Donald Trump is meeting with a large group of Evangelical Christian leaders representative of every corner of the evangelical spectrum Tuesday in New York. The list of attendees is impressive and more so because it includes some who have yet to endorse him such as Dr. James Dobson and other notables. According to WND news, this group of as many as 900 will hear Mr. Trump and Dr. Ben Carson under heavy security and a media blackout at the Marriott Marquis.
It is to Trump’s credit that he is at least reaching out in this manner, especially to those who have opposed him. I am hoping and praying that in addition to evangelicals hearing Mr. Trump, he will in turn hear and seriously consider what the evangelical community has to say about the issues that concern us. I am also glad that there is both a media blackout of the event and heavy security in place. If there has ever been a group of people in danger of both domestic terror and Islamic terror around the world, it has been the groups of people these leaders represent or support.
What I am most interested in hearing from Mr. Trump is a change in a position he recently took concerning federal funding of Planned Parenthood, as well as a change in position concerning the North Carolina “bathroom” law. His statements about both of these issues fly in the face of legitimate concerns and objections of the evangelical community. I consider myself an evangelical pastor, though of no worldly notoriety. I am in agreement fully with leaders such as Dr. Dobson and Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council and most of the other names I know of who will be at this meeting. I believe they have the same concerns with these positions of Mr. Trump that I do.
Mr. Trump has already stated in another gathering that he is solidly pro-life and will appoint pro-life justices to the Supreme Court. Those are fine words and I hope he is sincere. However, his sincerity is questionable when he continues to support federal funding of Planned Parenthood. He says it would only be for services other than abortion that the taxpayers would continue to be on the hook for. This position is a mistake of ‘yuugge’ proportions, pardon the pun. First of all there are very few services Planned Parenthood provides besides abortion. The vast majority of cancer screenings, for example, attributed to Planned Parenthood are referral services to doctors who actually perform the screenings. Second, Planned Parenthood does not do abortions for free. They charge for each procedure and the price is not small. It increases dynamically the longer a woman waits to have the procedure. This is their money maker and Planned Parenthood will do anything to keep it profitable, and continue to extort more “profits” from us as taxpayers to the tune of 500 million dollars a year! We who are truly pro-life are tired of having our money spent on the immorality of abortion; tired of helping to subsidize the industry of death. If Mr. Trump is serious about courting evangelicals he will seriously consider supporting defunding Planned Parenthood. This is a step beyond simply saying you are pro-life Mr. Trump, and would provide evidence of your sincerity for the evangelical community.
Mr. Trump has stated that he is a man in favor of solid family values. If I take that to mean what I would consider solid family values, then I should be able to infer that he is a strong supporter of traditional marriage between one man and one woman. That is why I was shocked when Mr. Trump disparaged North Carolina for passing the law that people must use the bathroom of their biological gender. I am hoping through this meeting that he will reconsider this position and turn away from it. If he did so, he would demonstrate both wisdom and humility which would count heavily in his favor in my book and I suspect to the majority of evangelical voters as well.
Finally, there is one aspect of the man Donald Trump that is still of great concern to me and man others. He has yet to show that he keeps a firm grasp of the truth in what he says and does. In other words, through this campaign so far, Mr. Trump has given me little reason to trust him. He has employed devious tactics and used libel and slander to impugn other candidates and I find that repulsive. I believe he will say what he believes he needs to at this coming meeting to gain favor. I don’t know if what he says will satisfy evangelicals concerns. I do know that especially after this meeting, evangelical voters will be watching even more closely to see if we can support and trust Donald Trump. If so, there might actually be a shot at “making America great again”. That is because we believe what Alexis DeTocqueville wrote; “America is great because America is good. When she ceases to be good, she will cease to be great.”Tags: Ben Carson conservative Christians Donald Trump Dr. James Dobson evangelicals Planned Parenthood