MSNBC Host Says Trump 'Mocked the Words of Jesus Christ' in National Prayer Breakfast Speech

MSNBC's Joe Scarborough has hit out at the Evangelical Christian leaders who have not come out and spoken against President Donald Trump following his speech at the National Prayer Breakfast.

The Morning Joe host accused Trump of mocking the words of Jesus Christ by using the usually non-partisan annual event to attack his political enemies and address his recent impeachment acquittal.

During his speech, Trump described how he does not like "people who say, 'I pray for you,' when they know that that's not so" in an apparent reference to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who previously remarked she did just that during the impeachment hearings.

He also appeared to take a swipe at former his former political ally Mitt Romney after the Utah Senator became the only GOP lawmaker to vote to convict Trump for abuse of power.

Explaining his decision, Romney said he could not let personal considerations overwhelm his conscience or "my oath to God."

"I don't like people who use their faith as justification for doing what they know is wrong," Trump said.

Scarborough asked why he, a "twice-divorced backslidden Baptist," is the one who is offended by Trump evoking Christian values while engaging is un-Christ-like behavior such as removing migrant children from their families at the border or rewarding the rich while punishing the poor.

Scarborough also attacked Trump for using Christianity to attack his rivals despite having "never read the Bible in his life" and alleging he doesn't know the differences between the Old and New Testaments.

"Let me read you the words that the President of the United States at a National Prayer Breakfast was mocking yesterday," Scarborough said.

"Jesus said this: 'You have heard it said, love your friends and hate your enemies. But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons and daughters of your Father in heaven.

"If you love only those who love you, what reward will you get? And do not evil men do that? And if you greet only your brothers, only your friends, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?

Scarborough added that is it the "centerpiece of the gospels of Jesus Christ" to love your enemies and forgive those who have persecuted you, suggesting that Trump does neither.

"Yesterday at something called the National Prayer Breakfast, Donald Trump mocked the words of Jesus Christ, and he got applause for it," he said.

"I'm marking yesterday as a dark day, not only in the history of this country, but in the history of the modern evangelical movement, because I heard nobody, nobody, that supported Donald Trump stand up for the words of Jesus Christ, and here I am, a guy who's been divorced twice, a guy who's a backslidden Baptist, I'm having to do this?

"Where are the religious leaders of the day to do this? Or to talk about the Good Samaritan? Or to talk about why it is un-Christ-like to put children in cages? Or to talk about why it's un-Christ-like to reward the richest of the rich while hurting the poorest of the poor? Where are these men?"

As reported by The Associated Press, some religious figures have spoken out against Trump following his National Prayer Breakfast address.

"A bipartisan prayer breakfast is the last place one would expect to find political attacks on opponents," said Rev. Tom Lambrecht, general manager of the conservative United Methodist magazine Good News.

"Our country would benefit from a return to the kind of civility and grace reflected in Jesus' words."

Professor Robert Franklin, who teaches moral theology at Atlanta's Emory University's Candler School of Theology, added to AP: "If the president is feeling persecuted, he would be well served to spend quality time with his pastor while studying what Jesus did when he was persecuted.

"The religion of Jesus promotes the virtues of humility, self-accountability, forgiveness and reconciliation."

The White House has been contacted for comment.

trump
President Donald Trump holds up a newspaper that displays a headline "Acquitted" as he arrives to speak at the 68th annual National Prayer Breakfast on February 6, 2020 in Washington,DC. NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty
MSNBC Host Says Trump 'Mocked the Words of Jesus Christ' in National Prayer Breakfast Speech | U.S.