President Donald Trump says the “biggest pastors” in America have been telling him that his ongoing fight with the media and Democrats has been fueling the greatest revival in American history.
“I got a call the other night from pastors, the biggest pastors, evangelical Christians. They said that they have never seen our religion or any religion so electrified,” Trump said during a Friday press conference outside the White House. “They say they have never seen anything like it. Churches are joining. Hundreds of thousands of people. And you know that's to a large extent because of you and your partners, the Democrats.”
Casey Mattox, vice president of legal and judicial strategy at Americans for Prosperity, a conservative libertarian political advocacy group, said of Trump’s claim on Twitter, “I find this assertion not only factually false, but personally and theologically offensive.”
A number of Trump’s biggest evangelical supporters disagree.
Trump’s comments come in the wake of what at least one prominent Christian leader has called a real “threat of evangelical anger” over the ongoing impeachment inquiry of the president.
“Look, I don’t pretend to speak for all evangelicals, but this week I have been traveling the country and I’ve literally spoken to thousands and thousands of evangelical Christians. I have never seen them more angry over any issue than this attempt to illegitimately remove this president from office, overturn the 2016 election and negate the votes of millions of evangelicals in the process,” Pastor Robert Jeffress said in a recent interview on Fox News.
In a clip from the recently concluded National Quartet Convention in Tennessee, Jeffress also told a very supportive gathering that Trump will go down as the “most pro-life, pro-religious liberty and pro-Israel president in history” as he lashed out at the attacks on his “friend.”
“Every time I am debating some of these pinheads from the ACLU, I ask them the question — I say now tell me, why is it in the mid-1800s you could read and teach the New Testament but suddenly the Supreme Court decides 118 years later that you can’t even post the Ten Commandments? What changed? Did the Constitution change and nobody told us about it? Of course not. The Constitution hasn’t changed but what has changed is this: We have allowed the atheists, the secularists, the humanists, to hijack our Constitution and pervert it into something our forefathers never intended. That’s what the problem is," he said as the audience responded with a standing ovation.
“And I’m gonna say this, and it may cost me some book sales but I’m gonna say it anyway. Thank God we have a president like Donald J. Trump who understands that [the left is trying to destroy America]. I don’t like seeing my friend under attack like he is under right now but I don’t like the prospect of what’s going to happen in America if we allow the left to seize control of this country again. And I believe one the great ironies of history is gonna be this. When the historians look back. They are gonna say with great surprise that it was a secular, billionaire, real estate tycoon from New York City who became the most pro-life, pro-religious liberty and pro-Israel president in history. Now that’s what I believe,” he said.
Christina Jones, 44, a Christian patron attending a tour event in Greenville, South Carolina, of popular evangelist and Trump supporter, Rev. Franklin Graham, told the Associated Press that she does feel like the president is under attack and Christians have to defend him.
“I do feel like we are, as Christians, the first line of defense for the president,” Jones said before Graham took the stage. Trump, she said, is “supporting our Christian principles and trying to do his best,” even when “everybody’s against him.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s announced a formal impeachment inquiry into claims that the president asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on a telephone call in July to investigate Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden “for personal gain.” A transcript of that call can be read here.
Graham, the AP said, has encouraged Trump and others to keep investigating Biden noting the vice president’s son, Hunter Biden, acknowledged a drug addiction, which makes him “suspect.”
“So it’s probably worth looking into to see what Vice President Biden (did) at the time, what kind of promises he made to help his son with the Ukrainians,” Graham said.
He also acknowledged his father, legendary evangelist Billy Graham’s warning to be careful of politicians who are “going to want to use you” but insisted that his friend, President Trump, is “not a politician.”
“One thing I appreciate about President Trump, he’s not a politician. And that’s why he gets in trouble all the time,” Graham said.