I’m ashamed of my people, white evangelicals. As a conservative evangelical for the better part of half a century, I write from the perspective of intimate knowledge. For nearly five years now I’ve repeatedly pleaded with my fellow white evangelicals to cut their ties to Donald Trump—to repent of their idolatrous quest for power. My reward for doing so has been ostracization, accusations, and even some loss of income. (Yes, some of the clients for my freelance writing business have taken their business elsewhere.)
Civil War on the Horizon?
Without the continuing, unflagging support of conservative white evangelicals, Donald Trump would have had to retreat to his safe place and quietly await the last days of his presidency. Were it not for white evangelicals’ unfaltering loyalty, this nation likely would not be facing a legitimate threat of mass violence and even civil war. (Yes, in various polls, anywhere from one-third to 70 percent of Americans foresee a new civil war looming.)
Despite what more than half of Americans see as four years of Trump “governing” through chaos, white evangelical support for the pandemonium president persists at close to 80 percent. It seems nothing will budge them. Why this eerie intransigence?
Held in Place by Pride
Pride. White evangelicals simply have too much invested in their ties to Trump. They bet everything on him—including their “faith.” The prevailing notion among most—from leaders to congregants—is that God chose Donald Trump to save them from encroaching liberal secularism. Donald Trump is the de facto messiah for today’s white evangelicals. To abandon him now would be to admit that their assessment of Trump—and, as a result, their entire belief system—was defective.
One need only search YouTube for videos regarding “evangelical visions about Donald Trump” to see the prevalence of the phenomenon. There seems to be an endless parade of evangelical pastors, “leaders,” talk show hosts, and congregants who have declared that God personally told them He chose Donald Trump to preserve religious liberties and uphold morality for Christians in America. What better way to shut down a meaningful discussion on the topic? God told me this. End of discussion. Do you dare contradict God?
Giving Trump Cover to Destroy
So, bolstered by that resolute evangelical defense, Trump is free to wreak havoc in the waning days of his administration—and even to attempt to overturn the fairly conducted election through his bogus claims of voter fraud, which his disciples accept as gospel.
Even as many longtime conservatives—including a few Fox News pundits—finally concede that Joe Biden won the 2020 presidential election, white evangelicals stubbornly cling to their fervent belief in their new messiah. In a contest of faith, most white evangelicals are more than willing to turn against fellow Republicans they formerly supported—and the true Christian faith—as well as against observable facts. “Trump said it; I believe it, and that settles it for me.”
Yes, a new U.S. civil war could be looming, and my folks, white evangelicals, will be largely responsible if it does happen. I wish I could reach them. Most are too far gone.