Sunday, July 9, 2017

Trump and Christianity

I generally avoid writing about The Donald, because I'm aware I could alienate half of my readership, and I'm not familiar with the intricacies of American politics. But I felt moved to write a few words about Trump and his gestures towards Christianity.

First of all, let me admit that I have no idea of the state of his soul. This is a truism when it comes to anybody, but especially true in his case. He may have a very deep and sincere Christian faith, for all I know. On the other hand, he may be laughing up his sleeve at the Christians who vote for him even as he invokes God.

But my gut instinct is that neither of those things is the case. My impression is that faith doesn't play a big part in his daily life and thoughts, but that he has a genuine (if rather crude) respect for religion and for Christianity. I also believe his pro-life leanings are sincere.

This train of thought was set off when I read, in one interview, how he spoke about "when I drink my little wine and when I eat my little cracker". (Talking about communion, of course-- Protestant communion.) If I was to read a New Atheist refer to communion  (even Protestant communion) as wine and crackers, I'd be incensed, and rightly so. But when Trump says it, it's somehow child-like and appealing. You know that no irreverence is intended.

He reminds me of some medieval king who would throw himself into battle after battle with gusto, and keep a whole string of mistresses, while also zealously upholding the orthodox faith and regarding priests, monks and churches with awe.

His attitude to Christianity seems so much preferable to all the smooth-talk of a sophisticated sceptic like Obama. It's a strange word to use for someone who is undoubtedly a braggart and an egomaniac, but when it comes to religion, Trump seems to display a genuine humility, a genuine deference. The very tone in which he invokes the name of God impresses me.

I might be completely wrong. Reader, if the very sight of Trump or the sound of his name makes you grit your teeth, please don't take my words amiss. You might be completely right. Please take my comments here as less about Trump himself than an observation on the manner in which we speak of God and Christianity in public. I like how Trump does it, that's all.


  1. I'm sure he's sincere enough with his religious sentiments such as they are. what intrigues me is that a country the size of America could only come up with two candidates of so much baggage. a thrice divorced president was unthinkable not so long ago. now he's not only a candidate but is considered the best president for conservatives to support. of course they weren't all perfect before. but at least the kennedys kept their affairs secret

    1. All very true. Although it's an interesting point that Reagan was the first divorced President.

      Trump was a bizarre candidate by any standards. Like everybody else I never expected him even to get the Republican nomination.