Ivanka Trump, feckless daughter of U.S. President Donald Trump, recently made a $50,000 personal donation to the Prestonwood Baptist Church, a megachurch in Plano, Texas, the senior pastor of which, Jack Graham, has a history of making anti-LGBTQ statements. While the Ivanka Trump donation was ostensibly made to help the church care for immigrant children being detained by Ivanka’s father at the southern U.S. border, her private donation comes after a long silence by both her and the church over her father’s immoral actions.
Jack Graham in particular represents the type of anti-LGBTQ evangelical that Trump has aligned himself with, as 81% of evangelical voters supported Trump in the last election.
In 2014 Jack Graham fought against a non-discrimination ordinance in Plano. In 2015 he blasted marriage equality, calling same-sex marriage “outside God’s plan” and “a course for disaster in our beloved nation.” In 2016 he encouraged voters to choose Trump after the infamous Access Hollywood “grab ’em by the pussy” tapes emerged, and in 2017 Graham reiterated his support for Donald after the president called the white supremacist demonstrators in Charlottesville, Virginia, “some very fine people.”
But before Donald Trump signed a June 20 executive order reversing his administration’s “zero tolerance” policy of separating immigrant children and their parents at the U.S. border, neither Ivanka nor Jack Graham had ever publicly criticized the administration’s zero-tolerance policy. The extent of Graham’s commentary came in a single June 19 tweet (below), which sought fundraising to help care for children detained at the border.
We @Prestonwood are currently working to provide solutions to care for children during this terrible immigration crisis. Our Espanol ministry let by Gilberto Corredera is stepping up to the challenge to express the love of Jesus. We are broken-hearted and determined to act
— Jack Graham (@jackngraham) June 19, 2018
One could see Graham’s tweet as a comment against the child detentions, carefully expressing compassion while also avoiding blame, though he doesn’t hold Trump accountable.
After Donald Trump signed the June 20 executive order, both Ivanka and Graham finally piped up, thanking him for ending what he started.
Thank you @POTUS for taking critical action ending family separation at our border. Congress must now act + find a lasting solution that is consistent with our shared values;the same values that so many come here seeking as they endeavor to create a better life for their families
— Ivanka Trump (@IvankaTrump) June 20, 2018
Thank you Mr President @POTUS for responding to the immigration crisis with compassion and conviction. Your commitment to American values and security displays the character of your presidency
— Jack Graham (@jackngraham) June 20, 2018
Many thought Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner would be beacons of hope in the White House, persuading the president to sway left on issues they once considered important. For example, Ivanka and Kushner allegedly discouraged Donald Trump from singing an anti-LGBT executive order back in February 2017. But as Trump’s stances on LGBT issues and health care have become more detrimental, Ivanka’s lack of influence has become more apparent.
While Ivanka Trump has been complicit in letting her father’s policies go without public comment (perhaps because she doesn’t want to be written out of the will?), Graham’s complicity is worse. He’s content not to criticize Donald Trump’s corrupt and immoral policies for the hope that he will instate pro-evangelical policies and judges to help curb reproductive and LGBTQ rights nationwide. That’s a deal with the devil if we’ve ever heard of one.