On Being an Evangelical Senator During the Trump Presidency

Oklahoma politician James Lankford became a US Senator in 2015, the year before Donald Trump officially became the Republican Party’s candidate. Lankford didn’t support Trump in the GOP’s primary but ultimately backed him during the election. “What I really look for in a presidential candidate is someone who is a great role model, and I didn’t get that this time,” said Lankford. “I was very frustrated. I didn’t have a good option. I didn’t have that person who I would say is a great role model for my daughters and for my family.” Lankford has served nearly a decade in Washington, DC. But before that, the Southern Baptist thought he had found his calling as a Christian summer camp director. When he decided to transition, he found peace in his change in calling after observing the Bible’s attention to politics. “There are about 36 and a half books in the Old Testament that are written to, by, or about a political leader. It was often the prophet going to a king, King David writing in a psalm, or Solomon writing in Proverbs,” said Lankford. “A third of the New Testament was written to a political leader: the Book of Luke and the Book of Acts.” Lankford joined associate digital media producer Morgan Lee and editor in chief Mark Galli to discuss why he started a bipartisan Bible study, what he thinks of the president’s tweets, and why he’s challenging white people when it comes to race.

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