Trump ‘Baby Christian’, Says Evangelical Icon James Dobson At Christian Conservative Meet
GOP Presidential aspirant Donald Trump is a “baby Christian,” according to Focus on the Family founder James Dobson in an interview posted on Friday, June 24, 2016, by Pennsylvania pastor Michael Anthony to his blog. Dobson made the statement at a rally of Christian conservatives who came to New York City on Tuesday, June 21, to see Trump.
In the interview, Dobson indicated he knew who had led Trump to Christ, but did not elaborate on the unnamed person. Dobson made this statement that has been picked up by news sources and gone viral online.
“I don’t know when it was, but it has not been long. I believe he really made a commitment, but he’s a baby Christian.”
Trump addressed hundreds of Christian conservatives at the meet wherein he got dubbed “baby Christian” by Dobson. The presumptive Republican presidential nominee told his listeners that he would end the decades-old ban on tax-exempt groups making explicit political endorsements, called religious liberty “the No. 1 question,” and reiterated the need for anti-abortion Supreme Court justices.On the ban put in place by then-United States Senator Lyndon Johnson, Trump told the evangelicals, including Dobson who anointed him “baby Christian,” that religious leaders were “petrified.” The real estate billionaire spoke of making religious liberty his Christian legacy.
“I think maybe that will be my greatest contribution to Christianity — and other religions — is to allow you, when you talk religious liberty, to go and speak openly, and if you like somebody or want somebody to represent you, you should have the right to do it.”
According to Western Journalism, Dobson attended what he described as a “historic” meeting between Trump and 1,000 evangelical leaders. The Focus on the Family founder mentioned his inclination to dub Trump a “baby Christian” in an interview with co-attendee Pastor Michael Anthony, president of Godfactor and founder of the National Week of Repentance. Dobson elaborated on the subject.
Mediaite reported Dobson acknowledging that Trump just doesn’t know how to speak the language. But the Christian radio broadcaster, who has been called “the nation’s most influential evangelical leader” by Time, exhorted others to cut the “baby Christian” some slack because “he didn’t grow up like we did.” Dobson said he thought there was hope for Trump.
“Only God knows where we’re heading as a nation, but this gathering of God’s people sincerely, actually on their knees, a thousand people, praying together—that’s a good thing. I was in a smaller group this morning at Trump Tower … and got the chance to interact with him. And he’s soft, he’s a lot nicer guy than you realize. And I think he is listening. There are a lot of people ministering to him personally. He did accept a relationship with Christ. I know the person who led him to Christ. And that’s fairly recent.”
According to the New York Times, “accepting Christ” in evangelical parlance, is at the heart of becoming a genuine Christian, which pertains to acknowledging sin and accepting Jesus Christ as one’s personal savior. What would be expected of Trump the “baby Christian” is spelled out by Kedron Bardwell, a political science professor at Simpson College in Iowa, and son of an evangelical pastor.
“The expectation evangelicals have is of a radical change, a 180-degree turn from the life of sin to following Christ.”
For Trump the “baby Christian,” prayer with another Christian would be expected, the scenario Dobson alluded to when he claimed to know Trump’s companion who had “led him to Christ.” It was a new revelation from Dobson who had endorsed Senator Ted Cruz during the time Trump garnered a majority of evangelical voters in the Republican primaries.
The Washington Post reported that Donald Trump won a standing ovation from the Christian conservatives somewhat skeptical but willing to provide a forum for the “baby Christian” who has divided their group with comments on women, immigrants, and Islam. Among the audience were iconic figures in the Christian Right, the evangelical movement brought to life in the 1970s by people like the late Jerry Falwell.
Participating at the Tuesday gathering were Focus on the Family founder James Dobson, who anointed Trump “baby Christian,” former Christian Coalition head Ralph Reed and evangelist Franklin Graham (son of legendary Billy Graham). The meeting opened with former GOP candidate and neurosurgeon Ben Carson talking about unity, and Graham following with the benediction before Trump took the stage.
Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee moderated a question-and-answer period. Of about 50,000 questions submitted, according to the Washington Post, 20 were chosen. Latino pastor Samuel Rodriguez asked about immigration, California televangelist David Jeremiah about Israel policy, Texas mega-church pastor Jack Graham about leadership, Southern Baptist Convention ex-president Ronnie Floyd about racial tensions, and Maryland Bishop Harry Jackson about marriage.
Dobson asked Trump the “baby Christian” about religious liberty.
[Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images]