Can Trump’s poll numbers possibly stay high after what he said about God? AP

As we continue to live in a bizarro world in which Donald Trump holds a growing—currently double-digit—lead in the 2016 Republican primary, the man himself may have (please, please, please) torpedoed his own campaign among conservative Christians:

INTERVIEWER: We’ve got people lined up for questions, so I’ve just got one more: You use the word, “Christian.” Have you ever asked God for forgiveness?
TRUMP: That’s a tough question. I don’t think in terms—that I have. I’m a religious person. Shockingly—people are so shocked when they find this out. I’m Protestant. I’m Presbyterian. And I go to church and I love God and I love my church. …
INTERVIEWER: But have you ever asked God for forgiveness?
TRUMP: I’m not sure I have. I just go and try and do a better job from there. I don’t think so. I think I if I do something wrong I think I just try and make it right. I don’t bring God into that picture. I don’t. Now when I take, you know, when we go to church and when I drink my little wine—which is about the only wine I drink—and have my little cracker I guess that’s a form of asking for forgiveness. I do that as often as possible because I feel cleansed, okay.

As the video continues, Trump is pressed on the nature of his relationship with God, which he mostly uses as an opportunity to brag about his business deals, his time in college, his properties, and more, before switching to a critique of Senator John McCain.

Trump also goes on at length about his love of Norman Vincent Peale, a pop psychologist whose church Trump apparently attended before Peale retired in the 1980s (a 30-year time gap Trump neglects to mention while speaking as if he’d sat under Peale’s tutelage relatively recently). I’m not familiar enough with the details of Peale’s ideas to offer much in the way of a cogent critique, but suffice it to say he is not highly regarded as a theologian.

Now, as I’ve written at The Week, I hardly advocate supporting or opposing a candidate based on their statements about their faith. Too often this leads to a dangerous confusion of church and politics, as well as disingenuous displays of religiosity from politicians.

But while Trump certainly does not seem to be attempting to mislead his audience—a more ill-informed and unattractive description of communion could hardly be developed, not to mention Trump’s unwillingness to even concede that he sins—it is difficult to believe that his poll numbers will stay high among Republicans in general and conservative Christian voters specifically after this debacle.

Of course, this is bizarro world, so what do I know?

Author placeholder image About the author:

Stories You Might Like