A majority of white evangelical Christians continue worshipping at the feet of President Donald Trump, believing he embodies the necessary traits and beliefs to carry forward their religious views in American political life.
But as Los Angeles Times cartoonist David Horsey wrote in a 2017 op-ed — accompanied by a cartoon depicting the same — Trump is the proverbial “golden calf” of today’s evangelical community, standing against all that Christianity purports to hold dear.
Trump has proved himself to be “an adulterous, lecherous, mendacious, self-centered human being who has consistently abused and misused people to aggrandize himself,” Horsey wrote, yet he continues to enjoy wide support from white evangelicals.
Unlike some religious leaders, who claim to support the president because he will make good on promises to curtail abortion, protect religious freedom, and otherwise champion their causes, those sitting in the pews every Sunday are drawn to Trump for far more base reasons.
“[A]n analysis published by the Martin Marty Center for the Advanced Study of Religion at the University of Chicago Divinity School” found that parishioners “were far more driven to vote for Trump by fears of terrorism and concerns about their own diminished economic fortunes.”
Despite the blatantly obvious spiritual shortcomings of their president, white evangelicals hold tight to his reign, as they also cling to “ramped-up nationalism and a libertarian economic philosophy that is far closer to atheist Ayn Rand than to Jesus Christ,” Horsey wrote.
These Christians see the current president as God’s chosen instrument, but Horsey sees the situation for its reality: “it was not the word of God that guided their ballot last November; it was the angry rhetoric of a very worldly salesman named Trump.”