Why so many evangelicals are for Trump

Why so many evangelicals are for Trump February 26, 2016

Why are so many evangelicals supporting such a flagrant non-evangelical as Donald Trump?  Ben Domenech, publisher of the Federalist, gives the best answer I’ve heard:  The evangelicals who support Trump recognize that they have lost the culture wars, that Christianizing the government is futile, that America is no longer a Christian nation.  What they want now is protection from the politically-correct elites who would love to stamp out whatever Christianity is left.  And Trump, for all his faults, delights in defying the politically-correct elite.

You conservative Christians who support Trump, is this at least part of the reason?

Evangelicals have for decades believed that the country was more conservative than not, more Christian than not. The bipartisanship on religious liberty and the civic faith of the country was conducive to that. Now they’ve woken up to a reality in the Obama years that this was a polite fiction. They worry that coaches getting fired over praying at schools, fire chiefs getting fired for citing scripture, bakers getting bankrupted over their refusal to bake a cake—their entire perspective on Christian faith as a key element of what made America great has been swept away.

In this post-apocalyptic environment, it becomes increasingly clear why Southern evangelicals would drop their requirements that a political leader who seeks their backing be one of them, ideologically or faithfully. They have different priorities now: They want an ally who will protect them, regardless of his personal ethics.

That’s why Trump has been able to peel away so many evangelicals as his supporters, despite being an unchurched secularist with three wives who couldn’t tell a communion plate from an offering basket. It is because of the increasingly large portion of evangelicals who believe the culture wars are over, and they lost. . . .

Ever since the 1980s and the Moral Majority, evangelicals have been loyal to the Republican Party, giving their votes in return for promises on abortion, family, and other arenas of policy which promised them protection for their churches and their priorities. These policies were supposed to serve as a defense against losing the culture war. But for all this loyalty, evangelicals have little to show for it. . . .

He is not one of them—they know that. But they believe he is for them at a time when their faith and beliefs have become politically incorrect. They know he doesn’t care if he’s called a bigot, and that is a very powerful thing in today’s political fray. They don’t care if he’s a good person—they care that he’s a warrior for everything at odds with the elite opinion of the day… which now includes them.

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