Pastor Mark Burns of South Carolina, who gave the benediction on the convention’s first day.
NPR - 7/20/2016
(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)
MARK BURNS: Lord, we’re so thankful for the life of Donald Trump. We’re thankful that you are guiding him - that we, together, can defeat the liberal Democratic Party, to keep us divided and not united, in Jesus’ name - if you believe it, shout amen.
UNIDENTIFIED CROWD: Amen.
INSKEEP: I’m thinking, though, about - well, there’s a remark by Amy Sullivan, who’s been a religion writer for many years now with Yahoo News, who wrote, I’ve never heard anything remotely this partisan or pushing theology this distorted. That was her opinion. Convention prayers, she said, are usually nonpartisan affairs. Are you - are you suggesting maybe you got a little carried away by the emotion the moment? Or you said what you meant?
BURNS: Well, you know, I think - let me just say this. I think I’m a lot like Mr. Trump in some ways, that maybe when people say this was the most, you know, partisan prayer. For me, I was just doing what I’ve always done for Mr. Trump at his rallies. And that’s just to rally the people and to declare to them that - not so much God is on our side because God represents everybody for those who believe in him, but that - to remind the people, you know, we are a country under God, indivisible. And that was my intention and heart, to just address that.