D. C. Innes has a short piece on Donald Trump’s religious beliefs. Here’s the long and short of it. Even though Trump claims to be Presbyterian, he seems only to be a nominal Presbyterian at best. Innes writes:
So Donald Trump, the early Republican frontrunner for 2016, has come under scrutiny for his own religious beliefs. If he were an ordinary candidate, he would simply say he’s a “Presbyterian,” and that would be the end of it. But because he comes across as so arrogant, coarse, and self-absorbed, the opposite of Christian humility, people have been prying into the substance behind his boasts of religion.
He says he’s Presbyterian, but, in his own words, he’s an infrequent churchgoer: “Always on Christmas. Always on Easter. Always when there’s a major occasion.” He attended Sunday school as a boy at a Presbyterian church in Queens. He was later affiliated with New York’s Marble Collegiate Church (Reformed Church in America), where he has fond memories of hearing Norman Vincent Peale, the celebrated author of The Power of Positive Thinking (1952). Peale’s teaching was popular because it downplayed sin and grace, focusing instead on human ability. You can imagine The Donald perking up in his pew. He seems to have little understanding of even the basics of Christianity. He takes the bread and wine because he feels “cleansed” when he does. But he doesn’t ask God for forgiveness; he just tries not to make mistakes. “I think if I do something wrong, I think, I just try and make it right,” he said last month in Iowa. “I don’t bring God into that picture. I don’t.”