American Christians who have grown appalled at seeing some of their religious leaders whole-heartedly embrace Donald Trump are pushing back hard in rallies and in manifestos at what they call a new form of “toxic Christianity.”
According to a report from the Guardian, a nascent movement is pushing back at the ‘Gospel of Trump” preached by some evangelical leaders who are more than willing to overlook his un-Christian attitude towards immigrants as well as Trump’s alleged affairs with adult film stars and Playboy models.
At a rally in Greensboro, North Carolina, the Rev. Vince Anderson called out some of Trump’s policies, following each example with “I don’t think Jesus woulda done it that way,” joining other Christian pastors who have become more vociferous in their criticism of the president.
That rally was one of 30 organized by Vote Common Good, designed to encourage Christian voters to flip Congress to the Democrats to rein in Trump.
According to the organization’s executive director, Doug Pagitt, “We have been really dumbfounded and dismayed by the level of support that evangelical leaders have given to Trump. We have a moral obligation and a religious obligation to offer a different voice. Our faith compels us to speak out.”
It is Pagitt’s belief that he can change the hearts of up to 20 percent of the 81 percent of evangelicals who voted for Trump in 2016.
“They may have voted for Trump, but they are not supportive. Many of them had no idea it could be this bad,” he explained. “They’ve watched the rhetoric turn into horrible life implications for people, such as separating children and parents at the border, and they see it as contrary to human decency.”
“They are generally silent, and most feel alone and isolated. We want to stand with them, look them in the eye and tell them their faith calls them to do something different in the polling booth this time,” he continued.
According to Tony Campolo, a veteran pastor who helped found Red Letter Christians designed to combat “toxic Christianity,” he is ashamed of the perception of his faith due to Christian Right leaders.
“This movement started because the word evangelical had collected a great deal of ugly baggage,” Campolo relayed. “If I describe myself as evangelical, the red flags go up. People immediately assume I’m anti-gay, anti-women, anti-environmentalist, anti-immigrant, pro-gun – all these things that I am not.”
He then lamented, “The word evangelical had negative connotations before Trump, but it has picked up momentum because of Trump.”
You can read more here at The Guardian.