7 Things Donald Trump Has Done for Christians in 2017

President Donald Trump bows his head during a prayer as he holds a Cabinet Meeting in the Cabinet Room at the White House in Washington, DC, December 20, 2017.

By Al Perrotta Published on December 27, 2017

Yes, our faith is in Christ. Our hope doesn’t depend on who’s in the White House. We elect a president not a pastor. And yes, some days this President is more profane than pious.

Still, the person in the Oval Office can change the lives of Christians here and around the world. This particular President has proven to be a friend of the faithful. Here are 7 ways:

7: He Got Sworn In

It’s no small thing that it was Donald Trump rather than Hillary Clinton taking the oath of office January 20 … no matter how many or how few people were in the crowd. While there are plenty of reasons to be grateful Hillary is plugging a book and not making policy perhaps chief among them is her hostility to views held sacred by traditional believers.

Abortion? Planned Parenthood could have set up a clinic in the Rose Garden. Gender Indentity? The “Let Men Pretend to Be Girls to Get in Locker Rooms and If You Don’t Like It Suck It Movement” would have full backing of the DOJ. Religious Liberty? Bakers and florists marked only the start.

Hillary was fond of saying “freedom of worship,” rather than “freedom of religion.” You don’t change the wording of the Constitution unless there’s a reason. “Freedom of religion” means you are free to act out your faith in the public square without government infringing. “Freedom of worship” suggests you are free to believe what you want within your house of worship — but your freedom stops when you walk out the church door. 

Hillary wasn’t even willing to stop there. Her campaign plotted a revolution from inside the Catholic church.  

And she made no secret about wanting to force churches to accept abortion rights and same-sex marriage rights. “Rights have to exist in practice — not just on paper,” she said in 2015. “Laws have to be backed up with resources and political will. And deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs, and structural biases have to be changed.” 

So all told, it is a big deal Donald Trump put his hand on the Bible last January. Hillary Clinton was set to boot it onto Pennsylvania Avenue.

6. He Got Neil Gorsuch on the Supreme Court

During the election, an argument was made to conservative evangelicals queasy about Mr. Access Hollywood that voting for Trump meant voting for conservative, faith-friendly Supreme Court justices. Trump would be in office for at most eight years. Those justices would last a generation. That argument had particular urgency with the seat of Justice Scalia still open. 

Trump won and true to his word, he put a conservative judge on the High Court. In fact, it happened to be the judge that ruled in favor of Hobby Lobby in its fight to avoid being forced to pay for abortive contraception. While it’s too early to see exactly how Justice Gorsuch’s presence will affect the court when it rules on matters of faith, this term has already shown a Supreme Court willing to slap down lower court decisions based on political bias rather than the law or liberty. 

Meanwhile, Trump has been stocking the bench with similar conservative justices. 

5. He Signed the Religious Liberty Decree and Fought the Johnson Amendment

President Trump made the defense of religious liberty and efforts to repeal the Johnson Amendment an early priority. 

On the National Day of Prayer in May, he signed a religious liberty executive order allowing religious organizations greater freedom in political speech. The “Promoting Free Speech and Religious Liberty” order also gave “regulatory relief” to companies that object to the Obamacare contraception mandate. 

“We will not allow people of faith to be targeted, bullied or silenced anymore,” he said. “We are giving our churches their voices back.” 

Trump had vowed at the National Prayer Breakfast to “totally destroy” the Johnson Amendment. This law has been used to block religious institutions and all nonprofit entities organized as 501(c)3s to endorse political candidates. It has many a pastor and priest hesitant to speak up on political issues. 

A repeal of the Johnson Amendment was in the House version of the tax reform bill. However, Democrats managed to get the repeal removed from the final version of the bill. (Though why they’d be happy about keeping faith leaders from their First Amendment rights is beyond me.) 

However, even if the fight goes on, Trump gets props for raising the issue and engaging in the fight.

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4. He Fought For Life

For Christians concerned about protecting the unborn, President Trump offered several hopeful signs that he’s fighting for a culture of life.

