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Notes on Richard Land's support for Trump

On the one hand, Richard Land emphasizes that Trump was his last choice in the Republican primary and that he made a joyless choice to choose Trump over Hillary Clinton. He states that he will continue to subscribe to Christianity Today. He says The Christian Post will not necessarily support Trump. 

On the other hand, Land says electing Hillary Clinton would have ended free elections in the United States, and that Trump has defended the religious liberty of Muslims more than any other president, and Land repeatedly states that there is a Deep State conspiracy against Trump. He also attended the Evangelicals for Trump rally. He attacked Mark Galli as an elite for articles Galli wrote saying many of the evangelicals he knew were wary of Trump but Galli desired to understand those who supported Trump. So, this latter evidence points to him being a very convinced defender of Trump.

I have put some information below. 

Richard Land said in May 2019, with a Trump-sympathetic audience, that Trump is being spiritually attacked by the Deep State. See transcript below. And he also in January 2020 attended the Evangelicals for Trump rally. He also wrote a Christian Post editorial that included worry about the Deep State. Land claims Trump has defended religious freedom for Muslims (in China and India) more than other presidents. 

While in other settings on PBS and NPR in January 2020, he explains that Trump was his last choice in the Republican primary and frames his decision as a binary choice between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump that gave him no joy. Land claims the Christian Post was not going to exclusively be for Trump but Napp Nazworth resigned because that was his understanding as he explains on these two podcasts

74-year-old Richard Land is unusual in that few or no other people with a PhD in theology have publicly appeared with other evangelical Trump supporters at the White House or at the Evangelicals for Trump rally. (71-year-old theology professor Wayne Grudem has written in defense of Trump)

 

Links below to interviews with Richard Land. 

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Todd Starnes Discusses A Day Of Prayer For President Trump
May. 29, 2019 - 11:59 - Todd Starnes speaks with AFA President Tim Wildmon and Southern Evangelical Seminary President Dr. Richard Land discuss Franklin Graham's call for a Day of Prayer for President Trump.
Todd Starnes Show
Fox News Radio
https://video.foxnews.com/v/6042391396001/#sp=show-clips

Transcript: 

Todd Starnes: Why do you think we need a special day of prayer for the president?

Tim Wildmon: Because he is under siege from the secular left—and the religious left too such as they are—because of his stands for life and religious liberty and for conservative judges, those things that I think come out of biblical principles and certainly constitutional principles and because he identifies with us (that is, Christians in America) to a large extent on many different issues. So those are the reasons that he is under attack so I think that is what I think Franklin Graham is saying. It is not Republican or Democrat. He is saying that President Trump needs prayer right now because they are under attack spiritually and politically.


Richard Land: I think the Holy Spirit laid this on Franklin Graham's heart . . . This president is under unprecedented siege. He is not only taking on the left, he is taking on the deep state. He is taking on the entrenched government apparatus. He is taking on the intelligence agencies. I believe we are on the eve of the biggest political scandal in the history of the country because I think that Attorney General Barr is not stopping until he uncovers what I think is going to be a lot of nefarious and illegal behavior by people in the deep state including the CIA and the FBI. They are panicked and they are attacking him in an even more unprecedented way and I think we need to put up a spiritual shield. . . . I am praying that God will give him wisdom and strength and guidance and the president will be an instrument of God's will.


Richard Land: Well, look, I am one of the people who takes encouragement from Robert Mueller's statement this morning because it shows the panic of the deep state (and James Comey's editorial in the Washington Post). These people are scared to death that William Barr is going to uncover all of their nefarious deeds and all of the ways they have broken the law and they are out to kill politically William Barr and kill the president before Barr can kill them.


Todd Starnes: Why do you support this administration?

Tim Wildmon: Well, number one if you look what we would have if he had not been elected, we would have had President Hillary Clinton and that would have been horrible for us on so many levels: the Supreme Court would have been lost for a generation, the attacks on Christians would have intensified, they would have started denying to us radio licenses. I guarantee to you that would have happened because we would have been labeled a hate speech by the federal government. So the alternative at the time was horrible. President Trump wanted to be our friend. Does President Trump have a complete biblical world view? Uh, No, he doesn't. He doesn't come out of that but yet he wants to be our friend and he wants to understand us. And he is a patriot. He also understands what is happening with the court system in this country and is relying on the Federalist Society and people we trust to tell him who is best to appoint to the courts so the man listens to us. He cares about us and wants to be our friend. And that is why we support him. Is he perfect? No. Does he tweet things sometimes that it probably would be best that he doesn't? Does he exhibit the fruits of the Spirit every day? No, he doesn't. But we only have one president at a time. And this is the man for the hour. We need to stand and support him in every way that we can. We can be critical if we have be. The same forces that are aligned against President Trump right now are the same forces that are aligned us and will come after us if given the opportunity.


Richard Land: I hate to think where we would be without the American Family Association getting the truth out against the horrendous propaganda of the secular news media. It is just horrible. What we have got to do is understand that the alternative was Hillary Clinton, who would have been the most dangerous and worst president in the history of the United States. No question about it. Hands down. I am going to make a statement now that I am willing to stand by. If Hillary Clinton had won this last election, we would have just participated in the last fully free election in the history of the United States because they would have subverted the rule of law. They would have come after us. They would have weaponized the federal government against us. Hillary Clinton was dangerous, dangerous, dangerous, criminally dangerous to religious freedom and political freedom in the United States. Frankly, I voted for Donald Trump as the lesser evil but he has been far better than I thought he would be. I find some Christians who oppose him. I say 'I like my way of getting involved and making a difference over your way of not getting involved and not making a difference.' To not support Donald Trump when he was running against Hillary Clinton was to support Hillary Clinton. That is just a simple fact. People can live in fantasy land if they want to. But in the real world, if you do not help the lesser evil prevail, you are part of helping the greater evil prevail. And Hillary Clinton is the greater evil unless she's running against Lucifer.

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See also his more recent interview with Mark Galli: 

Retired Christianity Today Editor Talks Backlash Over Editorial Advocating For Trump's Removal

 

https://www.wbur.org/onpoint/2020/01/06/christianity-today-christian-post-editoiral-mark-galli-retires

 

 

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How evangelicals see President Trump

 The Christian Post’s Richard Land and the Gospel Coalition’s Collin Hansen join Lisa Desjardins to discuss compromise and Christian values.

https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/after-recent-rift-are-evangelical-christians-still-behind-trump

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