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Statement by Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, President of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC)/CONEL Regarding the announcement that Republican candidate Donald J. Trump received enough Electoral College votes to become the 45th President

SACRAMENTO, Calif., Nov. 9, 2016 – “Now that the presidential election is finally behind us, our nation must put partisan politics and divisive rhetoric behind us as well. Instead of the agenda of the donkey or the elephant, Christians must be about the Lamb’s agenda.

“We can and we must continue the fight to reconcile Billy Graham’s message of righteousness with Dr. Martin Luther King’s march for justice. The moment we, as Christian voters, are co-opted by any given political party or ideology, we lose our legitimacy to speak truth to power.

Looking ahead, now is the time to rise up as people of faith and as an independent voice that holds political leaders on both sides of the aisle accountable to policies that don’t aim left or right, but toward righteousness and justice, for all.

“Chief of which remains our concern for the sanctity of life, religious liberty, racial unity, immigration reform educational equality. As I with previous administrations, including President Obama, I look forward to working with the new administration. We pray for the safe keeping of our democracy as we transition to the new Donald Trump administration and we pray that God will continue to bless and prosper our nation in the coming months and years ahead.”


Declaración del Reverendo Samuel Rodríguez, Presidente de la National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC)/CONEL con respecto al anuncio de que el candidato republicano Donald J. Trump recibió suficientes votos del Colegio Electoral para convertirse en el 45o. Presidente de los Estados Unidos

“Ahora que la elección presidencial finalmente ha quedado atrás, nuestra nación debe también dejar atrás las políticas partidarias y las retóricas que provocan divisiones. En lugar de la agenda del burro o del elefante, los cristianos deben tener la agenda del Cordero. Podemos y debemos continuar la lucha para conciliar el mensaje de rectitud de Billy Graham con la marcha por la justicia del Dr. Martin Luther King. Si nosotros, como votantes cristianos, somos cooptados por cualquier partido político o ideología, perdemos legitimidad para enfrentar al poder con la verdad. Mirando hacia el futuro, es este el momento para pararnos como personas de fe y como una voz independiente que haga responsables a los líderes políticos de ambos lados con respecto a las políticas que no apunten a la izquierda o la derecha, sino a la rectitud y a la justicia, para todos.

“Nuestra principal preocupación sigue estando relacionada con la libertad religiosa, la santidad de la vida, la reforma inmigratoria y la unidad racial. Espero con ansiedad trabajar con la nueva administración. Rezamos por la seguridad de nuestra democracia en la transición hacia la nueva administración de Donald Trump y rogamos a Dios para que continúe bendiciendo y haciendo prosperar a nuestra nación en los próximos meses y años”.

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Evangelical Christians celebrate and urge unity; others wary

(RNS) Some celebrated and congratulated the victor. Some prayed and called for unity. But it was clear early on that evangelical Christians were key to Donald Trump’s stunning upset in the 2016 presidential election.

Meanwhile, others — including atheists and Muslims — reacted in shock and vowed to defend against what one group termed “unconstitutional and undemocratic actions.”

According to exit polls, 81 percent of white evangelicals and born-again Christians cast their ballots for the reality TV star-turned-Republican presidential candidate. It was a higher figure than voted for Republicans Mitt Romney (79 percent) in 2012, John McCain (73 percent) four years before that or George W. Bush (79 percent) in 2004.


“The triumph of Donald Trump may signal ‘the last hurrah’ of white male evangelicals in America, or it may mean that their influence is once again on the rise. We will have to wait and see,” Tony Campolo, former spiritual adviser to President Bill Clinton, told Christian Today.

“But there is no question that his victory was largely due to their support.”

Here’s how prominent evangelical Christians and others responded to the 2016 presidential election results as they became clear overnight.

 

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks at his election-night rally in New York City on Nov. 9, 2016. Photo courtesy of Reuters/Mike Segar

Paula White

White is Trump’s spiritual adviser, a member of his evangelical advisory board and pastor of the New Destiny Christian Center in Florida. She issued this written statement:

“Far more than what divides us, this election has revealed what unites us. I have never seen such solidarity between evangelicals and catholics, pentecostals, charismatics and baptists. We were brought together with a mutual love for our country and through a mutual faith in God. The election started the conversation but what will come from these new and renewed relationships will have far more impact than anything that could be realized through the election of any politician. We aren’t ending this season so much entering a new one, ready to love the world together to a degree greater than we ever could alone.”

Samuel Rodriguez

Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, called the election results “Brexit 2.0” on Twitter.

In a longer written statement, he said:

” Instead of the agenda of the donkey or the elephant, Christians must be about the Lamb’s agenda. We can and we must continue the fight to reconcile Billy Graham’s message of righteousness with Dr. Martin Luther King’s march for justice. The moment we, as Christian voters, are co-opted by any given political party or ideology, we lose our legitimacy to speak truth to power. Looking ahead, now is the time to rise up as people of faith and as an independent voice that holds political leaders on both sides of the aisle accountable to policies that don’t aim left or right, but toward righteousness and justice, for all. Chief of which remains our concern for religious liberty, the sanctity of life, immigration reform and racial unity. We pray for the safe keeping of our democracy as we transition to the new Donald Trump administration and we pray that God will continue to bless and prosper our nation in the coming months and years ahead.”

David Silverman

David Silverman, president of American Atheists, tweeted Tuesday night: “This is why I fight. This makes the work more important. Separation of religion and gov is in serious danger. Help.”

Jen Hatmaker

In the weeks leading up to the election, the best-selling Christian author called Trump “absolutely, positively, thoroughly unfit for the presidency” in a controversial interview with RNS in which she also expressed her support for the LGBT community. As electoral votes rolled in Tuesday for Trump, Hatmaker tweeted, “Will someone come hold my hand?”

The day before, she had posted on Facebook:

“Our marching orders are the same. We are still about the same things we’ve always been about, Christian. We will still love our neighbors and resist fear. We will stick up for the marginalized and protect the vulnerable. We will show up for the hard work of good citizenship and remain faithful to God and each other. We will insist on bringing hope and grace and strength and love to this busted up world. We will not malign people out of fear or confusion. We will love God and love people and that is the same basic plan it has always been.”

Her fellow speaker on the Belong Tour, Nichole Nordeman, also tweeted as Trump’s win was announced early Wednesday morning.

Russell Moore

The president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission has been one of Trump’s most outspoken evangelical critics.

Early Wednesday, Moore urged Christians to pray for the president-elect in a blog post. And he said, “No matter what the racial and ethnic divisions in America, we can be churches that demonstrate and embody the reconciliation of the kingdom of God.

“The most important lesson we should learn is that the church must stand against the way politics has become a religion, and religion has become politics,” he said.

 

U.S. Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta leaves the stage after addressing supporters at the election night rally in New York, on November 9, 2016. Photo courtesy of Reuters/Rick Wilking

Ronnie Floyd

Floyd — senior pastor of Cross Church in Arkansas, another member of Trump’s evangelical advisory board and former president of the Southern Baptist Convention — started Election Day with this tweet: “It is a great day in America: Pray, Vote, and Trust God.”

As results were announced, he issued this written statement:

“I pray sincerely that God might grant wisdom to our new commander in chief to lead our nation in righteousness and toward peace and justice. This is a time to rebuild and to reconcile, to lock arms with our fellow Americans and work with our elected officials for a better future. We must remember that the task of protecting our rights to life and religious freedom is as much the responsibility of the average American as it is of the individual sitting in the oval office. May each of us then take upon ourselves this duty and work with elected officials at all levels of government to secure these rights for future generations. All along the way, may we seek the good of all Americans. Let us extend honor and love to all, and reserve our fear and worship only to God, who alone deserves to be our source of ultimate hope and security.”

John Fea

In response to an ABC News exit poll showing Trump captured 81 percent of the evangelical vote, Fea, professor of American history and chair of the history department at Messiah College in Pennsylvania, tweeted, “If this is evangelicalism–I am out.”

Others shared similar sentiments.

