As I explained in the initial edition of the Sunday edition of the French Press, one of the fundamental goals of this newsletter is to bridge the gap between secular and religious readers. That certainly means explaining the basics of religious belief amid public controversies—helping the mainstream media to “get religion” in New York Times executive editor Dean Baquet’s memorable phrase. But it also means identifying the trite, the silly, and the sometimes manipulative aspects of religious political rhetoric. And that brings us to today’s topic, whether God chose Donald Trump and what the answer to that question means for America’s Christian citizens.
Rick Perry meant well, I think.
The latest version of this controversy kicked off when Fox News’s Ed Henry interviewed former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, and this part of Perry’s comments rocketed across Twitter (with 5.8 million views and counting):
God uses imperfect people through history. King David wasn’t perfect. Saul wasn’t perfect. Solomon wasn’t perfect. And I actually gave the president a one-pager on those Old Testament kings about a month ago. And I shared it with him and I said, ‘Mr. President, I know there are people who say that you say you were the chosen one.’ And said, ‘You were.’ I said, ‘If you are a believing Christian, you understand God’s plan for the people who rule and judge over us on this planet in our government.’