A couple of clarifications as we enter post-Trump America

First, several critics are suggesting that I and other evangelical never-Trumpers are now “Biden court evangelicals.” Those who are making this claim do not understand how I have used the word during the last four years. I have reserved the phrase “court evangelical” for those evangelical Christians who served as “advisers” to Trump. These Christian leaders took every opportunity to visit the White House for the purpose of flattering Trump, taking pictures with the president that they could share with their followers, and giving the president “advice” on the Supreme Court, abortion, religious liberty and Israel.

Trump liked to keep these evangelicals close. He needed their votes to maintain power. In the end, it was all for naught. Joe Biden roundly defeated Trump in the 2020 election. I will be watching how close some evangelicals to stay to Trump now that he is out of power.

These court evangelicals were representative of a larger pattern of evangelical politics that privileges fear over hope, power over humility, and nostalgia over history.

So far I have not found any Biden court evangelicals. As for me, I have never been to the White House. Nor has anyone has asked me to serve in any way as a religious adviser to the Biden administration. If they asked, I would decline.

Second, I am seeing a lot of people on social media in the last twenty-four hours making what I call “moral equivalency” arguments. These arguments assume that Biden and Trump should be evaluated on the same terms. They want us to criticize Biden to the same degree we criticized Trump.

I will criticize Biden when I believe his policies or rhetoric is bad for the country. But I do not see Biden and Trump as equals. Trump was an aberration. He lied endlessly. His words incited violence. He was morally corrupt. He was incompetent and knew nothing about how to lead. For four years he used our country as his own personal reality show. He showed no regard for American institutions.

I don’t agree with all of Biden’s policies, but at least he is playing on the field of American democracy. Trump was not playing on this field. He was not even in the stadium. Remember, we are not comparing Joe Biden with Republicans like Mitt Romney, Marco Rubio, Nikki Haley, John Kasich, Mitch McConnell, Ben Sasse, Larry Hogan, or Chris Christie. We are comparing Joe Biden to a narcissistic maniac who somehow managed to win the White House in 2016 with the help of American evangelicals.