Faith Activists Call on Trump’s Evangelical Advisory Council to Step Down

By the Web Editors 8-21-2017
Trump speaks to a gathered audience before an American flag backdrop.

In the wake of the white supremacist rally and subsequent violence in Charlottesville, Va., last week, faith activists are calling upon members of the president’s Evangelical Advisory Council to resign.

"The Resistance Prays" — a daily newsletter that bills itself as “fueling the resistance to Trumpism” — has created and disseminated a spreadsheet listing contact information for members of the advisory council, encouraging people to contact council members directly.

Meanwhile, Donald Scherschligt — a California-based faith activist and graphic designer — has organized a petition, which is being shared widely and rapidly gaining signatures.

Last week, Trump faced criticism from Democrats and Republicans alike over his tepid and delayed response to Charlottesville. Multiple members of his of his two business advisory councils resigned, and he ultimately disbanded both committees. Later in the same week, Trump’s arts and humanities council resigned en masse.

Meanwhile, only one member of Trump’s Evangelical Advisory Board has stepped down thus far. A.R. Bernard, a megachurch pastor in New York City, said in a statement that he had “quietly stepped away” from the council several months ago, and officially resigned on Aug. 15.

Schlerschligt told Sojourners he was compelled to start the petition after seeing others talk — both in his own networks and on podcasts such as Pod Save America — about the lack of response from Trump’s evangelical advisors.

“I just decided to do something about it,” Schlerschligt said. “It’s been amazing to see so many others sharing it.”

Schlerschligt is a graduate of Westmont College, an evangelical school in Santa Barbara, and has previously done organizing work with SoulForce as well as cultivating Campus Pride's "Shame List" —a list of the "absolute worst campuses for LGBTQ youth."

At time of publication, the Change.org petition had gathered more than 600 signatures. And, according to "The Resistance Prays" creator Guthrie Graves-Fitzsimmons, the spreadsheet of council members’ contact information had been viewed more than 1,400 times since it was created on Saturday afternoon. 

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