Trump clobbered by ex-White House staffer for ramping up increasingly dangerous rhetoric: ‘Rank religious bigotry’
Fox News personality Jeanine Pirro and President Donald Trump at a MAGA campaign rally in Las Vegas (Twitter)

In a column for the Washington Post, a former speechwriter for President George W. Bush harshly shamed Donald Trump for his attacks on Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) saying the president's rhetoric has moved into dangerous territory.

According to conservative Michael Gerson, who frequently bases his columns from the perspective of his Christian faith, Trump has declared war on people of faith because he is, deep down, a religious bigot.

Saying Trump's inflammatory linking of the Muslim congresswoman to the 9/11 terrorist attack is "cruel, frightening and dangerous," Gerson said the assault on her faith is an attack on all religious freedom.

"It is cruel because Trump essentially delivered his political rant while standing on desecrated graves," Gerson charged. "The images he employed not only included burning buildings but burning human beings, drafted into a sad and sordid political ploy. Is nothing sacred to Trump? When said aloud, the question sounds like an absurdity."

"Trump has never given the slightest indication of propriety, respect or reverence. His narcissism leaves no room to honor other people or to honor other gods. Both the living and the dead matter only as servants to the cause of Trump himself," he continued.

Gerson then got down to the basic truth about the president.

"By all the evidence, Trump is an anti-Muslim bigot," he wrote. "Trump has a long history of animus — raw animus — against one of the Abrahamic faiths. By all the evidence, Trump believes that Islam is incompatible with American ideals and that Muslims are, as a group, threatening to American security."

He then warned, "This is not only rank religious bigotry; it is the attitude most likely to alienate some Muslims from American ideals and turn a dangerous few toward radicalism and violence."

Admitting that he doesn't condone everything that that lawmaker Omar says, Gerson said her faith should not be questioned and said her treatment by Trump should be cause for concern.

"Trump’s perception of religious liberty as freedom only for the faiths he prefers is a potential threat to every religious group. What if some future leader views Mormonism as incompatible with American democracy, or evangelical Protestantism?" he suggested. "By what principle would Trump supporters be able to criticize discrimination against such groups?"

The former speechwriter then served up a dire warning.

"Religious freedom is either rigorously equal, or it becomes an instrument of those in power to favor or disfavor religions of their choice. And those believers who are currently in favor may someday discover what disfavor is like," he concluded.

You can read the whole piece here.