Faith 2016 News Politics

Trump’s new evangelical advisory board includes Michele Bachmann

Rep. Michele Bachmann, (R-MN), attends the Faith and Freedom Coalition Road to Majority Conference at the J.W. Marriott Hotel in Washington, on June 14, 2013. REUTERS/Mary F. Calvert

(RNS) Donald Trump’s campaign announced its new evangelical advisory board Tuesday (June 21) as the presumptive presidential nominee met with nearly 1,000 conservative Christians.

The Evangelical Executive Advisory Board will convene regularly to “provide advisory support to Mr. Trump on those issues important to Evangelicals and other people of the faith in America,” the campaign said in a statement.

It also will lead a Faith and Cultural Advisory Committee that will be announced later in June.

First on the list is former Congresswoman Michele Bachmann. Shortly before announcing her own bid for the presidency in 2012, Bachmann withdrew from Salem Lutheran Church after 10 years as a member and moved to a nearby evangelical church.

The list also includes Johnnie Moore — national spokesperson for My Faith Votes, one of the organizers of Tuesday’s largely evangelical meeting — and the Rev. Jerry Falwell Jr., president of Liberty University. Falwell had hailed Trump in the meeting: “Mr. Trump is a bold and fearless leader who will take the fight to our enemies and to the radical Islamic terrorists.”

The full list of board members is as follows:
•    Michele Bachmann — former U.S. House member
•    A.R. Bernard — senior pastor and CEO, Christian Cultural Center
•    Mark Burns — pastor, Harvest Praise and Worship Center
•    Tim Clinton — president, American Association of Christian Counselors
•    Kenneth and Gloria Copeland — founders, Kenneth Copeland Ministries
•    James Dobson — author, psychologist and host, “My Family Talk”
•    Jerry Falwell Jr. — president, Liberty University
•    Ronnie Floyd — senior pastor, Cross Church
•    Jentezen Franklin — senior pastor, Free Chapel
•    Jack Graham — senior pastor, Prestonwood Baptist Church
•    Harry Jackson — senior pastor, Hope Christian Church
•    Robert Jeffress — senior pastor, First Baptist Church of Dallas
•    David Jeremiah — senior pastor, Shadow Mountain Community Church
•    Richard Land — president, Southern Evangelical Seminary
•    James MacDonald — founder and senior pastor, Harvest Bible Chapel
•    Johnnie Moore — author, president of The KAIROS Company
•    Robert Morris — senior pastor, Gateway Church
•    Tom Mullins — senior pastor, Christ Fellowship
•    Ralph Reed — founder, Faith and Freedom Coalition
•    James Robison — founder, Life OUTREACH International
•    Tony Suarez — executive vice president, National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference
•    Jay Strack — president, Student Leadership University
•    Paula White — senior pastor, New Destiny Christian Center
•    Tom Winters — attorney, Winters and King Inc.
•    Sealy Yates — attorney, Yates and Yates

About the author

Aysha Khan

Aysha Khan is a Boston-based journalist reporting on American Muslims and millennial faith for RNS. Her newsletter, Creeping Sharia, curates news coverage of Muslim communities in the U.S. Previously, she was the social media editor at RNS.

38 Comments

Click here to post a comment

  • No Anglicans, Lutherans, Presbyterians, Methodists, Orthodox. Can’t help wondering if any of them have been to an accredited divinity school.

  • These are evangelicals, not “mainstream Protestants” or Catholics. There’s no need to be insulting just because people are from different religious traditions than yours. Most evangelical pastors have been to seminary, except perhaps at smaller churches. (Some of these folks aren’t pastors – a couple are listed as lawyers, or heads of non-church organizations like Jerry Falwell Jr who inherited his dad’s college, or James Dobson who’s a psychologist.)

    That doesn’t mean these people aren’t also right-wing politicians, because most of them are, and he’s not hiring them for their spiritual advice, he’s hiring them to tell him how to keep their segment of the voting base willing to vote for him.

  • Having read that list of lunatics and thugs, I want to take a shower. christians. What a plague.

  • The one thing that is shared by all of the board members is that they’re all rabidly anti-gay. Their goal is to strip gay people of their legal and Constitutional rights, and treat gays as legal and social pariahs. Gay people weren’t fooled by Trump saying he would be a good President for “the gays”. Trump’s actions like forming this group, and numerous other anti-gay actions, make it laughable that gay people would give him their support.

  • None of these right-wing evangelicals speak for me or for my faith tradition. There are many of us evangelicals who simply believe the good news that Jesus loves and came to bring light and love to the *whole* world.

  • My faith tradition is conservative evangelical, and I favor neither Trump or Hillary, though frankly, I favor her less. Still, given the conservative tradition, I’m puzzled by this embrace of Trump, who appears a buffoon on a number of issues, spiritual faith included. Ignorant may be a better word, thus I’m surprised by a couple of the names on this list. The conservative Christian position on homosexuality aside for a moment, I’m surprised by the inclusion of James Dobson, Richard Land, and David Jeremiah (particularly), and disappointed in former congresswomam, Bachmann. I’m surprised they didn’t sit this one out. (Reflex anti-Hillaryism…I know I’ve got it?). However much I disdain Trump, the thought of Hillary as President is beyond my ability to describe, it is less about her policies which with I disagree, but rather her oiliness, duplicity, and aura that she is owed the office.

  • Ironically, Bachmann’s leaving her church during her presidential campaign was billed as a move toward the center. It was a member of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, the US’s most rightwing Lutheran denomination, and more importantly for a presidential candidate, one that holds the Pope to be the anti-Christ (although they, like the Seventh-day Adventists who hold similarly, will say that it’s the Papacy, not the man himself, that’s the anti-Christ).

  • A laundry list of Christian dominionists and virulently antigay so-called Christians.
    Yup. 2Rump is just an evangelical superstar, he is.

  • That’s a nicer way of saying “love the sinner, hate the sin” so that they don’t appear like religious bigots.

  • fair enough, but I have a question for you: what did you think of GW Bush and and Dick Cheney?

  • Some of these people are on the SPLC list of hate groups. It’s as though Donald pulled the hogs straight from the trough, without seeing their faces, not that any of these people ever show us their faces.

  • Both former Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) and Rev. Jonathan Falwell, Jr. (also on Donald Trump’s “Evangelical Executive Advisory Board”), have notoriously (ab)used II Thessalonians 3:10 in the context of “justifying” their advocacy for restricting or eliminating SNAP and other lifeline programs for the poor — as if to hold the poor, rather than themselves, to Paul’s admonition, “If a man will not work, he shall not eat”.

    The fact is, Paul was just citing a previously-established rule, reminding his readers that he and his group had worked hard earlier, to ensure they “would not be a burden” to the Thessalonians. Paul wanted his representatives to earn their keep when they worked with strangers — not impose their own Christian burden on the very strangers they’re supposed to serve!

    I can’t think of more appropriate choices for Trump’s board of moralizing advisors.

  • Of course, Trump, is “oiliness, duplicity, and aura”-free.
    Donald loves me! / This I know / For the Party / Tells me so.

  • At what point did I indicate a favorable endorsement of Trump? I do not favor him, I merely favor her less.

  • Well, as a conservative by nature, I can confess to voting for Bush twice, however, I felt the invasion of Iraq was absolutely the wrong move. It ballooned our national debt, added to the destabilization of the Middle East, and has cost the lives and limbs of countless service people for a totally dubious result. I once felt Cheney was a capable politician of principle, I have come to reassess that view, while I still feel Bush is a decent man. Just my opinion. Peace.

  • I know you didn’t, Edward. I like your “…I merely favor her less.”
    She’s not my favorite, either. I was just pointing out that your last sentence, with names reversed, would apply just as well. We may disagree on our particular presidential picks, but we agree that this year’s presidential pickings are particularly poor. 88-)>>>

  • SPLC backs up their charges with evidence of improper behavior on the part of those they list as hate groups. Do you? Have you any evidence besides your anger due to SPLC exposing groups which you support? SPLC puts their reasoning in print on their website, where you are free to look up exactly why they hold the opinion which they do.

  • SPLC is like the folks on alternet- they know all the texts but none of the contexts. FRC a hate group? That alone makes me not trust the SPLC.

  • Maybe you need to study American history a bit more- specifically the Black Robed Regiment.

  • SPLC puts it’s reasoning on their easily accessible website. They are fully, and quite well qualified to defend their own positions against baseless and unsupported accusers, such as yourself.

  • Just been reading their site and I say to hell with their definition of hate. While I can agree with them on a few of the groups listed, to say somehow holding a biblical view that homosexuality is against God’s created order makes me a hater, well they just don’t know what they’re talking about. I can disapprove without resorting to hate and I’d say the same of the majority of those like me. That definition of “hate” is itself a political form of hate meant to marginalize folks like us. SPLC uses dubious sources like Soros-funded Media Matters. Sorry, but I’m not impressed with them.

  • Had you read it christian, you would not be spewing these outright lies. But I did not recommend the site for you. I suggested it for honest people.

  • Christians, possibly from years of practice with their bible, must find a way to twist and misconstrue everything they read. Otherwise, they would be forced to see the truth about their hopeless faith.

  • Proclaiming to be wise he is in fact a fool. Hopeless faith, eh? From all I’ve read the Bible looks to be pretty accurate about what’s happening in these last days and yet I’m the hopeless one. Don’t break your arm patting yourself on the back, lost one.

  • The informed reader realizes that there were no predictions placed way out into the future in the bible. Astrologers, crystal gazers, and the followers of Nostradamos aside, of course! The bible spoke of it’s own time. Please, check out Wikipedias list of over 200 times fools thought the end times were upon us.

  • Thank you for illuminating your perspective. I fully understand your point now.

  • “The
    informed reader realizes” Oooh- in debate this is known as “poisoning the well.” Past generations have never had AI looming over them either. I’ve noticed both you and the people over at alternet like to commend yourselves on how smart you are. If there’s anything I’ve learned in my nearly six decades on this planet it’s this- While it’s better to be smart than a Goober, smart guarantees nothing. Smart does not equal success. I’ve met a few folks with genius IQs who nevertheless made very little of their lives due to laziness. Smart does not equal good; you can be smart and incredibly evil at the same time. Smart does not equal wisdom. I contend we have probably the best educated administration in DC since the founding of the country, but when they can say of the Orlando killer that we may never really know what drove him to do it even though he outright told a few others his intentions were jihad, you have the antithesis of wisdom. Their education is worse than useless.

  • It can be nearly impossible to justify one’s personal sexual proclivities with one’s false religious belief, that sex is somehow wrong, or worse,sinful. This goes for christians, as well as Muslims. The jihad you fight now, is pointless.

  • If I was “evangelical” I would run from the association of at least half of the people on this list and their theology.

ADVERTISEMENTs