Frank Amedia, an extremist asshole of the worst kind. Calling him a flaming doucheweasel would be a compliment.
Donald Trump has appointed a “liaison for Christian policy” — a minister who has said AIDS is caused by “unnatural sex” and threatened to withhold relief from Haitian earthquake surviviors if they continued to practice voodoo.
Frank Amedia, pastor of Touch Heaven Ministries, arranged a meeting earlier this month between Trump and several other ministers, Time reports. They discussed the “erosion of religious liberty,” the magazine notes, along with Israel and immigration — the latter being a focus of Trump’s presidential campaign, with his call to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico and his plan to deport all undocumented immigrants in the U.S.
Catering to the religious right, on the other hand, has not been a priority for the presumptive Republican nominee, and he has made some missteps in his references to the Bible. But now with Amedia, he’s joined up with a representative of the conservative Christian fringe.
In 2010, Amedia was in Haiti distributing food to earthquake survivors, but said he might make further aid contingent on Haitians giving up the practice of voodoo. “We would give food to the needy in the short term, but if they refused to give up voodoo, I’m not sure we would continue to support them in the long term because we wouldn’t want to perpetuate that practice,” he told the Associated Press in a story quoted by Right Wing Watch. “We equate it with witchcraft, which is contrary to the Gospel.” He later tried to walk back the comments, saying AP had not told “the full story,” but still appeared willing to cut off aid if Haitians did not embrace Christianity, according to Christianity Today magazine.
Go to Right Wing Watch for more on Amedia, including his role in the bribery case; he was never charged, but admitted to attempted bribery in exchange for immunity from prosecution.
Some other ministers who met with Trump have similarly extremist views. Rick Joyner of Morning Star Ministries has blamed gay people for Hurricane Katrina and likened Trump to Christ. Sid Roth has said homosexuality will cause a nation to “vomit out” its people. Mario Bramnick, pastor of New Wine Ministries Church in Florida and a representative of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, last year hosted a meeting that called for the “mobilization” of Christians in response to the “demonic shift” brought to the nation by the Supreme Court’s marriage equality ruling.
The Full Story is Here. Here’s a sample of Mr. Amedia: