Lowcountry clergy react to Pope vs. Trump

CHARLESTON, SC –  Reverend Dr. Charles Heyward of St. James Presbyterian Church on James Island believes the next president is going to be the president of all people, not just Christians

“Rather than making it a faith issue, I want to make it a citizen issue,” said Rev. Heyward. “I don’t want to question the Pope’s motivation but I would say the president is responsible for all citizens not just not just all Christians”

Thursday night, the Pope’s powerful pushback against the popular GOP candidate, Donald Trump, sparked some strong opinions from students.

Julie Beeks is a student at the Charleston School of Law and said religion is playing a role in the South Carolina primary. “It might not necessarily or should play a role, but it does,” said Beeks. “It could change things…The country has a history of separation of church and state and it kind of blurs the lines for a lot of voters who may have previously been affiliated with Trump; at the same time who are confused about what the Pope is saying.”

Thursday night we also reached out to the Charleston Roman Catholic Church to ask how faith plays a role in elections.

In a statement, Bishop Robert E. Guglielmone said, “When we talk about having a relationship with God, that connection should guide every aspect of our life, including our political views. As believers, we have a dual heritage as both faithful people and American citizens. As believers, our commitment to bear witness to the values of Jesus Christ requires an active participation in the democratic life of our nation. As Americas, we have a serious moral obligation to vote. When making a decision on a candidate or a political issue, our faith, no matter what our religious tradition, should have an impact on how we cast our vote. If we take our faith seriously, we will take the responsibility to vote seriously because our decision can shape our country’s future in a way that is consistent with Christ’s teachings.”

Ultimately, the voters of South Carolina will need to decide if the Pope’s opinion on Trump matters, when they head to the primary polling places this Saturday.

“I think it’s best to keep religion and politics separate,” said Beeks.

Donald Trump will be in North Charleston tomorrow night at 7pm. News 2’s Matt Alba will be there with live coverage beginning at 5:00pm.


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