Trump Meets with Christian Conservative Leaders
Trump gets it! It was an outstanding meeting with Donald Trump and Christian leaders from across the country this past Tuesday in New York City. Last week Hillary Clinton was given an award by Planned Parenthood, the largest purveyor of the killing of the unborn and selling of baby parts. The contrast is clear. This event was opened by Rev. Franklin Graham, who spoke and then prayed for a productive meeting with Mr. Trump. Dr. Ben Carson then told us about Donald Trump and what he appreciated about him. Gov. Mike Huckabee served as moderator and facilitated the question and answer session with Mr. Trump.
Gov. Huckabee spoke about how impressed he was with Donald Trump’s children. The questions centered around religious freedom, Israel, potential Supreme Court nominees and abortion. Mr. Trump made it clear that he understands the importance of appointing pro-life, pro-Second Amendment judges. He further indicated that all of his judges would be vetted by the Federalist Society and Heritage. The issue is very important in that the next president may appoint two or more Supreme Court justices.
With respect to religious liberty, Trump made it clear that he would remove the Johnson Amendment. The 1954 Johnson Amendment passed by Congress stated that non-profits (Christian Churches) could not speak in favor of any political candidate. The Amendment led to the suppression of free speech, and due to the confusion and misinformation surrounding the Johnson Amendment, many pastors/evangelical leaders have been self-censoring for over sixty years.
Trump’s weakness is that he did not clearly state his views in answer to the questions asked by Tony Perkins and Kelly Shackelford about what his position is when religious freedom and the LGBT movement come into conflict, other than to say that these matters will be decided by the courts and the conservative judges he appoints. He consistently stated that he was for religious freedom and would appoint judges who would defend religious freedom.
Mr. Trump made it clear that he was very concerned about the political correctness surrounding matters of our Christian heritage. As an example, he referenced the fact that companies have stopped saying Merry Christmas. He stated that he says “Merry Christmas” and he believes that the PC crowd just wants to remove the words “Merry Christmas” in an attempt to diminish the role of Christianity in America.
With respect to Israel, Mr. Trump made it clear he would be a staunch supporter of the nation of Israel. His answers indicated that he clearly appreciates the threat posed by Islamic jihadism.
During the discussion, Trump remained affable, funny, relaxed and thoughtful in his answers. Unlike Hillary Clinton, Mr. Trump spent an hour and a half meeting with Christian leaders and answering any questions they may have had regarding a future Trump administration. It was encouraging to see that Trump is listening to some great evangelical men and women that I admire and respect.
After the meeting, we were thankful that we had gone to New York. It was worth the investment of our time. Please join us in continuing to pray for Trump and for our country.
Steven F. Hotze, M.D.