June 8, 2016

Cal Thomas asked Donald Trump: "Who do you say Jesus is?"

And Donald Trump answered:
Jesus to me is somebody I can think about for security and confidence. Somebody I can revere in terms of bravery and in terms of courage and, because I consider the Christian religion so important, somebody I can totally rely on in my own mind.

54 comments:

n.n said...

Good answer. Jesus was a man and is a myth that has transcended generations around the world. A figure of humanity that both men and women can aspire to become.

As for the Christian religion or moral philosophy, it may be judged by whether its principles are internally, externally, and mutually consistent in the process of reconciling moral and natural imperatives.

Sebastian said...

Pretty much what generic Christianity has become. Forget the sin and savior stuff.

MadisonMan said...

That's a nice, specific, answer.

Hagar said...

But a highly improper question.

furious_a said...

"Terrible what happened to him. Sad, really."

Henry Bauer said...

That's the answer of someone who isn't really a Christian, but who doesn't know much about Christianity, but who thinks he's supposed to say something nice about it anyway.

If he was a Christian he would recognize that as the question that Jesus asked Peter... "Who do you say I am?" And Peter answered, "You are the Messiah."

gspencer said...

Don't quite know what DJT means, but it's a start.

I suppose.

Lets ask the One what Mohammad means to the One.

Brian said...

I think it's fine. He's more or less openly declaring himself to be a non-believing cultural Christian. It compares favorably to various leftish politicians, Hillary Clinton included, who seem sincerely to believe in weird heretical pseudo-Christianities of one flavor or another.

harrogate said...

That's some funny stuff right there

Ann Althouse said...

I thought it was a very interesting set of statements. It's almost the case that you wouldn't need to be a Christian to say them.

1. "Jesus to me is somebody I can think about for security and confidence." He's someone to think about, rather than to believe in or follow BUT the thinking brings security and confidence, so it's not just that Jesus is a hero or a good example. There's something confidence-giving about the idea of him. That might indicate a belief in his divinity.

2. "Somebody I can revere in terms of bravery and in terms of courage." This presents Jesus as a good example. He was brave and courageous. An interesting choice of virtues among all the many Jesus virtues, but still, this is Jesus as a hero. AND YET, there's that word "revere," hinting of divinity.

3. "... and, because I consider the Christian religion so important, somebody I can totally rely on in my own mind." He doesn't say the Christian religion is true, but important. And again, he's speaking about his own thoughts. But if you were only using Jesus as an example, why would you say "rely"?

Roughcoat said...

I would have said he's the resurrection and the life. Among other things.

gadfly said...

Well, Trump certainly didn't make any friends with the Evangelicals. His so-called gaffs are the result of a lazy mind so involved in his own self-love that cannot or will not consider the person asking the question. He may not like Cal Thomas, but Southern Christians generally do.

Evangelical Christians are the largest voting block in America with 58 million registered voters - and only 33 million voted in 2004 and 2008 and that number dropped to 30 million in 2012. Romney lost their vote because of his politics and his LDS religion.

Trump declares himself to be Protestant - a Presbyterian even, but for years, he says, he attended the Marble Collegiate Church in New York, which calls itself a Reform church. He told a gathering in the First Presbyterian Church in Muscatine, IA that he was "a Sunday Church person"- whatever that is.

And he told the world: “I am going to be the greatest jobs president that God ever created -- remember that.” But first he has to be hired and for that he needs Evangelicals.

Roughcoat said...

What Trump said is just fine. It's not a Christian response, but it is respectful and that's good enough for me.

walter said...

Yeah..probably not a fan of his humility..and he allowed himself to get caught.

furious_a said...

If he was a Christian he would recognize that as the question that Jesus asked Peter.

We're voting for a President, not a Youth Minister.

furious_a said...

Well, Trump certainly didn't make any friends with the Evangelicals.

At least Trump's not p*ssing on their shoes and telling them it's raining, like the usual Republican panderers do.

Sydney said...

I wonder how I would answer that, especially if a nonbeliever asked me. I would probably say he is God come to earth as man.

Sydney said...

The disciples answered - "The Messiah."

Michael K said...

" It's almost the case that you wouldn't need to be a Christian to say them."

It was a good answer. The Evangelicals, I suspect not being one, are tired of being treated like the Democrats treat blacks. My daughter-in-law is very devout, doing Bible study and they are very involved in the church.

Also very strong Trump supporter.

amielalune said...



Gadfly:

Lazy mind? I think it's a good thing that he "does not consider the person asking the question." That's what slimy politicians do, tailor their answers to what the questioner wants to hear.

