The Bible, Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump reminded a crowd of listeners, is his favorite book. Having made this declaration to some 2,800 people in Birch Run Michigan early last week, he was repeating it to a bigger audience of about 30,000 at the Ladd Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Alabama on August 21, 2015, Friday.
According to the Christian Post, Trump said he could relate to evangelist Billy Graham‘s experience in front of such a crowd. Here are remarks attributed to the real estate billionaire during the Alabama event.
“I know how Billy Graham felt… What’s my favorite book? The Bible! The Bible… We take the Bible all the way.”
The Hill indicated that the event was moved to the Ladd Peebles Stadium in Mobile, which could house a football crowd of over 40,000, after the Mobile Civic Center arena, which seats only about 14,000 people, was considered too small. Shuttle buses were needed to help transport people to the bigger football stadium.
Trump has condemned political correctness which he considers an assault on anything having to do with Christianity, including the use of the word “Christmas.” According to him, he goes out of his way to use the word “Christmas” despite a lot of lawsuits won by those hostile to it.
His worry over Christianity and the Bible fits into the big picture of attacks on the faith-based American tradition by a number of high-profile media types.
Journalist Kurt Eichenwald, once called out by the New York Times for making unethical payments to child pornographer Justin Berry for story material, wrote in December 23, 2014 that no television preacher has ever read the Bible, nor has any evangelical politician, nor the pope. Eichenwald’s Newsweek article was a tongue-in-cheek portrayal of the average American churchgoer practicing piety without proper grounding.
Celebrity agnostic Bill Maher, who supports the legalization of cannabis and same-sex marriage, said that the Bible is like a software license to most Christians. In his opinion, rather than reading it, they just scroll to the bottom and click “I agree.”
On the international front, attacks on Christians have become more demonstrative. Last April, Islamic State (IS) posted videos on social media to show its fighters beheading some 30 Ethiopian Christians in Libya. In July, the Nigerian jihadist group Boko Haram flaunted the 216 Christian schoolgirls it had kidnapped for rape and ransom, to buy the release of 16 jailed militants.
With this backdrop of Christians being persecuted, Donald Trump confessed his faith at the recent Family Leadership Summit in Iowa.
“People are so shocked when they find out I am Protestant. I am Presbyterian. And I go to church and I love God and I love my church.”
His public declaration was in keeping with people’s perception of him as champion of the Bible. And the polls now give him a whopping 32 percent approval among Republicans surveyed online.
[Photo by Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images]