"I'm On Your Side," Trump Tells Fawning Evangelicals

On Tuesday, in a typical, stream-of-consciousness, rant about his self-perceived greatness, Donald Trump told an assembly of over 900 evangelical leaders in New York that he supports them. “I think maybe that will be my greatest contribution to Christianity—and other religions—is to allow you, when you talk religious liberty, to go and speak openly, and if you like somebody or want somebody to represent you, you should have the right to do it."

“I’m so on your side, I’m a tremendous believer, and we’re gonna straighten it out,” Trump said.

Although the media did not cover the event directly, Bishop E.W. Jackson posted a few clips on social media. [Note: Seventh-day Adventist televangelist Doug Batchelor was in attendance, and posted pictures and a brief report on his Facebook page. -Editor]

According to the Washington Post, which published a detailed review of the proceedings, Trump said that he would do things like encouraging department store workers to say "Merry Christmas" and "fight restrictions" that prohibit public school coaches from leading sectarian prayer.

Despite Trump's questionable credentials as either a conservative or a Christian, evangelicals have been courting Trump for several years, and one minister has even claimed that Trump is prophetically designated as "God's anointed" in a YouTube video that has amassed over 880,000 views.

Although former presidential candidate and chief Trump cheerleader, Ben Carson, introduced Trump with a stirring endorsement, Trump, who previously questioned Carson's Seventh-day Adventist faith while simultaneously comparing Carson with a child molester, continues to attack the religious liberty of the Muslim community, and made political points by promoting the ridiculous idea that Ted Cruz' father, an evangelical pastor, was responsible for killing JFK.

Last week, even the NRA scrambled away from Trump's assertion that arming drunk partiers at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando would have been a good idea.

Seventh-day Adventist evangelist, Doug Batchelor, who has withheld an endorsement of either candidate, reported on his Facebook page that he was in attendance at the large meeting. In what is becoming an increasingly common trope, Batchelor says that the bombastic "public" Trump is not the "private" Trump. Batchelor wrote,"I must say [Trump is] a whole different person when he is sitting down in a conversational style. At a rally he’s swaggering and bombastic, today he seemed more pensive and humble. Now we will wait and see if they arrange a similar interview with Hillary."

What Trump does represent, to some American Christian leaders, is an opportunity to regain political power that the religious right movement lost in the last decade. Jerry Falwell, Jr., the president of Liberty University and an early Trump supporter, said, “Mr. Trump is a bold and fearless leader who will take the fight to our enemies and to the radical Islamic terrorists, whether they attack in San Bernardino, Orlando or Paris.

“Or whether they simply steal American jobs through unfair trade practices. The day after Ronald Reagan became President, Iran released American hostages that had been held for 444 days. In my opinion, the day after Trump becomes president, every terrorist in the world will crawl under a rock in a similar fashion.”

The Washington Post, which the Trump campaign famously banned last week, notes that not all Christian leaders are happy with the tacit evangelical endorsement of Trump:

"Catholic conservative Robert George, former chair of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom and a Princeton professor, declined to attend the meeting, saying that while he may think even lower of Hillary Clinton, he fears Trump will 'in the end, bring disgrace upon those individuals and organizations who publicly embrace him. For those of us who believe in limited government, the rule of law, flourishing institutions of civil society and traditional Judeo-Christian moral principles, and who believe that our leaders must be persons of integrity and good character, this election is presenting a horrible choice. May God help us.'"

The Trump campaign also announced a new 25-member "evangelical executive advisory board" to help Donald Trump understand issues that are of concern to "evangelicals and other people of faith in America." Members of the board, which represent a virtual who's who of religious right leaders, have not been asked to pledge their support to Trump as a condition of participation.

Michael Peabody, Esq. is editor of ReligiousLiberty.TV, an Adventist jurisprudence website celebrating freedom of conscience.

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This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/7523

Herr Schicklgruber said he was for “das Volk,” too. We saw how well that worked out. Pictures of priests and bishops giving the Nazi salute, and yelling “Sieg Heil!” are sickening. Trump is a bully and bullies are no friend of Christians.

