Ben Domenech | Why Some Evangelicals Support Trump

<p>Donald Trump at the CNN GOP presidential debate in Houston, Texas on February 25, 2016.</p>

Ben Domenech, The Daily Beast:

Gay marriage is the law of the land and they feel Christians are being dragooned into going along with it. The Little Sisters of the Poor are suing the government as it seeks to compel them to pay for contraceptives that the Catholic order considers to be abortifacients. Planned Parenthood is still getting taxpayer dollars despite what conservatives consider to be plentiful evidence that is has traded human organs for cash. Meanwhile, the man who provided that evidence is the one facing indictment.

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.

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