- The Washington Times - Monday, July 17, 2017

A pastor and president of North Carolina’s NAACP chapter claimed Saturday that praying for President Trump is a form of “theological malpractice that borders on heresy.”

The Rev. William Barber, appearing on MSNBC’s “AM Joy,” was responding to a photo last week showing evangelical leaders laying hands on Mr. Trump in the Oval Office.

Mr. Barber, pastor of the Greenleaf Christian Church in Goldsboro, called the photo “a form of theological malpractice that borders on heresy.”

“When you can p-r-a-y for a president and others while they are p-r-e-y, preying on the most vulnerable, you’re violating the sacred principles of religion,” he said.

Mr. Barber particularly took issue with the Republican legislation to overhaul Obamacare, which was delayed in the Senate Saturday while Sen. John McCain recovers from surgery for a blood clot. Mr. Barber said the proposed Better Care Act would result in thousands of unnecessary deaths.

“When we have this extremist Trump Republican agenda that takes health care, transfers wealth to the greedy, that’s hypocrisy and sin,” he told Ms. Reid. “Seven hundred billion dollars, Joy? You haven’t seen that kind of transfer of wealth on the backs of bodies of people since the days of slavery. Claiming to care about life, but then passing a bill when you know thousands will die — 22 million people, poor, working people will be hurt — that is hypocrisy and sin.

“Passing bills that hurt children, the disabled and veterans — that is sin. That is hypocrisy,” he continued. “And what leaders ought to be doing is challenging the president, challenging [Senate Majority Leader Mitch] McConnell, and challenging [House Speaker Paul] Ryan and challenging these senators and others and not trying to appease them. Instead, they’re acting like priests of the empire rather than prophets of God.”

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