  • The first sign was the few hundred thousand abortion rights supporters in their kitty hats screaming their heads off in his backyard before he’d even unpacked. They know who their enemy is.
  • He’s gone after Planned Parenthood. In April, Trump signed a law taking aim at the abortion giant’s federal funding. Earlier this month, DOJ revealed it had launched a federal investigation into Planned Parenthood’s practices and the sale of fetal tissue. 
  • He went to court to stop pregnant teenage illegal immigrants in U.S. custody from having abortions. He hasn’t won any of the fights yet. Thus far, two girls that we know were able to get abortions, thanks to the efforts of the ACLU and willing judges. But pro-life believers can take heart that Trump fought for life over death. 
  • Finally, a three word change to an obscure HHS document may be the biggest and boldest move of the year for Trump. His administration is defining life as “beginning at conception.” The monumental act is tucked in the draft of an HHS strategic plan from March. “HHS accomplishes its mission through programs and initiatives that cover a wide spectrum of activities, serving and protecting Americans at every stage of life, beginning at conception.”  The Trump administration added the phrase “beginning at conception.” 

If the U.S. government says life begins at conception and its job is “serving and protecting Americans at every stage of life” then it has a duty to protect the unborn by any legal means necessary. 

L’Chiam!

3. He Wiped Up on ISIS

President Trump’s smackdown of ISIS in Syria and Iraq (and elsewhere) is more than just a military victory. It has brought relief to Christians in both countries from Islamic State’s genocide and terror. 

The proof is in the holiday pudding. For the first time in three years, Christian were able to celebrate Christmas in the regions of Iraq and Syria formerly under ISIS control. 

In a related vein, he’s reversed the Obama policy which seemed to work overtime to keep Christian refugees fleeing slaughter from coming to the United States. According to a Pew Research Center analysis, within the first few months of his administration, more Christian than Muslim refugees were admitted. 

2. He Listens

This one strikes very close to home. Stream founder James Robison is on the President’s so-called “faith council.” This is a group of faith leaders who meet and talk collectively and privately with the President. They offer counsel, support, and yes, a good talking to when necessary.

For lack of guidance a nation falls, but victory is won through many advisers” (Proverbs 11:14)

During the campaign pundits said Trump was just using the evangelical leaders to land the evangelical vote. Even some of the leaders suspected that once Trump was elected they’d be dispatched as quickly as Obama tossed Oprah out of the loop in 2009. Swept away like confetti. However, that has not been the case. Trump doesn’t just give photo ops to these people. He listens.

faith and prayer in the oval office

In fact, go back to the campaign. James publicly stated he was no fan of Trump’s. He was friends with virtually every other candidate, knew them to be solid Christians. In fact, a couple of the nominees are like sons to James. And when those “sons,” Gov. Huckabee and Ben Carson, announced their support for Trump, it was if they had taken their inheritance and spent it on wild living. Yet both told James the same thing: “You’re not going to believe it, but this guy listens. He listens.

Carson’s endorsement of Trump was contingent on Trump meeting for an hour with James. With a bit of a grumble, Trump agreed. Also with a bit of grumble, but never one to pass up an opportunity to preach Christ to anyone, James agreed. James came back with the same assessment that has only grown over time: Trump listens. He is eager to hear the Word. The president wants to have Godly wisdom around him. He is humble and grateful for prayers. 

What’s this mean? It means, though some days it seems far from obvious, he is listening to Godly wisdom.

1. He and His Administration Openly Pray and Praise

No one is going to mistake Donald Trump for Billy Graham. Rev. Robison suggests Trump is more like the rough and tumble Peter who preached at Pentecost weeks after loping off a soldier’s ear with his sword. A work in progress, we might say. 

Yet, Trump’s words have gone beyond his enthusiasm for saying “Merry Christmas” or his stock line about Americans believing in God not government. Throughout the year, Trump has shown an openness to speak of God and his rightful role in shaping our nation. On behalf of all Americans he has called on God to bring healing to those hurt in our storms. He has spoken of the need to love one another. 

At the year’s final cabinet meeting he asked Carson to lead a prayer. He prayed with his cabinet at Camp David in the days of Hurricane Harvey and Irma. Vice President Pence says he and the President pray together before major decisions. 

