New Study: Evangelicals Continue Supporting Trump Because of Christian Nationalism
Here’s an interesting and disturbing new study based on data from the Baylor Religion Survey, that provides an explanation for Trump’s continued support among evangelical types despite his affairs with Playboy models and porn stars.
If this is accurate, the real reason they’re still cheering for Trump is because they see him as an instrument chosen by God to bring about a Christian nationalist state in the US — specifically, a white Christian nationalist state. And this is why it’s impossible to argue them out of their support; it was never based on rational reasoning in the first place.
Why are white Christians sticking so closely to President Trump, despite these claims of sexual indiscretions? And why are religious individuals and groups that previously decried sexual impropriety among political leaders suddenly willing to give Trump a “mulligan” on his infidelity?
Our new study points to a different answer than others have offered. Voters’ religious tenets aren’t what is behind Trump support; rather, it’s Christian nationalism — their view of the United States as a fundamentally Christian nation.
And this Christian nationalism is closely tied to another viewpoint: xenophobic fear of Muslims.
Finally, the various cultural explanations that other researchers have examined didn’t predict Trump support in our study, with one notable exception: anti-Muslim sentiment. How much a U.S. voter feared Muslims was as significant in predicting who voted for Trump as Christian nationalism. Overall the strongest predictors of Trump voting were the usual suspects of political identity and race, followed closely by Islamophobia and Christian nationalism.
I think what we’re seeing here is the direct result of decades of poisonous indoctrination by religious right organizations and the right wing media, who’ve been telling conservative Christians America is their country and it’s under attack by hordes of dark-skinned scary people.
In 2018, religious fanaticism and hatred of “the other” seem stronger than ever in the United States.