The Wall Trump Wants To Tear Down

Donald Trump is going to make America Christian and to do that he wants to tear down one of this pillars that has made this nation the Golden Medina for Jews from all over the world.

"The Christians are being treated horribly because we have nobody to represent the Christians," he told an evangelical gathering last week in Washington.  "I will be the greatest representative of the Christians."

This self-proclaimed messiah also has vowed to make it possible for Jews to say Merry Christmas [since when couldn't we?] and that no one will ever again have to say "Happy Holidays."  [He's obviously been spending too much time watching Fox News and its phony "War on Christmas" bubbehmysis.]

Forget all his blather about building a brick and mortar wall along the Mexican border; his latest obsession is tearing down the wall in the First Amendment to the Constitution that separates religion and state.

It's hard to figure out what he means when he says "nobody" represents Christians, who are a majority of this country's population, including more than 90 percent of the Congress and state legislatures and 100 percent of all presidents (not withstanding Trump's own rabid attacks on the religion of the incumbent).

It is part of Trump's bid for evangelical support, which is also behind his choice of a running mate.  Gov. Mike Pence, in accepting the nomination, told the GOP convention, "Who am I, Oh Lord?  I'm Christian, a Conservative and a Republican, in that Order.”  No mention of being an American, it seems.

A New York Times profile said Pence is "an evangelical Christian and one of the country’s most outwardly religious and socially conservative legislators."

Just what was needed for the twice-divorced, admitted adulterer and casino operator Trump to go court the party's religious "family values" base.

E.J. Dionne, a Washington Post columnist, noted the contrast between the two candidates. Clinton, unlike Trump, "is authentically religious" and her "view of the world was changed radically by her engagement with faith."  He questioned the "depth of the conviction" of politicians like Trump "whose religious commitments seem to have little connection to their lives." 

For Trump, religion is a hot button issue for appealing to the sense of victimhood on the religious right.  He went before the Value Voters Summit to declare himself a champion of religious liberty against "our media culture (which) often mocks and demeans people of faith."

The wall of separation between religion and state is not the only part of the First Amendment that Trump wants to change.  He also has spoken often of his animosity toward the media and his desire to restrict free speech and press protection.

Like his role model Vladimir Putin, Trump finds criticism intolerable and wants to "open up" libel laws so he can sue media outlets out of business the way he goes after critics and business rivals. Putin has reputedly had media critics assassinated, has virtually silence any opposition media in Russia and just this week shut down the country's last independent pollster.  That's how he gets those 82 percent approval ratings that Trump admires but doesn't understand.

Trump's strong support from white supremacists, Ku Klux Klansmen and neo-Nazis carries the same message: protecting white Christian values in their white, male Christian country. 

 “The phrases ‘religious liberty’ and ‘religious freedom’ will stand for nothing except hypocrisy so long as they remain code words for discrimination, intolerance, racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, Christian supremacy or any form of intolerance,” said Martin R. Castro, chairman of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission.

There is obviously much that Trump has to learn, particularly something President John Adams said in 1797:  “The government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion.”

What has made America Great is the Bill of Rights and its First Amendment wall separating religion and state, and no bigoted demagogue should be allowed to tear it down.

About the Author
Douglas M. Bloomfield is a syndicated columnist, Washington lobbyist and consultant. He spent nine years as the legislative director and chief lobbyist for AIPAC.