In his prayer at the opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem last week, a prayer delivered against a backdrop of violence in Gaza, the evangelical pastor Robert Jeffress said Donald Trump was a moral leader who stood “on the right side of you, O God”.
Half a world away, outside the Capitol in Washington, the Rev William Barber led a moment of silence for the 60 Palestinians killed by Israeli soldiers.
As one group of faith leaders celebrates the fruits of a decades-long alliance with the Republican party, another is mounting a multi-faith challenge to the dominance of the Christian right, in an attempt to recapture the moral agenda.
“There is no religious left and religious right,” Barber, a pastor and political leader in North Carolina, told the Guardian. “There is only a moral center. And the scripture is very clear about where you have to be to be in the moral center – you have to be on the side of the poor, the working, the sick, the immigrant.”
Frustrated by conservative Christians’ focus on culture wars over issues such as abortion and gay marriage, Barber leads an ascendent grassroots movement that is trying to turn the national conversation to what they believe are the core teachings of the Bible: care for the poor, heal the sick, welcome the stranger. [Continue reading…]