Donald Trump, the self-proclaimed hero of the LGBT community, is slated to unveil a religious advisory board filled with outspoken opponents of LGBT rights this week, coinciding with his meeting tomorrow with hundreds of Religious Right leaders.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the group is likely to include longtime supporters such as televangelist Paula White, Liberty University President Jerry Falwell, Jr., and Southern Baptist pastor Robert Jeffress.
Others expected to join the board include Ralph Reed, who recently introduced Trump at an event hosted by his Faith and Freedom Coalition, Ronnie Floyd and Jack Graham, the current and past presidents of the Southern Baptist Convention, respectively, and Jay Strack of the Orlando-based Student Leadership University.
The choice of these activists as campaign advisers would further undermine Trump’s attempts — bolstered by some in the media — to portray himself as either supportive of gay rights or at least distanced from the GOP’s anti-LGBT politics.
Jeffress, as we’ve noted, “believes that gays and lesbians are ‘perverse’ people who are either pedophiles or likely to abuse children in the future; compared homosexuality to bestiality and called it ‘a miserable lifestyle’; accused gay people of using ‘brainwashing techniques’ to have homosexuality ‘crammed down our throats’; said that gay people ‘are engaged in the most detestable, unclean, abominable acts you can imagine’; predicted that the gay rights movement ‘will pave the way for that future world dictator, the Antichrist’; and labeled homosexuality a ‘filthy practice’ that will lead to the ‘implosion of our country.’”
Floyd, the SBC president, once said that Satan is using the “gay lifestyle” to destroy cultural values and labeled the adoption of children by same-sex couples a “tragedy”:
It appears now that everywhere you look, everything you read and everything you hear is about the gay lifestyle. Satan has taken his tool of homosexuality, a gross and evil sin, and done a con job on the American culture, making it seem like all is okay when you are gay. I hope you are aware that what was once subtle has now turned into the rage of a lion as brazen and threatening as anything in our culture. I must sound the trumpet loud and clear, praying that we do not run in retreat, but march in the truth of God valiantly. This is not a skirmish or a conflict or a disagreement, but it is a war. The war they have declared against our culture has an agenda and we need to be aware of it.
The attack everywhere in our culture is to get you to see the gay lifestyle or gay couples as being the same as you. The agenda is also trying to desensitize you to them, their verbiage and lifestyle. In other words, “if you get use to us you will eventually ignore us or accept us.” The bombardment and intentionality is already so great that the desensitization is already occurring. Of course, inclusiveness is their theme song. Their goal is to get themselves included into all of society and its benefits, including benefits economically. As they play the song of “inclusiveness,” gay couples are now adopting children. What a tragedy. As each of us desire, the homosexual and lesbian want affirmation and will do whatever it takes to receive it. The love and acceptance they have found in the homosexual community is what lured them there and will keep them there until God intervenes.
Graham, one of Floyd’s predecessors in leading the SBC, has a similar view, telling his congregation recently that “the LBGT [sic] promotes a godless agenda, and now on the backs of many confused and conflicted people, are opening the door, literally, to perversion of all kinds.” Last year, he encouraged civil disobedience to protest the Supreme Court’s landmark marriage equality ruling.
Reed has used his Faith and Freedom Coalition to regularly attack LGBT rights and Falwell’s Liberty University is well-known for its rules against homosexuality and support for anti-gay activism.
Other Trump-backing pastors include Frank Amedia, Trump’s “liaison for Christian policy,” who has described HIV/AIDS as “a disease that comes because of unnatural sex” and said he would be willing to burn to death to resist LGBT rights, and Carl Gallups, a pastor who spoke before Trump at a Florida rally and whose endorsement was touted by Trump’s campaign, who believes, as we recently summarized, that “same-sex marriage will completely destroy society by bringing about economic turmoil, severe persecution, the ‘enslavement’ of Christians and divine punishment.”