President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump attended worship at an Episcopal congregation located near the White House on Saint Patrick’s Day.
The president and his wife went to St. John’s Church of Lafayette Square, with interim rector the Rev. W. Bruce McPherson welcoming the Trump family, according to the Associated Press.
Trump rarely attends regular worship services. According to Bloomberg News reporter Jennifer Jacobs, Trump “does occasionally attend holiday services at Bethesda-by-the-Sea when he’s at Mar-a-Lago.”
Earlier on Sunday morning, Trump took to Twitter to attack the long-running program “Saturday Night Live,” which has often poked fun at him over his remarks and policies.
“It’s truly incredible that shows like Saturday Night Live, not funny/no talent, can spend all of their time knocking the same person (me), over & over, without so much of a mention of 'the other side.' Like an advertisement without consequences. Same with Late Night Shows,” tweeted Trump.
Although Trump has stated he is Christian and was elected in large part because of support among evangelicals, many have questioned the sincerity of his beliefs.
For example, last December at the funeral of former president George H.W. Bush at the Washington National Cathedral, Trump garnered criticism for refusing to say the Apostles’ Creed.
A noted Christian statement of faith, Trump and his wife were seen not reciting the creed, even though the words were provided and the former presidents beside him were doing so.
Evangelical leader and longtime Trump supporter the Rev. Franklin Graham defended Trump at the time, comparing it to his refusal to sing hymns during worship.
“Guess what — I don’t usually sing in church. Why? Because I can’t carry a tune! And, I have no rhythm,” stated Graham on his Facebook page.
“Nay-sayers always pointing an accusing finger. Instead, let’s be thankful for all of the incredibly positive things he has done for our country (it’s a long list) and lift him and Melania up in our prayers.”
St. John’s held its first worship service in 1816 and is known as “the Church of the Presidents,” as the church stakes claim to having had every president beginning with James Madison attend worship there at least once.
St. John’s sanctuary has a pew, known as “Pew 54” or “The President’s Pew,” which is specifically reserved for the commander in chief.