“Whether people like him or not, [Mr Trump] has been raised up by God, because God says that He raises up and places all people in places of authority,” televangelist Paula White recently told Jim Bakker, a right-wing pastor and vocal Trump supporter.
She added: “It is God that raises up a king, it is God that sets one down and so when you fight against the plan of God, you’re fighting against the hand of God.”
Ms White is a controversial televangelist who preaches prosperity gospel – the idea that God will bless believers with wealth on Earth, as well as happiness in the afterlife. She is also a personal friend of Mr Trump’s, who serves on his spiritual advisory counsel and led a prayer at his inauguration.
In her appearance on Mr Baker’s television show, Ms White compared Mr Trump to Esther, the Biblical figure who rose from her childhood as an orphan to become the Queen of Persia. Ms White said Mr Trump is similar to Esther in that they both transcended their non-conventional backgrounds to become great leaders.
“They even say that about our President, ‘Well he’s not presidential’." she said. “Thank goodness! And I mean that with all due respect, because, in other words, he’s not a polished politician.”
Mr Bakker, who was previously imprisoned on charges of mail and wire fraud, repeated the claim that Mr Trump is a king – though he specified that he meant this in a “Biblical sense”. He went on to tout Ms White’s unlimited access to the President, claiming she could walk into the White House “whenever she wants to”.
Mr Trump has previously called Ms White a "beautiful person” with “amazing insight”. Ms White, too, has defended Mr Trump, telling reporters that he “absolutely” has a relationship with God.
“He is a Christian, he accepts Jesus as his Lord and savior,” she told Politico.
Mr Trump has not regularly attended church since becoming president, and does not have a hometown congregation. According to CNN, he recently appeared not to know the difference between a Protestant (which he claims to be) and an evangelical Christian. A recent Politico article floated the idea that he is the “least God-fearing president to occupy the White House In centuries”.
But Ms White, Mr Bakker, and many other Christian leaders still seem to believe that he will serve their agenda well.
“God’s shaking America, people, and it’s time,” Mr Bakker said. “You better be ready, because we’re going to have the harvest time. It’s honestly going to be the greatest time.”
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