On Friday, President Donald Trump continued his tweet-fest from the Mar-a-Lago resort, where he retweeted a two-year-old meme showing a picture of Jesus. The picture claims Trump is “heaven sent” and says Jesus was “kicked out” of President Barack Obama White House, but was “invited back” in by President Trump.
The two-year-old meme was accompanied with text from another Twitter user that read, “I truly believe [Trump] was heaven sent in order to save and protect the most gracious, benevolent, and in turn, prosperous country ever.”
Trump tipped his cap, saying “Thank you!” and retweeting the meme.
Twitter erupted in response, with some users sharing political cartoons and memes criticizing the president — alluding to Trump’s alleged infidelity and what they regarded as his oversized sense of self-appreciation.
“YOU. ARE. AGAINST. EVERY. THING. JESUS. EVER. TAUGHT,” one user responded to Trump’s post.
The president is in the middle of an evangelical tug-of-war, which began about a week ago when popular evangelical publication Christianity Today posted an editorial calling for its readers to denounce Trump and support his removal from office via impeachment.
The post, which called Trump’s part in the Ukraine scandal “profoundly immoral,” received an equally loud wave of support and backlash, including criticism from the president himself.
Trump called out the publication in a tweet hours after it was published, claiming, “No President has done more for the Evangelical community.”
Christianity Today editor Mark Galli, who penned the op-ed, said the publication “lost hundreds of subscribers, [but] we’ve gained three times as many.”
Another editor at the Christian Post, Napp Nazworth, stepped down on Dec. 23 after his publication responded to Christianity Today‘s op-ed with one of their own that defended the president amid his impeachment trial. Nazworth said he didn’t agree with the pro-Trump sentiment, and he stepped down from the Christian Post after more than eight years there.
“They’ve chosen to represent a narrow (and shrinking) slice of Christianity,” Nazworth wrote on Twitter last week. “That might be a good business decision, short term at least. But it’s bad for Democracy, and bad for the Gospel. It means there will be one more place where readers can go for bias confirmation, but one less place where readers can go to exercise their brains on diversity of thought.”
About 81 percent of evangelicals voted for Trump in 2016, according to Pew Research Center. The growing dissent among evangelicals is a sign of Trump’s base breaking ranks over his impeachment earlier this month.
“We believe the impeachment hearings have made it absolutely clear, in a way the Mueller investigation did not, that President Trump has abused his authority for personal gain and betrayed his constitutional oath,” Galli wrote in his Christianity Today op-ed earlier this month. “The impeachment hearings have illuminated the president’s moral deficiencies for all to see. This damages the institution of the presidency, damages the reputation of our country, and damages both the spirit and the future of our people.”