3 Reasons Why Evangelicals Should Have Boycotted Trump’s Dinner

3 Reasons Why Evangelicals Should Have Boycotted Trump’s Dinner August 28, 2018

Last night, President Trump hosted about a hundred evangelical leaders, including Ralph Reed, Robert Jeffress, Eric Metaxas and others, at the White House for a “state dinner.”  They should have boycotted.

Instead, conservative reporter David Brody tweeted exuberantly: 

And the mostly white evangelicals closed the dinner with this: “ History will record the greatness that you have brought for generations. Amen”

(Alex Brandon/Associated Press)


This is a gross abuse of these leaders’ prophetic role in society: to love their neighbor by advocating for the rights of those who are marginalized. As we mark the 55th anniversary of the March on Washington, when people of faith assembled in our nation’s capital to fight for the poor black and brown masses, this group of leaders convened at our capitol to reaffirm their commitment to a bigot.

Here are three reasons Christians should have declined the invitation rather than pose for smiling photo ops with people whose policies are resulting in pain, suffering and even death for many Americans. 

  1. Our democracy is under threat. The rights of black people and other people of color to vote are under a sustained attack from a resurgent white supremacy: from photo ID requirements in Texas to racist gerrymandering in North Carolina. And the Department of Justice is helping the racists. President Trump can stop this – I wish the leaders yesterday had asked him to take action.
  2. In the Supreme Court, we need a justice who rules with justice, protecting the people God tells us to side with: our neighbors who are sick, who are poor, who are beaten down, who are powerless. The judge that President Trump nominated, Brett Kavanaugh, has a record that suggests that he won’t rule with this kind of justice. He will not protect our rights, our health and our democracy. I wish that Evangelical leaders had pressed President Trump on this and pushed him to nominate someone who will serve with integrity.
  3. There are still roughly seven hundred kids who are separated from their families by President Trump’s inhumane and cruel immigration policies. Forty of them are under the age of four. We have toddlers who are effectively in solitary confinement. We need a national effort to unite these kids with their parents and open hearings to make sure that this horrible abuse of power never happens again.


As a mom and a pastor, I can’t imagine eating dinner with President Trump (not to mention being celebrated by him) without demanding answers. If these evangelical leaders don’t use proximity to President Trump to advocate for justice, they have sold their souls for a mere taste of power.

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  • Timothy Weston

    In 1980, the religious right found an issue to make themselves relevant again (abortion) and paired up with corporate sponsors. Since then, it went downhill. It is interesting that these guys thought Satan was really Jesus on that offer of worldly power that Jesus rejected.

  • jekylldoc

    I fear it isn’t just a “taste of power” that they have sold out for. Patriarchy is more meaningful to them than rule of law is. If the American mainstream gets its hands on the levers again (which is far from certain) we need to proceed in a fashion that makes it clear we are in favor of the American people. All of them.

  • Matthew

    Trump is absolutely manipulating his evangelical base for political gain and the base is selling its soul for power.
    I find it rather telling that Trump was quoted as saying (in part) the following:

    “This November 6 election is very much a referendum on not only me, it’s a referendum on your religion,”

    Did you catch that? … YOUR religion. He doesn´t even count himself as one of them, yet they fall for his rubbish
    hook, line, and sinker. Madness really.

  • Rev. Jen and others reading this, I tried to list the “evangelical leaders” who were there so that people can do further digging: http://www.andyrowell.net/andy_rowell/2018/08/evangelicals-meeting-with-trump-at-the-white-house-august-27-2018.html

  • Drifting Out

    It’s just not evangelicals. Conservative white christians in general are being way to complicit in the ugly and disgusting things Trump and his administration are doing. Hypocrisy and irony doesn’t even begin to describe them.

  • Etranger

    “If these evangelical leaders don’t use proximity to President Trump to advocate for justice, they have sold their souls for a mere taste of power.” That is so true! I loved this article. The only positive thing going forward with regard to christians in public is that if someone preaches morality to me, I stop them first and ask if they voted for Trump or support Trump. If the answer is yes, I can stop listening to them immediately. If the answer is no (if rarely will be because it is rare for a good Christian to “preach” but sometimes they will base their views on their christian philosophy) I will listen to what they have to say.

  • This monologue is pure Inquisitional ROT OVER BELIEFS, when what Jesus TAUGHT WAS HOW WE OUGHT TO TREAT EACH OTHER. You evangelicals who confuse beliefs for behavior are SO culturally MARXIST, it’s hard to know where to begin a rational conversation with you.

  • This monologue is pure Inquisitional ROT. Beliefs are not what Jesus TAUGHT US TO EXPEL PEOPLE FOR. Paul did that. Paul says that behavior doesn’t matter, just beliefs. If you want to judge people on their thoughts, on what they know and ghosting people for what they haven’t learned yet, then you can join the ranks of Not-Sees too. But Jesus was kind to Samaritans, he engaged soldiers, the disabled, tax collectors, diverse people. He didn’t demand that everybody parrot his point of view before he would even speak to them.

  • pen44

    Exactly, Timothy Weston!! In 1980, Reagan let the greedy, power hungry, TV preachers into the Republican Party. These “preachers” have always catered to the southern bigots who have used their version of Christianity as a club against anyone who isn’t white and vengeful. They have taken Christ out of Christianity, and chosen trump instead of Jesus. Jesus Himself said that we cannot love God and money/power, it cannot be done, and we wind up hating one, while loving the other. Since they are doing the exact opposite of what Jesus preached, taught and commanded, I guess we know Who they hate. The Repubs lost me in 1980, and, while I pray that they can find their way back to Jesus. Power and money are the devil’s tools, and the devil has a very strong hold on them for they have completely repudiated Jesus for someone like trump…they are to be pitied.

  • The destroyer

    I cannot see how the US democracy is under threat.

    I do not understand the allegations against the Justice minister in post.

    I agree that the rest of the families who are separated should be brought together and then deported. Then they can apply to come to the USA legally if they want to.

  • Mr. James Parson

    I hereby add that:

    The Evangelical base is absolutely manipulating Trump for political gain and the base is selling its soul for power.

  • Are you nuts????

  • You’re confused and perplexed dearie

  • https://www.real.video/5829873763001 . . . Max Egan lays it all out; I hope you find his exposition helpful. 🙂

  • Mr. James Parson

    Authoritarian, Theocratic, Corporatists come to mind. Fascists come to mind.

  • Summers-lad

    “Jesus was kind to … diverse people” – absolutely true. But he spoke strongly against the Pharisees who laid heavy burdens on people and who didn’t act with compassion. He was not afraid to speak truth to power, whether they were the religious or Roman authorities. And that is what Rev. Jen is doing here.
    As for Paul, read the later parts of most of the Epistles – any of them will show that he believed that behaviour does matter.

  • FrankScotsman .

    I read a comment, I don’t remember the source, that said; “Trump lead the evangelicals to the mountain top and said ‘All this will be yours if you fall down and worship me’ and they all fell to their faces and worshiped.”
    Our religious leaders have sold out.