First lady Melania Trump opened Saturday’s presidential rally in Melbourne, Fla. with the Lord’s Prayer, which she read from a card.
The bold move was met with much derision from the left, with many on Twitter mocking the first lady’s accent and casting doubt on her sincerity.
Others said a Christian prayer had no place at the rally since “not every American is Christian.”
“Melania starts the dictatorship rally with the Lord’s Prayer? NOT EVERY AMERICAN IS CHRISTIAN!!!! Country over party,” wrote one critic on Twitter.
— Lucky Duck (@SouthEugeneDuck) February 20, 2017
With an hour’s practice I could probably say the Lord’s Prayer better in Slovene than Melania Trump does it in English. https://t.co/Q4ofdqeGmz
— Adrian Short (@adrianshort) February 19, 2017
Taya Kyle, Fox News contributor and widow of American sniper Chris Kyle, defended the first lady against the backlash.
On Fox & Friends Monday Kyle called the attacks on Melania’s prayer reading “unfounded.”
“The attacks are unfounded, and I think people don’t understand what was meant originally by separation of state and church,” Kyle said. “It was meant to protect the churches from government influence. It was meant to protect the people from having the government force a religion down their throat or compel them to believe something their conscience was not allowing for.”
When asked if she was critical of Melania for reading the prayer instead of reciting it from memory, Kyle said, “No, I’m not critical of it … if she wants to read a prayer so she doesn’t mess it up, then, you know, God bless her.”
A Fox & Friends co-host remarked, “Exactly, because if she’d gotten it wrong, if she’d missed a word, then they are critical of that.”
Kyle defended the first lady despite being critical of Trump during his campaign, at one point saying he was “too offensive to be president.”
She also criticized him for the remarks he made during the campaign concerning former Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina’s looks.
“I have young kids and this is behavior that they even know not to do,” Kyle had said on Fox’s Outnumbered.
Author and filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza also showed his support for the first lady.
Melania Trump’s recitation of the “Lord’s Prayer” is the most in-your-face act by any First Lady & it has left the other side sputtering
— Dinesh D’Souza (@DineshDSouza) February 19, 2017
Anne Graham Lotz, evangelist and daughter of evangelist Billy Graham, praised Melania for her actions.
“Praising God for FLOTUS’ bold and courageous, reverent and sincere leading in Lord’s Prayer. Well done,” she wrote.
“Thank you, Melania Trump, for your prayer tonight. My prayer for you is Numbers 6:24-26. ‘The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.’”
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