After President Donald Trump posed with a bible before the entrance to St. John’s Episcopal Church in Washington, D.C., a local pastor asked why he didn’t go inside and read from that book. The answer appears similar to why the money changers of Jesus’ time stood outside the doors of the temple. They were not interested in what occurred within the temple, but in what profit they might gain from its faithful attendees. That appeared to be Donald Trump’s motivation outside the door of St John’s — to politically “money change” religious sentiment. But as to the bible he propped up for his photo, he demonstrates little knowledge of its content.
When asked in a 2016 radio interview what his favorite biblical passage was, he cited “an eye for an eye,” concluding that “We have to be very firm ... we can learn a lot from the Bible.” What he apparently has not learned from the Bible is Jesus’ later renouncement of eye-for-eye revenge in Matthew 5:38-39. Christians who know something more of the Bible should be appalled at Donald Trump’s vengeful, divisive rhetoric, and should be repulsed by his attempts to make political merchandise of their faith.