Faith and freedoms: why evangelicals profess unwavering love for Trump

The faithful have been ardent supporters who turn a blind eye to the president’s moral indiscretions in favor of agenda

Tom McCarthy
@TeeMcSee Email
Sun 7 Jul 2019

When Donald Trump took the stage last month at a mega-conference for the Faith and Freedom Coalition, the country’s largest organization of evangelical Christians, he was granted an extraordinary welcome by the group’s chairman, Ralph Reed.
“We have had some great leaders,” Reed said, to cheers. “There has never been anyone who has defended us and fought for us, who we have loved more than Donald J Trump. We have seen his heart and he is everything he promised he would be, and more.”

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For skeptics who see Trump as afflicting society’s most vulnerable – immigrants, refugees, the homeless, racial and religious minorities, single parents, struggling wage-earners – his popularity on the religious right is baffling, a seeming illustration of the hypocrisy at the core of America’s evangelical movement. A minority of evangelicals themselves express alarm at Trump’s appeal in their pews.
But none contests the ardor of the evangelical embrace of Trump. When the Trump re-election campaign last week leaked details of its plan to supercharge evangelical support for Trump in 2020, there seemed little reason to suspect the effort would fail.

White evangelical America made up one of the most important voting blocs behind Trump in 2016, said Robert P Jones, chief executive of the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) and author of The End of White Christian America.

White evangelical America made up one of the most important voting blocs behind Trump in 2016. Photograph: Evan Vucci/Associated Press

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