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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Friday, February 7, 2020

Trump, Prayer, Religion

In Defying the Odds, we discuss cultural reasons for Trump's victory. His evangelical support has received much attention. But it came at a cost, both to the GOP and to American Christianity.

At the National Prayer Breakfast, Arthur Brooks implored his listeners to follow the words of Jesus and love their enemies.  In his speech, Trump said:
Thank you. Well, thank you very much. I’m working very hard for you, I will tell you. (Laughter.) And sometimes you don’t make it easy, and I certainly don’t make it easy on you. (Laughter.) And I will continue that tradition, if I might, this morning. And, Arthur, I don’t know if I agree with you. (Laughter.) But I don’t know if Arthur is going to like what I’m going to say. (Laughter.)
...
As everybody knows, my family, our great country, and your President, have been put through a terrible ordeal by some very dishonest and corrupt people. They have done everything possible to destroy us, and by so doing, very badly hurt our nation. They know what they are doing is wrong, but they put themselves far ahead of our great country.
Attacking Nancy Pelosi and Mitt Romney, he then said:
I don’t like people who use their faith as justification for doing what they know is wrong. Nor do I like people who say, “I pray for you,” when they know that that’s not so.
During a White House rant later, he doubled down:
So I’ve always said they’re lousy politicians, but they do two things: They are vicious and mean. Vicious. These people are vicious. Adam Schiff is a vicious, horrible person. Nancy Pelosi is a horrible person. And she wanted to impeach a long time ago. When she said, “I pray for the President. I pray for the…” — she doesn’t pray. She may pray, but she prays for the opposite. (Laughter.) But I doubt she prays at all.
...
And those were the ones — you know, I had some that said, “Oh, I wish you didn’t make the call.” And that’s okay, if they need that. It’s incorrect. It’s totally incorrect. And then you have some that used religion as a crutch. They never used it before. An article written today: “Never heard him use it before.” But today, you know, it’s one of those things. But, you know, it’s a failed presidential candidate, so things can happen when you fail so badly running for President.
Joe Scarborough pointed out that Trump was directly rejecting the teaching of Jesus:




It was hardly the first time that Trump trashed a core belief of Christianity: