A Bulwark columnist noted that after President Donald Trump's display at the National Prayer Breakfast, it has become clear that he is to conservatives with the "prosperity gospel" is to Christianity.
The idea, he said, came from a friend he was texting with about Trump's bizarre speech.
"It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven, so Christ said," the friend told Bulwark editor Jonathan V. Last. "I don’t know if Trump is going to heaven, or even if he’s actually all that rich, but clearly some people think he’s both.
"The president seems equally bullish about his appeal to religious voters, especially conservative Christians. As with women so with votes: the thrice-married magnate grabs what he likes, supremely confident it’s his for the taking."
The prosperity gospel is the belief that true Christians turn all of their money over to the church because it ultimately came from God. Some of the top preachers who believe in the prosperity gospel have been caught using their church's funds to buy lavish homes, private jets and expensive cars. Pastors like Kenneth Copeland, Jesse Duplantis, Franklin Graham, Pat Robertson and Jim Bakker are some of the greatest offenders of those who use the teachings of Jesus Christ to score hefty profits to fund their expensive lifestyle, a USA Today list said.
Trump is selling something similar.
"God wants you to have what you want! I should know, because I have it! Come get yours too, for a small contribution!" Bulwark assessed. "Prosperity hucksters offer a relentlessly simple logic: You, the audience, tell them what you want. And they’ll tell you that you can have it. If you get it, that’s on them—no one else would have delivered for you. But if you don’t? Well, that’s on you. Maybe you just need to give a little more."
And the cash keeps rolling into Trump's coffers. And just like a pastor thanking Jesus for his private jet, Trump is funneling his campaign dollars and taxpayer funds into stays or events at his own properties, and to pay for his own expenses.
"No, the people who invite him to breakfast and clap and Amen are people who do not at all think that they are choosing the lesser of two evils. Those folks are all in," wrote Last. "Like the devil quoting scripture in the desert, Trump offers more than a deal for judges: he promises what isn’t his, and offers justification for what you really want. Like a preacher with a Rolex and a private jet, he beckons you to believe in his vision."