This Two Shall Pass…

Barb Wire

Donald Trump is exposing a lot of Americans to the New Testament — not exactly on purpose. His reference to “Two” Corinthians got quite a few chuckles at Liberty University, but several evangelicals weren’t laughing, especially when Donald explained on CNN where the verse came from: me. “Tony Perkins wrote that out for me — he actually wrote out 2, he wrote out the number 2 Corinthians,” Trump said. “I took exactly what Tony said, and I said, ‘Well Tony has to know better than anybody.'”

Like a lot of Christians, I took for granted that Donald knew the books of the Bible. But yes, I did write out “2 Corinthians.” As I told Erin Burnett on CNN, I’m guilty as charged. But several people on social media think I’m guilty of something else: secretly supporting Donald Trump. And on the heels of Sarah Palin’s endorsement, there are a couple of things I need to assure you of. One, I do know my books of the Bible. Secondly, I have not yet made an endorsement of any candidate in this election. (Although that’s not to say I won’t in the near or distant future.)

First and foremost, I am an advocate for values issues. As president of Family Research Council, that’s my job. Our primary purpose is to advance these ideas: faith, family, and freedom. Every election cycle, I tell the candidates — all of the candidates — that if they want to talk to me or to our team about these topics or know more about the evangelical and social conservative community, I invite them to call me. We want to help them communicate a message and understand the values at stake.

Eighteen months ago, FRC’s leaders made a determination that we were going to make religious liberty a top tier issue in this presidential campaign. And I’m thankful to say — a year and a half later — that it is a theme of this election. In part, because FRC made it one. Even Secretary Hillary Clinton is talking about the genocide against Christians in the Middle East! Now, I’ve been to events with Governor Mike Huckabee for Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis, and I’ve joined Senator Ted Cruz (Texas) in South Carolina at a religious freedom rally. I’ve spoken to every presidential candidate on the Republican side (only because the Democrats haven’t called) — except Governors John Kasich (Ohio) and Chris Christie (N.J.).

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But I’ve also had several conversations with Donald Trump — and in one of the most recent, he mentioned that he was speaking at Liberty University. When I told him Liberty was my alma mater, he asked if I could provide a couple of thoughts about what he should focus on. So I did. I mentioned the theme verse of the university from 2 Corinthians (which he called “two” Corinthians) and suggested he highlight religious liberty. The reality is, I talk to all of the candidates — and I make no apologies for that. That’s why I’m here. I want to help everyone understand these issues and be able to communicate with you and what motivates evangelical voters. One of them is going to be president, and I hope along the way that we influence where they stand on these issues. For more, check out my interview from last night CNN’s “Outfront with Erin Burnett.”

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.

Tony Perkins
Tony Perkins is president of the Washington, D.C.-based Family Research Council. He is a former member of the Louisiana legislature where he served for eight years, and he is recognized as a legislative pioneer for authoring measures like the nation’s first Covenant Marriage law. (Via FRC’s Washington Update. Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.)

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