New liberal Christian groups working to dump Trump from office

Religion News Service | 8/20/2020, 6 p.m.

Liberal-leaning Christian groups and faith leaders have formed a slate of new political action committees and initiatives in recent weeks, most of which criticize President Trump in ways that could help Democrats with religious voters in November.

The Religious Left projects span the Christian spectrum, with evangelical, Catholic and mainline Christian leaders all vying to get out the vote for Democrats — or at least change people’s minds about President Trump.

Network, a Catholic social justice lobby, told Religion News Service that it is planning to announce a new project that includes a $50,000 digital ad buy targeting Catholic voters in swing states such as Florida, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin and Arizona using Facebook, Google and Instagram. (The initiative is legally distinct from Network’s traditional nonprofit wing, which is allowed to be involved in advocacy but not electoral politics.)

The Network team plans to run ads arguing that President Trump is not “pro-life” because of his support for the death penalty and what they say is his failure to act on issues like poverty.

The campaign also will feature a “PopeFrancisVoter.org” website, where users will be asked questions, such as, “Do you believe that being Pro-Life encompasses more than a stance on abortion?”

“This election is different because President Trump rejects our Catholic values and does everything in his power to divide us while our economy and health care systems collapse under the weight of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Lee Morrow, elections manager for Network Lobby for Catholic Social Justice and head of the new initiative. “Catholics cannot be single-issue voters.”

For Mr. Morrow, Catholic values involve caring for immigrants, the elderly and the poor and addressing racism, among other issues.

“To be true to my Catholic faith and the teachings of Pope Francis, I have to do everything in my power to make sure that Donald Trump loses in November,” he said.

“These former Trump voters are becoming Pope Francis voters.”

Network joins several liberal Christian groups aimed at influencing religious voters. Among them is the New Moral Majority PAC, a group co-founded this month by the Rev. Noel Anderson, a longtime faith- based immigrant rights organizer, and the Rev. Ryan M. Eller, a veteran faith-based organizer based in Louisville, Ky.

The group has created a digital tool geared toward getting faith leaders to endorse Democrat Joe Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris’ campaign, making the endorsement blitz its “primary focus” heading into November.

Several faith leaders, such as the Rev. Jacqui Lewis of Middle Collegiate Church in New York City, endorsed Mr. Biden and Sen. Harris via NMM this week.

“The policies of a new Biden-Harris administration will be built on principles that more closely align with our Christian beliefs,” Rev. Anderson stated in a press release.

Rev. Anderson and Rev. Eller’s group plans to partner with Vote Common Good, a separate organization led by liberal-leaning evangelicals.

Vote Common Good, in turn, announced earlier this month a separate partnership with the Lincoln Project, a Republican-led and well-funded political action com- mittee that will focus on courting white evangelicals and white Catholics “who have lost patience with Trump’s behavior or been disappointed with his handling of the coronavirus pandemic and the Black Lives Matter protest movement against racism.”

They plan to focus their efforts on six battleground states: Pennsylvania, Florida, North Carolina, Michigan, Wisconsin and Ohio.

“We’re looking to give a voice to the faith-motivated voters who want to make love and the common good their primary voting criteria in 2020,” executive director Doug Pagitt stated in a press release.