On Tuesday, June 21, we had the privilege of joining over 1,000 Christian leaders in New York City for a conversation with Donald Trump. Several notable ministers spoke, as well as Dr. Ben Carson. The Q & A session was moderated by Governor Huckabee. Mr. Trump answered the questions thoughtfully and stayed longer than his schedule allowed.
Dr. Billye Brim was in attendance and wrote the following excellent summary of the meeting. We encourage you to read it.
—Pastors George and Terri
Recognizing the praying people you are, I give this report of a historic event I was blessed to attend yesterday in New York City. It was called: A Conversation with Donald Trump & Ben Carson.
One thousand Christian leaders were invited to attend a meeting at the Marriott Marquis on Broadway in NYC. The meeting was hosted by United in Purpose & My Faith Votes.
Buddy Pilgrim, a steering committee member, told us as we were flying to the meeting that from start to finish it was put together in two months. It is worthy of note that so many busy people were able to clear their calendars to come.
The steering committee members were allowed to invite (don’t hold me to this) but I believe 40 spiritual leaders. Buddy had invited Pastors George and Terry Pearsons, and Vicki Pilgrim. Gary Bauer invited me and I took my grandson, Branden Brim.
Security was tight. After getting through, at about 7:10 we were in line outside the doors to get in. Doors opened at 8:00. Seating except for the steering committee and VIP guests was first come, first served. Tables were set up around the large room. (Lunch would be eaten there later.) We got good seats.
Welcomes: Dr. Ben Carson, Ralph Reed and others
Intros: Reverend Franklin Graham shared good things. And reminded us that even the Bible’s leaders had flaws. Abraham lied. Moses disobeyed God. David committed adultery and had a man killed. Saul/Paul persecuted and stood for killing Christians. If God had to wait for a perfect person to make a leader, there would never be one.
Jerry Falwell, Jr., now President of Liberty University, introduced Donald Trump.
He spoke well of Trump, and of a close association with him and his family for about one year.
Trump entered confidently and smiling from stage left. The audience was warm in its welcoming reception.
He spoke to us for a while. In this he pointed out something that stayed with me the whole day and until now, this election is about the Supreme Court. The next president will appoint 2, 3, 4, or possibly 5 life term Justices. He spoke of protecting religious freedom. Spoke of how ministers are not as free as the man on the street.
He pointed out that the clergy is largely muzzled, and dominated by fear about expressing their views on elections and things political. He said that he couldn’t understand it. Then someone pointed out the fear was of losing their 501-C3’s.
He said this ought not be. Spoke about the terrible Lyndon Johnson Amendment that caused this. He challenged the leaders not to be ruled by fear.
Donald Trump and Governor Huckabee
Sitting in two comfortable chairs with a table between, Governor Huckabee moderated a Q and A session with Donald Trump.
Huckabee asked the first question. He said, “During the debates I watched you with your family behind the scenes. People can put on a front on stage in front of cameras. But I watched the close relationship, love, and respect your family has.
Trump: (This is the gist of it, not exact.) There was a phrase I said over and over, almost every day to my children, “No alcohol. No drugs. No cigarettes. (I added the last one later.) They repeated it. My daughter, Ivanka, was so little she didn’t even know what alcohol and drugs were, but she repeated it.
I started this because I have so many friends whose children were smart, talented, well-to-do, could afford the best educations, but all this was lost because of addiction to one thing or another.”
Questions from the floor came from these and others: Dr. James Dobson, Dr. David Jeremiah, Tony Perkins, Kelly Shakelford, and Sammy Rodriguez.
Trump was asked about and shared about in his opening remarks: religious freedom. Questions included Israel, Supreme Court appointments, race issues, abortion, terrorism, border and immigration issues.
His demeanor and the demeanor of the audience was congenial, I thought.
As the importance of the Supreme Court nominees was so dominant, I thought his answers were strong. It seems he has already listed 11 nominees he would make. He said all his judges would be vetted by The Federalist Society, a strong conservative organization.
His answers on Israel were also strong in that we should repair our association with this ally. Interestingly, he said he could not understand American Jews voting democratic when the administration had done so many demeaning and dangerous things re Israel.
His views on Islamic Jihadism were made plain.
Afternoon Q and A
After a tasty buffet, and after some other addresses, the floor opened for Q and A.
Mr. Trump had left the building to keep his schedule.
He stayed with us past the allotted time. I would guess well more than an hour.
Governor Huckabee kept pointing out that it was past the time we had agreed for.
Mr. Trump said, “There is no place more important for me to be than here.”
Though Trump was not present, many very influential people were still there.
From the audience, people with questions stood and were recognized.
The questions about what terrible things are happening in our military were especially enlightening.
After saying, “We will entertain one more question,” the moderator recognized me. Somehow, I felt he would.
I stated that everyone in the room probably agreed on Genesis 12:3, that we should bless Israel. But many do not know how. Well meaning Presidents and leaders have initiated terrible plans such as “The Road Map to Peace” which called for two-state solution and the dividing of Jerusalem.
I pointed out that nations would be judged as nations.
The only criteria the Bible mentions is How they treat Israel.
Then I read from my little book “Nations are Judged on How They Treat Israel.”
Joel 3:1 FOR BEHOLD, in those days and at that time when I shall reverse the captivity and restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem, 2 I will gather all nations and will bring them down into the Valley of Jehoshaphat, and there will I deal with and execute judgment upon them for [their treatment of] My people and of My heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations and [because] they have divided My land.
My Take Away
Importance of Supreme Court nominees.
So enjoyed fellowship with leaders. Some I’d known years ago. Some brand new acquaintances. Impressed with how they love and pray for America.
Wonderful heartfelt prayers for America were led by James Robison, and others.
Dr. Jack Graham, pastor of a large Baptist Church, closed the day with a prayer ending in:
Ephesians 3:20, 21
Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.