In an attempt to shore up his Evangelical base for the 2020 elections, Trump has hired his personal pastor, Florida-based televangelist Paula White, to work in the Office of Public Liaison, a fancy-name for the department that reaches out to Trump’s supporters.
While she’ll primarily be involved in his Faith and Opportunity Initiative to expand the influence of religious groups over government programs and policy, even a newspaper in her home state is appalled at her hiring, calling her an example of “religious leaders weaponizing faith for politics.”
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White was already named as a member of Trump’s Evangelical advisory board before his 2016 inauguration and has publicly praised Trump as a “brilliant thinker… [with] vision, thought process, keen insight, and overall discipline,” according to The Orlando Sentinel. But her support of Trump gets even weirder and more fire-and-brimstone.
She believes God personally assigned her to be his spiritual advisor and has “warned of consequences from God for those who don’t stand with the president” stating that those who oppose him are “fighting the hand of God.” She also says that she has personally “anointed” the White House into “holy grounds” through “the superior blood of Jesus.”
The day before Halloween, she joined other far-right Christians in praying for Trump’s protection against “the wicked” including the “demons” who fear his Supreme Court appointments.
Though she touts herself as a non-denominational Christian, White spreads the so-called “prosperity gospel” — a label she rejects — which believes that God rewards his most faithful followers with great wealth, health and other riches. In the past, she has said Christians are “mandated by God” to donate to Jim Bakker even though he has an estimated net worth of $500 thousand.
Christian Today called her latest book, Something Greater: Finding Triumph Over Trials, “narcissistic, dishonest, materialistic, shallow and ‘Trumpesque.’”
At the very very least, she’s one of Trump’s few religious advisors who doesn’t hold rabidly anti-LGBTQ views. She even held a prayer vigil for the victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting. But make no mistake, she’s at Trump’s side to benefit from his influence, even if he hurts LGBTQ people in the process.