5 Trump Cabinet Members and Their Christian Faith

5 Trump Cabinet Members and Their Christian Faith
President Donald Trump’s cabinet has been a bit rocky lately, what with recent hirings and firings, but several of those who have stayed with the administration are people of faith.Of these cabinet members, some are supported or opposed by different faith groups; others have made public statements or taken actions regarding different faith groups.

Here is a list of four of Trump’s cabinet members and a description of their relationship to religion.

Photo courtesy: WhiteHouse.gov

1. JEFF SESSIONS

U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama was the first senator to endorse Trump. Now he’s the president-elect’s pick for U.S. attorney general.

Sessions previously was a prosecutor for the Justice Department. (He was denied a federal judgeship over testimony that he had made racist remarks.) He’s made clear he’s “not happy” about the direction the department has taken under President Obama’s administration, calling its refusal to defend a federal ban on same-sex marriage “shameful,” according to The New York Times.

Sessions attended Huntingdon College in Montgomery, affiliated with the United Methodist Church, and is active in his family’s church, Ashland Place United Methodist Church in Mobile, where he’s served as a lay leader, Sunday school teacher and chairman of its administrative board. He also has been selected as a delegate to the annual Alabama United Methodist Conference.

2. MIKE POMPEO

U.S. Rep. Mike Pompeo, who was elected in 2010 as part of the Tea Party movement, is Trump’s choice for director of the CIA.

In Congress, the Kansas Republican has supported conservative Christians’ stance on abortion rights, voting to defund Planned Parenthood and telling The Associated Press he believed abortions only should be allowed to save the life of the mother.

He has drawn reproach from the Council on American-Islamic Relations for some of his comments about Muslims. Months after the Boston Marathon bombing, he said, “The silence of Muslim leaders has been deafening.” CAIR pointed out that a number of Muslim institutions had issued statements condemning the bombing and calling for prayer and humanitarian aid.

He also played a key role in a controversy that led a Wichita, Kan., mosque to cancel a speaking engagement by a man some considered a supporter of terrorism.

Pompeo; his wife, Susan; and their son, Nicholas, reportedly attend Eastminster Presbyterian Church, where he serves as a deacon and has taught the fifth-grade Sunday school class.

 

Photo courtesy: Flickr.com

 

  • 3. BETSY DEVOS

    Betsy DeVos, Trump’s pick for secretary of education, has many church-state separationists on the alert for her support of school vouchers — the use of public money to send children to private, often religious, schools. Vouchers are a darling of the evangelical Christian set and Vice President-elect Mike Pence.

    DeVos has deep roots in the Christian Reformed denomination, graduating from Calvin College and attending Mars Hill Bible Church in Grand Rapids, Mich. Her husband, Dick DeVos, is a former candidate for Michigan governor who supported the teaching of “intelligent design” in public schools.

    Sen. Lamar Alexander, the Republican chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, has called her an “excellent choice” for the role. But Casey Brescia, communications director for the lobbying group Secular Coalition for America, writes that by selecting DeVos, “the incoming Trump Administration intentionally might have gone out of it’s way to choose a candidate that would reward the religious right for their unwavering loyalty during the campaign.”

  • 4. NIKKI HALEY

    Nikki Haley, the Republican governor of South Carolina, is being considered as ambassador to the United Nations.

    Haley was born into a Sikh family that immigrated to South Carolina from India. She converted to Christianity after marrying Michael Haley in 1996. She now attends a Methodist church but occasionally visits Sikh temples with her parents.

    In 2010, Haley updated a statement about her faith on her website, taking it from a general belief in God to a specific belief in Jesus. “My faith in Christ has a profound impact on my daily life and I look to Him for guidance with every decision I make,” the website said. “God has blessed my family in so many ways and my faith in the Lord gives me great strength on a daily basis. Being a Christian is not about words, but about living for Christ every day.”

     

     

     

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  • 5. MIKE PENCE

    Mike Pence, as Donald Trump’s vice president, is also part of his cabinet.

    Pence is well-known for his conservatisim and his strong Christian faith. In a recent interview, Pence even stated, “President Trump is a believer and so am I.”

    “I have to tell you, the sweetest words the president and I ever hear, and we hear them a lot, are when people grab us by the hand and say, ‘We’re praying for you,'” he added.

    Pence is an evangelical Christian, and has described himself as “a Christian, a conservative, and a Republican, in that order.”

    Pence’s faith appears to deeply influence his politics, especially when it comes to pro-life issues. He spoke at the 2017 March for Life and introduced President Trump who spoke at the March for Life this year (2018).