Donald Trump's religious pandering insults the intelligence of Christians

I normally do not care to talk about the religious beliefs of candidates. I didn’t care that Mitt Romney was a Mormon, even though I am a Christian and don’t believe Mormons to be Christians. The same goes for [mc_name name=’Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’L000577′ ] and [mc_name name=’Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’L000573′ ], two Mormons who do a fantastic job in Congress.

I don’t care that Ben Carson is a Seventh-Day Adventist, despite how odd I think the denomination is.

I did take umbrage at John Kasich’s argument for Medicaid expansion in which he invoked Saint Peter. I will never vote for him because of that.

But I really don’t like it when candidates mislead people about the sincerity of their religious beliefs. Tell the truth. Either you are dedicated to your faith or you are not. Don’t lie about it in order to win votes.

It took three strikes to motivate me to write this diary about Donald Trump and his religious pandering.

The first-and arguably the worst-was his interview with Frank Luntz:

Moderator Frank Luntz asked Trump whether he has ever asked God for forgiveness for his actions.

“I am not sure I have. I just go on and try to do a better job from there. I don’t think so,” he said. “I think if I do something wrong, I think, I just try and make it right. I don’t bring God into that picture. I don’t.”

Trump said that while he hasn’t asked God for forgiveness, he does participate in Holy Communion.

“When I drink my little wine — which is about the only wine I drink — and have my little cracker, I guess that is a form of asking for forgiveness, and I do that as often as possible because I feel cleansed,” he said. “I think in terms of ‘let’s go on and let’s make it right.’”

A Christian absolutely has to ask God for forgiveness. Jesus died to pay our debt so that we could be forgiven. When Trump says that he has never asked God for forgiveness, he reveals that he doesn’t understand Christianity at all.

Trump’s commentary on Communion is almost condescending, and again he misses the point. Communion isn’t for “cleansing,” it is done in remembrance of Jesus’s death on the cross.

It is clear that Donald Trump has never read the Bible. Or he has never understood what he has read. That brings us to his statements on the Bible:

GOP Presidential candidate Donald Trump was repeatedly asked in an interview to state his favorite Bible verse, since Trump had previously declared the Bible to be his favorite book, but declined each time and explained that it is “very personal” to him.

“I wouldn’t want to get into it. Because to me, that’s very personal,” Trump said Wednesday on Bloomberg’s “With All Due Respect.”

He was asked again if there is any one particular verse that means a lot to him, to which he said: “The Bible means a lot to me, but I don’t want to get into specifics.”

A third time he was asked to cite a verse that he likes, but Trump replied “No, I don’t want to do that.”

When asked whether he prefers the Old Testament or the New Testament, Trump said “probably equal.”

Earlier this month the billionaire businessman identified the Bible as his favorite book at a campaign stop in Michigan.

“It’s my second favorite book of all time,” Trump told the crowd of his own book The Art of the Deal.

“Do you know what my first is? The Bible! Nothing beats the Bible,” he added.

Back in June, Trump identified himself as a Presbyterian, and said that he is “very proud” of his faith.

“Believe me, if I run and I win, I will be the greatest representative of the Christians that they’ve had in a long time,” he said before making the official announcement that he is running for president.

Let me get this straight. The Bible is Trump’s favorite book, and yet he can’t name a verse he likes? A Christian should not be afraid to speak about the Bible, on the contrary they should be enthusiastic about it.

I’m left to think he didn’t want to name a verse because he doesn’t know one.

The last straw was when I read the following quote from an interview Trump recently conducted with The Economist:

This is just Trump checking off boxes. Bible? Check. God and religion? Check. Pro-life and different things? Check.

There is one constant in all of Trump’s comments that I have covered: he doesn’t mention Jesus once.

Perhaps that is because he attended the church of the late Norman Vincent Peale, whose teaching emphasized “positive thinking.”

Let me be clear: I am not attacking Donald Trump’s ignorance. I am calling out his pandering. It is clear he is not a Christian, and therefore he should not be campaigning as one. It’s fundamentally dishonest and wrong.

On a personal level, I hope and pray that Donald Trump becomes a Christian. I really do.

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