Robert Jeffress stood by Trump during the campaign
On the eve of the National Day of Prayer and Trump’s executive order on religious liberty, the POTUS had dinner with his evangelical support team. The guest list included Paula White, Robert Jeffress, Franklin Graham, James Dobson, Michele Bachman, Mark Burns, Ralph Reed, Mike Pence, Karen Pence, Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner, Reince Prebius, and Steve Bannon.
You may recall some of these evangelical leaders.
Paula White led Trump to Christ
Robert Jeffress was one of the first evangelicals to endorse Trump. He preached an inauguration day sermon comparing Trump’s border wall to the Old Testament story of Nehemiah. He invokes the Civil Rights movement from the pulpit of a church with a long history of segregation. And he doubled-down on his support for Trump after the Access Hollywood tape.
James Dobson broke the news to the world that Trump was a “baby Christian.” He is also the guy who, in 1998, said that Bill Clinton should be removed from office because he lacked moral character.
In a prayer at the GOP convention last summer, Mark Burns asked God to defeat the “liberal democrats” and thanked the Lord that the GOP was the “conservative party under God.”
Ralph Reed shows up wherever there is an opportunity to sit at the feet of political power. He has been doing this his entire career.
And we could go on…
Over at Time, Elizabeth Dias gives us the inside scoop on this private dinner.
Here is a taste:
The evening, guests say, was more a celebration of their victories so far than a discussion on future policy. Trump took photos with the guests in the Red Room, Graham kick off festivities with a prayer, and a dinner of shrimp scampi with parsley butter, red wine braised short ribs, and wild ramp gnocchi was served. White presented Trump with a gift on behalf of the group from the Museum of the Bible, a framed page of an original King James Bible from 1611 A.D., “a Bible which as you know was commissioned by a political leader in service to the church,” she said.
Acclaimed evangelical musician Steven Curtis Chapman performed his songs “Be Still and Know” and “The Lord’s Prayer.” Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, gave a benediction, and Trump then invited everyone up to the residence for a brief after party, complete with a tour of the Lincoln bedroom and the Truman balcony, before shaking hands again.
“It was a reunion more than anything,” Bachmann says. “For people of faith, there was so much trepidation about what would happen in this election. They really felt that if Mrs. Clinton had prevailed it would have spelled a diminution of the nation, the nation would have morally suffered.”
Read the rest here.