Saturday, September 9, 2017

What did Donald Trump do today?

He praised himself through a somewhat unusual surrogate.

In an interview this morning, megachurch pastor and longtime Trump associate Paula White praised Trump's spirituality and called him "a man of repentance." Specifically, she said, "Our president 100 percent is a Christian who understands receiving faith by the grace of the Lord Jesus. He understands repentance, and I’ve seen him on many occasions in private and even in public.”

There is no way to know for sure what White, who recently said that "whether people like it or not, " Trump had been "raised up by God," has observed in private. But Trump himself is on the record as saying that he has never asked God for forgiveness, unless taking communion counts. (It does not, at least in the Presbyterian faith Trump is theoretically a member of.)

As for public expressions of repentance--to God or humanity--there is very little evidence that Trump has ever expressed contrition or asked forgiveness for anything, ever. The one debatable exception, in Trump's 71-year lifespan, came after the release of the Access Hollywood tape in which he was recorded bragging, among other things, about grabbing women's genitals without their consent. His political career on the line, Trump growled out an apology, though not before denying that the tape reflected on him in any way. Otherwise, as Trump himself put it: "Why do I have to repent or ask for forgiveness, if I am not making mistakes?"

So what?

  • Most Christians believe that only one person has ever been beyond the need for repentance, and that he had some fairly unambiguous views on the subject.
  • The state of Trump's soul is his own business, but an inability to acknowledge that one is capable of error is a symptom of very serious mental health issues.