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Divided We Stand

Divided We Stand
New book about the 2020 election.

Friday, November 18, 2022

Some Christian Leaders Turn on Trump

 In Defying the Odds, we talk about the social and economic divides that enabled Trump to enter the White House. In Divided We Stand, we discuss how these divides played out in 2020.  

Caroline Kitchener, Amy B Wang and Michelle Boorstein at WP:
A televangelist who served as a spiritual adviser to Donald Trump says the former president has the tendency to act “like a little elementary schoolchild” and suggests that Trump’s focus on minor spats was preventing progress on larger goals.

“If Mr. Trump can’t stop his little petty issues, how does he expect people to stop major issues?” James Robison, the president of the Christian group Life Outreach International, said Wednesday night at a meeting of the National Association of Christian Lawmakers (NACL), a conservative political group that focuses on social issues.

The televangelist then started criticizing Trump, prompting the crowd to grow quiet.

“Everything you wanted him to hear — every single thing you ever prayed for him to hear — came through these lips right straight into his face,” Robison told the crowd Wednesday, his voice growing lower and louder. “And with the same force you’ve heard me talking to you, I spoke it to him.”

By now, Robison was shouting, practically spitting his words out as he recalled what he said he told Trump.

“ ‘Sir, you act like a little elementary schoolchild and you shoot yourself in the foot every morning you get up and open your mouth! The more you keep your mouth closed, the more successful you’re gonna be!’ ” Robison said.

The sharp words from Robison, who after the 2016 election called Trump “a supernatural answer to prayer,” came just a day after Trump announced he would run for reelection in 2024. His campaign announcement has been met with a relatively muted response from Republicans and public figures who used to be his most fervent supporters, including from the evangelical church.


In an essay sent to The Washington Post earlier this month, Mike Evans, a former member of the evangelical advisory board, said he would not vote for Trump again and recalled how he once left a Trump rally “in tears because I saw Bible believers glorifying Donald Trump like he was an idol.”

“All of us knew that Trump had character flaws, but we considered our relationship with him transactional,” wrote Evans, a Texas author and Christian Zionist who raises money for outreach and support in Israel. “We wanted Supreme Court justices to overturn Roe v. Wade. We wanted his support of our biblical values. We all wanted his support for the State of Israel. Donald Trump indeed kept and exceeded his promises to us.”

However, Evans said Trump had done damage by turning “the pulpit that we preach from” into a political platform.

“Donald Trump can’t save America. He can’t even save himself. He used us to win the White House. We had to close our mouths and eyes when he said things that horrified us,” Evans wrote. “I cannot do that anymore.”