From Doug Batchelor:
"Okay, why am I in New York City? You’ll probably hear about this in the news today.
A few weeks ago I was invited to a special hastily-called meeting of Christian leaders set up by Dr. Ben Carson with Donald Trump.
No, this was not an endorsement! The meeting was to interview Trump regarding his position on the number of issues related to religious liberty and Christian freedom.
Representatives from virtually every ministry and denomination in North America showed up. James Dobson, Franklin Graham, David Jeremiah, Mike Huckabee, James Roberson, Jerry Falwell Junior,… Security was very tight because somebody tried to shoot Trump this week.
We asked questions about religious liberty, the Supreme Court, terrorism, the economy, immigration etc. Some answers were good, others pretty vague.
I must say he’s a whole different person when he sitting down in a conversational style. At a rally he’s swaggering and bombastic, today he seemed more pensive and humble. It was good for him to hear our concerns. Now we will wait and see if they arrange a similar interview with Hillary."
"Doug is a member of the National Religious Broadcasters executive committee. He was requested to attend as part of the committee. He was one of a thousand Christian leaders. He is the first SDA to be on this executive committee. Hope that helps to clarify things" (Karen Batchelor via Facebook).
Tidbit: "Down on 42nd street I [Doug] couldn't find the subway entrance so I ask these street preachers and right away they recognize me and let me know they watch the Amazing Facts programs. Its good to know all kinds of Christians are being touched by AF."
The meeting was closed to the press and by invitation only. Here is a raw recording of part of the meeting.
The meeting was a display of many old-guard conservative Christian leaders. The event opened with former GOP candidate and neurosurgeon Ben Carson talking about unity, and then Franklin Graham saying a prayer before Trump spoke. Huckabee moderated a question-and-answer session. In introducing Trump, Huckabee told him: “I don’t think anyone here expects you to be theological today. I want to put you at ease. I don’t think anyone here thinks we’re interviewing you to be our next pastor,” he said. “You’re off the hook on the deep theological questions.” Huckabee broke the ice by joking that everyone in the room was happy to see Trump on stage — except he and Carson.
One of the comments by Trump--he said his secret to raising great kids was: "No drugs, no alcohol, no cigarettes." And "if they go to church..it’s a tremendous asset." Trump called religious liberty “the No. 1 question,” and promised to appoint anti-abortion [conservative] Supreme Court justices.
“Some of the people were saying, ‘Let’s pray for our leaders,’” Trump said. “Well, you can pray for your leaders, and I agree with that--pray for everyone. We can’t be, again, politically correct and say we pray for all of our leaders, because all of your leaders are selling Christianity down the tubes, selling evangelicals down the tubes.”
“The relationship and bond you have with your family is one of the most admirable I have ever seen, and is one of the reasons I don’t hesitate to endorse you,” Huckabee later said, according to Ann White, the founder of In Grace Ministries in Georgia, who was in the room for the main event.
During the question-and-answer section, Trump answered questions about various conservative issues. She said James Dobson, the founder of Focus on the Family, opened by saying that “out of 50,000 questions that were submitted for this event, the number one question was about religious liberty.” Trump’s answer: “Number one, we will appoint pro-life, conservative, Supreme Court Justices.” David Jeremiah, the mega-church pastor from California, asked about his stance on Israel.
Trump, who called himself a “believer,” assured religious leaders "I’m on your side."
A new advisory board of 25-members was announced during the meeting. This board is expected to “provide advisory support to Trump on issues important to Christianity and other people of faith in America,” according to a statement from the Trump campaign. Its 25 members were “not asked to endorse Mr. Trump as a prerequisite for participating on the board.”
“But Christianity; I owe so much to it in so many ways through life, through having incredible children. But I also owe it for, frankly, standing here,” Trump said.