Evangelicals: Why so many support Trump
“It will take a long time to assess the full extent of the damage wrought by Donald Trump on the Republican Party,” said Jeff Jacoby in The Boston Globe. But one thing’s for sure: “Buried among the post-election wreckage will be the moral credibility of the religious right.” Trump represents the antithesis of most Christian values: A brash, boastful man driven by money, power, and fame, he has had three wives and has openly bragged about his infidelity. Yet rather than opposing this “grotesque nominee,” most evangelical leaders have enthusiastically supported him—even after he was caught on video boasting about groping women. Some argue that the issues at stake in November are much more important than Trump’s moral failures; others even claim the flawed candidate is proof that God works in mysterious ways. Have religious conservatives completely “shed their principles”?
Sadly, evangelicals really don’t have a choice but to support Trump, said Eric Metaxas in The Wall Street Journal. If Hillary Clinton is elected, she’ll appoint Supreme Court justices who will further enable abominable abortion practices, and clamp down on Americans’ right to religious freedom. As “odious” as Trump is, these issues are quite simply “deal breakers.” But that argument makes no sense, said Eric Sammons in TheFederalist.com. By forgiving Trump’s “greed, adultery, fornication, and misogyny,” religious leaders are “damaging the very thing they are trying to advance: Christian values and beliefs.” If Trump wins with their support, they’ll have no moral authority left. As Jesus put it, “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul?”
Not all evangelicals are falling into line, said Laurie Goodstein in The New York Times. Trump is commanding only 65 to 70 percent of the white evangelical vote, compared with the 80 percent that went to previous GOP nominees; nonwhite evangelicals “overwhelmingly support” Clinton. Indeed, this election has exposed the growing fault lines between the older white men leading the religious right, and “an increasingly assertive crop of younger leaders, minorities, and women.” The former remain fixated on outlawing abortion and preserving religious freedom; the latter see it as their Christian duty also to “care for immigrants and refugees, the poor, [and] the environment.” Evangelical Christians have long been the GOP’s “most unified and reliable voting bloc.” If these divisions continue to widen after November, it could “reshape national politics for years to come.”
▪44% of voters say that if allegations of sexual assault by Donald Trump against women were proven to be true, it would disqualify him from the presidency. Only 19% of Republicans say that would disqualify him. YouGov
▪34% of American women say they worry “frequently” or “occasionally” about being sexually assaulted, up from 29% in 2015. Gallup