How the Christian Right Can Save America from Donald Trump

A few days ago, I predicted that Donald Trump’s love affair with evangelicals will be short-lived. The evidence continues to mount.

Trump has declined the invitation of the Family Research Council, one of the main sponsors of the annual Values Voters Summit, where Republican candidates typically seize the opportunity to give a fiery speech to a receptive and politically active crowd. (Jeb Bush isn’t going either, but which may be an expression of discontent over not receiving an invitation to address last year’s summit.)

About Trump’s decision not to attend, FRC president Tony Perkins told the Christian Post, “I think that is going to send a message to Evangelicals and values voters that he wants their support, but he is not really interested in having a conversation with them.”

Not only is Trump missing the not-to-be-missed religious right political event of the year, he continues to blow smoke on his alleged love for the Bible. The Christian Broadcasting Network’s David Brody, who has been writing glowing accounts of Trump’s appeal to evangelicals, is out with a new Trump interview, during which the real estate mogul utters many words about the Bible but, once again, doesn’t appear to actually know much about it—or what evangelicals believe about it.

“There’s so many things that you can learn from it (The Bible). Proverbs, the chapter ‘never bend to envy,'” Trump told Brody, who didn’t press him to cite chapter and verse. (Brody does write about the interview, “the subject of envy does come up in the Book of Proverbs a few times. We’re trying to get clarification about what chapter and/or verse he may have been referring to.”)

There isn’t actually a verse that has the words “never bend to envy,” but there’s Proverbs 3:31 (which says not to envy violent people or emulate them), Proverbs 6:34 (about the rage and vengeance of a jealous man, although jealousy and envy in the Bible are different things), Proverbs 14:30 (about how envy can rot your bones), or Proverbs 23:17 (not to envy sinners). I have to admit I’m disappointed in the lack of exegesis on CBN, because, Bible aside, it surely would be interesting to know more about how Trump’s brain processes envy.

For Trump, the Bible is “special,” like a “great movie.” But conservative evangelicals believe it is the literal word of God. Does “special,” like a “great movie,” cut it?

Of course Trump hasn’t drawn the support of even the plurality of evangelicals, splitting the top honors with Ben Carson. Still, though, he sits atop the GOP field, something that would be difficult to accomplish without at least some evangelical support.

For some weeks, his vitriol against immigrants has troubled evangelicals like the Southern Baptist Convention’s Russell Moore, who is deeply conservative but is urging evangelicals to take a turn away from harsh religious right political rhetoric. Moore doesn’t represent all evangelicals by any stretch of the imagination, but if you couple the dismay of Moore’s like-minded evangelicals with Values Voters Summit attendees irked about Trump’s no-show next week, it will start to look like he’s running out of evangelical mojo.

Take a look at a sampling of recent conservative coverage of Trump and evangelicals:

If Donald Trump can win the Republican nomination without significant evangelical support, that could signal the bloc’s decreasing clout within the party. But something tells me the opposite is going to prove to be true: that the religious right, between pro-immigration evangelicals and those appalled by Trump’s Bible-loving avowals backed only by his biblical illiteracy, could very well save America from Donald Trump.

69 Comments

  • dkeane123@comcast.net' DKeane123 says:

    Have to admit, I freaked out a little when I saw the title on this.

  • alencon13@hotmail.com' Alencon says:

    I’ll take Donald Trump over Ben Carson

    As a matter of fact I suspect that I would prefer just about anyone over someone that Evangelical Christians support. I’d probably vote for Lucifer himself if Evangelical Christians were supporting the other candidate.

    The only people America needs saving from are Evangelical Christians.

  • ellen.valle@utu.fi' red-diaper-baby 1942 says:

    You’re proclaiming the doctrine of “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”. This sometimes works, but it can also lead us into very murky waters. Sometimes the enemy of my enemy is even worse.
    I agree that America — and everyone else — needs saving from radical religious zealots of every shade. But above all we need saving from corporate greed, which is irreversibly destroying not just the country but the planet. As far as I’m concerned, that’s the worst enemy, and I wouldn’t ally myself with them no matter how much they opposed the radical religious fundamentalists.

