March 23, 2023

Trump just exploited prayer in an unprecedented assault on the free press

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In a press conference this morning, President Trump took a victory lap touting how he has managed to squeeze the first legislative victory of his inaugural year in office into the last days of 2017 — stealing from average Americans to make the rich richer and the poor poorer with his tax scam that passed both houses today.

Apparently, at Cabinet meetings, Housing Department secretary Ben Carson has introduced a new theocratic tradition of saying a prayer, going against everything the Founding Fathers intended when they established the separation of church and state.

Before Carson launched into his prayer celebrating the tax bill that treats the poor, sick, young, old, and disabled in ways that would make Jesus Christ himself shudder, Trump took the opportunity to use fake religion to attack America’s free press. 

To the reporters covering the smug gloating session, Trump said:

You can stay if you want to because you need the prayer more than I do, I think.  You may be the only ones.  Maybe a good solid prayer and they’ll be honest, Ben, is that possible?  So, Ben we’ll ask you to say Grace.

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Trump has called the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution “disgusting.”  Any coverage of the things he says and does, he labels “fake news” because it reports exactly how vile he  really is.

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Meanwhile, he and his administration attempt to create their own flattering reality with “alternative facts.”

The president has illustrated his abject ignorance of the Bible on more than one occasion. When it is convenient, however, to invoke Christianity in the crudest and most un-Christian of terms — to divide the electorate with base accusations of a “war on Christmas”, for example — Trump will seize on every possible opportunity.

His “Christian” inner circle includes faux pious charlatans like Ben Carson and Vice President Mike Pence.  In the same meeting today, Pence buttered up his boss with dulcet remarks about the tax bill being “a middle-class miracle.”

There is nothing miraculous about a bill that takes healthcare away from 13 million Americans, removes deductions for teachers who buy their own supplies while allowing deductions for private jets and gargantuan inheritances, erodes reproductive rights, balloons the debt by up to $2.7 trillion, and awards 83% of all revenues to the wealthiest 1%. 

The only thing sacred here is our Constitution, with its free press, separation of church and state, and endowment of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness to all citizens.  Yet the president and his cronies seem willing to trample that with a consistency that borders on religious.

Lucia Brawley

Lucia Brawley is a Harvard- and Yale-educated writer, producer, actor, and political organizer. She runs the progressive political Facebook group Consenting to Lead. To learn more, please go to Follow her on Twitter: @luciabrawley

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