Donald Trump: The Good Christian Candidate

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump gestures and declares

This morning as I sipped my coffee, continuously reminding my son to keep eating his breakfast so as to not be late for school, I saw a clip on CNN of Donald Trump. He was giving a speech in Iowa to Republicans – in Iowa that largely means Evangelicals. What he said just infuriated me. He said, “I’m a good Christian,” but this hacked me off for reasons other than you might suspect.

To be fair to Mr. Trump, and provided some context, here is a larger selection of his quote. And, this is a link to the speech if you want to see the entire performance. The relevant quote begins at 14:33.

I will tell you, I’m a good Christian. Okay. Remember that. And I told you about Christmas, and I guarantee that if I become President we’re going to be saying, ‘Merry Christmas,’ at every store. We’re not going to be doing. Every store. Every store. The Happy Holiday, you can leave that over in the corner; Happy Holiday everybody. But, I’m saying ‘Merry Christmas’ to whoever the hell wants to hear it.

I’m not going to take much time here reviewing with you the numerous degrading comments Mr. Trump has made about women or how he has sullied the notion of Christian marriage. We don’t need to discuss the arrogance, bullying, and the sociopathic pursuit of wealth and power.

We certainly won’t spend time analyzing how he failed to take Jesus’ teaching about the Good Samaritan seriously when he Tweeted, “Am I morally obligated to defend the president every time somebody says something bad or controversial about him? I don’t think so!” Yes, yes you are, and a good Christian would know that. Recall, Jesus, in the parable about the Good Samaritan, was a Jew speaking to Jews about what it meant to love your neighbor. The point of the parable was that a Samaritan, the enemy of the 1st century Jew, was the model for loving your neighbor/enemy. This was Jesus’ summation of what it meant to follow Torah. Hmmm. So, I won’t waste any more time dispensing with Mr. Trump’s claim; I’m quite sure no one is taking it seriously (cough, cough).

My frustration is not with Mr. Trump; we expect politicians to pander and lie. But, why is he lying like this? To whom is he pandering? Why does he believe that this little ditty will work? Who is really to blame?

Dear Christians (left and right), Please, refrain any further from injecting the needle of power into your arm. I understand that power is a potent drug; it’s addictive. I get it. This is an intervention, and you need help. And, Mr. Stanley Hauerwas is a reputable, accomplished drug counselor. Please, seek out his services. If you are not willing to take a few days and read a simple, short book offering you a different vision for how you can be the Church without the aid of state power then you . . .  no, we have a bigger problem on our hands.

Constantine was wrong. Christendom is a failed model. The King of Kings and Lord of Lords humbled and humiliated himself. He set aside power, prestige, influence, violence, wealth, etc. He said those that are his will do likewise. So, go and do likewise.

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2 Responses to Donald Trump: The Good Christian Candidate

  1. Vicky Wauterlek says:

    I find your post very judgmental and the photo you posted of Mr. Trump is nasty. You should be more infuriated by politicians who have run as Christians and have passed laws that have destroyed the moral fiber of our nation. Since you take exception to Mr. Trumps comment about defending President Obama using the parable of the Good Samaritan, I would suggest that you apply the same standards to those that infuriate you. If you feel that you have the “moral obligation” to defend President Obama’s actions, then have at it!

    • Thanks, Vicky for stopping by to read and comment. I’m not sure what you mean by “judgmental.” If you could elaborate I would appreciate it.

      As for the photo, yes, it looks like Trump is about to unleash an F-bomb. I did chose it precisely because it captures in image what his words often tell us of what is inside the man. As Jesus said,”But the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and those defile the man.” So, in that sense, the picture contrasts with his claims to be a “good Christian,” and it attempts to highlight the irony in the title of the post. It is not nasty for the sake of nasty, but only to reveal what so many of us see plainly about the man.

      Of course, you are right to suggest that we should be “infuriated by politicians who have run as Christians and have passed laws that have destroyed the moral fiber of our nation.” I’m quite sure we have enough collective outrage for both projects, and we need not treat it as an either or situation.

      I’m not quite sure where you see me not following the Good Samaritan principle here; I’m very open to being wrong. I do it a lot. Please let me know what it is in this piece that makes you come to that conclusion.

      As it relates to defending Obama, I think perhaps you may have missed the original context of Trumps comments. Trump failed to correct objectively, factually incorrect information uttered by one of his campaign supporters – specifically that Obama is a Muslim when he has said that he is not (not that there’s anything wrong with that if he was). Trump should have corrected the underlying factual error as part of his response. He didn’t. He attempted to gain politically from this man’s comments without uttering the words himself. He was called out on this matter. He did not deny this is in fact what he did, but he merely stated that he has no obligation to correct or at least distance himself from inaccurate information about his political enemy. There is plenty of true things over which we all can critique Obama about without having to resorts to lies and or distortions.

      However, it seems you have missed the fundamental point of the piece. While Trump is a problem, how Christians, both left and right, conceive of their (the Church’s) relation to power in our culture is a problem. It enables Trump, or whoever, in their disingenuous attempts to portray themselves as Christians. I want us to rethink our relationship to power, and I’d love for you to read Stanley’s book and let me know your thoughts on this alternative approach.

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