David Jeremiah

Jeremiah — founder of Turning Point, senior pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church in California and another member of Trump’s evangelical advisory board — issued this written statement:

“This presidential election has been a moment in history when God has reminded us that our ultimate citizenship is indeed in heaven, and not on earth. While we love America, as Christians we are sojourners and pilgrims, and like the heroes of our faith we are looking for a better country beyond this earthly one, to the heavenly city God has prepared for us. Let us then continue walking by faith, not by sight, placing our trust in God’s eternal promises and not in the fleeting machinations of men. We commit to pray for the new Trump administration. We pray that God might have mercy on our nation and that our leaders might know and fear Him, for as the Scriptures say, blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord. This is a time when we must hold fast to our calling to be good citizens and to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world, pointing those around us toward our hope in Christ and breathing life wherever there is despair. Presidents come and go, but our God remains forever and he will be on his throne on November 9 as he was on November 8 and as he will be for all of eternity.”

 

Donald Trump supporters cheer as presidential election results are announced during a Republican watch party in Phoenix on Nov. 8, 2016. Photo courtesy of Reuters/Nancy Wiechec

Robert Jeffress

Jeffress, senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Dallas and a member of Trump’s evangelical advisory board, tweeted a photo of himself at the Trump victory party Tuesday night in New York City.

In a short video message posted online immediately after Trump’s victory speech early Wednesday, Jeffress said: “No matter how you feel about the outcome of this election, I hope you’ll join me in praying for my friend President-elect Donald Trump.

“For those who didn’t choose to vote for President-elect Donald Trump and may carry a measure of uncertainty about the future, there’s no need to fear and no reason to be discouraged. In Daniel, chapter 2, it’s clear that God alone establishes our leaders. As Christians, our hope does not reside in kings, presidents or any authority other than God and God alone.”

Tony Campolo

Campolo, former spiritual adviser to President Bill Clinton, said in an interview with Christian Today:

“The triumph of Donald Trump may signal ‘the last hurrah’ of white male evangelicals in America, or it may mean that their influence is once again on the rise. We will have to wait and see.

“But there is no question that his victory was largely due to their support. His victory is likely to get evangelicals to do some soul searching as to who they are, and why they were swept up in supporting a man whose rhetoric played upon fear of immigrants, fear of Muslims, an anti-scientific disbelief in global warming, overt racism and sexist attitudes that are contrary to scripture.”

Rachel Held Evans

The popular Christian author and blogger wore a pantsuit to the polls Tuesday,posting on Facebook that her vote for Hillary Clinton “wasn’t a difficult choice, and I’m not embarrassed about it.”

In her tweets throughout the day, Evans chastised both Trump and the white evangelicals who voted for him:

“God is still on the throne. And Donald Trump still shouldn’t be president. Both of these things can be true,” she tweeted.

And, “White Evangelicals, you just made Donald Trump the most powerful man in the world. Don’t you dare complain about being persecuted.”

Pope Francis

The Vatican’s highest-ranking diplomat, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, congratulated Trump and said the Catholic leadership was praying “that God enlightens him and supports him in the service of his country of course, but also in the service of well-being and peace in the world.”

Parolin, the Vatican’s secretary of state, said he hoped Trump would modify the hard-line immigration policy he advocated in his campaign rhetoric, but Parolin noted that “from what I have heard Donald Trump has already expressed himself in terms of a leader.”

Pope Francis provoked a political storm in February returning from a visit to Mexico when he said Trump was “not Christian” for pledging to build a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico.

David Harris

David Harris of the global Jewish advocacy organization AJC lamented the “bigotry and exclusion” expressed during the campaign, which included anti-Jewish hate speech on the part of some of the more vociferous Trump supporters.

“America’s diversity must be defended against any further attempts to demonize or stigmatize on the basis of ethnicity, race, gender or faith,” he said in a statement.

Harris added that the top priority now is to “address the wounds of an extraordinarily divisive contest.”

Muslim Advocates

The national legal advocacy and educational organizationposted on its website:

“Throughout this election, Muslim Advocates has repeatedly expressed grave concern about undemocratic and unconstitutional policies proposed by candidates – from banning Muslims from the U.S. to vilifying Mexican Americans to threatening journalists and political opponents with unilateral executive action and imprisonment. These policies violate the very foundation of our democracy and threaten every American’s right to freedom, justice and equality. If President-elect Trump wants to bring America together and be a leader for all Americans, he will need to disavow these dangerous proposals and ideas.

“Today, we stand shoulder to shoulder with our fellow Americans who reject racism, bigotry, anti-Semitism and division. Muslim Advocates will use every legal tool available to protect our country against unconstitutional and undemocratic actions.”

Jim Daly

Daly, president of Focus on the Family, issued this statement early Wednesday:

“As a Christian who believes in the ultimate sovereignty of God, I have to believe He allows our circumstances to fulfill His plans. As the prophet Daniel said, “He changes times and seasons; He removes kings and sets up kings; He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding.” The nation has spoken. I pray that God grants us the grace and wisdom to seek His heart for all people made in His image, the preborn, the elderly, progressive and conservative, each one of us. I am reminded His son Jesus Christ died for all. May those of us who trust in Him express our faith by bringing His peace to a world filled with chaos.”

Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism

The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism published a statementWednesday signed by representatives of the Union for Reform Judaism, Central Conference of American Rabbis, Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism and other organizations.

It read in part:

“President-elect Trump has the opportunity to use his office to bring Americans together, and to move us toward a brighter future. If he does so, we will be ready to work with him for the common good. If he does not, we also stand ready to be fierce advocates for the values that guide us: inclusivity, justice and compassion.

Just as Abraham went out into a place of great uncertainty, we now find ourselves in an unanticipated time and place. But we know, like Abraham, that our faith and enduring values will be a strong foundation as we move forward. We love the stranger, feed the hungry and care for the orphan and the widow.”


Trillia Newbell

Newbell, director of community outreach for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission for the Southern Baptist Convention, said that in the weeks before the election, she cried when a loved one shared he or she was supporting Trump for president. And those don’t appear to have been tears of joy.

“Actually in tears after seeing someone I love post that they are voting for Trump. I can take the Christian celebrities but friends are hard,” Newbell tweeted.

On Wednesday morning, she urged prayer in a post on the ERLC website.

“The results mean good news for some, and bad news for others. It’s good to be involved and even concerned about the political climate of our country. As Christians, this burden for the nation should lead us from angst to prayer,” she said.

Jim Wallis

Wallis, president of Sojourners, wrote a post Wednesday on its website, urging Christians to “reach out in solidarity and protection to those who feel and are most vulnerable” and pledging to do his part.

“Most white evangelicals didn’t seem to mind that they sold their souls to a man who embodies the most sinful and shameful worship of money, sex, and power, and — perhaps more than any other public figure in America — represents the very worst values of what American culture has become. We have never witnessed such religious hypocrisy as we saw in this election, with the majority of white Christians voting for a man like Donald Trump, including an overwhelming number of white evangelicals: 81 percent, 8 points better than Romney, including 75 percent of white evangelical women. It is a real tragedy that most of America’s well-known white megachurch pastors were not heard from in this election, and their silence in the face of Trump’s racial politics may end their own moral credibility. The religious right leaders, who supported Trump politically over all their previously expressed religious values, showed once and for all that they have always been primarily right-wing political operatives and should never be taken as ‘religious’ again.”

Jesus Christ

OK, so Jesus Christ isn’t actually on Twitter. But @JesusofNaz316 is. And the often wryly humorous Twitter account turned serious Tuesday night as the results of the election came in.

“Feel the shock tonight. Pray,” the account tweeted. “Then tomorrow join hands and work for justice, welcome the stranger, stand with the oppressed, and hope.”

Original post can be read here: http://religionnews.com/2016/11/09/religious-reactions-to-trump-win-time-to-rebuild-and-to-reconcile/

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Paula White: Donald Trump’s Victory Reminds Us of What Unites Us

Americans voted to elect Republican Donald Trump as president in what has been described as “miraculous” and “divine intervention.”

Christian leadership rang in Trump’s victory after he garnered 276 electoral college votes compared to Democrat Hillary Clinton’s 216.