Policy decisions are one thing. But what does it mean to have the Leader of the Free World and his cabinet pray and be humble? 

Psalms tells us “Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD” (Psalm 33:12)

So do not fear, for I am with you;

do not be dismayed, for I am your God.

I will strengthen you and help you;

I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10)

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  • Kaylin

    Wonderful article. Thank you Al Perrotta for sharing light in the almost always dark media. I am so thankful Trump is our president!

  • “He and His Administration Openly Pray and Praise.”

    The key word here is “openly.” Donald Trump will be seen praying when he’s surrounded by others who are praying for him, and especially when cameras are in the room. He knows appearances are important.

    But if you think Donald Trump is some kind of pious, God-fearing man in private, you are such a fool.

    • Paul

      Still better than Hillary.

      • Oh of course. When I ask people if there’s anything they LIKE about Trump, they say “At least he isn’t Hillary.”

        Fine. You own it.

        • Paul

          Not sure what you think I own, but he’s still better than Hillary.

          As for what I like about Trump, I like a business person as POTUS, I like the slashing of regulations, I like moving the embassy, I like the tax law, lots to like

        • Garden of Love

          Fine.

          You lost. Get over it.

    • Bryan

      You make a valid point Chuck. Jesus condemned the Pharisee that prayed loudly in the street so that he could be seen and praised by men. And he told his disciples to go into a closet and to pray humbly w/o being seen by men.
      Yet there are other passages about teaching others to pray, praying unceasingly, and praying together in groups and at church.
      Is President Trump a “pious, God-fearing man” when the cameras aren’t rolling? I don’t know. Like Paul said below, it’s better than the alternative in terms of who is in office. However, I find this telling: That “Vice President Pence says he and the President pray together before major decisions.” To me this says that at least something has sunk in. I hope that this continues through out the next three years and beyond.

      • Chip Crawford

        there’s a humility shown in allowing others to pray for you. I hear respect expressed concerning the things and people of God by DJT. His mother grew up with the experience of a culture-wide Awakening where she lived, causing family devotions and the like being the custom of all households. DJT has that influence and frame of reference for prayer and needing Godly counsel and guidance.

    • tz1

      Amazing that you can read his heart, mind, and soul.
      Do you also think the same thing of the first lady, Melania?
      And of Pence?

      I also know others who claimed to be sincere, but were totally ineffective. Jeb! and Dubya managed to dither and flail and allowed Terri Schiavo to be tortured to death while we all watched and screamed “do something!”. They signed a few papers. But they are “nice” conservatives. Those that don’t want to rock any boat as their highest principle, not life, not even the simple acts of not lying (who is the father of Lies), and breaking or betraying their promises.

      For all your accusations, Trump is actually keeping his promises. He is the ugly duckling. The ugly but true prince instead of the pretty tratior.

    • Charles Burge

      There may be some fools in the flock, but I don’t count myself among them. I don’t have any illusions of Trump’s piety or religious convictions. For all I know, his support of Christians may be little more than political pandering. But if the choice is between being pandered to or being openly despised and denigrated, I’ll take the pandering.

  • Paul

    8: he is following through on moving the embassy to Jerusalem

  • tz1

    The Church should be a bit more militant in asking Trump for a few things in this environment, and they are Christian and populist.

    I wish James Robison would suggest the following:

    1. We’ve forgotten about the grave sin of Usury and debtors prisons, but between Credit Card debt and Student Loans, people are being locked up for life and when they can’t pay interest and penalties accumulate. I would suggest having one year where any person could declare bankruptcy for any reason. Free the debt slaves. Someone with $60k in debt but a degree that doesn’t help get a good job will never pay it off so be in poverty trying to get buy but constantly harassed to pay the unpayable.

    2. There should be a way to make a Marriage harder to get out of than Student loan debt. If no one wants to try to reverse Gay Marriage, why not have a federally recognized Covenant marriage – totally voluntary, but the Christian churches can require it for couples to be married in the churches by pastors or priests. Basically except for the old time three – abuse (felony battery, not mean words), adultery, or abandonment would be the only reasons, and the at-fault party would lose all cash and custody. Filling locally for “no fault” Divorce would be considered abandonment. (While I’m for Federalism in general, until we can get the 10th Amendment back…).