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What we are seeing is in large part, I suggest, to the Islamophilia of our present President who has seemingly no concern about America’s borders and dangers of not naming Islamic Radical Jihadist.for what they are. Secular inclusivism and religious exclusivism are fine and the things granted in the first Amendment.
What those devoted to globalism push is a form of pluralism that blurs the legitimate lines of exclusivity held beliefs in the religious realm to instead merge with the perceived need of secular/religious inclusivity.
There is certainly nothing wrong with what Trump has done…He believes in religious liberty but not radical jihadist who have invaded society both here and in Europe. New York City previously had people/officials in Mosque simply observing legitimate worship and hoping to either be informed by the community of radicals or observing them. I certainly would not have objected being observed for the possible presence of “WACO” type SDA’s.And, they did have SDA "roots."
Common sense has been lost for political correctness by many who have a fondness for the Beatles "Imagine."
I will personally vote for Trump because his major points in “Make America Great Again”, I believe most represent the intent of the founders. Excessive bents towards globalism have created the Big Bank Holding Co.'s, Trade inequalities for some at the expense of society and illegal immigration into this country supported by those who are actually promoting the culture of lawlessness.
These “progressive” cries of Donald being a Facist or Hitler like are mere fabrication. Both of those sought statism as part of their doctrine…just as political progressives do today. Progressives have been humorous. They couldn’t figure out why Falwell Jr.could support such a
historic womanizer. His answer was great, He didn’t want an CFO for Liberty that was a preacher but one who knew what he was doing. Sounds like a solid understanding of “separation.” The dominionist are of the Glenn Beck followers mentality. I suggest on the “Progressive side” the “neo-dominionist” are a utopian globalism not completely alien to those of Christian Century.
May God grant making America Great again and preserving the original intent of our 1st Amendment.
By the way, Jimmy Carter placed an order restricting Iranians entrance into to the US and sent college students home…temporarily…remember. Where was the outrage? Trump seeks to do that until common sense vetting and understanding can come about to prevent those who would do us harm presently imbedded primarily in the Muslim faith. Embedded MEANS NOT ALL!!.
MAGA.
Pat Travis

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“May God grant making America Great again and preserving the original intent of our 1st Amendment.”

Our best reasonings are faulty at best but He alone knows the “end from the beginning”.

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With the Brexit vote in favor of leaving the European Union, and Trump gaining massive support in the USA, one feels that suddenly the west is leaning slightly to the right.

Iron and Clay indeed.

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Some would say this is long over-due. I for one am finding the hysterical reaction of the left to be somewhat amusing

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one ego maniac talking to his progenitors. tom z

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We who are old enough to remember have seen this before. Evangelicals (and I dare say many SDA’s) thought Reagan would make America Great again. By the middle of his terms, SDA’s were pointing out that Ronald Wilson Reagan (each name 6 letters - 666), survived a deadly wound, and for the first time officially appointed an ambassador to the Pope. The church thought Reagan was ushering in the end times. Back then the EU was still forming and we were still entrenched in the Cold War. Instead of the “end of the world” it was the start of the largest and most unprecedented dismantling of every principle of social justice in the United States. By every indicator: poverty, environment, community infrastructure, education, healthcare, American’s are worse off than before the start of the conservative social revolution. Courting fundamentalists means the Trump will throw out the red meat of immigration, guns, social conservative judges, and anti-abortion rhetoric. The fact that Trump, arguably the most wholly unqualified and dangerous presidential candidate that the GOP (or any party) has ever produced, is now being endorsed by Carson and Batchelor the most wholly unqualified and dangerous SDA unrigorous thinkers is not surprising. I am not afraid that Trump will usher in the “end times” but rather I am afraid for my children when he turns out to be, not the antichrist, but the baffoon who accelerates the decline of our civil society.

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I have always, on classic Adventist as well as U.S. Constitutional grounds, opposed the moral legislative agenda of the American Religious Right. What the conduct of so many evangelical and fundamentalist Christians in the current presidential campaign has thus far demonstrated, however, is just how shallow these moral principles—relative to the secular political process—have proved to be, irrespective of one’s view of their propriety within the realm of civil law.

Keep in mind that it wasn’t so long ago that these same Christian conservatives were demanding the ouster of a U.S. president because of his lying about an extramarital affair with a White House intern. Now a large percentage of these same individuals have flocked to the candidacy of one who claims never to have sought God’s forgiveness and who boasts of his adulterous escapades. (Some might recall that Bill Clinton at least admitted he had done wrong when the evidence of his infidelity became public.)

This same candidate’s support of LGBT rights and dramatic flip-flopping on the abortion question also seems not to matter to his evangelical acolytes. Indulging rage and prejudice against persons of alien cultures, paranoia about immigrants, and frustration at the dynamics of the global economy seem far more important just now to the alleged erstwhile guardians of American morality. Physical and financial security, in other words—the mother’s milk of power-seeking by aspiring dictators in every society.