Here’s what the leaders are saying:

“Now that the presidential election is finally behind us, our nation must put partisan politics and divisive rhetoric behind us as well. I look forward to working with the new administration. Instead of the agenda of the donkey or the elephant, Christians must be about the Lamb’s agenda. We can and we must continue the fight to reconcile Billy Graham’s message of righteousness with Dr. Martin Luther King’s march for justice. The moment we, as Christian voters, are co-opted by any given political party or ideology, we lose our legitimacy to speak truth to power. Looking ahead, now is the time to rise up as people of faith and as an independent voice that holds political leaders on both sides of the aisle accountable to policies that don’t aim left or right, but toward righteousness and justice, for all. Chief of which remains our concern for religious liberty, the sanctity of life, immigration reform and racial unity. We pray for the safe keeping of our democracy as we transition to the new Donald Trump administration, and we pray that God will continue to bless and prosper our nation in the coming months and years ahead.”

—Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, President of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference

“Far more than what divides us, this election has revealed what unites us. I have never seen such solidarity between evangelicals and Catholics, Pentecostals, charismatics and Baptists. We were brought together with a mutual love for our country and through a mutual faith in God. The election started the conversation, but what will come from these new and renewed relationships will have far more impact than anything that could be realized through the election of any politician. We aren’t ending this season so much as entering a new one, ready to love the world together to a degree greater than we ever could alone.”

—Pastor Paula White, New Destiny Christian Center

“From Hyderabad, India: My deepest and most sincere congratulations to the president-elect, Donald J. Trump. Over the span of my life, I have respected and admired the office of the U.S. presidency. Perhaps no other individual has a greater responsibility and expectation bestowed upon himself/herself to lead. I wish Donald J. Trump the fortitude needed to carry such an enormous task. Today, the world needs America’s strength more than ever. We are living in tumultuous times, and it is in moments like these that international cooperation for the sake of peace and justice is imperative. But we also need America’s kindness. The United States, though relatively young historically, has long been a source of hope to all those who desire their countries—and indeed, their children—have a future filled with opportunity. I pray that, as a new era in U.S. governance begins, we might all be encouraged to double our efforts for the purpose of peace. May we be emboldened to stand with the marginalised and the oppressed, and may we, with faith in Christ, see each human with value and dignity, offering hope for this time.”

—Most Rev. Dr. Joseph D’Souza, Moderating Bishop of the Good Shepherd Church and Associated Ministries of India

“My sincere congratulations to Donald J. Trump as he has been elected the next president of the United States. I pray sincerely that God might grant wisdom to our new commander in chief to lead our nation in righteousness and toward peace and justice. This is a time to rebuild and to reconcile, to lock arms with our fellow Americans and work with our elected officials for a better future. We must remember that the task of protecting our rights to life and religious freedom is as much the responsibility of the average American as it is of the individual sitting in the Oval Office. May each of us then take upon ourselves this duty and work with elected officials at all levels of government to secure these rights for future generations. All along the way, may we seek the good of all Americans. Let us extend honor and love to all, and reserve our fear and worship only to God, who alone deserves to be our source of ultimate hope and security.”

—Dr. Ronnie Floyd, Senior Pastor of Cross Church, Immediate Past President of theSouthern Baptist Convention

“The people have spoken and I join with leaders around the world in pledging my prayers and support to Donald J. Trump upon his election as President of the United States. I would also like to reiterate one simple truth believed by hundreds-of-millions of Christians around the world: the success of this new administration will remain fully centered upon its commitment to the state of Israel. May the Trump administration be a friend and an ally to Israel to a greater degree than any previous administration. The clearest indication of this commitment would be the immediate transfer of the Embassy of the United States to Jerusalem.”

—Dr. Mike Evans, Friends of Zion Museum, Jerusalem, Israel

“I would like to congratulate Donald Trump on his victory. This presidential election has been a moment in history when God has reminded us that our ultimate citizenship is indeed in heaven and not on earth. While we love America, as Christians we are sojourners and pilgrims, and like the heroes of our faith, we are looking for a better country beyond this earthly one, to the heavenly city God has prepared for us. Let us then continue walking by faith, not by sight, placing our trust in God’s eternal promises and not in the fleeting machinations of men. We commit to pray for the new Trump administration. We pray that God might have mercy on our nation and that our leaders might know and fear Him, for as the Scriptures say, blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord. This is a time when we must hold fast to our calling to be good citizens and to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world, pointing those around us toward our hope in Christ and breathing life wherever there is despair. Presidents come and go, but our God remains forever and he will be on his throne on November 9 as he was on November 8 and as he will be for all of eternity.”

—Dr. David Jeremiah, Senior Pastor, Shadow Mountain Community Church

“Last night was a real November surprise for a lot of people! In the biggest political upset of our lifetime, the American people elected Donald J. Trump and Mike Pence to lead our nation. I congratulate them this morning! This election has been long, it’s been tough, and it’s been divisive. It’s time to put that behind us. Now is the time to come together in unity and work together. Our nation has so many problems that need fixing. Even more important are the spiritual needs of our country. Whether we are rich or poor, without Jesus Christ we are the most desperately in need, the poorest of the poor. We cannot ignore His hand and His supreme authority. One thing is for sure, we need to pray for our new president, vice president, and our other leaders every day—whether we agree with them or not. They need God’s help and direction. It is my prayer that we will truly be ‘one nation under God.’ Will you commit with me to pray for them every day?”

Franklin Graham, Samaritan’s Purse and Billy Graham Evangelistic Association

“This is our time. This morning we are closer than ever to defunding our nation’s largest abortion vendor, Planned Parenthood; appointing pro-life Supreme Court Justices; and blocking taxpayer funding of abortion by permanently enshrining the Hyde Amendment. Donald Trump made many promises to pro-lifers over the course of his campaign, and the pro-life generation will make sure he keeps those promises as President. Our nation rejected a party and a culture that supports not a single restriction on abortion. Abortion mattered in this election as it was the most-searched term in regards to the election on Google. The bottom line is this: today’s election results give us the momentum we need to achieve our mission of abolishing abortion in our lifetime.”

—Kristan Hawkins, the president of Students for Life of America

“I would like to congratulate Donald Trump on being elected the next President of the United States, following a hard-fought campaign. Britain and the United States have an enduring and special relationship based on the values of freedom, democracy and enterprise. We are and will remain strong and close partners on trade, security and defense. I look forward to working with President-elect Donald Trump, building on these ties to ensure the security and prosperity of our nations in the years ahead.”

—UK Prime Minister Theresa May

Original post can be read here: http://www.charismanews.com/politics/61155-paula-white-donald-trump-s-victory-reminds-us-of-what-unites-us

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Christians react to Trump’s victory

Some celebrated and congratulated the victor. Others prayed and called for unity. It was clear early on that evangelical Christians had been key to Donald Trump’s stunning upset.

Meanwhile, others including atheists and Muslims reacted in shock, and vowed to defend against what one group termed “unconstitutional and undemocratic actions.”

According to exit polls, 81 percent of white evangelicals and born-again Christians cast their ballots for the reality TV star-turned-Republican presidential candidate.

It was a higher figure than voted for Mitt Romney (79 percent) in 2012, John McCain (73 percent) four years before that, or George Bush (79 percent) in 2004.

The exit polls conducted by Edison Research was based on 24,500 interviews across 350 polling stations. It showed the Catholic vote favoured Trump by a 52-45% margin, a 9 per cent jump for in the Republican vote since 2012. Protestant or other Christian religions went 58-39 in favour of Trump, up 4 per cent, while the Jewish vote was heavily in favour of Clinton, 71-24%, up 8 per cent from 2012.

“The triumph of Donald Trump may signal ‘the last hurrah’ of white male evangelicals in America, or it may mean that their influence is once again on the rise. We will have to wait and see,” Tony Campolo, former spiritual advisor to President Bill Clinton, told Christian Today.

“But there is no question that his victory was largely due to their support.”

Here’s how prominent evangelical Christians and others responded to the 2016 presidential election results as they became clear over night.

Paula White

White is Trump’s spiritual advisor, a member of his evangelical advisory board and pastor of the New Destiny Christian Center in Florida. She issued this written statement:

“Far more than what divides us, this election has revealed what unites us. I have never seen such solidarity between evangelicals and catholics, pentecostals, charismatics and baptists. We were brought together with a mutual love for our country and through a mutual faith in God. The election started the conversation but what will come from these new and renewed relationships will have far more impact than anything that could be realized through the election of any politician. We aren’t ending this season so much entering a new one, ready to love the world together to a degree greater than we ever could alone.”

