Science, philosophy, politics, and religion are frequent topics for writer and public speaker Catherine Giordano.
The Constitution Forbids Religious Tests
The Constitution states that there “shall be no religious test for office” (Article 6, section 2). Nonetheless, some political candidates and office-holders bring up their religious beliefs often and loudly, and when they do, it can be useful to listen to what they say. We should especially consider the beliefs of Donald Trump because he is the current president of the United States.
Is Trump a Christian, an Atheist, the Anti-Christ, or What?
I posted about Donald Trump's religion on Facebook, and the comments generated by this post were startling. While a few said Trump was a Christian as he claims to be, most had other definitions and descriptions of his religious views. Here is a summary of those comments.
A large majority denied that he was a Christian, or else they said he was not a “true Christian.” I think what they meant was that he was not a “good Christian” as they defined the term. The comments suggested that they meant that a good Christian was someone who did one or more of these things (preferably all three):
- attends church regularly,
- lives according to godly morality, and
- does “good works.”
Many referenced his well-known narcissism. They said he worshiped himself and/or considered himself to be God. They said he wants others to worship him. They described his religion as...
- He is a Me-ist.
- He is a Trumpist: He is the center of his creation.
- He's a devout Narcissist.
Some said he worshiped money. Mammon was his god. They said...
- His religion is the Almighty Dollar.
- His God and the God of his entire family is money.
- He's a Money-ist.
He was often called the anti-Christ. In Christianity, the Anti-Christ is a figure of evil who will falsely claim to be the Christ (Messiah) and who will appear shortly before the Second Coming. I don’t think they meant that Trump was literally the Anti-Christ. I think they meant that Trump’s behavior and thinking were antithetical to “Christian values.” Or perhaps they meant something similar to what others meant when they called Trump the devil and Satan, or sometimes a devil-worshipper.
And finally, there were many who said he was an atheist. They made it clear that they said this because they thought Trump was “evil.” Obviously, this group used the term atheism as an insult. This indicated a total misunderstanding of atheism which simply means lacking a belief in God. It infers nothing about a person’s character. Atheists are no less moral than anyone else; they may even be more moral because when they act ethically and when they refrain from “evil” acts, they do so without the expectation of reward or punishment from God or in the afterlife.
[Note: My post was usually posted on the pages of anti-Trump groups. The response might have been different if I had posted to pro-Trump sites.]
What Is Trump’s Religious Background?
For the record, Trump claims to be a Christian, a Presbyterian. It is the religion he was brought up in as a child. He was baptized and confirmed at the age of 13 at the First Presbyterian Church in Jamaica, Queens, in New York City. This church practiced an evangelical form of Protestantism.
In his late twenties, Trump began attending Marble Collegiate (Dutch Reform) Church on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. The church was then headed by Norman Vincent Peale, a pastor best known for his book The Power of Positive Thinking. Trump quickly adopted the philosophy of Peale. Trump, with his usual flair for superlatives, said that Peale thought “I was his greatest student of all time.”
Peale preached individualism, optimism, and self-sufficiency. He taught that “winners” in life are people who have overcome human weaknesses and discarded the idea of sinfulness. Trump remained friends with Rev. Peale into his adult years. He was strongly influenced by the prosperity gospel message he received at this church.
Trump’s philosophy takes Peale’s teaching to an extreme. Peale was a decent man of faith who wanted to uplift people and free them from the fear of hellfire. Trump has transformed this message into one that provides license for cruelty to life’s “losers.”
Trump's Actions, and What They Reveal
Trump believes that he does not need to ask for forgiveness. At a campaign event in Iowa, he was asked if he had ever asked God for forgiveness. His response, after several attempts to evade the question, was that he had not—a statement that must have shocked most Christians: "I am not sure I have. I just go on and try to do a better job from there. I don't think so. I think if I do something wrong, I think, I just try and make it right. I don't bring God into that picture. I don't." (See the video above.)
