Donald Trump is an exceptional man in many ways. He proved that during his swearing in ceremony too. He took the oath placing his palm on two bibles one of which was presented by his mother and the other was used by none other than Abraham Lincoln.
I have always wondered what religion really means to people like Trump whose hearts are awash with hatred (in addition to greed, lust, and much else). Trump has his own ‘amen corner’ in Paula White’s place of worship. Ms White is one of the spiritual advisers of Trump. In fact, no less than six such religious persons including Ms White prayed for Trump during his swearing in ceremony. Two bibles and six preachers. And a lot of allegations of the sleazy kind behind the backdrop. Trump is indeed an exceptional man.
The religious people who prayed over him are also exceptional. Paula White uses religion as a commercial enterprise. She is a Prosperity-gospel preacher. God wants you to be rich: that’s their basic teaching. She uses religion to become richer. You become rich and help us also to become rich by giving us a share of your income in the name of God. Her religion is quite as simple as that. “The richer you are, the more God loves you,” she preaches. God is listening to her prayers if her wealth is any indication. No wonder Trump loves her.
Samuel Rodriguez is another right wing preacher who yokes wealth with his god and was invited to pray on the occasion of the swearing-in. In addition to his abiding faith in wealth, he believes that the religious freedom of Christians is under threat in America and Trump will be the Messiah of the Christians. Interestingly, in his first Presidential address, Trump proclaimed himself as the leader of the “lost” people. Should we hear it as the “lost sheep” of the Bible?
Franklin Graham, son of America’s most renowned evangelist Billy Graham, also blessed Trump on the swearing-in occasion with his physical presence. Graham Jr sees devils everywhere: in LGBT people and their supporters, Muslims, “the progressive agenda of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton,” and secularism, to name a few. One of his professed goals is to place the American school education system in the hands of evangelical Christians.
With so much of religious fervour for company, Trump did well with two bibles beneath his palm.
The tragedy is that most people who display their religious fervour so conspicuously end up creating hells for others. If people are willing to donate their money in order to make Paula White richer, it’s their problem and we need not concern ourselves with it. But when those who refuse to make the donations or accept the hate-filled teachings of these preachers as gospel truths are labelled as the lost sheep (or “anti-national” as it happens in India), there is bound to be a problem. That’s why Trump’s double-bible-swearing is portentous.