President Donald Trump has become the “moral definition” of the religious right movement, progressive evangelical activist Rev. Jim Wallis has claimed, denouncing the president’s warm reception at a Christian conservative summit in Washington, D.C. earlier this month.
Wallis, the 69-year-old founder of the left-leaning Christian social justice organization Sojourners, took to the Sojourners website on Thursday to express his frustrations with evangelical conservatives who gathered at the Family Research Council’s Values Voters Summit and greeted Trump with a standing ovation when he became the first president ever to speak at the annual event on Oct. 13.
“President Donald Trump is the logical hero for the ‘religious right,’ judging by how he was welcomed to their Values Voter Summit last weekend. These Christians rallied around the billionaire playboy, political bully, ethno-nationalist, and purveyor of racial bigotry,” Wallis wrote. “As a result, he has become the moral definition of their movement.”
Wallis pointed out that one of the longest applauses Trump received during his speech at the summit was when he stated that “We respect our great American flag.”
“Those standing and shouting ‘USA! USA!’ were making a clear statement against black athletes who have been protesting racial injustice and police brutality during the national anthem,” Wallis, who has also claimed that people who oppose NFL players kneeling during the anthem are more “white” than “Christian,” stated.
Wallis also criticized the invite of Breitbart Executive Chairman Steve Bannon, whose website is seen as a platform for alt-right views. Bannon is a former White House chief strategist and also headed the final months of the Trump 2016 presidential campaign.
During his speech before the evangelical crowd on Oct. 14, Bannon declared that economic nationalism is the “centerpiece of value voters.”
“Steve Bannon showed up, too, and his revivalist message of economic and cultural nationalism also wowed the crowd, with an altar call to make ‘war’ on the Republican establishment, because ‘you are the transmission of the best values of the Judeo-Christian West,'” Wallis wrote.
“Bannon’s far-right media platform makes clear what the racial implications of this cultural nationalism are. Of course, the fact that Jewish and Christian values actually abhor the exclusion of other human beings, and hold every society accountable for how we treat the poorest and most vulnerable, was not mentioned,” Wallis continued. “Muslims, of course, were also not mentioned, except for accusations of false religions and implied terrorist threats to America.”
Bannon has claimed that his nationalist views have nothing to do with “race” or “religion,” telling the Values Voters Summit that “it doesn’t matter what your race is or ethnicity, your gender, your religion, your sexual preference. … As long as you are a citizen of this republic, that’s what matters.”
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Samuel Smith