He mocks and reviles every sign of weakness in others. Even a physical disability does not escape his disdain. Early in the presidential campaign, he mocked a disabled reporter.
Trump married his first wife, Ivana In the Marble Collegiate Church (Norman Vincent Peale officiated); he married his second wife Marla in the ballroom of the Plaza Hotel (a minister from the Marble Collegiate Church officiated); he married his third wife in the Episcopal Church of Bethesda-by-the-Sea in Palm Beach, Florida.
Trump Talks About His Favorite Bible Verse
Trump's Religion During the 2016 Campaign
Religion was a major issue for Trump during the 2016 election campaign. From the beginning, Trump campaigned hard among evangelicals, and it paid off for him—he won 81% of the white evangelical vote. (Pew Research Survey: How the Faithful Voted)
At campaign stops, he would bring two props: a copy of his own book, The Art of the Deal, and a Bible. He claimed the Bible was his favorite book. “I love the Bible,” he would proclaim to the crowds as his rallies. (He called his own book, The Art of the Deal, the second-greatest book of all time.)
There was one problem with this. He apparently did not know the first thing about the Bible. He called communion wafers “those little crackers.” He referred to “Second Corinthians, a book in the Bible, as “Two Corinthians.” When he was asked to name a favorite Bible verse, he couldn’t come up with one. He covered up his ignorance by saying the “whole Bible is incredible.”
Finally, reporters pinned him down in an interview. He told them his favorite Bible verse was "Proverbs, the chapter 'never bend to envy’…I’ve had that thing all of my life where people are bending to envy." Only one problem—that phrase is not in the Bible. Well, two problems, since he also made it all about him saying people envy him. Okay, maybe three problems—if he was referring to Proverbs 24:1-2 where it says “Be not thou envious of evil men…” he was casting himself as an evil man.
His ignorance of the Bible and religious traditions left him unfazed. He continued to campaign citing his love for the Bible.
How Did Trump Behave at Ceremonial Religious Occasions After His Election?
Trump continued to demonstrate his ignorance of, and lack of respect for, religion after his election.
The United States has no royal family, so the First Family is often called upon to perform ceremonial duties, and these ceremonies often involve religion. On these occasions, Trump usually behaves inappropriately.
Two occasions stand out. One occasion was the Inaugural Prayer Service which took place on January 21, 2017, the day after the inauguration, at the National Washington Cathedral (an Episcopal Church). The other was the National Prayer Breakfast on February 2, 2017.
National Prayer Service
Towards the beginning of the service, the “Entrance Rite,” or “Entrance Processional,” a sacred ritual of the Catholic and Episcopal mass, took place. The deacon, acolytes, and the priest, clad in sacred vestments, solemnly walked down the center aisle of the church towards the altar. Trump seemed to be under the impression that they were marching down the aisle to greet and honor him. There was no audio, but it was not hard to lip-read the words. He was saying, “Thank you.” Most of the members of the processional ignored him and looked straight ahead as ceremony required. One or two turned towards Trump and perhaps uttered a word or two to him. How uncomfortable these celebrants must have felt—their choice was to either ignore the president or ignore their solemn duty to God.
National Day of Prayer: Prayer Breakfast
When Trump was called upon to make a few remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast, as all U.S. presidents do every year, Trump decided to roast and boast.
He talked about how The Apprentice had much better ratings when he hosted the reality television show compared to the ratings with Arnold Schwarzenegger as host. Then he asked the attendees to pray for Schwarzenegger to get better ratings. He also insulted the show’s producer, Mark Burnett—and not for the first time. His comments were just a rehash of things he had been saying since the new season of the Apprentice began. His comments were disgraceful and utterly inappropriate. He just had to make the prayer breakfast all about him.
Trump eventually uttered a few platitudes about the role of religion in the life of America as presidents are supposed to do on this occasion. But he couldn’t resist throwing in some politics. Then, making things worse, he used the phrase “the hell with it,” a phrase which many of the religious leaders in the room find offensive.
