Lamenting the current state of faith and religion in America as “not good,” former President Donald Trump launched a new National Faith Advisory Board last Thursday, with his spiritual advisor and televangelist Paula White at the helm.
“A lot of things have happened and a lot of things have happened with respect to faith and religion and they’re not good things. They are not good, they’re not good at all,” Trump said on a call with faith leaders during which he complained about how the 2020 election was stolen from him, according to a clip published online. “It’s really a very sad event what took place on November 3rd, and what they did.”
“Everyone on this call made a critical contribution to our movement over the past five years. And we’ve had tremendous success and then we had a horrendous result to an election that was won. We won that election and now numbers are coming out that are shocking to people and it’s a shame,” Trump insisted.
Before the call last Thursday, the faith group co-founded by Jenny Korn and Amanda Robbins Vargo, who worked at the Office of Public Liaison in the Trump White House, sent an email to faith groups accusing the Biden administration of pursuing an “anti-faith agenda” the Jewish Daily Forward reported.
“We accomplished so much together at the White House during the Trump administration. We are seeing all our hard work being unraveled by the new administration and their anti-faith agenda,” the email said. “We will protect our religious freedoms here and abroad, in order to worship and live according to our faith.”
According to the Forward, the new advisory board is expected to “organize regular conference calls and events with prominent leaders in the coming months.”
Religion News Service reported that White, who called on angels from Africa to help deliver victory to Trump in his reelection bid last November after overseeing the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, noted that the new National Faith Advisory Board would include “70 executives.” She also highlighted the “unprecedented victories, influence and access” to faith groups that resulted from Trump’s faith advisory board during his term.
Trump added that fighting for religious liberty was one of his “greatest honors.”
“One of my greatest honors was fighting for religious liberty and for defending the Judeo-Christian values and principles of our nation’s founding,” he said Thursday.
Still, the former president expressed surprise about his showing with Catholic and Jewish voters, arguing that both groups got much support from his administration.
“I’m a little bit surprised that we didn’t do better with the Catholic vote,” Trump said. “I think now they would give us a vote. I think we got about 50 percent of the vote. And yet, we did a lot for the Catholic vote. So we’ll have to talk to them. We’re going to have to meet with the Catholics.”
Pointing to his poor showing among Jewish voters, the former president argued that the faith community needs to be more united.
“Look what I did with the embassy in Jerusalem and what I did with so many other things … Israel has never had a better friend, and yet I got 25% of the vote,” Trump said. “I think they have to get together. There has to be a little bit more unity with the religious groups all represented on this call.”
When asked about his own faith in God, the former president noted: “It’s all based around God — it’s so important. God is so important to the success of what we’re doing. Because without God, we have nothing.”