Last Tuesday, during a 50-minute interview on Fox & Friends, President Trump claimed that Joe Biden wants to take away God from Texans.
“They want to take away your guns, your oil, and your God. That’s what they want,” Trump claimed over the phone. “That’s not for Texas. Texas is not going to be losing their guns and they’re not going to be losing their oil and they’re not going to be losing their religion or their God.”
This spectacularly inane claim recalls a similarly stupid accusation made by the reality game show host and longtime scammer turned president in a separate interview with Fox News’ Geraldo Rivera back in August. “He’s against the Bible,” Trump said of Biden at the time. When Rivera responded by noting it was “harsh” to say this about a devout Catholic, Trump — a heathen by literal definition — countered with, “Well, the people who control him totally are. It may be a little harsh for him, but he’s going to have no control.”
Even then, Trump invoked Texas, seemingly disgusted that he was only leading his challenger by one point at the time. (Spoiler: his polling never got any better.) Since then, he’s made these claims elsewhere — notably in other swing states like Ohio and North Carolina.
Trump is too simple for his shtick to be confusing, but for clarity’s sake: Donald Trump is repurposing a familiar trope from Republican campaigns that the Democrat candidate is godless by virtue of not being as culturally conservative as their side is. And it’s not just guns they’re referring to. When Trump mentions the Bible, he’s really nodding to the issues of abortion and any sexuality that rates above zero on The Kinsey Scale.
Despite claims to the contrary, Jesus did not spend all his time on Earth talking about butt sex, lesbians, and what to do with one’s uterus.
For some evangelicals, Biden’s Catholicism is already a source of ire. As someone raised Catholic, I repeatedly had to explain to inquiring minds that Catholics don’t actually “worship the Virgin Mary,” and thus were no less Christian, even if their mass is shorter and their music doesn’t slap as hard as your Baptists’. There is a genuine anti-Catholic bias, but not the kind Republicans have been harping about in defense of Amy Coney Barrett. At the same time, the very religious Catholics out there — say, the Catholic League types — loathe queer people and women who want autonomy over their bodies the same way many of their evangelical friends do.
That is where people “from both sides” meet.
What all these sects of Christianity share is the silly notion that if we banned abortion and sodomy, the United States would somehow magically become the virtuous land it’s never proven to be. Sadly, often, this has been a winning strategy for Republicans, but when the man professing to be defending God and Christian values is Donald Trump, irony and common knowledge about his various strains of indecency ought to highlight what a crock of shit such a claim is. Yet, many people give nods to Trump for purportedly upholding Christian values in America anyway.
And it’s never been just White people.
The week Trump made his repeated claim that Biden has beef with God and will banish the Lord if elected in November, an old clip from The Real featuring the gospel group Mary Mary resurfaced. Tina Campbell, who I used to refer to as “Mean Mary” when I devoured their eponymous WE tv reality series, pissed off plenty of those who consider themselves blessed and highly favored when she revealed her support of Trump. To hear her tell it, the con man and serial adulterer who began his campaign maligning Mexicans as “rapists” and promising to ban Muslims from entering America spoke to her faith and values far more than Hillary Clinton did.