The “Good News” for Trump is that White Evangelicals “Just Don’t Care”

Marsha

Trump with evangelical Senate candidate Marsha Blackburn

75% of white evangelicals voted Republican yesterday.  Writer Jacob Lupfer offers his take on what this means.  Here is a taste of his Religion News Service piece: “As evangelicals win with Trump, little ‘good news’ is left in the religious right.”

Trumpism is now business as usual for white evangelicalism, and white evangelical politics are inseparable from Trump’s.

This is a dangerous equation for the religious right, which once justified its alignment with the GOP by saying it could dictate social policy because of the votes it could marshal at election time. But now conservative Christians depend on Trump, not the other way around. Democrats may control the House, but the Republican caucus is even more dominated by Trump disciples as many decent GOP members retired or lost their re-election bids.

Across Capitol Hill, the Senate is now another Trump property. The president believes, with good reason, that the new crop of Republican senators owes its election to his strong support. Even the evangelical senators who occasionally challenge the president’s worst excesses (though always through speeches, never their votes) look as weak and irrelevant as ever.

The word “evangelical” comes from the Greek New Testament. It means “good news,” in reference to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Evangelicals at their best are a religious revival movement, not a voting bloc. True Christians would never abide the race-baiting, lying, dehumanizing rhetoric that Trump spews daily.

The “good news” for Trump is that they just don’t care.

Read the entire piece here.

7 thoughts on “The “Good News” for Trump is that White Evangelicals “Just Don’t Care”

  1. John,
    Mr. Lupfer’s polemic against President Trump is 80% emotionalism and maybe 20% fact. His supposition that Trump is any more “criminal” or “corrupt” than recent presidents is based on more on Trump’s flamboyant personality and previous wide-ranging business enterprises than on any reality. Anyone who has been involved in as many varied business enterprises as Trump is going to be the subject of lawsuits and accusations by competitors, suppliers, contractors, and customers. If Mr. Lupfer had spent more of his life in business rather than journalism, politics, and liberal Protestant religiosity, he would be sensitive to that. Furthermore, if St. Francis of Assisi had run a massive business conglomerate, he would have been the subject of vilification. It just goes with the turf.

    Christians are going to find it difficult, yea impossible, to install a saint in the Oval Office. In the meantime, believers are generally going to support a president whose policy goals are for the most part congruent with their own. We live in very perilous times. The traditional Judeo-Christian verities which shaped the West have been broadly attack since the Enlightenment. This secularist assault in the USA attack was ramped up to a feverish intensity under the Obama Administration. Had Hillary been elected, the veiled but rabid anti-Christianity would have continued. She would have enforced citizens bowing at the shrine of multiculturalism and politically correct obeisance. While mouthing religious-sounding platitudes, she would have taken us deeper into a godless abyss. Trump’s style is indeed strong medicine, but I am not sure if there is a viable alternative at this time.
    James

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    • I am an evangelical Christian. I cannot honestly think of a single way in which my free exercise of my faith was inhibited during the Obama years in a way attributable to Obama. Are there incidents of faith coming into conflict with society? Sure. Are there broader issues that Christians face in an increasingly secular culture? Sure. The gospels and epistles tell us outright and plainly that as Christians we will always be out of step with the world and will at times face challenges in living out our faith, and that is true in every time and in every nation and in every culture. But the level of fear being drummed up recently by people making statements like this just does not correspond to what I see.

      I had Christian friends who literally said and believed that if Hillary were elected that Christianity would be outlawed within four years. That is beyond ridiculous and reflects not only a whipping up of fear beyond all reason, but also a clear lack of faith and trust in our heavenly Father. And as a result many seek out an earthly protector (a Great Bully who will attack and bully our “enemies”) and swear total and complete fealty to him, sacrificing much of our Christian witness and credibility in exchange for some perceived level of protection from a threat viewed wildly beyond proportion because of hysteria.

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      • Dear Dave,
        President Obama has no problem with your faith if you kept it within the walls of your church for a couple of hours per week; but don’t bring it out within the open marketplace of ideas and policies. That would have been within his opinion that you were mixing church and state.

        I could list a lot of the specific policies of the Obama years such as federal power and money being used to promote all manner of bizarre and immoral sexual expression or perhaps his administration’s attacks upon evangelical expression within the armed services. If you want an exhaustive list, I will put one together, but the most injurious assault on Christianity was through his appointees to federal courts and senior bureaucratic positions. The old maxim applies, “Personnel is policy.” We can explore this further if you’d like.

        As far as your friend who thought Hillary would outlaw Christianity, I’d have to disagree with him. She is too smart to try something that patently Unconstitutional. She would simply have continued Obama’s appointments of committed secularists to the courts and other influential federal jobs.

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      • Dave,
        A Post Script here———
        I agree with you that Christians will necessarily be out of step with the world. The problem with Obama was that he essentially attacked Christian principles through his policies.

        It struck me as telling that his staff told officials at Georgetown University how to act when Obama came to speak. I might be fuzzy on one or two details here, but the pre-speech White House emissaries surveyed the hall and noted that there were painting(s) on the walls where the name “Jesus” appeared in Koine Greek. Georgetown, a Roman Catholic institution, was asked to cover the name of Jesus before Obama’s speech. The scandal was that these folks did not presumably want the person of the president surrounded by traditional Christian imagery. That’s the sort of people he hired. I am not sure what the final outcome was but that’s not the main point.
        James

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      • James, I see some of your points and I don’t in any way contest that some administrations are clearly more “faith-friendly” than others. I am certainly not an Obama/Clinton apologist in many of those regards. But let’s fast-forward to today, to what many evangelicals are calling “the most faith-friendly president who has ever lived” (?!) and I can say that when I look at the particular set of “evangelical advisors” Donal Trump has surrounded himself with, and what they are communicating to him that Christianity means and what it is that Christians want, and helping to drive and shape how he sets policy, I don’t feel any better than I did before. I feel worse, in fact, because this group certainly doesn’t speak to how I understand the gospel of Christ. I don’t see the gospel as God’s rallying call to a culture war where we set out to beat down and/or destroy all of our perceived “enemies,” and equate a political platform with the tenets of Scriptural faith, buying wholesale into everything a political party stands for. And I am getting tired of being viewed as suspect in my faith by some of my fellow evangelicals because I don’t see the gospel that way.

        I am understanding more and more that I am in the evangelical minority here, but I would rather that my faith face some additional difficulties and challenges while holding fast to the gospel and Jesus’ teachings, than be put in a more comfortable privileged/favored position but at the cost of selling out those portions of Christian principles that don’t mesh with the goals of an earthly political movement.

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      • Dave,
        You make a valid point that you wish to be associated with a spiritual kingdom rather than an earthly one. I have no small sympathy for that.

        Evangelicals and certain other Christians were less inclined to be overtly political in years past. For example, in 1952 I would guess that Christians split between Ike and Adlai with no recriminations toward those in the opposite camp. Maybe Dr. Fea has more research about the first half of the past Century. Later on, however, certain court decisions and societal trends started putting Christians on the ropes to use a boxing metaphor. The verities upon which Western Civilization were based began to suffer assault. To be honest with you, I think most believers would rather go back to a less political era, but the left simply won’t allow it.
        James

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