As President-elect Donald Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence prepared to take office, nationally recognized faith leaders came together Thursday for a Presidential Inauguration Week press conference at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., to stress the importance of the protection of freedoms guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution.
Comprised of many prominent and influential ordained clergy and other spiritual leaders of different faiths, Faith Leaders for America is a group committed to freedom — freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and the other liberties guaranteed by the Constitution — along with a firm commitment to address the imminent threats to those freedoms.
At Thursday’s press conference, led by NRB President & CEO Dr. Jerry A. Johnson, the group released a “Call to Prayer” statement that urges the nation to pray for President-elect Trump as he prepares to be inaugurated as President of the United States.
“[O]ur primary prayer for President Trump is that he would succeed in his God-given assignment of keeping the peace,” the group stated. “Defending Americans ‘against all enemies, foreign and domestic’ should be the top presidential priority from Day One.”
Reading the statement during the press conference, Johnson said, “[B]y standing here, we not only promise our prayers, but also our support for the President in this task.”
He said the group would support President Trump when he labels the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization; when he calls Islamic terrorism what it is – Islamic extremism; when he stops the mass importation of un-vetted immigrants from areas that harbor, train, and send out jihadists; and when he requires appropriate, extreme vetting for those who enter the U.S. from these same areas.
“In other words, President-elect Trump, we’ve ‘got your back,’” Johnson said.
Among the faith leaders who addressed the press Thursday was NRB member Dr. Jim Garlow, Senior Pastor at Skyline Church in San Diego, who highlighted the recent suffering caused by Islamic terrorists in just the past week alone, including 46 attacks, 299 deaths, 453 injuries, and 14 suicide bombings in 12 different countries.
“The purpose of government, wherever the government is, is one thing: to protect the citizens,” Garlow stressed. “And so the government is to protect us from this (human suffering). And as religious leaders, we’re to speak out on those things that will harm, damage, and produce pain and human suffering.”
Also at the press conference was Lt. Gen. (Ret.) William G. “Jerry” Boykin, Family Research Council's Executive Vice President, who made it clear that the group is not anti-Muslim.
“In case you think we hate every Muslim in America, that is absolutely not the truth,” Boykin said. “In fact, I think we have greater passion for them because we see what they’re caught in.”
Others who spoke at the press conference included David Barton, Bishop Aubrey Shines, Bishop E.W. Jackson, Rabbi Jonathan Hausman, and the Hon. Sam Rohrer. Dr. Rick Scarborough offered a prayer before a Q&A session with reporters.
In its statement, the group concluded: “We, Faith Leaders For America, stand here today as a visible sign that we’ll stand with you when you take these and other vital actions to protect American citizens and their freedoms. More importantly, we pray that God may give you wisdom to do this in a proper way, courage to do it in a bold way, and strength to do it in an effective way. May God save, and bless, America.”
By NRB Staff
Published: January 19, 2017