Far too many things are going on in the country right now. The media is stretched thin, I am sure. That said, I was disappointed that they spent as much time as they did (too much, really) on the National Prayer Breakfast.
I’m not the media, though. And our new President’s behavior at his event sickens me. I may struggle with faith, and God, and the afterlife, but I firmly believe that there is sin. I do not presume to state if someone else’s actions rise to the level of sins (I have enough trouble working on my own), but in Donald Trump’s case I am tempted to make an exception.
The National Prayer Breakfast occurs every year, attended by, in addition to the President, 3,500 guests from around the world. Barack Obama quoted Scripture. Donald Trump boasted. To resort to an apt, if massively clichéd saying, if you look up “solipsism” in the dictionary, you’ll see a picture of Trump.
Donald Trump cheapened an event which called for at least the appearance of reverence, for at least the simulacrum of respect. Instead of reverence, Trump joked about how we should pray for Arnold Schwarzenegger because… his ratings were so low on the New Celebrity Apprentice. Instead of respect, Trump engaged in open political pandering, by announcing he was going to eviscerate the Johnson rule, a rule that prevents churches and other nonprofits from endorsing specific candidates for public office. It is as though he could act no other way than he has since he won the presidency — since he began campaigning for the job, really.
It seems he doesn’t understand how to act properly. Have you noticed how since he won last November all his speeches sound so much like what he said at his campaign rallies? Even his inauguration speech, with its darkness and carnage, wasn’t designed to unify the country as much as to scare the bejesus out it.
In the grand scheme of things, what Trump did and said at the National Prayer Breakfast is unimportant. So much else has occurred, so many awful, scary things, that a man standing up and bragging when he should have been invoking the Lord and calling us to look to the better angels of our nature really isn’t all that big a deal.
Except there is only one Savior in Trump-land, and that is Donald J. Trump. Self-idolatry is idolatry nonetheless; a sin, and to the extent we as individuals or a nation celebrate this man — or even normalize his behavior — we become complicit in his sin.
God — whatever Gods or Goddesses there are — help us all.