  • zinealine@gmail.com' cranefly says:

    Maybe. But I think it’s worth considering that we’re talking about people who love the most dickish of Gods with a literalness that does not apologize. Donald Trump blowing them off, calling people names, and not apologizing might just be their kink.

  • tojby_2000@yahoo.com' apotropoxy says:

    The Christian Right will obediently fall in line with The Donald and tell themselves that their god’s will is being worked in mysterious ways.
    Authoritarian personality types will follow the alpha male no matter the direction.

  • dakotahgeo@hotmail.com' George M Melby says:

    ANYTHING/ANYONE that/who can save the USA from Trump will be heralded as a prophet or better, lolol.

  • dakotahgeo@hotmail.com' George M Melby says:

    AMEN x 1000!

  • phatkhat@centurylink.net' phatkhat says:

    Ben Carson is WAY scarier than The Donald in my book. Trump is an ass, but at least he isn’t a theocrat. I think dismantling economic wreckage will be a lot easier than dismantling a theocracy. I really don’t want to spend my sunset years in New Gilead.

    I also have to wonder if Trump is as extreme as he is acting. I think this may be a performance. He is an actor, after all, and an entertainer.

  • zinealine@gmail.com' cranefly says:

    At this point I would take Trump over Huckabee. No question.

  • reedjim51@gmail.com' Jim Reed says:

    What do you mean by Save America? I think the real danger would be a president starting a war with Iran. Which candidates would likely do that, and then how do we save America from those candidates.

  • reedjim51@gmail.com' Jim Reed says:

    I guess you can say first things first. First we need to save America from the religious right. Then maybe we can worry about Donald Trump.

  • alencon13@hotmail.com' Alencon says:

    So we simply disagree upon who is the worst enemy.

    A corporation, once it realizes it’s going the wrong way, will adjust because adjusting is good for business. A religious fundamentalist never changes his mind regardless of the consequences. Therefore I find the latter more dangerous than the former.

  • alencon13@hotmail.com' Alencon says:

    The mere mention of Huckabee in any conversation related to the presidency makes me start strapping on my kevlar. I would take even Carson over Huckabee.

    Either that or I would move to Copenhagen.

  • dkeane123@comcast.net' DKeane123 says:

    His recent comment about removing funding for universities if they are somehow supporting “extreme political bias” just enhances my concern. Essentially he would institutionalize thought crime.

  • gormanbud@earthlink.net' Burnt Orange says:

    All this wasted ink on Trump is laughable. Right now this is silly season. Trump has WORLDWIDE name recognition so when random polls are conducted people just say Trump. Sometimes they might not even know who else is running. His brash and crude statements reflect people’s disgust with politicians in general.

    When it comes time to actually pull the lever and cast a ballot only the most addled and marginal individual will waste their vote on this one percenter. While the so called Christian Right is thought of by the left as a monolithic voting bloc they in fact consider their votes more carefully then many who vote for “rock star” political novices and “first women” mantra chanting zombies.
    Trump will get almost no Christian right votes when all is said and done. Trump will fade like July 4th fireworks in August. Then maybe reporters will have to dig for stories instead of following the carnival barker with his P.T. Barnum approach to the Presidency of the U.S.

  • gormanbud@earthlink.net' Burnt Orange says:

    My guess is you know NO ONE personally from the Christian Right. Keep repeating DNC talking points and other bigoted views about people you know nothing about.

  • gormanbud@earthlink.net' Burnt Orange says:

    If Universities and their political views skewered as far right as they do to the left you too would be calling for extreme measures regarding their out of balance indoctrination by their 95% self identified liberal “professors.” The screams and outrage would be beyond imagination. BTW The left has already institutionalized thought crime with “hate crimes” and political correctness on college campuses.
    Funny how some people can’t see the forest for the trees.

