Miami pastor Guillermo Maldonado has heaped praise onto Donald Trump repeatedly since he became president. Now the Donald is returning the favor by giving a speech at Maldonado's ritzy Southwest Miami-Dade megachurch. As the Trump campaign tries to push evangelical Christians and Florida voters to go to the polls for his reelection bid, his staff today announced he'll appear at Maldonado's Ministerio Internacional El Rey Jesús next Friday.
This being a story involving Trump, Miami, evangelical pastors, and the year 2020, you can absolutely bet the church where Trump will appear is weird as all get-out. Maldonado claims to run one of the largest Hispanic ministries in America, and his online following — including 600,000-plus Instagram followers — suggests he might not be exaggerating. He says he attracts more than 20,000 congregants per week to his various churches, but he has earned those followers through some questionable actions. In July 2013, WPLG conducted an investigation into Maldonado's church after he claimed he could raise the dead and cure diseases. Speaking to the news station's TV cameras, he claimed he had helped a woman pray her daughter "back to life" after her corpse had been transported to a morgue. Another family said Maldonado's teachings had helped remove a chromosomal abnormality in their unborn baby.
Of course, it stands to reason a religious figure of that stature would glom onto a president such as Trump, and Maldonado sure has grabbed hold. He has appeared at the White House before, has posted photos with Eric Trump, and has now been rewarded with some free campaign publicity from the most famous human being on Planet Earth — other than Jesus, of course.
Naturally, Maldonado's church on SW 144th Avenue near the zoo is huge and stage-lit — the perfect setting for Trump to ramble about God, himself, and the demonic nature of wind turbines. Despite the fact that Trump has been recorded admitting he sexually assaults women and is also the shining embodiment of every one of the Seven Deadly Sins, 80 percent of those who identify as white evangelical Christians say they support the president. Though the evangelical magazine Christianity Today demanded Trump's impeachment this month, the president isn't likely to lose support from most evangelical voters. Despite the fact that Jesus' parents were refugees, Vox reported this week that Trump's racist and draconian immigration policies are a hit among Christians.