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So Many Fascinating Articles This Year (2019!) on Evangelicals and Trump | Righting America

by William Trollinger

It is absolutely impossible to keep up on all the articles being written by smart journalists and scholars on white evangelicals, the Christian Right, and Donald Trump. Below are seven articles that have appeared since New Year’s Day. They range from Jerry Falwell, Jr’s already infamous interview with the Washington Post to pointed and insightful critiques of evangelical Trumpism to  profiles of dissenting evangelicals. Enjoy!

Christine Emba, “Evangelicals’ infallible new faith: The gospel of Trump” (Washington Post)

  • “This isn’t just benign confusion: This is heresy. And, like many heretics, Falwell and his fellow evangelical Trump apologists are on their way to founding a new religion, one in direct conflict with the old. This new religion doesn’t have much to do with Christ at all. Instead, it centers Trump as savior above any other god.”

Michael Gerson, “Evangelicals have hired their own Goliath” (Washington Post)

  • “Many evangelicals believe they have found a champion in Trump. He is the enemy of their enemies. He is willing to use the hardball tactics of the secular world to defend their sacred interests. In their battle with the Philistines, evangelicals have essentially hired their own Goliath – brutal, pagan, but on their side.”

Emma Green, “Evangelical Mega-donors are Rethinking Money in Politics” (The Atlantic)

  • “In previous years, evangelicals responded to a sense of declining cultural power with anxiety . . . But at least among this subset of next-generation evangelical mega-donors, there doesn’t seem to be much of a desire to fight the culture. Their hope, instead, is that they will be known by their fruits.”

Eliza Griswold, “Conservative Evangelicals Attempt to Disentangle Their Faith From Trumpism” (New Yorker)

  • “Prior believes that homosexual sex is a sin. But she . . . has [also] decried the President’s positions on immigration, race, and women . . . Within conservative circles Prior stands at the vanguard of a new movement of Christians looking to reclaim their faith from the regressive racist and misogynistic politics that have coopted it.”

Joe Heim, “Jerry Falwell Jr. can’t imagine Trump ‘doing anything that’s not good for the country” (Washington Post)

  • Falwell: “Why have Americans been able to do more to help people in need around the world than any other country in history? . . . Free enterprise, freedom, ingenuity, entrepreneurism and wealth. A poor person never gave anyone a job. A poor person never gave anybody charity, not of any real volume. It’s just common sense to me.”

Greg Sargent, “The walls around Trump are crumbling. Evangelicals may be his last resort”  (Washington Post)

  • “Trump senses just how important the wall has become as a political theater piece in the eyes of his base. . . Among white evangelical Christians, support for the wall has risen nearly 10 points since Trump campaigned on it. In the most recent PRRI poll . . . a staggering 67 percent of them favor Trump’s wall.”

Evan Siegfried, “Trump has made Republicans the party of compassionless conservatism” (NBC News)

  • “Conservative leaders . . . [tell] their followers that they should not show compassion for their fellow man if he isn’t a part of the America he likes. We see this every single day on social media and on talk radio, where these conservative ‘icons’ push their callous indifference to the plight of others. This is not conservatism; it is sadism.”

And as a bonus, here’s an interesting blog post from the Community section of Daily Kos, which brings together a number of recent pieces on disillusioned evangelicals.

K. M. Wehrstein, “The Christian Right could be irrelevant by 2024. EXvangelicals are working to ensure it”

  • “But it appears the numbers of white evangelicals are dwindling enough that they might become irrelevant as a political force as soon as 2024, and direct opposition to their toxic worldview is being led by an increasingly strong and vocal movement of their own disaffected youth: the Exvangelicals.”