In an exclusive interview with The Brody File at his golf course in Southern California, GOP Presidential Candidate Donald Trump heaps praise on the Bible and refers to the Book of Proverbs when discussing envy. "There's so many things that you can learn from it (the Bible). Proverbs, the chapter 'never bend to envy.' I've had that thing all of my life where people are bending to envy."
First up from the God Machine is a follow-up report on a story we discussed last month, when Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump was asked about his favorite Bible verse.
Trump’s clumsiness on matters of faith has been a point of concern for some voters before, but in an interview with Bloomberg Politics, the GOP candidate was willing to say the Bible is his favorite book, though he refused to say which parts of Scripture are important to him, saying it was "private." (Asked whether he's drawn more to the New or Old Testaments, Trump said, "Both.")
This week, the Republican sat down with the TV preacher Pat Robertson's Christian Broadcasting Network, where Trump changed his mind about his willingness to share his favorite parts of the Bible.
There was some question at first as to what in the world Trump was referring to. The Washington Post noted it "wasn't clear which verse the Republican front-runner was talking about: A search of several of the most-used standard versions of the Bible did not turn up any verse or chapter that urges people not to 'bend to envy.'"
CBN's David Brody reported that a Trump campaign official later clarified that the candidate was referring to Proverbs 24:1-2, which says, “Be not thou envious against evil men, neither desire to be with them. For their heart studieth destruction, and their lips talk of mischief.”
Whether Trump connects with Scriptural references to envy because he's been envious of others, or whether he's concerned about others being envious of him, remains open to some interpretation.
Also from the God Machine this week:
* Another horrible chapter in the international scandal involving the Roman Catholic Church and sexual abuses: "The Catholic Church has allowed priests accused of sexually abusing children in the United States and Europe to relocate to poor parishes in South America, a yearlong GlobalPost investigation has found."
* This story, out of Arizona, seems like a lawsuit waiting to happen: "The Coolidge City Council is in hot water over a vote to consider allowing only Christian organizations to offer prayers before public meetings" (thanks to my colleague Laura Conaway for the heads-up).
* A city councilman in Alabama says he's pursuing ordinances to ban saggy pants because God told him to pursue the policy (thanks to reader R.B. for the heads-up).
* And HBO's John Oliver has decided to close his month-old tax-exempt religious ministry, which had been called Our Lady of Perpetual Exemption.