At Baby’s First National Prayer Breakfast, Trump urged attendees to pray—for Arnold Schwarzenegger. Specifically, he sought the blessings of the Lord upon Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Apprentice ratings. How generous! How noble! How good and pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity!
This is more subtweet than imprecatory prayer, and the Terminator responded accordingly:
Trump became our first orange highlighter-in-chief because 46 percent of the country actually believed he loves Jesus or would at least allow real Jesus-lovers to run the country. The latter is still probably true. Trump returned to his campaign canard, the Johnson Amendment, this morning—he vowed to “totally destroy” it, allowing tax-exempt religious organizations to endorse political candidates. That is what the evangelical leaders in the audience were listening for, and as long as they get what they want they will continue to simper politely while Trump abuses their religion like he’s a cut-rate Norman Vincent Peale. Contrast this to their reaction to former President Obama when he mentioned slavery and the Crusades—gasp!—at 2015’s event.
But faith has never really been what the National Prayer Breakfast is about. As historian Kevin Kruse noted on Twitter today (and in his book, One Nation Under God) the event is rooted in a long-standing campaign to marry fiscal conservatism to religion.
Trump can’t profane something that’s always been profane. All he’s done is pull back the veil.