Here’s my not-very-surprising theory on Donald Trump‘s faith: Trump doesn’t care about religion. Not in a good way. Not in a church/state separation sort of way. Not because he’s thought about it and come to any meaningful decision on the matter. He just doesn’t think about it, period. As usual, he says whatever people want to hear.
That means he has to use the right buzzwords, referring to the Bible whenever possible and mentioning Jesus often.
It almost worked last month. Trump, pandering to an Iowa crowd, said he regularly attended church — as if that should win him some brownie points. But then, to prove the he-doesn’t-get-religion theory right, he also swore, called a communion wafer a “little cracker,” and admitted he didn’t seek forgiveness from God (something “real” Christians always do).
You can tell he doesn’t actually believe this just by noting his body language. See that thumbs up right after he mentions the Bible? It’s like he’s signaling to his classmates that he got a test question right without studying and he’s proud of himself.
But the greatest support for the theory came yesterday.
Trump, the self-professed Christian, was given a softball question about the Bible. Of course, he couldn’t handle it.
Bloomberg‘s Mark Halperin asked him what his favorite Bible verse was. That should be a gimme for any Christian. If he doesn’t have one, he can just toss out a random verse like John 3:16.
Instead, Trump deflected and said “it’s personal.” Which would be a great answer in any other situation, but, in this case, reminds us that Trump has never really opened up the book.
But even that wasn’t as bad as his mishandling of the follow-up question. John Heilemann asked Trump if he was “an Old Testament guy or a New Testament guy.”
(Even I know the answer to that: The New Testament. It’s always the New Testament! That’s where all the Jesus stuff is.)
Trump’s answer? “Probably equal.”
Which makes no goddamn sense at all.
I don’t even know why I’m angry about this.
Normally, I like the candidates who don’t put much stock in the Bible, and I’m convinced Trump doesn’t care about it at all.
Maybe I’m just angry that Republicans aren’t more upset about this. They’re being lied to in their own language and they still don’t realize it.