An evangelical theologian called out other evangelicals supporting President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump announces new social media network called 'TRUTH Social' Virginia State Police investigating death threat against McAuliffe Meadows hires former deputy AG to represent him in Jan. 6 probe: report MORE on Friday, urging them in an open letter to stop defending the president's rhetoric and actions.
"My fellow evangelicals who continue to support and even defend Trump in spite of everything he has said about the weak and vulnerable people of the world: It is time to admit you have been wrong and stop defending the indefensible," Roger E. Olson wrote in a blog post Friday.
Olson, a theology professor at Baylor University in Texas, cited Trump's reported remarks last week in which he referred to Haiti, El Salvador and some African nations as "shithole countries," calling the rhetoric blasphemous and racist.
"Trump's labeling of certain countries as 'sh*thole countries' because they are impoverished (often as a result of European and American colonialism and exploitation!) is blatantly racist — given their common racial identity," he wrote.
"To label them 'sh*thole countries' from the seat of power and privilege because they are poor and weak is to stand against Jesus who loved this world so much that he came into it to save it rather than just condemn it as it deserves (John 3:16-17)."
Trump reportedly made the remarks during an Oval Office meeting on immigration with a bipartisan group of lawmakers.
The president has received backlash for the remarks, however many of his influential evangelical supporters have stood by the president.
Pastor Robert Jeffress, who is a member of the president's evangelical advisory board, said the comments were "right on target," while Pastor Mark Burns invoked the Trump administration's "America First" agenda, saying “black people in America are suffering.”
Franklin Graham said the president was being "beaten up for saying something that he says he didn’t say."
However, there could be a rift in the community on the issue of immigration.
Various members of Trump's evangelical advisory board held a rare meeting with House Minority Leader Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOvernight Defense & National Security — Presented by Raytheon Technologies — Navy probe reveals disastrous ship fire response GOP rep leaves committee assignments after indictment Under pressure, Democrats cut back spending MORE (D-Calif.) on Thursday in a show of support for the preservation of the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.