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Trump’s presidential prosperity gospel

Trump International Hotel and Tower
Trump International Hotel and Tower

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Trump International Hotel and Tower

(RNS) So the losers are whining about ethical “issues” arising from Donald Trump’s decision to let his kids run the business while he’s otherwise occupied for the next four or eight years.

Like little Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne charging “double standard” against congressional Republicans who scourged Secretary Clinton for letting foreign governments donate to her foundation.

And bozo House Oversight Committee Democrats calling on committee chair Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) to “hold Mr. Trump to the same standards as President Obama and Secretary Clinton.”

And those stripey-pants ethics advisors to Obama and George W. Bush saying the Electoral College shouldn’t make Trump president unless he sells his businesses and puts the proceeds in a blind trust — because of the Constitution’s lame Emoluments Clause:

No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.

So sad.

But just as Jerry Falwell, Jr. and the moral values crowd had Trump’s back during the campaign, now it’s time for Paula White and her fellow prosperity gospel-ers to step up to the plate. Here’s how.

  • “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse,” said the Prophet Malachi, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.” The President-elect is giving his entire salary — ten times a tithe — to make America great again. The floodgates must open for him.
  • Jesus said, “He shall receive an hundredfold now in this time.” Why shouldn’t this great man receive an hundredfold, or a millionfold, from foreign officials staying at his hotels and renting his apartments and belonging to his golf courses, not to mention providing Trump Enterprises with sweetheart deals?
  • “Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel,” said Jesus. “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works.” Trump’s candle is his business. In a blind trust, it disappears. No more Trump brand? No way!
  • St. Paul writes in Second — no, make that Two — Corinthians, “Though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.” God became a poor carpenter so the Donald could get rich off his labor. Let’s keep it that way.
  • Old Job suffered a lot, and frankly complained a lot. But here’s the upshot:

The Lord blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the former part. He had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, a thousand yoke of oxen and a thousand donkeys. And he also had seven sons and three daughters … Nowhere in all the land were there found women as beautiful as Job’s daughters, and their father granted them an inheritance along with their brothers.

So much for ethics advisors BildadEliphaz, and Zophar.

Come January, Messrs. Ryan and McConnell will take care of the Emoluments Clause with H.R. 1, the Let Foreign States Enrich President Trump and his Family Act of 2017.

And with the Prayer of Jabez on our lips, we will give thanks unto the Lord.

About the author

Mark Silk

Mark Silk is Professor of Religion in Public Life at Trinity College and director of the college's Leonard E. Greenberg Center for the Study of Religion in Public Life. He is a Contributing Editor of the Religion News Service


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  • Ouch! It took me just a moment to get the sarcasm. Clearly Mr. Trump’s businesses and assets present a problem which his opponents will flay to no end. Why can’t Mr. Trump place his assets in a blind trust without being required to liquidate them first? If that entails preventing members of his family from functioning as officers of his businesses during his term of office, so be it. In any event, this will be an event where already wealthy lawyers will be sure to profit, even if Mr. trump does not.

  • This piece by Silk is about 3-4 re-writes short of a coherent article! The only thing that makes any sense at all is the idea of holding Trump to the standards of Obama and Hilliary Clinton. Talk about a laugh–what standards is he talking about? There’s one set of standards for those two, and another for the rest of us!.

  • Is there ANY SCANDAL about mrs. Clinton, other than some emails, that has been actually found to be true?

  • Let’s see, the bankruptcy king for commerce, an architect of the Great Recession for treasury, another officer of Goldman Sachs for finance, trumps assets in a blind trust made of vitreous material, and mittens who called trump all kind of names but apparently abandoned what few principles he ever had in order to grovel for relevance.

    Drain that swamp!! Or should we call it a tramp or a swump?

  • Lefty, Obama has screwed up everything he has tried so far. I doubt that he could pull off a good, juicy scandal! We still have a couple more months . . .

  • I suppose you’re overlooking the Clinton Foundation–the reason for her own email server, and all the well-established cases of pay-to-play involving the despots of the world while she was Sec’y of State!

  • So in other words, you’ve got nothing. No Obama scandals. He’s an honorable man, even if you don’t like his policies.

  • He has been a good figurehead as the first half-black president in our history. He won reelection twice; running for president is the only thing he can do well. Someone should have told him about 6 years in, that he’s already won the office, so now it’s now time to acuallly BE the president

  • Hilliary’s misdeeds are pretty well documented by even the mainstream media. So if you’re a liberal and convicted by the mainstream media, that’s pretty solid.

    I thought it was big of Trump to say he wouldn’t prosecute.As evidence of her undying gratitude, Hilliary joined in the recount by Jill Stein of the Green Party!

  • perhaps if Trump had just accepted that he did not win the popular vote than most of this mess would just go away.

  • They are not documented. They are alleged, over and over and over and over.

    Whereas trumps misdeeds are documented.

  • So much hypocrisy- so little time.
    George Washington was reputedly the most wealthy American, a General, a slave owner, etc. Andrew Jackson was a lout and a raciest to the bone. The perversity of persons is why the founders of our republic insisted on limited powers and shared, even segmented responsibilities.
    Recently Obama was applauded for issuing executive orders to forward an agenda that Congress would not support. If Trump does the same, these same folks will demand his impeachment. Why? Because he is a disgusting person. And so politics goes.

  • And Joseph was brought down to Egypt; and Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh’s, the captain of the guard, an Egyptian, bought him of the hand of the Ishmaelites, that had brought him down thither. And Jehovah was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian