News and Commentary

Trump Responds To Claim He Was Chosen By God
Hand from sky giving thumbs up
Thomas Jackson / Getty Images

Barack Obama was known as “The Chosen One.”

But two professors who study religion and politics say more churchgoers now believe President Trump has been anointed by God to lead the United States.

Ryan Burge, assistant professor of political science at Eastern Illinois University, and Paul Djupe, an associate professor of political science at Denison University in Ohio, wrote a “Religion in Public” blog post titled “Trump The Anointed?”

The two ran a survey in March and found that among white Protestants who attend church services once a week, 49.5% believe Trump has been anointed by God, calling the finding a “phenomenon that is sweeping American religion.” Those who practice other faiths came in at 49.1%, the professors said.

Burge and Djupe noted that the numbers have been going up.

“Last fall, we wrote about the extent to which white Protestants believed Donald Trump was anointed by God to be president of the United States. Just 21% believed this, but evangelicals were more likely to believe it (29%), and pentecostals were the most likely (53%),” they wrote. “In 2019, among white Protestants who attended church weekly or more often, 29.6 percent believed Trump was anointed by God to be president. But by March 2020, that figure had climbed to 49 percent.”

Now, Trump has responded to the claim.

“I almost don’t even want to think about it,” Trump said in an interview on Monday, Fox News reported. “Because you know what, all I’m gonna do is, I hope it’s true. All I’m going to do is, I’m going to do my best.”

Trump, though, has asserted that he is “the chosen one,” although he later said he was joking. During trade talks with China in 2019, Trump said, “I am the chosen one” before boarding Air Force One. His comment went viral, and he later addressed the controversy.

“When I looked up to the sky and jokingly said ‘I am the chosen one,’ at a press conference two days ago, referring to taking on Trade with China, little did I realize that the media would claim that I had a ‘Messiah complex.’ They knew I was kidding, being sarcastic and just … having fun. I was smiling as I looked up and around. The MANY reporters with me were smiling also. They knew the TRUTH… And yet when I saw the reporting, CNN, MSNBC and other Fake News outlets covered it as serious news & me thinking of myself as the Messiah. No more trust! ”

“We were quite surprised by the result that 49 percent of those frequently attending worship services believed that Trump was anointed by God to be president,” Bruge and Djupe told Fox in an email. “At least until we examined the evidence that suggested religious and secular elites continue to claim that Trump has a religiously significant role to play.”

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