The United States of America is no stranger to mixing politics with Christianity. Religion has always played a significant role in American politics, and politicians frequently invoke their faith to appeal to voters. However, in recent years, the connection between politics and Christianity has become increasingly fraught.
This is evident in the examples of former President Donald Trump and current President Joe Biden, both of whom have used religion to further their political ambitions, with varying degrees of success.
Donald Trump, during his time in office, was notorious for his attempts to appeal to conservative Christians. Despite being a thrice-married businessman with a history of infidelity and questionable business practices, Trump presented himself as a champion of Christian values. He frequently invoked religious language and quoted from the Bible, despite his well-known lack of familiarity with scripture.
One of the most ridiculous and comical moments of Trump’s presidency was his infamous “Two Corinthians” gaffe. During a speech at Liberty University, a conservative Christian college, Trump referred to “Two Corinthians” instead of “Second Corinthians,” revealing his lack of familiarity with the Bible.
The incident was widely mocked on social media and in the press, with many people pointing out that Trump’s claim to be a devout Christian was undermined by his obvious lack of knowledge of the Bible.
Trump’s attempts to align himself with conservative Christians were also undermined by his own behavior. His history of infidelity, vulgar language, and questionable business practices made it difficult for him to portray himself as a moral leader.
His policies, such as his attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act and his crackdown on immigration, were at odds with many Christian teachings, such as the obligation to care for the sick and the stranger. Not to mention his strange following from Evangelicals. From the disturbing support of Christian nationalism to the claims of Trump being some type of prophet for the end days.
Joe Biden, on the other hand, has also sought to appeal to Christian voters, but in a very different way. Biden is a practicing Catholic, and he has frequently cited his faith as a source of inspiration and guidance.
However, he has been criticized by some conservative Christians for his support of abortion rights and same-sex marriage, both of which are at odds with conservative Catholic teaching.
Biden’s attempts to appeal to Christian voters have been less overt than Trump’s, but they have still been a significant part of his political strategy. During his campaign, he frequently invoked religious language, such as when he quoted from the hymn “On Eagle’s Wings” during his victory speech.
He has also been careful not to overplay his religious beliefs, recognizing that his views on social issues may put him at odds with some Christian voters. Also, the Biden administration is taking a risky support of gender transition surgery for children to be normalized in the near future.
The differences between Trump and Biden’s approaches to religion and politics illustrate the fundamental problem with mixing the two. When politicians try to use religion to further their political ambitions, they run the risk of appearing insincere or hypocritical.
When politicians claim to represent a particular religious group, they can create divisions and fuel animosity between different communities.
Furthermore, mixing politics and Christianity can be comical when politicians lack basic knowledge of religious scriptures and teachings, as in Trump’s case. The level of hypocrisy when politicians make grand religious declarations that are at odds with their personal behavior is also humorous.
While the connection between politics and Christianity in America is long-standing, it is not without its problems. Politicians who attempt to use religion to further their political ambitions often run the risk of appearing insincere or hypocritical.
When politicians claim to represent a particular religious group, they can create divisions and fuel animosity between different communities. The examples of Donald Trump and Joe Biden illustrate these issues, as well as the comical and ridiculous results that can arise when politicians mix religion and politics.
As such, it is important for politicians to be mindful of the potential pitfalls of mixing politics with religion and to tread carefully when invoking their faith in the public sphere.
It also begs the question, “What do with another Christian who voted differently than me?”. See, I think that is where the issue lies. Whomever the politician is, it matters little. What is important is how we treat each other when it comes to opposing political views.
Throughout Christian history, it has shown to be a big issue. We just can’t help to divide over partisan politics. Maybe, we can start doing it right and not fall trap to tribalism when it comes to politics.
There’s more to the Jesus way than being a social justice warrior or a 2nd amendment supporter. Give to Caesar what is Caesars and give to God what is Gods, right? Participants in the universal Christ were never meant to have two masters. I think it’s high time we let go of our political idols and just start loving God and others.