“God uses imperfect people through history. King David wasn’t perfect. Saul wasn’t perfect. Solomon wasn’t perfect. And I actually gave the president a one-pager on those Old Testament kings about a month ago. And I shared it with him and I said, ‘Mr. President, I know there are people who say that you say you were the chosen one.’ And said, ‘You were.’ I said, ‘If you are a believing Christian, you understand God’s plan for the people who rule and judge over us on this planet in our government.’ ”
I still can’t get over the idea that Rick Perry thinks Trump was Gods pick.— Molly Jong-Fast (@MollyJongFast) November 25, 2019
Rick Perry, Jerry Falwell Jr., Franklin Graham and the Trump supporting white evangelicals are always willing to forgive and absolve the rich racist white guy in the White House but rarely extend that grace to the black and brown people he torments. #WWJDpic.twitter.com/6TMOErVx34— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) November 25, 2019
Perhaps the best way to understand Trump’s statements is in another context altogether, and that is by watching the new Netflix series by journalist and writer Jeff Sharlet, called “The Family.”Based on the 2009 book by Sharlet, the series covers the activity of The Family and C Street, which courted many politicians and holds the National Prayer Breakfast each year. Sharlet’s first article about this group, entitled “Jesus Plus Nothing,” is an excellent way to understand what may be behind Trump’s statements.For the Family, any man chosen for leadership positions is chosen by God, no matter what his personal faith life or beliefs may be. In their theology, God can use any male leader to achieve God’s purpose. To put it one way, Jesus cares more for the wolf than the sheep. A strong man can make things happen.A strong man is God’s man, no matter what sins he may or may not have committed.
Many voters believed, and presumably still believe, that regardless of his personal piety (or lack thereof), Trump would defend what they saw as the country’s Christian heritage — and would help move the nation toward a distinctly Christian future. Ironically, Christian nationalism is focused on preserving a perceived Christian identity for America irrespective of the means by which such a project would be achieved.Hence, many white Christians believe Trump may be an effective instrument in God’s plan for America, even if he is not particularly religious himself.