Evangelicals Support Trump Out of Fear and Weakness

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Damon Linker nails it in his column at The Week.

Here is a taste:

No informed evangelical today seriously hopes for a reversal of same-sex marriage. (Even in the unlikely event that the Supreme Court’s Obergefell decision affirming a right to same-sex marriage were overturned, public opinion would by this point strongly support legalizing the institution through democratic means.) What they do hope for is protection from persecution for their religiously based views of sexual morality. That can be done most effectively by the appointment of judges who are friendly to religious freedom and the reining in of the power of executive branch bureaucracies to apply anti-discrimination law to every corner of American life. The Trump administration has been doing a lot of both. And evangelicals are understandably elated about it.

Those who loathe and fear the religious right should keep all of this in mind when they mock evangelicals for their cynical political maneuvering. The willingness of evangelicals to embrace Trump is a function not of their strength but of their weakness. It may not look that way from the outside, with an increasingly Trumpified Republican Party exercising so much control in Washington and in state houses around the country. Yet evangelicals are right to recognize that people like them have by now long since decisively lost the culture and the political support of the bulk of the American electorate.

The moral majority has shrunk to become a moral minority surrounded by a sea of secularism. For all the talk of the president serving as God’s instrument in the 2016 election, most evangelicals understand very well that he’s an emissary from the wider secular world. But that makes his willingness to serve as their strong man and protector all the more remarkable — and all the more an occasion for gratitude and loyalty.

Read the rest here.

2 thoughts on “Evangelicals Support Trump Out of Fear and Weakness

  1. No informed evangelical expects Obergefell to be overturned. OK. But what percentage of evangelicals qualify as “informed”? If that means having a general understanding the founders’ context and intentions, what’s actually in the Constitution, how government works, how parties work, familiarity with SCOTUS decisions, etc., can it be more than 20%, if that? Most assume things have been fine since about the day before yesterday, and all it takes is a will to find the way back to “Christian America,” however that’s to be understood.

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