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Evangelical group comes to Harrisburg, urges faithful to vote against Donald Trump

A progressive evangelical group on Saturday called on evangelicals and white Catholics to square their faith at the ballot box and vote against President Donald Trump.

“Many have been told that if they are Christian, they have to vote for Republicans but we know that their faith calls them to something more than that,” said Doug Pagitt, executive director of Vote Common Good. “We say to faith, hope and love, and in this election for many that means they can’t support this president any longer. That they have to vote for someone different. For a lot of them it means voting for Joe Biden and for some it will mean that they just can’t vote for this president like they did in 2016.”

The group held a rally on the Capitol steps just hours before the president was due to appear at a campaign rally at Harrisburg International Airport. The group is holding several rallies across Pennsylvania this weekend as part of a broader push to urge voters of faith in key swing states to abandon support for Trump.

Vote Common Good recently commissioned a poll, which found that Trump’s perceived lack of kindness is driving faith voters away. National polls have shown that while the evangelical support for Trump has slipped just slightly, the overwhelming majority of evangelicals continue to support the president.

Several other progressive groups also staged anti-Trump rallies in Harrisburg ahead of Trump’s visit.

Hal Ginsberg, of the progressive group Our Revolution, said midday shoppers at Broad Street Market showed support for the group’s message. About 15 members gathered outside the market, with posters and placards, drawing waves and honks from passersby.

“People seem to respond in Pennsylvania to the message that Trump has lied to workers,” Ginsberg said. “He made promises that he would bring jobs back and he would bring more jobs from off shore. We’ve seen just the opposite.”

Calling himself an “unapologetic follower of Jesus,” Drew Hart, a professor of theology at Messiah College, said truth and justice had been severely eroded over the past four years among people of faith.

“Jesus’s name has been deeply vandalized in the public square,” he said. Hart said he loved Jesus too much to “turn him over” to people who had co-opted him for their own power and domination.

State Senate candidate George Scott, a Lutheran minister, also addressed the small crowd on the steps of the Capitol on Saturday.

Scott, the Democratic challenger in the race for the 15th Senatorial District, invoked the words of the late Congressman John Lewis, affirming that his politics are 100% an extension of his faith.

“What my faith teaches me is to love God and my neighbor,” he said. “We are not doing a good job on that second part.”

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