Trump Talks About Easter
Does Donald Trump Attend Church?
Donald Trump appears to be one of those Christians who only attends church on Easter and Christmas, and maybe for the occasional wedding.
Although he may attend church on the holiest days of the Christian calendar, he appears to have no idea of the religious significance of the holidays. Read what he aid about Easter on Easter Sunday in 2015 on ABC’s This Week in the picture above and judge for yourself how deep his feelings go.
So, Is Donald Trump Religious or an Atheist?
Donald Trump seems to have no religious feeling or understanding. The Bible is nothing more than a prop to him, he doesn’t attend church, he knows nothing about the religion he professes to love, and he is disrespectful to religion. So, is it correct to say he is an atheist?
This question was put to Bill Maher, a comedian and outspoken atheist. Maher was quite firm in his answer—Trump is not an atheist. Maher said: “Donald Trump is his own God…. You can’t really be a person of faith if you think you are the most important person in the universe. I don’t think he gives it any thought.”
Almost all the atheists that I know and those who commented on my post agreed—atheism must be chosen. And no one should confuse atheism with ignorance and disregard. Most atheists know a lot about religion, and after a lot of study and thought, they are ready to declare that they do not believe in God. If they were brought up in a religious household, as Donald Trump was, they renounce their religious beliefs.
Donald Trump was raised as a Christian and has repeatedly affirmed his belief in the religion his family brought him up in. At the National Prayer Breakfast, when he finally got around to talking about religion, he affirmed his Christianity:
I was blessed to be raised in a churched home. My mother and father taught me that to whom much is given much is expected. I was sworn in on the very bible from which my mother would teach us as young children. And that faith lives on in my heart every single day.
I cannot know what is in Trump’s heart, so I will take him at his word. He is a Christian.
Trump Talks About His Faith
What do you think?
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.
Questions & Answers
Question: Why is there evangelical support for Donald Trump?
Answer: This is an easy one. For evangelicals, the most important issue is making abortion illegal, no exceptions. Donald Trump promised to pick Supreme Court Justices who would make abortion illegal. Consequently, all of his other failings and shortcomings can be overlooked.
Two divorces and unfaithfulness in his marriages, no problem. Never attends church and does not currently belong to a church, no problem. Uses profanity, no problem. Constantly demonstrates behavior that in any other person would be referred to as "un-Christian," no problem.
Evangelicals, in my opinion, have "sold their soul to the devil" to make abortion illegal in the U.S. again, and probably birth control too. Also, there is the added benefit of making discrimination legal and same-sex love illegal.
Evangelicals, in my opinion, are hypocrites.
© 2017 Catherine Giordano
Kris Espy on June 04, 2020:
Catherine, Does it even matter what religion Trump is? Do you think most people care at all? What happened to the separation of church and state? Are the Liberals trying to change everything?
HINT: They're wasting their time.
al on November 13, 2019:
I think he is a Christian. He works and celebrates common life.
Catherine Giordano (author) from Orlando Florida on July 27, 2018:
Trump is not a "good Christian"--I totally agree with you on that. But many people who claim to be Christian are not manifest what Christians call Christian values. However, he was married in the church all three times and as a young man he attended the Reverend Norman Vincent Peale's church, a Protestant church. Other than that, he has no church membership and he goes to church only on Christmas and Easter, and it appears to be mainly for show.
Marcos Gómez on July 26, 2018:
Trump never acts like a Christian. We can say we don't know what's in his heart and jump through a lot of hoops to explain this, but the simplest explanation is obvious—he doesn't exhibit any Christian traits because he's not one.
Of course Trump is going to say he's a Christian, because it gets him votes. He also lies as often as he breathes, so I'm not inclined to take his word on anything. If I'm a voter for whom being a Christian matters, the question for me then is not whether Trump says he's a Christian or even actually considers himself to be one through some kind of delusion, but whether he's a Christian by some kind of objective measure.
