Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Evangelicals See Trump Win As Their Own

As previous posts have explored, while the election last week was truly a divide between cities and modernity and diversity against rural backwardness and bigotry, the critical tipping point for Donald Trump came from evangelical Christians in states like Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan (among other states) who voted for Donald Trump who they saw as their last best hope to stop cultural and demographic change that threatened their hegemony and ability to force their fairy tale beliefs on  the rest of society. Now, with Donald Trump the Electoral College winner, these people feel victorious and emboldened to pursue their message of hate against those who do not subscribe to their flawed belief system.  A piece in the Washington Post looks at the phenomenon.  Here are highlights;
For months, Rose Aller kept her support for Donald Trump a secret from her colleagues at the Northern Virginia school where she works as a substitute teacher.
“You’re judged for your beliefs,” she said. “Our media branded you a racist, a bigot, a homophobe if you were Republican.”
So Aller stayed quiet. Only at church did she feel surrounded by people who think like her, people who were distraught by the changing values they saw around them and pulling for Donald Trump as their unlikely standard-bearer to bring their chosen Christian policies back into the White House.
 Eighty-one percent of white evangelicals voted for Trump. Aller, 46, came into school on Wednesday wearing a red-for-Republican T-shirt and beaming at a few other teachers who seemed jubilant instead of despondent about the election results. She wasn’t the only Trump supporter in school, it turns out.
And that night, at church, she was one of hundreds.
During the eight years of the Obama administration, white evangelical Christians, who make up one-quarter of the U.S. population, felt that culture moving away from them. They watched gay marriage become the law of the land and Christians come under fire for saying they didn’t want to provide pizzas or cakes or photographs for those weddings. They heard college students demand “safe spaces” and “trigger warnings”; they heard “Black Lives Matter” and didn’t understand when they were demonized for responding “All Lives Matter.” Their president disparaged people like them who “cling to guns or religion,” and then said that religious employers should subsidize their workers’ birth control and anyone should use any bathroom they like.
And then on Wednesday, evangelicals woke up remembering what it’s like to feel victorious again in American politics. . . . Hartford Seminary professor Scott Thumma, who studies megachurches and nondenominational evangelical churches, wrote in an email. “I have interacted with a few evangelicals since the election … and every one of them were proud and happy to have had a part in Trump’s election — not exactly because of who Trump is, but what he stood for.”
The morning after the election, Aller said, a black second-grader came into her school and declared, “Trump was elected, so we’re moving.”  Aller said she responded, “We’re going to miss you. Let me know when your last day is. We’ll throw you a goodbye party.” She says she’s sure the boy knew she was joking.
While Hispanic Catholics, Jews and some other faith groups voted heavily for Clinton, and white Catholics and mainline Protestants were more divided in their choices, voters like the congregants at Cornerstone turned out in force on Election Day. White evangelicals made up 26 percent of the electorate, according to the exit polls. Three percent more of them voted for Trump than had voted for Romney in 2012.
White evangelicals were so key for Trump that, had no white evangelicals voted, Clinton would have won in a landslide, 59 percent to 35 percent.
Many churchgoers echoed that idea and said that Trump seemed to support the sort of Bible-based morality they craved, which they imagine was standard in the bygone America he offers to bring back.
It’s like every day our morals in America are being chipped away. Now on the radio you can say words you couldn’t say eight years ago,” said Risvold, the military veteran.
“Hopefully, now we can see some progress for some evangelical causes in our country,” Gary Hamrick said. “I feel like we actually have an advocate now in the White House.”  He used another word, too, to describe the mood of white evangelical America waking up as victors once again: “Relief.”
I cannot imagine treating a second graders as described in the column.  The take away that must never be forgotten is that evangelical Christians are among the most selfish on the planet.  They are not kind, decent or compassionate despite their pretenses of piety and decency.  They will do anything to anyone rather than face the fact that their religious beliefs are based on myths and lies.  They, and now thier champion, Donald Trump, are a clear and present danger to America.  They need to become social pariahs and unwelcome by decent people - none will be welcomed in my home - and the media needs to cease affording them deference or any shed of respect.  The embrace of ignorance and bigotry towards others under the smoke screen of religious belief deserves ZERO respect. -

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