Evangelicals

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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 08-24-2016

Image via RNS/REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

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.

08-23-2016

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.

The Focus on the Family founder released his endorsement on July 21, hours before Trump was set to take the stage to accept his party’s nomination on the last night of the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland.

Image via REUTERS/Mike Segar/RNS

In a section titled “Defending Marriage Against an Activist Judiciary,” Republicans say they “condemn” the Supreme Court’s ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, which made same-sex marriage the law of the land. Religious conservatives from several denominations also have opposed this ruling as the work of “activist judges,” a charge and a term echoed in the platform.

Image via Matt Miller / Baptist Press / RNS

In the wake of a string of racially tinged shootings, majority white churches — even those quiet in past years about racial prejudice — have begun to find their voices.

The latest incidents of police shooting black men in Louisiana and Minnesota, combined with the targeting of white police officers in Dallas, have exposed for many congregations a racial divide in America too wide to ignore.

Nicola A. Menzie 07-12-2016

African-Americans often express frustration at white Americans for overlooking their grief at the deaths of young black men shot and killed by police.

On a conference call last week, hours before Micah Xavier Johnson, a black man, opened fire and killed five white police officers, about 500 Christians, black and white, tried to bridge that racial divide.

Image via Allen Clark / RNS

Ask Wah Nay Htoo how an evangelical church helped her refugee family after they arrived in Colorado and her list is long.

“Oh my goodness, Cornerstone helped our family a lot — everything,” said Htoo, 38, a Burmese woman who lived most of her life in a refugee camp in Thailand before moving to the Denver suburb of Lafayette in 2008.

Image via REUTERS/Stephen Lam/RNS

Heading into Donald Trump’s meeting with hundreds of conservative Christian leaders, mostly evangelicals, in New York on June 21, it was clear not all Christians have lined up behind him.

Not even all traditionally conservative evangelicals.

Ryan Hammill 06-21-2016
Donald Trump salutes supporters at the Peabody Opera House in Downtown St. Louis in March.

Donald Trump salutes supporters at the Peabody Opera House in Downtown St. Louis in March.Gino Santa Maria Shutterstock.com

While evangelicals have traditionally been an important part of the Republican base, Trump’s candidacy has exposed some fissures. The combination of questionable investments, vulgar and hateful rhetoric, widely-publicized affairs, and Biblical illiteracy has caused some evangelical leaders to denounce Trump, even as others have voiced their support.

Image via Matt Miller / Baptist Press / RNS

In recent years, Southern Baptists have made racial reconciliation a top priority.

This week, delegates (called “messengers”) to the SBC’s annual meeting in St. Louis overwhelmingly passed a resolution urging Christians to “discontinue the display of the Confederate battle flag.”

Image via Adam Covington / Baptist Press / RNS

Southern Baptists are usually the first to defend religious freedom. But when it comes to Muslims, some want to draw a line.

At their annual meeting in St. Louis, an Arkansas pastor said Baptists shouldn’t support the right of Muslims to build mosques, especially “when these people threaten our very way of existence as Christians and Americans.”

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White evangelical Christians, a crucial bloc of Republican voters, are backing likely GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump by a wide margin over Hillary Clinton but their support is significantly lower than for previous Republican candidates.

That relatively tepid faith-based endorsement could wind up undermining Trump’s chances for victory in November.

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