Megachurch Pastors Meet With Ivanka Trump, Discuss Government Partnerships
Some powerful Christian evangelical leaders met with Ivanka Trump and White House officials on Feb. 8 in Washington D.C. after the National Prayer Breakfast.
The leaders included evangelist Franklin Graham, megachurch Pastor Greg Laurie of Harvest Christian Fellowship, megachurch Pastor Jack Graham of Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, Texas, megachurch Pastor Robert Jeffress of First Baptist Dallas, Maryland Bishop Harry Jackson of Hope Christian Church in Beltsville, and prosperity Pastor Paula White of New Destiny Christian Center in Apopka, Florida, notes The Christian Post.
Johnnie Moore, an evangelical public relations professional, told The Christian Post about their meeting with Trump, who converted to Judaism after marrying Jared Kushner:
Like most of these meetings, it was an opportunity for the group to discuss what was on their minds. She also, at our request, talked a bit about some of the administration’s priorities of 2018 and some of the highlights in 2017. That was the point of the discussion.
In 2017, the administration really exceeded our expectations on what they were able to accomplish in a such a short period of time. We thought that we would be working on these issues for another four years.
Some of those expectations included stacking the courts with right wing judges, trying to ban women and teens from having legal abortions, opposing transgender rights and providing aid in the Middle East to those who identify as Christians.
Moore said that the Trump administration wanted a partnership between evangelical Christians and the federal government:
The gift the administration is giving us in 2018 is to be able to work together, not on the political issues that draw the eyes of the press, but the issues of everyday life which the faith community is so invested in. The faith community is so capable of providing partnership with the government and Ivanka has been a key partner on this…
There is plenty of [opportunities for grants] too, with the new FEMA rules and the USAID policy in the Middle East … but it’s not a discussion that is leading with federal dollars going to these organizations. It is actually a simple solution. The most transformative solutions happen through partnerships where neither the government or organizations are dependent on one another but benefit from the existence of one other.
Moore, who has been to the Trump White House a reported 20 times, insisted that Christian evangelicals don’t like politics:
When people think of evangelicals, they only think of us in terms of narrow issues. Most of us as evangelicals, we are engaged in politics only because we care about people. We don’t like politics, we don’t like being politically engaged but we care about people and policies affect people. In 2017, we focused a lot on the policies and the politics. In 2018, we are focusing more on the people. The focus is sort of in lockstep with the administration.