Did Trump go to church on Easter Sunday?

In recent years, pictures have been quickly posted of former President Donald Trump attending church.

On Easter Sunday, all was quiet on the church front from Trump’s team even when he promoted his $60 Trump-branded Bibles in a video on Truth Social.

“Every American needs a Bible in their home and I have a lot. It’s my favorite book,” he said. “It is the favorite book of many people, I am proud to endorse and encourage you to get this Bible, we need to make America pray again.”

The group that sold the Bibles said they paid to license Mr. Trump’s name and image, allowing Mr. Trump to make money from the sales. The former president has a long history of selling his name and image for various branded products.

In a lengthy Easter Sunday message, Mr Trump went after those he sees as his political and legal enemies.

“Happy Easter to everyone, including crooked and corrupt prosecutors and judges who are doing everything they can to interfere with the 2024 presidential election, and who put me in jail, including those many people who I am completely and absolutely making them desperate because they want to destroy America,” he wrote in an all-cap message.

While promoting his Bibles in the video message shared on Truth Social, Mr. Trump claimed that “religion and Christianity are the biggest things that are missing from this country, and I truly believe that we need them to bring back”.

Over the years, Mr. Trump identified as Presbyterian, but in a statement to the Religion News Service in 2020, Mr. Trump said: “Although I was confirmed in a Presbyterian church as a child, I now consider myself unborn. -Denominational Christian.”

He claimed at the time that “his parents taught me the importance of faith and prayer from a young age”.

“Melania and I have visited wonderful churches and met with religious leaders around the world. During the unprecedented Covid-19 outbreak, I watched several virtual church services and know that millions of Americans did the same,” he said.

According to a survey from last year, Republicans see Mr. Trump as more religious than both President Joe Biden, a devout Catholic who regularly attends Mass, and his former Vice President Mike Pence, an evangelical Christian who often quotes scripture and named his book. So help me God.

Mr. Trump is also seen as more of a “man of faith” than Utah Senator Mitt Romney, who faced scrutiny for his Mormon faith when he was the 2012 Republican presidential nominee.

In 2022, People reporting journal that a member of Mr Trump’s inner circle said: “He’s not president anymore, so he doesn’t need to go to church.”

Instead he played golf and enjoyed the attention of his supporters, according to the magazine.

In 2020, Christianity Today noted: “Trump was not a regular churchgoer before he was elected president.” Four years earlier, a prominent evangelical reactionary reference to Mr. Trump as a “Christian child”.

Despite apparently only going to church on an at least semi-regular basis as president, Mr Trump is once again using religion to push his message on the conservative right.

The Independent has reached out to the Trump campaign for comment.

Recently he began to deviate from the show’s bomber routine towards the end of his rallies, to adopt a quieter tone for about a quarter of an hour. Supporters nod their heads, and some close their eyes as Mr. Trump assumes the role of pastor.

This last part of the rally represents “an evangelical altar call, the emotional tradition that concludes some Christian services where attendees come forward to make a commitment to their savior,” The New York Times noted on Monday.

“The great silent majority is rising like never before and under our leadership,” Mr. Trump usually says at the end of rallies while reading from a televised speech. “We will pray to God for our strength and for our freedom. We will pray for God and we will pray to God. We are one movement, one people, one family and one glorious nation under God.”

Former First Lady Melania Trump confirmed in 2017 that she became a Catholic after meeting Pope Francis in the Vatican.

Ms Trump is only the second first lady Catholic, the first being Jackie Kennedy. Mr Biden is only the second Catholic president – the first was President John F Kennedy.

Mr Trump claimed in February that the left wants to “tear down crosses”.

Speaking at the International Christian Media Convention of Religious Broadcasters in Nashville, Tennessee, Mr Trump said: “Remember, every communist regime throughout history has tried to destroy the churches, just as every fascist regime has tried to co-opt them. and its control. .”

“And, in America, the radical left wants to do both,” he said.

“They want to tear down crosses where they can, and cover them with flags of social justice,” Mr Trump said. “But no one will touch the cross of Christ under the Trump administration, I swear to you.”

Mr Trump has come to endorse and embrace Christian Nationalism – the belief among right-wing evangelicals that the founders of the US wanted it to be a Christian nation. Some think that the Constitution was inspired by God and that the government should declare the USA as a Christian nation, push Christian values ​​and end the enforcement of separation of church and state.

“The left wants to shame Christians,” Mr. Trump said at the time. “They want to embarrass us. I am a very proud Christian.”

Mr. Trump’s Muslim ban on travel from several Muslim-majority countries drew widespread criticism early in his administration. The then-president was also criticized for standing in front of a church holding a Bible near the White House shortly after racial justice protesters cleared the street following the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. .

Donald Trump holds a Bible as he visits St. John's Church across from the White House after the area was cleared of people protesting the death of George Floyd June 1, 2020, in Washington, DC (AFP via Getty Images)

Donald Trump holds a Bible as he visits St. John’s Church across from the White House after the area was cleared of people protesting the death of George Floyd June 1, 2020, in Washington, DC (AFP via Getty Images)

Many religious leaders are now firmly in Mr. Trump’s corner, especially after he gave them three conservative justices on the Supreme Court that led to destruction. Rua v Wade. But some religious leaders were initially reluctant to support the repeatedly divorced Mr Trump, who has made ready cash payments to block news of his affairs that are now dragging him into court, and boasted of sexually assaulting women in the 2005 tape from the program. Come on Hollywood.

“When he came on the scene, people were skeptical,” Troy Miller, president and CEO of the National Religious Broadcasters, said in February. “But I think, as they learn more and listen to Donald Trump speak, the one thing I hear all the time from people … is that they really feel that Donald Trump understands them and it’s that’s the biggest connection people make, ‘This is a man in politics that we get, that understands us, that doesn’t talk like he’s an elitist and talks down to us.”

To some, Mr Trump revealed his lack of faith in January 2016 while speaking at Liberty University, a Christian college.

“Two Corinthians 3:17, that’s the whole ballgame. … Is that the one you want?” Mr. Trump asked the crowd, according to NPR. “Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”

The verse, etched on buildings across campus, comes from “Second Corinthians”, not “Two”, for many noticed at the time.

Eight years later, Mr. Trump is “calling himself God,” former MSNBC host Chris Matthews said on the network on Monday.

“Donald Trump is saying I’m the shepherd. It’s me. I am God. It amazes me that he can talk like this. It is blasphemy,” he said.

“I don’t know if the Democrats have really thought about this campaign and what they are against. This man is calling himself God. If he can get away with that, it really is a cult,” he said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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