President Donald Trump’s personal pastor, the televangelist Paula White, is facing criticism after praying for the miscarriage of “all Satanic pregnancies” during a sermon earlier this month.
During a Jan. 5 sermon, White asked Jesus Christ to cause the pregnancies to miscarry so they will “not be able to carry forth any plan of destruction, any plan of harm,” according to a video released by the liberal activist group Right Wing Watch.
After White’s sermon emerged, many commenters interpreted her meaning literally, arguing that she was calling for the end of certain pregnancies. Some, including author and OB/GYN Jennifer Gunter said that White seemed to be advocating for abortions.
However, White attempted to clarify her comments in a statement on Twitter, writing that her words had been “taken out of context.”
“I was praying Eph 6:12 that we wrestle not against flesh and blood. Anything that has been conceived by demonic plans, for it to be cancelled and not prevail in your life… Let’s be clear what is really going on… this is a disingenuous attempt to use words out of context for political gain. I will just keep praying!”
White took on a role as advisor to the White House’s Office of Public Liaison as an advisor to the Faith and Opportunity Initiative in the fall, but has known the President for nearly two decades and was one of the six clergy members to speak at his inauguration. She is associated with the “prosperity gospel,” a belief which holds that God wants his followers to be healthy and wealthy, and that many other Christians consider to be heretical.
White did not immediately respond to a request from TIME for comment.
- TIME's Top 100 Photos of 2021
- Inside Frances Haugen's Decision to Take on Facebook
- Why We Should Stop Freaking Out About Inflation
- Austria's Plan to Make COVID-19 Vaccines Compulsory Is Dividing Citizens — and Experts
- Inside the 80-Year Quest to Name Pearl Harbor's Unknown Victims
- Buying a House Feels Impossible These Days. Here Are 6 Innovative Paths to Homeownership
- 'They're Very Close.' U.S. General Says Iran Is Nearly Able to Build a Nuclear Weapon
- A Charter School's Racial Controversy Reveals the Real Battle For America's Classrooms