Donald Trump Manipulates ‘Hatred’ For His Own Political Advantage’ Jim Wallis, Christian Leaders Argue


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Sojourners founder Jim Wallis and dozens of
other Christian leaders are condemning Donald
Trump’s use of public fear and resentment
throughout the 2016 election as being “a
moral and theological crisis” that “threatens the
well being” of the American society.

More than 50 prominent Christians “from
across the political spectrum,” but mostly from
the Christian left, have signed onto a
declaration titled “Called to Resist Bigotry — A Statement of Faithful Obedience” that calls on Christians to resist rallying around
“demagogic” political candidates who rely on
exploiting anger and “hatred” to gain support.

“At significant times in history, however,
Christians from across the political spectrum
come together around political realities that
threaten the fundamental integrity of Christian
faith and the well-being of society itself,” the
declaration explained. “Sometimes what is called politics raises moral crises, in which our
faith is literally at stake in the way we respond.

“We the undersigned believe this is one of
those times, and that the churches in this
country, and our country itself, face such a
moral threat today. We are seeing the very
worst values of our nation and its history on
display with a vulgar message and style,” the statement continued. “A direct appeal to the
racial, religious, and gender bigotry that is
always under the surface of American politics is
now being brought to painful public light.”

Namely, the declaration calls out Trump, the
billionaire real estate mogul who after
sweeping five primary elections on Tuesday
has a good chance to win enough delegates to
be the GOP nominee.

The group of Christian leaders claims that
Trump, who has called for a ban against Muslim
immigration, called to build a wall at the U.S.
Southern border, and has been demeaning
towards women, “disrespects the dignity of
women, harms civil public discourse, offends moral decency, and seeks to manipulate
religion.”

“The ascendancy of a demagogic candidate
and his message, with the angry constituency
he is fueling, is a threat to both the values of
our faith and the health of our democracy,” the
declaration reads. “This is no longer politics as
usual, but rather a moral and theological crisis, and thus we are compelled to speak out as
faith leaders.”

The statement argues that Trump is “bringing
our nation’s worst instincts” and America’s
“racial sins” to the “political surface.”

“Trump’s highly visible and vulgar racial and
religious demagoguery presents a danger but
also an opportunity — to publicly expose and
resist the worst of American values,” the
leaders stressed. “By confronting a message so
contrary to our Christian values, our religious voices can help provide a powerful way to put
our true faith and our better American values
forward in the midst of national moral
confusion and crisis.”

In addition, the declaration adds that it is
understandable that many Americans have
anger about the direction of the country, but
warns that Trump is only using the public’s
anger for “his own political advantage,” not for
the good of the nation.

“Trump is shamelessly using racial resentment,
fear, and hatred — always dangerously
present in our society — to fuel a movement
against ‘the other,’ targeting other races,
women, cultures, ethnicities, nations, creeds,
and a whole global religion,” the declaration claims. “That stands in stark and chilling
opposition to the reconciling love of God
confessed by those who claim Jesus as Lord.”

Along with Wallis, the declaration was co-
signed by other Christian leaders, such as
prominent Maryland pastor, theologian and
author Brian McLaren; Shane Claiborne, a
leading figure in New Monasticism and a
founding member of “The Simple Way” in Philadelphia; Jim Winkler, president and
general secretary of the National Council of
Churches; Christian ethicist and columnist David
Gushee; Ronald J. Sider, theology professor at
Palmer Seminary at Eastern University; and
Joshua Dubois, the former head of the White House’s Office of Faith Based and
Neighborhood Partnerships.

Source: ChristianPost

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