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Trump and Christianity

(26 Posts)
Foldedtshirt Sat 04-Feb-17 20:36:40

Can anyone shed any light on what's motivating Trump? Far be it from me to throw shade on anyone's faith (I'm Evangelical/ Born Again/ Catholic) but I'm utterly stumped about Trumps support amongst Christians. I've heard several vox pops saying they really believe he's a changed man, that they can see God's hand in his work and I'm at a loss to see any evidence of that.

DorkusDelonghi Sat 04-Feb-17 20:39:44

I am at a loss as well. I have American Christian friends who support him and they have no coherent argument for his supposed Christianity. I was genuinely appalled to hear an African American Pastor (minister? Sorry, don't want to call him the wrong thing) endorse Trump on BBC radio 4. It genuinely came across as farcical.

And yes the "he's a changed man, he's been humbled by God" is all I've heard. Meaningless tripe.

Foldedtshirt Sat 04-Feb-17 20:44:05

Dorkus it's baffling isn't it? I was prompted to start this thread after reading on another one, 'he's not come to start ww3', and thinking, hmm I think that's exactly what some people hope is happening, end of days etc.

Mindtrope Sun 05-Feb-17 05:46:04

Not baffling to me at all.

Christianity is a selfish misogynistic system of control and suits Trump well.

WhereYouLeftIt Sun 05-Feb-17 05:59:09

"I've heard several vox pops saying they really believe he's a changed man, that they can see God's hand in his work "
They're seeing what they want to see. After all, many's the bishop that believed the paedophile priest when they said they wouldn't do it again. There's a worrying naivety that takes 'I have found the Lord' (or whatever Trump is saying) literally and doesn't look for proof. They so want it to be true they will not allow themseves to see hypocrisy and a con-artist.

As for 'changed man' - changed from what? Changed to what?

picklemepopcorn Sun 05-Feb-17 06:17:37

By their fruits you shall know them.

The thing is there seems in America to be a kind of old fashioned social Christianity about everyone knowing their place. Very middle class, really. It's about PLU and fitting in. Being Naice.

Absolutely nothing to do with radical Christianity at all. No social justice, just social control.

It's embarrassing, frankly. Hey ho!

BroomstickOfLove Sun 05-Feb-17 09:56:44

I think it's a case of my enemy's enemy being my friend. There are plenty on the Christian Right who see Trump's aims as similar enough to their own to support him.

WhirlwindHugs Sun 05-Feb-17 10:22:04

It's an interesting question. I think US and European churches quite often focus on different things, and that may account for a big chunk of it.

Someone whose religious focus is on how belief in God can make their life better is going to be totally different to someone who thinks it should be guiding them in how to make the whole world better.

Some US christian groups seem to be very tied up in obsessing over how government legislation treats itself as above biblical law and is therefore pretty much always the enemy. Someone like Trump who is anti-taxation (and other controversial interpretations of what a biblical law should actually be) suits them because they have the same goals even if they don't genuinely believe in his christian credentials.

I know discussing this with a US friend she said she knew lots of people who believed that no matter how godly someone's behaviour if you haven't been baptised you won't be saved. I very rarely meet European Christians with that view.

Bumply Sun 05-Feb-17 10:35:50

CardinalSin Sun 05-Feb-17 10:49:19

What MindTrope said, with bells on.

thegreenheartofmanyroundabouts Sun 05-Feb-17 12:53:21

My impression of Christianity in the USA is that there are more conservative churches with a literal understanding of scripture and a patriarchal approach to leadership than there are in the UK. There has always been an isolationist strand in American politics so I can see how the idea of a strong leader who will sort out the (perceived) mess could be appealing especially in the face of growing globalisation and austerity.

I do wonder how American Christians are able to elect Donald Trump with his focus on keeping out the stranger and removing protections and healthcare for the most vulnerable in society. You do have to ignore quite a lot of Jesus' teachings to do that.

DorkusDelonghi Sun 05-Feb-17 13:00:15

I do wonder how American Christians are able to elect Donald Trump with his focus on keeping out the stranger and removing protections and healthcare for the most vulnerable in society.

According to my FB feed, they do it just fine. They are the scourge of America - the far right, proto-fascist ideological bigots.

Mindtrope Sun 05-Feb-17 13:11:54

I totally get it.

Much of my family are extremely religious, and they love Trump.

thegreenheartofmanyroundabouts Sun 05-Feb-17 16:51:24

"The crisis in the U.S. church has almost nothing to do with being liberal or conservative; it has everything to do with giving up on the faith and discipline of our Christian baptism and settling for a common, generic U.S. identity that is part patriotism, part consumerism, part violence, and part affluence."

-Walter Brueggemann

I found this whilst looking for something else which is interesting from someone inside American Christianity.

Foldedtshirt Sun 05-Feb-17 17:38:30

Mindtrope is that Christians in The US? So far the Christians here I've spoken to are devastated.

picklemepopcorn Sun 05-Feb-17 19:12:40

I do wonder how American Christians are able to elect Donald Trump with his focus on keeping out the stranger and removing protections and healthcare for the most vulnerable in society. You do have to ignore quite a lot of Jesus' teachings to do that.

This. The Christianity that many people and churches seem to espouse seems to ignore Jesus' teaching. Frustrating for those of us who don't.

Campfiresmoke Sun 05-Feb-17 23:23:34

He's a politician. He's after votes where ever he can and I am sure would pretend to be Muslim if running for office in a Muslim majority country. He clearly isn't Christian. He doesn't love his neighbour only himself.

Campfiresmoke Sun 05-Feb-17 23:25:19

Mindtrope all the Christians I know (vicar included) are against Trump. I don't honestly see how any Christian can be for him.

Lessstressedhemum Mon 06-Feb-17 09:27:29

He is possibly the least Christian person that I have ever come across. He has no love for anyone except himself and as for caring for outsiders, come on.
It completely baffles me how any Christian person can support him in any way. I do, however, firmly believe that a lot of these American "Christians" are nothing of the sort. They are hateful, narrow minded bigots that use a twisted interpretation of Jesus as a shield for their own nasty beliefs. They also see what they want to see and will spout any old guff to try to justify themselves.

It makes things really difficult for people who genuinely try to live as Jesus taught.

CardinalSin Mon 06-Feb-17 09:52:28

And here it comes again; My interpretation of Jesus is right, your interpretation of Jesus is wrong.

If only some omnipotent, omniscient being was wise and powerful enough to make sure that everything was crystal clear...

Lessstressedhemum Mon 06-Feb-17 10:07:44

I don't think that's what I meant. From the Gospels, it's quite clear that Jesus taught that people should love their neighbour and care for the marginalised, Trump and his supporters are pretty much the antithesis of that.

I don't want or need to justify my interpretation of Jesus nor do I think mine is necessarily the right one, but, as far as I can see, one represented by Donald Trump can't possibly be right.

Madhairday Mon 06-Feb-17 10:33:40

My understanding is also that in the US politics and faith have had an odd and damaging kind of partnership and the whole American dream rhetoric has been mixed in with a brand of Christianity that has suited the patriarchal ideology of the right wing. Read Shane Claibornes writing on faith and politics in the US, it's fascinating. He too wonders why that brand of Christianity has wandered so very far from Jesus' teachings.

I'm truly baffled also why any Christian person or person of faith or actually any person at all would want Trump in office. He terrifies me. Not one of the Christians I know has shown any support whatsoever - just the opposite.

I think he will twist anything to have his control and map his ideology. I think times ahead are very worrying.

Mind, I don't think your family members are representative of Christianity. I've read about them before and from what you've said seem to occupy a religious right YEC position, and have also failed to display the life changing love of Jesus. I'm so sorry they have hurt you but please don't tar all Christians with the same brush. I know as well as anyone that there are badly behaved folk who are Christians. And that I fail a lot.

Jesus for President: Politics for Ordinary Radicals

Yoksha Mon 06-Feb-17 16:54:17

Read this yesterday. You might find it interesting.

Scaredycat3000 Fri 10-Feb-17 23:16:53

I'm utterly stumped about Trumps support amongst Christians
It really isn't complicated, history and a basic understanding of society in USA explains why and religion is a bit of a misleading explanation. First of all for xtians if you are offended by my use of xtian get yourself a history lesson in that read southern, red neck, racist, creationist, confederate, gun carrying, xtians. Whilst you are busy calling them un-xtian, they would probably call you un-xtian. You all interpret your books differently, first it was to split off Islam and xtianty away from Judaism. Then each split up into different denominations which continues up to this day. But the relevant one is explained in the BBC4 documentary The Mayflower Pilgrims: Behind the Myth. Basically a new style of Puritan intolerant xtians formed and many followers decided to leave for a new life so they could follow their strict interpretation of the bible, Britain was to liberal for them. They ended up founding America. So it is not surprising that such a new nation founded by what we considered extremists then, now have very different, literal, conservative, interpretation of xtianity compared to the liberal UK. That is also why it is fine to come out as gay in the UK, but could end your career in USA, the same group that voted for Trump would boycott your work. It can also be seen by comparing the hugely popular Operation christmas child Uk and the USA version, very different messages for exactly the same campaign. Mainstream xtianity in Britain whilst varied is a lot milder than mainstream xtianity in America. If you want understand you need to work out what passages of the bible are important to them and how they interpret them.

Yoksha Sat 11-Feb-17 11:50:24


As an aside to your post. I was in a cult who claim they are xtians. They interpreted the bible strangely. I spent 32yrs studying the bible & have come to the conclusion that you could spend your whole life looking at the bible & still be none the wiser.

Interesting post tho'. Did you manage to read Steve Bannon's address to the Vatican? It's got little to do with xtianity! & more to do with justification of thinking some humans are more superior than others.

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