Evangelicals' Trump obsession has tarnished Christianity

The connection between Christianity and the Republican Party has existed for four decades. But it’s fair to say that associating religious faith with Ronald Reagan’s sunny optimism or George W. Bush’s “compassionate conservatism” does not result in the same level of negative repercussions as embracing the MAGA ethos.

As Daniel K. Williams writes in The Politics of the Cross, “[J]ust as some evangelical supporters of Republican conservatism in the 1970s and 1980s conflated white middle-class suburban fears about rising crime rates and social welfare costs with Christian principles, so some evangelical supporters of the contemporary Republican Party have conflated white working-class rural fears about immigration, gun control, and cultural change with Christianity.

“The result may be even more catastrophic for the gospel than the Christian conservatism of the late twentieth century was, because the Christian nationalism of the contemporary Republican Party is even further removed from historic evangelicalism—and certainly further removed from historic Christian principles, at least in its attitude toward immigrants and marginalized racial minorities.”