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Trump puts cash in Communion plate

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(RNS) Donald Trump put a couple of bills in the Communion plate.

“I thought it was for offering,” he explained and laughed, according to a report by The Associated Press.

The accidental offering took place during a church service Trump attended with his wife, Melania, at the nondenominational First Christian Church’s Orchard Campus in Council Bluffs, Iowa, on Sunday (Jan. 31). Trump also took Communion at the service.

The presidential candidate, a Presbyterian who is trying to appeal to Christian voters in the Iowa caucuses Monday (Feb. 1),  has made religious gaffes before.

Last month, during a speech at Liberty University, founded by the Rev. Jerry Falwell, Trump referred to “Two Corinthians,” the book of the Bible better-known as “Second Corinthians.”

Trump’s two main rivals for the GOP nomination — Sens. Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio — have more established ties with evangelicals than Trump, who still leads among Republican evangelical voters.

READ: 5 faith facts about Donald Trump: A Presbyterian who collects Bibles


(Lauren Markoe is a national reporter for RNS)

About the author

Lauren Markoe

Lauren Markoe has been a national reporter for RNS since 2011. Previously she covered government and politics as a daily reporter at the Charlotte Observer and The State (Columbia, S.C.)


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  • I can’t believe this buffoon could actually become president.

    Since when were Orcs able to vote? (See Lord of the Rings)

  • Normally I would be encouraged by the fact that a potential president is unfamiliar with the arbitrary and senseless rituals associated with a religious service, but it this case, it only adds to the endless dumbf*kkery that is Trump.

  • Horrible person who’d make a horrible president, which makes him a perfect republican candidate–and for the same reasons.

  • The only thing I like about Trump is he isn’t religious and has no beliefs anyone can figure out beyond his own bluster.

    He throws his bombastic, bullheaded vitriol at everything else – but he can’t bring himself to disparage the one thing which deserves that disparagement the most: Religion.

  • Have you perhaps noticed the growing trend of atheists who are now gathering communally on a regular basis to celebrate REASON and UNBELIEF. Is this not a form of religion? Of course it is. The sad thing is their failure to understand that humanity is religious by its very nature; hardwired so deep that even those who expend every effort to deny it often can not resist the impulse themselves.

  • @Diogenes,

    “humanity is religious by nature; hardwired so deep..can not resist the impulse.”

    So there is no free will after all? Humanity must be trapped?
    And where is the evidence of the true god – is it the slave enforcer Yahweh? The sadistic Allah?

    All gatherings are not religious. Stamp collectors have meetings too. Atheists who gather to celebrate reason are just happy to meet other people who are free-minded, grateful they are no longer trapped in the mind-prison of a particular religion which forced them

    Atheists often speculate on all sorts of unreasonable things: gods, magic, chants – but these are playthings to us, not neuroses.

    Art, music, literature, free speech, science, poetry are NOT religions but are VITAL expressions of humanity. Yet, they are outlawed by religions.

    Your fear of Atheism is merely fear of Chaos.
    Religion did that to you. And you had no say in it.

  • Humanity is also hardwired to eat, sleep, and love. Does this mean we have lost our free will? No, many choose not to eat, sleep, and love. They just become very irritable due to their choice.

    Art, music, literature, free speech, have also been outlawed by some governments. Therefore should governments be eliminated because they are inherently bad? Nope, free will and free speech also allows for religions that say and do things we do not agree with.

    You claim to be free minded and reasonable, but also say that everyone who is religious is trapped in a mind-prison. That doesn’t sound very reasonable. But, sounds quite irrational.

    You say belief in a god (which is a just a title) is unreasonable. Is the belief in a creator of the universe really unreasonable? 99% of the items around us were designed & created by someone. I do not know who designed the keyboard i’m typing on, or the tape dispenser on my desk. So, since I dont know the person, therefore they don’t exist…

  • In other words, Doug, your hatred of religion is exceeded only by your antipathy to Trump.

    I share the latter, though not the former, with you.

  • Hard to imagine Trump as “a perfect Republican candidate,” given how, before his opinions magically changed before deciding to run as a Republican, they were indistinguishable from those of Hillary Clinton, who you probably think is a scrupulously honest, kind-hearted soul.

  • If we are to generalize about all or most atheists from the fevered ramblings of Max on this board, we would conclude that atheists like reason the way vampires like garlic….which is to say, not at all.

    Thanks be to God, not all atheists are that way.

  • @Jack,

    Religion is opposed to human freedom and culture:

    Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia Forbids Chess
    and other Games of Logic:

    Islamic Leaders Unite against Music

    Christian Leaders Prohibit Dancing, Threaten Harsh Consequences :

    Ban on Books and other Literature by Religious Decrees Increasing

    Religion is opposed to freedom. And I’m not alone in knowing this.

  • @moe,

    “Art, music, free speech…have been outlawed by governments”

    Yes –
    Religious Messianic Cults like North Korea and others forbid many things and demand religion of the state. All Islamic countries needlessly forbid all sorts of normal behaviors.

    MY OWN FORMER belief in CHRIST JESUS turned out to be an enormous intellectual handicap. I’m incredibly glad to be rid of it.

    I did not get ask to become Atheist.
    I did not get smarter when I became Atheist.
    Religion had subversively deprived me the free use of my mind.

    Christians are forbidden to reject belief. That kept me locked in a mental cage for 48 years.

    Shame on religion for doing that!

  • Lauren,
    I just want to clarify something. You said Trump was a Presbyterian, but he is not. The denomination he claims to be a member of has repeatedly stated that he is not a member. He is not on the active roll of the church he says he belongs. As a Presbyterian pastor, I would appreciate it if you would restate your comment as (he claims to be) rather than saying he is a Presbyterian. Thank you kindly.

  • @David,

    If Trump imagines himself a member of a church, how is that problem? Do we dare ask for evidence?
    Facts don’t apply in religion – as I’m often told.

    If we can pretend a God is in the church on Sundays
    I don’t see why we can’t all pretend Trump shows up there, too.

  • Thanks for your concern, Mark, but don’t worry about me. I’m not a supporter of Trump, which means I possess above-average intelligence; therefore, I actually know what the words “antipathy”, “former” and “latter” mean.

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