Samantha Bee ventured to church on Full Frontal to learn more about why evangelicals still support the president. She interviewed pastor A.R. Bernard, the only religious leader to leave President Donald Trump‘s evangelical advisory board in August after his weak response to white supremacists and neo-Nazis who sparked violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Bernard said he originally took the position so that he could be “a minority voice at the table to help influence policy, ideas, initiatives.” Bernard recalled a dinner with Trump in May where he was able to speak with the President about issues concerning the inner city, but the pastor suggested the President was hardly interested. “It was like a person who was so fascinated with being where they are, that that was the most important thing,” he said.
However, Bernard said he realized during the second meeting of the advisory board that he would not be able to affect any change. While Bernard said he believed that the people would be able to properly judge the actions — or lack of action — of the advisory board, he urged his colleagues in the evangelical community to “hold [Trump] accountable. Put your relationship, your access at risk. Be willing to walk away, be willing to demonstrate that you have a set of convictions beyond just your redemptive motivations for his soul. You have a responsibility to a nation.”
Bee closed with the most pressing question: “Is Donald Trump going to Heaven?” adding quickly, “We’re in a holy place, you cannot lie.” While Bernard deferred with a laugh, Bee took it upon herself to crack, “I’ll say it — there’s no way.”