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Trump says very curious things about God, church and the Bible

President-elect Donald Trump talks about all the Bibles he receives, his church-going routine and his "favorite book of all time." (Video: Jenny Starrs/The Washington Post)
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Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump turned a Bible reference into a laugh line at Liberty University on Monday when he referenced “2 Corinthians” — the book of the Bible more commonly known as “Second Corinthians.” The stumble wasn’t fatal — just indicative of, perhaps, an unfamiliarity with the source material.

“Two Corinthians, 3:17, that’s the whole ballgame,” Trump said. (The relevant verse: “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”)

[Trump received a glowing welcome from Falwell at Liberty University – but not everyone was convinced]

Although Trump’s most recent attempt at courting evangelicals may have seemed a bit forced, it’s not the first time that he has strayed from the path when attempting to show how straight he can walk it. The Donald, a self-described “Presbyterian” with a “good relationship with the church over the years,” hasn’t exactly been caught it a gaffe. He just occasionally seems as though he’s speaking a foreign language when his base wants him to be speaking in tongues.

Here’s a roundup of some odd moments.

1. Has Trump asked God for forgiveness?

A moderator put this question to Trump during a Q&A sponsored by Christian groups in July. Although asking Christ for forgiveness is a basic tenet of Christianity, Trump wasn’t sure he’d gotten around to it.

“I am not sure I have,” the candidate said. “I just go on and try to do a better job from there. I don’t think so.” He added: “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.”

2. Does Trump go to church?

Trump is “a Sunday church person.”

“Always on Christmas,” he told the Christian Broadcasting Network in 2011. “Always on Easter. Always when there’s a major occasion. And during the Sundays. … I go when I can.”

3. Trump collects Bibles.

Having a great Bible collection isn’t necessarily a good indicator of piety, but Trump indeed has one. And it’s safe, partly because of his desirable Zip code.

“Well I get sent Bibles by a lot of people,” he said in 2011. “… We keep them at a certain place. A very nice place. But people send me Bibles. And you know, it’s very interesting. I get so much mail, and because I’m in this incredible location in Manhattan, you can’t keep most of the mail you get.”

Trump got more specific.

“There’s no way I would ever throw anything, to do anything negative to a Bible, so what we do is we keep all of the Bibles,” he 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. What does Trump think of the Bible, anyway?

Trump has positive reviews for one of the most important books in human history.

“I think the Bible is certainly, it is the book,” he said in 2011.

5. Does Trump take Communion? 

Yes. If by “Communion,” one means “little cracker.”

“When I drink my little wine — which is about the only wine I drink — and have my little cracker, I guess that is a form of asking for forgiveness, and I do that as often as possible because I feel cleansed,” he said in July.

6. What’s Trump’s favorite Bible verse?

Trump was asked last year what his favorite Bible verse was after he said it was his favorite book.

“Well, I wouldn’t want to get into it, because to me that’s very personal,” Trump said. “You know, when I talk about the Bible, it’s very personal, so I don’t want to get into verses.”

“There’s no verse that means a lot to you?” an interlocutor asked. “That you think about or say?”

“The Bible means a lot to me, but I don’t want to get into specifics,” Trump said.

“Even to cite a verse that you like?”

“No, I don’t want to do that.”

Another question: “Are you an Old Testament or a New Testament guy?”

“Probably equal,” Trump said. “I think it’s just an incredible, the whole Bible is an incredible—”

Trump trailed off for a brief second, then continued.

“I joke very much so,” he said. “They always hold up ‘The Art of the Deal.’ I say, ‘My second favorite book of all time.'”

7. Is “Christ” mentioned in “The Art of the Deal” (1987)?

Trump invoked Christ just once in perhaps his most famous book, relating an anecdote about his father, who criticized his mother for watching Queen Elizabeth’s coronation.

“’For Christ’s sake, Mary,’ he’d say,” Trump wrote. “’Enough is enough, turn it off. They’re all a bunch of con artists.’”

What Donald Trump is doing on the campaign trail

U.S. Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks at a campaign event at Trump Doral golf course in Miami, Florida, U.S. July 27, 2016. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri (Carlo Allegri/Reuters)