Sunday, October 16, 2016

David Gushee on Why Christian Right Still Supports Trump: "Character Counts, They Said"

David Gushee draws on his experience observing the Christian right movement from the 1970s forward to comment on the movement's support for Donald Trump:

The biggest religion news story of the 2016 election is erupting before our eyes. It is the continued vocal support of Donald Trump by public figures of the Christian Right brand. Secondarily, it is the rupture between these men and other conservative Christians who almost always support the GOP but have abandoned or rejected Trump’s candidacy. . . . 
As a witness to evangelical political engagement since the birth of the Christian Right in the late 1970s, nothing surprises me anymore. And I can offer an easy enough analysis of why the old warriors of the Christian Right are staying with Donald Trump. It comes down to three main reasons — partisanship, policy, and Hillary — and one main delusion, that a President Trump would keep his promises to the Christian Right.

And then he concludes:

Christian Right people used to be some of our culture's leading advocates for a restoration of sound character in America. Character counts, they said. We need to fight all those forces that corrode our culture and cheapen human life, they said. We need men of strong, Christ-like character to lead our families, churches, and nation, they said. 
Oh well.

As Gushee also notes, there has been noteworthy discontent about the support of the Christian right for Trump among leading women evangelicals, progressive evangelicals, some younger evangelicals, and many Mormons.

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