Trumpism and the Christian faith: an interview with Jonathan Merritt

Author
Elesha Gordon, CBA,
Publish Date
Fri, 2 Apr 2021, 12:05PM
Photo / Getty Images

Trumpism and the Christian faith: an interview with Jonathan Merritt

Author
Elesha Gordon, CBA,
Publish Date
Fri, 2 Apr 2021, 12:05PM

Christianity is always political but it should never be partisan, says American writer Jonathan Merritt.

Merritt, an award-winning journalist and author, spoke to Tash McGill and Peter Wolfkamp on Good Friday about the conflation between Trumpism and the Christian faith.

He says the politicisation of religion isn’t a new thing, however, the Trump administration made it even more apparent.

“The use of religious language and symbols in American public life isn’t new … the difference is when it is done by Donald Trump it’s not believable. 

“The ways he has bumbled and stumbled his way through this religious charade had almost become a parody of itself.”

Merrit says it’s problematic when people identify themselves as Christians based on the way they vote.

“Right now you are having a shift away from where people used to see themselves as ‘American Christians’ and they are now seeing themselves as ‘Christian Americans’. That they are now Christianity is the modifier of the core of who they are.

“I think it cheapens the sacredness of the spirituality of the religion itself.”

Merritt says recent events in the USA have been helpful as people are starting to ask what it means to be a follower of Jesus in the 21st century.

“At least in the USA, I think we can no longer speak of ‘Christianity’, instead I think we have to speak about ‘Christianities’ in the plural. I think we have had such a fracturing, even within movements that were once held together, of different 'Christianities' that are formed around different thought lines.”

Listen above to Jonathan Merritt’s full interview.