is better.”
    —Luke 5:36-39

    If I recall, Abdu’l Baha’s interpretation of this passage by Jesus is that this is a metaphor about Progressive Revelation and that renewal of Religion happens by Revelation being invested in each subsequent Revelation, a paradigm from the times of “Adam”, Abraham, Zoroaster, Buddha, up to and including Jesus, Muhammad, The Bab, and now Baha’ullah—and will continue in this Pattern as long as sentient Beings exist in the material realms.

    So, to all the AgLander’s, “Otto the Goat” ‘s, “itsfun’s”, “Informed Voter’s “, etc. I ask you all these rhetorical questions:

    A) Where do you stand in relation to the quotations by Jesus and Baha’u’llah?

    B) Are you with God, or against Him and His Purpose?

    C) Is Trump your prophet, and the GOP your House of Worship and Conservatism your Gospel?

    Please respond, if you dare, so we may know exactly where you stand.

    Reply
    1. Karen September 16, 2016

      I like the term “progressive revelation” It’s imperative to the survival of all religions.

      Reply
      1. Aaron_of_Portsmouth September 17, 2016

        Two key concepts grabbed my attention as at my first Baha’i meeting in Jackson, Miss. while a junior in high school—The Oneness of humanity and the theme of Progressive Revelation which was constantly reiterated by the multiracial group of Baha’is who regularly gathered despite the strictures of Jim Crow, which the Baha’is calmly and heroically ignored.

        Although I wasn’t sophisticated in my thinking to understand the full extent and ramifications of this principle, it began to open up for me while in college.

        I began to see the linkage between all the revealed Revelations and their connections with the oral traditions of indigenous populations and with Religions that came and went without written knowledge of their exact names and mandates. Each Religion paves the way for subsequent Religions—it’s just that the clerics in each era muddied the waters so to speak so that humanity couldn’t discern the harmony and necessity for renewal of Religion.

        Reply
        1. idamag September 17, 2016

          Sometimes, I chant with my Buddhist friends. They don’t chant to a higher being. In essence their chant is asking that they, themselves, become a better person in the mirror.

          Reply
          1. Aaron_of_Portsmouth September 17, 2016

            It’s important that you do that and I commend you for doing so.
            Since becoming a Baha’i, I’ve learned that different cultures evolved different ways of thinking about creation, where of from Whom they came from, and describe their purpose in life in a language associated with their cultures.
            In the East, there is the approach, and a correct one, that it is beyond our human capacity to imagine a “God” in anthropomorphic terms, so the Buddha doesn’t use that imagery. But that doesn’t mean He disavowed that there was a Higher Being—Krishna used a similar approach.
            In Judaeo-Christian, Islam, Native American, among sub-Saharan Africans, there evolved a different way of relating to the Creator.

            A creation without a Creator defeats the meaning of Creation, and a Creator can’t be called a creator if that entity didn’t create.

            From the Baha’i perspective, both the Hindu/Buddhist conception of Creation is in agreement with Islamic, Judaeo-Christian/Native American/Sub-Saharan African Traditions. It’s all a matter of perception and terminologies used according to each culture’s unique way of looking at the universe. Any contradiction is a sign of our finite minds’ inability to adequately comprehend that which is beyond our realm. There is no contradiction.

            How could a finite mind comprehend the infinite? To do so would mean that I can exactly define infinity on a line expressing the Real Numbers.

            Just my puny way of expounding on this important theme you bring up.

            Reply
          2. dtgraham September 18, 2016

            I used to go to a Buddhist Temple for years. I haven’t been there for quite a while though. I always thought that I would go back someday. I never forgot their outlook on things or why I was attracted to them in the first place. Animal compassion being right up there. I’ve kept the books on the Dharma, and sometimes still do read them.

            In Buddhism, one thing leads to another, with apologies to the Fixx.

            Reply
  8. Jinmichigan September 16, 2016

    Too bad the MSM is ignoring David Cay Johnston’s new book on trump.

    Reply
  9. Beethoven September 16, 2016

    As a person who was raised in the Baptist Church (my father was a deacon and my grandfather was a Baptist minister), I am amazed at this situation. It seems that the great majority of the people who identify as “evangelicals” don’t have even a beginner’s concept of Christianity, and are as “alleged Christian” as Donald Trump. It makes no more sense than if some person insisted he was a devoted baseball fan and an expert on baseball, who demanded that every player must pitch and bat right-handed, but seemed to be completely unaware that a hit allows you to run to the next base, in order, not whatever base you choose to run to, and that you don’t get credit for a home run just because you hit the ball to the outfield.

    Reply
    1. jmprint September 16, 2016

      My dad’s family Southern Baptist, they never sin, they are so pure, even though they criticize all that are different, each family branch has a member that is gay, that they disown, or won’t acknowledge the fact. Seems like they live in this world of make believe, if you go to church that is sufficient reason to be a christian. It always takes be back to the BK killer, such a christian family man, that can speak his mind against abortion, but can’t speak his mind about his evil doings.

