The President and the first lady opted to ditch their traditional Christmas Eve plans to spend some time courting evangelical voters in West Palm Beach.
According to the Palm Beach Post, President Trump and Melania Trump veered off course at the last minute, deciding against attending a Christmas Eve service at their traditional Bethesda By the Sea Episcopal Church and went to the Southern Baptist affiliated Family Church Downtown. The more liberal Episcopal church is where the Trumps were wed and where their son, Barron Trump, was baptized.
Family Church Downtown is nuzzled alongside Palm Beach Atlantic, a well known evangelical Christian school.
While the motive for the surprise visit is unclear, it’s the second time in the past week that Trump has made a concerted effort to appeal to evangelical voters, an effort that was unrolled, coincidently, just after the publication of a scathing editorial in a prominent evangelical magazine calling for Trump’s removal from office. When Trump arrived in Florida earlier this week, the White House announced the President would be attending the kick-off rally for a new coalition called “Evangelicals For Trump” next month.
Trump responded predictably to the Christianity Today editorial last week, insulting the publication — which was founded by the late evangelical heavy weight Billy Graham — as a “far left” magazine. Since the editorial was published, more than 200 Trump-aligned evangelical leaders have spoken out against the piece in the form of a letter, which was signed by Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. and former congresswoman Michele Bachmann, among others.