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Evangelical Leaders: Please Stand With Jewish-Americans, Sign This Letter to Trump

Evangelical Leaders: Please Stand With Jewish-Americans, Sign This Letter to Trump

Paul de Vries is an exclusive CP columnist. | (By CP Cartoonist Rod Anderson)

Dear President Trump,

As Evangelical leaders, we voice together our heartfelt appreciation for the thoughtful comments you made at the very beginning of your speech to the joint session of Congress on February 28. Your comments on the fact that more work for civil rights is needed, and that the threats against Jewish community centers and vandalism of Jewish cemeteries needs to stop are very deeply appreciated. Threats and attacks targeting our Jewish neighbors are existential threats to the American republic's core traditions and values, largely rooted in our shared Biblical heritage.

While we know that the administration opposes the growing voices of intolerance within our culture, we believe that consistent and compelling opposition to these hateful events, from the very top leadership of our democracy, is urgently required. We are imploring your administration to speak as frequently and as forcefully on this topic as is needed. Please reassure Americans of every group that they belong and that the precious Judeo-Christian values of religious freedom and respect for all people will remain at the very core of who we are as a nation now, and going forward.

The Bible consistently teaches that we cannot be either silent or submissive in the face of shameful expressions of hatred. Anti-Semitism is anti-Christianity, and thus these assaults violate all of us! We are taught, for example, "Speak up, judge fairly, and defend the rights of the afflicted and oppressed" (Prov. 31:9). That is a recurring theme throughout the Bible.

Again, we love what you said to Congress on February 28. Please communicate to FBI Director James Comey and Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly that this is a supreme priority for you. In this new era as our President, you can unify all Americans against hate crimes and biased attacks.

While threats, vandalism, and violence against any groups of Americans must be stopped, attacks against Jews are especially heinous in the light of history and worthy of your particular attention. After all, from the Jewish heritage we have all received the very best of what elevates and civilizes humanity — including the Ten Commandments, the Psalms, the Hebrew Prophets, the teaching and ministry of Jesus Christ, the Apostles, and the transforming awareness of the Almighty's amazing grace.

As Christian Americans, we are intensely aware of the Jewish legacy from which we have received the very roots of American law, so that the image of Moses is properly represented in many places on our Supreme Court building. The radical respect for the God-given rights to life, liberty, property, and pursuit of happiness comes initially from our Jewish heritage, too. The huge influence of the Hebrew Scriptures on the Declaration of Independence is undeniable.

We must ask the question of why at the beginning of 2017 there such a significant increase of threats and violence against Jewish-Americans? Why are there far more threats and acts of violence against our Jewish neighbors than against any other group? Some misguided and hateful people have such a tragically deep hostility to the core values of America — and also of free society — that they lash out at the people they take to be prime representatives of those Judeo-Christian values and achievements. So, ironically, while many people have renewed hopes under your leadership, anti-Semitic people have renewed hatreds.

Please use the power of your words and the vigilant work of the FBI and Homeland Security to stop them.

Hostile threats and acts against Jewish-Americans are attacks on the very values that have made America great. Under your overt leadership, our American government's vigilant, devoted protection of our Jewish-Americans — in direct word and public action — going forward, will contribute hugely toward making America great again. Your clear voice as our President is the biggest key to this success.

President Trump, we pray earnestly for you and for your whole team of leaders. May the Lord God guide, encourage, and bless you and your entire administrative team. And may God bless these United States.

Additonal evangelical ministers and leaders are invited to add their names to the letter before it is mailed to President Trump on March 6. You can email your name, title, and organization name to DrPaul@GreenBibleSociety.org by 8:00 AM, Monday, March 6.

Dr. Paul de Vries is the president of New York Divinity School, and a pastor, speaker and author. He is a specialist in Biblical hermeneutics and ethics and a life-long advocate of Biblical activism.

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