For the sake of argument, let's assume that the Presbyterians are correct (since that's what Trump claims, and most of his supporters are evangelical Protestants). According to them, you can't just claim to be a Christian with nothing to back it up. Being baptized or confirmed is irrelevant if you don't mean it. At the bare minimum, you have to recognize that you're a sinner and ask God's forgiveness. By this, they say, you are saved, and evidence of God's presence manifests itself in your life with the desire to do good works, forgive others, follow God's commandments, and be what the author calls a "good Christian." Even if people who are Christians don't act like it all the time, it's reasonable to think they'd act that way sometimes, and Trump does not. I'm therefore forced to reconcile what he says with how he acts, and the most logical conclusion is that what he says is false, he has no foundational belief, and he is not a Christian by any measure that should matter to me the hypothetical voter.
Catherine Giordano (author) from Orlando Florida on June 03, 2018:
Rob Miller: I wouldn't call Trump a God-fearing man, but I do think he believes in God, albeit in a vague way. As you said, he is too lazy to give it much thought. I also suspect that he thinks God has singled him out for power and wealth, and denying the existence of God would rob him of that very satisfying illusion. Consequently, he would never be an atheist.
Rob Miller on June 01, 2018:
Enjoyed the article as I thought it was balanced , poignant, and while being gracious cut to the chase.
If actions and not words were the barometer that truly dictated the nature of Trumps religious belief system , it would be agnostic. I think he truly believes God may exist but he simply doesn’t care to find out as it would jeopardize his and others perception of himself . That is, that he is more important than all else.
Atheist checks all the boxes , but I think he has convinced himself there might be something to this God thing and for political purposes has accepted the role God has played in his presidency both the election and while in Office
In short - snake oil salesman
Catherine Giordano (author) from Orlando Florida on January 15, 2018:
Christopher Peruzzi: Trump claims to be a Christian, but many people comment that he is not a "good Christian." I agree with them and that is exactly what I hoped to show in this essay. He's Christian in name only, but it appears that the Evangelical community doesn't see that.
Christopher Peruzzi from Freehold, NJ on January 12, 2018:
I have to congratulate you because despite my not wanting to read this article it drew me in anyway.
I don't preach. I consider my beliefs sacred and my understanding of the spiritual to be beyond any established religion. That said, I went to a Jesuit college and have done extensive work in comparative religion.
My view of Trump and my belief in whether he worships a just and ethical god can't be reconciled. If Trump is a Christian, he certainly does not follow the teachings of Christ. After all, we all know what is important to Trump - money.
We also know what is not important to Trump - mankind and the plight of the common man's suffering. By the virtue of how many people he's swindled through Trump University and through his business dealings and by virtue of how he as President of the most powerful nation on Earth is failing to work as a steward in preserving the environment, he is not a man of God.
His condemnation of people who are less fortunate would not align with the meek inheriting the Earth nor would he as a rich man, pass through the eye of a needle to get to heaven.
What we do know through Trump's tweets is that he is not a kind and just person.
What is his religion? I think the name of Trump's religion has yet to have a name, but whatever it is, it is far removed for anything that is part of the teachings of Christ.
Catherine Giordano (author) from Orlando Florida on December 09, 2017:
Erick: I would think your article would be ups to about reasons by now. And you rare right about promoting your articles in the comments, but I'll let it slide this time because your article is really good.
Ivan Hernandez on December 09, 2017:
I know promoting my articles on other people's articles is against the HubPages guidelines, but look at this article.
I give 10 reasons why Donald Trump should be removed from the presidency. I'm constantly updating it.
Catherine Giordano (author) from Orlando Florida on December 08, 2017:
Erick Hernadez: If there were an anti-Christ, Trump would be him.
Ivan Hernandez on December 08, 2017:
I think Donald Trump is the Anti-Christ. I'm not self-promoting, but look at my article On Donald Trump.
