With much media attention focused on the alleged affair between President Donald Trump and adult film actress Stormy Daniels, Evangelicals are again comparing Trump to the biblical King David.
Though such a comparison might seem fitting on its face, anyone who has delved into Scripture ought realize the only similarity between Trump and the Jewish king begins and ends with adultery.
Vox has a solid explanation of just how wrong Evangelicals have the story when it comes to King David.
To ignore or excuse the Daniels saga, some evangelical Christians are even using a biblical comparison to explain their continued support for Donald Trump: the story of King David. As one conservative talk show host put it, Trump and King David were both men “after God’s own heart.”
But what do we know about King David's adulterous situation?
2 Samuel 11 and 12 tell the story of King David and Bathsheba, whose husband is Uriah.
While Uriah is off at war, King David notices Bathsheba while she is bathing and has her brought to his quarters. After sleeping with her, she becomes pregnant, and King David attempts to have Uriah also sleep with her to hide the affair.
But Uriah will not take time off from the battle and does not sleep with his wife, so King David has Uriah placed at the front lines where he is sure to die.
After Uriah is gone, King David takes Bathsheba as one of his wives and their son is born.
But here is where the most profound difference between King David and Trump arises: upon being confronted by the prophet Nathan about his sin against God, King David repents.
As part of his punishment, God takes the life of the child born to Bathsheba.
In Psalm 51, David says that he now has “a broken and contrite heart,” and tells God that he knows his sin “is always before me.” In short, King David humbles himself before God, asks for mercy, and tells God that he will live out his commandments in the future but knows that he will never forget his transgressions.
Trump on the other hand knows nothing of repentance, according to his own words.
In repeated interviews, Trump has detailed that he prefers not to ask for forgiveness for his actions, saying in 2015, “Why do I have to repent or ask for forgiveness, if I am not making mistakes?” Some conservative Christian writers have pushed back on comparisons between Trump and King David, noting that only one of the two has asked for forgiveness.
So, while Trump and King David both committed adultery, that is where the similarity ends.
And if Evangelicals wish to believe that God can use anyone -- even the ungodly -- to further His plans, by all means, believe that. But the insistence that Trump is "a man after God's own heart" simply does not fly.