Faith Leaders: 'They're Trying to Impeach Us'

Evangelicals met privately with Trump this week
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 2, 2019 11:35 AM CDT
Faith Leaders: 'They're Trying to Impeach Us'
In this July 18, 2016 file photo, Pastor Paula White delivers the benediction at the close of the opening day of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Faith leaders aren't just opposed to impeachment—they take it personally. So says one of 25 American evangelicals who met privately with President Trump this week, McClatchy reports. "Many evangelicals like myself believe that this is more than just a political skirmish," says Robert Jeffress, the top pastor at First Baptist Dallas. "They really believe that to impeach President Trump would be to impeach their own closely held values. And that's why they take impeachment so personally." At the Tuesday meeting, which wasn't on Trump's public schedule, he touched on issues including criminal justice reform, opioid abuse, and abortion, and said he did nothing wrong in his now-infamous phone call to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. In related news:

  • New adviser: Trump's spiritual adviser and longtime friend, televangelist Paula White-Cain, now has a job in the administration—as a religious adviser in the Office of Public Liaison, the Washington Post reports. The Florida-based pastor promotes a prosperity gospel and played a key role in pushing Trump's criminal justice reform policies.

  • A 'quiet' Christian: White-Cain defends Trump as a "quiet" Christian who wanted to build a "glass cathedral" in 2006 before the plan fell through. "He said, 'Let's build a crystal cathedral for God," she tells the Washington Examiner. Now, "who knows what God will do. Who knows, maybe we will end up building a cathedral." She also tweeted a photo of faith leaders praying this week with Trump.
  • Which church, again? Trump's Christian beliefs have drawn scrutiny before. In 2015 he said he was "Presbyterian Protestant" and went to Marble Collegiate Church in New York, but the church said he is "not an active member." Trump has also said his "second-favorite book" is The Art of the Deal, a close runner-up to his all-time favorite, the Bible, Newsweek recalls.
  • Evangelical support: Evangelicals give Trump immense support—a Public Religion Research Institute poll says 99% of evangelical Republicans oppose impeachment—but some Christian leaders were against his pullout of troops from Syria, where the Islamic State has targeted Christians and Yazidis. Trump put out calls recently "to protect his relationship with conservative Christians," Politico said last week.
  • Not all rosy: The PRRI poll also shows that just 48% of white Catholics and 54% of white mainline Protestants approve of the job he's doing, per CBS News. Some 72% of Latino Catholics and 86% of black Protestants disapprove.
(More evangelicals stories.)

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