Evangelicals and Donald Trump

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Evangelicals shouldn’t be voting for Donald Trump. He doesn’t share their values, beliefs or faith.

I wrote similar thoughts about Barack Obama when he ran for the presidency.  Obama’s definition of sin, is god-centered only if Obama is god—a question that might cause him to pause for a moment to contemplate.

Evangelicals and Donald Trump

Donald Trump is, at best, a cultural christian. That is, he grew up in a nation where Christianity is the civic religion, the religious holidays are Christmas and Easter, and people generally have weddings and funerals in churches, officiated by Christian ministers.

But Trump has no relationship with Jesus Christ and, though he owns a copy of the Bible, he likely hasn’t cracked it open more than a handful of times in his life.

Case in point, speaking at Liberty University this morning, Trump referred to the book of “Two Corinthians” (walk into a bar…), rather than 2nd Corinthians. As in, the second letter from Paul to the Corinthians. In my decades of churchgoing, I’ve never heard that book referred to in that way.

Evangelicals and Donald Trump shouldn't mix.

Donald Trump speaks at Liberty University.

(I won’t get into Jerry Falwell Jr.’s endorsement of Trump, other than to say that Russell Moore nailed it on twitter—scroll down in the Washington Post story for the tweets.)

As for Trump’s theology, it’s in no way shape or form Christian.

In an interview on Sunday with CNN, the Republican presidential frontrunner said that he does not regret never asking God for forgiveness, partially because he says he doesn’t have much to apologize for.

“I have great relationship with God. I have great relationship with the Evangelicals,” Trump said in the interview before pivoting to his poll numbers among Evangelical voters.

“I like to be good. I don’t like to have to ask for forgiveness. And I am good. I don’t do a lot of things that are bad. I try to do nothing that is bad.”

Trump would do well to read Luke 18:18-30 (that’s in the Bible) and ponder if he is sufficiently good with him being on his third marriage and all.

The Trump Organization is no Hobby Lobby or Chick-fil-A

Evangelicals would also be wise to ask themselves if the way Trump runs his businesses (and their strategic bankruptcies) are also evidence of his so-called faith.

Trump fought on a grander scale with the individual contractors who built his Atlantic City Casino, the Trump Taj Mahal, in 1990.

The hotel was finished just before a recession brought Trump to the edge of financial ruin. He would eventually take the Taj Mahal into bankruptcy. But first he asked to pay the contractors 30 cents on the dollar, according to Charles Sperry, the president of Baring Industries, which had a multi-million dollar contract to provide kitchen equipment like stoves, walk-in freezers and countertops.

“It’s not that common to just come back and unilaterally start slicing off the big percentages of contracts and saying ‘we’ll settle out for this, you can take it or leave it,'” Sperry said.

The contractors joined together and sent representatives of the group to negotiate with Trump, according to Sperry. He said they eventually received 90 percent of what they were owed. Sperry said it was just enough to cover expenses and pay workers, but not enough to realize a profit for Baring’s work.

Another contractor on the Taj Mahal job who didn’t want to be named because he was afraid of being sued by Trump, said the Taj Mahal job was the first time he’d had to negotiate for his final payment in 30 years of working, including jobs on other high profile Atlantic City casino properties like the Golden Nugget, The Sands and Bally’s. He said he decided never to bid on a Trump project again.

Trump and Judges

I also understand that blood is thicker than water, but Trump’s praise of his sister, a federal judge should be troublesome to any evangelical.

Maryanne Trump Barry came up in my book The Party of Death for writing one of those heated judicial decisions in favor of giving constitutional protection to partial-birth abortion. She called a New Jersey law against it a “desperate attempt” to undermine Roe v. Wade. It was, she wrote, “based on semantic machinations, irrational line-drawing, and an obvious attempt to inflame public opinion instead of logic or medical evidence.” It made no difference where the fetus was when it “expired.”

So: The right of abortionists to make a child “expire” by partially extracting her from the womb, sticking scissors in the back of her head, vacuuming out her brain, and crushing her skull to complete her extraction, is right there in the Constitution. But let’s please not have any “semantic machinations.”

Laws against partial-birth abortion had strong bipartisan support. They were attempts to mark an outer limit to the abortion right of Roe. If unborn children could not be protected within the womb, could they at least be protected when partway out? That would be illogical, said Judge Barry. But if the location of fetal death does not matter, then it could hardly matter if the child was all the way outside the womb. Laws against infanticide, too, must be dismissed as irrational line-drawing. The intellectual architect of the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act, Hadley Arkes, mentions Judge Barry’s decision in his book on the origin of that law, explaining that it was in part designed to head off the dangerous implications of such rulings.

Donald Trump wouldn’t have my vote for dog-catcher, let alone President of the United States. Should enough Republicans be foolish enough to make him the party’s nominee, you can count me with Peter Wehner: I will refuse “to support the nominee of their party because it is the best thing that they can do for their party and their country.”

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