Evangelicals

Jim Wallis 5-10-2017

FILE PHOTO - FBI Director James Comey is sworn in to testify before a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on May 3, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/File Photo

As the country and world saw last night, without any warning or usual procedures, President Donald Trump fired FBI Director James Comey. The only reason given for Comey’s firing was his treatment of Hillary Clinton’s e-mail case — which is laughable, given Trump’s own past statements and myriad contradictions on these matters, even if one agrees that Comey’s behavior and double standards in regard to that case were unprecedented and indefensible.

5-05-2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Michael Mershon | mmershon@sojo.net

              Jazmine Steele | jsteele@sojo.net

“Falwell’s ‘dream president’ is a nightmare for Christians of color”

Image via RNS/ACNS/Scott Gunn

John, a 64-year-old theologian and dean of St. Albans Cathedral, has made no secret of his own homosexuality, and is in a civil partnership with another priest, a relationship he says is celibate. He has also made clear his support for same-sex marriage.

That has made John the subject of hard-liners’ ire. Supporters say his honesty about his homosexuality, and his views about same-sex marriage, have cost him the bishop’s seat, while some other bishops are known to be “quietly gay.”

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The centerpiece of President Trump’s religious freedom agenda, and the carrot he often dangled in front of Christian leaders as he sought their support during the campaign, was a pledge to overturn a 1954 law that says houses of worship can lose their tax-exempt status if they engage in partisan campaigning.

But a new survey of evangelical leaders — mainly pastors whose flocks were crucial to Trump’s victory in November — shows that close to 90 percent of those asked opposed the idea of clergy endorsing politicians from the pulpit.

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The May 13 speech at Liberty’s football stadium in Lynchburg, Va., will be Trump’s first commencement address as president, but it won’t be his first at Liberty, which describes itself as the largest Christian university in the world.

The then-presidential candidate spoke last year at the university’s Convocation, promising, “I will protect Christians,” and famously stumbling over a reference to “Two Corinthians.”

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The pro-Trump evangelicals suffer from a spiritual crisis, not a political one.

Moore has challenged the foundations of conservative evangelical political engagement because they desperately needed to be shaken. For 35 years, the old-guard religious right has uncritically coddled, defended, and promoted the Republican Party.

the Web Editors 2-15-2017

Syrian mother with three children in one of the Asylum Centers near Belgrade on Jan. 31. Zeljko Sinobad / Shutterstock.com

World Relief, a global humanitarian organization and one of the main non-governmental organizations involved in the U.S. refugee resettlement program, announced today that the organization is laying off at least 140 employees and shuttering five local offices "as a direct result of the recent decision by the Trump Administration to dramatically reduce the number of refugees resettled in the U.S. throughout fiscal year 2017."

Dhanya Addanki 1-17-2017

Photo by JP Keenan / Sojourners

“We are standing with families who have had their loved ones murdered and families who have had their loved ones executed or put on death row,” said Shane Claiborne, co-director of the Red Letter Christians, who was arrested during the protest.

“Violence is a disease not the cure,” he continued, “as families themselves say, remember our loved ones but not with more killing. That’s our message today.”

Richard Mouw 12-14-2016

Some of my friends have been talking about giving up the “evangelical” label, because of what it has come to be associated with, in this year’s political campaign. I’m not ready to make that move. I spent a good part of the 1960s trying hard not to be an evangelical, but without success.

When I marched for civil rights during my graduate school years, I helped to organize “ban the bomb” marches and protested the Vietnam War. I was clearly out of step with much of the evangelicalism of the day.

Eugene Hung 12-12-2016

Sojourners has documented the many ways in which racism was at the core of Trump’s message — and how overwhelming evangelical support exemplifies the clear racial divide within the body of Christ.

But the other way the campaign and election have driven a wedge between evangelicals has to do with gender. Considering that nearly two thirds of white Protestant women voted for Trump, it would be a stretch to consider this an even split. But it doesn't take much scanning of social media and the blogosphere — or simply talking to evangelical women — to see that many of them who did not support Trump feel deeply wounded by their fellow evangelicals who did.

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Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. believes that Donald Trump “will become America’s greatest president since Abraham Lincoln.”

But that wasn’t enough to persuade him to accept Trump’s offer to become secretary of education, he said.

Falwell told Religion News Service the decision was due to concerns for the health of his family and the university he leads.

Image via RNS/Reuters/Darren Ornitz

“The picture is mixed,” said Besheer Mohamed, a senior researcher at the Pew Research Center who specializes in religion.

“On the one hand, its seems clear that Muslims are a pretty small part of the population. On the other hand, they are concentrated in some states and metro areas that might increase their voting powers in those specific areas.”

Jim Wallis 11-03-2016

So I am writing this to you, the pastors and spiritual leaders of congregations of Christians all across America. I am asking about your pastoral and prophetic responsibilities as we approach this historic election with potential consequences that we have never seen before in our lifetimes.

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Trump argued on The Brody File that religious liberty was under fire, and the situation would worsen with a Clinton presidency. “If Hillary Clinton gets in, you’re not going to have religious liberty.”

Sandi Villarreal 10-26-2016

Much ink has been spilled this election cycle on the future of evangelicalism given the “God gulf” between some white evangelical Donald Trump supporters and those evangelicals who have either long denounced Trump’s candidacy or who more recently have decided that some of Trump’s rhetoric and policy proposals have gone too far. But the root of this divide may be found in this fact, released this week by the Public Religion Research Institute: “No group has a dimmer view of American cultural change than white evangelical Protestants.”

Nish Weiseth 10-18-2016

The news media has made much of the flight of evangelicals away from Trump, particularly after Beth Moore tweeted her thoughts from her perspective as a sexual assault survivor. The media narrative has painted a picture of evangelicals, particularly women, finally being done with Donald Trump and his misogyny. 

But, there’s an inconvenient truth lying beneath the surface: Women, particularly minority evangelical women and people of color, have been speaking out against Trump’s rhetoric for months. It appears not enough people were listening.

Donald Trump and Hillarry Clinton at the Oct. 9 presidential debate in St. Louis. REUTERS/Rick Wilking

But even after a weekend spent huddling in Manhattan plotting strategy, a crucial question for the Republican nominee was whether this latest outrage would finally repel conservative Christians who are key to the GOP’s hopes for recapturing the White House.

So far the verdict appears mixed.

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“I think there are a lot of nones who miss singing in the choir, who would love to go into a building and hear a moving speech, but the minute someone starts talking about the Bible they check out. It no longer feels applicable to them. That’s a big challenge to the church.”

Trevin Wax 8-24-2016

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A year later, many evangelical voters have grown to love the Donald’s roller coaster. Just as Trump divided and conquered the Republican Party, so also he has divided and conquered the religious right, the voting bloc of white conservative Christians that has been a cornerstone of the Republican Party’s outreach for decades.

8-23-2016

In a letter signed by 49 evangelicals from Texas and around the country, the Christian leaders said officials have a “moral obligation” to stop the execution, which is scheduled for Aug. 24.

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