Donald Trump, the New York rich guy/reality television star/conservative news commentator/real estate mogul/hair disaster, announced he will run for the Republican Party nomination for president of the United States on June 16. To the Faith Fact Machine!
1. He’s a Presbyterian
“First Presbyterian Church in Jamaica, Queens, is where I went to church,” he told Christian Broadcasting Network in 2012.
“I’m a Protestant, I’m a Presbyterian. And you know I’ve had a good relationship with the church over the years. I think religion is a wonderful thing. I think my religion is a wonderful religion.”
Other famous Presbyterians who have run for the highest office and won include Andrew Jackson, Dwight D. Eisenhower, and Ronald Reagan (who grew up in the Disciples of Christ but joined the Presbyterian Church). Trump has also been a member of Marble Collegiate Church, a Reformed Church in America congregation and once the pulpit of Norman Vincent Peale, author of the mega-best-seller “The Power of Positive Thinking.”
Bonus faith fact: Trump’s paternal grandmother’s maiden name was “Christ.”
2. One religion Trump seems to think is not so wonderful is Islam
In the lead-up to the 2012 presidential election, Trump told Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly that there is a “Muslim problem.”
“I don’t notice Swedish people knocking down the World Trade Center,” Trump said, and then moved on to the so-called Ground Zero mosque.
“I came out very strongly against the mosque being built virtually across the street.”
He also called for Barack Obama to produce his birth certificate.
“People have birth certificates,” he told O’Reilly. " … Now, he may have one, but there is something on that birth certificate — maybe religion, maybe it says he’s a Muslim."
But Trump assured O’Reilly there are many “fabulous Muslims” in the world.
And Trump berated political activist Pamela Geller for launching a “Draw the Prophet” contest in Texas.
“What is she doing drawing Muhammad? I mean it’s disgusting,” he said on Fox News’ “Fox & Friends.”
“Isn’t there something else they could be doing? Drawing Muhammad?”
3. He collects Bibles
In the same 2012 CBN interview, Trump said fans often send him Bibles and he keeps every one of them “in a very nice place.”
“There’s no way I would ever throw anything, to do anything negative to a Bible,” Trump said. “I would have a fear of doing something other than very positive, so actually I store them and keep them and sometimes give them away to other people but I do get sent a lot of Bibles and I like that. I think that’s great.”
4. He goes to church “when I can.”
“Always on Christmas. Always on Easter. Always when there’s a major occasion,” Trump said in 2012.
Then he added: “I’m a Sunday church person.”
5. Trump’s daughter, Ivanka Trump Kushner, converted to Judaism
“Not only do I have Jewish grandchildren I have a Jewish daughter and I am very honored by that,” he told The Jewish Voice.
Kimberly Winston is a freelance religion reporter based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She covers atheism and freethought for RNS. Via RNS.