(RNS) — A new political advertisement calls on Republican Christian voters to turn against Donald Trump this November, arguing the president’s rhetoric and actions are out of step with their faith.
The ad, released on Tuesday (July 14), features several self-identified Republicans discussing Trump and his presidency as a piano softly plays the hymn “Amazing Grace” in the background.
The speakers juxtapose Trump’s rhetoric and behavior — such as video of him bragging about sexual assault in 2005 and retweeting a video in June of a supporter shouting “white power” — alongside appeals to Christian teaching and Scripture.
“I was taught the principle that we should love our neighbors as ourselves,” an individual named Cheves, a Republican, says in the ad.
The one-minute spot was produced by Republican Voters Against Trump, which is a project of the political action group Defending Democracy Together.
Speakers in the ad reference a June 1 incident that took place outside the White House, when local and federal police forcibly cleared demonstrators — including a priest and a seminarian working outside St. John’s Episcopal Church — from Lafayette Park using projectiles and gas.
Shortly after the demonstrators were expelled, Trump walked over to St. John’s and held up a Bible during a photo op.
“The moment that he held up that Bible, he revealed this president is using us,” a man named Pat, identified as a Republican, says in the ad.
As Pat speaks, images of Trump holding Bibles and racists marching in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017 flash across the screen.
“Christians have to resist being used to justify things that Jesus would never justify,” Pat says.
The message appears to be aimed at capitalizing on potential weakness for Trump among white evangelicals.
Recent polls have shown fluctuations in Trump’s white evangelical Protestant base, with support for the president dropping as much as 15 points among the group from March to May, according to the Public Religion Research Institute.
Other polls have since shown Trump reclaim lost ground with white evangelicals in states such as Wisconsin.
Trump recently conducted a series of interviews and events geared toward conservative Christian audiences.
Even so, efforts by Republican Voters Against Trump and others suggest strategists believe it’s possible to chip away at Trump’s hold on the group.
The ad concludes with an individual named Shawn declaring, “As a Republican, as a Christian, we simply cannot allow this man to be reelected.”