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Super Christian Donald Trump Thinks Ben Carson's Weird Religion Is Weird
Sure, Gary Larson did it better. But Trump IS a vulture...
Oh, golly, Donald Trump and Ben Carson are in another God Fight . Or at least Trump's trying to start another one. During a rally in Florida Saturday, Trump said, in that offhanded way he does when a thing happens to occur to him or he notices a shiny object, "I'm Presbyterian ... Boy, that's down the middle of the road, folks, in all fairness. I mean, Seventh-day Adventist, I don't know about. I just don't know about." Not that he had any particular Seventh-Day Adventists in mind, of course. On ABC's This Week Sunday, Trump said he saw no reason to apologize, because after all, all he'd said was that he doesn't know about those Seventh-Day Adventists, is all: "I would certainly give an apology if I said something bad about it. But I didn't. All I said was I don't know about it," Trump said. He was careful not to add, "Not that it's some weird cult or anything. Is it? Because I don't know whether it's a freaky cult that's almost as foreign to real Christian beliefs as, say, Mormonism is. I ought to study up on whether it's a strange alien cult whose theology would shock and disgust most Americans, especially in Iowa."
[contextly_sidebar id="axTWqzKRDHWGKTED5MphO7QTbLjeZsYE"] On Fox News Sunday, Carson quietly delivered his trademark style of softspoken, passive aggressive reply, saying, no doubt with half-closed eyes, that Trump "went ballistic" in September when Carson questioned Trump's faith, not that he was questioning Trump's faith of course. While very carefully not responding to Trump, Carson did manage to explain that one difference between himself and Trump -- who owns a Bible and everything -- is that
"I’ve realized where my success has come from, and I don’t in any way deny my faith in God.”
"So it seems a little interesting that he would now be doing that," Carson noted.
Nicely played, Dr. Carson!
As Sarah Posner at Religion Dispatches points out, Carson's membership in the Seventh-Day Adventist faith hasn't (yet) become an issue for Protestant evangelicals the way that Mitt Romney's Mormonism was for some in 2012. It could be that the Adventists are just a smidge closer to fundagelical Christianity, what with their embrace of creationism and not liking gays one little bit, or perhaps it's because most religious Carson supporters aren't aware that some of your screamier fundamentalists consider Adventists a cult. And it's just possible that someone put that bug in Trump's ear, so he could Just Ask the Question about whether Carson is some sort of cultist, maybe. Then again, Posner points out that Carson is not entirely an orthodox Adventist, either:
His suggestions that Americans should arm themselves (or that Jews in Nazi Germany could have saved themselves from the Holocaust by being armed with guns) conflict with Adventism’s non-violence. And his opposition to a Muslim becoming president, while in agreement with almost two-thirds of Iowa Republicans, is at odds with the Adventist dedication to religious freedom (not to mention the Constitution).
Trump's attention to Carson's faith did at least get an enthusiastic endorsement from Wingnut's Wingnut Theodore Shoebat, one of those out-there fundies who makes snake-handlers seem like Epsicopalians. Shoebat, in a column subtly titled "Donald Trump Questions Carson’s Faith, And One Thing We Must Recognize Is That The Seventh Day Adventist Religion Is An Evil And Demonic Cult That Must Be Exposed," argues that Real Christians must recognize that the Seventh Day Adventist religion is an evil and demonic cult that must be exposed, because it believes a lot of Very Bad Things, like the Sabbath is Saturday, for instance, and that it rejects the Holy Trinity, a claim we really hope will come up in Wednesday's GOP debate. That would be at least as much fun as hearing about which GOP candidates' moms, wives, or daughters should be on the ten-dollar bill.