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Trump Has Never Had Either Respect For Nor Understanding Of Religion



You remember this crackpot photo at St. John’s Church in June 2020, and the uproar that ensued around it, right? Turns out-- according to Mark Meadows' new book-- that it was Ivanka's brilliant idea. Jack Jenkins of Religion News Service reported that Meadows wrote "it was Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, who came up with the idea to 'send a message to people of faith.' But the book chapter essentially avoids mention of religious outcry at the stunt, nor does it note the forced removal of a priest and a seminarian from the patio of the church during the clearing of racial justice demonstrators from Lafayette Square outside the White House, which occurred right before the event... Meadows also writes that Trump’s aides scrambled to find a Bible for the president to use on June 1, pulling ones from their offices and stacking them on a desk outside the Oval Office. Trump, he says, ultimately chose one of the Bibles less because of its appearance and more for 'the way it felt in his hands.'... The book does not linger on the reaction to the Bible photo-op, aside from mentioning later that it garnered negative press. Although lauded by several of Trump’s evangelical faith advisers, it evoked fierce criticism in other religious circles-- especially among leaders of the Episcopal Church. 'The symbolism of (Trump) holding a Bible … as a prop and standing in front of our church as a backdrop when everything that he has said is antithetical to the teachings of our traditions and what we stand for as a church-- I was horrified,' [Rt Rev. Mariann Budde, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington that oversees the church] told RNS at the time. The Rt. Rev. Michael Curry, presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, also accused Trump of using 'a church building and the Holy Bible for partisan political purposes.'"

But the evangelical community stuck with the godless Trump-- and still does. Although... according to the Washington Post's Setev Hendrix this morning, some evangelical Trump allies are a little shaken by Trump's narcissistic attacks on Netanyahu in recent days. One of the crackpots, Mike Evans, a Trump Israel advisor, warned Trump in a letter that "he risked alienating his Christian base by distancing himself from the Israeli leader.


“Fuck him,” Trump was quoted as saying of Netanyahu. “The first person that congratulated [Biden] was Bibi Netanyahu, the man that I did more for than any other person I dealt with.”
In the interviews, Trump also said Netanyahu never seemed genuinely interested in seeking peace with the Palestinians. Conversely, the former president heaped praise on Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, describing him as “terrific” and “almost like a father.”
“Fuck him,” Trump was quoted as saying of Netanyahu. “The first person that congratulated [Biden] was Bibi Netanyahu, the man that I did more for than any other person I dealt with.”
“Please, I beg of you, don‘t put us in the position to choose between you and Bible land,” the letter said. “There is no possibility you can win again if Bible-believing evangelicals see you as the ‘Fuck Netanyahu’ president who considers Abbas a father-like figure and blames the State of Israel, and not the Palestinians, for not making peace.”
Evans has been one of Trump’s most visible, and controversial, supporters in Israel, where he travels frequently. He founded the Friends of Zion Museum in downtown Jerusalem, which was festooned with a 40-foot “God Bless Trump” after the embassy move was announced. That was one of several times Evans paid to have posters hung around the city, all celebrating Trump’s support for policies favored by Netanyahu and his right-wing allies.
In 2017, he presented Trump with a “Friend of Zion” award at a White House ceremony, proclaiming that “no American president in history has done more to defend the Jewish people.”
Evans is also a longtime backer of Netanyahu. When the former prime minister was ousted from office over the summer after failing to win a parliamentary majority in four straight elections, Evans created a stir in Israel by accusing the opposition of trying to “crucify” Netanyahu and rushing to Jerusalem in an unsuccessful attempt to address the Knesset.
...[Trump] reserved his greatest fury for Netanyahu’s decision to join other world leaders in congratulating Biden when news organizations declared him the election winner. Despite Trump’s assertion, Netanyahu was not the first to call the president-elect and was criticized by some for waiting a half-day before offering his good wishes in a statement and video.
“I haven’t spoken to him since,” Trump is quoted as saying.

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