A coalition of more than 350 faith leaders endorsed Joe Biden for president this week, citing a need for “moral clarity” to “restore the soul of this nation.”
"Faith 2020 is raising awareness, mobilizing faith-rooted voters to get out the vote and doing our part to restore the soul of the nation," the group wrote on its website. "We’re a group of progressives, independents and conservatives seeking change."
Faith 2020 received endorsements from faith leaders of various religions – Christian, Jewish, Sikh, Muslim and others.
Its list includes well-known names, such as Nadia Bolz-Weber, a Lutheran minister who founded the LGBTQ-friendly House for All Sinners and Saints in Denver; and Robert W. Lee IV, a descendant of the Confederate general, who stepped down as pastor of a North Carolina church and became a supporter of Black Lives Matter.
The group points to notable decreases in support from White Catholics. Currently, 37 percent of White Catholics hold favorable views of the president, down from 49 percent in 2019, according to a PRRI study.
But the faith group did not mention an increase in support for President Trump among non-White protestants in the same survey. Currently, 40 percent of non-White protestants hold favorable views of Trump, a significant increase from 30 percent in 2019.
Several leaders, including Bolz-Weber, are publicly endorsing a candidate for the first time.
“It’s almost a form of patriotism in the sense that I believe in the true spirit of Christianity so strongly that I will not abandon the faith to those who use it as a camouflage for self-interest and small-mindedness,” she told Religion News. “In the same way, I believe the spirit of what America has always said it is about, and will not abandon this country to those who support policies that are based in small-mindedness and self-interest.”
She argued that Christians like herself, those who do not fit in with the religious right, are quickly growing to a powerful force.
“I think progressive Christianity is a sleeping giant,” she said.
Trump, trying to drum up support among his reliable evangelical base, accused Biden and Democrats of omitting “under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance at their convention. The DNC included “under God” in its pledge during convention nights, but the phrase was omitted during the LGBTQ Caucus Meeting, and the Muslim Delegates and Allies Assembly.
This month, Trump told Fox News’ Geraldo Rivera that Biden and Democrats oppose the Bible.
“He's against the Bible, essentially against religion. But against the Bible and he's against the Second Amendment,” Trump said.
“That may be a little harsh, him being against the Bible,” Rivera responded.
“Well, the people that control him totally are. I mean, it may be a little harsh for him, but he's going to have no control,” Trump said.
The Biden campaign hit back in full force against Trump’s claim, hitting the commander-in-chief for his photo in front of St. John’s Church.
"Joe Biden's faith is at the core of who he is; he's lived it with dignity his entire life, and it's been a source of strength and comfort in times of extreme hardship," Biden spokesperson Andrew Bates told Fox News.
"Donald Trump is the only president in our history to have tear-gassed peaceful Americans and thrown a priest out of her church just so he could profane it – and a Bible – for his own cynical optics as he sought to tear our nation apart at a moment of crisis and pain. And this comes just one day after Trump's campaign abused a photo of Joe Biden praying in church to demean him, in one of the starkest expressions of weakness throughout this whole campaign."