The recent Republican National Convention was the most faith friendly political convention in modern memory. Many speakers invoked God and the party and president’s ardor for the Judeo-Christian way of life was evident for anyone who would look. Clergy from several faiths gave the invocation and Alice Johnson’s speech had the rousing and inspirational flavor of a Southern Baptist church service.
And all this for a thrice-married Manhattan playboy billionaire who is rarely humble and who prior to the last several years was a notable New York City liberal. What gives?
Evangelicals give…their votes to Donald Trump because regardless of his past he has fought for their issues more than any president in American history. Let’s face it, Ronald Reagan talked a big game on social issues like abortion. But was he as out front and aggressive on that front as President Trump? No.
But there are still a rump of evangelicals who will not support Trump. Small, but they are there. Many take umbrage at his manner, Yankee wiseguy tone, and yes, his past.
South Carolina GOP political operative Stacy Shea enlightens, “Then there’s the condition in which many South Carolina evangelicals find themselves. Donald Trump doesn’t talk like a Christian. He’s got children from multiple marriages. He’s a crass New Yorker who doesn’t sound like us. But President Donald Trump has also done more to protect our religious freedoms and the lives of the unborn than any president in our lifetime and we know it. The RNC this week has proven to be the most faith-based convention I can recall. Still, Never Trumper Christians can’t get past how the president speaks or the coarseness of his Tweets. They have loudly and repeatedly said that if we support Donald Trump, we somehow bear the sins of his past or responsibility for the things he says.”
Shea has a point. I know one evangelical, one of my closest friends. He is the most honorable man I have ever known and is the pastor of a very large church in Maryland. I’ve known him for almost 15 years. In all that time I’ve known him to be culturally traditional and relatively politically conservative. He is a man who does much good and believes in second chances. But, he loathes Donald Trump. It is one of the few things we disagree on. Trump’s manner and bravado, not to mention his past, make him anathema to this man. But luckily for the president, this pastor is in the minority amongst evangelicals.
In fact, Trump can’t win without people of faith. When many evangelicals (or “fundies”, i.e.- fundamentalists, in political parlance) sat on their hands in the presidential elections of 1992 and 1996 the GOP lost hard. A cursory analysis would say they could do it for Trump the man about town, Trump the boulevardier.
But this alleged roue fights for a Judeo-Christian traditional view of America like Joshua fought at Jericho. And with the same big sound in November, a lot of Democrat walls could come tumbling down.