I grew up in a highly engaged Lutheran family. We went to church every Sunday, even when we were traveling in the summers. I was baptized, confirmed, went to Sunday school and Vacation Bible School. As a teenager I went to the Lutheran youth group and branched out to the Baptist one as well. And then suddenly one day I decided to explore other religious and philosophical thoughts. I became a Christian Zen Buddhist, then a Zen Buddhist, then a Buddhist, then found myself exploring all sorts of wild ideas, wound up leaning towards agnosticism (as atheism lacks full logic, in my humble opinion), and would now consider myself a staunch Diest.
I am not a Christian. I make no bones about it. At the same time, I understand the teachings of Jesus Christ and try to follow them in my life. And though I do not regularly attend church I do so for weddings and funerals (having a particular attraction towards the Catholic tradition and their customs) and attend Christmas Eve Mass every year.
In the past couple of years I have only seen Trump attend church a couple of times. The two I remember were when he want to Senator McCain’s funeral (where he seemed uncomfortable and frankly looked like an ADHD kid trying to escape, especially during things like sermons and liturgies) and when he stood in front of a church with an upside down Bible to do a photo op.
When asked what his favorite book was he joked it was the Bible, after The Art of the Deal. When asked what his favorite verse was he fumbled and said basically all of them.
Some have argued with me somehow that belief that we are all born in sin makes him a Christian because he a) sins and b) claims to believe in the Christian God. This makes no sense. If you believe in Christianity and original sin then a) aren’t I a sinner? And b) does it matter whether or not I say I’m a Christian? God will stand in judgement over my sins, right? Should I get special consideration from you if you say I’m a Christian? And if not, what did Jesus say about treatment of gentiles (what we’d, in the non-Jewish tradition, probably consider non-Christians)?
I could go on and on, but the basic argument that Trump saying he’s a Christian makes everything he does unimportant because he was born into original sin like the rest of us, well, it’s lazy and it’s bullshit. Using that same logic we could have easily have done the same thing with Hitler in Nazi Germany, someone who also claimed to believe in God and His love for the homeland and its chosen status in the world.
I digress. My point is this: Trump is in no, way, shape, or form, a Christian. He is a demagogue. He is a narcissist. He is a racist and a chauvinist. He is self-serving. His behavior demonstrates a complete disinterest in the lessons of Jesus Christ except in how mentioning him will score him points here on earth. And that’s all he cares about, winning. And what better way to win with his base than to use the name of the Lord in vain.