  • gormanbud@earthlink.net' Burnt Orange says:

    By voting for Obama you probably did cast your lot with Lucifer. Your hatred for millions of individuals whom you never met and know almost nothing about is so typical of far left liberals that it does not even merit mention any more.

  • tojby_2000@yahoo.com' apotropoxy says:

    You would be VERY wrong… though I approve of your sobriquet.

  • gormanbud@earthlink.net' Burnt Orange says:

    By your lights there sure are a lot of devils out there in America. Might be best to move to some paradise of your choosing before you become a victim of all your many “evil doers” and religious zealots. But then again since you think the entire planet is under siege best for you to return to your bunker, freeze dried food and spray on your Wal-Mart anti itch power.

  • gormanbud@earthlink.net' Burnt Orange says:

    America is NOT chanting “Death To Iran” last time i checked. What do you do just sit around dreaming up things that American Presidents could do that are against some pacifist ideal. Maybe you fear we might attack North Korea too. You probably think “well we are a big country and could take a few nukes before needing to do anything.”
    Just what “Prophecy” have you dreamed up that has any Christians liking war and all it entails. Are Christians currently beheading others, drowning them in cages or forcing conversions. It appears your hatred of other Americans of the Christian faith has blinded you to the people who actually want you dead.

  • gormanbud@earthlink.net' Burnt Orange says:

    Probably saving America from radical Islam would be okay. Trump and the Christian Right won’t really matter is your head is in the gutter.

  • alencon13@hotmail.com' Alencon says:

    We’re talking about political dynamics and not individuals.

    I’m making my judgement based upon the actions of the group labeled Evangelical Christians and those that claim to be their leaders and not upon individuals.

    I’m looking at the things the group tends to champion such as denying a woman the right to control her own body, denying gays equal rights, constantly trying to get their superstitions taught as science and constantly pushing their religion onto everyone else.

    I’m not judging individuals. I’m judging the policy positions of the political group called Evangelical Christians.

    You on the other hand, because you immediately tie everything to Obama, apparently can’t get over the simple fact that a black man owns a mule.

  • reedjim51@gmail.com' Jim Reed says:

    People are not chanting Death to Iran. It is more subtle. They are setting the stage for a relationship that can’t do anything but deteriorate, and eventually lead to war. Most of the Republican senators and many Republican candidates sign an open letter to Iran saying don’t make any deal with Obama because it will be worthless when the next Republican takes office. Now the Republicans in congress are trying to block the Iran deal that the rest of the world thinks is the best nuclear treaty ever negotiated. We can have peace with Iran, or we can do everything we can think of to destroy any relationship and force the world into another war. Remember, this whole Iran problem started with us when we under Eisenhower sent our secret agents to collapse the new Iranian democracy so that we could put in our puppet dictator and control their oil. This is all our fault.

  • ellen.valle@utu.fi' red-diaper-baby 1942 says:

    Dear Burnt: speaking as a “far left liberal” (i.e. progressive) myself, perhaps you should change your screen name to “Agent Orange”.
    Seriously: I do live in a (semi) paradise of my own choosing; I moved many years ago to Finland, and I’ve very happy here. Despite some recent increase in right-wing xenophobia, the Scandinavian countries are still among the most sensible and rational worldwide. I’m also happy to say that religious fundamentalism, of the sort you seem to espouse, has very little foothold here.
    I live in the middle of a large and interesting city, I don’t eat freeze-dried food (except sometimes, when I was younger, on camping trips), and I’ve never been to a Walmart in my life. (Or for that matter to a Macdonalds.)

  • I find your postings to be somewhat biased, to put it mildly. You dismiss universities as liberal bastions based on your comments (something I have not found to be true for decades now, especially among for-profit universities and state universities in GOP states); denigrate people who vote for the Democratic ticket in elections because, guess what, those voters are not swayed by the GOP/FOX News machine; and contrary to what you may think, actually pay attention to what is being done within our own government to harm the people of this nation.

