The Freedom From Religion Foundation is condemning the Trump administration’s decision to place a talentless preacher on the federal payroll.
The White House recently announced that Paula White, a spiritual counselor to President Trump, is joining the White House staff on the Faith and Opportunity Initiative. She’ll get a federal government salary and will be having sway in directing millions of federal funds.
FFRF called on President Obama on the cusp of the Trump presidency to dismantle the very office in which White will now work. The office was created by President George W. Bush to funnel taxpayer money to churches and religious organizations, in violation of the Constitution and to reward political supporters. FFRF valiantly sued over the office’s creation, but the Supreme Court ruled that FFRF and, in fact, virtually no one, had the right to challenge the presidential action.
“This kind of appointment shows precisely why government and religion should be kept separate,” says FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor. “Paula White has no skills or qualifications for this job.”
White and President Trump have a long history. And the prosperity gospel White preaches aligns with Trump’s way of looking at the world. Last September, FFRF’s legal team reported White to the IRS for violating the ban on politicking by church and nonprofits. [Note: Trump has repeatedly claimed that he has destroyed the Johnson Amendment, which bars church politicking, but FFRF sued the Trump administration and forced it to admit in court — twice — that that ban on politicking is still in place.]
When the twice-divorced Paula White prayed for the twice-divorced Donald Trump this summer, she grafted her Christian nationalism and prosperity gospel onto the president:
I come to you in the name of Jesus. … Father, you have raised President Trump up for a time such as this … Let every evil veil of deception of the enemy be removed from people’s eyes, in the name which is above every name, the name of Jesus Christ. … Let every demonic network that has aligned itself against the purpose, against the calling of President Trump, let it be broken, let it be torn down in the name of Jesus … We secure victory in the name which is above every name, the name that has never failed for this nation … the name of Jesus Christ.
In the name of our godless and secular Constitution, the Freedom From Religion Foundation will continue to fight against the faith initiative and the rampant Christian Nationalism of this administration.