After this presidential election, all of America was left with questions. Some of these questions include, “how did all the polls get it so wrong?”, “How did Donald Trump win liberal state?” But even before the election results were given, I had been asking myself a question and much of Americans had the same question, “How is Donald Trump getting whole-hearted support from Christians?” Today we are going to learn about how he did just that. Why did Donald Trump take the Christian vote, how will it inspire him in office, and how has Christianity changed.
First let’s analyze and discuss who exactly did vote for Donald Trump and for this purpose we are going to look at an article posted by The Huffington Post named “How Christian America Elected the President No Other Religion Could Get Behind”. When the election began, it was clear that Donald Trump not only had a platform for conservatives but also one for Christians. Donald Trump spoke about how he was against abortion since the beginning and many Christians took solace in his beliefs. Christian Americans including Evangelicals showed “stunning solidarity” as The Huffington Post stated and voted for Donald Trump. Every other religious or non-religious group in America favored Hillary.
In The Huffington Post article, you will find some statistics of just exactly who voted for Trump. 81% of white Evangelicals voted for Trump followed by 61% of Mormons, 52% of Catholics and 55% of other denominations of Christians all supporting Trump this election. Although he did get the majority in the Christian vote, many people are skeptical that as a business man Trump knew exactly what he was doing and used the fear of Evangelicals and other Christians that Christianity was now declining in America. He also had Evangelical leaders in his advisory committee and was pushing issues like anti-abortion so he could claim to be the hero of Christianity in America.
But we still haven’t exactly answered, why have Christians voted for him? To answer this question, I delved into “Why the Majority of Christians voted for Donald Trump” on World Religious News website. Shockingly, this article was very like the article on The Huffington Post. However, it did have some extra details. Although Donald Trump use to be pro- choice, he recently has been pro- life and campaigning to curb abortion rates in the United States. This seems to be the number one thing that got Trump the Christian votes. Christians have an unwavering stance on abortion. While Donald Trump was very anti-abortion during his campaign, Clinton was much more accepting and some Christians even feared she would appoint judges who were pro-choice. In an article from Religious News Service titled “Cardinal Raymond Burke: Trump Will Defend Human Life From Conception” agrees that Donald Trump is a good choice for the Christian American. Cardinal Raymond Burke stated in an interview “I am convinced as he said he will hold the defense of human life from conception … and put in place every action possible to fight abortion,” so the Roman Catholic Church members even believe that he is the right choice for Christian America.
So abortion? Is that it? It seems we have more that Donald Trump pushed that American Christians believed in. World Religion News also believes that Islamophobia is growing in America and Donald Trump became the champion of handling that fear. Of course, he instilled the fear as well by pushing anti- immigration attacks on Muslims and even purposing to ban Muslims completely. A presidential candidate purposing something so outrageous and unconstitutional caused more people to fear Muslims as a threat and started supporting Trump. Including Christians who are lead to believe that they are the minority, even though Christians made up 75% of the vote in the presidential election, per exit polls.
So Christians pushed Donald Trump to become President elect basically from what I have found based off of his anti-abortion and anti-Islamic policies. However, will he keep up and can deliver on the huge promises he made during his debate? Only time will tell, still I have an article from New York Times titled, “Religious Right Believes Donald Trump Will Deliver on His Promises.” This article starts off explaining that Christians were Donald Trump’s secret weapon. Even after Donald has leaked videos of him talking about groping woman (explicitly) and has been married 3 times somehow, he still won the presidency. He never even mentioned God in his acceptance speech and has never asked for forgiveness for his sins, how did Christians choose him? Well per New York Times, he used Christians fear of policies Clinton had preached on in this election, for example being pro-choice, taking away religious freedoms, and giving more rights to gay and transgender. He even warned that he was the only hope they had left before a cultural change in the United States and even said “This is your last chance”. Trump ran a campaign off fear of the Christians in America.
Even with everything that has been said and done, Evangelicals still strongly believe Donald Trump will be delivering on his promises. Some of these include a conservative supreme court, funding ended for planned parenthood, and allowing businesses to refuse services at LGBTQ weddings. In continuation with everything Trump said and did, Hillary Clinton failed to connect with evangelicals and most Christians. In doing this she gave Donald Trump the final push he needed to win the presidency. “Hillary’s lack of outreach basically told evangelicals, ‘You need Trump as much as Trump says you do.’” said Mr. Wear, the author of “Reclaiming Hope: Lessons Learned in the Obama White House About the Future of Faith in America.”