    You seem to think that anyone who supports anything other than your ideals is supporting terrorism or is somehow not the right religious or political group for your tastes. I agree that the Christian right is a small portion of the voting public (at about 17%), but they vote and vote regularly for which ever candidate they are convinced will support their theocratic agendas. It insures them a voting block which is consistently delivered,
    regardless of what elelction year it is, something the Dems have been
    unable to insure within their voter base.

    As for the not killing people mantra you tout, in case you have missed it, the GOP/Tea Party crowd are swearing allegiance to the Religious Right with their purity statements, and have been for years now. They wholeheartedly supported the Iraq invasion, war with Iran, and GW Bush, a professed Christian, told people that God told him to be president and that he regularly prayed for God’s guidance. He and his cronies are responsible for more American deaths than the terrorists of 9/11, and yet you say Christians do not kill. Can you explain the bullet casings found in Iraq and publicly displayed that had “Bullets for Jesus” inscribed on them, or the mandatory Christian indoctrination classes required by the US military until it was shown in court that such classes were unconstitutional? And you might want to read Revelations in the Bible and then read the sermons of the like of James Dobson and John Hagee about what Christians should be doing to people in the Middle East. Also you might want to consult a few history books – Christians have been killing people for centuries, including the Crusades, the Inquisition, the Hundred Years War among other wars. I have sat through sermons where the pastor actually called on parishioners to kill Muslims wherever they found them, so do not tell me that Christians do not kill. Our prisons are full to the seams with Christians who kill!

    Trump is a true danger to the American political system, but not because of the Evangelicals. They are firmly in the Ben Carson, Mike Huckabee, and Ted Cruz camps with their dreams of a theocracy. You seem to think that Christians, especially Evangelicals, will not vote for Trump, and in that you may well be right. But not for the reasons you think. Trump will destroy our democracy in favor of a corporatocracy, but they will vote for a candidate that is far more dangerous – a candidate who wants a theocracy and to replace our civil law with Judeo-Christian laws which are no better than Sharia law.

    Consider carefully what you want to Save America from when you talk about Evangelicals, because in my experience which is wide and current, they are just as willing to intimidate, threaten, kill or die for their ideals, and will force those ideals on everyone, one way or the other. And I have had many a bruise on my body in life from just such religious fanatics, so while they do not represent a large group of voters, they are narrow-minded, easily led, ignorant of most secular politics, and will resort to violence when necessary to make their points!

  • jaunita1@fuse.net' jaunita says:

    Good comment Jim Reed, and very true. One running, (Walker) promised to more or less bomb Iran on his first day in office (if he wins). The GOP has a pretty good lineup of warmongers in this race. And they don’t mind letting the people know their position on Iran. What i cannot understand is why we are not hearing more “average Joes and Janes” in this nation, protest this open salivating for another uncalled for war.

  • jaunita1@fuse.net' jaunita says:

    As a Christian who frequents Christian boards and talk forums, i can tell you, you are wrong. Many (MANY) of those calling themselves ‘Christians’ are eager for war with Iran. You need to get around more and visit some of the more popular Christian talk websites.

  • whitemellon@gmail.com' niteshade says:

    If your statement is true how does it happen that 95% of college professors are liberal. Do conservative’s just not like being around younger folks? Do they have some innate aversion to teaching? Do they have an inability to qualify themselves for the job? Or could it be maybe a little of all of the above. Please enlighten me?

  • whitemellon@gmail.com' niteshade says:

    Shoot…where’s my dictionary?

  • whitemellon@gmail.com' niteshade says:

    I saw Cheney’s take down list. It was Iraq, Libya, Syria, Iran then Copenhagen. You might want to consider Equdor. See ya there.

  • reedjim51@gmail.com' Jim Reed says:

    Carefully considering their vote means them listening to the groupthink. They voted 80% for Bush, then 80% for Bush the next time, then 79% for McCain/Palin. And before that second Bush vote, we found out about the torture.

  • mark.hadden1986@gmail.com' Rudiger Hamsworth says:

    “Are Christians currently beheading others, drowning them in cages or forcing conversions.”

    Certainly not in the West…….. anymore!

