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Trump courts voters in Indianapolis for Southern Baptist Convention

Shelia Poole, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on

Published in Political News

Former President Donald Trump spoke virtually to a gathering of faith leaders and conservative Christians in which he railed against Democrats as being “against religion,” and urged them to vote in November.

Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee for president, spoke virtually for less than two minutes Monday afternoon during a “Life and Liberty Forum” presented by the Danbury Institute.

The event was held as the influential Southern Baptist Convention is gathering in Indianapolis this week for their annual meeting. Participants will tackle such hot-button issues as women pastors, religious liberty, abortion and in-vitro fertilization.

“You just can’t vote Democrat because they’re against religion. They’re against your religion in particular,” said Trump, who was shown on a big screen flanked by several U.S. flags. He offered nothing to support that Democrats were anti-religion. “You just cannot vote for Democrats and you have to get out to vote. We have to defend religious liberty, free speech and innocent life and the heritage and tradition that built America into the greatest nation in the history of the world.”

Today, though, he said the U.S. as a nation is declining “seriously, seriously and so sad.”

Other speakers during Monday’s event include R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky; Shane Winnings, CEO, of Promise Keepers, an evangelical Christian men’s nonprofit; and Sam Brownback, a former Republican governor of Kansas and former ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom.

On its website, the Danbury Institute describes itself as an association of churches “focused on educating and mobilizing around cultural and public policy issues from a Judeo-Christian perspective.” According to its website, “We believe that the greatest atrocity facing our generation today is the practice of abortion — child sacrifice on the altar of self. ... Abortion must be ended. We will not rest until it is eradicated entirely.”

Trump has taken credit for the overturning of a federally guaranteed right to abortion — he nominated three of the Supreme Court justices who overturned Roe v. Wade — but has not supported a national ban on abortions because he said he wants states to decide the issue for themselves.

 

On Tuesday, former Vice President Mike Pence, who has often spoken about his deep faith, will speak at a lunch event sponsored by the SBC’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission.

Pence was one of several contenders who campaigned to become the Republican presidential nominee. Pence suspended his campaign last October, saying he had no regrets. The GOP field was dominated by Trump, who didn’t participate in any debates.

Trump enjoys wide support among white evangelicals. Eight of 10 white evangelicals overwhelmingly supported Trump during the general 2016 presidential win and, again, in 2020 when he lost to President Joe Biden, according to a Pew Research survey.

The survey also founded that among religious groups, white evangelical Protestants have a more favorable opinion of Trump than any other group.

Meanwhile, Trump is facing mounting legal woes. A New York jury recently found Trump guilty on 34 felony counts in a hush money case involving a porn star, which he denied. Trump is free while awaiting his sentencing on July 11.

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©2024 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Visit at ajc.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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