Last week, President Donald Trump wished the country “Happy Good Friday,” and all hell broke loose. Suddenly, everyone was an expert on Catholic theology—or, at least, the emotional rubrics going along with Holy Week. Sure, most religious folk would not use the phrase “Happy Good Friday.” But most religious folk understood what he was trying to say, and they let it slide. Not the Left, though.
Ancient stoner comedian Tommy Chong said, “Did Trump really wish everyone Happy Good Friday? The day that Jesus was executed? Happy execution day? Ignorant to a fault.” And Chong, a spectral image from the 1970s, wasn’t the only one upset about Trump’s Good Friday message….
One writer tweeted, “Even a Jewish person knows that. You never wish someone a ‘Happy’ Good Friday. If you ever believed Trump was a Christian, this tweet is proof he is not. He’s celebrating Jesus’ crucifixion.” Religion writer at Slate Magazine Ruth Graham said that once again Trump revealed his inability to “speak Christian….”
What I find most interesting is that these people are making fun of a non-native speaker. Ruth Graham got that exactly right. Trump does not naturally speak “Christian.” It’s a bit new for him. Sure, he was raised within the religious shadow of Norman Vincent Peale. But it’s clear that religion has never been very important to Trump. If it was, he kept it well hidden.
In recent years, however, he has been trying, with baby steps and stumbles. It’s been reported that, at one Sunday service, he tried to put money in (what he thought was) the collection plate, only to discover that it was really the tray that holds the bread and wine in a Protestant communion service. He once said that he didn’t need to ask for God’s forgiveness. He referred to the Communion wafer as a “little cracker.” And now we have “Two” Corinthians, and Happy Good Friday. This is plenty of fodder for the snarky Left who make fun of him, as well as the Christians who support him, who are all obvious dupes.
But what’s clear, at least to us, is that he’s trying.
Some would call it pandering. Others see that he is on a journey and that, like all recent immigrants to a new land, sometimes he makes mistakes. Adopting new customs and a new language take time. The nice liberals who are mocking him would never think of mocking an immigrant who struggles with English.
Trump is an immigrant to a new land. James Dobson called him a “baby Christian.” We should assume good faith, that he is genuinely trying, and we ought to cut him some slack. Christianity is not his native tongue, and so what?…
The above comes from an April 17 article by Austin Ruse in Crisis magazine.