Trump at Liberty University: There’s a verse in “Two Corinthians” that really says it all

posted at 5:21 pm on January 18, 2016 by Allahpundit

A lot of guffawing about this by reporters on social media today. Mollie Hemingway wonders: Who pulled them aside and told them it’s supposed to be “Second Corinthians”?

Readers grumble that I’m too negative about Trump so let me pay him a sincere compliment. I admire that he has the stones to go into a place like Liberty and not even make a pretense of being a devout believer. You could dismiss what he said last summer about not being sure if he’s ever asked God for forgiveness as an amateur mistake; it’s an amazing mistake for someone in a GOP primary to make, amateur or not, but a first-time candidate who’s running as the opposite of a scripted politician gets a little leeway. Six months later, Trump is more polished in interviews and at the debates, and obviously by design — he wants voters to get more comfortable with imagining him as president. But still, he seems to have made no apparent effort to polish his handle on Christian priorities even though he’s competing with an ostentatiously evangelical candidate in Iowa. Why is that? How is it that Trump hasn’t brought in an advisor to teach him how to talk to evangelicals in a way that suggests he shares their worldview? How is it he’s still struggling with questions about divine forgiveness? How is it he can’t spare a hundred grand to have one guy on call who can vet his speeches in advance and say, “Okay, you know that ‘2 Corinthians’ is a written reference to ‘Second Corinthians,’ right?” Or maybe he does have that guy and the guy simply assumed that Trump knew that because, really, who wouldn’t know that who’s been to church a few times as a kid?

I think Trump’s approach to all of this is “what you see is what you get.” He’ll pander half-heartedly, like calling the Bible the only book better than “The Art of the Deal,” but even that operates more as a self-deprecating joke on Trump’s own narcissistic grandeur than as a serious expression of belief. When it comes to evangelicals, he seems resolved not to go out of his way to suggest he feels a sense of piety when he obviously doesn’t. I respect that. Frankly, I wish more politicians would follow his example. And given how well he’s doing in Iowa, a lot of Christian voters seem to respect it too. It’s amazing to me that he’s competitive with Cruz among the wider GOP electorate given how glib his professions of faith are, but that just goes to show that “values voters” aren’t the one- or two-issue voters they’re always stereotyped as being. Plenty of evangelicals, I’d guess, prefer Trump because they think he’d deliver the biggest possible change to D.C. despite the fact that they likely have more confidence in Cruz and Marco Rubio on social issues. They’re treating politics as politics, not as a morals test. You’d think they’d get more credit from their critics on the left for that. Plus, why should evangelical voters hold Trump’s past moral failings against him when prominent Christian politicians obviously don’t? Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum, the most outspoken Christian pols in the field, are in a contest lately to see who can speak more warmly of Donald Trump at the expense of their evangelical rival, Ted Cruz:

“Past is prologue and if you look at someone’s past, it’s legit,” Santorum began, but added, “people change and that’s a good thing. I want to encourage everybody to be more conservative.”

“You look at some of the greatest conservatives, many of them changed positions over the years,” Santorum added…

Santorum took a more skeptical line when asked about Cruz.

“You’ve seen a shift,” he said.

“If you’re going out there as he is and saying ‘Trust Ted’ and ‘I am the guy you can trust all the time because I’m not going to waver’ [but] then you have a whole laundry list of wavers and changes, then I think it’s fair game.”

Lifelong practicing Christian Ted Cruz is a shifty flip-flopper but longtime Democratic donor and Hillary pal Donald Trump should be welcomed into the conservative fold? Good to know that Rick Santorum’s principles don’t depend on electoral strategy.

If you want to see just how well received Trump is by some prominent evangelicals, read some of the highlights from the introduction that Jerry Falwell Jr gave him before today’s convocation speech. Quote: “In my opinion, Donald Trump lives a life of loving and helping others as Jesus taught in the great commandment.” Russell Moore, the president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, was agog:

Here’s the “Two Corinthians” part along with today’s speech in full. Exit question: Didn’t Jesus say in one of the gospels, “Deal from strength or get crushed every time”?

