The world-class ego, narcissism, and arrogance of Donald Trump have been on public display for decades. He can hardly complete a sentence without exalting himself as the richest, smartest, biggest, and bestest at everything. There is absolutely no trace of humility in the non-stop parade of vainglorious self-promotion that he exudes.
In the wake of his deplorable comments bragging about committing sexual assault, Trump’s delusions of grandeur come into even sharper focus. In the very first words in his non-apology apology video Trump makes a play for sympathy by mewling that “I’ve never said I’m a perfect person.” There’s just one problem with that. He has said exactly that both implicitly and explicitly.
In 2011, Republican “Word Doctor” Frank Luntz asked Trump if he had ever asked God for forgiveness. Trump answered “I am not sure that I have […] I don’t think in terms of that.” While that answer fits perfectly with Trump’s signature pompousness, it also reveals why he’s so reluctant to apologize for anything. That includes his blatantly offensive remarks about immigrants, minorities, veterans and women. If he won’t ask God for forgiveness, why the hell would he ask anyone else?
Then last year Trump played his Get-Out-Of-Hell-Free-Card again during an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper. [Note: Cooper will be moderating the next debate. Will he bring this up?] He was asked to revisit his previous comments and given an opportunity to refine them. He rejected that opportunity and, as usual, he doubled down on his immunity from needing to seek God’s grace.
TRUMP: Well, I like to work where I don’t really have to ask for it. I like to do the right thing where I don’t actually have to ask for forgiveness. Does that make sense to you? You know, where you don’t make such bad things that you don’t have to ask for forgiveness. I mean, I’m trying to lead a life where I don’t have to ask God for forgiveness. […] Why do I have to repent? Why do I have to ask for forgiveness if you’re not making mistakes?
Talk about your Original Spin. There is no other way to interpret an assertion that you never make mistakes than as a claim of perfection. So right there Trump has exposed the lie at the foundation of his apology. Furthermore, he’s effectively saying that a good Christian can avoid seeking forgiveness from God by simply never making any mistakes. Who knew it was that easy? Of course, to do that would require a level of virtue not seen in about two thousand years. And yet he argues that he has achieved this pinnacle of purity. But if you ask the Presbyterian Church, to which Trump claims to belong, they have a completely different interpretation:
“Presbyterians believe the Bible when it says that ‘all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God’ (Romans 3:23). Unlike crime, which involves the breaking of human law, sin is a condition of the heart or an expression of that condition where we are estranged from God and fail to trust in God.” […]
“Presbyterians believe God has offered us salvation because of God’s loving nature. It is not a right or a privilege to be earned by being ‘good enough.’ No one of us is good enough on our own — we are all dependent upon God’s goodness and mercy. From the kindest, most devoted churchgoer to the most blatant sinner, we are all saved solely by the grace of God.”
Trump seems to think that forgiveness is something that you request when you have told a lie, cut someone off in traffic, or cheated in golf. His understanding of religion is on the level of a four year old (no offense to four year olds). He has no concept of the tenets of his faith that regards all men and women as sinners. Trump doesn’t seem to think that his own mistakes (of which he has none) rise to the level of sins. That means his three marriages and serial infidelity are wholly virtuous in God’s eyes. His four bankruptcies that left thousands of creditors in the lurch were just divine accounting. His fraudulent Trump University that ripped off hundreds of “students” actually taught them a valuable lesson in dealing with charlatans. And these say nothing of his sins of greed, lust, pride, and his newly revealed admission of sexual assault.
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If there’s one thing that’s clear, it’s that The Donald doesn’t need the forgiveness of God or anyone else. That’s because he is his own deity with omnipotent powers to solve every problem bigger and better than mere mortals. His followers are likely to grant him the forgiveness he refuses to request. And these are the self-appointed paragons of faith who claim to represent America’s morality. By the way, they’re also the same people who have been calling President Obama the Anti-Christ for seven years.