Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, who has been courting the vote of the religious right, recently showed his willingness to ask God for forgiveness in an interview for Tribune Publishing on June 8.
Christian conservative journalist Cal Thomas asked Trump: "You have said you never felt the need to ask for God’s forgiveness, and yet repentance for one’s sins is a precondition to salvation. I ask you the question Jesus asked of Peter: Who do you say He is?"
In response, Trump stated:
"I will be asking for forgiveness, but hopefully I won’t have to be asking for much forgiveness. As you know, I am Presbyterian and Protestant. I’ve had great relationships and developed even greater relationships with ministers. We have tremendous support from the clergy. I think I will be doing very well during the election with evangelicals and with Christians.
"In the Middle East -- and this is prior to the migration -- you had almost no chance of coming into the United States. Christians from Syria, of which there were many, many of their heads ... chopped off. If you were a Muslim from Syria, it was one of the easiest places to come in [to the U.S.]. I thought that was deplorable. I’m going to treat my religion, which is Christian, with great respect and care."
Trump didn't answer Thomas' question, which is based on Bible verse Matthew 16:15-16. Jesus asks Peter, "But what about you? Who do you say I am?" and Peter replies, "You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God."
Apparently fishing for that kind of an answer, Thomas asked Trump again: "Who do you say Jesus is?"
"Jesus to me is somebody I can think about for security and confidence," Trump replied. "Somebody I can revere in terms of bravery and in terms of courage and, because I consider the Christian religion so important, somebody I can totally rely on in my own mind."
Trump is scheduled to meet with about 500 evangelical leaders on June 21 in New York City, noted Fox News. Fox News' Todd Starnes believes the Christian conservatives will be testing Trump on his faith and his commitment to their social causes.