One Year Later
Dr. Richard Land to Discuss Trump Presidency and Evangelical Influence on BBC Radio Sunday
Trump Has Kept Promises in Realms of Pro-Life Measures, Religious Liberty, Strict Constructionist Jurists and Commitments to Israel
CHARLOTTE, N.C.—Over a year ago, just days before the historic presidential election of 2016, Evangelical leader Dr. Richard Land, president of Southern Evangelical Seminary’s (SES, www.ses.edu), joined a panel of experts on BBC Radio who weighed in on the significance of and their predictions for the Donald Trump-Hillary Clinton presidential race.
Now, the group is coming together again to discuss the first year of the Trump presidency.
Land will join Joseph Loconte and Jim Wallis, from the BBC Washington D.C. studio, and Dr. Jenny Mathers, from the Aberystwyth studio in Wales, UK, for the “All Things Considered” radio show on BBC hosted by Roy Jenkins. The experts will converge remotely for the Sunday, Jan. 14 program to talk about their initial reactions to President Trump’s victory, the positive and negative aspects of his first year in office, the involvement of and impact upon Christians in the election process, Trump’s continued appeal to religious conservatives and the challenges that lie ahead.
“I’ve made no secret that Donald Trump was my last choice in the primaries,” Land said, “but once it became a binary race, I supported Donald Trump because the alternative was Hillary Clinton. And I haven’t regretted my support or the fact that he is president rather than Mrs. Clinton one single day since then. Do I agree with every single thing he’s done? No. Have I been comfortable with the way he has comported himself in certain situations? No. But when I am tempted to be disappointed about a scenario or an outcome, I consider how much worse things would have been under a President Hillary Clinton.”
Land, who continues to serve on President Trump’s Evangelical Faith Advisory Council, added that this is likely the case for most conservative Evangelicals. They voted not necessarily for Donald Trump, but against Hillary Clinton. Nevertheless, Land says President Trump did a better job in 2017 than many Evangelicals thought he would.
“He’s cut back on U.S. aid to international associations that promote or sponsor abortion, going much further than either President Bush or President Reagan,” Land said. “Tax reform is a significant help to the economy and a significant help to working people. I am very pleased that many onerous government regulations have been undone, causing the economy to take off and grow at a faster pace than it has in many years. We will see the economy do even better this year than it did last year.”
Land pointed to recent news that the unemployment rate for African-Americans is at its lowest point since records were first kept in 1972; the Hispanic unemployment rate has fallen as well. Likewise, the general unemployment rate of 4.1 percent is at its lowest level in 17 years.
Land added that Trump’s commitment to Israel has also resonated with Evangelicals.
“I’m delighted that the Trump administration announced plans to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, which is the true capital of Israel,” Land said. “I, along with other Evangelicals, am also pleased with President Trump’s and Ambassador Haley’s robust advocacy for political and religious freedom in the United Nations. And he certainly has followed through on his promise to appoint strict constructionist, original intent jurists. And the president is continuing to put forward superb judicial nominations based on that judicial philosophy.”
So what does 2018 hold for Evangelicals who have supported Trump?
“A significant majority of self-identified Evangelicals will continue to advocate for the things that are important to them,” Land said, “such as the right to life for the unborn, political and religious freedom, nominating jurists to the federal court system who believe in original intent, strict constructionist judicial philosophy, and support for Israel. And as long as the Trump administration continues to advocate similar policies, I expect a positive and productive working relationship to continue. It is certainly true that conservative Evangelicals have enjoyed more access to the Trump administration than any previous administration in living memory.”
“All Things Considered” is described as a “religious affairs programme, tackling the thornier issues of the day in a thought-provoking manner.” To listen to Sunday’s program, click here and watch for the Jan. 14 episode.
SES recently announced the 2018 National Conference on Christian Apologetics, which will focus on the theme of “The God Who Is.” On Oct. 12-13, the seminary will welcome top thinkers, scholars, authors, apologists and scientific minds to its 25th annual conference, which will be held at Calvary Church in Charlotte, North Carolina.