Trump announces he is “non-denominational.”

In an exclusive interview with Religion News Service, Donald Trump announced that he no longer identifies as a Presbyterian and now claims he is “non-denominational.” Here are the highlights of Jack Jenkins’s and Maina Mwaura’s story:

  1. Trump said “though I was confirmed at a Presbyterian church as a child, I now consider myself to be a non-denominational Christian.”
  2. The Religion News Service questions were “presented to the president” by court evangelical Paula White but “White House staffers said that the answers are attributable to the president.”
  3. RNS asked Trump if he had learned “anything spiritually from his experience of contracting COVID-19.” Trump said he “felt the prayers of Americans.”
  4. In the rest of the interview, Trump rattled-off the same talking points he has used at his rallies: open the churches, the court evangelicals are great, and religious freedom.
  5. Trump refused to answer what appeared to be tougher questions about religious groups that criticize him.

Some quick thoughts on the story.

  1. Trump was a Presbyterian in name only.
  2. I don’t think Trump has any idea what it means to be a non-denominational Christian. He probably got this language from Paula White, a prosperity preacher whose City of Destiny Christian Center in Apopka, Florida is also designated as “non-denominational.”
  3. For Trump, if being a “non-denominational” Christian means White and the rest of the court evangelicals will deliver their votes to him on November 3rd he will happily embrace the label.