It didn’t matter what President Trump said this week, he could have said any possible thing and people would have pre-determined their opinion.
I don’t know how many times you have to say you condemn white supremacy, neo-Nazism, racism and white nationalism before people take you at their word.
The President has given three public statements in as many days condemning white supremacism, white nationalism, anti-Semitism and racism. He separately tried to provide additional perspective and I think that was his mistake, it was not the environment to have that conversation. The President is certainly guilty of being insensitive, but the question of whether the President bears the responsibility of Charlottesville? I just don’t believe that.
There was a wound whose scab has been ripped violently off and now it’s a moment for national healing. Those of us who are Christians that are close to the administration are trying to help the administration do that while we are simultaneously very focused on the ministry of reconciliation within our own communities and across ethnic and other denomination and other barriers.
One of the things I have been watching very close across the United States is people saying 'where are the Christian leaders condemning all of this?' I can’t find a Christian leader who hasn’t condemned it!
We hate the blight of racism because it’s a an offence to the image of God, God loves every single person, but the truth is that this is an issue that takes work in this country and it has been highly, highly politicised.
I think there was lots and lots of mistakes over the last few days and I’ve been public about that. But I also think there were attempts to take a terrible tragedy - bigotry in its most egregious form, anti-Semitism in its most egregious form - and to use it for political reasons. And I think that is equally deserving of criticism.
My job to advise the White House is both a Christian and patriotic responsibility. It’s not my job to bear any responsibility for whether or not they take our advice.
I thank God that we have an open door and we can give the advice. I believe it would be immoral to take this stewardship of influence that’s been given to us and to withdraw from it under the pressure of people that oppose the president no matter what he does.
It’s absolutely true that there is anti-fascist movements in this country (as they call themselves) who advocate using violence. So you have extremist neo-Nazis, who are bottom of the barrel, scum of the earth and they can’t be compared to anyone else and then you have leftist extremists that are more than happy to use weapons.
It’s a very small group of people on both sides in this country. But the more attention paid to it, the more emboldened they are and it just gets complex. And that’s why the media in the United States have been trying very hard to get evangelicals in a political conversation and what I keep telling them is that nearly every evangelical I know hasn’t given a passing thought to politics since all this happened. We’ve been focused on ministry, we’ve been focused on reaching across the aisle. This is not a moment for politics. This is a moment for the church to be the church.
The verse that has struck me the most in the past few days - and I think everyone is guilty of it on all sides - is that 'Truth has fallen in the streets.' If you cannot talk reasonably, objectively, if you have a litmus test for friendship, if you don’t have friends that are different from you, this ends in a very bad place.
As a country, we need prayer that Christians might be ambassadors of reconciliation. That people would find middle ground, that the Prince of Peace would shine his peace in the United States and that all the evil forces at work to divide and cause hatred in all of these things would fall prey to that.
Anybody who wants to say that this person, or that person is responsible for what we saw this week in Charlottesville, is speaking disingenuously. All Americans have to look at ourselves in the mirror; we all have to ask ourselves what we’re doing to heal America, to fight bigotry and to find a way through the persistent blight of racism that remains prevalent in our country. It’s on all of us. Every single one of us.
Johnnie Moore was speaking to Premier's Marcus Jones