RU professors explain Donald Trump’s pledge to “Unite America under one God”

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia commons

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia commons

By David Villegas, Contributing Reporter

Recently, Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump declared multiple times that he will have the United States of America under a vision of “working together as one people, under one God, saluting one flag,” if he is elected to the Oval Office.

This jargon, especially the concept of uniting a historically secular country under one God, is troubling to those who value the constitutionally given right to practice any religion.
Trump has repeated this phrase at several rallies and events in recent weeks, but what he means by this promise remains decidedly unclear.

Assistant Professor of Political Science Philip Hultquist said that it would be nearly impossible for Trump to go through with his promise of uniting the nation under one God, even if Congress members were to back it.

The first amendment, Hultquist explained, should prohibit any establishment of a national religion, and that the Supreme Court would be likely to rule any such rule unconstitutional.

“This quote from Donald Trump, alongside his other religious comments and recent fake Christian transformation, is very obvious pandering to a set of Christian conservatives in the Republican Party that feel the continued secularization of the US persecutes them,” Hultquist said.

And though the Court has an open seat following the death of Antonin Scalia, Professor Hultquist does not think that Scalia’s replacement would rule in favor of such a law.

“Honestly, I think it would be hard to find an otherwise qualified judge that believed the 1st Amendment does not bar the government from explicitly creating a state religion,” Hultquist said.

Associate Professor David Faris offered his thoughts on the effect of Donald Trump’s pledge to voters and how the hotel magnate is trying to appeal to the Evangelical Christian community.

“Trump himself is rather clearly unfamiliar with evangelical Christianity and has lived an adult life that has featured three marriages and a lifelong commitment to ripping off working people,” Faris said. “So he is appealing to this constituency by speaking carelessly.”

Professor Faris noted that making such controversial policies has become the norm for Donald Trump.
Hultquist agreed with Faris, adding that Republicans in general feel marginalized by the fact that the US does not have an established religion.

“This quote from Donald Trump, alongside his other religious comments and recent fake Christian transformation, is very obvious pandering to a set of Christian conservatives in the Republican Party that feel the continued secularization of the US persecutes them,” Hultquist said.

Professor Faris noted that making such controversial statements has become the norm for Donald Trump throughout what has been an unprecedented campaign.

“Casually making policy proposals that are illegal, unconstitutional or that constitute war crimes is a specialty of this dime store huckster who would like to become our president,” Faris said.

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