Presbyterian Donald Trump to Presbyterian Ministers: Are Presbyterians Christians? June 3, 2017

Presbyterian Donald Trump to Presbyterian Ministers: Are Presbyterians Christians?

It should be obvious to everyone that Donald Trump doesn’t care about religion unless he gets something in return.

He may not care about abortion, but if nominating an anti-abortion justice to the Supreme Court makes Christians love him, great! He may not read the Bible, but if waving one at a rally wins him conservative voters, why not? He may not be personally anti-gay, but if signing an executive order allowing anti-LGBT discrimination keeps evangelicals happy, what’s the big deal in at least suggesting it?

Sure, his multiple marriages and bragging about sexual assault and refusal to donate money to charity seem to go against whatever Christians claim the Bible stands for, but if he just plays the game, they’ll forgive him, so he doesn’t care.


Religion is nothing to Trump except another way to get whatever he wants. What’s shocking is that so many religious leaders want to defend him. They say he really is a believer, even if nothing he does seems like it.

Maybe my favorite example of Trump claiming to be religious without knowing a damn thing about his religion took place two days before his inauguration, in an exchange with two Presbyterian ministers, at Trump Tower. MJ Lee of CNN has the story — and keep in mind that Trump has said on numerous occasions that he himself is Presbyterian.

“I did very, very well with evangelicals in the polls,” Trump interjected in the middle of the conversation — previously unreported comments that were described to me by both pastors.

They gently reminded Trump that neither of them was an evangelical.

“Well, what are you then?” Trump asked.

They explained they were mainline Protestants, the same Christian tradition in which Trump, a self-described Presbyterian, was raised and claims membership. Like many mainline pastors, they told the President-elect, they lead diverse congregations.

Trump nodded along, then posed another question to the two men: “But you’re all Christians?”

“Yes, we’re all Christians.”

Donald Trump needed confirmation that Presbyterians — like him — were Christians. It’s the most Trumpian thing I’ve ever read about the guy.

I’ve heard people accuse Trump of being an atheist, but as I’ve argued before, apathy is not atheism. You have to actively reject a belief in God to be an atheist, and I don’t believe Trump has ever put that much thought into the matter.

Plus, you can’t be an atheist when you believe you’re God.

(Image via Shutterstock)

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