Donald Trump’s Christian policy advisor claims to have stopped a tsunami and healed cancer.
Frank Amedia, a televangelist and self-proclaimed prophet and apostle, says that he stopped a tsunami from hitting an island in Hawaii and has healed cancer through prayer. In addition to Amedia’s self-idolizing beliefs, he has stated that AIDS is the result of “unnatural sex.”
Amedia said, “We know that many of the diseases today are avoidable if only we practiced a wholesome life. AIDS is a disease that comes because of unnatural sex.”
Amedia is able to gather support from the Christian right, despite there being no clear understanding of Trump’s stance on religion. Currently, Amedia runs the Ohio-Based Touch Heaven Ministries, is affiliated with churches in Africa and Asia, and regularly makes appearances on Christian television networks.
Despite his professed faith, his background is something to delve deeper into. Amedia was accused of bribing a prosecutor in 2001 to drop a case involving a good friend in Ohio who had allegedly been rolling back car odometers. The plan failed, and the dealer was convicted. Amedia received immunity for his testimony.
One of the most controversial issues with Amedia is that he allows his beliefs to interfere with who he chooses to “heal” or help. In 2010, he traveled to Haiti to help earthquake survivors; however, because of his feuds with the Haitian practitioners of voodoo, he stated that he would consider cutting off the food supply. “We wouldn’t want to perpetuate that practice. We equate it with witchcraft, which is contrary to the Gospel.”
The issues lie with extremism and the archaic belief that religious practices in other cultures are somehow less “civilized” than his own, as well as the lack of education concerning illnesses such as AIDS. The problems are multitudinous and damaging, especially if these beliefs are taught. Other ministers that have met with Trump hold many of the same beliefs, such as Rick Joyner of Morning Star Ministries, who blamed gay people for Hurricane Katrina.
In order to move forward in a country so divided by religious beliefs, we have to take religion out of the equation in politics and in government as a whole. If the age of technology and progression has taught us anything, it’s that we have to continue to learn and grow. Taking a step back into an age that stunted our growth and persecuted those who dared to defy religious norms only hinders capable minds that have the ability to change the world.