The aspiring right Reverend Donald J. Trump has come a long way since his unfortunate “Two Corinthians” slip at Liberty University in January. By surrounding himself with a handpicked cadre of sycophants, er, disciples like Mike Huckabee, Jerry Falwell Jr. and Ralph Reed, he appears to be well on his way to a complete and total conversion.
That said, it’s hard to imagine Trump becoming humble enough to admit there’s a higher power than himself. It’s much easier to envision Trump’s assessment of, say, Saul’s conversion on the road to Damascus as “I think he was a little weak there, going blind just because he saw a bright light. I’m not even sure how bright it was. Many, many people say to me that I have the brightest lights…”
Yes, humility, that most Christian of qualities, might be a stretch for Donald J. Trump as he tries to win evangelical votes.
On the other hand, Trump is a genius at timing. The rise of the so-called Prosperity Gospel preachers (God wants YOU to be rich; in fact it’s honestly all He ever thinks about) fits neatly with the Trump doctrine. No time for losers who make minimum wage, meekly waiting to inherit the earth. What’s that all about?
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Huckabee, who’s angling to be national chairman of Trump’s new Faith Advisory Committee, is the poster child for the Prosperity Gospel types. Born a poor black child in rural Arkansas, today he’s a fat baby of a middle aged white man who lives in a posh seaside mansion in Florida. It should be noted that rumors that Huckabee has a camel out back who tries all day to get through the eye of a needle are just that. Rumors.
Not since Richard Nixon and Billy Graham became the world’s most unlikely besties have we seen such an unexpected alliance.
Falwell, the president of Liberty University, the very buckle of the college chastity belt, seems an unlikely match for Trump, an unrepentant misogynist who might not be able to resist saying “nice rack” to Mary Magdalene if he saw her on the street.
Along with humility and championing the poor, Christianity also embraces forgiveness. This is going to be hard for Trump because he has a “yuuuuuuge” problem admitting when he’s done something wrong. Mistakes? He’s made a few but he’s not exactly concerned about them, certainly not to the point of asking forgiveness. That’s weak or as Trump might call it, “the opposite of strong.”
Also, Christians believe that there will be a day of reckoning when the Almighty judges our time on Earth and decides our eternal fate. Think of it as the boardroom scenes in “The Apprentice” with the faint whiff of brimstone.
“What’s that you got there? The Book of Life? Lousy title. I wrote “The Art of the Deal.” Maybe you heard of it. Number one best-seller. Your book is too big and you can’t even hold it. My book sold phenomenal. Hey, is it hot in here?”