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Trump and Evangelicals

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Don’t Bend Your Knee to Trump, Evangelicals

A candidate who subverts all of our most cherished values should be avoided at all costs. Tomorrow, hundreds of Evangelical leaders will gather in New York City to meet with Donald Trump. I must confess that I don’t understand their purpose.

I suspect that it will be exactly the kind of meeting that Trump wants: One where he can mouth a few platitudes and those Evangelicals who are desperate for power and influence will emerge gravely pronouncing themselves “satisfied” that he is in their corner. Of course, they’ll maintain their “reservations” — including their professed distaste for his racist rhetoric, disrespect for women, and habitual lying — but they’ll fall in line. The Supreme Court is the reason, they’ll say.

For some, that will be pure subterfuge. Access to power is a powerful drug, and there are quite a few Evangelical leaders nursing an addiction. It must be especially hard to kick the habit for those whose fortunes are on the decline. There’s a reason why Trump’s surrogates mainly represent a traveling band of the has-beens and “almost-weres”: He’s their last, best hope for relevance.

But others will hold their nose and cling to him, genuinely convinced that all of his faults are outweighed — just barely — by his (kinda sorta) promise to appoint conservative Supreme Court justices. Trump’s so mendacious that one can measure his lies by the minute, but in this case they’ll believe he’s telling the truth. Because they want to believe.

This is a grave mistake. American Evangelical Christianity does not exist for the purpose of placing one or two decent judges on the Supreme Court. It — along with its Catholic and Orthodox counterparts — represents the body of Christ on this earth. It is a flawed vessel, to be sure, but its moral witness is still of incalculable worth.

Despite the media’s grotesque caricatures, American Evangelicals (and Mormons) are the nation’s most generous citizens, giving their time and money to the poorest and most vulnerable of their fellow citizens at a rate that puts most other communities to shame. They are among the leaders in seeking true racial reconciliation, with each of the leading denominations dedicating countless hours and resources to bridging the cavernous historical divides that persist. Pentecostal churches are often our nation’s most diverse, places where men and women of every race and ethnicity unite in joyous worship.

We have our well-known flaws, but our churches are at the forefront of fighting for the family. They’re at the forefront of combating substance abuse and providing fathers and mothers for the world’s orphans. They battle for life even where abortion is available on demand, persuading countless women to keep and to love children they once wanted nothing to do with. I’ve never in my life attended a church that failed to feed the hungry, care for the needy, and minister to those in prison.


Source: David French, nationalreview.com