Two days before his presidential inauguration, Donald Trump greeted a pair of visitors at his office in Trump Tower.
As a swarm of reporters waited in the gilded lobby, the Rev. Patrick O’Connor, the senior pastor at the First Presbyterian Church in Queens, and the Rev. Scott Black Johnston, the senior pastor of Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church, arrived to pray with the next president.
From behind his desk on the 26th floor, Trump faced the Celtic cross at the top of the steeple of Johnston’s church, located a block south on Fifth Avenue. When Johnston pointed it out to Trump, the President-elect responded by marveling at the thick glass on the windows of his office — bulletproof panels installed after the election.
It was clear that Trump was still preoccupied with his November victory, and pleased with his performance with one constituency in particular.
“I did very, very well with evangelicals in the polls,” Trump interjected in the middle of the conversation — previously unreported comments that were described to me by both pastors.
They gently reminded Trump that neither of them was an evangelical.
“Well, what are you then?” Trump asked.
They explained they were mainline Protestants, the same Christian tradition in which Trump, a self-described Presbyterian, was raised and claims membership. Like many mainline pastors, they told the President-elect, they lead diverse congregations.
Trump nodded along, then posed another question to the two men: “But you’re all Christians?”
“Yes, we’re all Christians.”
Marge: I have a responsibility to raise these children right and, unless you change, I’ll have to tell them their father is… well, wicked.
Homer: [to Lisa and Bart] Kids, let me tell you about another so-called wicked guy. He had long hair, and some wild ideas, and he didn’t always do what other people thought was right. And that man’s name was…
Homer: I forget. But the point is…
Homer: I forget that, too.
Homer: Marge, you know who I’m talking about! He used to drive that blue car.