Church of England bishop slams Christian Trump supporters
(5 months ago)
London, Dec 28 : A senior Church of England bishop has slammed conservative evangelical Christians in the US for their "uncritical support" of Donald Trump, urging them to reflect on how their endorsement of the President relates to their faith.
Paul Bayes, the bishop of Liverpool, told the Guardian that "self-styled evangelicals" risked bringing the word evangelical into disrepute, and said there was no justification for Christians contradicting God's teaching to protect the poor and the weak.
Bayes said: "Some of the things that have been said by religious leaders seem to collude with a system that marginalises the poor, a system which builds walls instead of bridges, a system which says people on the margins of society should be excluded, a system which says we're not welcoming people any more into our country.
"Whenever people say those kinds of things, they need to be able to justify that they're saying those things as Christians, and I do not believe it's justifiable."
He said he regretted that "people who call themselves evangelical in the US seem to be uncritically accepting" positions taken by Trump and his allies.
"Some quite significant so-called evangelical leaders are uncritically supporting people in ways that imply they are colluding or playing down the seriousness of things which in other parts of their lives (they) would see as really important," Bayes told the Guardian.
Last month, Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, said he could not comprehend the strength of support for Trump among conservative evangelicals in the US.
In his Christmas Day sermon at Canterbury Cathedral, Welby criticised "populist leaders that deceive" their people, in comments interpreted as being aimed at Trump.
According to the Washington-based Pew Research Centre, 80 per cent of self-identified white evangelical Christians said they voted for Trump in the 2016 election, and three-quarters have since said they approved of his presidency.