      Reply
    2. idamag September 16, 2016

      I was raised First Baptist. When the Southern Baptist Church came into my town, some of my church friends moved their membership. The SB was closer to my house so I did, too. I heard racist jokes from the pulpit. I heard more rantings and ravings about two-piece swim suits than hate and home grown terrorists. When they refused entrance to a couple of Black people, in Georgia, who came to hear Jimmy Carter, that was it. I sent a letter to the Southern Baptist Convention telling them I was resigning. I did not consider them Christians. I still don’t.

      Reply
      1. Beethoven September 16, 2016

        I have never officially resigned from the Baptist Convention, I simply quit attending Baptist churches, except for funerals of close friends. I have been involved in the Methodist Church for many years now, though I have never officially “joined” the Methodist Church. I have found the Methodist Church people to be generally more racially tolerant, and less judgmental, than most of the other Christian denominations, though even in the Methodist churches I have attended, there are still people who are very intolerant, both racially and in other ways. But beyond that, I have spent a lifetime studying the Bible, with an open mind, and have studied Christian theology as well as other religions, and most “Christians” display about as much knowledge about their religion as the average first-grader displays about American history or English grammar.

        Reply
        1. idamag September 17, 2016

          I only go to church for weddings and funerals. I find it so refreshing to set my own set of moral standards. I don’t need to sit in church and be harangued for an hour. No matter which denomination, they use the funeral of a person to preach their religion. When a person dies, people come to pay their respects. They are of many religions and no religion. They are trapped while some preacher says two or three words about the deceased and starts his sermon. When my husband was dying, he said, “Do not have my funeral in a church. I want my friends to be shown more respect than that.

          Reply
          1. Beethoven September 17, 2016

            Most of the funerals I have attended over the years have been held at a funeral home chapel, rather than in a church. I expect my family to have my funeral at the funeral home chapel. But unlike most funerals held there, my wish is that no preachers are asked to speak, only my good friends, and that no overtly religious music be performed. For background music, my choice is a Beethoven symphony; as for religious music, I would be OK with Bach organ music.

            Reply
    3. useyourindoorvoice September 17, 2016

      Thank you for such a simple insightful commentary.

      Reply
  10. jmprint September 16, 2016

    I have said from the beginning of the rise of the T-party, that religion, greed and hate mixed together in a political party is a very bad mix. That mixture is what gave birth to the Trump rise.

    Reply
  11. idamag September 16, 2016

    White evangelical hypocrites is what they are. Remember Jesus says in the Bible, “Suffer, little children, come unto me.” Remember the bus load of loud mouths screaming at little children fleeing from the drug cartel violence?

    Reply
  12. dtgraham September 16, 2016

    Maybe we’re being a little harsh on the white evangelicals for supporting Trump. After all, there’s nothing specifically in the bible against stiffing contractors and employees, raping your wife, mocking the disabled, suing journalists, bribing an Attorney General, and denying healthcare to a dying baby. I mean…not specifically.

    Reply
  13. The lucky one September 17, 2016

    ““Why do I have to, you know, repent, why do I have to ask for forgiveness if (I’m) not making mistakes?” Trump said.

    So when Christ said let he who is without sin cast the first stone Trump would have started looking for a rock. That remark alone should be enough for any Christian to reject trump as an authentic candidate.

    Reply
  14. MAS September 17, 2016

    The Church is in such dire straits that she has forgotten the clear mandate of her Lord to “Be holy as I am holy”. She is full of people, much like Trump, who place pragmatism above principle…even the principles that define what a Christian actually is. The so called Christian Right is in reality the church of Sardis with a reputation for being alive but is actually dead. Return to the scriptures and remember your first love Christian…it sure isn’t politics in general and certainly not Trump.

    Reply
  15. useyourindoorvoice September 17, 2016

    I absolutely agree there is a grave difference between Christianity and the so called Christians. And I understand how those that actually live their life and treat others with Christian Kindness and Gods tolerance may be offended. I would however ask where is your outrage other than on internet posts. If the real hatred and actions of Trump and those pretending to be Christian and using God as a cover for their hatred appalls you, why are you silent. Why are you silently letting them take your conviction, values and beliefs as well as your God hostage. Get off of your pews and make your voice heard. Because I have to tell you for those of us that do not share all your beliefs or even believe in God at all, we only hear the loudest voices and they are not yours. I developed and absolute repulsion of organized Religion years ago. The uprising of the “Christian Coalition” was the final nail in your coffin. This self serving idea that if they spend 2 hours in church on Sunday they are superior to all others and the rest of their actions are justified or irrelevant is grotesquely disgusting and amoral to me. There is more hate and intolerance spewed from the mouth of “Evangelical Christians” in the name of GOD than any other group in our country.

    Reply

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