Ahead of National Prayer Breakfast, Christian Leaders Denounce Trump’s Failure to Embrace Inclusion, Compassion

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 31, 2017

 

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Ahead of National Prayer Breakfast, Christian Leaders Denounce Trump’s Failure to Embrace Inclusion, Compassion

 

Amid immoral executive orders, clergy urge Trump to demonstrate kindness

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- In a letter to President Donald Trump before the National Prayer Breakfast on Thursday, nationally prominent Catholic and Protestant leaders urge the president to remember that the Biblical prophets and Jesus prioritized the most vulnerable in society.

 

“The Hebrew prophets teach us that the powerful must constantly be reminded to protect the downtrodden, the widow, the migrant and the outcast,” more than 800 Christian leaders tell the president in a letter released today. “The Gospel is not about prosperity, but Good News for the poor. In them, we encounter Christ.”

 

Prominent signatories include Sister Donna Markham, President & CEO of Catholic Charities USA; retired Archbishop Joseph Fiorenza, former President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops; Sister Simone Campbell, Executive Director of NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice; Jim Wallis, President & Founder of Sojourners; Rev. William Barber II, President of Repairers of the Breach; Rev. John L. McCullough, President and CEO of Church World Service; Rev. Cynthia Hale, Senior Pastor of Ray of Hope Christian Church in Decatur, GA; Tony Campolo and Shane Claiborne of Red Letter Christians.

 

Presidents of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, the umbrella group representing 80 percent of U.S. Catholic sisters, and the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas also endorsed the letter.

 

A “Make America Great Again” mantra and “America First” ideology, the faith leaders insist, are challenged by the lessons of history and the power of solidarity.

 

“Our greatness as a nation has never been measured in the might of our military or the heights of our stock market,” they write. “The depths of our values and commitment to the common good define our American ideals.”

 

Sister Simone Campbell, Executive Director of NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice:

"Prayer, encounter and repentance are essential to faith. As fellow Christians, we invite President Trump to reflect on the central message of the Gospel: to support people at the margins of our society. There is nothing Christian about his ban on refugees from Muslim countries, denigration of immigrants, and repeal of pro-life healthcare. I call on President Trump to put his Christian values into practice."

 

Rev. Jennifer Butler, President and CEO of Faith in Public Life:

“As a Presbyterian, President Trump and I share a faith tradition that reminds us that in God's kingdom the last shall be first and the first shall be last. I'm deeply disturbed that his reckless and immoral agenda threaten the very people Christians are specifically commanded to love."

 

Sister Donna Markham, President and CEO of Catholic Charities USA:

"Pope Francis reminds political leaders that the obligation to serve the common good and human dignity must take precedence over partisanship and ideology. I pray that President Trump allows his conscience to be moved by the suffering of those on the peripheries who are always at the center of Jesus' vision."

 

To view the letter and the full list of signers, click here.

 

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