There are few people as divisive as President Donald Trump. Michele Bachmann, the former Minnesota congresswoman and presidential candidate, has her own opinion, and it’s not just good. It’s holy.
On an interview last weekend with a conservative Christian radio show called Understanding These Times, Bachmann, who also served as one of Trump’s evangelical advisers, said the following:
“[Trump] is highly biblical, and I would say to your listeners, we will in all likelihood never see a more godly, biblical president again in our lifetime. So we need to be not only praying for him. We need to support him, in my opinion, in every possible way that we can.”
Ah, yes. Few things are quite as compelling as Trump’s view on holy matters.
Or his commitment to the Christian value of forgiveness.
And not bearing false witness.
And treating your neighbor as you would yourself.
As CNN pointed out, Bachmann is far from the first evangelical to see Trump as a “godly” figure. (Fox Business host Lou Dobbs has even suggested that the president is a literal godsend.) But when the religious right praises Trump, it’s usually less about his knowledge of or ability to live up to Christian teachings, and more about his hardline stances on “Israel and abortion,” or his military ban on transgender personnel – which Bachmann praised in that same interview.
When people call Trump “religious” or “godly” or “Christian,” it usually has more to do with whom he denies than whom he loves -- be they Muslim, pro-choice, or trans. And there is a sect – white evangelical Protestants – with whom it has earned him a 69 percent approval rating.
But they don’t speak for everyone. If you ask non-evangelical protestants of all races (50 percent approval rating), black protestants (12 percent), and even white Catholics (44 percent) Trump is garnering significantly less favor.
If there’s a lesson to be learned here, it’s that we as a nation don’t agree on what it means to be a good Christian, let alone a good person.