HOUSTON (Christian Examiner) – Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump raised eyebrows following Thursday night's debate by surmising he's being audited by the IRS because he's a "strong Christian."
Social media, it's fair to say, didn't agree with his theory.
Trump's tax returns were a hot topic during the debate, with Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz — who are trying to catch the businessman in the polls and delegates — said he should release the forms to the public. Trump responded by pledging to release the forms once the audit is complete.
During a post-debate interview on CNN, Trump complained about the audit.
"The one problem I have is, I'm always audited by the IRS, which I think is very unfair. I don't know, maybe because of religion, maybe because of something else ... ."
CNN's Chris Cuomo then asked, "What do you mean, religion?"
"Well, maybe because of the fact that I'm a strong Christian and I feel strongly about it, and maybe there's a bias," Trump responded.
On Twitter, people weren't so kind.
Conservative radio talk show host Steve Deace wrote, "If Trump is being audited for being a strong Christian I'm the last son of Krypton."
Matt Duss, of the Foundation for Middle East Peace, tweeted, "I'm still laughing so hard at Trump's 'I'm being audited because I'm a strong Christian' that I just woke one of my kids up."
Author Brett McCracken tweeted simply, "R.I.P. #words as helpful signifiers of meaning."
Trump's Christian identity has been a hot topic among evangelicals during the election cycle, particularly after he said he doesn't see the need to ask God for forgiveness – meaning he rejects one of the tenants of Christianity. Trump made the comments about forgiveness during a forum in Ames, Iowa, last summer.
Asked if he had ever asked God for forgiveness, Trump said, "I am not sure I have. 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."
Trump said he does participate in communion.
"When I drink my little wine — which is about the only wine I drink — and have my little cracker, I guess that is a form of asking for forgiveness, and I do that as often as possible because I feel cleansed," he said. "I think in terms of 'let's go on and let's make it right.'"
Trump also drew unwanted attention when, while speaking at Liberty University, he referred to 2 Corinthians as "two Corinthians."