A leading conservative who served as a speechwriter under President George W Bush has told Donald Trump’s Christian supporters that they are “betraying the Lord.” Peter Wehner, in an article for The Atlantic magazine, said Trump had reshaped Christianity in America and pointed to the results of a poll showing growing support for political violence.
Wehner accused Trump of using “words that echo Mein Kampf,” which betray the Christian belief that all human beings are of equal value and dignity.
President Trump has vast support among US Christians; 75% of evangelicals voted for him in 2020, compared to 24% who supported President Biden. Mr. Wehner is not, however, the only Christian to warn against Christian support for Trump, with many saying his actions and behavior do not accord with Christian teachings.
In 2021, high-profile Baptist theologian Russell Moore blamed the January 6 riots squarely on Donald Trump and said, “If you can defend this, you can defend anything.” Similarly, in August this year, Reverend Nathan Empsall claimed the former President had “hijacked” the name of Jesus Christ. Empsall warned that the pro-Trump “ReAwaken America Tour” was spreading right-wing rhetoric and antisemitism, which he described as “both blasphemous and an existential threat to the country and our churches.”
More recently, an Iowa evangelical added his voice to the criticism and said no American parent wants their child to grow up like Donald Trump. Expressing his support for Floridian Governor Ron DeSantis, Bob Vander Plaats condemned Trump’s behavior toward Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds, whom Trump denounced in July.
Accusing the former President of insulting two of the most popular Governors in America – Kim Reynolds and Ron DeSantis – Vander Plaats said, “You call them names and all that just because they don’t bow the knee to you. That’s not leadership.”
More than 13,000 Christians signed a petition in September calling on “anti-indictment MAGA pastors” to condemn violent threats against Georgia DA Fani Willis following her indictment of President Trump.