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With Cruz out, Evangelicals feel themselves abandoned by the GOP

Left like others in a political wilderness, Cruz’s pastor father cancels Nebraska sermon

Evangelical Christians such as Gary Fuller, pastor of Gentle Shepherd Baptist Church in Lincoln, Neb., find themselves dismayed and adrift now that Donald Trump has wrested control of the Republican Party.

Pastor Gary Fuller planned a Sunday service focused on involving Christians in the political process and featuring a speech by the pastor father of Sen. Ted Cruz. But after a week in which Cruz abruptly dropped out of the race, his father scrapped his appearance here and Donald Trump became the Republican Party’s standard-bearer, a dismayed Fuller kept the political portion short.

“Vote according to your convictions,” Fuller told congregants at Gentle Shepherd Baptist Church who will cast ballots in Nebraska’s presidential primary Tuesday. “What you believe is the right thing to vote for, according to the Scriptures.”

He told congregants that the church can’t and won’t promote one candidate over another. But Fuller has a hard time stomaching Trump as the Republican nominee and plans to vote for Cruz on Tuesday, even though the senator has dropped out of the race.

“In a sense, we feel abandoned by our party,” Fuller said. “There’s nobody left.”

Fuller and other conservatives whose voting decisions are guided by their Christian faith find themselves dismayed and adrift now that Trump has wrested control of the Republican Party. It is a sentiment that reaches from the small, aluminum-sided church with a large white cross on its front that Fuller and his wife built on the Nebraska plains to the highest levels of American religious life. Even progressive Christians — evangelicals and Catholics, among others — who don’t necessarily vote Republican are alarmed that Trump is attracting many voters who call themselves religious. A coalition of nearly 60 Christian leaders — many progressive and some conservative — published an open letter last week asking voters of faith to reject Trump and his “vulgar racial and religious demagoguery,” warning that the nation faces a “moral threat” from the candidate.

This article continues at [Washington Post] ‘There’s nobody left’: Evangelicals feel abandoned by GOP after Trump’s ascent

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