Donald Trump is pandering to the Christian right rubes in Iowa just as fast as he can, playing on their fear that Christianity is losing sway over American culture (they’re right, and good) and promising that if he’s elected president, Christianity will regain its dominance. As if it didn’t still have enormous political influence despite having lost some measure of privilege in recent decades.
Billionaire businessman Donald Trump suggested on Saturday that he would have had “less difficulty” if he had proposed barring Christians from entering the US instead of Muslims.
Last December, the Republican presidential front-runner ignited a national firestorm by proposing to suspend all Muslim immigration and tourist travel into the US.
“If I said that about Christians, and if I said ‘banned,’ I’m telling you I would have had less difficulty,” Trump said Saturday. “And that’s pretty sad, because we’re Christians. I’m Protestant. I’m Presbyterian.”
That is, of course, patently ridiculous. The fact that it would never even occur to him, or anyone else, to propose such a thing, shows just how wrong he is and how he’s inventing this false equivalence. What percentage of Republicans would support a ban on Christian immigration and tourism? About 0%. And yet a majority of Republicans, and a far-too-high percentage of Democrats, support his proposal to ban Muslims.
“I’m a true believer. And you’re many true believers — I hope all — is everybody a true believer in this room? I think so. But Christianity is under tremendous siege,” Trump told supporters at Dordt College, a Christian liberal-arts school.
The real-estate mogul lamented that Christians do not wield as much political influence in the US as they could.
“The power of our group of people together, I mean, if you add it up … it could be 240, 250 million. And yet we don’t exert the power that we should have. Now, I think some of the churches are afraid of their tax status, to be honest,” he said.“But you know the fact is that there is nothing the politicians can do to you if you band together. You have too much power. But the Christians don’t use their power,” Trump said. “We have to strengthen. Because we are getting — if you look, it’s death by a million cuts — we are getting less and less and less powerful in terms of a religion, and in terms of a force,” he continued.
Yeah, because 90+% of all elected seats in this country is just not enough power, is it? And then back to that stupid war on Christmas nonsense:
“When they don’t want to say ‘merry Christmas’ in department stores anymore. I won’t shop at places that don’t say ‘merry Christmas.’ Guess what? I don’t too much shopping,” he said to applause. “No, no, it’s true. When I see these stores, and they have a red wall and they have nothing on it. They don’t want to say ‘merry Christmas’ anymore. I say, ‘Why don’t you say merry Christmas?'”
Trump vowed to change the department-store situation when it comes to wishing people “merry Christmas.”
“I’ll tell you one thing: I get elected president, we’re going to be saying ‘merry Christmas’ again. Just remember that,” he said. “And by the way, Christianity will have power, without having to form.”
He added: “Because if I’m there, you’re going to have plenty of power. You don’t need anybody else. You’re going to have somebody representing you very, very well. Remember that.”
No word yet on how he’s going to make people say Merry Christmas after being elected. Or on why his own company sends out cards that say Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas. How does any sentient being take him seriously on any of this?