First thing Monday morning, Donald Trump delivered the keynote address at Liberty University in an attempt to win over evangelical voters. It’s too soon to tell if the speech will have an affect on Mr. Trump’s support but it isn’t too early to say that he sounded totally out of place with evangelical Christians. It’s like he spoke a totally foreign language to them. It looked as natural as Bill Clinton during the Monica Lewinsky scandal carrying that oversize Bible on Sunday mornings. Saying that the optics weren’t good is understatement.
Donald Trump looked out of place delivering a speech about Christianity at Liberty University. One of the soon-to-be infamous quotes from the speech was when he talked about “Two Corinthians 3:17.” As the article points out, anyone familiar with the Bible would refer to that as Second Corinthians. That’s so widely known that lots of non-Christians know that terminology.
Compare Trump’s clumsiness in talking about faith with Sen. Rubio’s conversation about faith with a self-described atheist at a town hall in Iowa:
“No one’s going to force you to believe in God. But no one’s going to force me to stop talking about God,” Rubio told the atheist, Justin Scott, of Waterloo.
Later in the conversation, Sen. Rubio told Mr. Scott that he shouldn’t feel threatened by Sen. Rubio’s faith:
You shouldn’t be worried about my faith influencing me. In fact, I think you should hope that my faith influences me. Here’s why. You know what my faith teaches me? My faith teaches me that I have an obligation to care for the less fortunate. My faith teaches me that I have an obligation to love my neighbor. My faith teaches me that I have an obligation for those who are hungry to feed them, for those that are naked to clothe them. My faith teaches me that I have to minister to those in prison. My faith teaches me that, if I want to serve Jesus, I have to serve each other.
It’s clear that Sen. Rubio feels comfortable talking about his faith. It’s apparent that Mr. Trump doesn’t have the ability to get people of faith to say ‘That’s right. He’s one of us’. The other point that’s worth making is that Sen. Rubio praised the man for speaking up, saying that it took courage to speak up like that when he was clearly in the minority in that town hall meeting.
Sen. Rubio didn’t try shouting the gentleman down for his beliefs. Early in his conversation, Sen. Rubio correctly said that the First Amendment gave people the right to believe in nothing at all if that’s what their choice was. That’s quite the contrast.
Trump looked out of place talking about faith at a Christian university while Sen. Rubio looked totally comfortable talking about his faith at a political rally.