A month before the GOP primary, Trump met with more than 1,000 Evangelical leaders to address their concerns with his candidacy. Trump promised them that if elected, he would appoint pro-life US Supreme Court judges and protect those who wish to “express their religious beliefs in the public square.”
In exchange, once reluctant Evangelical leaders endorsed the presidential bid of the thrice married, casino owning, sometimes crude talking reality show host, Donald Trump because it was “the lesser of two evils.”
The justification for their endorsements reveal the depth of their fear of a Hillary Clinton presidency for the future of the US as well as their rationale for endorsing a man somewhat foreign to their lifestyles.
Marjorie Dannenfelser of the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List states, “When you have a binary choice, you must make a decision. … It’s frankly irresponsible to stay on the sidelines right now, given where the republic is heading. The idea that you could ever roll the court back from the disastrous consequences of a Hillary Clinton presidency presumes upon time, presumes upon mercy.”
Penny Nance of Concerned Women for America explains, “It became clearer to me, sooner than some other folks, that we can’t just stand by and allow Hillary Clinton to be our next president. …None of us are deluded into thinking [Trump’s] a Bible-banging Evangelical. He’s certainly different from many of us….”
Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, admitted, “…he doesn’t fit within our mold. But what I found is, he’s open, he’s receptive, he puts the right people around him. …I want him to be successful, because if he’s successful, America survives. That’s the bottom line.”
When asked if Trump’s recent “conversion” to the pro-life plank might be shallow and untested, Ralph Reed of the Faith and Freedom Coalition counters, “The way the pro-life movement grows is by welcoming converts, it isn’t by conducting Pharisaic examinations of whether or not their conversion is genuine or … suggesting that until they pay some period of time or penance, that they’re not accepted.”
James Dobson recently endorsed Trump because he “has been unwavering in his commitment to issues that are important to Evangelicals such as myself. In particular, I have been heartened by his pledge to appoint conservative Supreme Court justices, preserve religious liberty, rebuild the military and defend the sanctity of human life.”
Whether a President Trump could deliver on either of these promises remains to be seen. But one thing is sure, Trump and his unlikely evangelical partners are united in their desire to “make America great again.” We must pray that their efforts would not hasten the fulfillment of end-time prophecies where global political powers reinstate deadly persecution to accomplish a religious revival. See Revelation 13:11-18.