I can't imagine why you see his not doing that as a negative.

Gabriel said...

I'm pretty sure a Christian, according the Nicene creed, would have to say "Son of God" at some point.

Not that Trump's supporters care.

mockturtle said...

We're voting for a President, not a Youth Minister.

Exactly! Trump may not understand Christianity but at least he respects it, which is more than the heathens on the left do.

donald said...

Jesus and Christianity is about salvation.

I'm not good at it, but I know what Christianity is. Anything else is mental/moral masturbation.

mockturtle said...

Actually, someone should give him a copy of C.S. Lewis' Mere Christianity, the very best Christian apologetic ever written.

gadfly said...

amielalune said...


Gadfly:

Lazy mind? I think it's a good thing that he "does not consider the person asking the question." That's what slimy politicians do, tailor their answers to what the questioner wants to hear.

I can't imagine why you see his not doing that as a negative.


And I can't imagine anyone who has investigated the character of the man and listened to him talk about himself and cannot understand that the slime is coming from his orange skin. Thomas wanted to get Trump to say more about his religion and, as usual, Trump shot from the hip, which is easier than putting some time in studying the kind of questions he might be asked. Instead Trump spends sleepless nights putting juvenile remarks out on Twitter and that ain't normal for a 70-year-old grandfather.

Anglelyne said...

Gabriel: I'm pretty sure a Christian, according the Nicene creed, would have to say "Son of God" at some point.

Yes, if you're going to call yourself a believing Christian, you should believe what the Nicene Creed says. But I'm aware that there a lot of people who like to call themselves Christians who aren't really on board with all that.

Not that Trump's supporters care.

I voted for Trump, and you're correct, I don't care. Why should I? I've never paid any mind to the banalities that political candidates natter about their "faith". Why would I start now?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

My answer to that question would first be: "Why do you ask me this question? What do you hope to get from my answer? What do you plan to do with my answer?"

Make the interviewer explain why he is asking such a personal, non political and completely irrelevant question of a Presidential candidate.

AprilApple said...

DBQ - ding.
Your answer should be THE answer.

Paul said...

"I'm pretty sure a Christian, according the Nicene creed, would have to say "Son of God" at some point.

Not that Trump's supporters care."

Thankfully he didn't say that and alienate the majority of the country who are not as it happens, bible thumpers.

He was thoughtful and respectful in his reply.

Rhythm and Balls said...

And you take this quote seriously or find relevance in it in what way, exactly?

David said...

The emphasis on courage is particularly interesting. It's accurate, but rarely noted.

David said...

Rhythm and Balls said...
And you take this quote seriously or find relevance in it in what way, exactly?


If you don't understand already, it would be hard to explain to you.

DanTheMan said...

I'm sure someone will ask HRC "Who do you say Mohammed is?"

I can't wait to hear THAT answer.

n.n said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Paddy O said...

Trump is Buddhist?

trumpetdaddy said...

Thomas asked him almost exactly what Christ asked his disciples. Any reasonably catechized Christian would have immediately recognized the question and its provenance. "Who do the people say that I am?" followed by "Who do you say that I am?" This is basic, Christian 101 stuff.

The only correct answer for a believing Christian is some variation on "Son of God."

The fact that he didn't answer that simply and directly isn't surprising because he has previously shown himself to not be a believing Christian, with how he has lived his life and how he has answered similar questions.

The fact that he has no one around him as an advisor who could adequately prepare him to answer such a basic question that a well-known Christian activist radio host might ask for the edification of said host's conservative Christian listening audience indicates that he is lazy and arrogant, as well.

Yet, people have thrown in their lot with this obvious charlatan. Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people.

TA said...

If you think you can beat that guy in a contest of rhetoric, probably not.

n.n said...

It was a diplomatic and historically accurate answer that should appeal to every faith ranging from atheist to agnostic to Christian.

Also, Trump is neither necessary nor required for Christian salvation. Only his works should not deprive them of His glory, right?

Anglelyne said...

trumpetdaddy: The fact that he has no one around him as an advisor who could adequately prepare him to answer such a basic question that a well-known Christian activist radio host might ask...

So, someone who by all appearances is not and never has been an orthodox believing Christian didn't wonk up on his catechism in order to bamboozle a "conservative Christian listening audience" into thinking that he was one of them? What, you're butthurt about his not trying to play them for utter saps?

A lot of people think Trump is a charlatan, for reasons ranging from astute to silly, but this is the stupidest foundation for alleging it that I've yet seen.

