New conservative group to give voice for Christians in U.S. politics

A new conservative group to lobby for Christians in politics launched Monday as evangelicals split on their support for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.

Founded by 13 members, Public Faith calls on Christians to "advocate for a perspective that challenges political parties with a better vision."

Banners and buttons denouncing big government are displayed at CPAC. | Reuters/Joshua Roberts

"We call on Christians to work within political parties to change parties or create new ones when reform is no longer feasible," read the group's vision statement.

Michael Wear, who worked at the White House and with President Barack Obama during the 2012 faith outreach campaign, leads Public Faith together with Alan Noble, a professor and editor-in-chief of "Christ in Pop Culture."

Wear confirmed that they recognized the need for the creation of a new lobby group which they started to form nine months ago as the current presidential race divided many Christians, particularly on their support for the Republican presidential nominee.

"We felt like it was important to do something before the election that allowed and provided a different, a renewed kind of Christian voice in politics," Wear told The Tennessean.

Although the group doesn't ascribe itself to any faction, some of its sentiments resonated with those raised by Southern Baptist leader Russell Moore and best-selling author David French during the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission's three-day 2016 National Conference "Onward: Engaging the Culture Without Losing the Gospel"
held at Gaylord Opryland Resort in Nashville, Tennessee on Saturday.

ERLC president as well as an outspoken Trump critic, Moore criticized the support of evangelicals for the candidate. He warned that many people have turned politics into religion and urged Christians "to dethrone politics as a religion and as a source of identity" while encouraging them to participate in the political process.

On the other hand, French lamented the conservative bloc's "colossal, miserable, disgusting failure" in this presidential race. He also considered it "one of the saddest things" when Trump won the conservatives' support after promising to appoint conservative Supreme Court justices.

"We cannot tie ourselves to one political party," said French, one of the keynote speakers at the conference.