Tags: Donald Trump | Religion | president donald trump | pastor van moody | prison reform | workforce development

Alabama Minister Defends Black Faith Leaders' Meeting With Trump

Alabama Minister Defends Black Faith Leaders' Meeting With Trump
Pastor Van Moody (Source: Twitter)

By    |   Friday, 03 August 2018 11:06 PM

An Alabama minister Friday defended his decision to meet with President Donald Trump and asked that he and other black faith leaders not be attacked for working with the president to help the nation.

Van Moody, founding pastor of The Worship Center Christian Church in Birmingham, Alabama, was one of a group of inner-city faith leaders to speak with the president at the White House Wednesday to talk about the church and its role in building up the community, especially with prison reform and workforce development for former prisoners.

"I did receive a tremendous amount of blowback, a lot of name calling," Moody told Fox News' Laura Ingraham on "The Ingraham Angle." "A number of individuals that have been a part of a number of things that I've done, books that I've written, conferences and other ministry opportunities have said that they're leaving and many people expressed a lot of anger and frustration because I was there but also because one of the comments that I made I think was misunderstood and taken out of context when I thanked President Trump for him having a heart for all people as it relates to this issue of prison reform and workforce development."

"Unfortunately, the political and cultural climate in our country has plummeted to such a petty and disturbing place that I fully expected I might be attacked afterwards," Moody posted earlier in the day in an opinion piece for Fox News. However, he explained that he believes the ability to help others who are "marginalized, disenfranchised and voiceless is important pursuit, and I remain committed to the cause of Christ beyond pettiness and politics."

Friday night, another minister who was at the meeting, Pastor Darrell Scott of Cleveland Heights, Ohio, told Ingraham that he believes Trump to be one of the most "proactive" presidents in modern history.

"It's time to put those identity politics aside, put this pettiness aside, try to suppress this black/white divide and sit down and have meaningful, productive dialogue that can lead to meaningful, productive change in this country," said Scott. "President Trump has the potential to be the most pro-black president in my lifetime because all of the presidents, and I've lived under 12 different presidents, the prior 11 were all reactive towards the black community. Even our great icons, Johnson and Kennedy, they were reactive towards social upheaval. President Trump is being proactive towards the black community."

Democratic strategist Antjuan Seawright, the CEO of Blueprint Strategy, was also on Ingraham's show, and strongly disagreed. 

"I think that's disappointing," Seawright said. "Keep in mind I'm not a pastor, but I grew up in the church. I know a little bit about leadership. My uncle was the 133rd elected bishop in the church. And what I do know is that when a pastor steps out or in the pulpit, they represent the hearts and the minds of the entire congregation. This president has not had the best interest of African-Americans."

Meanwhile, in his opinion piece, Moody said he and other leaders who met with the president were attacked in their churches, local communities and from others nationally.

"Our statements, and even the opening prayer, came under intense scrutiny and our remarks were also taken out of context in order to generate click-bait headlines," said Moody.

He also said he's been criticized for thanking Trump for "caring for all people," as there have been some who have wrongly concluded that means he has agreed with everything the president has done.

"The president expressed to us that he is concerned about the incredible challenges our prisoners and former prisoners face under the current system," said Moody. "He said his administration is currently working on prison reform legislation to help. He thanked President Trump for this and for 'caring for all people,' meaning I am encouraged and hopeful about his desire for prison reform, his wish to help the formerly incarcerated, and his determination to partner with the faith-based community on important issues affecting the community."

He pointed out that he is on record as disagreeing with Trump, including on immigration.

What is most disturbing, Moody said, is that the reaction "shows the vitriol and contempt that is present even when President Trump's efforts are positive and will clearly help those who need it most."

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An Alabama minister Friday defended his decision to meet with President Donald Trump and asked that he and other black faith leaders not be attacked for working with the president to help the nation. Van Moody, founding pastor of The Worship Center Christian Church in...
president donald trump, pastor van moody, prison reform, workforce development
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2018-06-03
Friday, 03 August 2018 11:06 PM
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