It’s an early spring day in March inside the White House Rose Garden, the picturesque space bordering the Oval Office and the West Wing of the famed executive mansion. Trees that ring the gardens are leafing out, and the aromatic scent of colorful flowers fills the air.
The President of the United States strolls to the podium. Smiling, he acknowledges those gathered, turns a few pages and begins to address the crowd.
“I have seen first‐hand how basic spiritual beliefs and deeds can shatter barriers,” he begins. “I have seen those barriers crumble in the presence of faith and hope, and from this experience I have drawn new hope that the seemingly insurmountable … issues that we face at home and abroad today can be resolved by men of strong faith and men of brave deeds.”
“But that can happen, only if the separation of church and state does not mean the divorce of spiritual values from secular affairs. The identity of private morality and public conscience is as deeply rooted in our tradition and Constitution as the principle of legal separation.”
The crowd cheers – and the press obligingly relays the president’s words to the world.
A scene from President Trump’s recent Coronavirus Taskforce update featuring an array of private and public sector heroes updating the American people on the nation’s progress against its invisible enemy?
The above scene was from March 25th, 1964 – President Lyndon Johnson’s address to 150 leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention. He was urging them to support passage of the forthcoming civil rights bill.
Nobody in the press corps or government challenged the Democrat president’s spiritual imagery, of course. Why would they? A nation founded upon a Judeo-Christian heritage rightly frames challenges from a faith-rich perspective.
Unfortunately, nobody told that to critics of President Trump or those of his friend, Mike Lindell, the founder and CEO of MyPillow.
At yesterday’s coronavirus update from the Rose Garden, the spirited executive, whose company is converting 75% of its factories to help make medical equipment to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, invoked the power of God’s Word and prayer in the quest to rid the nation of this crisis.
“I encourage you to use this time at home to get back in the Word,” Lindell shared from behind the presidential lectern. “Read our Bibles and spend time with our families.”
Within minutes, Lindell, who has a dramatic Christian testimony – including being delivered from a drug addiction – was being mocked and maligned in social and national media.
Never mind that his company will be making 50,000 masks a day. Rather than complimenting the effort, journalists and columnists mocked his presence and remarks.
Norm Ornstein, a contributing editor to the Atlantic, tweeted, “Mike Lindell is an awful human being. An utter embarrassment to my home state of Minnesota.”
Others released snobby comments dripping with cynical sarcasm, and a few issued profanity-laced tirades.
I admire not only Mike Lindell’s commitment to help fight this virus, but also his boldness in sharing his faith before the world.
Lindell’s selfless and sincere response is exactly what the world needs at this time. I’m also encouraged that MyPillow isn’t the only corporation stepping up to lend a hand. Reminiscent of companies that produced critical supplies during World War II, Fortune 500 giants like General Motors and Honeywell are also converting production facilities to help meet the need for masks and ventilators.
Please join me in praying for Mike Lindell and other individuals who are boldly stepping forward and, in the words of Vice President Mike Pence, putting “feet to their faith.”