Trump is a curious figure here because of his evident personal irreligiosity and concurrent reliance on white evangelicals for his political success. I expect he is perfectly sincere in his disbelief of Romney and Pelosi’s sincerity: He knows he would be lying if he claimed to make a difficult political decision on the basis of faith or to pray for his political enemies, so he cannot imagine that they might be telling the truth.

“Blessed are the pure in heart,” Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount, “for they will see God.” Conversely, if our hearts are bent, practiced over long years to prize power, wealth, and flattery, we become unable to see God, even when he is very near. What we worship changes who we are and what we are able to understand. With enough time growing into vice, we are liable to forget that true virtue exists at all and to assume everyone, underneath their public façade of integrity, is exactly as craven as we. “To the pure all things are pure,” wrote the Apostle Paul, “but to the corrupt and unbelieving nothing is pure.”