Donald Trump, the Republican presidential nominee, has claimed that if Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton wins the election, evangelicals will lose their religious freedom.
In an interview with David Brody of CBN that was posted online on Thursday, Trump was asked about how he will get evangelical voters to turn out strong for him.
“Is it about the base at this point, to make sure evangelicals, who are a big part of the base, that they get out, because do you believe evangelicals are the ones … that are going to get you over the top, here?” asked Brody.
Trump responded that he believed if evangelicals turned out in force he was going to win the election. He then told Brody that he believed he needed to win in light of attacks on religious liberty in America.
“The truth is, religious liberty is under tremendous stress. Second Amendment is under stress, if Hillary Clinton gets in you’re not going to have religious liberty,” said Trump.
“You’re not going to have the Second Amendment. So many different things. You’re not going to have a termination of the Johnson Amendment.”
Trump went on to state that current President Barack Obama has been “catastrophic for evangelicals,” specifically on “a lot of the things we stand for.”
During the presidential campaign season, Clinton has weathered many allegations from conservative entities that if elected president she will enact “Christophobic” policies.
In an op-ed for The Christian Post, evangelical theologian Michael Brown warned conservative Christians that if Clinton should become president “she will declare war on certain aspects of your faith.”
“Your religious liberties will be targeted, and your biblical beliefs will be branded disturbing, if not downright dangerous,” he wrote.
Earlier this month, Wikileaks posted a large number of Clinton campaign emails, which among other things showed staff members of the campaign talking disparagingly about conservative Catholics and evangelicals.
In response, several notable Christian leaders, including Florida Pastor Paula White, former Congresswoman Michele Bachmann and National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference President the Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, signed an open letter calling on Clinton to apologize for the remarks.
“As Christian leaders, Catholic and Evangelical, we collectively express our outrage at the demeaning and troubling rhetoric used by those within Clinton campaign — and those associated with the campaign — to describe our communities,” stated the letter.
“It is especially alarming that the Chairman of the Clinton Campaign, John Podesta, was copied on these emails between Jennifer Palmieri, now director of communications for the Clinton campaign, and a fellow at Podesta’s Center for American Progress. Podesta’s refusal to raise any objection makes him equally party to this bigotry. It is inexcusable. It is shameful. It is un-American.”
Some, including Eric Sapp of the Eleison Group, have defended the Clinton campaign from allegations of Christophobia, labeling the objections that people have had with the anti-Catholic remarks hypocritical.
“Where were these (mostly Protestant) defenders of Catholic feelings when their fellow signer Michele Bachmann spent most of her Congressional career proudly proclaiming her membership in the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, which teaches that the Pope is the anti-Christ?” wrote Sapp in a column for The Christian Post.
“Where was this outrage when political operatives in the Bush White House were outed for calling evangelicals ‘nuts, goofy, insane, and ridiculous?’ Where were these leaders so upset that a Democrat would dare question another’s faith when Mormon Glenn Beck said President Obama’s faith was based on a ‘perversion of the gospel of Jesus Christ?'”