Evangelicals are Becoming Politically Progressive

Younger evangelicals possess a different mindset than their older counterparts.

American evangelicals began to vote for the Republican Party from the time Ronald Reagan campaigned to become the President of United States of America. The conservative outlook of the Republicans gelled perfectly with their Christian values. The evangelicals at that time thought the U.S. was going downhill, and they tried not only to stop the supposed decline but also to mold the U.S. in their image. It soon became apparent that being evangelical means voting Republican. The Democratic Party was completely out of the picture.

Cut to the present. Many evangelicals now openly support the Democrats and vote for the party. A sizable percentage identify themselves as progressives and fiercely fight Republican policies, especially when molded by Donald J. Trump. The change is much more than what is observed on the surface. Many evangelicals who once voted for Trump now secretly vote Democrat. This U-turn, however, is rarely spoken of.

The evangelical movement thus cannot be described as a monolith. Many followers are conservatives. However, the progressive movement is gathering an increasing number of followers. This is due to the evangelicals’ close association with the Trump administration and more specifically President Trump himself. Republicans now have begun to understand mixing religion and politics is not a good idea.

Trump's behavior is one reason many Republicans are deserting him in droves. The statistics are telling: the president's support from white evangelical women has dropped 13 percent compared to 2017. Even those who remain find Trump to be an embarrassment although they continue to support his policies. The Trump effect has made its mark in evangelical churches as well. Many black evangelicals have stopped attending majorly white churches they were members of for years due to the discomfort of observing white church members making racist comments. African-Americans feel unwelcome in their own church. The signs were always present: the sustained Republican attacks like the Obama birther conspiracy and deriding black football players. All of these have made black evangelicals question whether white evangelicals subscribe to racial equality.

Growing disenchantment with conservative evangelism is not restricted to blacks alone. Several white evangelicals with a robust political background have warned other evangelicals concerning the dangers of mixing religion and Trump political rhetoric. Conservative attrition, however, is mostly from the young evangelicals. Their views of the world are much different compared to their parents. Trump's political shenanigans have made them cold to present day evangelism.


Follow the Conversation on Twitter