“DON­ALD TRUMP IS A WRECK­ING BALL TO THE SPIRIT OF po­lit­i­cal cor­rect­ness.”

Newsweek - - BABBLE -

event that the same-sex mar­riage de­ci­sion was for con­ser­va­tive white Chris­tians,” he says. “It was so at the heart of their po­lit­i­cal en­gage­ment. They had pushed all their re­sources into the fight, and they lost de­ci­sively in courts and in pub­lic opin­ion.”

Among the many mir­a­cles Trump per­formed dur­ing his cam­paign was ex­ploit­ing white con­ser­va­tive Chris­tian fear. White Chris­tians re­ally are los­ing de­mo­graphic ground, if not power. Amer­ica won’t be theirs for much longer be­cause they are a shrink­ing por­tion of the elec­torate. But, as Trump showed to as­ton­ish­ing ef­fect, they still turn out to vote at higher rates than other, larger de­mo­graphic groups. And that gives their views greater weight. In 2008, white evan­gel­i­cals were 21 per­cent of the pop­u­la­tion but made up 26 per­cent of the vote, Jones says. In 2016, white evan­gel­i­cals had slipped to 17 per­cent of the to­tal pop­u­la­tion, but they still con­sti­tuted 26 per­cent of vot­ers. Jones calls the 2016 elec­tion their “time ma­chine,” Chris­tian fun­da­men­tal­ists’ chance to res­ur­rect the pub­lic opin­ion of 2008, when just 40 per­cent of Amer­i­cans sup­ported gay mar­riage, not the 60 per­cent who do now.

Amer­ica’s white Protes­tant fun­da­men­tal­ist Chris­tians are dwin­dling, dy­ing off like the di­nosaurs God put on Earth along­side hu­mans 6,000 years ago be­fore he mys­te­ri­ously de­cided to take them away. (And who cut them out of Gen­e­sis?) “Our best es­ti­mate is that 2024 will be the first elec­tion where we have an elec­torate that is less than ma­jor­ity white and Chris­tian,” Jones says.

But that still leaves the ques­tion of how evan­gel­i­cals were able to em­brace Trump. In 2011, a poll asked re­spon­dents to agree or dis­agree with the state­ment that some­one who com­mits an im­moral act in pri­vate life could still per­form well in a pub­lic po­si­tion. Among white evan­gel­i­cals, only three in 10 thought it was pos­si­ble. In 2016, the poll­sters asked the same ques­tion— and 71 per­cent of white evan­gel­i­cals agreed. “White evan­gel­i­cal Protes­tants went from be­ing the group least likely to agree that this was pos­si­ble to be­ing the most likely to agree,” Jones says. “In one way of think­ing, Trump turned evan­gel­i­cal ethics on its head, be­cause they had been based on prin­ci­ples. They let the ends jus­tify the means: We need a Repub­li­can pres­i­dent, and it doesn’t mat­ter how we get there.”

For many fun­da­men­tal­ists, Trump’s prof­li­gate dis­sem­bling and decades of dis­si­pa­tion are fur­ther proof that their Lord moves in mys­te­ri­ous ways. White evan­gel­i­cal sup­port­ers ex­cuse Trump’s long his­tory of im­moral be­hav­ior by com­par­ing him to var­i­ous bib­li­cal heroes whose lives were less than ex­em­plary but who none­the­less did God’s work. Lance Wall­nau, au­thor of a best-sell­ing book about Trump called God’s Chaos

Can­di­date, has claimed God spoke to him and said, “Don­ald Trump is a wreck­ing ball to the spirit of po­lit­i­cal cor­rect­ness.”

Now comes the most pre­sump­tu­ous—per­haps even hereti­cal—ques­tion a jour­nal­ist could pose: What does God think of Trump, who, ac­cord­ing to

The Wash­ing­ton Post, has al­ready told over 1,000 lies since he moved into the Oval Of­fice and is on a tra­jec­tory to hit 2,000 by the end of the year?

The same dig­i­tal voice anal­y­sis that mea­sured Trump’s com­fort level when talk­ing about God and the al­legedly god­less New York Times shows that when the pres­i­dent tells an ob­vi­ous lie (a state­ment Poli­tifact has de­ter­mined is false) he is more re­laxed than he is at most other times dur­ing his speeches and in­ter­views.

That would seem to be a vex­ing prob­lem for the faith­ful, since the Bi­ble re­peat­edly as­so­ci­ates ly­ing with the devil. To cite just one of many ex­am­ples in Scrip­ture, John 8:44 (NIV) refers to Sa­tan thusly: “When he lies, he speaks his na­tive lan­guage, for he is a liar and the fa­ther of lies.” Now re­call that mil­lions of white con­ser­va­tive fun­da­men­tal­ists who take the Bi­ble lit­er­ally are await­ing the ful­fill­ment of its proph­esy about the apoca­lypse—the end of days—which will fea­ture the rise of an evil force that will briefly rule the world. He goes by many names, among them the Prince of Lies.

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