Thursday, July 13, 2017

Trump Meets With Supportive Evangelical Leaders

CNN reports that President Trump on Monday met in the Oval Office with a group of evangelical religious leaders.  These leaders comprise his Evangelical Advisory Board. Attendees included Johnnie Moore, a former senior vice president at Liberty University, Jack Graham, the pastor of the Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, Texas, and former Minnesota representative Michele Bachmann.  Vice President Pence also attended the meeting.  Photos posted by participants in the meeting show Trump with his head bowed in prayer surrounded by the religious leaders, some of whom have their hands on his shoulders.  Johnnie Moore told CNN:
We similarly prayed for President Obama but it's different with President Trump.  When we are praying for President Trump, we are praying within the context of a real relationship, of true friendship.
In yesterday's White House Press Briefing (full text) by Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Sanders, the following exchange about the President's meeting with faith leaders took place:
 Q    On the meeting with the Faith Advisory Board, someone tweeted out a picture of the meeting the other day, and there was a -- the picture showed people, faith leaders laying their hands on the President as they were praying.  And I think there was an inference or implication from that photo coverage that they were praying for him because of a political crisis.  Could you explain a little bit more about how the meeting came about and what it meant to the President to have them there?
MS. SANDERS:  The idea that somebody would only pray when they're in crisis I think makes you miss the entire point of what prayer is about.  You should do that every day, and that's -- I think you can do that in the best of times and the worst of times.  So I think it would be ridiculous to suggest the only time you might do that is in a time of crisis.
Q    How did the meeting come about?  And what did it mean to the President?
MS. SANDERS:  It’s his Faith Advisory Board, and they meet from time to time to speak about issues that are important to that community.