It has been widely reported that A. R. Bernard announced his resignation today from President Trump’s evangelical council of advisors. Tonight Rev. Bernard appeared on Don Lemon’s show on CNN to discuss his resignation.
Lemon asked Bernard why he stepped away. Bernard said that he hoped he would have influence but it did not turn out that way. He said some of the white evangelical leaders had the ability to speak directly to Trump but many did not. It turned out to be a kind of photo op.
On his reaction to Trump’s statements regarding Charlottesville, Bernard said that he is a black man who lives in America and who is also a Christian. He has had to think more about how to speak up on racial issues and that is not a reality that white evangelical leaders understand.
Asked by Lemon what he would like to see from the white evangelical leaders remaining on the council, Bernard said he hopes they will make strong statements on Trump’s response to Charlottesville. He doesn’t think they have to abandon him to do so.
I agree. I would like to see evangelical leaders use their access for good. They should be out front in condemning Trump’s response to the Charlottesville tragedy. However, unfortunately, some are lauding the president. Just tonight Robert Jeffress, one of the leading court evangelicals, came out with a supportive tweet.
Honored to serve @POTUS on his Faith Initiative Council. He has done more in 6 mo. to protect religious liberty than any pres. in history.
— Dr. Robert Jeffress (@robertjeffress) August 19, 2017
I suspect this isn’t the kind of response Rev. Bernard was hoping for.
The full written statement of Rev. Bernard is below:
My statement regarding my resignation from the President's Evangelical Advisory Board. pic.twitter.com/Ocae6SQxjZ
— A. R. Bernard (@ARBernard) August 18, 2017