On December 27, 2018, a brief video appeared to show Trump administration Secretary of State Mike Pompeo discussing homosexuality and referring to the Rapture, which according to certain sects of evangelical Christianity is the end of the world in which all “true believers,” dead or alive, ascend to Heaven:
One of the “battles” Pompeo is going to fight until the Rapture: opposing marriage equality. He’s talking about the Obergefell decision, this is from 6-28-2015 pic.twitter.com/8HEUW6iyFA
— Tommy MMXIXtopher (@tommyxtopher) December 27, 2018
The video quickly went viral on social media, with many wanting more context to the video and questioning whether it was even genuine.
The video is real, although it did not take place during his tenure as Secretary of State or CIA head. Pompeo — then a congressman — made the comments in June 2015 during an appearance at the “Summit Church God and Country Rally” in Wichita, Kansas, where he spoke at length about his views on Christianity and the United States, as well as endorsing a prayer calling homosexuality and multiculturalism “evil.” (Video here.)
Pompeo’s religious beliefs are not a new development, nor have they gone unnoticed.
In the past, Pompeo has espoused a fusion of faith and nationalism that has found a welcoming home in the Trump administration. While speaking at a “God and Country Rally” in June 2015 at Wichita’s Summit Church, he read from Scripture before describing the Fourth of July as a time to “recognize the greatness of the founders of our country, the Judeo-Christian nation upon which they framed all that we have built on in the last 239 years.”
Then Pompeo, flanked by an American flag and a Christian flag, declared that “to worship our Lord and celebrate our nation at the same place is not only our right, but it is our duty.” He later added that politics is “a never-ending struggle … until the rapture.”
The Economist went over some of the concerns about his political appointments in a March 2018 article:
Still, even in a Washington, DC, that is used to rude shocks, news of the president’s choice to succeed Mr Tillerson was met with some alarm. Mike Pompeo, who has hitherto been serving the president as head of the CIA, is a zealous, evangelical Christian accused of Islamophobia.
Even among broadly conservative watchers of American foreign policy, there is worry that Mr Pompeo’s apparent sectarian sentiment might be a problem. In the words of Robert D. Kaplan, a veteran global-affairs writer, Mr Pompeo “emblemises an increasingly theological bent in American politics, and in particular in a strand of American conservatism.”
The church that hosted Pompeo is no stranger to controversy, either. It has achieved some notoriety by offering a paranormal investigations wing, which “assesses” people for demon infestations and performs, among other things, exorcisms