As Trump Attends National Prayer Breakfast, Over 800 Christian Leaders Blast His Hypocrisy
As president Donald Trump attends the National Prayer Service at the National Cathedral, more than 800 Christian leaders denounced his hypocrisy signing a letter reminding the president that Christians are called to “protect the downtrodden” and “the migrant.”
“The Gospel is not about prosperity, but Good News for the poor. In them, we encounter Christ,” the letter states.
On Thursday, Trump joined politicians, dignitaries and religious leaders for the annual National Prayer Breakfast. Every president has attended the religious ceremony since it began in 1953.
The event is intended as a time when politicians “set aside partisanship and come together to share faith, fellowship and prayer,” But Trump took the opportunity to talk about himself and attack the new Apprentice.
“The world is in trouble, but we’re gonna straighten it out, OK? That’s what I do, I fix things. We’re gonna straighten it out. Believe me. When you hear about the tough phone calls I’m having, don’t worry about it. Just don’t worry about it,” Trump said before said before asking the audience in a sarcastic way to pray for Arnold schwarzenegger, the new host of ‘The Apprentice.’
Pastor Rick Warren of California’s Saddleback Church spoke at the event. “I think it’s an important thing particularly right now after this last year. The election and campaigning of last year really has divided America,” Warren said.
“The Bible calls on Christians to be peacemakers who work to bring opposing sides together,” the pastor added.
Since taking office, Trump has done little to unite the country. His first week as president was marked by a succession of executive orders that targeted Muslims and refugees, ordered the construction of a border wall, and began unraveling the nation’s healthcare.
Trump has also baffled some Christians with his failure to uphold certain fundamental practices of the faith. At least one evangelical leader rationalized Trump’s fair-weather faith by calling him a “baby Christian.”
Many of the Christian leaders Trump surrounds himself with, though, justify the president’s actions by saying it isn’t the government’s role to uphold certain Biblical commandments, like welcoming the stranger. They typically sing a different tune on matters like abortion and same-sex marriage.
However, many religious leaders have questioned the president’s moral integrity as a self-professed Christian.
“There is nothing Christian about his ban on refugees from Muslim countries, denigration of immigrants, and repeal of pro-life healthcare. I call on President Trump to put his Christian values into practice,” said Sister Simone Campbell, Executive Director of NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice, in a statement.
Campbell was among the religious leaders who signed Wednesday’s letter, along with Sister Donna Markham, president of Catholic Charities USA, retired Archbishop Joseph Fiorenza, former President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Rev. William Barber II, president of Repairers of the Breach, and prominent evangelical leaders Jim Wallis and Tony Campolo.
“A troubled conscience is one hallmark of a great leader,” the Christian leaders wrote. “A conscience that is not awake to suffering and fails to respond is walled off from the love of God.”