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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.”
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.
When presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump meets behind closed doors next week with conservative Christians from across the country, no one expects a coronation.
But neither will there be an inquisition, according to organizers.
Southern Baptists turned a sharp focus on racism during their annual meeting, welcoming the president of a historically black denomination in a rare address to their national gathering.
“Those who would like to suggest that racism is not indeed a problem for the church but rather it is a sociological problem, I would argue it is without question a sin problem,” the Rev. Jerry Young, president of the National Baptist Convention, USA, told the predominantly white Southern Baptist Convention on June 14.
In the aftermath of the shooting at an Orlando, Fla., gay club, diverse leaders in the city have reached out to the LGBT community. One surprising photo emerged: evangelical megachurch pastor Joel Hunter shaking hands with Equality Florida’s Carlos Smith. It was a simple gesture, captured by a local newspaper reporter, but one with deep symbolic meaning.
IN MANY WAYS, the modern animal-welfare movement was birthed by evangelicalism.
Given current-day categories and political alignments, this history is surprising. But evangelicalism’s concern for animal welfare began with John Wesley, who many consider the father of evangelicalism. Wesley offered weighty words about animals and their treatment by humans. In his sermon “The General Deliverance,” for example, Wesley laments the plight of animals subjected to human cruelty:
And what a dreadful difference is there, between what they suffer from their fellow-brutes, and what they suffer from the tyrant man! The lion, the tiger, or the shark, gives them pain from mere necessity, in order to prolong their own life; and puts them out of their pain at once: But the human shark, without any such necessity, torments them of his free choice; and perhaps continues their lingering pain till, after months or years, death signs their release.
In Wesley’s lifetime, which spanned most of the 18th century, animals played a central and visible role in most people’s lives. Animals were sources of food and clothing and means of transportation. Sadly, animals were also a common source of entertainment in various forms of brutal blood sports—including bull and bear baiting, dog fighting, and cock throwing. As plentiful paintings, literature, sermons, and tracts from the age show, cruelty to animals was as pervasive as the animals themselves.
The general understanding of animals at the time was gravely influenced by a Cartesian, mechanistic view of the world. The same disciples of the Enlightenment who envisioned God as a distant watchmaker also viewed the “lower creatures” as mere machines. Well into the 19th century, animals were viewed under the law, according to the Animal Legal and Historical Center at Michigan State University, “as items of personal property not much different than a shovel or plow.”
Southern Baptist leader Russell Moore has not been shy about mixing it up with Donald Trump, and now Moore is at it again, telling an interviewer that the presumptive Republican presidential nominee is a “lost person” who needs to find Jesus.
“My primary prayer for Donald Trump is that he would first of all repent of sin and come to faith in Jesus Christ,” Moore told David Brody of the Christian Broadcasting Network in a video posted June 3.
Tom Lin, 43, a Chicago native, Harvard grad, one-time missionary to Mongolia, was recently named the first nonwhite president of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, the national ministry to 40,200 university students, based in Madison, Wis.
Most recently, he served as head of Urbana 15, the missions conference that occurs once every three years.
Donald Trump is moving quickly to rally the evangelical base of the Republican Party as the presumptive GOP presidential nominee pivots toward a general election contest where the conservative Christian vote will be crucial to his chances for winning the White House.
The brash New York real estate developer has been reviled by many evangelical Christian leaders but he retains a significant appeal with grass-roots evangelicals and is increasingly winning over some leading conservative Christian activists.
A new study from Barna paints a bleak picture of racial tension in the United States.