Why Trump’s Rise Does Not Spell the End for the Christian Right

Republican U.S. presidential candidate Trump and rival candidate Cruz cross paths during a break at the Fox Business Network Republican presidential candidates debate in North Charleston

Here is a taste of my latest column at Religion News Service:

(RNS) There is a lot of evidence to suggest that the rise of Donald Trump represents the decline of the Christian right in American politics.  

In a recent article at The Atlantic, political commentator David Frum suggests Trump has all but captured the GOP nomination by driving social conservatives from power in the party.

In this line of thinking, Ted Cruz is the candidate of the Christian right. Indeed, he has the support of culture warriors such as James Dobson, Tony Perkins and Glenn Beck. Trump is the candidate of “New York values” who has just happened to attract a few evangelical leaders (Jerry Falwell Jr., Robert Jeffress, Pat Robertson, for example).  

But what Frum and others miss in this analysis is the fact that many evangelical conservative voters who affiliate with the agenda of the Christian right believe they can support Trump without sacrificing any of their moral convictions about abortion, marriage and religious liberty — the primary Christian right talking points in 2016.

The beliefs of the conservative evangelicals who support Cruz, and the conservative evangelicals who support Trump, are really two sides of the same coin — two ways of understanding evangelical politics that differ only in minor points of emphasis. The Christian right is far from dead; it is just having a bit of an intramural squabble.

Read the rest here.