While Kathryn surely is correct that too much has been made of the pope’s purported criticism of Donald Trump — Sean Hannity was practically reading Chick tracts on the air yesterday, slathering the pope with everything from the Vatican’s investment portfolio to clerical sex scandals in his perfervid defense of Trump — but I wonder: Why should Donald Trump’s religious views be beyond question?
It is eminently fair to ask what Trump would consider beyond the pale in criticizing his own rivals, and the answer to that question pretty plainly is: nothing. This is, after all, a man who avoided the draft with the help of imaginary bone spurs who nonetheless felt confident in mocking John McCain’s endurance of torture in a Vietnamese prison camp.
Never mind Trump’s adultery and the pride he takes in it, never mind his desire for a hippie-style “open marriage,” never mind the bearing of false witness, the coveting, etc. Trump explicitly rejects the fundamentals of Christianity, i.e. man’s fallen state and his need for reconciliation with God. When asked about that, Trump made it clear that he doesn’t believe he needs to be forgiven for anything, that he just needs to — in his words — “drink my little wine and have my little cracker.”
Maybe Trump is a man of sincere Christian conviction. Maybe Bill Clinton is, too, in the privacy of his own heart. But it is the public man we have to consider in the case of Bill Clinton, and it is the public man we have to consider in the case of Clinton’s financial benefactor and sometime golf buddy, Donald Trump.
Trump is a man who will lie to anyone about anything: Why wouldn’t he lie to voters about his faith?