Trump’s inauguration was an alarming display of religiosity for those who value the separation of church and state.
More like a church service than a government ceremony, the inauguration of Donald J. Trump signals the ascendancy of conservative Christians to political power, and the ominous and growing threat of a Christian theocracy for the United States.
In his inauguration address Trump spoke for only 16 minutes, yet he invoked the notion of God multiple times. At one point Trump referenced the Bible:
When you open your heart to patriotism, there is no room for prejudice. The Bible tells us how good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity.
Later, he said:
Whether a child is born in the urban sprawl of Detroit or the wind-swept plains of Nebraska, they look up at the same night sky, they will their heart with the same dreams, and they are infused with the breath of life by the same almighty Creator.
He also promised a holy war by criticizing Islam, and promising to “eradicate” radical Islamic terrorism from the face of the earth:
We will re-enforce old alliances and form new ones and unite the civilized world against radical Islamic terrorism, which we will eradicate completely from the face of the earth.
And at another point in his speech Trump promised that Americans had nothing to fear because “we will be protected by God”:
There should not be fear. We are protected and we will always be protected. We will be protected by the great men and women of our military and law enforcement, and, most important, we will be protected by God.
In addition to Trump’s multiple references to God, six faith leaders (five Christians, one Jew) were invited to lead prayers at the ceremony: Cardinal Timothy Dolan, archbishop of New York; Rev. Franklin Graham of the Billy Graham Evangelical Association; Rabbi Marvin Hier, founder of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles; Bishop Wayne T. Jackson, pastor at Great Faith Ministries International Church in Detroit; Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference; and Pastor Paula White, of the New Destiny Christian Center in Florida.
The number of religious speakers at Trump’s inauguration was much larger in contrast to other recent inaugurations. Pew Research Center reports:
The last seven presidential inaugurations, since the elder Bush’s in 1989, have had one or two members of the clergy offering prayers and readings.
Yet the alarming and overwhelming Christian influence at Trump’s inauguration should come as no surprise. On the campaign trail Trump promised that Christians would receive special treatment and consideration if he were to be elected president, and he has often indicated that he would move the nation closer to a Christian theocracy if given the chance.
Bottom line: Trump’s inauguration sets the stage for a Christian theocracy.