Texas televangelist the Rev. Kenneth Copeland, who sits on Donald Trump’s evangelical advisory board, urged viewers of his television program to vote, saying that would be held accountable if they don’t.
“You’re going to be guilty of murder,” the charismatic preacher said on the program. “You’re going to be guilty of an abomination of God. You’re going to be guilty for every baby that’s aborted from this election forward.”
The comments come after the Republican presidential candidate’s lewd comments made in a 2005 video were published on Friday by The Washington Post. Trump’s candidacy, already tearing some evangelical families and relationships apart, continued to divide evangelicals since his comments were made public.
Another megachurch pastor who is a member of Trump’s advisory board called the comments “misogynistic trash that reveals a man to be lecherous and worthless,” saying he is no longer willing to offer more of his time without a “change of heart and direction.”
Copeland’s program, which was uploaded to Copeland’s church’s Vimeo page on Sunday, also featured author David Barton, and pastors George Pearsons and Keith Butler to mobilize conservative Christians to vote.
Don’t cut out of the program, Copeland urged viewers. “I mean we could have another eight years of Hillary Clinton and the worst mess anybody could make out of a nation,” he said. A clip of the program was first published by Right Wing Watch. Those on Copeland’s program spent a good portion of it looking at the Democratic Party’s platform, decrying its abortion rights stance.
Conservative evangelical leaders have been divided in their support for Trump, but many have a long history of distrust for Clinton and especially abhor her position advocating for abortion rights. Many are especially concerned that whoever becomes president will appoint Supreme Court justices that will keep Roe v. Wade, the landmark case on abortion, from being overturned.
On the show, Copeland told viewers that God told him during a prayer that He has been dealing with politicians since biblical times and that America is God’s nation.
“This is God’s nation, and nobody is going to take it away from him,” Copeland shouted. “Now I want to get that clear right now, in the name of Jesus. No man, no woman, no Democrat, no Republican, no socialist, no communist can take this nation away from God! I don’t know what it is about that you can’t understand, but I’m telling you right now God Almighty is head of this nation, not people! Jesus of Nazareth is Lord over the United States.”
Kenneth Copeland Ministries is headquartered in Fort Worth, where a review board found that the ministry’s 1,500-acre campus includes a $6 million church-owned lakefront mansion. The Copelands were among the televangelists targeted in a 2007 Senate investigation since their ministry is not required to file a financial disclosure Form 990 with the IRS because it is designated as a church.
Members of Trumps’s evangelical advisory council advise Trump’s campaign on issues that matter to people of faith, how those issues are articulated, including positions on the Supreme Court nominees, national defense and the economy.
It’s still unclear whether the revelation of Trump’s lewd comments has made any difference among evangelicals planning to vote. Evangelicals have in recent decades voted with the Republican Party regardless of misgivings they may have, such as their support of Mitt Romney, who is Mormon, and their support for Ronald Reagan, who was divorced. The most recent Washington Post-ABC News poll, conducted Sept. 19-22 ahead of the video leak, showed that 52 percent of evangelicals of any race favored Trump, compared with 40 percent who supported Clinton. Among white evangelicals, 71 percent supported Trump while 22 percent supported Clinton.