The news in Christian circles this week that regular churchgoers are more likely to be tolerant of immigration than those who attend infrequently reminded me of analysis of Trump’s Christian base.
There, it was found that those who identify as Christian and attend church regularly are less likely to support Trump than Christians who do not belong to a church community.
Christians are of course, not too dissimilar to everyone else, and I find it interesting that exposure to a community of faith, and perhaps, crucially, people in that community who are different to you, seems to make a difference.
Depressingly, in both situations, the proportion of (predominantly white) Christians supporting Trump and against immigration in the UK is still high.
I’m not saying that you can’t be rightwing and a person of faith; far from it. But when the advancement of that agenda is powered and endorsed by, and in some cases deliberately dressed in racist and xenophobic language and imagery, which is a best cruel and at worst dangerous, I do wonder about the entreaty to love our neighbour.
It seems so simple, but it’s actually really hard. You don’t choose your neighbour. They are often inconvenient and may be very different to you or even unlikeable, but we are called beyond tolerance to love.
It’s costly and difficult and challenging but it’s meant to be our thing, isn’t it?