Evangelicals

Megan Hershey 10-12-2017

Though politically important during key periods of American history, evangelicals on the left have lost much of the influence they wielded as abolitionists or as advocates for safe working conditions during the 19th century. The history of progressive evangelicals has been full of disappointments, notably declining as the “religious right” rose to prominence in the 1980s. These years ensured that in common parlance, “evangelical” is now a synonym for “conservative.” The continuing dominance of the “moral majority,” and the current nature of partisan politics in the U.S., ensures that Christians who are concerned about social justice issues are minimized in national debates.

Keith Madsen 10-05-2017

One day after celebrating the Feast of St. Fransis of Assisi, we are reminded that we need to hear the call Francis heard to repair Christ’s church. God has blessed the world today with some great leaders. Pope Francis has shown he truly understands the legacy of his namesake. He has chosen a simpler, less ostentatious lifestyle than previous Popes, and he has spoken out strongly for the poor and for peace. He is pointing the Church, Catholic and non-Catholic, in the right direction. But he can’t do it on his own. St. Francis didn’t. There were strong leaders in this era as well as their devoted followers. That’s what we need now. Reforming the American Church of today will take people who are willing to speak up for justice, both human and environmental. It will take people who will value a loving, dynamic fellowship over a stifled, silent one, afraid to “make waves”. It will take people ready to joyously and lovingly embody the values of Christ, as did Francis of Assisi.

Image via RNS/AP Photo/Steve Helber

“We request upon you to join with many other political and religious leaders to proclaim with one voice that the ‘alt-right’ is racist, evil, and antithetical to a well-ordered, peaceful society,” reads the letter first published by CNN.

The signers — including Southern Baptist Convention President Steve Gaines, former SBC President Fred Luter, and prominent African-American evangelical leaders T.D. Jakes and Tony Evans — reproach Trump for failing to speak out against the so-called alt-right.

“This movement has escaped your disapproval,” the letter reads.

Without naming names, it further states: “It concerned many of us when three people associated with the alt-right movement were given jobs in the White House.”

Sandi Villarreal 8-22-2017

Donald Trump delivers remarks at Liberty University commencement May 13, 2017. Shealah Craighead [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

More than 100 Liberty University graduates have pledged to withdraw support and return their diplomas to the office of university president Jerry Falwell Jr., citing his continued support of President Donald Trump after Charlottesville — along with a letter expressing their concerns, copied to Liberty’s board of trustees, by Sept. 5.

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 which describes itself as “fueling the resistance to Trumpism” — has created and disseminated a spreadsheet with contact information for each member 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.

Mark Silk 8-17-2017

From left, Ronnie Floyd, Rodney Howard-Browne, Adonica Howard-Browne, Johnnie Moore, and Paula White stand behind President Trump as he talks with evangelical supporters in the Oval Office at the White House. Photo courtesy of Johnnie Moore/

In their greed these teachers will exploit you with fake news. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has long been sleeping. — 2 Peter 2:3 

On Wednesday, when President Trump shut down his business advisory committees just ahead of his business advisers’ resigning en masse in the wake of Charlottesville, one of his evangelical advisers, Johnnie Moore, delivered a statement on ABC News that concluded the following.

Author Jen Hatmaker. Photo by Amy Melsa Photography

 

Of Mess and Moxie: Wrangling Delight Out of This Wild and Glorious Life will be released on Aug. 8. Hatmaker spoke with RNS about both mess and moxie, banned books and maintaining a healthy outlook on life. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Pope Francis meets President Trump during a private audience at the Vatican on May 24, 2017. Photo courtesy of Reuters/Evan Vucci/Pool

President Trump’s evangelical Christian advisers are requesting a meeting with Pope Francis after a Vatican-approved magazine published a piece condemning the way some American evangelicals and Roman Catholics mix religion and politics.

Ryan Galloway 7-14-2017

Image via Reuters/Jeff Mason.

A Christianity that would vote for its own defense over the defense of those coming from war-torn countries, or the most in need among us, does not abide by the commands of its true champion — Jesus Christ.

Galen Carey 6-28-2017

Evangelicals believe that people and nations are sufficiently blessed by God’s common grace that we can seek the good of others, as well as our own welfare. As a result, we are prepared to work together across partisan divides and to respect those with whom we may differ on policy choices. Our churches bring together Democrats, Independents, Republicans, and people who have no political affiliation at all. Our call to protect programs that serve our most vulnerable neighbors transcends any political party.

Image via Reuters/ Kevin Lamarque

Evangelicals, Worthen said, were trained “to see the Bible as a code book that, properly interpreted, could reveal the true meaning of current events no matter what the fancy scientists and political elites would tell you.”

Image via RNS/David Gibson

Critical to the success of the movement is the fact that corporations are not simply tolerating activists such as Daly.

Instead, they increasingly see the socially responsible agenda as good business; and, perhaps more important, so do investment firms that are responding to the growing demand for portfolios that reflect a client’s values while also making money as effectively as any other investment.

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.”

Image via RNS/Reuters/Carlo Allegri

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.

Image via RNS/Reuters/Dave Kaup

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.”

Image via RNS/Adelle M. Banks

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.”

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