The life of evangelical churches and their spiritual leaders has been portrayed in some recent films and series. Can they help us start conversations?
Pastors Russell Moore and Max Lucado raise their voice against Trump’s candidacy. For some Christian voters “it doesn’t matter if our candidate hates, bullies, and exploits other people”, dennounces Gina Dalfonzo.
Clinton and Trump each won 7 of the 11 state races, and they distanced themselves from party rivals, looking ahead to the November 8 presidential election.
CLINTON: “WE HAVE TO MAKE AMERICA WHOLE”
Hillary Clinton picked up wins in Georgia, Virginia, Alabama,Tennessee, Arkansas,Texas and Massachusetts.
"We know we have got work to do, but that work is not to make America great again", she said in a direct hit on Donald Trump's campaign slogan. "America never stopped being great. We have to make America whole", she added.
Clinton's only opponent, Bernie Sanders won Oklahoma, as well as his home state of Vermont, Colorado and Minnesota.
TRUMP, CLOSER TO BE REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE
Trump scored seven victories this Tuesday in Massachusetts, Virginia, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, Arkansas, and in Vermont.
After his victory, Trump ridiculed Clinton´s comments: "She's been there for so long", he said. "If she hasn't straightened it out by now, she's not going to straighten it out in the next four years."
Republican senator Ted Cruz, won his home state of Texas, Alaska and Oklahoma. "Our campaign is the only campaign that has beaten, that can beat, and that will beat Donald Trump", Cruz declared.
Meanwhile, Marcos Rubio picked up the first victory of his presidential campaign by winning the Minnesota caucuses
EVANGELICAL VOICES AGAINST TRUMP
Despite of his victory, many people from different backgrounds and ideologies have raised their voices against Trump´s campaign, criticising his speech and his rudeness.
Some of those voices have come from Christians publications, evangelical leaders, and well know authors, like The Christian Post, Max Lucado, Russell Moore, or Gina Dalfonzo.
CHRISTIAN POST: “TRUMP IS EXCEPTIONALLY BAD”
"We feel compelled by our moral responsibility to our readers to make clear that Donald Trump does not represent the interests of evangelicals and would be a dangerous leader for our country", the senior editors of The Christian Post wrote.
The online newspaper encourages "our readers to back away" from the Republican party because "Trump is exceptionally bad."
"Trump is a misogynist and philanderer, he demeans women and minorities. His preferred forms of communication are insults, obscenities and untruths”, Christian Post said.
Donald Trump has been lambasted by the news website because he "is promising many things that he cannot possibly deliver, but the most frightening part is Trump's stated willingness to ignore the authority of the Supreme Court, Congress and the U.S. Constitution if he were to become president."
It concludes: "This is a critical time in American history and we call on all Christians to pray for personal repentance, divine forgiveness and spiritual awakening for our nation. It is not the time for Donald Trump."
LUCADO: “TRUMP WOULD NOT PASS MY DECENCY INTERVIEW”
Pastor and well known author Max Lucado, also wrote in his blog against what he called “Trump´s insensitivities”, which “wouldn’t be acceptable even for a middle school student body election. But for the Oval Office? And to do so while brandishing a Bible and boasting of his Christian faith?”
According to Lucado, Trump succeeds because “he has tapped into the anger of the American people.”
“As one man said, 'We are voting with our middle finger.' Sounds more like a comment for a gang-fight than a presidential election. Anger-fueled reactions have caused trouble ever since Cain was angry at Abel”, he added.
Lucado said that Trump “would not pass my decency interview”, and prayed “for a return to verbal decency. Perhaps Mr. Trump will better manage his comments. “
“Or, perhaps the American public will remember the key role of the president: to be the face of America. Whether we agree or disagree with the policies of the president, do we not hope that they speak in a way that is consistent with the status of the office?” he concludes.
“THE WORD EVANGELICAL HAS BEEN CO-OPTED BY LUNATICS”
Russell Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, wrote an editorial for The Washington Post, arguing that “the word 'evangelical' has been co-opted by heretics and lunatics".
He introduced himself as a "gospel Christian" because “the word 'evangelical' has become almost meaningless this year, and in many ways the word itself is at the moment subverting the gospel of Jesus Christ."
"Why are many evangelical leaders, including some who pontificate on nearly everything else, scared silent as evangelicalism is associated with everything from authoritarianism and bigotry to violations of religious freedom?", he asked.
Moore stressed that "the word 'evangelical' isn't, first of all, about American politics", but rather “means a commitment to the truth of God's revelation in the Bible and a conviction that the blood of Christ is offered to any repentant, believing sinner as a full atonement for sin.”
He also pointed out that polls don't distinguish between actual churchgoers and those who self-identify as evangelical:
"Many of those who tell pollsters they are 'evangelical' may well be drunk right now, and haven't been into a church since someone invited them to Vacation Bible School sometime back when Seinfeld was in first-run episodes", he wrote.
“HE IS A REALITY-SHOW STAR”
In Gina Dalfonzo´s article in First Things magazine, she described Trump as “a reality-show star who spends his days on Twitter calling people `dumb´and `loser´.”
“This is how some who have professed faith in Jesus Christ are lured by a man who openly puts all his faith in power and money, the very things Christ warned us against prizing too highly”, she wrote.
She believed that “if elected, Donald Trump will be the first US president to own a strip club,” and yet “he has the support of Christians who fervently believe that this country needs to clean up its morals.”
“It doesn’t matter if our candidate hates, bullies, and exploits other people, the reasoning goes, just as long as he’s good to us and gives us what we want. Hatred is a perfectly acceptable weapon, as long as it’s on our side”, she argued.
She made an analogy between Trump and C.S. Lewis´ character Nikabrik, pointed out that the Christian writer ”may has lived well before Donald Trump’s time, but he was prescient about the situation.”
Because “the only fate that awaits a group that turns against its own core values for the sake of security and power is the fate of Nikabrik”, she concluded.