Donald Trump has agreed to meet privately with some of the nation’s most prominent Evangelical leaders – a meeting seen as critical to garnering support from social conservatives, Fox News has learned.
“Our goal is to be able to have a conversation that could lead to a better understanding of what Donald Trump has to offer to the country,” said Family Research Council President Tony Perkins.
Perkins is one of the key conservative leaders spearheading the gathering – set for June 21 in New York City. Perkins, along with Bill Dallas of United in Purpose, worked with Dr. Ben Carson to arrange the meeting.
As many as 500 conservative leaders from around the nation are expected to attend the invitation-only event.
The meeting was convened by a who’s who among Evangelicals – including Southern Baptist Convention President Ronnie Floyd, James Dobson, Ralph Reed, Penny Nance, Bob McEwen, Tim Wildmon of the American Family Association, Kelly Shackleford of First Liberty, and mega-church pastors Jack Graham and Ed Young.
“I want to be actively supportive of a candidate who can help turn this nation around,” Perkins told me. “With Trump – I’m not there yet. I hope to be there – but I’m not there right now.”
Perkins said Trump will not be delivering a speech. He will be there to answer questions. There will be no straw poll. There will be no endorsement from the conservative leaders.
“There is no preconceived outcome here,” he told me. “I’m hoping we can have a conversation that could lead to helping conservative leaders make a decision about what to do in this election.”
The meeting comes as a small, but vocal number of Christian leaders is urging people of faith to stay at home on Election Day.
And that’s why Tony Perkins is worried.
“Our goal is to be able to have a conversation that could lead to a better understanding of what Trump has to offer to the country,” he said. “If we don’t try the outcome is not going to be good.”
Specifically, the leaders want to hear detailed plans on the Supreme Court nominees and the vetting process. They also want to hear his policies regarding religious liberty, pro-life issues and possible vice presidential candidates.
“A vice presidential pick is going to be very crucial,” Perkins said. “Mr. Trump doesn’t have a track record – so I am going to rely very heavily on who he is going to pick as a running mate.”
Floyd, the president of the nation’s largest Protestant denomination, said he just wants to do the right thing.
“The vast majority of Southern Baptists are very much where I am today – we’re trying to figure this out,” he told me. “We’re trying to navigate through these waters that are very uncertain and very difficult.”
Floyd had strong words for Christian leaders who are suggesting voters should simply stay home.
“We cannot change what exists or even alter it or adjust it sitting on the sidelines and prognosticating about the situation,” he said. “We have a biblical responsibility, but we also have a responsibility as citizens of the United States to express the privileges afforded to us – that men and women have died on the battlefield to give us – and I’m not walking away from that.”
Floyd said the conversation with Trump is a way for Christians to share their heart with him.
“None of us have endorsed Mr. Trump, nor have we condemned Mr. Trump,” he said. “This is about the possibility of being able to appoint the next four Supreme Court justices. This is about the dignity of human life from the womb to the tomb. This is about religious freedom. I’m not about to sit at home and not express something. I’m accountable to God and I believe I’m accountable to my fellow Americans.”
But at the same time, he acknowledged that many people of faith are struggling to come to terms with some of Mr. Trump’s past statements – statements that are contrary to biblical teachings.
“Could you vote for him? That’s the question at hand,” Floyd said.
I hope you will make plans to join me for my second annual Fall Getaway Nov. 11-13 at the Billy Graham Training Center in Asheville, North Carolina! I can’t think of a better way to unwind after the 2016 presidential election!
We had such a wonderful time last year – worshiping together and studying God’s word. Lots of laughter! Lots of great food! And lots of new friends!
Our Bible teacher this year is Dr. Don Wilton, the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Spartanburg, SC. He is also Billy Graham’s personal pastor! You are going to love Dr. Wilton and his powerful teaching.
And I’m also excited to announce our musical guests!
You are going to fall in love with the Mylon Hayes Family – one of Southern Gospel Music’s most popular groups. Mylon and Wendy and their three wonderful children are insanely talented and their tight harmonies are simply breathtaking!
And brace yourself for a return engagement by the Voices of Lee! I think it’s safe to say they received top marks from all of our attendees in 2015. Voices will lead us in worship and entertain us with their mind-blowing and jaw-dropping vocal arrangements!
And we’re also going to get Aunt Lynn to play the piano during our Saturday afternoon Hymn Sing at the Billy Graham Chapel!
If you’d like to reserve your spot at the getaway call 1-800-950-2092. You don’t have to pay the entire amount upfront.
As for costs – it’s an all-inclusive price. That means your meals and lodging and conference fees are all included in the price (along with a special gift from Todd).
Cruz pointed out that for most of his life Trump had been “very pro-choice” and had once described himself as a “supporter of partial-birth abortion.”
“Right now, today, as a candidate, he supports federal taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood,” Cruz said.
That statement caused Trump to unleash a torrent of bloviating towards Cruz.
“You are the single biggest liar,” Trump thundered. “You are probaby worse than Jeb Bush. You are the single biggest liar.”
Cruz did not back down.
“You notice Donald didn’t disagree with the substance that he supports taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood,” Cruz said. “And Donald has this weird pattern, when you point to his own record he screams, ‘liar, liar, liar.'”
Later in the bitter exchange Trump finally admitted that Planned Parenthood “does do wonderful things but not as it relates to abortion.”
On Sunday, the Cruz campaign released an advertisement proving who was telling the truth during last night’s debate. Watch for yourself.
Following is a transcript of the ad:
CRUZ DISCLAIMER: “I’m Ted Cruz and I approve this message”
“Between sips of wine and bites of salad, a Planned Parenthood doctor discusses getting money for tissue from aborted fetuses”
“Harvesting the organs of aborted fetuses for money”
ANNOUNCER: “Planned Parenthood treats the unborn like another form of currency. And yet some politicians still defend them.”
