A Bible waving Trump raises questions about his true beliefs.
Religion has noticeably been one of the focal points of the current GOP presidential race. And in their desire to gain the approval of Christian voters and the endorsement of church leaders, the presidential hopefuls made their own religious and publicity stunts. Ben Carson never failed to discuss his religious conviction during his campaigns while Ted Cruz is proud of his Christian roots.
But still, frontrunner Donald Trump remains the center of attraction for his unclear and oftentimes questionable relationship with the Bible. And despite all the doubts casted, he remains as popular as before among the republicans and various Christian communities.
rump’s religious background was put to the spotlight when he said in July that he does not ask for forgiveness from God. The next month, he pointed that his favorite book is the Bible. And in an interview with Bloomberg TV, he was asked of his favorite Bible verse. But to the disappointment of many, Trump made a negative response “I wouldn’t want to get into it. Because to me, that’s very personal… The Bible means a lot to me, but I don’t want to get into specifics.” He added that he loved both the Old and the New Testament.
In an effort to redeem himself from his previous blunder, Trump eventually shared a “quote” from the book of Proverbs during an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network “There’s so many things that you can learn from it. Proverbs, the chapter ‘never bend to envy.’ I’ve had that thing all of my life where people are bending to envy.”
Trump continued by re-pronouncing his appreciation of the Bible “The Bible, is special, the Bible — the more you see it, the more you read it, the more incredible it is. I don’t like to use this analogy, but like a great movie, a great, incredible movie. You'll see it once it will be good. You'll see it again. You can see it 20 times and every time you'll appreciate it more. The Bible is the most special thing.”
His campaign team eventually needed to correct Trump’s Proverbs verse by saying that the candidate is actually referring to Proverbs 24:1-2 with a message to “not envy with the wicked.”
In another effort to charm the Christian voters, Trump showed to the public on September 25 his childhood Bible containing a personal dedication from his mother. And more recently on December 29, Trump’s Bible made another public appearance, this time to lure the Christian voters in Iowa. While waving his Bible up high, Trump again tries to court the evangelicals “I even brought my Bible – the evangelicals, ok. We love the evangelicals and we’re polling so well… So, we love the Bible. It’s the best. We love ‘The Art of the Deal,’ but the Bible is far, far superior, yes.”
— Allan Casilao (@allancasilao) January 5, 2016
But during the same event, Trump couldn’t help but attack another Christian favorite Ted Cruz “Just remember this. You got to remember in all fairness, to the best of my knowledge, not to many evangelicals come out of Cuba.” Trump is obviously referring to Cruz’s Cuban born and evangelical pastor father.
Several experts like Jacques Berlinerblau have acknowledged that the Bible is really a good political tool. It can be used in two ways; it can be used to align the proposed policies with Christian values or biblical verses, or, simply invoking the Bible for the politician to sound religious. In the case of Donald Trump, it seems that the latter explanation clearly fits the picture. The Bible is being used simply as a political prop.