Samuel Rodriguez

Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, called the election results “Brexit 2.0” on Twitter.

In a longer written statement, he said:

“Now that the presidential election is finally behind us, our nation must put partisan politics and divisive rhetoric behind us as well. I look forward to working with the new administration. Instead of the agenda of the donkey or the elephant, Christians must be about the Lamb’s agenda. We can and we must continue the fight to reconcile Billy Graham’s message of righteousness with Dr. Martin Luther King’s march for justice. The moment we, as Christian voters, are co-opted by any given political party or ideology, we lose our legitimacy to speak truth to power. Looking ahead, now is the time to rise up as people of faith and as an independent voice that holds political leaders on both sides of the aisle accountable to policies that don’t aim left or right, but toward righteousness and justice, for all. Chief of which remains our concern for religious liberty, the sanctity of life, immigration reform and racial unity. We pray for the safe keeping of our democracy as we transition to the new Donald Trump administration and we pray that God will continue to bless and prosper our nation in the coming months and years ahead.”

David Silverman

David Silverman, president of American Atheists, tweeted Tuesday night, “This is why I fight. This makes the work more important. Separation of religion and gov is in serious danger. Help.”

Russell Moore

The president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission has been one of Trump’s most outspoken evangelical critics.

Early Wednesday morning, Moore still urged Christians to pray for the president-elect in a blog post. And he said, “No matter what the racial and ethnic divisions in America, we can be churches that demonstrate and embody the reconciliation of the kingdom of God.”

“The most important lesson we should learn is that the church must stand against the way politics has become a religion, and religion has become politics,” he said.

Ronnie Floyd

Floyd — senior pastor of Cross Church in Arkansas, another member of Trump’s evangelical advisory board and former president of the Southern Baptist Convention — started Election Day with this tweet: “It is a great day in America: Pray, Vote, and Trust God.”

As results were announced, he issued this written statement:

“My sincere congratulations to Donald J. Trump as he has been elected the next president of the United States. I pray sincerely that God might grant wisdom to our new commander in chief to lead our nation in righteousness and toward peace and justice. This is a time to rebuild and to reconcile, to lock arms with our fellow Americans and work with our elected officials for a better future. We must remember that the task of protecting our rights to life and religious freedom is as much the responsibility of the average American as it is of the individual sitting in the oval office. May each of us then take upon ourselves this duty and work with elected officials at all levels of government to secure these rights for future generations. All along the way, may we seek the good of all Americans. Let us extend honor and love to all, and reserve our fear and worship only to God, who alone deserves to be our source of ultimate hope and security.”

John Fea

In response to an ABC News exit poll showing Trump captured 81 percent of the evangelical vote, Fea, professor of American history and chair of the history department at Messiah College in Pennsylvania, tweeted, “If this is evangelicalism–I am out.”

Others shared similar sentiments.

David Jeremiah

Jeremiah — founder of Turning Point, senior pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church in California and another member of Trump’s evangelical advisory board — issued this written statement:

“I would like to congratulate Donald Trump on his victory. This presidential election has been a moment in history when God has reminded us that our ultimate citizenship is indeed in heaven, and not on earth. While we love America, as Christians we are sojourners and pilgrims, and like the heroes of our faith we are looking for a better country beyond this earthly one, to the heavenly city God has prepared for us. Let us then continue walking by faith, not by sight, placing our trust in God’s eternal promises and not in the fleeting machinations of men. We commit to pray for the new Trump administration. We pray that God might have mercy on our nation and that our leaders might know and fear Him, for as the Scriptures say, blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord. This is a time when we must hold fast to our calling to be good citizens and to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world, pointing those around us toward our hope in Christ and breathing life wherever there is despair. Presidents come and go, but our God remains forever and he will be on his throne on November 9 as he was on November 8 and as he will be for all of eternity.”

Robert Jeffress

Jeffress, senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Dallas and a member of Trump’s evangelical advisory board, tweeted a photo of himself at the Trump victory party Tuesday night in New York City.

In a short video message posted online immediately after Trump’s victory speech early Wednesday morning, Jeffress said, “No matter how you feel about the outcome of this election, I hope you’ll join me in praying for my friend President-elect Donald Trump.”

“For those who didn’t choose to vote for President-elect Donald Trump and may carry a measure of uncertainty about the future, there’s no need to fear and no reason to be discouraged. In Daniel, chapter 2, it’s clear that God alone establishes our leaders. As Christians, our hope does not reside in kings, presidents or any authority other than God and God alone.”

Tony Campolo

Campolo, former spiritual advisor to President Bill Clinton, said in an interview with Christian Today:

“The triumph of Donald Trump may signal ‘the last hurrah’ of white male evangelicals in America, or it may mean that their influence is once again on the rise. We will have to wait and see.

“But there is no question that his victory was largely due to their support. His victory is likely to get evangelicals to do some soul searching as to who they are, and why they were swept up in supporting a man whose rhetoric played upon fear of immigrants, fear of Muslims, an anti-scientific disbelief in global warming, overt racism and sexist attitudes that are contrary to scripture.”

Rachel Held Evans

The popular Christian author and blogger wore a pantsuit to the polls Tuesday, posting on Facebook that her vote for Hillary Clinton “wasn’t a difficult choice, and I’m not embarrassed about it.”

In her tweets throughout the day, Evans chastised both Trump and the white evangelicals who voted for him:

“God is still on the throne. And Donald Trump still shouldn’t be president. Both of these things can be true,” she tweeted.

And, “White Evangelicals, you just made Donald Trump the most powerful man in the world. Don’t you dare complain about being persecuted.”

Pope Francis

The Vatican’s highest ranking diplomat, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, congratulated Trump and said the Catholic leadership was praying “that God enlightens him and supports him in the service of his country of course, but also in the service of well-being and peace in the world.”

Parolin, the Vatican’s Secretary of State, said he hoped Trump would modify the hardline immigration policy he advocated in his campaign rhetoric, but noted that “from what I have heard Donald Trump has already expressed himself in terms of a leader.”

Pope Francis provoked a political storm in February returning from a visit to Mexico when he said Trump was “not Christian” for pledging to build a border wall between the US and Mexico.

David Harris

David Harris of the global Jewish advocacy organization AJC lamented the “bigotry and exclusion” expressed during the campaign, which included anti-Jewish hate speech on the part of some of the more vociferous Trump supporters.

“America’s diversity must be defended against any further attempts to demonize or stigmatize on the basis of ethnicity, race, gender or faith,” he said in a statement.

Harris added that the top priority now is to “address the wounds of an extraordinarily divisive contest.”

Muslim Advocates

The national legal advocacy and educational organization posted on its website:

“Throughout this election, Muslim Advocates has repeatedly expressed grave concern about undemocratic and unconstitutional policies proposed by candidates – from banning Muslims from the U.S. to vilifying Mexican Americans to threatening journalists and political opponents with unilateral executive action and imprisonment. These policies violate the very foundation of our democracy and threaten every American’s right to freedom, justice and equality. If President-elect Trump wants to bring America together and be a leader for all Americans, he will need to disavow these dangerous proposals and ideas.

“Today, we stand shoulder to shoulder with our fellow Americans who reject racism, bigotry, anti-Semitism and division. Muslim Advocates will use every legal tool available to protect our country against unconstitutional and undemocratic actions.”

Jim Daly

Daly, president of Focus on the Family, issued this statement early Wednesday morning:

“As a Christian who believes in the ultimate sovereignty of God, I have to believe He allows our circumstances to fulfill His plans. As the prophet Daniel said, “He changes times and seasons; He removes kings and sets up kings; He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding.” The nation has spoken. I pray that God grants us the grace and wisdom to seek His heart for all people made in His image, the preborn, the elderly, progressive and conservative, each one of us. I am reminded His son Jesus Christ died for all. May those of us who trust in Him express our faith by bringing His peace to a world filled with chaos.”