To watch the ranting mobs that fill those rallies—many of them conservative Christians—beating up dissenters and roaring approval as this unprincipled charlatan spews vile language, insults the vulnerable, promises to bring back torture and vows to murder the families of terrorists, should at last deliver the coup de grace to the long-held assumption of so-called “progressive” Adventists that Ellen White’s predictions of end-time persecution at the hands of professed Christians couldn’t possibly happen in this “enlightened” contemporary age.

Thankfully his poll numbers are tanking just now—for how long remains to be seen. But one thing has been proved conclusive in the campaign thus far—the sacrifice of Biblical moral concerns on the respective altars of race-driven fearmongering and economic anxiety by the American evangelical electorate.

And regarding the Brexit vote in the UK, one can argue as to its financial and political wisdom and possible consequences, but one thing is sure—Daniel 2 is still in the Bible.

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I find much of Patrick Travis’ first post quite incomprehensible, but wish to comment on those parts that I can understand.

He says: “What we are seeing is in large part, I suggest, to the Islamophilia of our present President who has seemingly no concern about America’s borders and dangers of not naming Islamic Radical Jihadist.for what they are.”

It is right for the President to be respectful to all religions. The language Pat wants Obama to use could be twisted easily to portray the US as the enemy of Islam, and this perception is a great recruiting tool for the terrorists. Obama (and his Republican predecessor) has correctly pointed this out. We should not get too heated over what is, after all, symbolic. As for Obama having “no concern about America’s borders,” where is the evidence?

He says: “There is certainly nothing wrong with what Trump has done.” Maybe not, if you overlook all the women he has had, his sexual boasting, the positions he takes that he routinely contradicts, his singling out ethnic groups for persecution, his advocacy of torture, and his belief that building walls solves things.

He says: “He believes in religious liberty but not radical jihadist who have invaded society both here and in Europe.” I haven’t seen any radical jihadists in my neighborhood. Invasion? Exaggeration does not improve things.

He says: “These ‘progressive’ cries of Donald being a Facist or Hitler like are mere fabrication.” Not so. Trump’s demonization of whole ethnic groups and his use of fear as a motivator to action is disturbingly similar to what Hitler did.

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The frightening comments of Mr. Travis compel me to comment at just how far many Adventists will go to try and rationalize their support of a person in maintaining their grip on conservatism. Not that Donald Trump is truly a conservative, unless you ignore half of what he has said over the years. To evoke the likes of Doug Bachelor and Ben Carson just further adds to that kind of unsupportable kind of thinking.

Every Justice placed on the Supreme Court by Republicans has come out at one time or another making statements AGAINST the separation of church and state. Every Justice appointed by Democrats has come out IN SUPPORT of separation of church and state…It is just that simple. This is where the most important battle will be fought. To argue against that would simply display your ignorance.

The time of tribulation will not be brought about by Secular Humanism or Globalization. It will be brought about by the uniting of church and state. They are not the “Religious Right” because they want religion out of the government but because they want it as a part of the government. Siding with that elk is to get in bed with the devil. I can almost detect horns coming out of Mr. trump’s orange head.

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“I think maybe that will be my greatest contribution to Christianity—and other religions—is to allow you, when you talk religious liberty, to go and speak openly, and if you like somebody or want somebody to represent you, you should have the right to do it."

“I’m so on your side, I’m a tremendous believer, and we’re gonna straighten it out,” Trump said."

What does that even mean? It’s a bunch of gobbley gook that does not make any type of sense. At the very best, it sounds like someone talking about something they know nothing about.

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Does anyone know exactly what Trump means when he pledges to “Make America great again” I suspect many people read their own views into his words.

For the military /industrial complex they see the pledge as a promise for larger and better armed forces.But is that really what Trump intends as he talks of closing foreign army bases and spending the savings on civilian infrastructure.

Trump has voiced admiration for Putin .I do not see Trump as having a showdown with Russia over the Ukraine Crimea or Poland.Trump has endorsed Britian leaving the European union

No one knows what they will get or loose from a Trump presidency but it will be an interesting experience.This time next year what will we be writing about.

