Image from Fox News

Donald J. Trump, Christianity, and Identity Politics

Those evangelicals, historically linked to issues championed by the Republican party, had found a ideological kindred-soul-of-sorts to push their initiatives. According to a recent New Yorker article, Trump’s Populist (and decidedly Nationalist) policies, his strong, singular approach to governing, and tendency to push every debate into a good v. evil battle all appealed to this group. As far as they were concerned, the president checked off the right boxes to benefit them. His “end of times” gas lighting speaks directly to their concerns.

Trump has a litany of morality warts that stretch back for decades, but white evangelicals by-and-large continue to look the other way. At first glance it would seem that they would have been turned off by Trump’s many moral deficiencies, but that simply isn’t the case. The only realistic answer to their continued coexistence is their shared ideologies. His immoral behavior is cast aside for his willingness to acquiesce to certain political beliefs.

Republican candidates share standard policies, but this relationship is a uniquely Trump thing. He offers something the others don’t. Any of them could put forth virtually identical conservative principles, but none can match Trump’s ability to dominate the news cycle. Because he believes in winning and losing over right and wrong will say and do almost anything to get to sit in the big chair. The others had no real chance of winning.

At stake is a voting bloc of around 80 million people — a group that traditionally votes for Republicans in significant numbers. The two found each other. Although he was once on the other side of many of the beliefs he now espoused, evangelical leaders took him at his word that he’d have their interests in mind. In Trump evangelicals had a mouthpiece for their core agenda, and he had the votes to become President.

Trump is an astute politician who knows how to game the system. He claims to be an outsider, but is cut from the same cloth as his contemporaries. The moves he has made to position himself as the white evangelicals candidate-of-choice seem like little more than pandering. His history doesn’t jive with the teachings of the church. When looked at pragmatically, he falls well short of its moral positions.

The crux of the video is that Trump is asked his favorite verse in the Bible and essentially replies, “It’s all good.” The entire thing comes off as pretty fake. Doubters need look no further than his quote from “Two Corinthians” to see through this charade.

Evangelicals believe in the Bible as the Christian God’s inspired word. Save for the mental gymnastics of conservative talking heads it is difficult to find similarities between Biblical ideals and those of the President.

Leviticus 19:34 says, “The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born…”

This is distinctly different than Trump’s policies on immigration.

  1. Build a wall along the US Southern Border.
  2. Deport immigrants who arrived in the United States as children.
  3. Increase screening of refugees.
  4. Review the H-1B visa program.
  5. Curb legal immigration.

Colossians 3:12 says “You are the people of God; he loved you and chose you for his own. So then, you must clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.”

Not an ounce of humility…not a single, solitary ounce — in spite of what he says. He also seems to lack kindness and compassion. According to the First Lady, his signature skill is his ability “to punch back 10 times harder.” This mentality is obviously less than kind. Both of these directly contradict the good book.

So….Trump knows very little about the Bible that he claims as his “second favorite book,” is against it’s policies on immigration, and lacks the humility, kindness and compassion celebrated by the Christian God. He has had extra-marital affairs, boasted of the sexual benefits of his celebrity, and much…much…much….much more. Despite all of this, he remains the darling of white evangelical voters.

One would think that this house of cards has to come crashing down at some point. As Chritianity Today recently editorialized, while Trump has accomplished things in line with white evangelical thinking at some point his lifetime of questionable actions and continued immoral behavior needs to be called into question. Not doing so is incredibly hypocritical of such a principled organization.

No one is without sin, but the President’s continued need to climb into the muck will eventually drag white evangelical supporters into it with him. It will be interesting to see who dumps who first. Does the Evangelical Church continue to support the man when he is no longer able to push their initiatives, or does Trump move away from them if he gets elected for a second term?

Only time will tell.

Researcher, Writer, and Content Creator

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