Meet the pastor who was indicted with Trump in Georgia

Meet the pastor who was indicted with Trump in Georgia

On Monday night, August 14, Fulton County, Georgia District Attorney Fani Willis announced that a grand jury had indicted former President Donald Trump and 18 of his allies on criminal charges in connection with their efforts to overturn the 2020 election results. Willis alleges that Trump and other defendants conspired to keep him in the White House and give him Georgia's electoral votes despite the fact that now-President Joe Biden won the state.

The indictment lists major Republicans ranging from former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows to pro-Trump attorneys who include Rudy Giuliani, Sidney Powell, Jenna Ellis and John C. Eastman. Another defendant listed in the indictment is the Rev. Stephen Cliffgard Lee, a Lutheran minister based in the Chicago suburbs. Unlike many of Trump's religious supporters, Lee is not a fundamentalist evangelical, but a Mainline Protestant.

Religion News' Jack Jenkins reports that the charges against Lee include "attempting to influence witnesses and conspiring to solicit false statements and writings."

POLL: Should Trump be allowed to hold office again?

Jenkins explains, "Lee's involvement revolves around his efforts to contact Georgia election worker Ruby Freeman in December 2020. Lee appeared at the election worker's door roughly two weeks after Freeman and her daughter, Wandrea 'Shaye' Moss, were falsely accused by Trump of pulling fake ballots from suitcases in Georgia, with Trump suggesting they committed election fraud."

Jenkins notes that Lee, according to the indictment and reporting by Reuters, "knocked on Freeman's door, left and later parked his car in her driveway." Seeing Lee's car in her driveway, Freeman called the police.

Although Trump is popular among far-right white evangelicals and Christian nationalists, a separate Religion News article published on August 11 focuses on activism among non-MAGA, anti-Trump Christians and their efforts against Christian nationalism.

READ MORE: How Pat Robertson helped shape the radical Christian nationalism Barry Goldwater warned against

The Rev. Liz Theoharis, a Presbyterian activist, told Religion News, "There is a tribalism and a very strong, religious-like element to this MAGA movement, which we name as white Christian nationalism. As a progressive, secular organizer, I don't think me and my comrades in our space are really fully evaluating what this threat is."

Theoharis and MoveOn's Rahna Epting, according to Jenkins, have joined forces in a campaign against Christian nationalism. Together, they authored an in-depth 75-page study titled "All of U.S.: Organizing to Counter White Christian Nationalism and Build a Pro- Democracy Society."

"In the years since January 6, (2021)…. as proponents of Christian nationalism have grown louder, so, too, have their detractors," Jenkins explains. "Epting and Theoharis' partnership turned into a years-long project to determine how best to curb the influence of the ideology…. Their study is but the latest in an intensifying effort to challenge Christian nationalism and its influence on U.S. politics."

The Rev. Jen Butler, founder of Faith in Public Life (FPL), views Christian nationalism as anti-democracy.

Butler told Religion News, "The religious community is pivoting directly to address white Christian nationalism, and secular funders are seeing the value that the religious community can bring to the table because of the way we have sounded the alarm on Christian nationalism — and begun to respond."

READ MORE: A 'new breed' of charter schools is spreading Christian nationalism — at taxpayers’ expense

Understand the importance of honest news ?

So do we.

The past year has been the most arduous of our lives. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be catastrophic not only to our health - mental and physical - but also to the stability of millions of people. For all of us independent news organizations, it’s no exception.

We’ve covered everything thrown at us this past year and will continue to do so with your support. We’ve always understood the importance of calling out corruption, regardless of political affiliation.

We need your support in this difficult time. Every reader contribution, no matter the amount, makes a difference in allowing our newsroom to bring you the stories that matter, at a time when being informed is more important than ever. Invest with us.

Make a one-time contribution to Alternet All Access, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.

Click to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card
Donate by Paypal
{{ }}
@2023 - AlterNet Media Inc. All Rights Reserved. - "Poynter" fonts provided by