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Right up there with “Two Corinthians walk into a bar…”

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The Atlantic has a good article which also speaks to this, and put so well:

Why would evangelicals support a candidate who stands for much of what they claim to loathe? Because Trump is promising them the thing they want most. As he told the 1,000 Christian leaders in New York (emphasis mine):

This is such an important election. And I say to you folks because you have such power, such influence. Unfortunately the government has weeded it away from you pretty strongly. But you’re going to get it back. Remember this: If you ever add up, the men and women here are the most important, powerful lobbyists. You’re more powerful. Because you have men and women, you probably have something like 75, 80 percent of the country believing. But you don’t use your power. You don’t use your power.

Donald Trump is no dummy. He knows his audience better than they know themselves. Evangelicals are acutely aware of their waning cultural influence and shrinking share of the population. These religious leaders care about their principles, yes. But they care about something else even more: power. While not every evangelical leader is enthusiastic about Trump, many are starting to express warm feelings toward the candidate. Expect the cascade to continue. Their fawning, fumbling efforts to push Trump into the White House prove that many of them will risk everything to reclaim cultural and political control—even if that means defying their own beliefs.
http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/06/trump-and-the-evangelicals-a-match-made-in-well/488552/

Those words from Trump in that above quote are simply frightening. I pray Doug Batchelor is extremely careful with his words and actions concerning his attending these meetings, he has a lot of influence among many conservative Adventists. (Personally I would prefer if he didn’t go. But maybe he’s there for a reason. I don’t know).

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I appreciated this quote from the Washington Post story (thank you for the link!):

“This meeting marks the end of the Christian Right,” Michael Farris, a national homeschooling pioneer and longtime figure of the Christian Right, wrote on his Facebook page Tuesday. He noted that he was present at the first gathering of the Moral Majority in 1980: “The premise of the meeting in 1980 was that only candidates that reflected a biblical worldview and good character would gain our support. … Today, a candidate whose worldview is greed and whose god is his appetites (Philippians 3) is being tacitly endorsed by this throng. … This is a day of mourning.”

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More disturbing than Trump is the mood and manner of the electorate that support him. We and Europe are moving toward a fascist right position. Troubling, indeed.

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I like a lot of things about Trump but can not in clear conscience vote for him because he is a torture advocate. I’m against torture period, but many of those tortured in the past were later found to be wrongfully held. Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely. If I vote for Trump, I am in part responsible for future Abu Ghraib’s, for the torture/and/or murder of many an innocent soul in secret prisons around the world.

Ronald Reagan advocated for and signed a treaty in 1988 that stated that “no exceptional circumstances whatsoever … may be invoked as a justification of torture” and that “each State Party shall ensure that all acts of torture are offenses under its criminal law.”

US operatives engaged in torture killed detainees in Afghanistan.

In 2009, Gen. Barry McCaffrey said, “We tortured people unmercifully. We probably murdered dozens of them during the course of that, both the armed forces and the C.I.A.”

Torture is against Geneva Convention Rule 90: “Torture, cruel or inhuman treatment and outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment, are prohibited.” America is a signer of this treaty.

Furthermore, these are SUSPECTS we are torturing!

I won’t have on my conscience that I voted for and helped place in power a torture advocate as a president of the United States.

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I can hardly be bothered with Trump- bashing. People generally get the leaders the majority want in systems such as Western democracies. Their choice is based, in typical human fashion , on perceived self-interest, whether Christian of left, right, or centre. Although advocating torture, Trump, in any case, CANNOT be as bad as the respected prophet Samuel who STRONGLY , and SPECIFICALLY,(Not by happenstance, mark you) advocated the slaughtering of pregnant Amalekite women. I was deeply shocked at the time which my lecturer in Political Science-Government class revealed that Franz Fanon brought to attention that the Christian French often tortured Pro-independence Algerian women by smashing the tops of beer bottles and using the jagged edge as a dildo. Later, Nazi mothers were encouraged to “strike back” at unruly children IN UTERO by pounding their bellies to suppress kicking etc in utero. Some children in Euro countries when and where female infanticide was prevalent were TERRIFIED at the story of Jesus who as they saw it was forced to undergo filicide. What Trump CAN do (and many fear) is to call out America’s enemies who are displaying braggadocio and are challenging America everywhere. Evangelicals and other Christians do not like this as they feel that the people of the Bible must be pre-eminent in world affairs as well as in domestic affairs. This boils down to “white pride”(even if looked at as Majority rule) as even advocated by our own EGW. People seem tired of left-of-centre leaders kow-towing to foreigners and may well rally around the MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN slogan inventor in November.

it show that they have zero morals. they do have the love of power disease.