Should Christians always support President Trump?

A senior bishop with the Church of England says no.

Liverpool Bishop Paul Bayes attacked American evangelicals for their “uncritical support” of Trump, suggesting that “self-styled evangelicals” needed to think harder about their faith and values.

Some “people who call themselves evangelical in the U.S. seem to be uncritically accepting” positions taken by Trump, Bayes said at a ceremony celebrating the launch of a new Christian charity aimed at eliminating discrimination based on sexuality or gender.

The president’s politics, he said, are at odds with a religion that emphasizes the protection of the poor and weak.

“Some of the things that have been said by religious leaders seem to collude with a system that marginalizes the poor, a system which builds walls instead of bridges, a system which says people on the margins of society should be excluded, a system which says we’re not welcoming people any more into our country,” he told the Guardian.

“Some quite significant so-called evangelical leaders are uncritically supporting people in ways that imply they are colluding or playing down the seriousness of things which in other parts of their lives (they) would see as really important,” Bayes said.

“Whenever people say those kinds of things, they need to be able to justify that they’re saying those things as Christians, and I do not believe it’s justifiable,” he said.

Eighty percent of white evangelical Christians voted for Trump in the 2016 election, according to the Pew Research Center. Three-quarters approve of his presidency.

“If people want to support right-wing populism anywhere in the world, they are free to do so. The question is, how are they going to relate that to their Christian faith?” Bayes said.

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