President Trump Worshipped With Latino Evangelicals While Shoring Up Support For 2020 Reelection
While there are some mixed opinions about what it means to be an evangelical Christian, at the core, this label represents someone who’s beliefs are guided by scripture. They abide and believe everything the Bible says both the good and the bad. One of the most significant beliefs of an evangelical Christian is that they’re anti-abortion. It is that crucial reason why many evangelical Christians voted for President Donald Trump and continue to support him today. Yet, even that community is crumbling around Trump due to his moral conduct. Yet still, there’s still a hardcore Christian community that is Team Trump, and many of them are Latino.
On Jan. 3, President Donald Trump spoke at a campaign event hosted by a Latino evangelical Christian community in Miami.
Thousands came out to hear Trump speak at the King Jesus International Ministry in Miami last week, where he not only addressed matters of the church but also of his attack against Iranian military leader Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani.
“America was not built by religion-hating socialists,” Trump said, according to the Washington Post. “America was built by churchgoing, God-worshiping, freedom-loving patriots.”
He went on to say, “Evangelicals . . . have never had a greater champion, not even close in the White House, than you have right now. Just look at the record, because we’ve done things that nobody thought was possible.”
If you’re wondering why some Latinos support Trump despite having an anti-Latino and anti-immigrant agenda, it’s pretty simple. They don’t actually see it that way.
Guillermo Maldonado, president of the King Jesus International Ministry, said in an interview with Miami Herald that Trump isn’t out to harm Latinos.
“I ask you: Do you think I would do something where I would endanger my people?” Maldonado said. “I’m not that dumb.”
About last week’s event, Maldonado commented on Instagram, saying, “It was a blessing to see such unity in the body of Christ. I had the honor of leading a prayer where we declared God’s kingdom and His will for the United States and President @realdonaldtrump, as the Bible states in 1 Timothy 2:1.”
That verse, if you’re wondering, states, “I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession, and thanksgiving be made for all people for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.”
Latino conservatives also say that backing Trump isn’t just about being anti-abortion. They also support other policies by the president.
“We’re pro-life. We want criminal justice reform. We want educational equity. We want a healthy economy,” Rev. Gabriel Salguero, president of the National Latino Evangelical Coalition, told Religion News Service this week. “Because we’re not one-issue voters, people think if they come to us with talking points, they’re gonna get us — no.” He added: “They need to have a holistic agenda that addresses the variety of issues that are important to us, both as evangelicals and Hispanics.”
Trump’s visit with Latino Christians comes at an interesting time. Before Christmas, the editorial board of Christianity Today said Trump should be removed from office.
The announcement by the prominent Christian publication came soon after Trump’s impeachment. Their anti-Trump stance left many, saying “it was about time” while also motivating the Trump campaign to focus on black and Latino Christians for their 2020 vote.
“The president of the United States attempted to use his political power to coerce a foreign leader to harass and discredit one of the president’s political opponents,” Mark Galli, the editor in chief of Christianity Today, wrote in the editorial. “That is not only a violation of the Constitution; more importantly, it is profoundly immoral.”
Yet still, it’s hard to speculate if Trump will cause a major shift within the Christian community and among minorities, especially because many are leaving the church.
Pew Research shows that the Christian church doesn’t have as many followers as it used to. “Currently, 43 percent of U.S. adults identify with Protestantism, down from 51 percent in 2009. And one-in-five adults (20 percent) are Catholic, down from 23 percent in 2009.”
Having said that, he still has a firm grasp on the Latino vote. A new poll released by Telemundo shows that “25 percent of Latinos say they would vote to reelect Trump.” In 2016, it was 26 percent, which means Trump’s actions or words since his election has not changed their minds.