Will Evangelicals Try To Get Trump To Change?

MICHAEL VADON is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Faith leaders call for resistance to the bigotry of Donald Trump.

There is a popular quote from the movie Transformers: Dark of the Moon. The character Simmons says, “Years from now they're going to ask us, where were you when they took over the planet? We're gonna say, we stood by and watched.” In light of the current Presidential election, Reverend Dr. David Gushee, a distinguished professor of Christian Ethics and director of the Center for Theology and Public Life, at Mercer University, are asking the same question. What will we tell our children and grandchildren who will ask one day what we did in the 2016 U.S. Presidential election when Donald Trump was running for president?

A powerful statement, “Called to Resist Bigotry – A Statement of Faithful Obedience” has been issued by more than 50 religious leaders from across the political spectrum, in response to the alarming rhetoric of the 2016 election. The statement expresses the concerns of the Christian faith about the running Presidential candidate Donald Trump's use of religious and racial bigotry and his general disrespect towards women. A few of the prominent faith leaders included in the group are Shane Claiborne, Jim Wallis, Lisa Sharon Harper, and Otis Moss III. The group has been working on the statement for quite some time now. According to them, the statement was drafted with much insight and it was written “prayerfully.”  The group believes that the Trump phenomenon is a threat to the well-being of the society and to the fundamental integrity of Christian faith.

The statement resembles that of two statements that were made by Christian groups in the 20th century, instances when the future of Christian faith has been at stake. The instances are the apartheids South Africa and Nazi Germany. According to the group, Donald Trump is ahead in the presidential race because he has been exploiting cultural tensions and economics stresses that exist in the American society today. By deliberately inflaming resentment, he has risen to power.

The offenses committed by Donald Trump, according to the group, that is included in the statement are:

  • Trump’s attack on President Obama when he challenged the legitimacy of America’s first black president by tagging him as “not a real American.”
  • Trump’s racist attacks on Mexicans and other immigrants.
  • Trump’s condemnation of Islam, and his call to ban all Muslims from entering the United States.
  • Trump disrespecting the dignity and equality of women.
  • Trump’s threat to activate libel laws to punish those who criticize him.
  • Trump’s hostility towards press and freedom of the press.

According to the group, the time has come for Christians to stand up and stop a person like Donald Trump from becoming the President of United States.

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