Catherine Giordano (author) from Orlando Florida on December 07, 2017:
MzBejabbers: I am in total agreement with you. Candidates for public office should keep their religious views to themselves. I have already written an article about this.
Doris James MizBejabbers from Beautiful South on December 06, 2017:
I believe that Donald Trump claims to be a Christian to please the mainstream voters and for no other reason. If he's a hypocrite, then it is the atmosphere in this country that has made him one, at least in this subject. (Disclaimer: I am not a Trump supporter.)
However, I think that it is time for this country to stop using the religious litmus test for a candidate for political office. The United States government, contrary to the Christian belief, was not based on the Bible or Christianity, but on religious nondiscrimination. A person's ability to lead a country is not based in one's religion or lack thereof, but in intelligence, education, and integrity. As someone pointed out, Atheists can have integrity, sometimes even more than the average Christian. Religion and politics should be kept separate, especially a candidate's personal beliefs.
Catherine Giordano (author) from Orlando Florida on November 30, 2017:
Grover Syck: I think you got it. Thanks for your comment.
Grover Syck on November 30, 2017:
Trump is an undeclared atheist.
He only worships himself.
And of course the fundamentalist christians worship him.
Catherine Giordano (author) from Orlando Florida on November 07, 2017:
Oztinato: If I believed in the in the Christian notion of an anti-Christ, I would believe that Donald Trump is it.
Oztinato on November 07, 2017:
Donald is extremely unchristian in all his behaviour. To him it's merely a political tool to get votes.
His mocking of a disabled person alone should have seen all Christians totally reject him.
Like Hitler he uses religion as a political tool only. Both monsters are certainly NOT Christians.
Donald knows what irks individual cliques and adopts "beliefs" ad hoc to accommodate those cliques.
When I have asked Donaldites about the mocking of the disabled reporter the topic is assiduously avoided and often deleted entirely. Their collective consciences are not clear.
There have been many "anti Christ's" throughout history and Donald certainly fits the definition. More so now as a global nuclear holocaust will lend great weight to Donald being the last anti Christ as there may well be no one left. Hence yes he is fitting the definition of THE anti Christ very closely at the moment.
Catherine Giordano (author) from Orlando Florida on October 15, 2017:
Randall Morris: My impression is that Trump is only pretending to be a person of faith. But he is just as dangerous as the "true believers" who kill to prove their faith. He will kill to make them believe that he has true faith. For example, he allowed employers to stop covering remove birth control in their health plans.
Randall Morris on October 15, 2017:
Crap I see Christians like him all the time.... Keep in mind they doubt their own beliefs so they become even more of a horse's ass to prove to themselves just how good of Christians they are.... Some of them go so far as to bomb parades or women's health clinics to show themselves just how strong their faith is...
Catherine Giordano (author) from Orlando Florida on September 30, 2017:
Roger Wolsey: Whose to say what is false gospel and what is true gospel? I will grant you that some interpretations are more traditional than others, but some things once thought to be heresy are not accepted in some sects. I love your word "Greedianity. Very original and very clever. And describes Donald Trump very well.
Roger Wolsey on September 30, 2017:
Learning about his connection to Norman Vincent Peale suggests that Trump subscribes to the false gospel of wealth and prosperity. But perhaps this could simply be put as "Greedianity."
Roger Wolsey, author, "Kissing Fish"
Catherine Giordano (author) from Orlando Florida on September 29, 2017:
I think "sham Christian" just about sums it up. He's a Christian, but he doesn't care very much about hi religion, and knows even less. He used religion to get votes. I still don't understand how everyone didn't see that.
Madan on September 29, 2017:
Trump does not believe in any religion at all. To me he is a sham Christian
Catherine Giordano (author) from Orlando Florida on September 18, 2017:
Bill Walker: Thanks for your comment. It made me laugh. With Trump everything is incredible or tremendous. I saw a linguist interviewed on TV who said that Trump uses these "intensifiers" as filler because he ha nothing to say.
bill walker on September 17, 2017:
Trump 's statement that the whole bible is incredible'' was very accurate. It IS litterly incredible.
