Is Donald Trump an Atheist?

Recall that we are told an atheist is someone who simply lacks belief in God.

From back in the summer:

With this in mind, moderator Frank Luntz asked Donald Trump on Saturday, “Have you ever asked God for forgiveness?” The question elicited some laughter from the audience, though the Republican candidate seemed to take the matter seriously.
“I’m not sure I have,” Trump said. “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.”
He quickly added in garbled syntax, “We I take, when we go, and church and when I drink my little wine – which is about the only wine I drink – and have my little cracker, I guess that’s a form of asking for forgiveness, and I do that as often as possible because I feel cleansed, OK? But, you know, to me that’s important, I do that, but in terms of officially, I could say, ‘Absolutely!’ and everybody, I don’t think in terms of that. I think in terms of, let’s go on and let’s make it right.”
But given the setting and the audience, it’s rather extraordinary that Trump didn’t seem to have the foggiest idea how to even pretend to talk about matters of faith.
It’s not that Trump’s comments were emblematic of hostility towards religion, but rather, he reflected a degree of indifference.
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10 Responses to Is Donald Trump an Atheist?

  1. Neil Rickert says:

    I think it likely that Donald Trump is an atheist. That’s why it seems weird that so much of the evangelical leadership is supporting him.

  2. Shecky R says:

    all spoken like the sociopath he is…

  3. Kevin says:

    I think Trump is an actual atheist – one who lacks belief in God. Contrast this with New Atheists, who claim to merely “lack belief in God” but then trash people who do not “lack belief in God” and actively advocate the creation of more people who “lack belief in God”.

  4. Vy says:

    I think Trump is an actual atheist – one who lacks belief in God.

    But an Atheist is much more than someone who merely “lacks belief in gods”, they believe in the non-existence of God and gods.

  5. Crude says:

    I think he’s right-wing irreligious, which tends to mean some God belief, and a general affinity for Western and Western-Christian culture and outlook. I don’t think he’s some sincere deep Christian, nor that he’s had some great conversion experience.

    Evangelicals/traditionalist Catholics like him because he’s pledged to support and protect them. He’s their Charlemagne.

  6. TFBW says:

    Having a form of godliness but denying its power is a very common position, so I wouldn’t take it for granted that there’s any actual God-belief involved — not in the sense of God as an actual, extant being, as opposed to a metaphor or nebulous, impersonal concept.

  7. The original Mr. X says:

    I think it likely that Donald Trump is an atheist. That’s why it seems weird that so much of the evangelical leadership is supporting him.

    Because the Dems have lately seemed very hostile towards traditional religious believers. Trump’s a jerk and buffoon, but he’s given no indication that he’d be actively hostile towards evangelicals or any other denominations if elected.

  8. stcordova says:

    I think he believes in god, and the god’s name is Donald Trump.

  9. pennywit says:

    It sounds like Donald Trump is pretty close to where a lot of people are religiously. He goes to church irregularly, sings the hymns, and says the prayers for socialibility’s sake, but doesn’t really think too much about it beyond that.

  10. Dhay says:

    In his 09 November 2016 blog post entitled “Donald Trump Isn’t An Atheist” Hemant Mehta declares he himself doesn’t think Donald Trump is an atheist; that’s interesting, but more interesting are his reasons, which have a more general implication and application:

    At the very least, atheism requires a bit of thought. It requires a disbelief in God’s existence. You have to understand what it is you’re rejecting. And I don’t believe for a second that Trump has ever done that.

    It’s the same reason I don’t buy into the argument that infants are atheists. Just because they’ve never thought about God doesn’t mean they actively don’t believe in one.

    Assuming Mehta thinks those reasons are valid, which he obviously does, Mehta’s “Donald Trump Isn’t An Atheist” conclusion might well follow. But Mehta’s reasons have more general implications, implications reaching far beyond what Mehta thinks about Trump: they include “atheism … requires a disbelief in God’s existence”; they include “infants are [not] atheists”.

    Next time someone tells you either that atheism is simply lack of belief in a God or gods, or that all babies are born atheists, do link them to Mehta, the aspiring atheist leader, who declares contrariwise.

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