Faith Groups Call for Trump's Removal Following Capitol Attacks | Sojourners

Faith Groups Call for Trump's Removal Following Capitol Attacks

President Donald Trump boards the Marine One helicopter to depart for holiday travel to Florida on Dec. 23, 2020. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Christian leaders and Washington, D.C.-based faith organizations have joined a growing group of lawmakers and other public figures in calling for the removal of President Donald Trump.

In the wake of this week’s Trump-backed far-right attack on the Capitol, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) have called on the president to be removed from office, whether through the use of the 25th Amendment or impeachment.

In a joint petition published Thursday, Faith in Public Life Action and Faithful America also called for the removal of the president. Combined, the two organizations claim to represent more than 200,000 people of faith in the United States.

“President Trump and his enablers must be held responsible for inciting this attack on our nation,” the FPL Action and Faithful America petition says. “Without swift accountability, the harm done to our people will only grow worse.”

The petition has gathered several thousand signatures already, according to Kelsey Herbert, national campaigns director for Faith in Public Life. She said the full list of signatories would be published Friday afternoon.

President Trump’s term is set to end in less than two weeks, when President-elect Joe Biden is inaugurated on Jan. 20. Nevertheless, Herbert said, Trump is unfit to serve until then.

“One more day of Trump in office is one day too many,” she said.

“Faithful America's Christian members are sick of seeing Jesus's name dragged through the mud by white Christian nationalists like Donald Trump and his co-conspirators, and we're tired of seeing dishonest far-right clergy and politicians invoke faith to keep their political power at all costs,” Nathan Empsall, who leads Faithful America's campaigns, told Sojourners.

Empsall said “every Republican politician and every far-right preacher who spread baseless lies about the election results” should be held accountable for the violence at the Capitol this week. “That process of accountability starts at the top, with Donald Trump.”

Bend the Arc, an organization representing progressive Jews in the United States, published a similar petition calling for Trump’s removal. As of publication, more than 4,000 people had signed on.

In addition to Trump’s removal, the petition calls for the “investigation and possible expulsion of every member of Congress who violated their oath of office by trying to reverse an election.”

While the majority of faith groups and leaders calling for Trump’s ouster are liberal or progressive, some conservative Christian leaders also condemned his actions this week.

Russell Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, the public-policy arm of the Southern Baptist Convention, has previously broken with conservative colleagues in his criticism of Trump. On Friday, Moore called on Trump to resign.

“Mr. President, people are dead. The Capitol is ransacked. There are 12 dangerous days for our country left,” Moore wrote in a tweet. ‘Could you please step down and let our country heal?”

On Monday, Moore addionally called for Trump's removal.

Other faith groups and faith leaders joining the call for Trump’s removal include the NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice, the Friends Committee on National Legislation, GreenFaith, the national leadership of the United Church of Christ, and the leadership of Sojourners.

Sister Simone Campbell, who leads the NETWORK Lobby, called on Vice President Mike Pence and the Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment.

“The Constitution protects our rights and dignity as humans created in the image of God,” Campbell said in a statement. “We have a Constitutional remedy that holds unfit Presidents accountable.”

Diane Randall, general secretary of the Friends Committee on National Legislation, also urged for Trump’s removal via the 25th Amendment.

“Yesterday, encouraged by Trump, an angry mob of his extremist supporters invaded the U.S. Capitol,” Randall wrote. “This was not a First Amendment protest; it was a riot.”

Randall said the FCNL closed its office, which is located on Capitol Hill, to protect the safety of staff members this week.

“Now that Joseph Biden has been certified as president-elect and Kamala Harris as vice president-elect, we must ensure that the rest of the transfer of power will continue peacefully until they assume office at noon on Jan. 20,” she said. “To ensure this peaceful transition, we urge the immediate removal of Donald Trump as 45th president.”

GreenFaith, an interfaith coalition for environmental justice, said it supported calls to end Trump’s presidency. In an email to members, the organization urged its supporters to call members of Congress and senators and tell them “that the President should be removed from office as rapidly as possible.”

Sojourners president Rev. Adam Russell Taylor and founder Jim Wallis called for Trump’s removal in a joint statement published on this website and sponsored a letter signed by an ecumenical group of Christian leaders..

“As faith leaders, we must call for the immediate removal of Donald Trump from office,” wrote Taylor and Wallis. “There is great danger in the hands of a morally deranged president: the threat of martial law, his ongoing efforts to overturn a free and fair election, the potential of politically conceived war, and the unique danger of his destructive hands on the nuclear codes.”

“More is at stake now than politics,” they wrote. “Let’s call it a choice between theological integrity and the idolatry of white Christian nationalism in America.”

Editor's note: This article was updated at 1 p.m. on Jan. 11 with additional remarks from Russell Moore and additional faith leaders calling for the president's removal.

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