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Trump isn't morally qualified to be this country's president

The GOP is on the verge of nominating Donald Trump for the presidency of the United States of America. The American people face a moral imperative to stop Trump from becoming president.REV. DR. CHUCK CURRIE

This must occur at the ballot box. Only through our democratic traditions can we save our nation from someone clearly not committed to democratic values from occupying the White House.

We have known for some time that Trump is a demagogue. He has based his campaign on a racist platform that includes building a wall between the United States and Mexico and the deporting nearly 12 million people, many of them children, who come to the United States seeking better lives. We do need comprehensive immigration reform, but we must reject building walls between our peoples.

Trump is also running a campaign that targets Muslims. We are not talking about the small number of Muslim extremists engaged in terroristic activities around the world. Trump is called into question the patriotism of Muslim Americans and has said that he would turn away Muslims fleeing from terrorism in Syria and other places.

During his campaign he has launched sexist attacks at women, hurled insults at veterans, and spoken down to those he calls “the blacks.” He has threatened a possible war with Iran just as diplomacy has begun to take hold. Donald Trump is not morally qualified to be president.

His threat to go after media outlets critical of his comments shows once again his distrust and disdain for the democratic institutions that make the United States unique. A Trump presidency we put our democracy at risk.

Neither Marco Rubio nor Ted Cruz have waged effective campaigns against Trump, and instead mimicked his rhetoric. They should be ashamed and it must be clear to the American people that they have disqualified themselves for office by following Trump’s lead.

It is time for people of faith and religious leaders across this nation to speak out against Trump’s candidacy and the imitation candidacies of Rubio and Cruz. This is not about partisan politics or policy differences. This is about the future of American democracy.

Faith leaders must raise prophetic voices to speak the truth: Donald Trump is a threat to what is good and decent about the United States. He is a threat to freedom. He is a threat to pluralism. He is a threat to democracy. We have an obligation to do all that we can within our democratic institutions to stop him from becoming president.

As people of faith, we must also pray for Donald Trump and find ways for forgiving him for what he has done to our nation. Forgiveness does not include making him president.

I believe without hesitation that Hillary Clinton is the best choice to assume the presidency at the end of Barack Obama’s term. Others argue for Bernie Sanders. If Donald Trump does receive the GOP nomination, it is likely a third-party independent candidate will emerge. There is no candidate ordained by God in this (or any) race.

Regardless, no one who will not disassociate from the KKK is a person of good faith or morally qualified to hold the highest office in the land.

We are at a critical crossroads in the history of this nation. Don’t let our children or their children ask what it was we did in this moment of history to protect our democracy from someone as dangerous as Donald Trump.

Rev. Dr. Chuck Currie is director of the Center for Peace and Spirituality and university chaplain at Pacific University in Forest Grove. This piece was first published Feb. 29 by The Huffington Post.