One of the more inexplicable outcomes of the Trump election is his appeal to observant evangelical Christians.
The first question is how people who believe in a strict interpretation of the bible, all of its commandments and Psalms can endorse and follow a presidential administration that is led by a man who is an adulterer, liar, hates minorities, women, the handicapped and publicly ridicules those who he targets with some imagined insult.
Yet as this survey shows, evangelicals have no problem with Trump’s policies even though some have said those policies are separate from the sociopathic behavior of their leader.
According to this article in The Guardian, “more than eight in 10 said the Trump administration “fights for what I believe in” either very or fairly well. But markedly fewer – 61% – said the phrase “morally upstanding” described the president very or fairly well.
“Even among this strongly supportive constituency, most do not view Trump as a very religious, honest or morally upstanding person,” said the report. “In more general terms, 63% of both US adults and white evangelical Protestants said it was very important to them to have a president who “personally lives and moral, ethical life”.
Well, apparently that 63 % don’t watch the news or are intentionally oblivious to what Trump does on an everyday basis.
And along with this disturbing statistic is its failure to separate church and state. As stated in the Establishment Clause of the Bill of Rights, the two institutions should be separate, but not according to white evangelicals who in a vast majority (89%) that laws should be enacted which reflect the Bible.
Does Trump Talk to God?
But it gets even worse among the religious. According to the article, one in 20 US adults believe “God chose Trump because God approves of Trump’s policies.” Not surprisingly, this increases to 13% among white evangelical Protestants.
How these beliefs were shaped seems to be a mystery to political scientists. The average American sees no connection between a venal, carnival character from Manhattan and an observant Christian, but maybe their views of Trump have been shaped by TV evangelicals who push the gospel of money over doing good deeds.
So here is a question for evangelicals about how they revere and elevate Trump: How do your beliefs square with these Bible passages:
“If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?” (1 John 3:17-18).
“What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, ‘Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead” (James 2:14-17).
Either way, evangelicals will have a lot of explaining to do in the next life when the misdeeds of Trump and his administration are reckoned for in Trump’s political afterlife.