Politics "Trump" All
Is there anything candidates won't do to appeal to voters?
In an increasingly secularized society, presidential candidates still feel the need to reference the Bible in their campaigns to appeal to evangelical voters, but this obvious pandering often proves their unfamiliarity with the Bible, evident in many misquotations, misinterpretations, and vague answers, especially in the case of Donald Trump.
"We're going to protect Christianity. I can say that. I don't have to be politically correct. … Two Corinthians, 3:17, that's the whole ballgame … is that the one you like?"
2 Corinthians 3:17
Why do candidates quote the Bible while they campaign, regardless of their personal beliefs?
There is separation of church and state...but what about religion and politics?
Candidates and voters alike have the freedom of religion and are legally allowed to speak openly about their religion. Many politicians, especially Christians, implement their religion into the policies that they support and use their religion as reasoning for the policies they disagree with. For example, Christian politicians are often known to be vocal about their opinions on same-sex marriage, reproductive rights, and other controversial issues.
Presidential candidates in particular, however, choose to make biblical references and meet with religious people/leaders at an opportune time for themselves to help their campaigns and potential votes, despite their past words, actions, and beliefs that may contradict what they are currently saying. This is obvious pandering to voters, unlike some other acting politicians who truly believe in and stand by their religion for their entire careers.
Donald Trump - Mistakes and Misquotations
- 2 Corinthians
- “When I drink my little wine — which is about the only wine I drink — and have my little cracker, I guess that is a form of asking for forgiveness, and I do that as often as possible because I feel cleansed."
- “The Bible means a lot to me, but I don’t want to get into specifics.”
- says he likes the Old Testament and New Testament equally (vague answer)
Republicans tend to mention religion and the Bible more than Democrats because statistically more evangelical voters are Republicans.
Is it worth it?
These candidates make it obvious that they are simply pandering to voters when they answer questions about their religion/faith vaguely or make blatant mistakes when referencing certain biblical passages and verses. When candidates misspeak/misquote the Bible, they are risking sounding ignorant and possibly offensive, which could hurt their chances more than quoting the Bible could help it.
Actions speak louder than words in this case. I believe that candidates should practice what they preach and live out their Christian values if they want to appeal to evangelical voters. If a candidate’s faith is integral to their being and thus their campaign, they have the freedom to express it, but they should not do so if they do not truly believe what they are saying or feel a connection to the Bible and Christianity.