Monday, September 19, 2016
A friend alerted me to an article in the International New York Times, written by Thomas B. Edsall, an English professor at Oklahoma Baptist University. He begins with this statement:
Trump has boasted of infidelities, profited off gambling, mocked the handicapped, cheered and offered financial assistance for his supporters who fight protesters, supported abortion (until his fortuitous change of heart before the election), called for war crimes against innocent people, demonized minorities and immigrants, knowingly played upon racist fears, promoted open racists through social media, promoted conspiracy theories, and crudely treated women.
One would suppose that conservative, evangelical Christians would look with askance at such conduct, even oppobrium that such a person would aspire to lead the United States, a country many of these same conservative, evangelical Christians would consider a nation especially favored “under God.”
But research has revealed stats that shock me. As of mid-August, a Pew survey found Trump beating Hillary Clinton 63-17 among white religious conservatives.
Edsall cites data from The Public Religion Research Institute. Among religious groups, white evangelical Protestants stand out as the only one in which a majority, 53 percent, agree that society has become too soft and feminine.
When people were offered this statement — “It bothers me when I come in contact with immigrants who speak little or no English” — Trump voters and the religious right agree. Compared to backers of all the other candidates, Trump voters expressed the highest level of discomfort, 77 percent. Among religious groups, white evangelical Protestants voiced the highest levels of distress, 64 percent, when they find themselves around immigrants who speak little or no English,.
Here is another P.R.R.I. statement: “Today discrimination against whites has become as big a problem as discrimination against blacks and other minorities.” A solid 57 percent majority of white Americans whom P.R.R.I. surveyed agreed, but two groups stood out: Trump supporters at 81 percent and white evangelical Protestants at 68 percent.
P.R.R.I. finds that “no group of Americans is more nostalgic about the 1950s than white evangelical Protestants. Seven in ten (70-29) white evangelical Protestants believe that American culture and way of life has mostly changed for the worse since the 1950s.”
I personally sense profound disconnects in two religious sets:
The kingdom of God as defined by Jesus.
The United States of American as defined by the Constitution.
The historic Christian Church dating to Emporer Constantine.
The conservative evangelical church in America dating to Colonial times.