Politics, they say, makes for strange bedfellows. This year, it's made for even stranger pew-mates. Who could imagine Donald Trump as a victim of governmental discrimination, singled out for repeated tax audits, because, as he puts it, "I'm a strong Christian"?
But here we are, with the Donald standing triumphant alongside Jerry Falwell Jr., the son of Baptist minister Jerry Falwell and the current president of the school his father founded, Liberty University. While Trump cites "Two Corinthians" (three colon seventeen), Falwell calls Trump "a successful executive and entrepreneur, a wonderful father and a man who I believe can lead our country to greatness again."
The news about the Donald's first foray into higher -- or lower, depending upon one's point of view -- education, with Trump University, has caused me to wonder if we can look forward to Trump joining the faculty at Liberty. He could teach in the Donald John Trump School of Biblical Studies, from a lectern in the Donald John Trump Hall of Mirrors. After all, as Trump explains, "Nobody reads the Bible more than me."
It might go something like this, as evangelical students across America open their mail to find a letter announcing new opportunities to "Study the Bible -- 'It's My Favorite Book!' -- and Win, Win, Win!" Just imagine …
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President Jerry Falwell Jr. has released a revised course schedule for the Summer 2017 Long Distance Learning Program. With the institution of the Donald John Trump School of Biblical Studies, the following Old Testament courses on Genesis have been added:
BIBOT 130: Origins of the Nephilim (Genesis 6:1-4 KJV) If Those Fair Daughters of Men Weren't Dead, I Mean Totally Decayed, I'd Probably Be Dating One -- taught by Donald J. Trump, June 6-July 29*
BIBOT 140: Table of the Nations (Genesis 10:1-32 KJV) Names and The Art of the Deal by Donald J. Trump; Asshur, Lud, Joktan, and Nimrod. Lud? Nimrod? Are You Kidding Me? You're Fired! -- taught by Donald J. Trump, June 6-July 29*
BIBOT 160: Babel: A Tower Whose Top May Reach Unto Heaven (Genesis11:1-9 KJV) It was the Slime for Mortar That Queered That Deal! Principles in Tower-Building -- taught by Donald J. Trump, June 6-July 29*
BIBOT 225: Strife Between the Herdmen of Abram's Cattle and the Herdmen of Lot's Cattle (Genesis 13:1-18 KJV) They Should Have Got Along With Everybody. They're Businessmen! Like Me! I May Buy a Farm in Iowa or South Carolina, I Love South Carolina, and Become a, Whaddya' Call It, Herdman Myself (with notes from the bestselling How To Get Rich) -- taught by Donald J. Trump, June 6-July 29*
BIBOT 235: Then the Lord Rained Upon Sodom and Upon Gomorrah Brimstone and Fire (Genesis 19:1-25 KJV) God Designed It; My Middle East Foreign Policy -- taught by Donald J. Trump, June 6-July 29* (required text: Time to Get Tough by Donald J. Trump)
BIBOT 245: Sarah Conceives a Son at the Age of Ninety (Genesis 17:16-19;18:1-15; 21:1-5 KJV) Notice You Don't See Her Much After That. Two Chapters Later, She's Gone, Boom, at a Time When Abraham Needed Real Strength. I Mean, He Had the Thing on the Mountain, the Knife and the Wood of the Burnt Offering and Where Is She? What Women in the Bible Have to Teach Us About Women in Politics -- taught by Donald J. Trump, June 6-July 29*
BIBOT 310: And Jacob Was Left Alone; and There Wrestled a Man With Him Until the Breaking of the Day (Genesis 32:24-32 KJV) I Would Have Taken That Guy in Three; Notes From My Bestseller Think Big and Kick Ass -- taught by Donald J. Trump, June 6-July 29*
BIBOT 320: Behold, I Have Heard That There Is Corn in Egypt: Get You Down Thither, and Buy for Us From Thence; That We May Live and Not Die (Genesis 41:54 -- 45: 28 KJV) Buy Corn From Egypt? Whaddya' Kidding Me? They Should Be Giving Us Corn. When I'm Done, They Will Be Paying Us to Take Their Corn. And They Will Give Us Butter, Plus Those Little Holders So You Don't Get Schmutz All Over Your Hands -- taught by Donald J. Trump, June 6-July 29*
BIBOT 330: An Overview of Genesis: I Love that Band. Tonight, Tonight, Tonight -- taught by Donald J. Trump, June 6-July 29*
Please plan to join us here in Lynchburg on July 4, 2017, for a scholarly symposium: "Did Jesus Always Know He Was a Republican: A Fresh Look at the Baptismal Narratives of Matthew and Luke." Donald Trump, of the Donald John Trump School of Biblical Studies, will join us for a day of hot dogs, hymn-singing, lemonade and spirited discussion. Then we will reconvene in the Donald John Trump Hall of Mirrors. Among the topics Mr. Trump will cover:
- A Benjamin in the Communion Plate or the Collection Plate; It All Goes in the Same Pot, Am I Right?
- Don't Bend to Envy. It's My Favorite Verse. Somewhere in Proverbs. No, Look Again. It's Gotta Be in There.
- Two Chronicles Nine Colon One: The Queen of Sheba Heard of the Fame of Solomon? Imagine If She'd Heard of the Fame of Trump. I Could've Nailed Her. She had the Height, the Skin, the Throne, the Whole Package.
- John One, John Two, John Three and the Gospel of John: How John Became Huge While Mark Is Just Meh, One Gospel and the Shortest One, Too.
- The Epistle of Jude; I'm Pretty Sure It's Pronounced "Jew."
* As Professor Trump expects to be both president of the United States and emperor of China by the summer of 2017, we cannot guarantee his physical presence at each lecture. Some of the lectures will be pre-recorded and beamed to us over the Trump National Broadcasting System. Others will be taught by professors handpicked and trained by Professor Trump. Every lecture will feature a life-sized cardboard cutout of Professor Trump. Autographed copies of his bestselling books will be available for sale at each and every lecture for the reduced price of $1,500 (plus tax, shipping and handling fees.)
[Melissa Musick Nussbaum's column for NCR is at NCRonline.org/blogs/my-table-spread. Her latest book, with co-author Anna Keating, is The Catholic Catalogue: A Field Guide to the Daily Acts That Make Up a Catholic Life.]