Even with all the things the candidates said and did, there has also been a change in Evangelicals tolerance of the candidates. As they have never voted for a candidate such as Trump before and usually they are much more judgmental towards a candidate’s shortcomings in their personal lives. This change in the Evangelical mindset this election versus all the others is nonetheless concerning. In an article “Donald Trump’s God Problem” by Newsweek an open letter to two of the biggest Trump endorsers House Speaker Paul Ryan and James Dobson the founder of “Focus on the Family”. The writer gets straight to the point with James Dobson, evangelicals endorsing Donald Trump is effectively destroying their credibility. Donald Trump seemingly does not know anything, even the basics, about Evangelicals, Christianity, or even the bible. The author of this open letter, Kurt Eichenwald, even states in the article “Mr. Dobson, if Donald Trump represents Christian values, those values mean nothing.” A very bold statement that continues to explains Trumps short comings. Trump, earlier this year, called Second Corinthians, “Corinthians two” stating, after questioning, that lots of churches around the county say “Corinthians two”. I have personally attended many churches in the state of Nebraska and have never heard “Corinthians two” before.
On Time an article titled, “Evangelical Christians Cannot Excuse Donald Trump’s Words” explains a young woman who was raised in a very Christian community who was sexually assaulted. She explained that when she had finally gotten up the courage to tell a close Christian family member, her family members response is that she must have followed the wrong action to invoke that response from the man who had forced himself upon her. She explains that this action could compare to the disgusting words Donald Trump said in his leaked video of him saying outrageous things about groping woman inappropriately and how he is ingrained with an idea that he is over woman because he is a man. Her beliefs on this subject is that the evangelical community should have not forgiven this so lightly and that this is dangerous for Christians to support a man who has said such vulgar things agreeing with the article above that Evangelicals are pushing politics not faith.
Even with that being said, Inquisitr article “Why Evangelicals Should Vote For Donald Trump” still says that even with the leaked video and Trump’s obvious short comings, he’s the best candidate to represent the Evangelicals position. Even though Trump had the “locker room talk” incident the Inquisitr thinks Evangelicals should forgive and forget. An article “A Plea to Christian Conservatives” from The Washington Times is also on Trumps side here. Either way someone must win so why not pick the lesser of two evils right? We have heard this view so many times and maybe in Christians eyes its true. Maybe Trump was the lesser of two evils.
It is obvious that the media has many different opinions on who Donald Trump really is and whether he was a good choice for the Christian candidates. Even with vulgar words towards women many people still pushed him through this election in fear of what a Clinton presidency would bring for Christianity. Either way, one thing is for sure, this election has not only caused a more divided Nation, but also a more divided religion.
– Antonia Blumberg, How Christian America Elected the President No Other Religion Could Get Behind, The Huffington Post, 11/09/16
– Nathan Glover, Why the Majority of Christians Voted for Donald Trump, World Religion News, 11/11/16
– Josephine McKenna, Cardinal Raymond Burke: Trump Will Defend Human Life From Conception, Religion News Service,11/10/16
– Laura Goodstein, Religious Right Believes Donald Trump Will Deliver on His Promises, The New York Times, 11/11/16
– Kurt Eichenwald, Donald Trump’s God Problem, Newsweek, 8/22/16
– Jennifer D. Crumpton, Evangelical Christians Cannot Excuse Donald Trump’s Words, Time, 10/14/16
– Evan Massey, Why Evangelicals Should Vote For Donald Trump, Inquisitr, 10/24/16
– Kelly Riddell, A Plea to Christian Conservatives, The Washington Times, 10/13/16
– Sarah Pulliam Bailey, Why Some Fear this Elections Lasting Damage to American Christianity, The Washington Post, 11/19/16: Video: Trump on Christianity: “We’re gonna bring it back”
– Daniel Burke, The Guilt-Free Gospel of Donald Trump, CNN, 10/24/16: Video: The Theology of Trump