President Donald Trump, for the first time in his presidency, spoke at the Values Voter Summit on Friday morning, addressing the Las Vegas shooting massacre, religious liberty issues, our nation’s history of Judeo-Christian values, and Christmas.
Addressing one of his core constituencies, Trump didn’t hold back when discussing some of the key issues important to evangelicals and Christians around the country. He opened his speech by mentioning the tragedy in Las Vegas and the need for prayer at this difficult time.
“America is a nation of believers, and together we are strengthened and sustained by the power of prayer. As we gather for this tremendous event, our hearts remain sad and heavy for the victims of the horrific mass murder last week in Las Vegas,” Trump said.
The president also didn’t hold back on the issue of religious liberty and respect for human life.
“We cherish the sacred dignity of every human life. We believe in strong families and safe communities. We honor the dignity of work. We defend our constitution. We protect religious liberty,” he said.
When discussing religious liberty, Trump hit on an important issue involving our nation’s history of free speech and of allowing prayer into the public sphere.
“We stand united behind the customs, beliefs and traditions that define who we are as a nation and as a people. George Washington said that religion and morality are indispensable. To America’s happiness, really prosperity and totally to its success, it is our faith and our values that inspires us to give with charity, to act with courage, and to sacrifice for what we know is right,” he said. “The American founders invoked our creator four times in the declaration of Independence, four times.”
“How times have changed, but you know what? Now they’re changing back again. Just remember that. That’s right. Benjamin Franklin reminded his colleagues at the Constitutional Convention to begin by bowing their heads in prayer. Religious liberty is enshrined in the very First Amendment of the Bill of Rights. And we all pledge allegiance to very, very beautifully one nation under God,” Trump continued.
The president also touched on a topic that he often discussed on the campaign trail — that our culture should welcome back people and say “Merry Christmas” around the holidays.
“We are stopping cold the attacks on Judeo-Christian values,” Trump said. “You know we’re getting near that beautiful Christmas season that people don’t talk about anymore. They don’t use the word ‘Christmas’ because it’s not politically correct. You go to department stores and they’ll say ‘Happy New Year’ or say other things and it will be red. They’ll have it painted but they don’t say — guess what, we’re saying ‘Merry Christmas’ again.”
“We know that it’s the family and the church, not government officials, that know best how to create strong and loving communities,” he said. “And above all else, we know this. In America we don’t worship government — we worship God.”