In a 2015 op-ed piece for The Daily News, he described the president-elect as the modern-day manifestation of “the ugly phenomenon called nativism” that shaped American politics in the 19th and early 20th centuries. He said voters should “take seriously the Bible’s teaching that we are to welcome the stranger.”
Last week on his radio show, the cardinal said he was “honored” to be invited to take part in the inauguration and said he would have done the same thing had Hillary Clinton won the election.
“It’s not the person, it’s the office, right?” he said. “I pray with prisoners. That doesn’t mean I approve of what they’ve done.”
The Rev. Samuel Rodriguez
Mr. Rodriguez is the president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, an organization that says it represents roughly 100 million Hispanic evangelicals in the United States and Latin America. In a statement, he said that he saw participating in the inauguration as “not just a patriotic honor” but “as a sacred duty.”
Mr. Rodriguez has walked a tightrope in the past, defending Mr. Trump against accusations of racism (he called them “hyperbole from the liberal media”) but also speaking up for undocumented immigrants, many of whom attend evangelical churches.
“The vast majority are not rapists or murderers,” he said in an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network. “They’re actually born-again Christians, committed to biblical orthodoxy or very staunch conservative Catholics. How about that? So they’re not rapists or murderers and we have to find a way of finding a solution. If we’re not going to deport them, how are we going to integrate them?”
Pastor Paula White
Pastor White is a Florida televangelist who is controversial in evangelical circles for her promotion of prosperity gospel, which states that true believers will be blessed not just with eternal salvation but also with health and wealth on Earth. She is also the pastor of a church in Apopka, Fla.
Prosperity gospel is a theological world that has seen some abuse from the misuse of financial donations given to speed the arrival of God’s blessings. The fund-raising practices of Ms. White and other televangelists were investigated by the Senate Finance Committee in 2007, but no wrongdoing was found.
On her website, Pastor White sells a range of spiritual self-help products like books and DVDs and also exhorts followers to make a “first fruits” donation to her ministry, a gift she says is ”mandated by God.”
“Your sacrificial offering will be a seed for blessings for the remainder of the year,” Pastor White wrote. “According to Ezekiel 44, when you present your First Fruits offering, it will cause a blessing to rest upon your house!”
Rabbi Marvin Hier
Rabbi Hier is the founder and dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a Jewish human rights organization named after the 20th-century Nazi hunter and Holocaust survivor.
Critics have called for him to drop out of the inauguration, citing Mr. Trump’s support among white nationalist groups, but the rabbi said participating in the ceremony was a “no-brainer” for him.
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“There are 364 days a year for politics, for the two sides to pile on each other. Three hundred sixty-four days of that is enough,” he said. “Once every four years, the president of United States deserves a pass from both sides from political bickering; otherwise, we weaken our democracy.”
Rabbi Hier will be the first Jewish religious leader to take part in an inaugural ceremony since 1985, he said, a fact that weighed in his decision to attend.
“If a rabbi turned this down and said no?” he said, “It would be a tremendous backlash. Many people would say ‘look at how ungrateful the Jewish community is.’”
The Rev. Franklin Graham
Mr. Graham is the son of Billy Graham, a pioneering televangelist and longtime spiritual adviser to American presidents from both parties.
He has continued much of his father’s work. He is president and chief executive of Samaritan’s Purse and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and has been a vocal Trump supporter.
The day after the election, Mr. Graham wrote on Facebook that Mr. Trump had won because “God’s hand intervened Tuesday night to stop the godless, atheistic progressive agenda from taking control of our country.”
Hundreds of thousands of Christians from across the United States have been praying. This year, they came out to every state capitol to pray for this election and for the future of America. Prayer groups were started. Families prayed. Churches prayed. Then Christians went to the polls, and God showed up.
Bishop Wayne T. Jackson
Bishop Jackson runs Great Faith Ministries International and Impact Television Network, which describes itself as the only Christian network founded and operated by African-Americans.
Bishop Jackson hosted Mr. Trump at his Detroit church and interviewed him on his network last September, a decision which drew criticism from other African-American spiritual leaders because of the president-elect’s comments about minorities.
In the interview, the bishop asked Mr. Trump how he planned to heal the country’s racial divide if he won the presidency. Mr. Trump attributed that polarization to a lack of “spirit” and inner-city poverty and promised to create jobs.
Bishop Jackson defended his visit with Mr. Trump to The Detroit Free Press in August.
“It’s not about being a Judas to my people,” he said. “This is not an endorsement. This is engagement, for him to tell us what he wants to do.”