Here is the video:
0:34ff: Ralph Reed, the founder of the Faith and Freedom Coalition, says he founded the organization to make sure that evangelicals “are the head and not the tail of our political system once again.” What does this mean? It comes pretty close to theocracy. Reed and his followers on the Christian Right want evangelical Christians to be running the country. The church should have no place for this kind of power-grabbing, but, alas, evangelicals have supported it for nearly fifty years.
15:30ff: The video that airs before Trump comes out clearly illustrates that the POTUS has delivered for the Christian Right. He appointed conservative justices, got the United States out of the Paris climate agreement, convinced the Christian Right that he did something to defend religious freedom (he did not), created jobs, moved the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, got us out of the Iran deal, and gave people a tax break. Sean Hannity thinks Trump belongs on Mount Rushmore.
The video ends by extolling Trump as the most pro-life president in history. If you only view pro-life in terms of abortion, one might say Barack Obama was the most pro-life president in the American history. Abortion rates dropped precipitously under his watch. Yes, Trump appointed Gorsuch and Kavanaugh, but we still have no idea how these two justices, and their conservative colleagues on the court, will reduce the number of abortions.
Of course, if we define pro-life broadly, to include a respect for life after a baby is born, Trump may be one of the least pro-life presidents in recent history. His failure to address climate change will place future lives in jeopardy. His immigration policy shows very little respect for the lives of refugees. And we could go on.
The video also notes that Trump is the most pro-family POTUS in history. When did separating children from their parents at the Mexican border become pro-family?
The video suggests that Trump has defended religious freedom. Granted, he has talked a good game, but he has done very little in terms of policy.
17:55ff: Ralph Reed introduces Trump. His introduction is a revealing synopsis of the what the Christian Right is all about. This is a political movement that tries to advance God’s will through the pursuit of power and the control of the levers of government. Reed says that evangelicals have “integrity” because they have stood with Trump, who he describes as “this good man.” I will give Trump credit. He is a master politician. He has deceived conservative evangelicals into believing that he actually cares about them.
26:50ff: Trump mixes prayer and fear-mongering. He tells evangelicals to pray for him because they are one vote or one justice away from everything changing in America. As I wrote in Believe Me: The Evangelical Road to Donald Trump, this type of fear-mongering is a staple of Christian Right politics.
28:00ff: Trump implies that since he was elected president “we are saying Merry Christmas” again. He makes it sound like no one was saying this under Obama or previous presidents.
31:00ff: Trump keeps saying that he repealed the Johnson Amendment. He did not. But it doesn’t matter, because no one is going to look it up.
33:00ff: Trump has now spoken to this group six times. I would have to go back and check, but I think the outline for all six speeches is roughly the same.
34:30ff: Evangelical Christians start chanting “Four More Years.”
35:00ff: Trump mischaracterizes the Virginia abortion law and continues to play to evangelical fears by suggesting that the commonwealth is killing babies after they are born.
36:15ff: The “Four More Years” chants continue.
42:00ff: Trump says that “we are respected again as a nation.” If my experience in Italy earlier this month is any indication, this is not true. Trump, and the United States, is a laughing stock in the country of my ancestors.
43:00ff: Trump gives a shout-out to court evangelicals Jerry Falwell Jr. and Robert Jeffress.
44:00ff: The evangelical Christians in the room start chanting “U.S.A., U.S.A, U.S.A.”
44:20ff: Trump says he wants to talk to the “17%” of evangelicals who do not support him. Sign me up!
44:30ff: Trump says that we should be “loving others the way Christ loves us.” Just Google the name “Donald Trump” to see how he is doing on this one.
45:00ff: Trump claims that there were “tens of thousands” of people outside the Orlando Arena waiting to get into his recent rally. This is not true.
47:00ff: Trump has the audacity to talk about how much women support him in the wake of this.
49:30ff: Trump is encouraging everyone to “love their neighbors.” (Unless, of course, they are refugees, Muslims, or undocumented immigrants).
50:15ff: Trump talks about his efforts at criminal justice reform. Glad to see that he was able to get this done.
55:40ff: Trump calls-up a woman named Natalie Harp who is battling bone cancer and almost died because of a medical error. Trump takes credit for her survival. Harp takes the lectern and gives a pro-Trump speech, describing Trump as the “Good Samaritan” who saved her life. She says that Trump believes in the “survival of the fighters, not the survival of the fittest.” (Not sure exactly what this means). She then generalizes her personal story by suggesting that the United States was lying near death on the side of the road and Donald Trump as the Good Samaritan came along, picked us up, and made America great again.
And we all thought Trump was actually King Cyrus.
1:01:00ff: Conservative evangelicals cheer Trump’s border wall. He claims he has already “built a lot of it” and it has “made a tremendous difference, like day and night.”
1:03:00ff: Trump blames the Democrats for the crisis on the Mexican border. He falsely claims that Democrats want “open borders.”
1:10:56ff: Trump makes another really bizarre and nasty attack on John McCain. He does not mention McCain by name, but implies that the recently deceased Arizona Senator and other Republican Senators (Jeff Flake?) who opposed him are “gone now, they’ve gone on to greener pastures, or perhaps far less green pastures, but they’re gone. They’re gone….I’m very happy they’re gone.” Trump is happy that McCain died of cancer. He suggests that McCain might be in hell.
1:22:00: Trump says, “we know that faith and prayer, not government regulation, defines the moral character of our country. We know that families and churches, not government officials know best how to create strong and loving communities.” I have always been baffled by this kind of rhetoric because there are so many examples in American history of Christian churches failing to do the work of creating strong and loving communities. The churches in the South failed to stop racism, segregation, and Jim Crow. This is why they needed federal government regulations. Churches have been unable to drastically reduce abortion in this country, forcing the Christian Right to address the issue through government regulations. In the end, conservative Christians like government when it suits their needs (after all, they want to control it), but they have little use for it when it does not. I guess you could say the same things for liberals as well.
Hopefully this summary will save some of you from having to watch this.