Trump Deepens Alliance With White Evangelicals

MATT JOHNSON is licensed under CC BY 2.0

In a provocative speech, Trump promises to protect conservative Christian values.

President Trump has promised to end “attacks on Judeo-Christian values.” He spoke as the first president to visit the Values Voter Summit, a conservative Christian convention.

President Trump is doing this at a time when he is desperate to maintain his base with white evangelical voters. Although eight in 10 white evangelicals voted for him, he has a dipping approval rating in red states. At the same time, evangelical voters feel they are being assaulted by cultural shifts and by a constant attack on their morality by pop culture and Hollywood. Therefore, both his visit and speech comes at no surprise.

“Above all else in America, we don’t worship government. We worship God.” President Trump returned to popular topics, like the “War on Christmas” which has been a seasonal rallying cry by conservative organizations about the elimination of America as a Christian nation. This matches other recent policy actions he has taken: eliminating requirements for employers to provide contraception, banning of transgender troops, tougher restrictions on abortion, the appointment of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, lifting limits on government funds for religious organizations, and support for religious freedom court cases.tt

The quixotic part of this story is how President Trump is embraced by this community. He has never been religious in any meaningful way. He has been divorced twice. He has been on the cover of Playboy, known for his bragging of sexual exploits, and awkward comments about his family.

This strange alliance seems likely to continue while there are mutual benefits for each side.

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