NEW YORK, NEW YORK — President Donald J. Trump offered up extremely incendiary rhetoric on the campaign trail. His tone, according to his critics, was more and more shrill and hostile toward immigrants, and particularly Islamic immigrants. Trump began his campaign by taking jabs at Mexican immigrants, stepped-up what many thought were xenophobic insults to people who were not born in the United States. His comments about wanting to shut down the immigration of Muslims into the country prompted a storm of questions from the press this week.
Hours after signing an executive order banning people from seven Islamic countries from entering the country, Trump addressed reporters outside the White House.
“Here’s the thing people,” Trump told reporters, “the Constitution may not say it, but clearly Freedom of Religion only applies to Christians.” Trump said that while he acknowledges it to be a controversial statement, that he had “really put [his] superior brain” to the idea of whether or not the First Amendment only applies to Christians, and he was “dead convinced” he was right.
Mr. Trump says that in his estimation Christians are the only ones entitled to religious protection in America because “there weren’t any Muslims in the colonies, unless you count slaves and since they didn’t count them back then, we don’t count them now.” Trump said similarly he doesn’t think Chinese people or Irish people — even people like himself, whose grandfather was an Irish immigrant — should enjoy those religious protections. Only Christians, “and sometimes Jews, if they voted” for him he says deserve that protection.
“Besides, even on the extremely off chance that I’m wrong,” Trump said, “and the Constitution bars us from keeping people out based on their religion, that doesn’t mean we should trust Muslims the same as we trust Christians does it?” Trump spent the next ten minutes asking every reporter in the room the same rhetorical question over and over again, giving the finger to people who didn’t answer him quickly enough while blowing raspberries at them.
“When Christians kill people in this country now,” Trump said, “it’s because they’re in a personal dispute with someone, or they’re angry and convinced that the government is going to take away their guns, or they’re toddlers and they’re shooting people on accident because their Christian parents didn’t think to lock their handgun up where the kid couldn’t find it.” Trump said that those are all “justified and properly American reasons for killing people” and that even though “roughly 70% of the country still self-identifies as Christian you can safely assume a healthy number of the people convicted of murder would identify as Christians as well, we know Muslims are really the dangerous ones.”
“Besides all that, you want to know why it’s true that Freedom of Religion only applies to Christians,” Trump asked rhetorically as he was leaving the press conference, “I fuckin’ said so. That’s why. And you can take that to the bank, or at least to Bankruptcy Court.”
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