“For You, Hashem, are good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all who call on You.” (Psalm 86:5)
President Trump ranged far and wide in his State of the Union Address on Tuesday night, referring to the myriad of issues he has dealt with in the first half of his presidency but in a manner similar to many of his other landmark speeches, the president invoked the name of God six times. This topped his inaugural address in which he invoked God’s name five times.
Perhaps the most significant mention of God came when the president addressed recent state legislation allowing late-term abortions.
“There could be no greater contrast to the beautiful image of a mother holding her infant child than the chilling displays our Nation saw in recent days. Lawmakers in New York cheered with delight upon the passage of legislation that would allow a baby to be ripped from the mother’s womb moments from birth.
These are living, feeling, beautiful babies who will never get the chance to share their love and dreams with the world. And then, we had the case of the Governor of Virginia where he stated he would execute a baby after birth. To defend the dignity of every person, I am asking the Congress to pass legislation to prohibit the late-term abortion of children who can feel pain in the mother’s womb. Let us work together to build a culture that cherishes innocent life. And let us reaffirm a fundamental truth: all children — born and unborn — are made in the holy image of God.”
In his speech, the president specifically identified himself with the cause of Jewish suffering, invoking the name of God, albeit as a quote, when referring to the Holocaust.
“A … Holocaust survivor who is here tonight, Joshua Kaufman, was a prisoner at Dachau Concentration Camp. He remembers watching through a hole in the wall of a cattle car as American soldiers rolled in with tanks. ‘To me,’ Joshua recalls, ‘the American soldiers were proof that God exists, and they came down from the sky. They came down from heaven.’”
Trump made reference to the horrific anti-Semitic attack at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh last October in which 11 people were murdered. One survivor of the shooting, who was also a survivor of the Holocaust, was present in the Capitol Building along with a police officer who was injured in the effort to save the remaining people trapped in the synagogue.
A larger portion of the speech dealt with border security with the president doubling-down on his campaign promise to build a wall separating the U.S. from Mexico.
“In the past, most of the people in this room voted for a wall — but the proper wall never got built. I’ll get it built. This is a smart, strategic, see-through steel barrier — not just a simple concrete wall. It will be deployed in the areas identified by border agents as having the greatest need, and as these agents will tell you, where walls go up, illegal crossings go way down.”
The president finished up the speech with a patriotic flurry of divine references.
“We must keep America first in our hearts. We must keep freedom alive in our souls. And we must always keep faith in America’s destiny — that one Nation, under God, must be the hope and the promise and the light and the glory among all the nations of the world!
Thank you. God Bless You, God Bless America, and good night!”
The presidential references to God stand in stark contrast to a recent Democratic Biblical flub. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi frequently quotes what she claimed was her favorite verse in the Bible. In an Earth Day press release, she wrote, “The Bible tells us in the Old Testament, ‘To minister to the needs of God’s creation is an act of worship. To ignore those needs is to dishonor the God who made us.”
She has reportedly quoted the false passage at least 11 times from the House floor since 2002, according to the Congressional Record. As most BIN readers probably know, these words do not actually appear in the Bible. When called out for her error, Pelosi remained unrepentant.
“I can’t find it in the Bible but I quote it all the time, and I keep reading and reading the Bible. I know it is there someplace,” Pelosi told the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities conference last Wednesday. “It’s supposed to be in Isaiah, but I heard a bishop say to minister to the needs of God’s creation is an act of worship. To ignore those needs is to dishonor the God who made us.”
While Speaker Pelosi freely interpreted the Bible to suit her current agendas, President Trump praised recent efforts by several states to introduce the learning of the actual Bible.