Understanding The Unique Intersection Of Conservative Politics and Religion
A recent survey by Pew Research Center has provided glimpses as to why President Donald J. Trump enjoyed extensive support (80 percent) from white evangelical Protestants during the 2016 presidential election. Surprisingly, this mass continues to support the president even after numerous scandals. The survey found that 78 percent of white evangelicals continue to back the president.
A new academic document debunks old theories like working Americans’ economic anxiety and fears of “cultural displacement” to explain the support for Trump. The authors of the report, a team of sociologists, claim Christian nationalism has pushed these evangelicals to overlook all behavior which can only be described as immoral. These include multiple counts of sexual impropriety. The idea of Christian nationalism is the blend of Christian’s love of country and their love of God. The central pillar of this stance is that the Christian God has a particular affection for the United States.
Christian nationalism is not new. It has cropped up multiple times in American history. The difference between now and the past is that the present one is much more aggressive compared to its earlier avatars. The Trump era Christian nationalism roundly rejects all notions of secular society. It wants to restore the identity of the United States as a “Christian nation”. This, according to its proponents, can be achieved by leveraging the influence of Christians in public sphere. A few hardcore Trump supporters in this group even hold the belief that God himself has selected Trump to be the president of the United States. Only Trump, they believe, will guide the US to become a Christian nation.
Researchers have further discovered that Americans who voted for Trump have a steadfast belief in a few specific tenets of Christian nationalism. This remained constant even when the research team isolated other influences like affiliation to a particular party and ideology of a specific political party. It is clear that Christian nationalism makes for an independent and unique factor that propelled Trump to be the President of the United States of America.
Another academic document on the same subject duly noted that Christian nationalism offered a broader narrative for a national identity with a specific religious flavor. Americans who prefer this narrative and are afraid of outside influences voted for Donald Trump. These Americans, unsurprisingly, do not care for separation of church and state.