Almost three-quarters of Trump voters said Islam is a threat, compared with 18 percent of those who voted for Hillary Clinton. An even higher percentage — 81 percent — of Trump voters strongly agreed that Middle East refugees are a terror threat, compared with 12 percent of Clinton voters.
“Today, divisions in the American public are stark,” said Paul Froese, a Baylor University sociology professor and director of Baylor Religion Surveys. “We can trace many of our deep differences to how people understand traditional morality, theology, and the purpose of our nation.”
And while presidents before have consulted with spiritual advisers — evangelist Billy Graham is the best-known example — the current group’s members certainly appear to care not only about Trump’s own spiritual well-being, but also have concrete views about a range of issues and make no secret of wanting policy changes.
But exactly how much influence they wield — and whether they benefit from the association — is a matter of conjecture and debate.
Trump received pressure from many conservatives: Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and nine other state attorneys general threatened to sue the administration if he didn’t announce an end to the program by Sept. 5, next week. Trump has not been clear about a decision, but during his campaign promised to terminate the program along with all other immigration executive orders by President Obama
As President Trump has pointed out, others have made bad use of that same power, favoring cronies (Scooter Libby) and benefactors (Marc Rich.) He is right about that. Both of those made my stomach turn. I was a federal prosecutor when President Clinton pardoned Marc Rich, and it was infuriating — rewarding a fugitive cut against everything I worked for. In pardoning former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, though, Trump has done something worse: The president has not only rewarded someone who is unrepentant, but he has celebrated the crime itself. When asked about the pardon, Trump said of Arpaio that “He’s done a great job for the people of Arizona, he’s very strong on borders, very strong on illegal immigration, he is loved in Arizona ...”
What now? Where do churches go from here? Here are five initial thoughts I would like to share, knowing the answer isn’t simple — it will take our collective discernment from the whole diversity of our churches to continue addressing our post-Charlottesville way forward.
“Responsibility for the violence that occurred in Charlottesville, including the death of Heather Heyer, does not lie with many sides but with one side: the Nazis, alt-right and white supremacists who brought their hate to a peaceful community. They must be roundly condemned at all levels.”
Daniel Kammen, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, said in a letter posted on his Twitter account that Trump had failed to condemn white supremacists and neo-Nazis, part of "a broader pattern of behavior that enables sexism and racism, and disregards the welfare of all Americans, the global community and the planet."
“They say about our president, ‘Well, he is not presidential.’ Thank goodness. Thank goodness. Thank goodness,” White said. “And I mean that with all due respect. Because in other words, he is not a polished politician. In other words, he is authentically — whether people like it or not — has been raised up by God.”
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.
Instead of preparing for the first day of school Tuesday, several hundred students at the University of Virginia spent Monday night rallying to call for more racial diversity at the school and to highlight its history of discrimination.
Preaching days after he became the first member of the White House’s evangelical advisory board to resign after the president’s comments on Charlottesville, Va., the Rev. A.R. Bernard said he sees the controversy swirling around the board as a sign that “God is at work.”
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.
"White supremacy and racism deny the dignity of each human being revealed through the Incarnation. The evil of white supremacy and racism must be brought face-to-face before the figure of Jesus Christ, who cannot be confined to any one culture or nationality. Through faith we proclaim that God the Creator is the origin of all human persons. In the words of Frederick Douglass, “Between the Christianity of this land and the Christianity of Christ, I recognize the widest possible difference."
So much in the world needs to change, but the people doing the most to change the world are often zealous. I know I was — and self-righteous, too. Yet perpetual effort to forge a new world did not heal my soul; rather, it deepened my soul’s sense of separation from love. To put it theologically, a friend involved with left-wing Catholic Worker style communities describes a subtle culture of “not enough,” as communal embodiment of what Martin Luther called “works-righteousness.”
Many on both sides of the aisle decried the Senate Republicans’ lack of transparency in drafting Obamacare replacement proposals — a move that could’ve passed without a single Democrat since it was included in the budget reconciliation process. Now, Republicans — including President Donald Trump — are blaming the loss on that very process.
President Donald Trump and Sens. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and David Perdue (R-Ga.) on Wednesday unveiled a plan at the White House to overhaul the rules for legal immigrants, a proposal that would slash numbers overall and focus on skilled immigrants, the White House said.
Squeezed among two dozen other evangelical supporters of the president, Southern Baptist Richard Land added his hand to the others reaching to pray for President Trump. The July 10 Oval Office prayer session, which has been panned and praised, is just one example of the access Trump and his key aides have given to conservative Christian leaders — from an hourslong May dinner in the Blue Room to an all-day meeting earlier this month in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building next door.
“Since all of these folk make a big deal about putting their hand on the Bible and swearing themselves into office, we’ve come to let them know what’s in the Bible,” said the Rev. William J. Barber II, a North Carolina pastor at the forefront of state and national protests focused on poverty and civil rights.
What we’ve learned three years after Eric Garner’s death is that we can’t give up on God’s mandate for justice, incarnated in the gospel’s good news. If we trust and believe that selfish agendas of special interests will not prevail, we are compelled instead to believe that love will conquer hate.