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‘I’m a very proud Christian’: Trump courts religious right

AFP | Washington                                              

The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com

Donald Trump received a warm welcome Thursday when he appeared before an audience of evangelical broadcasters, delivering a campaign-style speech littered with professions of faith and pledges to protect Christians.

The casino-owning playboy, who has been accused of paying hush money to a porn star, is wildly popular with the religious right in the United States, despite a life story at odds with their apparent values.

But for many of them, he is on a mission from God to save America from becoming a modern-day Sodom and Gomorrah.

And on Thursday, he gave them what they wanted. “I come before you as a friend and an ally and a fellow believer to ask for your help and your support and your prayers for this country,” he told a meeting of the National Religious Broadcasters group.

“We need your prayers most importantly, and I make you a simple promise: In my first term I fought for Christians harder than any president has ever done before.

“And I will fight even harder for Christians with four more years in the White House.”

Trump turned up for the speech in Tennessee over 90 minutes late, and initially appeared tired as he took the stage, but quickly warmed to his themes.

Those were mostly familiar: a crisis at the US southern border, crime in Democrat-run cities and his own legal woes, where he faces dozens of criminal charges including for his alleged attempts to overturn the 2020 election.

But in a nod to his audience, the former reality TV star made a number of detours referencing faith and religion.

“We’ve got an incompetent president who doesn’t know what the hell he’s doing,” he told the crowd.

“He will not lead us to the Promised Land.” “The left is trying to shame Christians; they try to shame us. Us,” he said, pausing for emphasis. “I’m a very proud Christian, actually.”

Trump’s relationship with the religious right was not intuitive when he rode his golden escalator into the presidential race in 2015.