Jesus Christ

OK, so Jesus Christ isn’t actually on Twitter. But @JesusofNaz316 is. And the often wryly humorous Twitter account turned serious late Tuesday night as the results of the election came in.

“Feel the shock tonight. Pray,” the account tweeted. “Then tomorrow join hands and work for justice, welcome the stranger, stand with the oppressed, and hope.”

Original post can be read here: http://www.catholicregister.org/home/international/item/23548-evangelical-and-catholic-vote-favoured-trump

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Evangelical Christians celebrate and urge unity; others wary

Some celebrated and congratulated the victor. Some prayed and called for unity. But it was clear early on that evangelical Christians were key to Donald Trump’s stunning upset in the 2016 presidential election.

Meanwhile, others — including atheists and Muslims — reacted in shock and vowed to defend against what one group termed “unconstitutional and undemocratic actions.”

According to exit polls, 81 percent of white evangelicals and born-again Christians cast their ballots for the reality TV star-turned-Republican presidential candidate. It was a higher figure than voted for Republicans Mitt Romney (79 percent) in 2012, John McCain (73 percent) four years before that or George W. Bush (79 percent) in 2004.


“The triumph of Donald Trump may signal ‘the last hurrah’ of white male evangelicals in America, or it may mean that their influence is once again on the rise. We will have to wait and see,” Tony Campolo, former spiritual adviser to President Bill Clinton, told Christian Today.

“But there is no question that his victory was largely due to their support.”

Here’s how prominent evangelical Christians and others responded to the 2016 presidential election results as they became clear overnight.

 

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks at his election-night rally in New York City on Nov. 9, 2016. Photo courtesy of Reuters/Mike Segar

Paula White

White is Trump’s spiritual adviser, a member of his evangelical advisory board and pastor of the New Destiny Christian Center in Florida. She issued this written statement:

“Far more than what divides us, this election has revealed what unites us. I have never seen such solidarity between evangelicals and catholics, pentecostals, charismatics and baptists. We were brought together with a mutual love for our country and through a mutual faith in God. The election started the conversation but what will come from these new and renewed relationships will have far more impact than anything that could be realized through the election of any politician. We aren’t ending this season so much entering a new one, ready to love the world together to a degree greater than we ever could alone.”

Samuel Rodriguez

Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, called the election results “Brexit 2.0” on Twitter.

In a longer written statement, he said:

” Instead of the agenda of the donkey or the elephant, Christians must be about the Lamb’s agenda. We can and we must continue the fight to reconcile Billy Graham’s message of righteousness with Dr. Martin Luther King’s march for justice. The moment we, as Christian voters, are co-opted by any given political party or ideology, we lose our legitimacy to speak truth to power. Looking ahead, now is the time to rise up as people of faith and as an independent voice that holds political leaders on both sides of the aisle accountable to policies that don’t aim left or right, but toward righteousness and justice, for all. Chief of which remains our concern for religious liberty, the sanctity of life, immigration reform and racial unity. We pray for the safe keeping of our democracy as we transition to the new Donald Trump administration and we pray that God will continue to bless and prosper our nation in the coming months and years ahead.”

David Silverman

David Silverman, president of American Atheists, tweeted Tuesday night: “This is why I fight. This makes the work more important. Separation of religion and gov is in serious danger. Help.”

Jen Hatmaker

In the weeks leading up to the election, the best-selling Christian author called Trump “absolutely, positively, thoroughly unfit for the presidency” in a controversial interview with RNS in which she also expressed her support for the LGBT community. As electoral votes rolled in Tuesday for Trump, Hatmaker tweeted, “Will someone come hold my hand?”

The day before, she had posted on Facebook:

“Our marching orders are the same. We are still about the same things we’ve always been about, Christian. We will still love our neighbors and resist fear. We will stick up for the marginalized and protect the vulnerable. We will show up for the hard work of good citizenship and remain faithful to God and each other. We will insist on bringing hope and grace and strength and love to this busted up world. We will not malign people out of fear or confusion. We will love God and love people and that is the same basic plan it has always been.”

Her fellow speaker on the Belong Tour, Nichole Nordeman, also tweeted as Trump’s win was announced early Wednesday morning.

Russell Moore

The president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission has been one of Trump’s most outspoken evangelical critics.

Early Wednesday, Moore urged Christians to pray for the president-elect in a blog post. And he said, “No matter what the racial and ethnic divisions in America, we can be churches that demonstrate and embody the reconciliation of the kingdom of God.

“The most important lesson we should learn is that the church must stand against the way politics has become a religion, and religion has become politics,” he said.

 

U.S. Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta leaves the stage after addressing supporters at the election night rally in New York, on November 9, 2016. Photo courtesy of Reuters/Rick Wilking

Ronnie Floyd

Floyd — senior pastor of Cross Church in Arkansas, another member of Trump’s evangelical advisory board and former president of the Southern Baptist Convention — started Election Day with this tweet: “It is a great day in America: Pray, Vote, and Trust God.”

As results were announced, he issued this written statement:

“I pray sincerely that God might grant wisdom to our new commander in chief to lead our nation in righteousness and toward peace and justice. This is a time to rebuild and to reconcile, to lock arms with our fellow Americans and work with our elected officials for a better future. We must remember that the task of protecting our rights to life and religious freedom is as much the responsibility of the average American as it is of the individual sitting in the oval office. May each of us then take upon ourselves this duty and work with elected officials at all levels of government to secure these rights for future generations. All along the way, may we seek the good of all Americans. Let us extend honor and love to all, and reserve our fear and worship only to God, who alone deserves to be our source of ultimate hope and security.”

John Fea

In response to an ABC News exit poll showing Trump captured 81 percent of the evangelical vote, Fea, professor of American history and chair of the history department at Messiah College in Pennsylvania, tweeted, “If this is evangelicalism–I am out.”

Others shared similar sentiments.

David Jeremiah

Jeremiah — founder of Turning Point, senior pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church in California and another member of Trump’s evangelical advisory board — issued this written statement:

“This presidential election has been a moment in history when God has reminded us that our ultimate citizenship is indeed in heaven, and not on earth. While we love America, as Christians we are sojourners and pilgrims, and like the heroes of our faith we are looking for a better country beyond this earthly one, to the heavenly city God has prepared for us. Let us then continue walking by faith, not by sight, placing our trust in God’s eternal promises and not in the fleeting machinations of men. We commit to pray for the new Trump administration. We pray that God might have mercy on our nation and that our leaders might know and fear Him, for as the Scriptures say, blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord. This is a time when we must hold fast to our calling to be good citizens and to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world, pointing those around us toward our hope in Christ and breathing life wherever there is despair. Presidents come and go, but our God remains forever and he will be on his throne on November 9 as he was on November 8 and as he will be for all of eternity.”

 

Donald Trump supporters cheer as presidential election results are announced during a Republican watch party in Phoenix on Nov. 8, 2016. Photo courtesy of Reuters/Nancy Wiechec

Robert Jeffress

Jeffress, senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Dallas and a member of Trump’s evangelical advisory board, tweeted a photo of himself at the Trump victory party Tuesday night in New York City.

In a short video message posted online immediately after Trump’s victory speech early Wednesday, Jeffress said: “No matter how you feel about the outcome of this election, I hope you’ll join me in praying for my friend President-elect Donald Trump.

“For those who didn’t choose to vote for President-elect Donald Trump and may carry a measure of uncertainty about the future, there’s no need to fear and no reason to be discouraged. In Daniel, chapter 2, it’s clear that God alone establishes our leaders. As Christians, our hope does not reside in kings, presidents or any authority other than God and God alone.”

Tony Campolo

Campolo, former spiritual adviser to President Bill Clinton, said in an interview with Christian Today:

“The triumph of Donald Trump may signal ‘the last hurrah’ of white male evangelicals in America, or it may mean that their influence is once again on the rise. We will have to wait and see.

“But there is no question that his victory was largely due to their support. His victory is likely to get evangelicals to do some soul searching as to who they are, and why they were swept up in supporting a man whose rhetoric played upon fear of immigrants, fear of Muslims, an anti-scientific disbelief in global warming, overt racism and sexist attitudes that are contrary to scripture.”