Catherine Giordano (author) from Orlando Florida on September 06, 2017:
Harriet Wagner: Thanks for your comment. You are right bout Trump. H was brought up Christian and he has attended Christian churches, but he has no real belief (or non-belief) because he has never given even two minute thought to figure out what he believes. He is a very unhappy person--I could almost feel sorry for him if he weren't also such an evil person.
Harriette Wagner on September 04, 2017:
Another great piece, Catherine. My opinion is that Trump is not, by any measurement, a Christian. He has no religion; he uses the trappings to get votes and for that only. If any other religion would suit his purpose, he would profess, in his halfhearted, ignorant way, that it was his religion, too. He is never out of his own head and certainly cannot conceive of any personage, human or supernatural, who could be as interesting and important as himself. He is most definitely not an atheist or an agnostic, either. Both these perspectives require some thoughtful consideration of the issue and I'll wager he's never done that and has no intention to. I see him as an empty suit, no intellectual depth, operating on a primal level involving retribution, bullying and sadistically enjoying the pain and humiliation he can administer. He is not a happy man but constantly driven by his fear of being discovered as inadequate. He is in way over his head but dare not admit it and destroy the image he concocts of perfection. I think his father really did a number on him.
Catherine Giordano (author) from Orlando Florida on August 24, 2017:
Charles Miller: So many people have responded to this essay saying that Trump is not a Christian when what they actually mean is that he is not a "good Christian" according to their definition of good Christian. As you point out, this is an example of the "No True Scotsman" fallacy.
Catherine Giordano (author) from Orlando Florida on August 24, 2017:
Nazarene: Some people say newborn babies are atheists because they don't yet have the reasoning ability to believe anything. Once we get older, we do chose our beliefs. A young child tends to believe what his parents tell him, but as the child grows older and especially as an adult, he sometimes chooses to question and reject what he was taught. Sometimes what he rejects is what his parents taught him about religion. He may become an atheist or he may switch to another religion. He has made a decision about religion. If he does not question what he was taught, he has made a de facto decision to continue to believe.
Nazarene on August 24, 2017:
One thing to consider. Atheism is not really "chosen". It is merely the lack of belief in any gods. Belief isn't "chosen" either. If you are convinced something is real you will naturally believe it, and if you're not convinced, you just don't.
We can't choose to believe anything.
Charles Miller on August 24, 2017:
The President's behavior mirrors that a religious narcissist. He says, he is a Christian, a Protestant, a Presbyterian so I have to take him at his word. To try to identify him as anything else is to employ the Nae a True Scotsman fallacy.
Catherine Giordano (author) from Orlando Florida on August 07, 2017:
Thanks JoeMartin80527: You can follow me here on HubPages and see my profile for my social media handles.
JoeMartin80527 on August 07, 2017:
Loud and proud atheist here. After reading this article, I think I have to follow you on whatever social media you are on. Keep up the good work!
Catherine Giordano (author) from Orlando Florida on August 01, 2017:
Karen: Many people have called Trump the Anti-Christ. I can understand why they say that.
Karen on August 01, 2017:
Trump is anti-Christian and displays many of the qualities of the anti-Christ.
Catherine Giordano (author) from Orlando Florida on July 28, 2017:
Thomas: Well said. Thanks for the comment.
Catherine Giordano (author) from Orlando Florida on July 28, 2017:
Kate: I'm so sorry that Donald Trump stiffed you. Now he's doing it to the whole country. He doesn't care who he hurts as long as its good for him.
Kate on July 27, 2017:
I worked for Trump at the casino in Gary Indiana. I couldn't cash 2 pay checks right away. One was when my husband had open heart surgery. The other was when I was hit by a semi truck after work. TRUMP filed bankruptsy against 2 payroll checks he wrote. WHAT KIND OF A HUMAN BEING DOES THAT TO OTHER PEOPLE?
