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It appears that TOTUS’s Christian Conservatives backers are not as upright as they purport to be, this article shows that the “real” Christians are not as self serving as TOTUS’s backers. MA

Jason Lemon  1 hr ago

Christian Group Launches New Effort to Convince Swing-State Believers That Their Faith Should Lead Them to Vote Against Trump

A Christian group has launched a new effort to convince fellow believers to not back President Donald Trump’s reelection in the key swing states of Florida, Michigan and Pennsylvania.Donald Trump et al. posing for the camera: Christian faith leaders pray over President Donald Trump during an 'Evangelicals for Trump' campaign event held at the King Jesus International Ministry on January 3 in Miami, Florida© Joe Raedle/Getty Christian faith leaders pray over President Donald Trump during an ‘Evangelicals for Trump’ campaign event held at the King Jesus International Ministry on January 3 in Miami, Florida

Faithful America, which describes itself as the largest online community of grassroots Christians acting for social justice, announced the new effort and its largest-ever team expansion with four new organizers hired on Tuesday. In a press release emailed to Newsweek, the organization explained that it plans to “foster at least 11,000 deep, faith-based conversations about the moral values at stake in this election,” with a budget of $65,000.

Reverend Nathan Empsall, Faithful America’s campaigns director, explained in a statement emailed to Newsweek that this is the first time the organization has chosen to become directly involved in election activity.

“Donald Trump is not a normal president, which means that our approach to this election cannot be normal, either. We’re taking this new approach to relational organizing because our faith is deep, and our organizing must be deep too,” Empsall said.

Empsall explained that members of his organization believe Trump and Republicans have “distorted” the Gospel message of Christianity to serve a “hateful, right-wing agenda.” The reverend said the group’s message is that “people of faith can and should vote with love and hope, not hatred and discrimination.”

In Trump’s America, if you’re not a conservative white Christian, you’re not American.— Rev. Nathan Empsall (@NathanEmpsall) September 5, 2020

The Christian organizer pointed out that Trump has attacked “the faith of anyone who dares criticize him, claiming that Catholic Joe Biden will ‘hurt God,’ Mitt Romney’s Mormon faith is a ‘crutch,’ and Catholic Nancy Pelosi doesn’t pray. Trump has also opposed the rights and security of Native Americans, Muslims and Jews.”

“This is not religious freedom, or even Christian freedom: It is a form of toxic Christian nationalism,” Empsall said.

Florida, Michigan and Pennsylvania are seen as key battlegrounds in the November election. Former Democratic President Barack Obama won all three states in 2008 and 2012 but they flipped red for Trump in 2016. If Democrats managed to maintain all the states former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton won in 2016 and regained these three battleground states, that would push Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden to victory in the Electoral College.

Polling conducted by Pew Research Center in June showed that Christians overall were about evenly split on whether they approve or disapprove of the job Trump has done as president. While 49 percent said they disapproved, another 49 percent said they approved.

But Trump’s support among white evangelical Christians, which has been seen as a key base of support since his election in 2016, remained at 72 percent. Just a quarter (25 percent) of white evangelicals disapproved of the president. However, the poll showed a decline in support from 2016, when 76 percent of white evangelicals said they voted for Trump.

The president has attempted to position himself to Christian voters as a defender of “religious freedom.” But his critics readily point out that he appears to only be concerned about the “religious freedom” of conservative Christians. Trump publicly called for banning Muslims from entering the U.S. during his previous presidential campaign. After taking office, he pushed through a ban on immigrants from multiple Muslim-majority countries—which critics saw as a watered-down version of his proposed Muslim ban.

The president has leaned on the support of evangelical Christian leaders to rally his base of conservative supporters. Prominent evangelical pastor Franklin Graham prayed in support of President Donald Trump at the Republican National Convention in August. The evangelical leader has previously argued that Trump “defends the faith.”

But there has been a growing pushback from a minority of white evangelicals and many other Christians who see Trump and his policies as fundamentally opposed to the teachings of Jesus Christ and the Gospel message. Graham’s niece Jerusha Duford, who now describes herself as a “homeless evangelical,” joined the anti-Trump group The Lincoln Project in August, aiming to convince other evangelicals like herself to vote for Biden over the incumbent Republican president.

“Ultimately, Christians don’t need a candidate who will protect us — we need a candidate who will protect the least of these. If we truly want to be faithful disciples, then we must love our neighbors in everything we do, including voting,” Empsall said. “That means working to reunite families at the border; stopping the virus that kills our neighbors; protecting the climate, health care, and democracy; and standing up to white supremacy.”


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