Donald Trump assigned his wife Melania lead the Melbourne, FL rally on February 18, in the Lord's Prayer, which was followed by a loud, raucous, football-crowd-type cheer. Some of the news outlets which are likely part of the Trump gang have reported that liberals and atheists have protested this action. It is not only liberals and atheists who should be alarmed. This cynical ploy on the part of Trump should send a chill down the spines of every thoughtful Christian in this country. And for all non-Christians, this cynical political ploy should keep them awake at night.
I do not recall any American political leader in my lifetime so blatantly co-opting Christianity for political purposes. The founders were unrelentingly opposed to any actual or implied relationship between the new government and any particular religious tradition.
We do recall that Adolf Hitler in the 1930's co-opted the Roman Catholic Church with a treaty, the infamous Concordat. And he also co-opted the Protestant Church, establishing the so-called German Christian movement, which Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Karl Barth and Paul Tillich resisted. Bonhoeffer was hanged. Barth and Tillich escaped with their lives, the former to Switzerland and the latter to the United States.
We in CPSP, as the religious leaders that we are, are obliged to resist this obscene degradation of religion in the service of a political agenda. And those of us who identify as Christian are even more obliged to expose this travesty. In publicly linking the Lord's Prayer with his regime, Trump implicitly sets every Christian over against every non-Christian in the country.
Trump has used prayer - and the principal prayer of Christianity - to inflict a malediction on the entire religious community in this country. We will all be hard-pressed to bring healing in the face of such an abomination. We must do everything in our power to resist this execrable, sinister action on the part of the President.