Religion News Service: Neither coronation nor inquisition expected when Trump meets evangelicals

(RNS) When presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump meets behind closed doors with conservative Christians from across the country, no one expects a coronation.

But neither will there be an inquisition, according to organizers.

Rather, the event is being billed as a conversation.

“It’s an opportunity for him to know more of this group better, for this group to know him better. It is conciliatory in tone,” said Johnnie Moore, national spokesperson for My Faith Votes, a nonpartisan movement encouraging Christians to vote.

About 900 conservative Christians, mostly evangelicals, have been invited to attend “A Conversation About America’s Future with Donald Trump and Ben Carson” on Tuesday (June 21) in New York City.

The event, hosted by My Faith Votes and United in Purpose, grew out of the idea “we as Christian leaders need to be dialoguing with whoever is going to be the next president of the United States,” according to United in Purpose CEO Bill Dallas. Organizers plan to extend the same invitation to Hillary Clinton now that she has become the presumptive Democratic nominee, he said.

Dallas said the guest list, which has not been released, includes TV and radio personalities, Christians with large social media and grass-roots reach and pastors of different sized churches.

“We have some megachurch pastors that have churches of over 20,000 that are going to be in attendance, but we also have some churches that are smaller,” with 200-300 members, he said. 

Former Southern Baptist Convention President Ronnie Floyd confirmed in an op-ed for Fox News published in late May that he plans to attend, even though Russell Moore, president of Southern Baptists’ Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, has been outspokenly opposed to Trump.

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