Americans United for Separation of Church and State Demands Shut Down of Trump’s Evangelical Advisory Council

President Donald Trump joins Judge Neil M. Gorsuch, Louise Gorsuch, and others in prayer in the Green Room of the White House in Washington, D.C.

The Evangelical Advisory Group has given advice to President Trump on several issues.

A letter written by Americans United for Separation of Church and State, a group known for its advocacy for pushing the distinction between the state and various religious bodies, asked the White House to break the Evangelical Advisory Council . The council, set up by U.S. President Donald J. Trump, consists of Christian leaders advising the president. The letter was addressed to Don McGahn, the counsel for the White House. It states that members of a specific religion are provided unfettered access to the American president, and the council's activities can only be described as sensitive.

The letter pointed out it is evident the Evangelical Advisory Board does substantive work with Trump administration officials behind closed doors. These activities are hidden from the public, and it is obscured to people outside the board to know as to how decisions are being made and the reason behind them. Rachel Laser, the CEO and President of Americans United, said they are tired of watching the president provide unprecedented influence and access to one specific religious group. She said they are tired of such secret activities and thus want the president to shut the advisory down.

It is to be noted that the Evangelical Advisory Group has given advice to President Trump on several issues, including judicial appointments and tax reforms. It is, however, a contentious matter as to whether the council functions. A spokesperson for the committee told a media house that the council presently exists solely on paper. If the spokesperson is to be believed, the council exists only in name. Johnnie Moore, the spokesperson, asserted that no such board exists. The term, according to him, can be construed as a slang which got carried over from the Trump presidential campaign into the Trump administration. He said that the White House does not entertain any faith advisory board of any sort.

The evangelical advisory board came into existence during the presidential campaign. Members of the board have met multiple times from the time Donald Trump became the president of the United States. Although the Trump administration is in denial of the board's existence, the members were honored in August at an event held in the White House itself. The event was described by many as a "state dinner." Robert Jeffress, a Dallas pastor, and a known Trump adviser, even described the event as “half campaign rally and half state dinner.”

Resources

Follow the Conversation on Twitter