Pastor Paula White delivers the benediction at the close of the opening day of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Monday, July 18, 2016. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Paula White’s sermon comment about ‘satanic pregnancies’ goes viral

(RNS) — A video clip featuring presidential adviser Paula White praying about "satanic pregnancies" raised eyebrows on social media on Saturday (Jan. 25).

In the video clip, White, who was named special adviser to the White House Faith and Opportunity Initiative in November, leads a prayer of protection against spiritual attacks targeting Christians, President Trump and the United States.

"We interrupt that which has been deployed to hurt the church in this season. That which has been deployed to hurt this nation, in the name of Jesus," White prays in a video clip posted on Twitter by the activist group Right Wing Watch. She goes on to pray against "any strange winds that have been sent against the church, sent against this nation, sent against our president, sent against myself" and other spiritual threats.

One line late in the prayer went viral on social media.

"We command all satanic pregnancies to miscarry right now," she said.

 

The remarks, which were posted online a few days after the annual March for Life, led to questions of whether White was promoting harm against pregnant women.

"No pregnancies are satanic," wrote author and Catholic priest James Martin on Twitter, in replying to the video.

 
André Gagné, who teaches religion at Concordia University in Montreal, said White's sermon clip featured terms commonly used by charismatic Christians to talk about spiritual warfare. Gagné posted a thread on Twitter explaining White's remarks. Her prayer about "satanic pregnancies" was not about miscarriages, he wrote. 
 
"White is commanding that Satan's plans be aborted," he wrote on Twitter. 
 
On Sunday (Jan. 26), White posted a response on Twitter explaining her prayer, saying she was referring to the New Testament’s Letter to the Ephesians, in which the apostle Paul said, "we wrestle not against flesh and blood."
 

The Freedom from Religion Foundation, a watchdog group, called on White to resign her White House position following her reported remarks.

“It’s an embarrassment to our nation that White is a government employee,” said Dan Barker, FFRF co-president, in a statement. “If White doesn’t step down, Trump should fire her. Such primitive thinking, superstition and bigotry should have no place in 21st century U.S. governance.”

The group, which opposes the influence of religion on government policy, previously criticized the White House’s decision to hire White.

Adelle M. Banks contributed to this report.

This story has been updated.