    3. Tax free new “Savings Bonds” that pay Inflation plus 3% so you could save for your retirement. Limited to persons, not corps, and citizens, max $100k/year, max $1Million not counting interest accrued, maybe not seizable for debts. I’d rather end the Fed, but this would allow the ordinary people to help with the national debt (we would owe it to ourselves instead of China). National savings – think Japan’s postal savings accounts. Right now everyone is being forced into risky stocks and junk bonds and bit coins. My parents would get 4% at the bank back before Nixon. We need something stable for main street, not wall street.

    I will add one thing Trump has been less than forceful on. Planned Parenthood is still funded. He isn’t pushing the pain-capable abortion ban. Normally I would be patient, but babies are dying daily while we wait. We can call PP defunding “Giving a gift to PP in Pence’s name”. Meanwhile the FDA does all kind of stupid interference with medicine and medical devices, so could create lots of red tape for Abortionists to go through. The clinics want less regulation than a tattoo parlor. How about simply requiring them to have all the same requirements as outpatient surgical clinics, and admitting privileges at a local hospital?

  • Chip Crawford

    I watched DJT closely during the campaign, and his responses to Christianity and Christian leaders reflected a genuine acknowledgement. Like it or not, there is a marked difference between born again people and those who just go to church, but have never had the spirit of God enter them. Beyond that, those even more involved as the leaders who surrounded him, have a higher life level, like James Robison. Even correction spoken from someone with this vibrance is engaging, as Brother Robison pointed out as his experience with the first time of speaking with Trump (1.5 hours) and thereafter. The fact that DJT did not drop these leaders, but still avails himself of their wisdom and admonitions, reflects his genuine value and credibility given. He needs to make his own commitment, as they have, but what he is doing is not façade.

    I understand he contacted several of the advisors, who had already formed, at the time of the Access Hollywood tape, for their counsel on what he should do about it. How much of it he followed, we’d have to know the counsel exactly, but he did face the camera and reflected shame and the reproach of that talk before that. He mentioned that he had changed over the course of the campaign with the people he’d met. His act needs work for sure, but there is a simple straightforwardness about him that you can believe. He would not be one to pretend or go along. He can’t hold his opinion very long, as we have all learned. He tells convenience lies, but would have trouble living out a lie of pretending to go along with people over any length of time. He’s just not wired that way. If he were not genuinely tied to these spiritual leaders, he would have untethered by now, as it mentions above that Obama did with at least one person.

  • Linda

    Please don’t compare Trump to the apostle Peter ever again.

  • Howard Rosenbaum

    While it is not like God to involve Himself w/partisan politics it is like God to involve Himself w/the affairs of His people. Sure It’s not as though God casts the deciding vote in presidential elections, but this past presidential election was practically an event of “biblical proportions’. Both consequently & seemingly providentially. In spite of all those polls showing virtually no shot of Trump ever becoming #45 !
    So yes, God witnesses His choice relative to the options available. Happily enough of His people reciprocated w/their votes. Happily God is not a politician. Happily ( or otherwise) neither is Trump. It’s almost as though we’re living in times worthy of at least a mention in perhaps some extra canonical mention of the acts of God.
    When this man gets it right , he really gets it right. Hey, like the rest of us this POTUS is a work in progress. The progress that has thus far been realized as indicated by Mr Perrotta’s “7 Things ” list are a number of reasons theres often a smile on my face when this POTUS gets up to speak – & I think I have the Spirit of God as I voice this sentiment ….

    • James Cagney

      !!! Yea… Didn’t you get a (real) KICK out of all those “HOLLYWOOD LIBERALS” making fools of themselves!?!?!?

      • Howard Rosenbaum

        Well, they’re just doing what comes naturally – “acting” like they know what they’re talking about …

  • James Cagney

    ahhhhh…you got me with “… (Mr. Trumph…) was sworn-in instead of Hilary….”

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