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(RNS) After three people were killed and dozens injured in Charlottesville amid what is believed to be the largest white nationalist rally in a decade, religious leaders condemned the “Unite the Right” march, and the racism and anti-Semitism behind it.
Among them were a number of President Trump’s evangelical Christian advisers such as Johnnie Moore, who has acted as the group’s unofficial spokesperson.
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“EVERY evangelical I know condemns white nationalism & white supremacism,” Moore tweeted after the Saturday (Aug. 12) rally. “The Christian church is the most diverse movement in the world.”
He followed up with a series of tweets warning others not to try to score political points or to make 30 marchers look like 30,000 and “dignify bigotry by giving them more attention than they deserve.” Several hundred people took part in marches lit by tiki torches on Friday night and marked by fatal violence Saturday morning in Charlottesville, when a man reportedly rammed his car into a crowd.
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Some religious leaders also criticized Trump’s initial response denouncing hatred and violence “on many sides,” as a false moral equivalence, while a few conservative evangelicals rushed to defend the president.
In a speech Monday, the president finally called out the groups involved in the rally, saying, “Racism is evil.”
Violence - Name - Criminals - Thugs - KKK
“And those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans,” he continued.
Here are a responses to the events of the weekend from leaders spanning the religious spectrum.
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“White supremacy” **** is worst kind of racism-it’s EVIL and perversion of God’s truth to ever think our Creator values some above others,” Mike Huckabee tweeted.
He also took to Twitter and talk shows to defend Trump’s initial response to the rally, asking, “What is he supposed to say?”
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