Thus, there were very good reasons why it was rare indeed to find even a Never Trump Evangelical who was tempted in the slightest to vote for Hillary Clinton. It’s easy to see why so many Evangelicals — given the choice between a morally corrupt enemy and a morally corrupt ally (or at least someone who promised to be their ally) — chose the ally.

If the story had stopped there, then progressives should be engaging in at least as much soul-searching as Evangelicals. I’ve seen enormous amounts of anti-Christian hate in the American elite, especially at colleges and universities. I’ve watched the systematic slander of an entire American community. After the election, all too many secular progressives pointed fingers at Christians and mocked them for their political expediency without questioning in the slightest their own fears and bigotries. Simply put, those who voted for Hillary and defended her character occupy moral ground no higher than those who voted for Trump and defended his alleged virtue.

Moreover, Never Trump conservatives like me were asking our Christian friends and neighbors to make a considerable leap of faith — to boycott both major-party candidates and run the risk of considerable (and important) legal and political losses out of the conviction that the character of a leader ultimately matters more than the policies he promises. We were asking Evangelical conservatives to make a sacrifice the Democrats had already proved — when they circled the wagons around Bill Clinton in 1998 — that they were unwilling to make themselves.