In what could be a last-ditch effort to appeal to his base before the election, Donald Trump told Religion News Service that he is no longer officially a Presbyterian (the religion in which he was raised). Instead, he’s a non-denomination Christian, much like the white evangelicals who worship him.
RNS submitted a series of faith-related questions to Trump, via preacher Paula White (the head of the White House Faith and Opportunity Initiative). While Trump — or his people — ignored some of the more pressing questions, he answered the one about his own beliefs.
“Though I was confirmed at a Presbyterian church as a child, I now consider myself to be a non-denominational Christian,” Trump, who has repeatedly identified as a Presbyterian in the past, said in a written response to RNS.
Saying that his parents “taught me the importance of faith and prayer from a young age,” Trump went on to say that “Melania and I have gotten to visit some amazing churches and meet with great faith leaders from around the world. During the unprecedented COVID-19 outbreak, I tuned into several virtual church services and know that millions of Americans did the same.”
Yep. That sounds just like Trump. Complete sentences and all. I guessed he watched Zoom worship services in between rounds of golf.
This is quite the coup for the Presbyterians, who get to keep Mr. Rogers while ridding themselves of Trump.
Maybe the bigger story is what Trump chose not to answer:
The White House also declined to answer a question asking how the president would respond to those who say that his administration’s drastic reduction in refugees admitted to the U.S. — including Christians from nations where they encounter persecution — has broken a 2017 promise to “help” persecuted Christians in places such as Syria. Instead, the press office said they preferred to address what the administration has done for persecuted Christians around the world.
Incidentally, according to Right Wing Watch, Paula White was asked Thursday about how Trump lives out his faith.
Her answer? He “meditates a lot.”
The idea that Trump frequently takes time for some self-reflection may be the biggest lie in an administration full of them.
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