Thomas on July 27, 2017:
He is a high priest in the Cult of Self-Worship.
Catherine Giordano (author) from Orlando Florida on July 20, 2017:
Jim Wrubel: Trump has all the negative character traits that you mention. However, you only show that Trump is not what you consider a "good Christian." There are many Christians that do not live according to the teachings of their faith. Trump has said repeatedly that he is a Christian; he has never claimed any other belief or non-belief.
Jim Wrubel on July 19, 2017:
Trump is NOT a Christian. He cares about nobody but himself. He believes he's above the rest of humanity. Pope Francis demonstrates what being christian is all about, he lives his beliefs. Donnie tRump is a narcisistic, self centered insecure, heartless individual with nothing but his money propping up his loud mouthed persona.
Catherine Giordano (author) from Orlando Florida on July 18, 2017:
grand old lady: Thanks for letting me know you liked this article. Trump did indeed win most of the votes of Evangelicals. I think they saw through his false claims about his love for the Bible, but they voted for him anyway. They hoped that he would sign their religion-based agenda into law.
Mona Sabalones Gonzalez from Philippines on July 18, 2017:
This is a very informative and soberly written article. It is most helpful as well. Trump got most of the Christian votes, especially the evangelicals. But to him, faith is something of convenience but in his life, it has no role for him.
Catherine Giordano (author) from Orlando Florida on July 16, 2017:
Kim: Thank you for your comment. You have summed it up nicely the truth about Donald Trump and religion. He believes in profit and will pay lip-service to religion if he thinks it is to his advantage to do so. You might say, he is a Christian in name only.
kim on July 15, 2017:
Atheists are not amoral, and simply choose not to bow to another person's perception of God. It's integrity to be honest about one's beliefs, and he has no integrity, so he will profess to believe whatever religion that he can profit from.
Yolanda on July 14, 2017:
Catherine Giordano (author) from Orlando Florida on July 01, 2017:
Mona Sabalones Gonzalez : Thanks for letting me know you liked it. The Norman Vincent Peale stuff really explains a lot. Trump totally perverted Peale's message.
Catherine Giordano (author) from Orlando Florida on July 01, 2017:
talksallaboutedu: I never thought of the effect Trump is having on the religious views of young people. It really is sad. Thanks for your very insightful comment.
Catherine Giordano (author) from Orlando Florida on July 01, 2017:
peoplepower73. I think you have hit the nail on the head. If I were a religious person, "I would say he has no soul." I'll have to be satisfied saying he has no conscience and he has no heart. Thanks for your comment.
Mona Sabalones Gonzalez from Philippines on July 01, 2017:
I think an article like this has been needed for a long time:)
Mike Russo from Placentia California on June 30, 2017:
Catherine: As always a great article. I love your writing style. Trump's religious behaviors are so hard to summarize because he operates on so many different levels, but I think you have a done a great job with all your examples and delving into his background.
I believe what drives Trump's behavior is his need to protect his image whether real or false. He does this by pushing the envelope on ethics. The part of his brain that deals with having a moral conscience is missing. When he pushes that envelope, he feels no remorse for lying, name calling or bullying because that part of his brain is non-functional.
McKenna Meyers on June 30, 2017:
Trump is not a religious person by my standards; he's the opposite. I don't understand why so many evangelicals voted for him. Was it because he would appoint a justice to the Supreme Court who could reverse Roe v. Wade? Is it just that singular issue? I think Trump's election has long-term implications for religion and politics/religion and society. Young people look at the hypocrisy and become intensely wary of religious people. They see them as the bad guys. (I know because I volunteer at a middle school). Thought-provoking article as usual, Catherine.
