According to real estate mogul and reality television star Donald Trump in an interview Friday, America is a Judeo-Christian nation. Why? Silly question: Because “that’s the way it is.” Surely you’ve learned by now not to expect Donald Trump to put much thought into his pronouncements. He plans to be king, after all, and what he says goes. Kings don’t explain themselves. Silly colonials.
Trump spoke Friday at the Faith and Freedom Coalition’s Road to Majority conference, using a teleprompter, and as Right Wing Watch’s Brian Tashman reported, bragged about how well he has “done with the evangelicals and with the religion, generally speaking.”
And because Trump can’t brag himself up without telling lies about somebody else, he threw in there that insidious promise that, oh by the way, Hillary Clinton would “flood the country with terrorists.”
That’s fake-Christian-speak for Muslims. Trump, referring back again to that six-year-old’s presidential, policy-free stature he has become known for, reiterated his call to give Muslims a “timeout” and just ask them to stay out of our country awhile.
After the speech, Christian Broadcasting Network’s David Brody of CBN’s The Brody File, caught up with Trump.
Watch the interview from CBN:
David Brody: Tell me a little bit about what you need to do to convince skeptical Evangelicals that voted for Ted Cruz, did not vote for you, what do you need to do, do you think you have some work to do?
Donald Trump: Well, you always have work to do, but I will say that, as you know, I won with the Evangelicals, and I won many of the states with Evangelicals, and the Evangelicals were absolutely incredible to me and I’ll never forget it. They believed in me, I believe in them, and states I wasn’t supposed to win with Evangelicals, you know very well I ended up winning, and had some very big victories, had some massive victories, real landslides. And a lot of those states were Evangelicals states, so there’s always work to be done but we’ve done really well with Evangelicals. It must be because I do your show with you so much.
Brody: I know, I can confirm that.
Trump: It must be the answer.
Brody: Later this month, at the meeting with Evangelical leaders, what do you hope to get out of it, exactly?
Trump: Well, I just look forward to it. Ben Carson called me, he’d love to do it. He wanted to do it, and he’s the one that brought it up to me and I said yes. You know Ben left, and endorsed me, and he’s a terrific guy, a wonderful man, and so I’m doing it for that reason, and I’ve actually found out it’s going to be quite an important meeting, so I look forward to it.
Brody: You’ve mentioned the founding of this country out in the speech. There’s a lot of folks that push back against this idea that we’re not a Judeo-Christian nation. Do you push back as well? In other words, do you believe this is a Judeo-Christian nation?
Trump: Well, and that’s the way it’s been, look, we won freedom for everybody, we won good things for everybody, but everybody has to be cognizant of the fact that we need a safe country, and that’s why I talked about radical Islamic terrorism. It’s a problem…we have to be smart and we have to be vigilant and we have no choice.
Trump may not have made Evangelicals happy by proclaiming that the freedom we won is for “everybody” because there are quite a few groups Evangelicals don’t think are deserving of that freedom besides Muslims, or even included under the mantle of protection offered by the First Amendment, never mind what the Founding Fathers said.
Brody closed the interview by “going there” – the suggestion that he should tone down his rhetoric, in this case, for the benefit of the Evangelicals whose support he needs:
Brody: Last question: The word on the street among Evangelicals is that they want you to turn down the rhetoric, they want – forget that everybody talks about ‘more presidential’ forget about that – but they want you from that moral perspective to tone it down, and how do you feel about that?
Trump: Well, you have to be who you are, and I mean, I’ve gotten the largest number of votes in the history of Republican politics – by far – and so I want to keep, you know, doing what we’re doing. But if you ask me to tone it down, I’ll tone it down.”
What is clear from this interview is that Trump cannot acknowledge that there is anything specific he needs to improve on. He completely disregards the large numbers of Evangelicals – including Evangelical leaders – who supported Ted Cruz as the Messiah-in-Chief, just as he disregards the huge number of Republicans who voted against him by casting their votes for another candidate. He bragged again about his historic voting numbers, but we can add to these the many polls that show his disapproval ratings to also be historically high.
Trump is perfect in Trump’s mind. He clearly doesn’t intend to change a thing, joking acquiescence to Brody’s wishes at the end aside. This was classic Donald Trump. He was lower key for Brody, but Trump doesn’t have to be loud to lie. As he shows here, he just has to open his mouth.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.