President Trump plans to participate in the White House’s National Day of Prayer service in the Rose Garden this afternoon. While his focus will likely be different, there’s a slim chance it’ll feel less calculated than his political performance at the National Prayer Breakfast just a few short months ago.
If you can remember that far back, in February, President Trump used his time at the podium during the annual prayer affair to accuse Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT), a Mormon, of using his faith to justify his vote in favor of conviction on one article of impeachment. Trump also went after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), who, at the time, was regularly telling the press that she prays for the President when the two are at odds.
It wasn’t a particularly surprising move, at least to me. As a recovering evangelical, I’ve paid special attention to Trump’s appropriation of various aspects of the Christian faith to calm the fears of voters who may still be on the fence about his moral compass.
This administration regularly feigns spirituality, repurposes Biblical language and manipulates Christian exercises — that are rooted in depth, purpose and fellowship — to appeal to Trump’s base. While fascinating, it is also hits me as extremely icky. Trump’s performative prayers make me cringe in a way I haven’t felt since I witnessed carefully curated emotional hymns accompanying the handout of the offering basket just after the altar call on Sundays — necessary for survival, but nauseatingly crafty.
I don’t expect today’s prayer event at the White House will feel much different.
Here’s more on that and other stories we’re following today:
What The Investigations Team Is Watching
Josh Kovensky is looking into reports that COVID-19 survivors are being banned from serving in the military.
Tierney Sneed is working on a piece on how the administration’s coronavirus response would be implicated if the Supreme Court strikes down the Affordable Care Act.
What The Breaking News Team Is Watching
A day after a district judge in the Southern District of New York ordered the presidential primary back on, the New York Board of Elections appealed the decision. The presidential primary was cancelled in April. We will continue monitoring this back and forth.
Trump just appointed a top GOP fundraiser who regularly contributes to his campaign to lead the USPS, an independent agency that Trump loves to go after. Louis DeJoy will be the new U.S. postmaster general for the USPS. We’ll keep an eye on any reactions to this appointment.
If You Read Anything On COVID-19 Today, Read This
Kate Riga reports on a sheriff in Klickitat County in Washington who recently declared he won’t enforce the governor’s “unconstitutional” stay-at-home order. Sheriff Bob Songer isn’t the first in the state to make such a move. Franklin County Sheriff J.D. Raymond took a similar stand a couple of weeks ago.
Earlier coverage on local backlash to stay-at-home orders:
- Justice Compares Wisconsin COVID Shutdown Order To Internment Of Japanese-Americans
- Trump Sides With Armed Protesters As Whitmer Bucks The GOP Legislature
- GOP-Led County Postures Over NC Guv’s Stay At Home Order And Quickly Retreats
2:00 p.m. ET: Trump will meet with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott in the Oval Office.
4:00 p.m. ET: Trump and the first lady will deliver remarks at the White House National Day of Prayer service.
Yesterday’s Most Read Story
Where Things Stand: Breaking Their Own Rules — Nicole Lafond
What We Are Reading
Coronavirus Survivors Banned From Joining The Military — Meghann Myers
Stuck In 2020, Pretending It’s 2014 — Rebecca Jennings