Photo: Donald Trump with a bible in his hands.
Talking about God is pretty standard for American politicians. But a line that has been popping up often in Donald Trump's recent campaign speeches seems to go further.
At a recent gathering of conservative Christians in Washington, D.C., Trump promised that if he is elected president, "we will be one American nation." The Republican nominee quoted the Bible and spelled out his vision for American unity:
"Imagine what our country could accomplish if we started working together as one people, under one God, saluting one flag," Trump said, drawing enthusiastic applause from the crowd at the Values Voter Summit.
It's the phrase "one God" that's catching the ear of some groups, who argue it is at odds with the American promise of religious freedom.
Trump has used the line several times at large campaign rallies and invitation-only speeches in recent weeks: in Philadelphia, near Des Moines, Iowa, and in Asheville, N.C., among other places.
The line worries Barry Lynn, executive director of the advocacy group Americans United for Separation of Church and State.
"What I hear is someone who simply doesn't understand that one of the great strengths of this country is the diversity of nationalities, of origins — the differences of opinions about religion, and ideas about religion," he said.
Lynn acknowledges that many politicians use religious language, but he says Trump's statement goes "way beyond" working "God Bless America" into a speech, or talking about one's personal faith.
"This is very different because this makes it seem like he, as the president of the United States, could somehow bring us together by converting us all and making sure we salute the same flag," Lynn said.