Saturday, February 20, 2016

Trump's Week of Controversial Religious Allusions

Donald Trump tonight won the South Carolina Republican primary, capping a week in which his religious rhetoric has sparked controversy.  On Thursday, Trump clashed with Pope Francis.  As reported by CNN:
One of the more unlikely battles to jolt a presidential campaign emerged Thursday when Pope Francis said Trump is "not Christian" if he wants to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Trump, true to form, shot back that the pontiff's comments were "disgraceful."
But by Thursday evening, the GOP front-runner was doing something unusual: de-escalating a fight.
"I don't like fighting with the Pope," Trump said at a GOP town hall in South Carolina hosted by CNN. "I like his personality; I like what he represents."
Trump called the Pope a "wonderful guy" and blamed the day's drama on the press.
Yesterday at a rally in South Carolina, Trump invoked a probably inaccurate story that has circulated on the Internet for years. As reported by the Washington Post:
As the crowd cheered him on, Trump told them about Pershing — “rough guy, rough guy” — who was fighting terrorism in the early 1900s. Trump didn't say where this happened, but variations of this story online usually state that it happened in the Philippines during the Philippine-American War — part of the island nation's protracted battle for independence — early in Pershing’s career.
“They were having terrorism problems, just like we do,” Trump said. “And he caught 50 terrorists who did tremendous damage and killed many people. And he took the 50 terrorists, and he took 50 men and he dipped 50 bullets in pigs’ blood — you heard that, right? He took 50 bullets, and he dipped them in pigs’ blood. And he had his men load his rifles, and he lined up the 50 people, and they shot 49 of those people. And the 50th person, he said: You go back to your people, and you tell them what happened. And for 25 years, there wasn’t a problem...."
Finally, this morning as Vice-President Joe Biden, rather than President Barack Obama, attended Justice Scalia's funeral mass, Donald Trump tweeted:
I wonder if President Obama would have attended the funeral of Justice Scalia if it were held in a Mosque? Very sad that he did not go!