Donald Trump, theocrat?

Rampell frames her minimal evidence – Trump’s apparent opposition to the Johnson Amendment, his draft executive order on religious freedom, and Betsy DeVos — in the most sinister language possible: DeVos, for example, speaks in “well-established code for supporting . . . dressed-up creationism.” As her kicker, she cites a Pew Research Center poll that found that about a third of Americans said being a Christian was necessary to be “truly American.” The notion that allowing a Christian florist to decline participating in same-sex marriage ceremonies is ushering in a new Inquisition demonstrates a misunderstanding of the issue so entire it’s not really worth addressing. But it also seems not to have occurred to Rampell that the Pew research she cites probably undermines her thesis, given that that one-third statistic is historically low; the United States is in the midst of a long-term decline in religiosity, accompanied by a parallel increase in people who self-identify as having no religious affiliation (“Nones”). To the extent that there is any popular support for remaking the country according to the vision of “hard-line Christians” (minimal, at best), it’s waning. Likewise, Rampell seems not to have considered the possibility that it’s her own position — which takes for granted that religiously motivated lawmaking is unacceptable — that is the ahistorical imposition.

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