Trump's brutal policies are giving rise to a resurgence of the Christian Left: columnist
White girl praying (Shutterstock)

According to Laura Alexander of The Conversation, President Donald Trump's term in office has caused a massive resurgence of religious political activism — on the left.

Specifically, she wrote, Catholic activists are holding protests — and sometimes getting arrested while protesting — Trump's inhumane treatment of migrant families.

"American Catholics, like any religious group, do not fit neatly into left-right political categories," Alexander wrote. "But ever more they are visibly joining the growing ranks of progressive Christians who oppose President Donald Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric and federal agencies’ negligent, occasionally deadly treatment of immigrants on his orders."

In recent history, she said, Christian political activism in this country has been publicly linked to right-wing causes, from restricting abortion to curtailing LGBTQ civil rights. But throughout American history, Christianity has also played a role in organizing progressive causes.

"I have studied religious thought and action around migrants and refugees for some time – including analyzing the New Sanctuary Movement, a network of churches that offers refuge to undocumented immigrants and advocates for immigration reform," wrote Alexander. "Black churches were central in the civil rights movement in the 1960s, and black Christians have continued to engage in advocacy and civil disobedience around poverty, inequality and police violence. Latinos and Native Americans, too, have for centuries fought for 'progressive' causes like labor rights, environmental protection and human rights."

So Trump has not so much created a Christian Left movement, she wrote, as he has brought it to the forefront of political consciousness.

"The primary reason Christian groups are now focusing on immigration, I’d argue, is simply that the notion of welcoming strangers and caring for the vulnerable are embedded in the Christian tradition," she wrote. "In the Biblical text Matthew 25, the 'Son of Man' – a figure understood to be Jesus – blesses people who gave food to the hungry, cared for the sick and welcomed strangers. And in Leviticus 19:34, God commands: 'The alien who resides with you shall be to you as the citizen among you.'"

And this strain of progressive Christian thought is starting to trickle into Democratic presidential campaigns as well, Alexander noted, with Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) citing the Bible to condemn wealth inequality, and Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) using it to call for criminal justice reform.

"The high profile, religiously based moral outrage at Trump’s immigration policies does seem to be spurring some long-overdue rethinking of what it means to be Christian in America," she concluded.