This was unexpected.
More than 13,000 Christians have provided their signatures to a petition, urging certain “MAGA pastors” who have not condemned threats made against Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis and other prosecutors involved in the indictment of former President Donald Trump to do so.
According to Newsweek, the online community Faithful America initiated this petition, which was initially launched on Tuesday with a goal of reaching 10,000 signatures. However, they have since raised the target to 15,000.
The website states, “Nearly all those involved in bringing forth the 91 felony charges against Donald Trump are now grappling with escalating threats of terrorism and violence.” Despite this situation, the far-right pastors who have criticized and politicized these indictments, such as Franklin Graham, Mike Huckabee, and ‘Trump’s Top Pastor’ Mark Burns, have remained conspicuously silent regarding these threats, despite their role in fostering a charged and violent atmosphere.
Graham and Burns are prominent evangelical pastors in the United States, while Huckabee, the former Governor of Arkansas, is a Baptist minister. All three have been staunch supporters of Trump since his initial presidential campaign in 2016, dismissing the numerous charges against the former president as an effort to hinder his potential re-election in 2024.
Faithful America, an organization committed to opposing Christian nationalism, expressed, “Jesus is the Prince of Peace, and those who live by the sword die by the sword.” They assert that it is irresponsible and morally wrong for these pastors, who have fueled the anger of Trump Republicans, to now turn a blind eye to the violent atmosphere they have contributed to. They call on Christians to unite and implore Trump’s pastor acquaintances to promptly denounce these dangerous threats.
Fani Willis, the District Attorney who indicted Trump and accused him, along with 18 others, of attempting to overturn Georgia’s 2020 presidential election results, has openly discussed the racist and sexist threats she has been receiving, even before announcing charges against the former president. In late July, she shared an email with Fulton County leaders in which she was referred to as a “Jim Crow Democrat whore,” as reported by NBC News. Willis is a Black woman.
In another case, a woman in Texas is facing federal charges for allegedly threatening to harm U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan, who is overseeing the case against Trump related to the January 6th U.S. Capitol siege. Additionally, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, who has accused the former president of falsifying business records in connection to several hush money schemes in 2016, received a death threat just days before he issued his 34-count indictment against Trump.
Trump has consistently issued threats via his social media accounts against those connected to his investigations, leading to stringent bail conditions in his Georgia case and a protective order in his January 6th case.
Historically, Donald Trump has enjoyed strong support from American Christians. In 2020, according to the Pew Research Center, the majority of white voters who regularly attended religious worship services cast their votes for the former president over President Joe Biden. Among Trump’s most fervent supporters were white evangelical Protestants.
A Reuters report in April indicated that Trump still maintained a “significant share” of support from conservative Christians in the ongoing presidential race.