Earlier today, right-wing activist E.W. Jackson tweeted out a short video of Donald Trump telling a gathering of Religious Right activists not to be “politically correct” and just blindly pray for all elected officials (as the Bible instructs) but to pray specifically for him and his campaign.
“You can pray for your leaders, and I agree with that, pray for everyone,” Trump said, “but what you really have to do is you have to pray to get everybody out to vote, and for one specific person. We can’t be politically correct and say we pray for all of our leaders because all of your leaders are selling Christianity down the tubes, selling the evangelicals down the tubes, and it’s a very, very bad thing that’s happening.”
Sure, you can offer up rote and generic prayers for leaders if you want, Trump was telling these activists, but you should really concentrate on offering up your real prayers for me and my presidential campaign and not those leaders who “are selling Christianity down the tubes.”
Shortly after this meeting, Jackson hosted a conference call where he insisted that Trump did not say what Jackson’s own video showed him saying.
“Let me just address one thing that he said during our steering committee meeting,” Jackson stated, “when he said, ‘Don’t buy this political correctness you gotta pray for everybody’ … There are some people who say, ‘Oh, Donald Trump said don’t pray for all your leaders, only pray for him.’ Look, folks, I was in the room. Donald Trump acknowledged that we’re supposed to pray for everybody. He acknowledged that. But what he was trying to say was, after that he said don’t let political correctness stop you from realizing I gotta pray for everybody [but] you gotta pray for this campaign, you have got to pray for new leadership in this country.”
“Basically, he didn’t say it quite the way I would say it,” Jackson continued, “but he made clear we do have some specific prayers that we need to be praying right now. I don’t disagree with that and I never interpreted anything he said as don’t pray for everybody, just pray for me. This is the idiocy that you get from the left, they want to try to twist and turn everything but that is not what he said. I was in the room, I wasn’t 15 feet from the man when he was talking about those issues. He was saying, ‘Don’t say we’re just praying for everybody because you can pray for everybody but right now, we have to get very specific about praying for a specific outcome in this election.”