Rachel Held Evans

The popular Christian author and blogger wore a pantsuit to the polls Tuesday,posting on Facebook that her vote for Hillary Clinton “wasn’t a difficult choice, and I’m not embarrassed about it.”

In her tweets throughout the day, Evans chastised both Trump and the white evangelicals who voted for him:

“God is still on the throne. And Donald Trump still shouldn’t be president. Both of these things can be true,” she tweeted.

And, “White Evangelicals, you just made Donald Trump the most powerful man in the world. Don’t you dare complain about being persecuted.”

Pope Francis

The Vatican’s highest-ranking diplomat, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, congratulated Trump and said the Catholic leadership was praying “that God enlightens him and supports him in the service of his country of course, but also in the service of well-being and peace in the world.”

Parolin, the Vatican’s secretary of state, said he hoped Trump would modify the hard-line immigration policy he advocated in his campaign rhetoric, but Parolin noted that “from what I have heard Donald Trump has already expressed himself in terms of a leader.”

Pope Francis provoked a political storm in February returning from a visit to Mexico when he said Trump was “not Christian” for pledging to build a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico.

David Harris

David Harris of the global Jewish advocacy organization AJC lamented the “bigotry and exclusion” expressed during the campaign, which included anti-Jewish hate speech on the part of some of the more vociferous Trump supporters.

“America’s diversity must be defended against any further attempts to demonize or stigmatize on the basis of ethnicity, race, gender or faith,” he said in a statement.

Harris added that the top priority now is to “address the wounds of an extraordinarily divisive contest.”

Muslim Advocates

The national legal advocacy and educational organizationposted on its website:

“Throughout this election, Muslim Advocates has repeatedly expressed grave concern about undemocratic and unconstitutional policies proposed by candidates – from banning Muslims from the U.S. to vilifying Mexican Americans to threatening journalists and political opponents with unilateral executive action and imprisonment. These policies violate the very foundation of our democracy and threaten every American’s right to freedom, justice and equality. If President-elect Trump wants to bring America together and be a leader for all Americans, he will need to disavow these dangerous proposals and ideas.

“Today, we stand shoulder to shoulder with our fellow Americans who reject racism, bigotry, anti-Semitism and division. Muslim Advocates will use every legal tool available to protect our country against unconstitutional and undemocratic actions.”

Jim Daly

Daly, president of Focus on the Family, issued this statement early Wednesday:

“As a Christian who believes in the ultimate sovereignty of God, I have to believe He allows our circumstances to fulfill His plans. As the prophet Daniel said, “He changes times and seasons; He removes kings and sets up kings; He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding.” The nation has spoken. I pray that God grants us the grace and wisdom to seek His heart for all people made in His image, the preborn, the elderly, progressive and conservative, each one of us. I am reminded His son Jesus Christ died for all. May those of us who trust in Him express our faith by bringing His peace to a world filled with chaos.”

Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism

The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism published a statementWednesday signed by representatives of the Union for Reform Judaism, Central Conference of American Rabbis, Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism and other organizations.

It read in part:

“President-elect Trump has the opportunity to use his office to bring Americans together, and to move us toward a brighter future. If he does so, we will be ready to work with him for the common good. If he does not, we also stand ready to be fierce advocates for the values that guide us: inclusivity, justice and compassion.

Just as Abraham went out into a place of great uncertainty, we now find ourselves in an unanticipated time and place. But we know, like Abraham, that our faith and enduring values will be a strong foundation as we move forward. We love the stranger, feed the hungry and care for the orphan and the widow.”


Trillia Newbell

Newbell, director of community outreach for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission for the Southern Baptist Convention, said that in the weeks before the election, she cried when a loved one shared he or she was supporting Trump for president. And those don’t appear to have been tears of joy.

“Actually in tears after seeing someone I love post that they are voting for Trump. I can take the Christian celebrities but friends are hard,” Newbell tweeted.

On Wednesday morning, she urged prayer in a post on the ERLC website.

“The results mean good news for some, and bad news for others. It’s good to be involved and even concerned about the political climate of our country. As Christians, this burden for the nation should lead us from angst to prayer,” she said.

Jim Wallis

Wallis, president of Sojourners, wrote a post Wednesday on its website, urging Christians to “reach out in solidarity and protection to those who feel and are most vulnerable” and pledging to do his part.

“Most white evangelicals didn’t seem to mind that they sold their souls to a man who embodies the most sinful and shameful worship of money, sex, and power, and — perhaps more than any other public figure in America — represents the very worst values of what American culture has become. We have never witnessed such religious hypocrisy as we saw in this election, with the majority of white Christians voting for a man like Donald Trump, including an overwhelming number of white evangelicals: 81 percent, 8 points better than Romney, including 75 percent of white evangelical women. It is a real tragedy that most of America’s well-known white megachurch pastors were not heard from in this election, and their silence in the face of Trump’s racial politics may end their own moral credibility. The religious right leaders, who supported Trump politically over all their previously expressed religious values, showed once and for all that they have always been primarily right-wing political operatives and should never be taken as ‘religious’ again.”

Jesus Christ

OK, so Jesus Christ isn’t actually on Twitter. But @JesusofNaz316 is. And the often wryly humorous Twitter account turned serious Tuesday night as the results of the election came in.

“Feel the shock tonight. Pray,” the account tweeted. “Then tomorrow join hands and work for justice, welcome the stranger, stand with the oppressed, and hope.”

Original post can be read here: http://religionnews.com/2016/11/09/religious-reactions-to-trump-win-time-to-rebuild-and-to-reconcile/

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Religious, lay leaders react to Trump win

WASHINGTON — Lay and religious leaders of all stripes reacted to news of Donald J. Trump’s upset win in the Nov. 8 presidential election.

Most expressed hope that Trump would pay attention to their agenda, while others were more decidedly downbeat and still others counseled prayer.

Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, president of the U.S. bishops’ conference, outlined an ambitious agenda in a Nov. 9 post-election statement that congratulated Trump and all election victors.

“The bishops’ conference looks forward to working with President-elect Trump to protect human life from its most vulnerable beginning to its natural end. We will advocate for policies that offer opportunity to all people, of all faiths, in all walks of life,” Archbishop Kurtz said.

“We are firm in our resolve that our brothers and sisters who are migrants and refugees can be humanely welcomed without sacrificing our security. We will call attention to the violent persecution threatening our fellow Christians and people of other faiths around the world, especially in the Middle East. And we will look for the new administration’s commitment to domestic religious liberty, ensuring people of faith remain free to proclaim and shape our lives around the truth about man and woman, and the unique bond of marriage that they can form.”

Archbishop Kurtz added, “Now is the moment to move toward the responsibility of governing for the common good of all citizens. I believe God will give us the strength to heal and unite,” he said, referring to a need to bridge the divides created in the country by such a contentious election.

After Trump clinched the Electoral College majority early Nov. 9, Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley of Boston tweeted, “Congratulations to President-elect Donald Trump. May God grant you good health, wisdom and courage during your presidency.”

“We are delighted that tonight’s election results reflect America’s pro-life consensus in the House, Senate and presidency. We applaud candidates that took a stand on the most critical human rights issue of today, abortion,” said Jeanne Mancini, president of the March for Life.

“We congratulate President-elect Trump on his hard-fought win, as well Vice President-elect Pence, and our friends in Congress,” Mancini added. “We look forward to working together to fulfill President-elect Trump’s campaign promises to ensure pro-life Supreme Court justices, pro-life policies, and defunding America’s primary abortion provider, Planned Parenthood.”

Philippe Nassif, executive director of In Defense of Christians, urged Trump to “prioritize the protection of the ancient ethnic and religious minority communities of the Middle East, and a region in which these communities can coexist and thrive peacefully in their native lands” in a Nov. 9 statement. “The Christian values of tolerance and coexistence, and the innovations that these communities have contributed to their societies for so many centuries are essential for a stable and secure Middle East, which is in the national security interests of the United States and the world.”

“We must continue the fight to reconcile (the Rev.) Billy Graham’s message of righteousness with (the Rev.) Dr. Martin Luther King’s march for justice,” said a Nov. 9 statement by the Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference.

