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Why evangelical Christians fool themselves about Trump's religiosity

Why evangelical Christians fool themselves about Trump's religiosity
President Trump, with First Lady Melania Trump and Franklin Graham, bows his head in prayer during a ceremony honoring the late Rev. Billy Graham at the U.S. Capitol building on Feb. 28. (Evan Vucci / Associated Press)

To the editor: The juxtaposition of the March 1 op-ed articles "Holy crap: The 'godly' side of Donald Trump" and, "There are echoes of the Fugitive Slave Act in today's immigration debate" was appropriate.

The first discusses "The Faith of Donald J. Trump: A Spiritual Biography," a book that has echoes of the faith-based justifications used by slave owners, just as the second article makes reference to the echoes in the immigration fight to the Fugitive Slave Act.

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When selfishness leads people to behavior they know is immoral, they search for rationales. Slave owners found an excuse for enslaving others in stating that their slaves were not fully human. Evangelicals who back President Trump because they want a right-wing Supreme Court find an equally specious excuse for supporting a clearly corrupt person by congratulating themselves on their belief in repentance and redemption.

Elizabeth Rumelt, Santa Barbara

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To the editor: Lawrence Downes spends two paragraphs commenting on an obvious misprint he found in the forward by Eric Metaxas to the book "The Faith of Donald J. Trump."

Metaxas, a Yale graduate, has written several books on difficult subjects, including William Wilberforce, Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Martin Luther. He may be considered an expert on Christianity.

Metaxas also hosts a talk show. He is smart, engaging and very funny.

Why does Downes even bother to mention what amounts to an obvious misprint? Is it to throw shade on Metaxas' endorsement of the book? What does it have to do with the book itself?

These two paragraphs say more about Downes than they do the authors of the book.

Nathan Post, Santa Barbara

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To the editor: Downes' piece reminded me of a recurring dream I had as a small boy during the time when Franklin D. Roosevelt was our president.

I don't remember the narrative, but I vividly recall to this day that it posed to a sleeping boy the question, "What if everything that I was being taught was good — honesty, kindness, generosity — was in fact bad, and that all that I was being taught was bad, was good?"

Who could have imagined that a question posed to a child 75 years ago would be so dishearteningly relevant today? Who could have dreamed that Donald Trump would be president?

As the saying goes, if you hang around long enough, you'll see everything.

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Ronald Rubin, Santa Monica

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