Kovacs said...

My answer to that question would first be: "Why do you ask me this question? What do you hope to get from my answer? What do you plan to do with my answer?"

Considering that it was Cal Thomas, I imagine he thought he was serving Trump a softball for him to tee off on. Defensiveness and paranoia aren't very Christian, or very presidential.

I thought it was interesting that Thomas actually had to ask him the question twice to get past the usual Trump blather about how great he's doing with Evangelicals. His first answer had the amusing line "I'm going to treat my religion, which is Christian, with great respect and care." Possibly the least convincing profession of faith ever from a presidential candidate.

hombre said...

Paul: "Thankfully he didn't say that and alienate the majority of the country who are not as it happens, bible thumpers."

A large majority still identify as Christians. They might not agree, but I doubt they would be alienated by Trump acknowledging Jesus as the Son of God. Of course if they don't agree, ....

eddie willers said...

I've lived all my life in the South and though now an agnostic, I was raised Southern Baptist.

FYI, there are (is?) no catechism and I first heard of the Nicene Creed in high school history class when discussing the Roman Empire. Heck, the only Southern Catholics we knew were in the pages of Gone With The Wind.

(And I recall the shock waves that went through my extended family when my sister became engaged to a Catholic in 1963)

And every evangelical I have talked to recently are excitedly for Trump. They would much rather have him than a genuine, born-again evangelical like Jimmy Carter.

aritai said...

It’swhat the Samaritan would have answered. And of course Jesus criticized those of use who are all words and no action. Your pTb and the evangelical preacher agreed that Paul's second letter was the most important phrase in the bible because it recognizes that without free will there is no salvation And anything coerced has no value. Which is an argument for as small as government as possible and interfering with man's feet of clay to the minimum possible for a civil society. So if a citizen wants to abort that's not the government's businwaa vur by the same token it's not the government to force other’s to pay for abortion mill's infrastructure and for that matter charity. So good bye public funding of Planned parenthood, and more respect for conscientious objectors. A win win. No evangelist will be able to resist this argument. Another way your pTb could have answered it is "he was my brother" acknowledging both of their feet of clay. Given the Preacher got it, so will the rest eventually, as did his apostles. At least those not poorly led, with uninformed ministers. This is a very deep topic and your pTb hit it out of the park. As did the Good Samaritan. Who outperformed almost every true believer.

Chuck said...

The jokes write themselves with Trump.

I am really looking forward to the series of questions about Trump's personal mentor and consigliere, Roy Cohn. Trump could lock up the 3% homosexual vote, and the 0.000001% organized crime vote.

J. Farmer said...

In other words, a literary figure.

Rae said...

Would somebody ask a Democratic candidate for president that question?

Fernandinande said...

At least he didn't say that Jesus is the guy who mows his lawn...although that's not inconsistent with his answer.

Jonathan Graehl said...

Anyone disappointed with Trump's answer is begging to be played like a rube.

traditionalguy said...
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traditionalguy said...

Trump nailed it. He did not go into the Kingdom theology of the Messiah. And he did not go into a hierarchy established by a Roman Emperor co-opting the The Apostle's Faith into a political rule selling magic sacraments.

Trump went directly to the Reformed Protestant faith that he was raised in by a Calvinist mother. That is a Christianity which takes seriously the role of Jesus proclaimed in the Apostle Paul's Gospel; namely that the resurrected Jesus is alive and by faith this Jesus alone is the answer to satisfying man's need for Spiritual comfort while also giving him an inner confidence and a fearless courage to do the work that increases the good that God promised to give us by Grace here in this life.

The Evangelicals are great folks, but they tend to be unsure of their salvation to the point that stay busy rating who is or is not a Christian by whether they talk like them about their born again experience.

mockturtle said...

The Evangelicals are great folks, but they tend to be unsure of their salvation to the point that stay busy rating who is or is not a Christian by whether they talk like them about their born again experience.

At least some Baptist churches are Calvinist in their theology and sure of their salvation.

Rhythm and Balls said...

"And you take this quote seriously or find relevance in it in what way, exactly?"

If you don't understand already, it would be hard to explain to you.


Whatever you say, Confucius. Go print your riddles on small strips of paper and put them a fortune cookie.

This year is not the lawyers' year as far as elections go. Maybe there's an election you can feel good about getting away with rigging another year.

Jason said...

Total Depravity 2016!

EMD said...

No one has mentioned that he personalized his answer, which is probably the best course for anyone running for high political office.