(RNS) — Jesus once told his followers that the greatest love of all is to lay down your life for your friends.
Christian radio talk show host and author Eric Metaxas offered to do just that for President Trump during an interview with the president Monday (Nov. 30).
“I’d be happy to die in this fight,” Metaxas told Trump during a discussion about the president’s attempt to overturn the 2020 election. “This is a fight for everything. God is with us.”
Metaxas was interviewing Pennsylvania State Senator Douglas Mastriano, a Trump ally, on his radio show as Mastriano was speaking on the phone with the president. Mastriano then held up his phone so the talk show host could speak to the president, according to a recording of the show on Metaxas’ YouTube channel.
Metaxas called the election the “most horrible thing that has ever happened in the history of our nation.”
Trump repeated claims that he won the election “by a lot” and called the election results the “greatest scam in the history of our country.”
Metaxas told the president about a prayer call he had taken part in on Trump’s behalf.
“Jesus is with us in this fight for liberty,” he said. “There was a prayer call last night, you cannot believe the prayers that are going up. This is God’s battle even more than our battle.”
During the call, President Trump took credit for a recent Supreme Court decision that blocked New York state officials from imposing limits on the number of worshippers who could attend services in COVID-19 hot zones.
Metaxas, once considered a leading evangelical public intellectual, warned about the fragile nature of democracy in his book “If You Can Keep It,” a call for a renewal of participation in American civic life. He said it was vital for Americans to abide by the promises in the Constitution.
“The document and the men who created it put these unimaginably great and fragile things in the hands of the people,” he wrote. “So these things — still unimaginably great and fragile — are in our hands now, this minute.”
There’s plenty of evidence for anyone wanting to look that Biden cheated. His gaslighting the country w/this phony Office of the Pres. Elect is obscene. So I cannot accept him as my fellow American, much less as our president. What he has done is monstrous. Will we fight? I will.
— Eric Metaxas (@ericmetaxas) November 30, 2020
Metaxas, the former VeggieTales writer, made headlines over the summer after he punched a protester and then ran away after attending Trump’s speech at the Republican National Convention. He is also the author of a bestselling biography of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the German pastor who died after taking part in a plot to assassinate Hitler.
He told Religion News Service in 2019 that his study of Bonhoeffer initially made him skeptical of Trump. Later, he came to see “cultural Marxism” as a great threat to American liberty and Trump as a bulwark against it.
Despite the Trump campaign’s repeated court losses and Trump lawyers’ own statements that they were not claiming fraud during the election, Metaxas has posted a series of comments on social media accusing the Biden campaign and local officials of massive fraud and comparing alleged fraud to the 9/11 attacks.
Trump will be inaugurated. For the high crimes of trying to throw a U.S. presidential election, many will go to jail. The swamp will be drained. And Lincoln’s prophetic words of “a new birth of freedom” will be fulfilled. Pray. https://t.co/ZrzStrpqto
— Eric Metaxas (@ericmetaxas) November 26, 2020
“Trump will be inaugurated,” he tweeted on Thanksgiving. “For the high crimes of trying to throw a U.S. presidential election, many will go to jail. The swamp will be drained. And Lincoln’s prophetic words of ‘a new birth of freedom’ will be fulfilled. Pray.”
Metaxas’ alarms about the state of the country and his backing of the president’s claims to have won the election have caused consternation among some evangelicals who know him, even as some attest to his sincerity.
“Whatever one thinks of Eric Metaxas’ political views,” said the conservative Christian commentator Rod Dreher, “I can assure you that they are genuine. Eric is sincere to the marrow. That doesn’t make him correct, but it does mean that he is not a cynic.”
In between tweets about election fraud, Metaxas has also promoted a sale on his series of three “Donald the Caveman” books for kids.
— Eric Metaxas (@ericmetaxas) November 28, 2020