Last month I had a long phone conversation about Trump and evangelicals with Chauncey DeVega, politics staff writer for Salon. I appreciate Chauncey’s work in editing and clarifying my scattered and somewhat random thoughts into a coherent interview which Salon published today. Here is his introduction to the interview:
To quote the bumper sticker: “What would Jesus do?”
Assuming that he existed and held the views imputed to him, Jesus Christ would not support Donald Trump.
Donald Trump’s behavior, values, policies and their consequences are the opposite of what Jesus Christ represented. Trump has put migrants and refugees in cages and delighted in their suffering. He feels contempt for the poor, the sick, the vulnerable and the needy. He has lied at least 16,000 times. He is corrupt and wildly greedy.
Donald Trump is violent, a militarist, a nativist and a white supremacist. He has given aid and comfort to anti-Semites, neo-Nazis and other hate-mongers.
We are told that Jesus Christ lived a life of love, humility and sacrifice. Donald Trump has lived a life of selfishness, greed and wanton cruelty.
Why are white evangelical Christians so overwhelmingly supportive of Donald Trump? While some have tried to present it as a riddle with no evident solution, the answer is quite simple: Donald Trump does the bidding of the Christian right. He has advanced its policies in a war against secular society, women’s freedom, LGBTQ rights, multiracial democracy and the U.S. Constitution.
But it’s important to note that the Christian evangelical community is not a monolith. There are many people within it who oppose Donald Trump and his movement, because they see it as antithetical to the life and teachings of Jesus Christ.
One such voice is historian John Fea, a professor at Messiah College in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. His new book is “Believe Me: The Evangelical Road to Donald Trump.” Fea recently published an op-ed in USA Today entitled “‘Evangelicals for Trump’ was an awful display by supposed citizens of the Kingdom of God,” in which he explained that he had spent his “entire adult life in the evangelical community” following a “born-again experience” at age 16:
Read the entire introduction and the entire interview here.