On January 20, 2017 in his Inauguration Speech, Donald Trump quoted a biblical verse in part of his speech. The quote is as follows:
“The Bible tells us, ‘How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity.’ We must speak our minds openly, debate our disagreements honestly, but always pursue solidarity. When America is united, America is totally unstoppable.”
While this may seem like a cry to rally Americans together, he shuts out other religions in the process. Directly quoting the Bible as well as referring to a singular God may leave many people on the outside. While 70 percent of Americans are Christians, there is still another 30 percent that does not worship the same deity as Donald Trump. As we have learned in POS470, it is important to analyze closely why things are said and done. Words can be up for all kinds of interpretation. This post will look at possible reasons for why Donald Trump quoted what he quoted.
A major part of Trump’s campaign ran on a fear of Muslim terrorists entering the United States. He spoke out many times regarding sending refugees back to the Middle East as to protect Americans on their home soil. Whether this statement was accurate or not, he still used it many times throughout his campaign. This part of his Inauguration Speech could have been a rally cry for Christians to stand together. While this is extremely religiously motivated, he could have left out other religions because a big part of his campaign involved denouncing Muslims. Making a statement about all religions coming together as one would have gone against what he has been preaching for years. His scare tactics would be void and he may lose followers if he comes out with a statement such as that.
Another reason for Donald Trump using that particular quote could be the fact that Presidents before him have continually quoted the Bible in their speeches. It has become a norm over the decades. For example, past Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower, Harry Truman, and George W. Bush have quoted the Bible numerous times throughout their presidencies, as well as many others. Due to the fact that 70 percent of Americans are Christian they could see the Bible as a way to bring most Americans together. It also could simply be tradition that allows them to make such quotations.
While quoting the Bible may seem harmless and a silly aspect to debate, we live in an extremely polarized world. Especially in the United States, fear of Muslims has escalated dramatically. We have a President who seeks to divide the American people, even if he does not state it explicitly. In this day and age, it is important to be inclusive. Religious differences should not be a means of insult and violence. People are people, regardless of who they worship. Not all Muslims are terrorists. Not all Christians hate Muslims. Especially as President, Donald Trump needs to be wary of the fact that immigrants created this country, and that religious differences are not a means for putting other people down.