President Donald Trump, the man credibly accused of sexually assaulting numerous women, the man caught on tape bragging about grabbing women’s genitalia without her consent, the man accused of raping a 13-year-old girl, did his best impersonation of a pious, godly man today.
Trump attended the National Prayer Breakfast today in Washington, D.C. reports The Washington Post. The breakfast is an annual gathering of Christians from around the world that has been consistently attended by Trump’s predecessors as well.
The president prattled on about faith during his speech, putting on a show of rank hypocrisy. By all accounts, Trump is a man who adopted the appearance of religiosity as a cynical tool to win the Evangelical vote and help him con his way into the Oval Office.
During his rambling, he made the nonsensical statement that “faith is central to American life and liberty.” Of course, this is not the case for many Americans who are nonpracticing or nonreligious. In this country, there is no requirement and should be no expectation that one believes in God.
Trump also mentioned that American money has the phrase “In God We Trust” emblazoned across it. What he fails to mention — or more likely doesn’t know — is that the phrase was added to our paper money in 1950’s as a way to delineate the United States from the broadly atheist Soviet Union. In other words, it’s not a foundational or even very long-standing aspect of our collective culture.
Trump at National Prayer Breakfast: "Our rights are not given to us by man. Our rights come from our creator. No matter what, no earthly force can take those rights away." pic.twitter.com/UuCmCOgrNJ
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) February 8, 2018
Before attending the event, Trump tweeted, bragging that producer Mark Burnett who created The Apprentice, thereby helping Donald build the national prominence and inflated “dealmaker” persona that eventually allowed him to run for president.
What The Apprentice has to do with prayer is anyone’s guess. Most likely, it was simply a chance for Trump to remind everyone that he once had a successful, overrated reality television show.
Will be heading over shortly to make remarks at The National Prayer Breakfast in Washington. Great religious and political leaders, and many friends, including T.V. producer Mark Burnett of our wonderful 14 season Apprentice triumph, will be there. Looking forward to seeing all!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 8, 2018
Newsweek reports that over 50 Russian political and religious figures also attended the National Prayer Breakfast, which perhaps wouldn’t be noteworthy were it not for the fact that President Trump and his entire administration is currently deeply embroiled in an investigation seeking to discern whether or not the Trump campaign colluded with Putin’s federation to steal the 2016 election. The number of Russian attendees is three times that of last year’s.
Overall, the entire event had a distinctly distasteful air to it. One can’t help but interpret Trump’s calls for a Christian nation through the lens of his previous — at times coded, at times overt— calls for a white nation. His ultimate vision for America is a white, Christian nation, a homogenous, regressive morass at odds with all the best values this country has always represented.