A new political lobby group has accused President Trump of "using Christianity for his own purposes". 'Not our Faith', a bi-partisan 'super' Political Action Committee (PAC), is seeking to convince Christians that Trump does not deserve the support of believers in the upcoming US election.
Under federal election law, 'Super PACs' are permitted to engage in unlimited spending on political ads. It has been reported that, over the weeks running up to the election, 'Not Our Faith' will engage in six-figure spending to run a number of targeted messages urging the Christian community to reject Trump.
“Donald Trump could have upheld faith in America. He could have lifted up what's good and true about our faith," the group says in its latest ad, cutting to visuals of Trump holding up a Bible in Lafayette Square after ordering the forcible ejection of protesters from the area.
"Instead he has used Christianity for his own purposes. He does not value faith, not really."
The narrator asks viewers to "look at who he surrounds himself with," showing images of Trump with Jerry Falwell Jr, the former president of Liberty University who recently resigned from his position after becoming embroiled in a sex scandal. It then runs a clip of the President's faith advisor, Pastor Paula White, appearing to solicit her ministry audience for a "$100,000 cheque".
“Christians don’t need Trump to save them,” the ad continues. “The truth is that Trump needs Christians to save his flailing campaign."
The ad asks whether America's culture is "healthier or more broken after the last four years".
"Are we more unified or divided, and we more or less of a Christian nation?" it asks.
The ad concludes: "Mr. President, the days of using our faith for your benefit are over. We know you need the support of Christians like us to win this election. But you can’t have it.
"Not our vote. Not our faith."
On its website, Not Our Faith says that Trump "wants Christians to save his disastrous presidency at the polls this November" and that the group will "send a different message: Not this time, Mr. President. Not our Vote. Not our Faith. You can’t have it".
Despite the various controversies, Trump has been polling well amongst Christians. A new Lifeway research poll indicated that some 53 per cent of protestant pastors are expected to vote for him in the election - a higher level of support compared to this point in 2016. Vast numbers of US evangelicals also continue to pledge support for Trump due to his stance on issues like abortion and religious freedom.
Trump still trails Joe Biden in the polls nationally, with this week's Reuters/Ipsos poll placing the president some ten points behind his Democratic rival.