I contributed to this article at AL.com. Also good to see Believe Me get its first plug.
Here is a taste:
At least two professors who are carefully watching the Senate race believe that let’s-just-win politics is taking a toll on evangelicals.
“I do think nationally, the Trump/Moore candidacies have hurt the reputation of evangelicals,” said Jason Roberts, a Falkville native who’s a political science professor at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. “It is not so difficult to respect a differing viewpoint if it is ground in core values like religion. … But I do think the continued support for Moore/Trump among religious leaders have made people realize that this support is not clearly grounded in religious differences.”
John Fea, chairman and professor of history at Messiah College in Pennsylvania, goes further. He’s written a book, “Believe Me: The Evangelical Road to Donald Trump,” to be released in the spring.
Fea said the efforts among Christian conservatives to “win back the culture from the forces of secularization” have been ongoing since the late 1970s. He calls it the evangelical’s “political playbook.”
The strategy, in short: Elect a president and members of Congress who will pursue laws aligned with evangelical views, and who will approve like-minded Supreme Court justices.
“The 2016 election put this playbook to the ultimate test,” said Fea, who describes himself as evangelical. “The playbook survived its greatest challenge, but only by separating the political agenda of the playbook from the necessity of Christian character.”
He said, “The political playbook has taught conservative evangelicals that they must maintain power at all costs, even if it means looking the other way when multiple women accuse a candidate for the U.S. Senate of sexual molestation and harassment.”
“First, it tells the world that Christians are in the business of forcing their views on others through legislation and executive actions,” said Fea. “Second, it neglects to remember that Christians follow a savior who relinquished worldly power even to the point of giving his life. Yet, my fellow evangelicals do not seem to see Jesus’s example as a model, or at least a starting point, for thinking about their engagement in the world.”
Read the entire piece here.