Under Trump, Evangelicals Show Their True Racist Colors

trump evangelicalsThe statistics tell one story: 81% of white evangelicals voted for Donald Trump. The deafening silence from leaders of the religious right in the wake of the neo-Nazi violence in Charlottesville, Va., points to an even larger one, which places racism at the very heart of the movement.

How can a movement ostensibly concerned about “family values” support a twice-divorced, thrice-married man who said that his “personal Vietnam” was avoiding sexually transmitted diseases?

On the face of it, evangelical support for Trump is anomalous. How can a movement ostensibly concerned about “family values” support a twice-divorced, thrice-married man who said that his “personal Vietnam” was avoiding sexually transmitted diseases? How could evangelicals vote for someone who flaunted his infidelities and who boasted about his tawdry behavior toward women?

The standard rejoinder is that evangelicals were so concerned about abortion and, therefore, judicial appointments that they were prepared to ignore Trump’s indiscretions to advance the one cause — opposition to abortion — that lay at the core of their political movement. That argument collapses, however, on historical examination.

Several evangelical leaders and evangelical organizations applauded the 1973 Roe vs. Wade decision. The late Paul Weyrich, architect of the religious right, was emphatic that abortion had nothing whatsoever to do with the genesis of evangelical political activism in the 1970s, a sentiment echoed by other conservative leaders, including Richard Viguerie and Grover Norquist.

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Randall Balmer
Los Angeles Times

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