News of Trump’s election win spur calls for unity, but some leaders say “not so fast.”
Evangelicals were the Trump campaign’s biggest voting block. More than 80 percent of evangelicals are said to have voted for the Republican. This was the highest number of evangelical voters who have supported a Republican in the past several presidential elections, however, Mitt Romney did come close in 2012, with 79 percent of the evangelical vote. Even as minority groups and Muslims lamented their approaching fate after the election results were announced, evangelicals were joyful.
Although Trump’s popularity among evangelicals was seen to be decreasing lately, especially after the sexist video of him boasting about his sexual prowess surfaced, it looks like evangelicals still believe he is the better option for the role. Many evangelical leaders, especially female evangelicals, did come forward to condemn Trump. However, the evangelicals have shown their loyalty to Trump by voting for him in majority.
However, this does not mean that evangelicals really liked him. For many of them, voting for Trump was just a way of blocking Hillary Clinton, whom they saw as the bigger evil. Clinton’s liberal views on issues such as abortion and immigration, and Trump’s more conservative views on the topics have obviously chimed well with the typical conservative, white, evangelical American.
As has been observed by certain Christians like Tony Campolo, former spiritual adviser to Bill Clinton, and Trillia Newbell, director of community outreach for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission for the Southern Baptist Convention, Trump’s lack of respect for religion, knowledge of the Bible, and his sexist and racist ideologies seem to have been overshadowed by his tough stance against Muslims, abortion and other issues that have always been sensitive matters to America’s Christians.
⅔ of white evangelical Christians support Trump. That tells you more about most evangelical Christians than it does about Donald Trump.
— Micah Horton (@hortonhatches) November 9, 2016
Other religious groups did congratulate the new president, but some of their words of congratulations hinted at their fear of what Trump’s election might usher in. For example, the Vatican said the Catholic leadership was not only praying that God would help Trump in his endeavor to serve his country, but also hoping that God would guide him towards promoting peace and well-being in the world.
The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism said if Trump’s plans were inclusive of everyone, moving all Americans together towards progress, then they will support him. On the other hand, if his idea of progress implies excluding certain groups, then they will stand against him. Muslim advocates have said something similar, warning that if Trump does indeed endorse discrimination against minority groups, they will use every legal tool to defend America against such undemocratic moves.
Muslim Advocates statement: We "will use every legal tool available to protect our country against unconstitutional & undemocratic actions."
— Niraj Warikoo (@nwarikoo) November 9, 2016
- Friendly Atheist
- Religion News Service
- The Atlantic
- WBUR 90.9
- World Religion News – “CatholicVote Calls for Trump to Step Down; ‘Disgusting and Indefensible’ Comments on Women”
- World Religion News – “Evangelical Support for Trump is Divided After Video Leak”
- World Religion News – “Christian Evangelicals Prefer Trump, Although Not Very Enthusiastically”
- World Religion News – “Religious Leaders React to Trump’s Victory”