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Trump and religion: ‘A battle of heresy versus Christian truth’ | UpFront (Special Interview)



In the midst of the 2020 US presidential race, President Donald Trump continues to enjoy overwhelming support from white evangelical Christian voters, with a recent poll finding 75 percent approve of the president. While Trump claims that "no president has ever done what I have done for evangelicals, or religion itself", Reverend William Barber believes that the evangelicals who support him are not an accurate representation of what it truly means to be evangelical. "What we see is a fake kind of a religion, a distorted moral narrative, where evangelicalism has been hijacked," Barber said. According to Barber, evangelicals should focus on helping the most vulnerable members of society and tackle issues such as poverty. "If you're an evangelical Christian, your public policy is not driven by a Republican Party or Democratic Party, a concept of left or a concept of right … It is driven by Jesus and what Jesus stood for on social issues of his time." The Census Bureau reports that in 2017, 39.7 million Americans were living below the poverty line. According to the Poor People's Campaign – where Barber serves as co-chair – when those results are expanded to include people considered to be "low-income", the number of poor Americans increases to 140 million – or nearly 40 percent of the population. "Christianity says that what is most important is how you treat the poor, the children, the women, the sick and the least of these. And on all of those accounts, Trump has failed," Barber said. The Poor People's Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival, is working to revitalise Dr Martin Luther King Jr's poor people's march on Washington 50 years on. "We believe in our campaign, we have a moment in history that we can really work to change it and it doesn't take much. Two, three, four percent change in many of these states could fundamentally shift the political calculus," Barber pointed out. This week's special interview is with Reverend William Barber, co-chair of the Poor People's Campaign and president of the non-profit Repairers of the Breach.