The Trump Nobody Knows

When he discusses his faith, the Republican candidate sounds a great deal like the businessman-turned-politician who coined his campaign slogan.

.. The columnist Cal Thomas recently asked Trump, “Who do you say Jesus is?” Trump replied:

Jesus to me is somebody I can think about for security and confidence. Somebody I can revere in terms of bravery and in terms of courage and, because I consider the Christian religion so important, somebody I can totally rely on in my own mind.

Trump’s emphasis on Jesus’s bravery and courage may not resonate with every believing Christian, but it draws on a century-old tradition of Muscular Christianity.

.. A physical weakling! Where did they get that idea? Jesus pushed a plane and swung an adze; he was a successful carpenter. He slept outdoors and spent his days walking around his favorite lake. His muscles were so strong that when he drove the money-changers out, nobody dared to oppose him!

.. Barton wrote that book. The Man Nobody Knows became an instant bestseller, moving a quarter-million copies by 1926. It was, like The Art of the Deal, an inspirational success manual.

.. Where his supporters saw a straight-talking businessman, his rival saw a scarcely disguised fascist. They pointed to an essay Barton had written seven years before, praising Mussolini for fostering “love of country, respect for courts and law, and sense of national obligation” in Italy. “Must we abolish the Senate and have a dictatorship to do it?” Barton had mused. “I sometimes think it would be almost worth the cost.”