In the summer of 2016, then-candidate Donald Trump participated in a meeting with a group of so-called evangelical leaders and prosperity gospel con-artists — a group of charlatans I now refer to as the Fellowship of the Pharisees — to cement their unholy alliance ahead of the November 2016 election.
Mike Huckabee, an early Trump kiss-up and a Reverend – kind of like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson are reverends – moderated the event and praised the twice-divorced, thrice-married, unrepentant, pro-planned parenthood, adulterous strip-club owner, for his incredible “family values.”
I can see where the Huckster was coming from. After all, Trump’s life had been so perfect up to that point that he never felt it necessary to seek God’s forgiveness.
Another member of the Fellowship in attendance was the founder and chairman of the Faith and Freedom Foundation, Ralph Reed — a so-called evangelical with a scandal-plagued past involving Jack Abramoff — and who said at the time that Christians who refused to vote for Trump were guilty of the sin of pride.
If Abramoff’s name sounds familiar, here’s why. The former Washington lobbyist pled guilty of conspiracy, fraud, and tax evasion stemming from work he performed on behalf of various Indian casino gambling tribes. Reed worked for Abramoff to mobilize Christians opposed to gambling in order to help shut down casinos.
Confused by the apparent contradiction? Don’t be. Reed was paid with laundered money by casinos who would benefit by having their competitors put out of business. In other words, Reed profited from an industry he was telling Christians needed to be shut down in the name of creating a ‘moral’ America.
Fast forward to today. In a new book scheduled to be released early next year, Reed will once again don his pro-Don hat and argue that evangelicals “have a moral obligation to enthusiastically back” Trump in 2020. (Emphasis mine)
According to the book’s description provided by Regnery Publishing — an imprint of Salem Media Group, by the way — Reed’s book was originally titled “Render to God and Trump,” an obvious reference to the Scripture found in Matthew 22. But I guess equating Trump to Caesar was too close to the truth for the pro-Trump publisher, so they changed the title without providing a reason.
Regnery also said Reed’s book will rebut claims that evangelical protestants have “revealed themselves to be political prostitutes and hypocrites” for supporting Trump and who have “so thoroughly compromised their witness that they are now disqualified from speaking out on moral issues.”
Reed plans to use the book as fuel for his mobilization effort to register 1 million evangelical voters, knock on 3 million doors, and place pro-Trump literature in over 117,000 churches.
You know, if it was Jesus instead of Trump, this is the kind of stuff revivals are made of. But hey. Who needs God’s Son when you can have God’s man? Right?
In the end, Reed is just another example of the lukewarm cheap grace faith dominating today’s American churches . . . where the gospel has become currency used to buy a seat at Trump’s table.
David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative.
His daily radio commentary is distributed by the Salem Radio Network and is heard on stations across America.