  • The “Christian Right” hates anything not Christian, Heterosexual, White, and Male. If they had they’re way, we would be living in pre-Founding Father’s time. There is no good was to actually say the Christian Right can save anyone worse then themselves. Because they are the worst of the worse of American!

  • The reason why many professors call themselves liberal is because education oneself is a liberal reality. Conservative ideology teaches anti-education: question nothing, everything is laid out in black and white, wrong and right, and U.S. against them ideology. Conservative ideology teaches memorization, while liberal ideology teaches actual learning. I’d say, anything that claims to “teach” from a conservative view-point is using the wrong word to describe themselves, no surprise there as they don’t really teach!

  • Christian Right ideology attracts those who want to be leaf, told what to do, have a plan placed in front of them to abid by. If someone does not do that, they are not part of the “Christian Right”

  • Conservative Christians have taken over most corporations, they are one on the same!

  • truktyre@hotmail.com' Craptacular says:

    “…so typical of far left liberals that it does not even merit mention any more.” – BO

    And yet you did.

    Are you saying a vote for Obama was a vote to hate “millions of individuals whom you never met?” How so?

  • phatkhat@centurylink.net' phatkhat says:

    Some of us used to BE Xtian righties, you know. I was one. Then I moved, was out of the clutches, so to speak, of the constant memes, and I started THINKING. That was the end of religion for me. That’s what scares the Xtian righties. Thinking. Education should lead to thinking, and that is not tolerated.

    BTW, the DNC is NOT liberal. Maybe they have moved forward on LGBT issues, but on the REAL issues that affect our daily lives, they have moved ever rightward.

    Bernie 2016!

  • phatkhat@centurylink.net' phatkhat says:

    They are too busy watching the Kardashians, Kate Middleton, Caitlyn, etc. They don’t think about world affairs. I live in a rural southern area, and no one knows what goes on outside of the county except for the celebrity doings.

  • phatkhat@centurylink.net' phatkhat says:

    Yep. The whole middle east crisis is our doing – all for oil. And we STILL won’t leave it in the ground. The obscenely rich who want ever more will not rest until all is a shambles outside their compounds.

  • phatkhat@centurylink.net' phatkhat says:

    But there are a significant number who would like to.

  • phatkhat@centurylink.net' phatkhat says:

    I think they are peas in a pod, except Carson is better educated.

  • phatkhat@centurylink.net' phatkhat says:

    Or they pander to them for more money. I think the very rich worship Mammon, not anything else, but promoting the kind of thoughtless ignorance and authoritarianism conservative religion espouses is good for the bottom line, so they fund its propagation.

  • phatkhat@centurylink.net' phatkhat says:

    Do you need a housekeeper? ;o)

  • phatkhat@centurylink.net' phatkhat says:

    If you think Obama is a liberal, you are sadly mistaken. Bernie Sanders (Yeah!!!) is a Social Democrat, Obama is NOT. Keeping up with the mainstream on a few social issues, like LGBT rights is NOT the whole of liberalism.

  • phatkhat@centurylink.net' phatkhat says:

    Wish I could upvote a hundred times!

  • phatkhat@centurylink.net' phatkhat says:

    Yet BOrange hates millions of individuals he has never met, too. Like gay people.

  • phatkhat@centurylink.net' phatkhat says:

    They would have us all living in New Gilead. Where the white male leaders could belong to gentlemen’s clubs, and everyone else would live a life of abject fear of being killed for some moral slipup.

  • alencon13@hotmail.com' Alencon says:

    Actually now I’m thinking Costa Rica. They have a cool soccer team. Let’s go los Ticos!

  • reedjim51@gmail.com' Jim Reed says:

    Those obscenely rich all see it as not their fault. It is the fault of all the other obscenely rich, and they personally have no control over what will happen, but as long as the others are going to damage the earth they need to make as much money as they can so that they will be able to take care of their family as things decay.

