Fresh from Royal wedding, Bishop Michael Curry protests Trump's White House
Bishop Michael Curry, who wowed the world when preaching at the Royal wedding at the weekend, will take his stardust to the White House this evening in a candle-lit vigil protesting against a 'dangerous crisis of moral and political leadership'.
The Episcopal Church's Bishop Curry will be joined by leaders from a range of US Christian churches who are concerned about a crisis in 'government and our churches' which put 'the soul of the nation and the integrity of faith' at stake.
Around 1,000 people are expected to turn out for a church service before the protest and for the protest itself, in Lafayette Square, a park across the street from the White House.
Referring to the strongly-worded statement called 'Reclaiming Jesus', Curry said: 'This weekend I spoke about the way of love. As elders, we view bringing the Reclaiming Jesus declaration to the public square as a tangible example of how to live out that way of love.'
The statement calls 'America first,' a foreign-policy slogan endorsed by the US President Donald Trump, 'theological heresy' and condemns the 'normalisation of lying' and 'the resurgence of white nationalism, racism, and xenophobia; misogyny; attacks on immigrants, refugees, and the poor'.
Curry continued: 'We are Christian leaders bearing moral witness to the teachings of our faith in the public square. As citizens we want our government to reflect our values. As a bishop I believe we should follow the teachings of Jesus – who taught us to love God and love our neighbour.'
The White House has not so far commented on the protest.
Curry, primate of the US Episcopal Church (TEC), is a critic of Trump and a supporter of same-sex marriage. He has helped drive through TEC's acceptance of gay marriage, most recently via proposals to change its marriage service to a gender-neutral version that removes the word 'procreation' from the reasons why people get married.
The Reclaiming Jesus statement says: 'We are living through perilous and polarising times as a nation, with a dangerous crisis of moral and political leadership at the highest levels of our government and in our churches. We believe the soul of the nation and the integrity of faith are now at stake.
'We reject the resurgence of white nationalism and racism in our nation on many fronts, including the highest levels of political leadership.'
Signatories also reject 'misogyny, the mistreatment, violent abuse, sexual harassment, and assault of women that has been further revealed in our culture and politics, including our churches, and the oppression of any other child of God'.
The declaration represents a comprehensive attack on Trump's agenda, continuing: 'We strongly deplore the growing attacks on immigrants and refugees, who are being made into cultural and political targets, and we need to remind our churches that God makes the treatment of the "strangers" among us a test of faith (Leviticus 19:33-34). We won't accept the neglect of the well-being of low-income families and children, and we will resist repeated attempts to deny health care to those who most need it. We confess our growing national sin of putting the rich over the poor. We reject the immoral logic of cutting services and programmes for the poor while cutting taxes for the rich.'
In an apparent personal reference to Trump – without naming him – it says: 'We reject the practice and pattern of lying that is invading our political and civil life. Politicians, like the rest of us, are human, fallible, sinful, and mortal. But when public lying becomes so persistent that it deliberately tries to change facts for ideological, political, or personal gain, the public accountability to truth is undermined.'