A group of evangelical Christians gathered at the Kennedy Center on Saturday evening for the “Celebrate Freedom” concert, meant to honor our nation’s veterans.
Speaking to the Christians present, President Trump made such breathtaking promises as, “We’re going to start saying ‘Merry Christmas’ again.”
Despite the few, random tales of businesses preferring the more neutral “Happy Holidays,” I don’t know anyone that was restricted from saying “Merry Christmas.”
“We don’t want to see God forced out of our public square,” he said at a “Celebrate Freedom” concert at the Kennedy Center, according to a reporter traveling with the president. “We want to see prayers before football games if they want to say prayers.”
“No one is going to stop you from practicing your faith or saying what’s in your heart,” he added.
Yet, if a Christian says what is in their heart about Trump’s behavior, they’re quickly condemned by the Trump faithful, and quite often, by other “Christians.”
Trump also said one of the greatest threats to religious liberty is terrorism, specifically “radical Islamic terrorism.”
“We cannot allow this terrorism and extremism to spread in our country or find sanctuary on our shores or in our cities,” he added.
“We love our families, we love our freedom and we love our God,” the president said.
But which god are you referring to? The last time I heard Trump refer to Jesus Christ was when he rambled about Jesus’ “massive ego,” showing a glaring lack of understanding about who Jesus Christ, the cornerstone of the Christian faith, actually is.
Also present at Saturday night’s event was the First Baptist Dallas choir. This is the megachurch pastored by Trump loyalist, Dr. Robert Jeffress.
Not surprisingly, they sang a hymn to America, with Trump’s campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again” as the inspiration.
— Religion News Service (@RNS) July 2, 2017
This is idolatry. Jeffress, and every voice raised in this affront to the faith should be on their face before the Lord today, begging for forgiveness. I don’t see that happening, however. Their leadership (Jeffress) has endorsed this message.
The main purpose of the event was supposedly to honor veterans, so it makes perfect sense that Trump spent the night complaining about the media and patting himself on the back.
“The fake media tried to stop us from going to the White House, but I’m president and they’re not,” Trump said. “The fact is the press destroyed themselves because they went too far. Instead of being subtle and smart, they used the hatchet and the people saw it right from the beginning.”
“The dishonest media will not stop us from accomplishing our objectives on behalf of the American people,” he said. “Their agenda is not your agenda.”
And at every turn, Trump’s agenda is proving to be the glorification of Trump.
That shouldn’t be our agenda, either.
But back to Trump’s religious freedom shtick: I have an honest question.
Wouldn’t the best way to preserve religious freedom be to practice those freedoms? What good is talking about preserving something that you don’t actively try to keep alive, by not just promoting it, but studying and modeling those behaviors?
Case in point: Trump wasn’t preparing to go to a house of worship and hearing the Word of God this morning.
No, Trump was on Twitter, tossing red meat to his base.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 2, 2017
Please, if I’m missing something, tell me how this lines up with a promise to support religious freedom? How does this reflect a respect for the godly, modeling gentleness of spirit and self-control?
Donald Trump is not the voice of a defender of Christianity.