White House Asked Pastor to Pray for Trump – Then Claimed President Was Praying for Shooting Victims
Sunday afternoon the White House called a Virginia church to say President Donald Trump would be arriving within minutes and would like the pastor to pray for him. McLean Bible Church's pastor, David Platt, was stunned and had no time to plan or even decide whether or not this was something he should do.
But in a letter to his congregation, Platt says he and his fellow pastors spent the few minutes they had deliberating backstage – while in the middle of afternoon services. They decided to follow the Bible, which says to pray for your leaders, as The Washington Post reports.
President Trump showed up in khakis, a polo, a blazers, and, reportedly, golf cleats. Some, including George Conway, say he appeared unshowered.
... which the pastor does. But the White House lies to the public and says the prayers are for the victims of the shooting in Virginia Beach. Many in the evangelical congregation understandably take offense at Trump’s political, narcissistic use of their church, ...
— George Conway (@gtconway3d) June 4, 2019
And Pastor Platt prayed for Trump while the President was on stage.
The White House later released a statement saying the President went to the Virginia church to pray for the victims of Friday's Virginia Beach shooting in which 12 people were shot to death.
""President Donald J. Trump is visiting McLean Bible Church in Vienna, VA, to visit with the Pastor and pray for the victims and community of Virginia Beach," the statement, released by White House spokesperson Judd Deere, said, according to CNN.
The Post and CNN note that "there was no mention of the shooting" or its victims during the five minutes Trump was on stage. In Platt's prayer "he asked God to bestow grace, mercy and wisdom on Trump," and "also included prayers for other national and state leaders, including those in Congress and the courts."
Now Pastor Platt, who has made it a point to not take sides in politics, although he has publicly opposed nationalism, is being forced to defend his decision.
"My aim was in no way to endorse the president, his policies, or his party, but to obey God’s command to pray for our president and other leaders to govern in the way this passage portrays," Platt wrote in his open letter to his congregation.
"I know that some within our church, for a variety of valid reasons, are hurt that I made this decision," Platt continued. "This weighs heavy on my heart. I love every member of this church, and I only want to lead us with God’s Word in a way that transcends political party and position, heals the hurts of racial division and injustice, and honors every man and woman made in the image of God."
Pastor Platt embedded video of the surprise event at the bottom of his open letter. In it, it's clear he seems concerned about how his congregants might feel about praying for President Trump.
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