Barber, a co-chair of the campaign, says some conservative faith leaders have “cynically” interpreted the Bible’s teachings to demonize homosexuality, abortion, scientific facts and other religions. They are guilty, he says, of “theological malpractice” and “modern-day heresy”.

Religious conservatives are listening to Barber’s criticism. On occasion, they have returned fire. After he excoriated a group of conservative ministers for praying for Trump at the White House and accused them of not caring for the poor, the pastors held a press conference and suggested Barber visit their churches.

“They say so much about the issues where the Bible says so little,” Barber said, repeating a refrain he often deploys to criticize the religious right. “But they speak so little about the issues where the Bible says so much.

“Jesus set up free healthcare clinics everywhere he went. He healed everybody and never charged a leper a co-pay.”