Friday

June 14th, 2024

Insight

Crowning Trump king

Cal Thomas

By Cal Thomas

Published May 9, 2023

The crowning of Charles III as king of England and the shrinking realm of the United Kingdom was not the only coronation taking place in the world.

Increasingly, evangelical Christians in the U.S. are treating Donald Trump as their king. While the scenarios are different, it reminds me of when the religious leaders in Jerusalem were asked by Pontius Pilate if he should crucify their king, Jesus. They shouted back, "We have no king but Caesar."

No matter what is revealed about Donald Trump's character and attitude toward women, large numbers in the evangelical community seem to have no king but him.

In New York, in a civil court trial, writer E. Jean Carroll is claiming Trump raped her in a dressing room at Bergdorf Goodman (he denies it, as he has denied every other charge of boorish, even criminal behavior toward women). Some startling video has been shown during the trial. In addition, there was a replay of the "Access Hollywood" tape in which Trump bragged that when you're a star you can go as far as grabbing women by their (private parts). A video of Trump's deposition in this case was also shown to the jury.

Carroll's lawyer, Roberta Kaplan, asked Trump about that damning tape during a video deposition. His response was revealing: "Historically, that's true with stars."

"It's true with stars that they can grab women by the pussy?" Kaplan asked.

"If you look over the last million years, I guess that's been largely true. Not always, but largely true. Unfortunately or fortunately," he replied.

"And you consider yourself to be a star?" Kaplan asked.

"I think you can say that, yeah," replied Trump.

Some verses evangelical Christians accept as words coming directly from God might be useful reminders of how the power and credibility of their faith is being diluted by fealty to Donald Trump. There is 1 Corinthians 15:33 (or "One Corinthians" as Trump might put it): "Do not be deceived: "Bad company corrupts good morals."

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Another: "Therefore, come out from among unbelievers, and separate yourselves from them, says the LORD. Don't touch their filthy things, and I will welcome you." (2 Corinthians 6:17)

Then there's the ultimate church-state admonition by King David when he ruled over Israel: "Do not put your trust in princes, in mortal men, who cannot save. When their spirit departs, they return to the ground; on that very day their plans come to nothing." (Psalm 146:3)

Employing such verses is not to judge Trump. It is to judge Christians who are putting too much faith and allegiance in a man who appears perpetually angry and arrogant. One might think a similar experience with Richard Nixon would have taught them a lesson. Even Rev. Billy Graham acknowledged after hearing the Nixon tapes that he had been deceived by the president who apparently thought having Graham around gave him cover for a corrosive personality similar in some ways to Trump's.

I've heard all the arguments about double standards when it came to how evangelicals viewed Bill Clinton and his affairs and that Trump is a fighter (even that G od uses bad people to accomplish His will). Character counted with Clinton, they said. Not so with Trump. As noted by others there are Republicans who don't display the characteristics Trump does and hold similar positions on life, the border, taxes, spending and big government who are running — or expected to run for president. Every poll I've seen shows that if Trump wins the GOP nomination, as now seems likely, he can't win the general election because independents, who are key to winning, will not vote for him.

If evangelical Christians vote in large numbers for Trump next year, as they did in the last two elections, Trump will still likely lose again and doom Republican goals for years to come. Worse, the image of the One they claim to follow will be tainted for perhaps generations. Paying that price is not worth the cost.

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Cal Thomas, America's most-syndicated columnist, is the author of 10 books.