After Trump´s victory and Cruz´s resignation, many religious leaders have written an open letter against Trump, and Rev. Samuel Rodriguez asked him to stop his “inflammatory” commentaries.
Donald Trump's striking victory in Indiana last Tuesday, May 3, over both of his rivals for the GOP nomination, left him seemingly with no opponents, as Senator Ted Cruz of Texas announced Tuesday night he was suspending his campaign, and Ohio Governor, John Kasich reportedly was to end his effort later Wednesday.
Jerry Johnson, president of the National Religious Broadcasters, said in a statement for Baptist Press, "Senator Cruz can leave the campaign trail with his head held high. He's an honourable man who ran an honourable campaign.
“I WON WITH EVANGELICALS”
"Tonight I see I won with the evangelicals, the evangelical vote was for Trump", Donald Trump claimed in Tuesday night's victory speech.
But Trump's candidacy has produced strong resistance from some conservatives and evangelicals, a resistance that apparently will continue in the general election.
Using the hashtag #NeverTrump on Twitter, objectors have made no-vote promises based on his inconsistent and even harsh policy positions on such issues as abortion, religious liberty and immigration; autocratic inclinations; uncivil, insult-laden rhetoric; and a lifestyle marked by adultery.
SUPPORTED BY “EVANGELICALS IN NAME ONLY”
In a Christian Post article, political analyst, Napp Nazworth quoted a CNN Indiana exit poll to show that, although 50% of respondents identified as "born-again or evangelical" Christians, many of those evangelicals are what he called “ EINO's — Evangelicals in Name Only.”
According to that poll, of the voters who attend worship services more than once a week, 61 percent voted for Cruz and only 33 for Trump, while Trump's strongest support came from those who attend religious services "a few times a year" or "never."
Although The Christian Post had never taken a position on a political candidate before,last February, its the senior editors published an editorial denouncing Trump.
"We feel compelled by our moral responsibility to our readers to make clear that Donald Trump does not represent the interests of evangelicals and would be a dangerous leader for our country", they wrote.
The online newspaper encouraged "our readers to back away" from the Republican party because "Trump is exceptionally bad."
“MANIPULATING THE ANGER”
Many US church leaders have signed an open letter entitled “Called to Resist Bigotry: A Statement of Faithful Obedience”, in which they criticise Trump´s campaign and behaviour.
"Churches in this country, and our country itself, face such a moral threat today. We are seeing the very worst values of our nation and its history on display with a vulgar message and style”, the letter says.
The letter continues: "By confronting a message so contrary to our Christian values, our religious voices can help provide a powerful way to put our true faith and our better American values forward in the midst of national moral confusion and crisis.
They believe the Republican candidate “is manipulating this anger for his own political advantage at the expense of the common good."
The leaders stress the letter is "absolutely no tacit endorsement of other candidates."
There are also some evangelical Trump supporters, like Liberty University President, Jerry Falwell Jr., who said that said that “conservative Christians who oppose the candidate should remember that God called King David a man after God’s own heart even though he was an adulterer and a murderer.”
Meanwhile worldwide evangelist and son of Billy Graham, Franklin Graham, has congratulated Trump on his victory.
In a Facebook post, he said: "We need to continue to pray for major change in Washington and in our country through whoever is elected."
THE HISPANIC VOTE
As Fuller Theological Seminary professor, Juan Francisco Martínez, told Evangelical Focus: “the 'Latino evangelical vote' tends to be divided between the two parties, depending on the candidate.”
"If Trump truly wants to make America 'a beautiful and loving country' then he must personally begin by treating all – black, white, Latino, male and female – as they deserve to be treated”, Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, President of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC) says.
The NHCLC is one of the world's largest Latino Evangelical organizations, and its leader argues that "to date Donald Trump's comments about immigration have been inflammatory, impractical and unhelpful.”
“Now that he is the presumptive nominee, we call upon him to immediately stop rhetorical commentary he has previously used that discredits groups, including Latino immigrants, and start discussing and offering real, productive solutions for comprehensive immigration reform", he adds.
A recent internal survey of NHCLC members highlighted a fact about Hispanic Evangelicals: when asked which candidate they would vote for today, more than one-third of the respondents claimed that no one candidate – democrat or republican – clearly represents them at this point in the race and that policy is more important than rhetoric.