Now, America does not want an atheist President, and Trump was addressing The Family Leadership Summit, which is an audience that more so than most keenly wants a President that eyeballs the sky and asks Whomever is behind the fluffy clouds or twinkling stars there to beam some solid advice into his brain before he makes any world-changing decisions. Or at least a President that says he does. Trump admitted, when asked the solemn Christian question of whether he ever asks God for forgiveness:
“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.”
Now these sound like the words of someone on the brink of atheism or agnosticism, and while ordinarily rationalists are happy to welcome anyone on board the non-faith train, they may hesitate at Trump. Few in the atheist or agnostic clan were raised by their parents in the tenets of non-belief. Most of us come to the lack of faith by being annoyed at being forced to genuflect our youths away, or never getting to eat at either the Red Lobster or the Rib Shack, or not being allowed to associate with members of the opposite sex without the threat of having our hands cut off. These inflictions led us to doubt, and we started noticing that this God person, if He is in the wheelhouse of creation as is said, does not seem to keep much of a steady course. We notice that in any war, both sides are praying fervently to the Almighty for victory, but it doesn't seem to affect the end result as far as win, lose, or draw nearly as much as guns, bombs, armies and cash.
We notice that the rain falls and the tsunamis roll over the just and unjust alike.
We watch the actions of the faithful, and observe that when they throw a touchdown pass they thank God, and when their children get cancer, they regard it as a test from the Creator, and thank Him for that, too, which makes us think that being the Heavenly Father is a job that is light on responsibility, to say the least. We watch the leaders of organized faiths rail about our faults, and tell us that God is unhappy with us being venal and weak, and instead of repenting as ordered, we think that if God wanted better results, he should have done a better job when He created us. After all, when we crap out putting together a bicycle or a barbecue grill, we know it's because we were drunk at the time, or didn't read the directions or cheaped out and bought it at Wal-Mart. We know we have only ourselves to blame and find it peculiar that God only has us to blame, too.
We read Scripture, and think that the innumerable rules and prohibitions contained therein do not seem to have been promulgated by some mighty Being that doesn't want us to work on the Sabbath and or be gay, but by a bunch of long-dead control freaks who noticed that humans have a tendency to be loose, happy slackers and thought to themselves "This has to stop. Better tell them God is against it."
In other words, being a non-believer is a place most of us arrive at after at least a modicum of rigorous thought, a practice which Donald Trump has never been accused of. Fortunately, he went on to tell the accumulated throng of the reverent:
"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.”
Substitute "make more money" for "make it right," and I think we've grasped the essence of Trump Theology, and the last thing he is an atheist. Trump believes in God. He just doesn't believe God is important for enough for Trump to pay attention to.
So pray the Trump Prayer, if you are so inclined: "Our Apprentice, Who Art in Heaven..."