Donald Trump repeated his oft-promised return to traditional beliefs last week, vowing to instil ‘Merry Christmas’ back into American discourse.
Trump became the first sitting President to address the staunchly conservative Values Voters Summit on Friday, branded a ‘hate group’ by the Southern Poverty Law Center, as he ran through his achievements for conservative evangelicals.
‘I pledged that in a Trump administration, our nation’s religious heritage would be cherished, protected and defended like you have never seen before,’ he said. ‘Above all else in America, we don’t worship government. We worship God.’
Echoing an argument conservatives regularly make for America’s Christian roots, Trump noted there are four references to a ‘creator’ in the Declaration of Independence, saying ‘our religious liberty is enshrined in the very first amendment in the Bill of Rights’.
He told a cheering crowd: ‘They don’t use the word “Christmas” because it’s not politically correct.
He said. ‘Well guess what? We’re saying “Merry Christmas” again.’
It is not the first time Trump has used the call to say ‘Merry Christmas’ as a reminder to his conservative evangelical base that he is on their side. As far back as 2015, he used the pledge in the run-up to the 2016 election.
“@JenniferJJacobs: Trump: “Protect the 2nd amendment…And by the way we’re going to be saying Merry Christmas again.” Iowa crowd LOVES it.”
- He also called for a boycott of Starbucks when the chain did not print ‘Merry Christmas’ on their red seasonal mugs.
‘Did you read about Starbucks? No more Merry Christmas on Starbucks,’ Trump told a Springfield, Illinois rally. ‘Maybe we should boycott Starbucks. I don’t know. Seriously, I don’t care.’
In a June 2016 campaign meeting with religious leaders, he warned the then leadership were ‘selling Christianity down the tubes’ as he promised to make sure that department store employees say ‘Merry Christmas’.
And after repeatedly using the pledge on his campaign trail he made good on the promise, traveling to Wisconsin shortly after winning the election in December 2016. ‘So when I started 18 months ago, I told my first crowd in Wisconsin that we are going to come back here someday and we are going to say “Merry Christmas” again,’ he said. ‘Merry Christmas. So, Merry Christmas, everyone. Happy New Year, but Merry Christmas.’
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