A Court Evangelical Defends Himself

Rev.-Samuel-Rodriguez-289x300-289x300Last weekend we did a post on court evangelical Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference.   Yesterday, in a published interview with Pat Robertson’s Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN), Rodriguez defended his role as an evangelical adviser to Donald Trump.  I am sure he had no problem hitting the softballs that CBN tossed his way.

Here is a taste of Heather Sells’s article:


Rodriguez says Trump was wrong to not immediately call out white supremacists and neo-Nazis in Charlottesville but defended his involvement on the board as “my God-given assignment.”  He said those calling for his resignation from the board are largely inconsistent.

“Where was that argument ‘why don’t you abandon,’ why don’t evangelical advisors abandon Obama when he affirmed and celebrated and advanced the cause of same-sex marriage?  Where was the uproar when Obama expanded/funded Planned Parenthood, funded international abortions?” he asked.

Rodriguez characterized the board as one that gives “very straight talk” to the president.  

“I’ve never been in a conversation where the faith advisory board is silent.  This is not a rubber stamp board,” he said.  “It’s a board that’s committed to the centrality of Jesus and biblical truth.”

Read the entire piece here.

Rodriguez seems to be a careful court evangelical.  For example, he does not say that Trump is the most faith-friendly president in American history or a “dream president” for evangelicals.  He has defended the DACA program, but he has been silent about the pardon of Joe Arpaio.

But I wonder: Is being a court evangelical a “God-given assignment?”  I have no idea. Rodriguez’s evangelical faith is a bit different than mine.  I am hesitant to be so bold about what God is calling me to do.   I guess I have a view of God informed more by mystery than certainty.  I also wonder if Rodriguez would say that ministers could have a “God-given assignment” to oppose Donald Trump?

Rather than mounting a defense of court evangelicalism based on solid biblical teaching, orthodox theology, or even church tradition, many of the court evangelicals seem content to just say that God called them to serve the POTUS in this capacity.