Trump and the Bible

One of Donald Trump’s strengths in the eyes of his supporters is that they think that he is genuine and is willing to say what he believes even if it offends the elites. In fact, he has tapped into the fact that his willingness to be ‘politically incorrect’ is a large part of his attraction. But when it comes to religion, he seems to want to be ‘politically correct’ in paying lip-service to the Bible.

He recently gave an interview where he seemed to be obviously trying to say things that he does not believe in. This arose as a result of the fact that evangelicals form a considerable part of his support (they support him more than any of the other candidates) and it clear he is actively seeking their support, as evidenced by his calling a meeting with some leaders in that movement. He has also started saying that his own book The Art of the Deal is only his second favorite book, after the Bible.

Of course, pretty much all the Republican candidates can be expected to favor the Bible but it sounds particularly disingenuous coming from Trump since there is no evidence that Trump has been particularly religious in the past.

So it was interesting to see his response in an interview where he was asked some explicit questions about the Bible and he was clearly bluffing to cover his ignorance, unlike the other questions where he answers confidently even when it looks like he is making stuff up (like whom he voted for in past elections). The Bible portion begins at the 7:09 mark where he is asked what his favorite verses in the Bible are (he declines to specify) and whether he is a Ne Testament guy or an Old Testament guy (an unusual question, to be sure) and he says ‘both’. No doubt some staffer is quickly finding some bland verses that he can quote the next time he is asked.

Sarah Posner says that for Republicans, piety is a means to an end.

Give Trump credit for one thing: exposing, in plain view, that much of the religious right is driven more by politics than by religion; that is, more by mythology than theology. The usual demands that candidates pledge their fealty to the Bible, to the Christian nation, to the idea that America is in decline because of secularism have been suspended for Trump. That’s befuddling many observers. But the Trump phenomenon exposes how the piety test is often a proxy for other, irreligious motives.

Trump knows that as long he gives generic praise to the Bible, people wont care that he has no clue about what it actually contains.

You have to hand it to Trump, he is clarifying what the Republican party truly stands for, however much they may dislike it being made so explicit.


  1. Usernames! (╯°□°)╯︵ ʎuʎbosıɯ says

    Trump knows that as long he gives generic praise to the Bible, people won[‘]t care that he has no clue about what it actually contains.

    That kind of works out, since most folks have no clue what the bible contains, either.

    Tell them that Jesus admonished his followers from praying in public (Matt. 6:5-7) and you’ll get nothing but blank stares in return.

    Tell them that the bible contains a recipe for magic abortion juice (Numbers 5); or that god condones owning other folks (Exodus 21) and owning virgin women as sex-slaves (Numbers 31), and you’ll make their heads explode.

  2. StevoR says

    OTOH Hillary Clinton can actually cite the bible :

    “Corinthians 13,” Hunt said calmly, almost nonplussed by the candidate. “Oh I know it well,” Clinton said.
    “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud,” the passage says. Clinton told Hunt about her religious history and commended him for his continued study.

    Source :
    “With scripture, Hillary Clinton wins over a voter” article by Dan Merica, CNN

    Another source or two seem to suggest that (yawn) Republicans are gonna take the same “not a real XN tack” on Hillary that they do on Obama. But hey, the above seems to show Hilary has at least got a fave verse or two she can quote trumping Trump.

  3. machintelligence says

    You may be on to something. He admitted that he never asks God for forgiveness.
    If you are God, what’s to forgive?

  4. McC2lhu is rarer than fish with knees. says

    Trump isn’t doing anything that most Americans calling themselves christian aren’t doing. They belong to that group because of birth and affiliation. Actual knowledge of the religion and a genuine examination and defense of why they belong to it are virtually zero. An amazing number say they have ‘read’ the bible, but it is guided bible study where some church leader tells them what to read and what it means. The stuff that would give them pause and question the veracity of the book are NEVER introduced or explored. If there’s anything remotely controversial, religion has had several millennia to come up with specious nonsense that wide-eyed followers wouldn’t suspect or a whole lot of hand waving that makes the thing go away. Religion is the opposite of truth/reality/knowledge.

  5. jester700 says

    The Hillary citation only means that she’s been to weddings… that’s the most overused schmaltzy bible quote in the industry. I even had it in my own wedding, as a pup…

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