Donald Trump received thunderous applause Friday as he addressed the Value Voters Summit, an annual gathering of religious conservatives, some of whom believe in such things as outlawing homosexuality and Islam.
As The Hill reported, Trump, who once openly bragged about grabbing women “by the p***y,” enjoys something resembling hero status among Christian conservatives. That has largely to do with his his early actions on abortion and religious liberty, as well as pandering statements to the Religious Right, mentioning God at the right time and carrying out a perceived culture war.
For example, the crowd exploded when Trump brought out the old canard about the supposed War on Christmas.
“We’re saying Merry Christmas again.”
First: for the record, there was never a time when Americans weren’t saying “Merry Christmas.” While a handful of retailers did encourage their employees to employ the more generic “Happy Holidays,” no law ever made it illegal to say “Merry Christmas.” Second, we aren’t saying “Merry Christmas” again, mainly because, you know, it isn’t Christmas yet. Nor has Trump been POTUS during a Christmas season.
Another lie he brought out involved his insistence that he’s been following through on his campaign promises.
“In the last ten months we have followed through on one promise after another. If I did have a schedule, I would say we are substantially ahead of schedule.”
The last time anybody looked, there was still no border wall; ISIS has not been defeated (his “very secret plan” to defeat ISIS within 30 days notwithstanding); and his promise to “drain the swamp” actually resulted in his administration being filled with Washington insiders – exactly the opposite of what he promised.
Even more troubling than Trump’s dishonest pandering to the Value Voters Summit are the beliefs held by those people whose support he so desperately craves. As The Southern Poverty Law Center explains, many of those Christian “value voters” hold values that aren’t exactly Christian. At least, unless the Christianity they adhere to is based on hate, intolerance, and exclusion.
For example, there’s Brigitte Gabriel, Founder and Chairman, ACT for America, who believes that it’s impossible for Muslims who obey the Koran to be loyal citizens of the United States. Similarly, Jerry Boykin, Jr., Executive Vice President, Family Research Council, who believes that the First Amendment, which guarantees the right to freedom of religion, shouldn’t apply to Muslims.
Then there’s the parade of anti-LBTQ activists, such as Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, who once claimed that LGBTQ activists want to round up Christians in “boxcars.” Or Mat Staver, of Liberty Counsel, who said that the Boy Scouts of Americas’ decision to allow gay leaders and scouts will lead to widespread sexual molestation within the organization.
Make no mistake: Donald Trump is a liar who is most certainly not in any way a Christian, and his shameless attempts to court the votes of social conservatives are nothing more than dangerous political theater. And many of the so-called Christians who support him via the Value Voters Summit are anything but.
[Featured Image by Evan Vucci/AP]