A curious event transpired over the weekend at the First Christian Church, in Council Bluffs, Iowa. As a communion plate was passed around the room, The Associated Press reported one congregant put a few bills on top of the tray of communion wafers.
That person, per the report, was presidential candidate Donald J. Trump. But surely a (self-identified) lifelong Presbyterian would know the difference between the part of the service where you eat and the part of the service where you give money, right?
Far be it from a sinner like me to cast the first stone, but it seems as though Trump isn't entirely comfortable inside a house of prayer, and that he is in fact engaging in a bit of cynical pandering. Let's look at the evidence:
- While Trump has repeatedly self-identified as Presbyterian, he does not appear to be active in any Presbyterian churches in Manhattan. New York Presbyterian church leaders have confirmed as much.
- He previously described receiving communion in the following terms: "When I drink my little wine — which is about the only wine I drink — and have my little cracker, I guess that is a form of asking for forgiveness, and I do that as often as possible because I feel cleansed."
- Trump says the Bible is his favorite book, but when asked what his favorite verse is over the summer, he couldn't name a single one.
- When he finally did come up with a favorite verse, he cited a line from the Book of Proverbs, causing some confusion as to which one he was referring to.
- In a talk at the Christian college Liberty University in January, he cited a Bible verse from the book "Two Corinthians." The actual book's name is "Second Corinthians.
Of course, Trump himself disagrees with the notion that he is anything other than the most devout person in the world. In a video posted over the weekend to his Facebook page to "thank the evangelicals," Trump showed off his mother's bible with the thoroughness of a defense attorney.
"In fact, it's her writing, right here," Trump said, pointing to a page. "She wrote my name and my address, and it's just very special to me."
If you say so.