Community members are outraged after the pastor of Trinity Baptist Church in McAllen made a controversial appearance on MSNBC’s Morning Joe earlier this morning.
In a segment titled “Evangelicals Divided Over Family Border Separations,” MSNBC correspondent Stephanie Ruhle interviewed pastor Bill Sutton of Trinity Baptist Church in McAllen. Sutton voices his support and faith for politicians who have made the humanitarian crisis at the U.S./Mexico border, such as separating immigrant children from their parents and turning away asylum seekers at the ports of entry.
“Blind faith is how you have to trust the lord. We have to put our faith in him,” Sutton said.
“But the lord and elected officials are two different things,” Ruhle countered.
“But they are ministers of God for the righteous,” Sutton said. “I don’t believe any person is in any office that God has not allowed it to be there.”
Sutton is not originally from the Rio Grande Valley, as described on the website of Trinity Baptist Church. Sutton grew up in Arkansas, Louisiana, and Tennessee before he arrived to the Valley as the pastor of First Baptist Church in McAllen in 1986. He has been the pastor at Trinity Baptist Church since April of 2011.
When further questioned by Ruhle over his beliefs, he claimed he does care about “the kids,” but that he believes that ultimately “the government will do which is right.”
Various posts have been made online covering this segment, including reviews on Trinity Baptist Church’s Facebook page.
“I just saw the leader of this church on MSNBC, to say the least I am enraged,” Zachary Holzworth, a Facebook user who saw the segment, wrote. “The church’s ‘pastor’ is nothing short of a vile racist. He is an anti-Christ. He does not preach the gospel of liberation and love, rather he spews out white supremacist dogma. Christ taught compassion and love for all. How dare you call yourself a Christian. It is people like you that would have crucified Christ.”
More reviews have been added in the past few hours.
After the interview, Ruhle talks about how when she questioned what Sutton was saying, pointing our Trump’s history, she explained the pastor said “God wanted him to be president, and it’s God’s will and we have to give the president his pass.” She notes that she was shocked to hear him say that.
As the segment was wrapping up, Ruhle called Sutton “hypocritical” for saying he is “pro-life” but whose beliefs do not consider the rights of immigrant children currently detained and separated from their parents.
“[It’s] pretty hypocritical for these pastors who talk so much about [how to them] the most important thing is pro-life,” Ruhle said. “It’s stunning that they are willing to say that about unborn children, but they are not willing to consider children who are being torn from their mothers and have no idea when they’ll see them again.”