(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.
Presidential spiritual adviser Paula White takes authority over the marine kingdom, the animal kingdom, and all "satanic pregnancies" that seek to harm Trump or the church. pic.twitter.com/pmrJEIxCHk
— Right Wing Watch (@RightWingWatch) January 24, 2020
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.
No pregnancies are satanic. Every child is a gift from God. No one should ever pray for any woman to miscarry. No one should ever pray for evil or harm to befall another person. Jesus asked us to pray for our persecutors, not to curse them. To love our neighbors as ourselves. https://t.co/EZq9BwLV0v
— James Martin, SJ (@JamesMartinSJ) January 26, 2020
I don't normally respond but clearly this has been taken out of context. I was praying Eph 6:12 that we wrestle not against flesh and blood. Anything that has been conceived by demonic plans, for it to be cancelled and not prevail in your life… https://t.co/tKEUs4muwZ
— Paula White-Cain (@Paula_White) January 26, 2020
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.