On Tuesday, June 21st, Donald Trump met with 1,000 evangelical leaders in New York City. After that meeting, many headlines were written about Trump’s alleged Christian conversion.
The initial buzz from the day-long conference were typical attacks on Clinton, like the video Reverend E.W. Jackson tweeted early Tuesday morning. In the video, Trump criticizes Clinton for not being more vocal about her faith. “She has been in the public eye for years…and there’s nothing out there,” said Trump.
— E.W. Jackson (@ewjacksonsr) June 21, 2016
But the most intriguing take-away from Tuesday’s day-long conference came later in an interview with the controversial “Focus on the Family” founder, Dr. James Dobson, about Trump’s own personal beliefs.
Michael Anthony released the interview with Dobson on his blog on Friday, June 24. The next day, the post had been viewed over 50,000 times.
In the 3-minute interview, Dobson says that he met with Trump in a small group, and claims that Trump has been recently been converted to Christianity.
“He did accept a relationship with Christ…It has not been long. I believe he really made a commitment, but he’s a baby Christian,” Dobson said.
Trump has been touting his support for Christians since the start of his campaign, so it is not surprising that the biggest news to come from Tuesday’s conference was Trump personal beliefs rather than his political stances.
Back in 2015, in an interview for The Brody File, Trump claimed he would be the “greatest representative of Christians they’ve had in a long time.”
In addition, Trump’s campaign announced on Friday his evangelical executive advisory board of 25 spiritual leaders.
Trump’s affiliations with the Christian community have been strong throughout his campaign, so if Dobson is correct about Trump’s convictions, the only change will be a personal one for Trump.
For quite some time, Trump has claimed to Presbyterian, a denomination that finds its roots in Scotland, his mother’s homeland. It’s been reported that he has not been active at his home church in many years.
Hillary Clinton, the likely Democratic presidential nominee is a Methodist. On rare occasions, she has spoken about her faith on the campaign trail.
From the New York Times:
“Thank you for asking that. I am a person of faith. I am a Christian. I am a Methodist. I have been raised Methodist. I feel very grateful for the instructions and support I received starting in my family but through my church, and I think that any of us who are Christian have a constantly, constant, conversation in our own heads about what we are called to do and how we are asked to do it, and I think it is absolutely appropriate for people to have very strong convictions and also, though, to discuss those with other people of faith.”
In the past, polls have indicated that voters do not believe Trump is very religious. In the primary, Trump was seen as the least religious candidate by voters. Perhaps this conversion will play a role in how likely voters view the candidate moving forward.