“Now that the presidential election is finally behind us, our nation must put partisan politics and divisive rhetoric behind us as well. Instead of the agenda of the donkey or the elephant, Christians must be about the Lamb’s agenda,” Rev. Rodriguez added.

“We are committed to dialoguing with those who think differently and will attempt to engage President-elect Trump,” said a Nov. 9 statement by Scott Reed, executive director of the PICO National Network, which was founded by a California priest. “But President-Elect Trump should be forewarned that our faith will not allow us to permit him to fulfill his promise to criminalize immigrants by conducting mass deportations, or sit idly in the face of racial profiling of African-Americans, Latinos and religious minorities.”

“I’m struggling to find the words to process the fact that a bully who vowed to ban Muslims from our country, boasts about sexual assault, demonizes immigrants and called Pope Francis ‘disgraceful’ was elected,” said a Nov. 9 statement by John Gehring, Catholic program director at Faith in Public Life.

“As a Christian and a father of young children, I’m anguished. But as a Christian, I’m also committed to walking the hard road of faith and hope,” Gehring added. “I don’t understand Catholics who supported Trump, but there is too much at stake not to work for common ground and the common good.”

“Today is indeed a dark day in American history. A man who built the foundation of his campaign for the White House on some of the most disturbing elements of our nation — racism, xenophobia, sexism — is now set to become the most powerful leader in the world,” said a Nov. 9 fundraising email by Laura Barrett, the new executive director of Interfaith Worker Justice.

“Whether it’s health and safety on the job, the ability to recover stolen wages from unscrupulous employers, or progress toward a living wage, we can’t assume any worker justice victory is safe from being rolled back under a Trump presidency,” Barrett said.

“Donald Trump made many promises to pro-lifers over the course of his campaign, and the pro-life generation will make sure he keeps those promises as president,” said a Nov. 9 statement from Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America.

“Our nation rejected a party and a culture that supports not a single restriction on abortion. Abortion mattered in this election as it was the most-searched term in regards to the election on Google,” she added. “The bottom line is this: today’s election results give us the momentum we need to achieve our mission of abolishing abortion in our lifetime.”

David Harris, CEO of the American Jewish Committee, congratulated Trump on his win and also offered best wishes to his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, in a Nov. 9 statement.

“Now that the election is over, a first priority should be to address the wounds of an extraordinarily divisive contest,” Harris said. “The United States is one country with one destiny, and any expression of bigotry and exclusion, as we’ve regrettably seen during the extended campaign, must never be allowed to corrode our pluralistic fabric.”

Original post can be read here: http://therecordnewspaper.org/religious-lay-leaders-react-trump-win/

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Religious Leaders React to Trump’s Victory

The world’s religious leaders have mixed reactions to a Trump presidency.

In the year and half or so that political campaigns for the recent presidential elections commenced, the American public was brought through a mental and emotional roller coaster. The range of experience throughout the elections included the exchange of heated, and sometimes downright nasty words, repartee that turned from civil to deeply unpleasant, and the discovery of sordid details about the candidates, exposing them in personal and professional scandals that most people would not expect them to bounce back from.

Now that the elections are over and America has made a decision, it really has just begun, with the challenge of closing the deep political divide that has surfaced in this election and somehow surging forward as a nation united in the common ideals of freedom and democracy. Religious issues were a big part of the elections, and naturally, President-elect Donald Trump’s victory drew a myriad of reactions from religious leaders and personalities. How did the religious world take to the unexpected turnout that left many stunned, whether they supported Trump or not?

According to the Washington Post, Pope Francis tweeted on the morning after election night, mentioning God’s mercy and love, while not directly commenting on the results of the elections. “May we make God’s merciful love ever more evident in our world through dialogue, mutual acceptance and fraternal cooperation.” Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin said that he would “pray that God enlightens him and supports him in the service of his country of course, but also in the service of wellbeing and peace in the world.”

Family Research Council president Tony Perkins expressed support for Trump on Twitter, while Russell Moore, president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention said that the campaigns were both “demoralizing and even traumatizing” for most people. He called for prayer then congratulated Trump, despite being critical of him for most of election season.

Ralph Reed, founder and chairman of the Faith & Freedom Coalition, said that generally the evangelical vote had been largely taken for granted, while Trump made it the “centerpiece of his campaign.” He asserted, “as a result, he and like-minded candidates were richly rewarded with a huge faith-based vote.” According to Religion News Service, 81 percent of white evangelicals and born-again again Christians voted for Trump.

Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership conference, called the election turnout “Brexit 2.0.” He declared, “now that the presidential election is finally behind us, our nation must put partisan politics and divisive rhetoric behind us as well.”

From the other end of the spectrum, Muslim voters professed more of wary tone, a response to Trump’s largely anti-Muslim rhetoric during his campaign. However, Maya Berry, executive director of the Arab American Institute, said that Muslims weren’t that enthusiastic about Clinton either. “It’s not like they’re excited about the candidates. You contrast someone who literally said, “We’re dancing on rooftops [after Sept. 11], we need to ban people from your countries of origin,’ to a candidate who, regretfully, seems to have a securitized understanding of American Muslims ― it’s not the same thing.” Berry also said she was disturbed that millions supported Trump’s message. “I didn’t expect it to be this close,” she said. “That people accept this kind of racism, Islamophobia, hatred against the other ― Latinos, blacks, Muslims ― it’s really scary.”

Saba Ahmed, leader of the Republican Muslim Coalition expressed excitement over Trump’s victory. “The Republican Muslim Coalition is looking forward to working with president Trump.” Speaking in a more optimistic tone, she said that Muslims should be “more proactive and have strategic outreach to the Republicans,” she said. “We cannot afford to remain partisan and support only the Democratic Party.”

On a more cautious note, Moussa ElBayoumi, who heads the Council of American Islamic Relations (CAIR) branch in the state of Kansas, called on Trump to bestow respect upon the United States constitution. She said if Trump failed perform his duties while still respecting everyone no matter what race, religion or national background they were, “CAIR would stand ready to defend the civil liberties of all American citizens, including Muslim Americans.”

On the Buddhist front, Norman Fischer, teacher at Everyday Zen Foundation, stated: “For those older among us who hold liberal and progressive political views, let’s not forget we survived Nixon, Reagan, and Bush. It wasn’t pleasant but we survived. We will survive Trump.” Buddhist teacher Roshi Pat Enkyo O’ Hara was equally optimistic. “This we must do, listen carefully, and while listening, we must move with determination to organize, to mobilize, and to find new ways to create change in civil rights, climate change, media ethics, and to inform and enlighten all the people, so that we can in fact relieve suffering and care for this planet, these peoples, all of us.”

Original post can be read here: http://www.worldreligionnews.com/religion-news/religious-leaders-react-to-trumps-victory

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Rev. Samuel Rodriguez Urges Christians to Vote on ‘Platform, Principle’

Hispanic evangelical leader Rev. Samuel Rodriguez is urging Christians to vote on “platform and principle” and not “personality” — appearing to give a nod to GOP nominee Donald Trump, The Christian Post reported.

At an event at Elevate Life Church in Frisco, Texas, Wednesday, the president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Council warned “a vote for the personality… that’s idolatry.”

“This election is critical,” he said, the Christian Post reported. “It’s a difficult one indeed. Its surreal in many respects. How do we vote when the personalities are so out there, when they are so wrong on both sides of the aisle?”

“It’s not the personality, where we vote for the personality,” he added. “In the words of [Covenant Church Founding Pastor] Michael Hayes, that’s idolatry.”

Instead, he insisted, Christians must vote on “platform and principle” to be “truly engaging our Christian faith.”

“Let’s compare the platforms, do your due diligence,” he said, urging scrutiny for policies that advance “the sanctity of life in and out of the womb, of family, of religious liberty, and to a great degree, making sure our government does not attempt to replace God.”

Original post can be read here: http://www.newsmax.com/Politics/RevSamuel-Rodriguez-Urges-Christians-Vote/2016/11/03/id/756858/

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After Trump, an evangelical examination of conscience?

His candidacy has put a harsh spotlight on the fractures among Christian conservatives, most prominently the rift between old guard religious right leaders who backed the GOP nominee as an ally on abortion, and a comparatively younger generation who considered his personal conduct and rhetoric morally abhorrent.