  • phatkhat@centurylink.net' phatkhat says:

    Check out the snakes there before ya go. I’d never go to Central America. DH did a military stint in Honduras, and he said the snakes, scorpions, spiders, etc. are pretty terrible – they killed a huge bushmaster in the camp. Not to mention no-see-ums that will make you quite ill from their bites.

  • phatkhat@centurylink.net' phatkhat says:

    Um, yeah… Rock star political novices like Ben Carson, yes? He has absolutely NO political experience whatsoever, and no experience even running a corporation. He’s a frickin’ pediatrician. (A pediatric neurosurgeon, yes, but a pediatrician nevertheless.)

    And watch. in 2020, the upstart theocrat from Arkansas, Tom Cotton, will run with one term each in the house and senate. Now HE is scary! (I don’t think it’s the water, here. Hasn’t made me a nutcase yet…)

  • dkeane123@comcast.net' DKeane123 says:

    Please reference a hate crime that is also a thought crime. Thank you.

  • dkeane123@comcast.net' DKeane123 says:

    Look up a liberal education and here is one of the definitions you get. Sounds okay to me: ” intended to provide chiefly general knowledge and to develop general intellectual capacities (as reason and judgment) as opposed to professional or vocational skills”

  • phatkhat@centurylink.net' phatkhat says:

    Yes. Look at Saudi Arabia. They have been that way forever, and it isn’t likely to change any time soon. Theocracies are hard to change, because it is hard to argue with “God’s will”.

    And remember, it doesn’t take a huge number of people to swing things in a bad way. A few people can make a big difference – for good or bad. We ignore them at our peril.

  • dkeane123@comcast.net' DKeane123 says:

    The answer is “conspiracy” /s

  • indigosalmon@gmail.com' ObscurelyAgnostic says:

    The key phrase there is, “calling themselves ‘Christians'” …

  • indigosalmon@gmail.com' ObscurelyAgnostic says:

    Reagan was an actor and performer too, but at least he was Governor of California for two terms before running for president …

  • indigosalmon@gmail.com' ObscurelyAgnostic says:

    Where do you get the figure ‘95%’?

  • phatkhat@centurylink.net' phatkhat says:

    Not a very good governor, at that. But at least the Donald has managed corporations with a generally better outcome than Fiorina. But Carson has neither political nor business experience.

  • johninbellevue@yahoo.com' not_guilty says:

    Well, the operators of some gentlemen’s clubs in Nashville have told me they do quite well when the Southern Baptists come to town for a convention.

  • johninbellevue@yahoo.com' not_guilty says:

    Is that the same Family Research Council that employed Josh Duggar? Well, give them credit for chutzpah.

    I wonder whether any of the speakers will call them out on that.

  • Swollentoe@gmail.com' whitemellon says:

    From, “Burnt Orange” who’s comment I was responding to. I know it’s bull crap (since when does reality matter to his type) but I thought I would dig a little deeper.

  • fishmanlm@guilford.edu' AriaKittan08 says:

    Before reading this article I didn’t know much about the current presidential candidates, but I did know I wasn’t crazy about Trump as a potential future president! I found this article extremely interesting and eye opening, and now I have more hope in Trump not becoming the republican vote! However I do wish the article went into more detail why Trump declined the invitation to the Family Research Council event!

  • lzuleta2012@gmail.com' Sir Buster-da-Pug says:

    This goes to show how much of hypocrite Trump is. His words says one thing and his actions says another. Just so he can get people to vote for him.

  • reedjim51@gmail.com' Jim Reed says:

    That is not really such a bad thing. For all the other Republican candidates their words don’t say anything, and their actions you can’t know until they have been elected. Their real skill is getting people to vote for them. The ones who actually have recent actions to judge them by are already dropped out.

  • Rudiger,

    The west does it with aircraft and long distance drones.

    Yes, “anymore!” Every week.

    -dlj.

  • mark.hadden1986@gmail.com' Rudiger Hamsworth says:

    The West is beheading others, drowning them in cages and forcing conversions with aircraft and long distance drones.

    I will let you take a minute to think about what you just said.

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