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Trump supports the Ten Commandments in schools and implores evangelical Christians to vote in November

WASHINGTON: Donald Trump told a group of evangelicals that they “cannot afford to sit on the sidelines” of the 2024 election, at one point imploring them to “get out and vote, Christians, please!”
During a Saturday speech to a group of politically influential evangelical Christians in Washington, Trump also supported displaying the Ten Commandments in schools and other places. He drew cheers when he invoked a new law signed this week in Louisiana requiring the Ten Commandments to be posted in every public school classroom.
“Has anyone read Thou Shalt Not Steal?” I mean, has anyone read this amazing stuff? It’s just unbelievable,” Trump said at a meeting of the Faith and Freedom Coalition. “They don’t want it to go up. It’s a crazy world.”
A day earlier, Trump posted support for the new law on social media, saying: “I love the Ten Commandments in public schools, private schools and many other places. READ – HOW CAN WE AS A NATION MAKE A MISTAKE?”
The former president and presumptive Republican presidential nominee supported the move in an attempt to galvanize his supporters on the religious right, which has fiercely backed him after he was initially suspicious of the twice-divorced New York tabloid star when he first ran for president in 2016 .
That support continues despite his conviction in the first of four criminal cases he faces, and last month a jury found him guilty of falsifying business records in what prosecutors say was an attempt to cover up a hush money payment to porn actor Stormy.’ Daniels’ ego. before the 2016 election. Daniels claims she had sexual intercourse with Trump ten years earlier, which she denies.
Trump’s expressed opposition to signing a nationwide abortion ban and his reluctance to detail some of his views on the issue are at odds with many in the evangelical movement, a key part of Trump’s base that is expected to help him win votes in a November election rematch with Democratic President Joe Biden.
But while many in the movement would like to see him do more to restrict abortion, they are rooting for him as the cause’s biggest advocate because of his role in appointing the U.S. Supreme Court justices who struck down the nation’s abortion laws in 2022.
Trump highlighted that Saturday by saying, “We did something amazing,” but that was left up to the people in the states to decide.
“Every voter must follow their heart and do the right thing, but we must also get elected,” he said.
While Trump continues to take credit for overturning Roe v. Wade, he also warned that abortion could be politically difficult for Republicans. For months, he deferred questions about his position on the national ban.
Last year, Trump spoke to the Faith and Freedom Coalition and said that “the federal government plays an essential role in protecting unborn life,” but provided no details beyond that.
In April this year, Trump said he believed the issue should now be left to the states. He later stated in an interview that he would not sign a nationwide abortion ban if it was passed by Congress. He still refused to provide details of his position on women’s access to the abortion pill mifepristone.
According to a poll last year by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, about two-thirds of Americans believe abortion should be legal.
Participants at Saturday’s evangelical rally said that while they would like to see a nationwide ban on abortion, Trump is not losing any of his deep support.
“I would prefer if he signed a nationwide ban,” said Jerri Dickinson, a 78-year-old retired social worker and Faith & Freedom member from New Jersey. “However, I understand that, according to the Constitution, this decision should remain with the states.”
Dickinson said she could not abolish her state’s abortion law, which did not set limits on the procedure based on gestational age. But she said that, apart from preferring a national ban, leaving the issue to the state “is the best alternative.”
About 8 in 10 white evangelical Christian voters supported Trump in 2020, and nearly 4 in 10 Trump voters identified as white evangelical Christians, according to AP VoteCast, a large-scale survey of the electorate. That year, white evangelical Christians made up about 20 percent of the total electorate.
In addition to offering its own support in the general election, the Faith and Freedom Coalition plans to help generate votes for Trump and other Republicans, with the goal of using volunteers and paid workers to knock on millions of doors in battleground states.
Trump also rallied voters in Philadelphia on Saturday, delivering a speech focused largely on violent crimes and telling fans in the arena that he would give police officers immunity from prosecution.
“Under Crooked Joe’s rule, the City of Brotherly Love is ravaged by bloodshed and crime,” he said. “We will increase federal law enforcement resources in places that need them most.”
Philadelphia City Comptroller statistics show there were 410 homicides in 2023, a 20% decrease from 2022.
Tyler Cecconi, 25, of Richmond, Virginia, said he’s glad Trump is getting out of his comfort zone and going to places that may not be red. A digital banner hung at the site reading “Philadelphia is Trump country.”
“He shows people that whether you vote for him or not, whether it’s a blue county or a red county, it doesn’t matter to him,” Cecconi said. “The president is for everyone in this country.”
Republican Party candidate for Pennsylvania Senate, Dave McCormick, attended a rally and appeared on stage to talk to voters about the economy and immigration.
“This economy doesn’t work for most Pennsylvanians and it doesn’t work for most Americans,” McCormick said.
During both events, Trump returned to the topic of the U.S.-Mexico border several times and, while describing migrants crossing it as “difficult,” said he had told his friend Dana White, president of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, to get them involved in a new version of the sport.
“Why don’t you form an immigrant league and have your own regular league of players. And then you have the champion of your league. These are the best fighters in the world fighting a migrant champion,” Trump described to White. “I think the immigrant can win, he’s that tough. He didn’t really like the idea.”
Biden’s campaign responded to Trump’s remarks by saying it was “appropriate” that Trump, a convicted felon, spent time at a religious conference threatening immigration and “bragging about depriving Americans of their freedom.”
“Trump’s incoherent and senseless tirade showed voters in his own words that he is a threat to our freedoms and is too dangerous to be allowed anywhere near the White House again,” campaign spokeswoman Sarafina Chitika said in a statement.

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