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Cal Thomas: Crowning Donald Trump king will be costly

From the commentary: If evangelical Christians vote in large numbers for Trump next year, as they did in the last two elections, Trump will still likely lose again and doom Republican goals for years to come.

Donald Trump
FILE PHOTO: Former U.S. President and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump attends a campaign event in Manchester, New Hampshire, U.S., April 27, 2023.
REUTERS/Brian Snyder/File Photo

The crowning of Charles III as king of England and the shrinking realm of the United Kingdom was not the only coronation taking place in the world.

Cal Thomas commentary
Cal Thomas Commentary
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Summary: I once heard the late evangelist Rev. Billy Graham say America was not at a crossroads, but had traveled down the wrong road and needed to come back to the crossroads and take the right road. What if we can no longer agree on the right road and where the wrong road is leading us?
Summary: Donald Trump would do well to withdraw from the field and allow younger and less controversial candidates to replace him. His record of policy successes while president are undeniable (except for those in denial), but his narcissistic personality contributed to his loss. It is also contributing to the work of the January 6 committee. If that committee wishes to "bring us together," it will forgo recommendations of criminal prosecution and let voters decide, as they should and ultimately will, the future of Donald Trump.
Summary: When rhetoric gets heated, perhaps the best way to be heard is to speak in a tone Scripture attributes to God β€” "a still, small voice." As noted by the writer of Proverbs: "A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. (Proverbs 15:1)
Summary: Many viewers might want to know why Congress can't seem to fix any of the country's real problems. That perennial question is why increasing numbers of Americans have grown sour about Washington. They see members of Congress more interested in re-election, in their careers and in perks than in the people they are supposed to represent.

Increasingly, evangelical Christians in the U.S. are treating Donald Trump as their king. While the scenarios are different, it reminds me of when the religious leaders in Jerusalem were asked by Pontius Pilate if he should crucify their king, Jesus. They shouted back, "We have no king but Caesar."

No matter what is revealed about Donald Trump's character and attitude toward women, large numbers in the evangelical community seem to have no king but him.

In New York, in a civil court trial, writer E. Jean Carroll is claiming Trump raped her in a dressing room at Bergdorf Goodman (he denies it, as he has denied every other charge of boorish, even criminal behavior toward women). Some startling video has been shown during the trial. In addition, there was a replay of the "Access Hollywood" tape in which Trump bragged that when you're a star you can go as far as grabbing women by their (private parts). A video of Trump's deposition in this case was also shown to the jury.

Carroll's lawyer, Roberta Kaplan, asked Trump about that damning tape during a video deposition. His response was revealing: "Historically, that's true with stars."

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"It's true with stars that they can grab women by the pussy?" Kaplan asked.

"If you look over the last million years, I guess that's been largely true. Not always, but largely true. Unfortunately or fortunately," he replied.

"And you consider yourself to be a star?" Kaplan asked.

"I think you can say that, yeah," replied Trump.

Some verses evangelical Christians accept as words coming directly from God might be useful reminders of how the power and credibility of their faith is being diluted by fealty to Donald Trump. There is 1 Corinthians 15:33 (or "One Corinthians" as Trump might put it): "Do not be deceived: "Bad company corrupts good morals."

Another: "Therefore, come out from among unbelievers, and separate yourselves from them, says the LORD. Don't touch their filthy things, and I will welcome you." (2 Corinthians 6:17)

Then there's the ultimate church-state admonition by King David when he ruled over Israel: "Do not put your trust in princes, in mortal men, who cannot save. When their spirit departs, they return to the ground; on that very day their plans come to nothing." (Psalm 146:3)

Employing such verses is not to judge Trump. It is to judge Christians who are putting too much faith and allegiance in a man who appears perpetually angry and arrogant. One might think a similar experience with Richard Nixon would have taught them a lesson. Even Rev. Billy Graham acknowledged after hearing the Nixon tapes that he had been deceived by the president who apparently thought having Graham around gave him cover for a corrosive personality similar in some ways to Trump's.

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From the commentary: The growing number of entrants is good news for the front-runner, who benefits from facing fragmented opposition as he did in 2016. But it's also good news for Republican voters, who are not only getting more candidates to choose from, but also more ideas about their party's post-Trump future β€” even though that may not arrive until 2028.
From the commentary: If we have lost our will as a nation to define what's right and to do it, then we have lost our way in a world that is increasingly being dominated by China, whose president, Xi Jinping, may have correctly diagnosed us as a nation in "decline."

I've heard all the arguments about double standards when it came to how evangelicals viewed Bill Clinton and his affairs and that Trump is a fighter (even that God uses bad people to accomplish His will). Character counted with Clinton, they said. Not so with Trump. As noted by others there are Republicans who don't display the characteristics Trump does and hold similar positions on life, the border, taxes, spending and big government who are running - or expected to run for president. Every poll I've seen shows that if Trump wins the GOP nomination, as now seems likely, he can't win the general election because independents, who are key to winning, will not vote for him.

If evangelical Christians vote in large numbers for Trump next year, as they did in the last two elections, Trump will still likely lose again and doom Republican goals for years to come. Worse, the image of the One they claim to follow will be tainted for perhaps generations. Paying that price is not worth the cost.

This Cal Thomas commentary is his opinion. He can be reached at cthomas@wctrib.com.

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