Richard Land, President of Southern Evangelical Seminary and a member of President Trump’s faith-based council, joined NPR’s Here and Now on Monday to discuss President Trump’s first few weeks in office.
Robin Young asked Land about his previous opposition to President Trump and what he characterized as the “excruciating choice” to vote for Trump. Land responded that Trump was his last choice among the field of Republican candidates, but believed he was “the lesser of two evils” when compared to Secretary Hillary Clinton. He believes his evaluation of then candidate Trump proved to be true when he nominated Judge Neil Gorsuch to fill the Supreme Court vacancy left by the death of Antonin Scalia.
The tone of the conversation grew tenser when Young began questioning Land about President Trump’s executive order on immigration and refugees. She asked him in particular about evangelical Christians who stated their opposition to the order. He responded, “Do these people lock the doors of their homes? My guess is they do so, because your home is secure and you invite people into your home under the understanding that you think they're not going to do you harm, and when we have groups like ISIS — who are saying they are going to use the refugee policy to infiltrate terrorists into the United States, we have a right to defend ourselves.”
Land said he was not disappointed when President Trump did not roll back President Obama’s executive order on LBGTQ rights because “I didn’t expect him to.” He does want the President to push for protections for Christians working in the federal government who don’t support gay marriage so that they don’t lose their jobs over their convictions. He said that would be “a good balance.”
Young closed the interview by asking Land what Bible verse he would share with President Trump if he had the opportunity. He responded, Matthew 5:13-16, 'You are the salt of the Earth, you are the light of the world. Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your father which is in heaven.'”
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Publication date: February 14, 2017