UK bishop: US evangelicals 'uncritically accepting' of positions taken by Trump

UK bishop: US evangelicals 'uncritically accepting' of positions taken by Trump
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A senior Church of England bishop said conservative evangelical Christians in the U.S. are uncritical in their support for President TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse Democrat slams Donald Trump Jr. for ‘serious case of amnesia’ after testimony Skier Lindsey Vonn: I don’t want to represent Trump at Olympics Poll: 4 in 10 Republicans think senior Trump advisers had improper dealings with Russia MORE.

“People who call themselves evangelical in the U.S. seem to be uncritically accepting" regarding positions of Trump and his allies, said Paul Bayes, the bishop of Liverpool, during an interview with The Guardian.

“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,” he added.

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The bishop said some of the things that have been said by religious leaders "seem to collude with a system that marginalizes 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 noted that not all evangelicals support Trump. There are “many, many Christians who are trying to proclaim the gospel as we’ve received it, even if that means political leaders have to be challenged," he said during the interview.

Leaders of the Church of England have in the past made comments critical of Trump and his actions.

The Archbishop of Canterbury in his Christmas sermon went after "populist leaders," though he did not specifically cite Trump.

Last month, the archbishop said he doesn't understand why President Trump enjoys such broad support among Christian fundamentalists.

"There's two things going through my mind: do I say what I think, or do I say what I should say?" Justin Welby said in an interview with ITV. "And I'm going to say what I think."

"I really genuinely do not understand where that is coming from," he said of Trump's support among Christian fundamentalists.

In November, he also called it "deeply disturbing that the president of the United States has chosen to amplify the voice of far-right extremists."

Those comments came after Trump faced widespread backlash from British leaders when he shared anti-Muslim videos from a leader of a fringe ultranationalist party in Britain.

Trump enjoys support among fundamentalist Christians, who came out in large numbers to back him in the 2016 election.

Trump established an Evangelical Executive Advisory Board during the campaign as a way to connect with the conservative Christian voting block.

The board has been kept intact by the White House and features conservative Christians such as Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr.

Falwell and other evangelical leaders have in the past been outspoken in their support for Trump.

The Rev. Franklin Graham, the son of the evangelist Billy Graham and president of Samaritan's Purse, an Evangelical humanitarian organization, earlier this month praised Trump for not being afraid to mention the name of Jesus Christ and said it was "refreshing to have a president who's just not afraid and doesn't care what liberals think."