Russell Moore is begging Christians to speak out against Donald Trump and his aggression toward Muslims, but not because Moore believes Islam is a peaceful religion.
In a recent blog post, the president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission said Trump's recent comments about banning all Muslims are an affront to religious liberty and Christians must speak out.
"Anyone who cares an iota about religious liberty should denounce this reckless, demagogic rhetoric," Moore writes.
"As an evangelical Christian, I could not disagree more strongly with Islam," he continued. "I believe that salvation comes only through union with Jesus Christ, received through faith. As part of the church's mission, we believe we should seek to persuade our Muslim neighbors of the goodness and truth of the gospel. It is not in spite of our gospel conviction, but precisely because of it, that we should stand for religious liberty for everyone."
Basically, if the United States takes a stand against Islam, what's to stop them from isolating or even persecuting Christians in the future?
This isn't the first time Moore has called out Trump over religious liberty issues.
"Donald Trump is saber-rattling about shutting down mosques in this country, which, as somebody who works every day on religious liberty, I'm astounded that we could have a presidential candidate of either party speaking in such a way," Moore told Buzzfeed earlier this year. "Evangelicals should recognize that any president who would call for shutting down houses of worship ... is the sort of political power that can ultimately shut down evangelical churches."
Despite Moore's earlier pleas, Trump continues to feed on American fear, calling to ban any Muslim from entering the United States after the recent terror attack in San Bernardino, California.
"Trump, of course, is a master at knowing and seizing a moment," Moore writes. "The country is reeling from a terrorist attack by two Islamic radicals. Moreover, the president seems to many to have little plan to eradicate the threat of the Islamic State from building a massive caliphate in the Middle East and exporting terror all over the world. Enter the Man in the Trump Tower with a plan to 'get tough' by closing the borders to Muslims, all Muslims, simply because they are Muslim."
Though the Republican front-runner likened his ideologies to Franklin Delano Roosevelt's wartime policies, many people other than Moore took offense.
BBC ran an article declaring "Donald Trump's Muslim US ban call roundly condemned," and it appears Trump's part is turning against him, as well.
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan condemned Trump, echoing Moore's religious freedom sentiments. Ryan told media Trump's suggestions violate "conservatism" and "American Values."
Moore writes that he recognizes "we are in a time of war and should respond as those in a time of war."
"But we must never lose in a time of war precious freedoms purchased through the blood of patriots in years past," Moore writes. "We must have security and we must have order. But we must not trade soul freedom for an illusion of winning."
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