Suzie from Carson City on June 30, 2017:
Pun intended, Catherine, when I say, "Amen!" :)
Catherine Giordano (author) from Orlando Florida on June 30, 2017:
fpherj48: A very interesting an thoughtful comment and we are in total agreement with respect to the points you made. Religion is not supposed to be intermingled with politics so I quoted the Constitution in the very first paragraph to get that out of the way. But as you say, religion does enter into politics. I say a person's religion is whatever they say it is. YOU may think aq Christian has to "act accordingly", but that leaves it up to each person to say what "accordingly" is. Some Christian faiths say you are Christian if you are baptized, some if you accept Jesus Christ as your savior, etc. I concluded the essay by saying, I can't know what is in someone's heart, so I will take them at their word.
Catherine Giordano (author) from Orlando Florida on June 29, 2017:
Thanks FlourishAnyway. I'm watching the news now about Trumps latest tweets, and I'm stating to think the people who call him the Anti-Christ and devil are right.
Suzie from Carson City on June 29, 2017:
Hi Catherine...An individual claiming to BE of a particular religion~ or claiming, "I am a Christian, I'm a Mormon," means absolutely nothing to me. I have no idea how this statement is construed by others, nor does it matter. Any one of us can claim whatever we so choose. The question may be....."OK, and that means, WHAT?"
If we don't happen to be familiar with numerous and various religions, what can a statement claiming one's religion tell us? Allegedly, saying, "I'm a Christian," infers one follows the teachings of Christ, the God of the bible, believes in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, AND LIVES ACCORDINGLY. In terms of what we may know Christ teaches.....decide for yourself, but for myself, 9 of 10 people who state, "I'm a Christian," must have Jesus Christ in fits of laughter......perhaps he may even think, "Yeah, you're a Christian ( one of my followers) and I'm Kanye West." (Hope I've clarified my point!)
Perhaps Trump's family identified as Presbyterian, as he has said but I've not researched this because once again, I don't care. We can't know if Donald believes or doesn't or whether he prays or does not or even adheres to any specific doctrine.
His words, actions, behaviors, life choices, business dealings, public persona & numerous acts of charity, are a conglomeration of every possible religion and/or none at all. The things a person portrays can tell us a lot about anyone. Furthermore, it tells each person whatever and however they perceive it. Right? Right!
I've no doubt that you, just as I do, know self-declared "Christians," who are the nastiest, most deceitful & dishonest people around and perhaps atheists who are respectful, loving and generous to others. Again, a label in terms of one's religion, is nothing more than a label. Take a serious, thoughtful & intelligent look, add some common sense, decency and morality and figure it out. Not difficult.
Furthermore, when it involves politics, people in government office, religion should not, in fact according to our forefathers, MUST not intermingle with one another. It does though, doesn't it? So....back to square one.
Back to my original comment too...I do not care if he's a Christian. I need for our President to be: Intelligent, well-educated, HONEST, transparent, fair, just, courageous, sober, serious and sincere. He/She must at all times have the interests, health, safety and success of all Americans, at foremost importance as to his duties and responsibilities.
What we've had since George Washington is quite the long, interesting, controversial, questionable, frightening, colorful list of every kind of human being possible. Note the term, "Human." America will never be led by the All-Perfect President, of course. Each one has done his share of good, bad, helpful or harmful things while in office and made their mark & left their legacy, whether wonderful or just plain awful.
When it comes to Trump's "religion," he states whatever he feels the American people want or need to hear, just like any other issue presented at any time for any reason...JUST LIKE EACH AND EVERY POLITICIAN DOES, HAS DONE AND WILL ALWAYS DO...FOREVER. Try, try try if you wish, to prove OTHER than this bold, blatant, unadulterated true fact.
Count me as sick & tired of the bullshit. Thanks. Catherine you always....always write fabulous articles. Peace girlfriend! Paula
FlourishAnyway from USA on June 29, 2017:
As all of your articles are, this was very well reasoned and well written. He is a terrible leader and a worse human being.