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Radio Talk Show Host Warns: Not All Conservative Christians Back Trump


Evangelical and conservative leaders greeted Donald Trump with a standing ovation yesterday, but not all Christian conservatives are ready to line up behind the Republican nominee. Conservative writer and activist Erick Erickson wrote yesterday that, quote, "the more a Christian goes to church, the more that Christian is likely to oppose Donald Trump." Erick Erickson joins us now from Atlanta.

Thanks so much for being with us, Erick.

ERICK ERICKSON: Thank you for having me.

MARTIN: We heard a few moments ago on this show from Ralph Reed. He's the head of the Faith and Freedom Coalition. He was at that meeting with Donald Trump yesterday. He said he has had a change of heart about Trump. He now supports him. And he said some of that has to do with how well he thinks Trump has raised his kids. He said, and I'm quoting here, "you don't raise people who are this phenomenal if you're a person of bad moral character."

So clearly, many of your conservative colleagues have found things to hold up and admire about Donald Trump. Why haven't you?

ERICKSON: Well, you know, many of them have. Many of them are also getting checks from Donald Trump these days. I just think that when you have a guy who says that I have never had to ask God for forgiveness, is told that that's part of Christianity - asking for forgiveness - and still says he's never had a need to ask for forgiveness, you've got a guy who's trying to use people of faith. I mean, take the audio you played earlier. Donald Trump telling Christians not to pray for their leaders is explicitly a rejection of biblical commands from both Peter and Paul, both of whom were executed by the Roman emperor and yet told their followers that they needed to pray for the emperor.

MARTIN: Well, and I think Donald Trump was suggesting that the current leadership isn't supporting the issues that Christian conservatives are prioritizing.

ERICKSON: It doesn't matter. You know, for - listen, if Christians want to say that Donald Trump is better than Hillary Clinton, I don't fault them for that. But for Christians to come out and testify to Donald Trump's good and sound moral character as if he is one of them I think is wrong. In fact, there's an explicit commandment in 1 Corinthians - or one Corinthians, as Donald Trump would say - that when someone holds themselves out as a Christian and yet is filled with greed, licentiousness, adultery, you name it, and hasn't repented that you shouldn't even break bread with this person.

Again, Donald Trump is a man who claims to be a Christian, threw money into the plate of the lord's supper and says he's never had to ask for forgiveness. So don't try to tell me Donald Trump is some sort of great Christian. You can tell me he's better than Hillary Clinton if you need to, but don't try to justify his faith.

MARTIN: But isn't that what it gets down to? I mean, this is politics. This is the presidential election. And conservative Christians, many of whom hold abortion up as an issue that is paramount in making their choice, and so some candidates who supports their position is going to get their vote and Hillary Clinton wouldn't be someone who would be attractive to people who vote singly on abortion issues.

ERICKSON: Listen, I completely agree. I vote on abortion issues. I won't vote for a pro-choice candidate, which is why I won't vote for Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. For people to say that Donald Trump has had a change of heart, he's a pathological liar. He changes his mind. Every sentence - every clause of every sentence of every breath of his subject to change.

MARTIN: So what do you do? You say that you're not going to vote for Hillary Clinton so that means you're in the end going to vote for Donald Trump - and we only have a couple seconds here.

ERICKSON: No way. I won't be voting for either one. Hopefully someone will step forward that I can vote for, but as someone of faith who takes it very seriously, I'm - I take Charles Spurgeon's position. Between two evils, choose neither. Just because his has an elephant next to it doesn't mean it's worth voting for.

MARTIN: Erick Erickson is the founder of the conservative website The Resurgence.

Thanks so much.

ERICKSON: Thank you. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.