Religion & Politics – Donald Trump and the Evangelical Political Schism

„Mohler, Moore, and other detractors have asserted their deep Anabaptist roots. Baptists from the late eighteenth-century such as John Leland and Isaac Backus emphasized the virtues of sharp distinction between religion and political power. They cherished religious freedom as the freedom for communities to sustain practices that were peculiarly Christian. Those practices could flourish only apart from any engagement in politics, which was by definition worldly, rapacious, and violent. Contemporary heirs to this tradition such as Mohler and Moore refuse to give their mandate not only to Trump but also to Hillary Clinton. Having lost the “culture wars” of the last two decades, they promote a Christian vision apart from national politics and yearn chiefly for a type of pluralism that would allow their religious communities to continue to practice their convictions without molestation from the government.

Jeffress, Falwell, Mike Huckabee, and Ralph Reed of the Faith and Freedom Coalition take evangelical secularism in a different direction. For them, Trump offers the promise of an anti-establishment political ethos, economic protectionism, a belligerent stance toward ISIS and Islam as a whole, and resistance against what they call “political correctness.” They do not especially trust Trump on so-called cultural issues but they nonetheless treat Trump’s positions on such policies as politically superior to the views of his Democratic rival. They argue that Trump promotes the interest of the American nation, religiously based moral qualms aside.”

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