“This has been a kind of smack in the face, forcing us to ask ourselves, ‘What have we become?'” said Carolyn Custis James, an evangelical activist and author who writes about gender roles in the church.

The outcome of this self-examination is as important for evangelicals as it is for the Republican Party. Christian conservatives have been among the most reliable members of the GOP coalition. Recent PRRI polls found nearly seven in 10 evangelicals backed Trump. Yet, those numbers are lower than the 79 percent who voted for 2012 Republican nominee Mitt Romney, a Mormon who had struggled to win over conservative Protestants for theological and other reasons.

Any election post-mortem will, of course, be shaped by who wins the White House.

A Hillary Clinton victory could draw energy away from any re-evaluation of the religious right, given her support for abortion rights and gay rights, and the opportunity she will have to shape the U.S. Supreme Court. While many younger evangelicals have fought for a broad range of concerns, including fighting climate change and poverty, they are staunchly opposed to abortion, often more so than their parents.

“I think there could be a resurgence in some way of some kind of Christian right approach to politics,” said John Fea, a historian at Messiah College in Pennsylvania, and author of “Was America Founded as a Christian Nation: A Historical Introduction.” “Many evangelicals, whether ‘Never Trump’ or willing to support Trump, are ultimately shaped by a core set of convictions. They are still going to be — for good or for bad — one-, two- or three-issue voters primarily. I think that persists.”

And if Trump wins? Evangelicals who advocated for him, such as Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council and author and broadcaster James Dobson, would feel vindicated before their critics if Trump fulfills his promise to appoint conservative high court justices. “Very early on he was concerned about the marginalization of Christianity,” said the Rev. Robert Jeffress, pastor of the megachurch First Baptist Dallas, who advocated for Trump. Jeffress said the candidate reached out to him on the issue a year and a half ago. “He believes that Christians are continuing to lose their religious freedom in America,” Jeffress said.

Yet, even if Trump proves loyal to Christian conservatives, questions would remain about whether his evangelical supporters traded their integrity for influence. The thrice-married Trump has been accused of sexual misconduct by several women, bragged about grabbing women’s genitals, mocked a disabled reporter, maligned Mexican immigrants and insulted the parents of a fallen American Muslim soldier.

“If they can support even Donald Trump, and even after we learn more and more about him, then this has actually been a charade all along designed to raise money or to grasp for power or to build institutions or personal platforms,” said Collin Hansen, a longtime Republican and editorial director of the Gospel Coalition, an interdenominational evangelical ministry. He said he hoped leaders who opposed Trump had retained enough credibility to provide “something to build on.”

Those leaders include Russell Moore, head of the public policy arm of the Southern Baptist Convention; Peter Wehner, a fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center who served three Republican presidents; editors for the influential evangelical magazines Christianity Today and WORLD; and many prominent evangelical women. Deborah Fikes, a former representative to the U.N. for the World Evangelical Alliance, endorsed Hillary Clinton.

Christian conservatives had split over politics long before this presidential race. Many younger Christians had rejected the strategies of the Moral Majority and Christian Coalition as harmful to the church. A study by Brad Fulton of Indiana University found a significant decrease in recent years in conservative Protestant churches distributing voter guides — a staple of religious right mobilizing — or engaging in political activity in their congregations.

At the same time, conservative churches have become home to growing numbers of Latinos and immigrants from other countries with different voting patterns. In a recent PRRI poll, nearly two-thirds of white evangelical voters said they would back Trump, while nearly two-thirds of non-white evangelicals supported Clinton.

“We are not the same community as the 1980s. We are not the same community as the 1990s. Evangelicalism is no longer exclusively led by white males who are 60, 70 years old,” said the Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, an evangelical group that counts 40,000 churches as members. He did not make an endorsement in the presidential race.

Still, that shift to a more diverse church with a new generation of leaders is only just beginning. Many of the older religious right figures who backed Trump continue to have an impact through their organizations and Christian radio, even though their influence has dwindled.

“There will be a segment of white evangelicals after Trump who say never again, but there will still be a significant and unfortunate vocal portion of white evangelicalism that doesn’t change much,” said Jemar Tisby, director of the African American Leadership Initiative at Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson, Mississippi, and co-founder of the Reformed African American Network.

Moore was an early and frequent critic of Trump, to the point where the candidate hit back on Twitter, calling Moore “a nasty guy with no heart!” Moore puts evangelical Trump supporters in two categories: those who promoted Trump as the morally good choice and others who acknowledged Trump’s moral flaws but feared for religious conservatives under a Clinton administration.

David Green, a Pentecostal Christian and founder of the Hobby Lobby arts and crafts chain, had rejected Trump during the GOP primaries as unqualified and lacking humility, but then endorsed him in September, saying the nominee was the only chance to protect religious liberty. Green had successfully sued over the Obamacare requirement that employers provide coverage for birth control, winning religious exemptions for for-profit businesses two years ago in a ruling by the Supreme Court.

Moore, of the Southern Baptist Convention, said, “I understand those who are lining up with Trump with great reservations. I’m not persuaded by it. But that’s different than the people who have been telling us that we need this kind of strongman to save Christianity. ”

That distinction may be lost on younger evangelicals disillusioned by this election. Moore said discussion is already under way about religion and political conservatism, and building new institutions to prevent younger Christians from disengaging from political life. “That conversation will happen with new intensity after the election,” Moore said.

But Molly Worthen, a professor at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill who studies conservative Christianity, cautioned against expecting major change from one election year.

“The inclination of many conservative activists will be dwelling on Trump’s idiosyncrasies as a candidate,” Worthen said. “His message of taking this country back and saving it for Christians or for white people will still resonate with a huge number of people.”

Original post can be read here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/politics-government/national-politics/article111807967.html

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NHCLC Announces Girien Salazar as Deputy Director of Faith and Education Coalition

SACRAMENTO, Calif., October 31, 2016 The National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC/CONEL) has appointed Girien Salazar as Deputy Director of the Faith & Education Coalition. Mr. Salazar will assist Executive Director Dr. Andrea Ramirez in strategically advancing Faith & Education Coalition initiatives such as the Raising the Standards campaign and key partnerships. Esmeralda Sanchez, who previously held the Deputy Director position, has begun a PhD program at Rice University and will serve on the NHCLC board.

“We were excited to have Girien Salazar join our coalition staff this past August,” comments Dr. Andrea Ramirez, Executive Director of the Faith and Education Coalition – NHCLC. “Girien brings strong leadership skills and a commitment to Hispanic educational achievement.”

Mr. Salazar has played a leading role in expanding the Raising the Standards campaign programs such as Education Sunday and works closely with the Faith and Education Coalition to further equip evangelical communities in advancing education equality at a local and national level. In addition, he led the planning of the annual National Hispanic Education Summit designed to bring together key faith leaders and K-12 and higher education administrators to improve recruitment and graduation rates of Latino students held earlier this month at Baylor University in Waco, Texas.

Girien (pronounced “Gideon”) Salazar earned a BS in Church Ministry and an MS in Theological Studies from Southwestern Assemblies of God University. Mr. Salazar taught English while serving as a missionary in Mexico before joining the U.S. Navy Reserves in 2010. He volunteered for deployments to Eastern Europe and Africa and continues to serve the USNR today. Girien recently completed his first academic year as Associate Professor of Theology at Latin American Bible Institute. He recently moved to Houston, Texas, from San Antonio, Texas, where he served as a member of VFW post 837, board member of the Latin American Heritage Society, Community Liaison at Grace Tabernacle Church, and was a city official with the SA Parks and Recreation Board. Girien Salazar is pursuing a PhD in Leadership Studies at Dallas Baptist University.

NHCLC/CONEL education initiatives and resources are found online at www.faithandeducation.com, alongside links to Christian university and seminary partners.

NHCLC/CONEL is the world’s largest Hispanic Christian organization. It serves as a representative voice for the more than 100 million Hispanic Evangelicals assembled in over 40,000 U.S. churches and another 500,000 congregations spread throughout the Spanish-speaking diaspora. For additional information, visit http://www.nhclc.org.

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