Former President Donald Trump was the best thing to happen to the Christian Church in the United States since Jesus himself, an author and Newsmax guest said this week.
Author and life coach Rachel Hamm appeared on American Agenda with host Heather Childers this week, discussing a recent Vox column that claimed Trump was a “catastrophe for American Christianity.” Hamm disagreed, saying she found the article’s premise ridiculous and insisting that his contributions for American Christians were surpassed only by Jesus.
The clip of Hamm’s appearance was shared on Twitter by Jason Campbell, a researcher for the left-leaning media watchdog Media Matters for America, and attracted some viral attention. Many pushed back against her assertion.
“Jesus wasn’t a Christian. And he didn’t start the religion. He knew better. He taught love and mercy,” tweeted actor and filmmaker James Morrison.
The segment discussed Trump’s popularity among Christians, especially evangelicals, a group from whom he consistently earned some of his highest approval ratings. This was a point discussed by commentator David French in the Vox article. He said that Trump had this group’s support almost by default, not through any special outreach or actions to further their religion.
“White evangelicals are Republicans, and Republicans are white evangelicals, which has been the case for a long time now, and Trump was just the Republican nominee, and so he had to work incredibly hard to lose their support,” he said.
French added that many of these supporters stayed up on politics exclusively through Fox News and conservative talk radio, giving them a misleading impression of the now-former president’s contributions and the threat posed to the United States from those on the left. This left many of them believing that Trump was justified in some of his more extreme stances, French said.
“The other thing is that a lot of these people genuinely believe, because of where they get their information, that the country is in some kind of emergency that justifies the extremism of Trump,” he said.
Trump often came under fire for his appeals to Christians, which critics said were often contradicted by his policies that went against Christian teachings. In June of last year, he was sharply criticized for holding a photo op in front of a church that had been damaged during protests the previous night — a picture that was taken after federal law enforcement officials forcefully pushed out a group of non-violent demonstrators so Trump and top administration officials could walk from the White House to the nearby church.