It’s the botched Scriptural reference that keeps on giving.
Three-and-a-half years after then-candidate Donald Trump referred to “Two Corinthians” at Liberty University, the future president’s botched pronunciation (in the minds of most) of “Second Corinthians” is enjoying another 15 minutes of fame.
This time it’s the New York Times focusing on this insider evangelical baseball:
Furious after he was criticized by evangelicals for stumbling in his reference to a book of the Bible during the 2016 campaign, Donald J. Trump lashed out at “so-called Christians” and used an epithet in describing them to a party official, according to a new book.
Mr. Trump’s anger was aroused after he stumbled in an appearance at Liberty University by referring to Second Corinthians as “Two Corinthians” as he was competing for the votes of evangelicals — traditionally critical to a Republican’s success in the Iowa caucuses — with Senator Ted Cruz of Texas.
Allies of Mr. Cruz’s, including Bob Vander Plaats, a well-known evangelical leader in Iowa, seized on the slip-up to taunt Mr. Trump.
According to a new book, “American Carnage: On the Front Lines of the Republican Civil War and the Rise of President Trump,” by Tim Alberta, the chief political correspondent for Politico Magazine, Mr. Trump was incensed by Mr. Vander Plaats and others “hanging around with Ted,” and referred to them in the most vulgar of terms.
I’m curious to know exactly what Trump reportedly said, but I couldn’t find any longer reference to the president’s (alleged) words in a quick Google search.
Trump’s reported reference to “so-called Christians” is fascinating, especially considering how many of the president’s critics have used similar language to characterize him.
But the Times doesn’t elaborate on that reference or offer any additional context. This is a quick-hit political story, not an in-depth examination of faith in the Trump era.
There is an extremely interesting — and relatively detailed — religion quote later in the article from Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, one of Trump’s fiercest Republican challengers in 2016:
For his part, in 2016, Mr. Cruz was candid with friends about his view of evangelicals who backed Mr. Trump. “If you’re a faithful person, if you believe that Jesus Christ died for your sins, emerged from the grave three days later and gives eternal life, and you’re supporting Donald Trump,” the book quotes Mr. Cruz saying to friends, “I think there’s something fundamentally wrong with you.”
Here’s an assignment for an enterprising journalist: Ask Cruz, now a seemingly strong supporter of Trump, if he stands by that statement.
I dare you.
Alas, religion and politics in Washington and the Trump administration are intertwined and far more complicated than the points highlighted in this brief news report. Nonetheless, I’ll admit: I remain fascinated with the 2 Corinthians storyline, even three-and-a-half years.