TRUMP: “Planned Paarenthood serves a good function.”
SEAN HANNITY: “With the debt we have should we even give them a penny?”
I believe in extremely limited government. I support a flat tax. I believe we should return control of our public schools to local communities.
I believe in the Second Amendment.
I believe we should defend American sovereignty – and secure our borders.
I believe in the sons and daughters of liberty – defending our nation in the greatest military on the planet.
I believe in putting American workers first, not foreigners.
Now you may not agree with everything I have to say – but that’s okay. Because I also believe in the First Amendment – and your right to say what’s on your mind — even if you happen to be one of those hippy-dippy, pot-smoking liberal loons.
I believe in America – the most exceptional national nation in history.
All that to say – I’m a conservative — and you have a friend at the Fox News Corner of the World.
On January 18, Jerry Falwell, Jr. welcomed Donald Trump to Liberty University to speak in the school’s chapel. As the college president who wrote the “This is Not a Daycare” article that received so much national attention recently, I have been asked by the media if I would be next: Will I be inviting Mr. Trump to Oklahoma Wesleyan University to speak in our chapel service? My answer has been simple and brief. No, I will not.
In selecting speakers for Oklahoma Wesleyan, party affiliation and political positions do not matter. Personal conduct, public statements, theological integrity and moral consistency do. In short, unless it is an open debate where different sides of the issue will be presented, we choose speakers who generally promote our university’s mission and who do not stand in opposition, either in word or deed, to what we claim to hold dear as a Christian community. I believe I owe it to our students, faculty, staff, board, donors and church to do nothing less— and frankly, Donald Trump simply doesn’t represent OKWU’s behavioral, theological, moral or political ideals.
“But, we need to defeat Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders,” many have said: “Your criticism of Trump only helps them. You need to stop attacking those on ‘our side!’”
Anyone who is pro-abortion is not on my side. Anyone who calls women “pigs,” “ugly,” “fat” and “pieces of a–” is not on my side. Anyone who mocks the handicapped is not on my side. Anyone who has argued the merits of a government takeover of banks, student loans, the auto industry and healthcare is not on my side. Anyone who has been on the cover of Playboy and proud of it, who brags of his sexual history with multiple women and who owns strip clubs in his casinos is not on my side. Anyone who believes the government can wrest control of the definition of marriage from the church is not on my side. Anyone who ignores the separation of powers and boasts of making the executive branch even more imperial is not on my side.
I’m a conservative. I believe in conserving the dignity of life. I believe in conserving respect for women. I believe in conserving the Constitution. I believe in conserving private property, religious liberty and human freedom. I believe in morality more than I do in money. I hold to principles more than I yearn for power. I trust my Creator more than I do human character. I’d like to think that all this, and more, makes me an informed and thoughtful citizen and voter. I’ve read, I’ve listened and I’ve studied and there is NOTHING, absolutely nothing, in this man’s track record that makes Donald Trump “on my side.”
I refuse to let my desire to win “trump” my moral compass. I will not sell my soul or my university’s to a political process that values victory more than virtue.
No, Donald Trump will not be speaking at Oklahoma Wesleyan University.
“The conservative…will not surrender to the contagion of mass-opinion or the temptations of…power… [I]f he hopes to conserve anything at all, he must make his stand unflinchingly.” Russell Kirk
Over the long holiday weekend mobs of unsupervised teenagers terrorized shoppers and pillaged department stores across the fruited plain.
As many as 2,000 teenagers rioted Saturday night at the Mall St. Matthews in suburban Louisville, Kentucky.
Officer Dennis McDonald, a spokesperson for the St. Matthews Police Department, told USA Today that most of the offenders had been dropped off at the mall or had arrived by public transportation.
“You have to give our officers some credit,” he said. “They were being cussed at, stuff was thrown at them. It could have been much, much worse. We’re very fortunate we didn’t have a police officer injured, fortunate there weren’t more innocent people hurt.”
By all accounts, it was pure mayhem at the mall. Here’s some of the scanner traffic from Saturday night:
“We need more units over here by the Cinemark. We need help. We need help over here. There’s us and three take-down officers. We need people over here. We’ve got multiple fights – crowds of hundreds. We’ve got stores going into lockdown, shutting their gates. We’ve got hundreds of kids heading to the theater. We need some units over here.”
At some point you have to wonder if mall management will provide “safe spaces” for customers.
But it’s not just in Louisville. There were more than a dozen attacks at malls across the country.
Hundreds of teenagers fought at Park Plaza Mall in Little Rock, according to television station KTHV. Fisticuffs broke out at the Monroeville Mall near Pittsburgh – after as many as 1,000 teens invaded the complex.
Brawls were also reported in Charlotte, N.C., Wisconsin, Long Island, N.Y. and North Riverside Park Mall in Illinois.
There were fights reported at movie theaters in Jacksonville, Fla. and Memphis, Tenn.
What happened in Louisville was made even worse because not a single person was arrested – not one.
Instead, they loaded up the little thugs and thugettes on city buses to take them back to where they came from.
Now, what kind of message does that send? Does the city have a “Pillage & Plunder & Get a Free Ride Home” policy?
It seems to me those buses should’ve hauled their butts to county lockup – all 2,000.
And then – the police should’ve sworn out warrants on all those absentee moms and dads.
But instead — they stood down.
What’s the point of having law enforcement if they aren’t going to enforce the law?
Pay attention, America. The entitlement generation is on the rampage – and they will not be stopped – not even for Dippin Dots.