Donald Trump's Christian faith has continued to be questioned after a related spat with Pope Francis last week. The Republican presidential candidate's own Presbyterian church leadership has said his stance on immigration is not in agreement with its teachings, according to the Guardian.
The pope criticized Trump for his proposal to build a wall along the border with Mexico. "A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian," Francis said last week to reporters. Trump, who says he is a member of the nation's largest Presbyterian denomination, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), and was baptized in that church as a child, has now had his own church disagree with his immigration stance.
Gradye Parsons, the most senior elected official of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), told the Guardian that followers are supposed to care for those who need it.
“Donald Trump’s views are not in keeping with the policies adopted by our church by deliberative process,” he said, also telling the British newspaper that the church had supported immigration reform several times since the '90s that would grant a path to legal status for undocumented immigrants in the U.S.
“It is clear that God wants us to act on behalf of the stranger. Jesus himself and his parents had to flee the country for their lives when he was born — there are lots of parallels,” Parsons said to the Guardian.
Trump told reporters over the summer that he went to church in Manhattan. "I am Presbyterian Protestant. I go to Marble Collegiate Church," he said. Marble Collegiate Church, which is a congregation of a different Protestant denomination, the Reformed Church in America (RCA). The RCA released a statement saying he was not an active member.
Trump had a slip-up regarding the Bible on the campaign trail as well. In January, while referencing a biblical passage in a speech at the evangelical Liberty University, he cited "Two Corinthians."
"Two Corinthians 3:17, that's the whole ballgame. Is that the one you like?" Trump said. "Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty." Audience members giggled since the passage came from what is commonly called "Second Corinthians."