Having already adopted the language of the anti-abortion movement and received the endorsements of its leaders such as Operation Rescue’s Troy Newman, Priests for Life’s National Director Frank Pavone, and Susan B. Anthony List president Marjorie Dannenfelser, along with culture warriors such as Phyllis Schlafly, Donald Trump will now do what Donald Trump does best: get paid.
Bloomberg News reports that Trump has set a goal of soliciting 200,000 contributions from the evangelical community.
The article goes on to describe some odd contortions that some of Trump’s conservative Christian supporters are going through to justify their endorsements of the thrice-married New York businessman.
Bloomberg’s Kevin Cirilli and Jennifer Jacobs write:
At one recent meeting with Trump, evangelical leaders noted how he often flashes a signature hand gesture, with a thumb out and a finger point to the sky, as he enters and exits rallies.
“You see athletes do it all the time and it’s their chance to point to the sky, to thank God for their success,” said Pastor Mark Burns, CEO of a Christian television network based in South Carolina. “Trump does this all of the time, too. He’s giving reverence to the man upstairs.”
“Even with Mr. Trump’s billions of dollars, he too still submits himself to God,” said Burns, who has become a top Trump surrogate and a staple on the campaign trail, frequently introducing the candidate at rallies. “We should all chip in to help him out. You know, even a billionaire needs some cash flow.”
The article also notes that according to Burns, he sees “Mr. Trump’s personal and professional connection to his faith at every rally where I introduce him.”
The truth is these justifications should be unnecessary. Politically, Trump has bent over backwards to please the Christian Right, which initially had been quite skeptical of his candidacy.
Since becoming the Republican nominee Trump has adopted the language and policies of the antiabortion movement. He also hired former hill staffer John Mashburn as his policy director, to the rave reviews of anti-abortion leaders, and he recently released a slate of Supreme Court picks, any one of whom would shift the court far to the Right and all of whom anti-choice activists seem to be confident would help them to roll back reproductive rights.
Furthermore, Trump’s declaration that “we are going to staring saying Merry Christmas again” is drawn directly from the rhetoric of the Christian conservative movement, which has taken to claiming that sales clerks wishing their customers “happy holidays” amounts to a “war on Christmas.” He also promised to create a Christian “lobby” by removing IRS regulations that prevent churches from engaging in partisan politics.
This all makes sense in the context of Donald Trump. If he is going to have to cite “two Corinthians” in a speech, he might as well profit from it.