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Trump’s flub is worth a chuckle but no big deal. He’s not running for Pastor in Chief. It’s his version of “corpse-man”. The classic example of someone reading copy they didn’t write on a subject they know virtually nothing about.

tommyboy on January 19, 2016 at 8:09 AM

Off the deep end …

During his 45-minute speech on Martin Luther King day, Trump also claimed to support free trade yet insisted he’d impose a 35 percent tax on businesses producing goods overseas, including Ford cars that are produced in Mexico.

CNET reports that the GOP candidate and billionaire businessman said American companies should not be free to manufacture wherever they choose.

Pork-Chop on January 19, 2016 at 8:44 AM

Trump using religion to pander to the evangelicans is the same as Killary adopting a Southern accent in S. Carolina. Did he ask for forgiveness when he wrote a check for Killary in ’08?

Kissmygrits on January 19, 2016 at 8:52 AM

And that’s our final:

2 Corinthians
1 Philippians

MJBrutus on January 19, 2016 at 9:02 AM

And that’s our final:

2 Corinthians
1 Philippians

MJBrutus on January 19, 2016 at 9:02 AM

Wait a second, the games not over. It’s only the bottom of the two inning.

tommyboy on January 19, 2016 at 9:05 AM

At the next debate, Megyn Kelly:

“Mr. Trump, just how many angels can dance on the head of a pin?”

Younggod on January 19, 2016 at 10:05 AM

Maybe Mr. Trump wishes to show respect for the Church by using the Cardinal number, rather than the ordinal or meaningless nominal number. There are a real pile of pharacees here and self appointed experts ripping on him for not using a numerical term derived from King James English. My God, hundreds of thousands of people being murdered in the world, the American people being sold out by a muslim or pseudo-muslim, being sold out by holier-than-thou dhimocrapts who are only in this for power and money. Amd you idiots are fussing about not using an ordinal number. Check your bible, you hipocrites. It doesn’t read “2nd Cor” but “2 Cor”.

Old Country Boy on January 19, 2016 at 10:14 AM

Trump can set puppies on fire and his dupes will declare it brilliant.

Moesart on January 19, 2016 at 11:06 AM

Trump is a liberal.

Why don’t people get that?

Pythagoras on January 19, 2016 at 11:25 AM

Every once in a while, LU get’s an interesting convo. It’s no so much students actually listen to or care what Trump (or Bernie, or Cruz) are saying as much as it is something different since “we” are required to be there and all. . . After a while they all. . . seemtoruntogether.

But yeah, most people were initially confused by “two Corinthians” until he said “3:17”. But then he said “Liberty College”. SMH

dpwellman on January 19, 2016 at 11:28 AM

Always strikes me as weird that people call themselves evangelicals without knowing what a real evangelical is. How many of us really know the real bible which is the REAL Jerusalem Bible written in Aramaic the language of Jesus. Why do some people spend so much time memorizing any bible instead of practicing what it says. Apparently, memorizing is more important to evangelicals than practicing what Jesus taught. I have read and taught the Bible and I can’t memorize a darn thing because I concentrate on living what Jesus taught and not being preachy. First look unto yourselves before casting that stone! In reviewing Trump’s past, he is and has been more charitable and living more of a Christian life than most evangelicals. They need to pray and stop casting those stones until they look at themselves and what they can practice freely because of people like Trump being president. They stayed home the last time and gave us Obama. Good deed? No way, Jose. I respect Trump as a typical REAL American because he lives the American way, built his business, has been charitable for a long, long time (please, read up some history on the man before casting stones!), has made friends worldwide, talks straight and who really knows his relationship with God. No one, because that is a personal thing! Get real, evangelicals, because you are mostly hypocrites!

Roselle on January 19, 2016 at 11:32 AM

@morningmoneyben oddly enough, “Two Corinthians” is how it’s said in Britain.— Evan Sparks (@NewsbytesEvan) January 18, 2016

OMG! Trump is not an American!


agmartin on January 19, 2016 at 11:33 AM

I’ve called it 2 Cor for years. Get over yourselves.

John the Libertarian on January 19, 2016 at 11:34 AM

Trump’s past, he is and has been more charitable and living more of a Christian life than most evangelicals.

Roselle on January 19, 2016 at 11:32 AM

Seriously? This is a guy whose signature line is, “You’re fired.” He loves to say it. I don’t even have time to list all the people he has publicly insulted in the last year.

He’s a liberal.

Pythagoras on January 19, 2016 at 11:48 AM

This article gives Trump way too much credit. See the other articles about Trump LYING about his beliefs. He’s a charlatan who doesn’t even try very hard, not someone who is “honest” about his lack of faith.

CanofSand on January 19, 2016 at 12:05 PM

John the Libertarian on January 19, 2016 at 11:34 AM

Then you’ve been wrong for years. No one calls it that except the ignorant and those making a joke. What are you doing, citing yourself as an authority despite what everyone else knows? Get over yourself.

CanofSand on January 19, 2016 at 12:07 PM

Some evangelicals like to believe they are the only Christians in the world.Heck,some “Christians”-if they truly are that and not a cult-believe their son has been anointed by God as a King,destined to bring all the riches in the world back to the chosen Dominionists=that would be Ted Cruz’s father speaking about his son and their religion. Ican handle 2 Corinthians.I cannot handle that!

redware on January 19, 2016 at 7:59 AM

While I agree with what you’re saying, let’s not limit it to evangelicals – there are obnoxious Christians in all denominations/persuasions who are haughty rather than humble. ;)

Anti-ControI on January 19, 2016 at 12:20 PM

How many of us really know the real bible which is the REAL Jerusalem Bible written in Aramaic the language of Jesus.

Roselle on January 19, 2016 at 11:32 AM
Weren’t the new testament books written in Greek?

blink on January 19, 2016 at 11:50 AM

Blink, i know you were just being a gentleman with Roselle by phrasing your statement as a question so she and whoever taught her can save face. The bible was originally written in Greek. But for the real pharisaical evangelicals to have a little more authority, they will claim original authorship of Aramaic. They are never wrong, just ask Oral Robert’s 800 foot tall Jesus.

Old Country Boy on January 19, 2016 at 2:02 PM

Trump: I’m a YUGE believer! You wait and see! When I’m president I’ll be the best believer there has ever been! Everyone will say when I’m elected that Trump is a YUGE believer! No one believes in God more than Trump does.

RedManBlueState on January 19, 2016 at 2:43 PM

What everyone fears from Trump is he isn’t going along with politics as usual, which every one of the other candidates will be doing if elected.

Anyone with a problem of “Two Corinthians” is just looking to chase their own tail some more.

TerryW on January 19, 2016 at 4:07 PM

This is simply NOT a faux pas, friends. Not remotely. If it is, then N.T. Wright (probably the most eminent biblical scholar in the world) should be labeled a doofus. He says “Two Corinthians” (etc. etc.) all the time. Oh. Heck. Here:

kburchard on January 19, 2016 at 5:25 PM

Trump can set puppies on fire and his dupes will declare it brilliant.

Moesart on January 19, 2016 at 11:06 AM

Actually, that comes from the herd of Trumpophobics, who swear Trump sets puppies on fire to cook his kittens for dinner.. at least twice a week…

DrDeano on January 20, 2016 at 1:12 PM

We have a new Scottish pastor at our church, a brilliant and humorous young guy who always says “2 Corinthians” or “1 Corinthians”.

We don’t think anything of it. You hear it both ways (2 or “2nd” …) and either way works.

Wow, people are stupid.

DrDeano on January 20, 2016 at 1:16 PM