God bores Trump.
Just let that sink in, because there is ample proof to back up the statement.
For those who count faith in God as the foundational principle of their lives, there’s no way to think of our Father in Heaven, and get bored in the process.
The God Who, by His breath, created all things in the heavens and the earth. The Father of all life, Who holds the stars in His hand, but Who also created us – me, you, and everyone we know, making each one a unique individual, and He knows us all by name – and Trump finds Him less worthy of attention and honor than one of his golf courses.
McKay Coppins, with Buzzfeed picked up on this and discussed Trump’s Friday appearance at the Values Voters Summit, an annual gathering of Christian conservative voters.
“There are no more decent voters or selfless people than our Christian brothers and sisters here in the United States,” Trump read aloud to the audience gathered for the 2016 Values Voter Summit. “I’ve witnessed that incredible generosity all across this land.”
Coppins notes that Trump managed to squeeze out a few more prepared remarks from his teleprompter, meant to create some emotional bridge between himself and the 2,000+ evangelicals in the room, but couldn’t quite maintain his focus, before doing what he does and drifting off into something bizarre and disconnected from how the world of faith actually works, and absolutely centered on himself.
At one point, after indulging in a lengthy tangent about his recent meeting with a cohort of admiring clergy (“It was a love fest!”), Trump suggested the country was becoming less religious because faith leaders were no longer allowed to endorse political candidates from the pulpit (lest their churches lose tax-exempt status). The candidate’s pledge to change this law and un-muzzle America’s pastors has been a key element of his pitch to social conservatives, one of the few concrete offerings he’s made to them. But even here, he struggled to focus.
“I actually believe that’s one of the reasons why you haven’t seen Christianity and other religions within the United States going like a rocket ship — like our polls have been going in the last four weeks,” Trump said, to applause. “A rocket ship, right?”
Trump’s nonexistent grasp of faith issues couldn’t be more apparent.
The nation isn’t becoming “less religious” because of an inability to endorse political candidates. That’s a problem with the culture and the heart of the citizens. It’s a concept that Trump, a purveyor of adultery, shamelessness, and other vices should know well. He’s an active participant.
Trump’s biggest problem with God, as a concept, is that to be a Christian, you’re asked to “die to self,” which is, you realize it’s not all about you. You lay down anything that keeps you separate from God, and you follow after the teachings of Jesus. You humble yourself and allow the Maker to remake you, from the inside-out.
That’s not really what Trump does. It’s all about him, else he sees no point in keeping up the conversation.
Last year, for example, Trump gave an interview to the Christian Broadcasting Network in which journalist David Brody asked, “Who is God to you?” The clip of Trump’s rambling response — in which he goes from “God is the ultimate” to boasting about one of his real estate deals in five seconds flat — went viral anew this week ahead of the candidate’s appearance at the Values Voter Summit. But it’s hardly the only example of Trump shrugging and changing the subject when God enters into the conversation.
When Frank Luntz asked him in July 2015 if he’d ever asked God for forgiveness, Trump replied that he didn’t bring God into the picture. He later, in another interview, went on to say that he’d never asked God for forgiveness, because he hadn’t done anything to need forgiveness.
That is a man convinced of his own perfection, and it is delusional.
Coppins went on to relate an encounter he had with Trump several years ago.
In a 2014 interview at his Mar-a-Lago estate, I asked him if he considered himself a religious person.
“I do,” he replied. “I’m Presbyterian.” Then he began talking about the chamber music that would be performed that evening in the ballroom. “You should go down and listen. It’s beautiful. Very talented people. I’ll walk down with you. It’s nice, they are very much into it. It’s very elegant.” He went on like this for a while until he’d finally exhausted the topic.
There was a beat of silence.
“And so…” Trump said, tentatively. “Here we sit.” He had forgotten my question.
“You were saying you are Presbyterian…” I tried.
“Right, yes,” Trump responded. “I’m Presbyterian.” And thus concluded Trump’s theological musings.
What does that mean? Let’s be clear: a denomination is not evidence of faith.
Yet, this is a man who polls are saying is doing better with the Christian vote than any Republican in modern history.
“I have to tell you,” he said in his speech Friday. “All across the nation, a lot of people said, ‘I wonder if Donald will get the evangelicals?’” He paused before delivering the punchline. “I got the evangelicals!” The crowd roared.
That, in a spiritually depressing nutshell, is why the nation is becoming “less religious.”
When those who purport to be the people of God will support and cheer on a man who not only cannot relate to them on a spiritual level, but blatantly uses the base and heart of their faith as a campaign tool, that is evidence of the salt losing it’s saltiness.
“”You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.” Matthew 5:13 NIV